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The Role of the Family and Women in Nurturing Human Being

By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Khomeini, Leader of Islamic Revolution in Iran

The serious attention accorded all dimensions of family life by Islam
. . .The laws of the shariĎa embrace a diverse body of laws and regulations, which amounts to a complete social system. In this system of laws, all the needs of man have been met: his dealings with his neighbours, fellow citizens, and clan, as well as children and relatives; the concerns of private and marital life; regulations concerning war and peace and intercourse with other nations; penal and commercial law; and regulations pertaining to trade and agriculture.
Islamic law contains provisions relating to the preliminaries of marriage and the form in which it should be contracted, and others relating to the development of the embryo in the womb and even what food the parents should eat at the time of conception. It further stipulates the duties that are incumbent upon them while the infant is being suckled, and specifies how the child should be reared, and how the husband and the wife should relate to each other and to their children. Islam provides laws and instructions for all of these matters, aiming, as it does, to produce integrated and virtuous human beings.
Islamic Government, pp. 43-44.
One of the things that creates different human behavioural patterns is how the rules for marriage, sexual intercourse and the times it can take place, for the gestation period and when the woman is breastfeeding, for selecting a husband and a woman who will be the one to breastfeed the child, and other instructions are observed.
These rules influence fully the physical and spiritual health of the child in the same manner as his learning environment, his teachers, friends, associates and kind of knowledge imparted to him do, along with other things that are too many to be mentioned here. All these things can have strange effects on a childís development, some of which are noticeable.
At-Talab wal-Iradah, p. 148
Islam has laid the foundations of man's life from before his birth. It has established the social foundations of the family and has laid down injunctions for man covering the period he lives with his family, the time that he enters into education, the time he enters society, and the time that he has relations with other countries, with other governments, with other nations. All of these have a programme; the holy laws contain provisions for all of these things. (165)
14 November 1965 (23 Aban 1344 AHS)
Islam has moral teachings and it has rules that govern manís social relations, his relationship with himself, his wife, his children, his neighbours, his friends, his fellow countrymen, his co-religionists, and people of a different religion. Islam has rules for men, which extend from before his birth until after his death. It contains provisions relating to the preliminaries of marriage and the form in which it should be contracted, and others relating to the development of the embryo in the womb until birth. It specifies how the child should be reared, it has rules for him at puberty, in his youth, in old age, when he dies and is laid in his grave and even after that . . . (166)
28 September 1977 (6 Mehr 1356 AHS)
. . . There are rules for other relationships concerning man. There are rules to ensure man's well-being even before he is born, to ensure that a sound, healthy, refined individual comes into the world. Islamic law contains provisions relating to the preliminaries of marriage, the choice of spouse, and the form in which a marriage should be contracted, there are laws for when intimate relations take place between a man and his wife, for when a child is conceived and when being suckled. There are rules for the child for the time he is being reared by his mother and when he is being trained by his first teachers. Islam has rules for all of these things, and laws to train man. (167)
9 November 1978 (18 Aban 1357 AHS)
One facet of Islam deals with government and governmental and political affairs, and another deals with man's spiritual development which concerns man himself alone: What should he be in terms of beliefs, ethics and social behaviour? What must a man be? In this regard, Islam encompasses every aspect of human life, whereas other governments and societies are impassive towards the same. That is, no government will ever approach an individual and reprimand him for whatever (immoral) activities he may engage in at home.
Whatever misdeed takes place in an individual's home is of no concern to other governments. Islam, however, is concerned with the individual even if he is alone at home; that is, it tells him what he is supposed to do, how to behave and what ethics and intellectual perceptions he should adopt. It tells him how a father should treat his children, how a child should behave towards his father, a mother to her child, a child to his mother, a brother to a brother, how families should behave among themselves or a family towards another. All of these have rules to follow in Islam, which takes everything into consideration. (168)
11 November 1978 (20 Aban 1357 AHS)
Islam is a religion that belongs to all. It was revealed to build up a human being in a way that it proposes; to mould him into an equitable man in such a way that one human being cannot commit one grain or pinhead of injustice against another; that a human being cannot be unjust to his own child or to his wife, or a wife to a husband, or two brothers to one another or these to their friends. Islam wants to mould man into a just being in the fullest sense of the word "human being," one whose intellect is humane, whose essence and appearance are human and one who respects human behaviour and conduct. Islam wants to materialise these goals. (169)
11 November 1978 (20 Aban 1357 AHS)
We want such an ideology, one that when it first starts to train the people directs them towards the development of the excellence of the human being. You look around yourselves in the world; can you find an ideology like Islam, which has laws aimed at making man a true human being even before he has been born, before his parents have married?
All of the world's ideologies deal with people who have reached puberty and who are active members of society. Islam, however, aims to perfect man even before he is born, before his parents marry, by stating what kind of spouse a man and a woman should choose. Why does it do this? Because the husband and wife are the origin of an individual or individuals and Islam wants these individuals, who are to be handed over to society, to be righteous individuals.
So before a couple marry, Islam stipulates what kind of a woman the man's prospective wife should be and what kind of a man the woman's prospective husband should be, what kind of personalities they should have, how they should behave and in what kind of family they should have been brought up.
After marriage too, Islam stipulates how the husband and wife should treat each other. Islam has laid down rules that pertain to the period when the woman is with child, and to the delivery of the child. It also specifies how a child should be reared. Islam provides laws and instructions for all of these matters so that this child that is produced from these two people will be a virtuous individual in the society and righteousness will reign throughout the world.
This is Islam. Islam seeks to create true human beings and it sets out to do this even before the child is born, before his parents have even married. It begins there and has laid down laws that cover this period and the period after the child has come into the world: it stipulates the duties that are incumbent upon the parents while the child is being suckled; it specifies how the child should be reared by the parents, how he should be treated later in the elementary and high schools and what the teachers there should be like.
Then when the child reaches the age of independence, the age at which he must make his own decisions, Islam tells him what kind of a person he should be, what he should and shouldn't do. Islam does this because it wants the people in society to be righteous, sound individuals. (170)
31 December 1978 (10 Dey 1357 AHS)
If you examine Islam closely, you will see that it has laws and programmes for all the dimensions man possesses. It has regulations for man for even before he is born, before his parents marry. It has procedures to ensure the embryo develops well. Islam stipulates what kind of woman you should choose for a wife, what kind of man you should choose for a husband, what circumstances should prevail at the time of marriage, what rules exist and what the procedure should be.
It has rules governing the time the child is conceived and the period of gestation, like a farmer who sows a seed taking care to choose fecund soil in which to plant it, irrigating it with pure water, at the proper times, and tending to it so that it grows properly. In order to train true human beings, Islam begins even before the parents have married; it wants the basis to be strong and good, the spouse to be a healthy, sound person of human qualities.
Islam contains further provisions relating to the childís birth, to the period the infant is being suckled, it specifies how the parents should rear the child and the kind of instruction he should receive from them and others. No other system of laws covers such things; this is something peculiar only to those laws brought by the prophets. (171)
2 February 1979 (14 Bahman 1357 AHS)
Know that Islam covers everything; it contains laws relating to before marriage takes place between a man and woman to the time of interment. All its laws are progressive instructions necessary for manís happiness whether in this world or the next. (172)
19 February 1979 (30 Bahman 1357 AHS)
Islam is a system, a political system, however, whereas other systems disregard many things, Islam overlooks nothing. It trains man in all the dimensions he possesses, in both his material and spiritual aspects; it concerns itself with both. Islam has rules aimed at creating a true human being even before he is born, before the marriage between his parents takes place, by stipulating, among other things, what kind of spouse a man and woman should choose, what kind of disposition they should have and how pious they should be.
When a farmer wants to plant a seed he must consider the type of soil there is in the area in which he intends to plant it and the things needed for its growth, which are useful and which are not. He must take care of the seed from the time it sprouts to when it bears its fruit. Islam treats humans in the same manner that is in the manner of a farmer who wants to produce a good harvest.
From before the seed is planted Islam has rules stipulating what kind of mother and father the child should have, and prescribes the form in which the marriage should be contracted. This is because Islam is concerned with the childís future life, for if the father or mother is of corrupt moral nature, [and] their actions that of an inhuman being, their offspring will be affected by these traits, they will inherit them. Therefore, like a very conscientious and compassionate farmer, Islam takes care of mankind.
It has rules for man, which extend from before his birth to the time he marries. It has many rules relating to the time of conception, the gestation period, the time the infant is being suckled; it specifies how the child should be cared for in the motherís lap and later under the protection of the father. It has rules for him when he enters school, then later when he joins society. From before he is born Islam cares for the child, so that he can achieve the high station man can attain. Islam has rules covering all these things.
Other systems in the world, other forms of government in the world, do not concern themselves with such matters, they are only bothered about making sure this society serves their interests and that the peace is kept so they can plunder the people. Even the best and most equitable of them cares only for rectifying its own society a little.
Otherwise, how a child should be reared, what rules exist covering the period the child is in the womb and is being suckled are of no consequence to other systems. Islam, to the contrary, does care about such things, and when the child grows into a man, it stipulates how he should behave towards his brother, towards his mother and father, how the mother and father should treat their son, how they should treat their neighbours, their fellow citizens, their co-religionists and foreigners. Islam concerns itself with all of these.
One facet of Islam deals with government and governmental and political affairs, and another deals with manís spiritual development. For man is a two-dimensional being, there are two sides to him: one the physical, for every aspect of which Islam has rules; and the other the spiritual, which no other system even broaches. No other system is concerned about giving man spiritual training or moral refinement so that he can reach the stage that none, save God, knows of. Islam even stretches to that stage, it takes manís hands and leads him to the highest heaven. No other system does this. (173)
19 February 1979 (30 Bahman 1357 AHS)
Religions concern themselves with all the dimensions man possesses. There are rules to ensure manís well-being even before he is born, instructions relating to how a marriage should be contracted, what conditions should be met, what kind of woman the man should choose for a wife and what kind of man the woman should choose so that the marriage is a good one. For marriage is like cultivated land used for producing human beings. Before the marriage even takes place, precautions are taken to ensure that a sound, spiritually healthy individual comes into the world.
Thus attention is paid to the preliminaries of marriage, the conditions that should be met, and following the marriage there are rules governing the intimate relations between a man and his wife and for when a child is conceived. The mother is advised what food she should eat when she is carrying the child and what she should avoid, what her life should be like and how she should behave. Instructions are provided stating what kind of woman should suckle the child after he is born - that is if the parents wish to employ a wet nurse - how the child should be suckled, at what times, under what conditions, how the mother should treat the child when he is in her care, and later, when he has left the lap of his mother, how the father should treat him.
There are rules governing how the child should be reared in the family, what his teachers should be like, and when he enters society, how he should act. This is all to make sure that upright, morally correct individuals enter society. (174)
14 May 1979 (24 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Islam is concerned with everything. It plans for the child you will bring into the world even before you marry. It stipulates what kind of woman the manís prospective wife should be, what kind of man the womanís prospective husband. For a human being is like a plant that must grow and blossom, and just as a farmer must take care when planting his seeds, selecting the right soil in which to plant them, good fertiliser and the right amount of water to nourish them, so too much the same applies in the case of a human being.
Islam stipulates what conditions must prevail from before man is conceived, in what kind of seedbed the seed must be planted, what kind of person the man should be who will plant the seed. Then later, after marriage, Islam has rules for when the child is conceived. Islam seeks to put right all aspects of manís life, aiming, as it does, to produce integrated and virtuous human beings. (175)
21 May 1979 (31 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Islamic law contains provisions for the period before marriage takes place, because it is through marriage that human beings are created. When you want to get married, no other system of laws in the world is concerned with how you should go about this. As far as other laws are concerned, you need only register your marriage at the registry office, the rest is up to you. Islam, however, pays attention to the period before marriage, for it is from marriage that a child springs, and he must have sound beginnings.
Like an extremely caring and affectionate farmer who, to ensure that his crop turns out well, selects only seeds of the best kind, planting them in fertile soil and nourishing them with only pure water, Islam seeks to produce true human beings, and it sets out to do this even before the childís parents have married by telling the woman what kind of man she should choose for a husband and the man what kind of woman he should choose for a wife, it gives them the rules for this. It has rules covering the marriage and afterwards when the woman is with child, then following that for the period of the childís upbringing.
For Islam seeks to create a true human being, and it begins at the very beginning when the foundations of a childís life are first laid. So it pays attention to such affairs, whereas all other laws in the world ignore them.
Other laws pay scant regard to how a man acts in the privacy of his own home, they adopt the attitude that as long as the person remains indoors and does not disturb the peace and order in society, he can do what he likes. Islam is not this way. Islam seeks to create upright human beings so that even at home they do nothing illegal or immoral. Islam wants man to behave at home as he would in the street, as he would in public. It seeks to make man a true human being in all circumstances. (176)
10 June 1979 (20 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
No teachings other than those of the prophets are concerned with who you choose as a wife or who the woman chooses as a husband. They consider it none of their concern. Not one of their laws covers this area or what duties are incumbent on the mother when she is with child, when she is breastfeeding and when raising the child, or what the father must do in rearing his child. Corporeal laws, and systems other than those of the prophets, are not concerned with such matters.
They are concerned only with preventing the individual from committing corrupt acts when he enters society, and even then they only make it their business when such acts are likely to cause disorder. Otherwise, they do not consider indulging in corrupt acts of the bacchanalian type as wrong; indeed they encourage such behaviour. They are not concerned with manís moral refinement or with creating a true human being. In their view, the only difference between humans and animals is that man has progressed more, he can make aeroplanes whereas animals cannot, he can become a physician, an animal cannot. The limits for such laws exist in the physical realm.
Islam, however, is concerned with everything. It concerns itself even with the period before a couple marry so that their offspring will become morally sound, upright human beings. So it has instructions stipulating what kind of person you should choose for your spouse. Why does it do this? Well, we can compare it with a farmer who wants to produce a good crop. First, he must consider the land, making sure it is fertile land, then the seeds he is to plant, they too must be of fine quality, and then what the seeds need to grow. All these things he must take into account to ensure as far as possible that his crop will be a good one and he will profit from it.
Islam does the same, only with regard to human beings. So it stipulates what kind of person you should choose for a spouse so that a virtuous human being is produced. It has instructions covering the marriage and what conditions should be fulfilled, there are also instructions pertaining to the time a child is conceived, to the period when the woman is with child and when the infant is being suckled.
This is because the monotheistic schools of thought, of which Islam is the most comprehensive, have come to produce true human beings. They havenít come to produce a creature with human intelligence but whose limits and aims are those of an animal. No, they have come to produce human beings in the true sense of the word. (177)
4 July 1979 (13 Tir 1358 AHS)
Let them come and see what Islam says, how it is with an individual from the time he/she wishes to marry to ensure that the child this union produces is a good child. How later it has rules for how the infant should be reared by his mother, how he should be treated at school and for all stages of his life until the end. Islam seeks to guide you along a straight path. (178)
6 July 1980 (15 Tir 1359 AHS)

The important role played by mothers in the proper upbringing of children
Be mindful of your actions making sure they are good. Make sure your uprising is for God, your actions for God. Those of you who have children, bring them up on divine teachings. (179)
8 February 1979 (19 Bahman 1357 AHS)
In our revolutionary movement, women have likewise earned more credit than men, for it was the women who not only displayed courage themselves, but also reared men of courage. Like the Noble Qurían itself, women have the function of rearing and training true human beings. (180)
6 March 1979 (15 Isfand 1357 AHS)
Islam wants to train you to become an integrated and virtuous human being, so that in your care suchlike human beings may be raised. (181)
8 March 1979 (17 Isfand 1357 AHS)
Men are raised in your care, you are the educators of men, recognise your own worth, just as Islam does. (182)
8 March 1979 (17 Isfand 1357 AHS)
You have served Islam and, God willing, you will continue to do so. You rear lion-hearted men and women in Iran. It is in your laps that virtuousness, decency, and greatness are fostered. You have a duty to raise your children well, to bring them up with Islamic values, with human values, and raise them to be fighters. It is through your struggles and those of all sections of society that we have been able to bring this movement this far and proclaim an Islamic republic. (183)
6 April 1979 (17 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
It is by you that great men and women are raised; it is in your laps they are raised. You are held dear by the nation; you are its support. Strive hard in your studies so that you equip yourselves with moral excellence and are virtuous in word and deed. Rear strong children for the future of our country. Your laps are like schools in which strong youth should be raised. Seek to acquire the highest virtues so that in your care your children will also acquire them. (184)
10 April 1979 (21 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
Islam wants you to care for your children yourselves and raise them to be good, upright individuals, to brighten up your home with the light of these Islamic children. For they are the children of Islam, and the destiny of Islam and your country lies in their hands. (185)
10 May 1979 (20 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Since in the beginning these children are raised in your care, you are the ones responsible for their actions. If you raise a good child, that child alone may secure the well-being of a nation, just as, God forbid, if you raise a bad child, he may be the cause of corruption in society. Do not think of your child as merely a child, one day, when he enters society, he may become a leader of the society and, if not brought up well, he could lead it into corruption. (186)
13 May 1979 (23 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Your children must be trained well; they must be given a sound, Islamic education while they are in your care. For it is to your apron strings they cling, it is you they follow around, your moves they watch and your words they hear. So let them not hear a lie from you lest in the future they become liars. For surely, if they hear lies from you and then from their fathers, they will become liars, but if they see that both are good, morally sound people, then they will become the same. (187)
13 May 1979 (23 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Our nationís long-term programme is for those who educate our children, that is our teachers, the mothers and fathers of our children, their lecturers and those who write and those who speak for them, to acquaint them with spiritual matters and help them to understand spiritual matters. (188)
24 May 1979 (3 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
The ladiesí help is several times more valuable than that of men. May God protect you. May He keep you so that you may carry on your job of training human beings, a job that the prophets were also assigned. May Godís peace be upon you all, and also His mercy. (189)
26 May 1979 (5 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
Respected ladies! You are all responsible; we are all responsible. You are responsible for the upbringing of the children; you have the duty of nurturing virtuous children in your care to hand over to society. We all have this duty, but it is in your care that they receive a better upbringing. A motherís lap is the best school for a child. (190)
26 May 1979 (5 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
As you yourselves now say, you ladies are teachers. You have two noble occupations, two very noble jobs. One is to raise your children well, which is much more important than all other jobs. If you hand over one good individual to society, this is better for you than owning the whole world. I cannot describe how honourable it is for you to bring up your children to be virtuous human beings.
So one of your jobs is to bring up good children. It is in the laps of mothers that true human beings must be produced, for the first stage of their education is in the laps of their mothers. The affection a child feels for his mother is greater than any other, none can compare with the love that exists between a child and his mother. Children learn better from their mothers; they are influenced more by their mothers than they are by their fathers, teachers or lecturers. (191)
11 June 1979 (21 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
May God grant you ladies, who are in effect centres for the training of small children, success to the end in teaching and training these children properly. Their training begins in your laps, and it is in your care that children are trained well. (192)
4 July 1979 (13 Tir 1358 AHS)
These teachings our young people, this generation, received during the time of the taghut, these taghuti teachings, must be transformed into human, Islamic teachings. It is hoped that this education will begin in the laps of the mothers and continue to the level of university and beyond. For the well-being of a nation depends on its heads, and those in whose hands its destiny lies, being righteous people, pure in heart. (193)
17 July 1979 (26 Tir 1358 AHS)
A motherís lap is the best school in which a child is trained. That which he learns from his mother is quite different from what he learns from his teachers. He picks up more from his mother than he does his teachers; he is trained better in the lap of his mother than he is by his father or teachers. It is a human responsibility and a divine duty, a noble deed, to raise a true human being. (194)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)
You sisters who are responsible for children, take care to promote in them human values, and those of you who are responsible for a community, make sure you guide it to Godís straight path. For it is this divine, straight path, which can take man from imperfection to perfection, from darkness to light. (195)
12 October 1979 (20 Mehr 1358 AHS)
Godís infinite mercy upon those mothers and fathers in whose pure care you brave fighters in the theatre of battle and struggle against the appetitive soul were raised. (196)
22 March 1982 (2 Farvardin 1361 AHS)
Godís mercy be upon these ladies in whose pure laps these lion-hearted youths were raised. (197)
9 February 1984 (20 Bahman 1362 AHS)

The importance and honour of motherhood
One cannot count the many rights mothers have and they cannot be rightly fulfilled. One night of a motherís life with her child is worth more than a lifetime of a dedicated fatherís. The affection and compassion that shine from a motherís radiant eyes hold a glimmer of the compassion and kindness of the Lord of the worlds. God, the Blessed and Exalted, has imbued the hearts and souls of mothers with the light of his own divine compassion, such that none can describe and no one, save the mothers, can understand.
And it is this everlasting compassion that has given mothers a heavenly-like tolerance in the face of suffering and hardship from the time of conception, throughout pregnancy, during childbirth and throughout the years of the childís life from infancy up to the end. She endures hardship and suffering in a way that the father cannot endure even for one night. The tradition which says ďHeaven is under the motherís feetĒ[22][78] is absolutely true.
It has been explained in such a subtle fashion because of the significance of the matter and to show children to search for happiness and the gardens of heaven under the blessed feet of their mothers, to respect them as they would Almighty God and to seek the approval and satisfaction of God the Most Holy in their approval and satisfaction.
Jilveha-yi Rahmani, p. 47.
Islam came to fashion true human beings. The divine book of Islam, which is the Most Noble Qurían, is designed to train man in all his dimensions, in spiritual and physical dimensions, political, social, cultural, and military, in all human dimensions.
Islam came to show us the way to do this. We, in turn, must educate our youth along Islamic lines, our women must be trained Islamically, passing this training on to their children in their care so that when their children mature, they become servants for Islam and humanity. (198)
11 April 1979 (22 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
You who are educators, who wish to educate your children or society, must pay attention to this verse from the Holy Qurían: ďRead, in the name of thy Lord,Ē (Qurían 96:1). When you want to teach or learn something remember to read, in the name of thy Lord, do so with God in mind, with divine teachings. If a person receives both a formal education and is instructed in divine teachings, he will be useful for his country.
A country is never harmed by one who has been given both a proper education and proper training. Harm is usually done to a country by thinkers who lack proper training, who have received a formal education but one that lacked spiritual training. They have acquired knowledge but have no piety; they have had no training of the inner self. It is for this reason that they become foreign agents that they themselves draw up the plans for the countryís destruction. (199)
13 April 1979 (24 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
May God grant you ladies, who are in effect centres for the training of small children, success to the end in teaching and training these children properly. Yes, their training begins in your laps, and it is in your care that children are trained well. It is possible that a child whom you have trained well will save a nation. Take care to hand over good children to society, and let your teaching be accompanied by training. (200)
13 April 1979 (24 Farvardin 1358 AHS)
You ladies are valuable in the eyes of God, God willing. Raise your children to be good, upright individuals, give them an Islamic upbringing. (201)
10 May 1979 (20 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
You bear the great responsibility for the training of your children from when they are very young and easily influenced, when they quickly pick up things they are taught, good or bad. Since in the beginning these children are raised in your care, you are the ones responsible for their actions.
If you raise a good child, that child alone may secure the well-being of a nation, just as, God forbid, if you raise a bad child, he may be the cause of corruption in society. Do not think of your child as merely a child, one day, when he enters society, he may become a leader of the society and, if not brought up well, he could lead it into corruption. (202)
13 May 1979 (23 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
In your role as mothers you must morally purify your children, in your role as teachers you should train them well and hand over to society sound, upright individuals, and in so doing create a sound society. If, God forbid, the opposite is the case, you too will suffer as a result, just as in the same way you will benefit from any good deed they do, for you are the source of that good deed. There is a reckoning, either a penalty or a reward. If, God forbid, you hand over corrupt individuals to society and they perform corrupt deeds, you will suffer as a result. (203)
13 May 1979 (23 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
You ladies have the honour of being mothers, which puts you ahead of the men. You have the responsibility for training children in your laps. The motherís lap is the first school a child has. A good mother brings up a good child, but, God forbid, if the mother is misguided, the child brought up in her lap will also be misguided. For children have a particular affection for their mothers, which they have for no one else, and when in their laps, all they wish for they find in their mothers, she is their everything.
What she says, how she acts, her nature, all have an effect on a child. When the child is in his motherís lap, which is his first class, if he is taught virtuousness, morality, goodness, he will grow up with a good nature, with that purity of spirit and goodness of deed that has been nurtured in him. While in her lap, the child will begin to imitate his mother, so that if he sees she is good-natured, her words and actions kind and good, he too will behave likewise. For his mother is the one he patterns himself on, and what she instils into him will prove his most effective training. (204)
13 May 1979 (23 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
A long-term programme for you young people, you ladies, indeed for everyone, is self-reform and moral purification to advance the aims of Islam. If you ladies bring up your children to be morally upright, Islamic individuals, you have protected both your religion and your country. If, God forbid, immoral, un-Islamic children spring from your laps, if under the tutelage of you young people un-Islamic, unprincipled children emerge, and in the schools and universities our children attend they are not taught goodness of character and Islamic virtues, then both Islam and our country will be cast to the wind. (205)
24 May 1979 (3 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
The mother in whose lap a child is reared bears the gravest of responsibilities and has the noblest of professions: that of bringing up children. The noblest profession in the world is rearing a child and handing over to society a true human being. This is why, throughout history, God the Blessed and Exalted sent prophets. Throughout history, from Adam to the Seal of the Prophets, prophets came to train true human beings. (206)
24 May 1979 (3 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
When a mother wants to save her child from distress, her kindness is more effective than any medication. The child needs spiritual pacification, and this can be provided by the mother and father. (207)
26 May 1979 (5 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
You can train children to uphold the aims of the prophets. You yourselves must be both guardians and the trainers of guardians, for your children are the next custodians. Train them well. Your homes must be places where children are given both religious instruction and formal learning, where they are taught moral edification. The future of these children is the responsibility of the mothers and fathers. (208)
26 May 1979 (5 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
Respected ladies! Purify your characters and those of your children. Bring your children up to be Islamic, for Islam has everything. Put yourself in the shelter of Islam and endow yourselves with Islamic morals, for Islam has everything.
Respected gentlemen! Respected ladies! Obey the call of Islam. Islam did not come to provide fodder; it came to secure spirituality. One should not cry out only for material things, for this is not following the path of Islam. If spirituality is realised, then the material will become spiritual and will follow. Islam approves of material progress when it follows spiritual progress, not when it occurs alone. The basis is spiritual; a country with spiritual progress is a true country. (209)
29 May 1979 (8 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
While your children are in your laps give them an Islamic upbringing, teach them to be upright human beings so that when you send them to primary school you send sound, morally upright and well-behaved children. (210)
11 June 1979 (21 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
You must be mindful of giving these children in your care a religious upbringing, a moral upbringing. If you hand over one committed, virtuous child to society you may see that one day he is the one who reforms society, for it is possible for one individual to reform society.
Likewise if, God forbid, this child leaves your laps an unscrupulous individual, if he leaves the care of you who are teachers an immoral person, then it is possible that he will corrupt society, and you will be the ones responsible. If you train your children properly, it will bring with it honour such that likens to that the prophets enjoyed. If, on the other hand, you bring your children up to be immoral, God forbid, they could possibly corrupt a whole society. (211)
11 June 1979 (21 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
You ladies who took part in this movement, and may God keep you, must continue to participate from now on and advance this movement. The most important thing for you to do is train your children well. The former regime wanted to separate the children from their mothers. They lured the ladies into offices, not with the aim of improving these offices, rather with the intention, for one thing, of making them corrupt places and for another of taking the children out of their mothersí care.
Children, who from the beginning are not raised in their mothersí laps, develop complexes from which much corruption emanates. Look after your children well, train them well for it is these children who can save a country. While in your care give them an Islamic upbringing, raise them to have virtues, to have faith, so that they can be of service in this country. May God grant you all happiness and make you a useful person for your country. (212)
2 July 1979 (11 Tir 1358 AHS)
It is possible that a child whom you have trained well will save a nation. Take care to hand over good children to society, and let your teaching be accompanied by training. (213)
14 July 1979 (23 Tir 1358 AHS)
The prophets came to make true human beings. They were given the mission to transform those men who are no different from animals into true human beings, to purify them. This was their profession and it should be the profession of mothers with regard to the children in their care. They too, through their deeds, must purify their children; children are trained better in the laps of their mothers than they are by their teachers.
The love a child has for his mother he feels for no one else, what he hears from his mother becomes engraved on his heart and stays with him till the end. Mothers must be mindful of training their children properly, of bringing them up to be morally upright individuals. Their laps should be both a school of learning and of religious instruction, this is a very important matter and it is something, which only mothers can achieve. Children hear more from their mothers than they do their fathers. No one can influence a young child or endow the infant with his/her own character and morals the way the childís mother can. (214)
17 July 1979 (26 Tir 1358 AHS)
It is possible that a child whom a mother has trained well may one day save a nation. It is also possible that a child whom a mother has trained badly may destroy a nation. (215)
17 July 1979 (26 Tir 1358 AHS)
If good training begins in the motherís lap and continues through primary school, high school and university or other institutes of higher education, then there may come a time when you see that all the young people are good, upright individuals and they draw a country towards goodness. (216)
17 July 1979 (26 Tir 1358 AHS)
A good, upright individual may train a world, whereas someone unscrupulous and immoral may lead the world to corruption. Both immorality and godliness originate from your laps, from your teachings and from the schools in which you teach. (217)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)
The correct training of these small children begins at this stage of their lives. If, God forbid, the mother is a wrongdoer, these little ones will receive an unsound training from the start. The responsibility for their upbringing lies in your hands. (218)
6 October 1979 (14 Mehr 1358 AHS)
The role of the women in society is more important than that of the men, for in addition to being active members of society themselves in all fields, the ladies also raise active members. A motherís service to the community is greater than that of a teacher, indeed of anyone else. And this is what the prophets wanted, they wanted women to be people who train society and bestow upon the community lion-hearted men and women. (219)
16 March 1981 (25 Isfand 1359 AHS)
Be good mothers for your children, good advisers to society and hard workers for the needy, as, praise God, you already are. (220)
16 March 1981 (25 Isfand 1359 AHS)
A motherís service to the community is much greater than that of a teacher, indeed of anyone else. And this is what the prophets wanted . . . (221)
16 March 1981 (25 Isfand 1359 AHS)
The ladies of Iran have played a greater role in this movement and this revolution than the men, and today as they pursue their activities behind the front lines, their role is greater still. Through their educational pursuits, whether in the form of educating their own children or teaching in classrooms and other places, they still play a great role in this revolution. (222)
23 May 1981 (2 Khurdad 1360 AHS)
The respected ladies of Iran have proved that they did not fall victim to these machinations and will not do so. They have proved that they are firmly entrenched in the bastion of virtuousness and modesty and will present this country with strong, integrated young men and virtuous, committed young women, and never will they go down those roads which the superpowers have laid at their feet with the intention of destroying this country. (223)
23 May 1981 (2 Khurdad 1360 AHS)
What can one say? What can be laid at the noble feet of the exalted mothers who raised such children in their pure laps? (224)
27 August 1984 (5 Shahrivar 1363 AHS)
The Iranian ladies have brought Islam to the stage it is now at by sacrificing their lives, their youth and their time, and I hope that from now on it will be advanced even further. You can be sure that as long as you remain active and committed to Islam, as long as you are ready to give your young ones for the cause and are willing to train them properly, then Islam will progress . . . (225)
12 March 1985 (21 Isfand 1363 AHS)

The negative effects of separating children from the care of their mothers
By putting them under pressure and exerting force, they tried to destroy this segment of the population too. They strove to stop them from performing that glorious deed which is theirs to perform, from executing those services that this segment wishes to render the nation, those valuable services which our ladies are entrusted to undertake, and prevent them from performing that most fundamental of services which it is their duty to render, that is training their children in whose hands the destiny of the country lies.
They feared lest in their laps children were brought up to be pious, Islamic and with a love for their homeland, and that even when these children entered the school system, they still would not be able to change them, not even with all the propaganda they disseminated at the schools through the teachers and propagators they had installed there. Thus, their plan was to turn these ladies away from that great, fundamental role they have and pretend that in so doing they had freed half the population of Iran. (226)
16 May 1979 (26 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Of course, there is no objection to women taking up employment, sound employment, but we do not want a repeat of the way it was during the Pahlavi era. Then they did not have employment in mind for women, rather their aim was to degrade both men and women, pulling them down from that position they occupy. They did not want a natural growth for either sex. They did not want our children to receive a sound upbringing so they took steps to prevent this from the very beginning by depriving many of the chance to be raised in their mothersí laps, which are centres for a childís training.
Then later at the primary schools, there too they misguided the children and led them astray with their malicious propaganda and misleading books. Even later still, at the universities, their agents there did not let them develop properly, they did not allow training to be given that would produce genuine scholars or individuals committed to the welfare of the country and to Islam. (227)
16 May 1979 (26 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
Unfortunately, the foreigners made us view the profession of being a mother as very demeaning and of little value, consequently some mothers, although by no means all were encouraged to distance themselves from their children. This great profession was made to appear unimportant so that mothers would not rear good children in their laps. Fathers too were made to feel they needed not to pay much attention to their children or to their proper upbringing.
The school system also, up to and including university, suffered the same lack of training. This was because the foreigners did not want true human beings to exist in this country; they knew that if this were to happen, such people would sever their hands from this land. They donít want genuine, believing Muslims, people with faith in God, people who consider martyrdom a triumph, to exist in this country. (228)
24 May 1979 (3 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
Unfortunately, during the rule of the taghut, they tried to take this profession away from these mothers, so they propagated views that questioned the womanís role as a mother, they disparaged this noble occupation and made it seem unimportant in the eyes of the mothers. For they wanted to distance the mothers from their children, they wanted the children to be brought up in nurseries and the mothers to go doing the things they wanted them to do.
A child brought up in a nursery is not the same as one raised in his motherís lap. When a child is brought up in a nursery by strangers without his motherís care and affection, he will develop a complex. Much of the corruption from which society suffers, stems from these children who have grown up with a complex. Major complexes are created when a child is separated from his mother. A child needs his motherís affection, therefore this profession, which was also the profession of the prophets, for they too came to make true human beings, is your primary one: to give your child his primary training. (229)
11 June 1979 (21 Khurdad 1358 AHS)
Throughout the rule of this monarchy, they strove to distance mothers from their children. They instilled in the mothers the idea that looking after their children was of no value; that they should work outside in the offices instead. In this way they took the innocent children out of their mothersí laps and put them into nurseries and other places where unsympathetic strangers gave them an unsound training.
When a child is separated from his mother, it doesnít matter who looks after him instead, he will develop complexes that in turn become the source of much corruption. Many of the murders that occur stem from these complexes, and many of these have developed because of a child being separated from his mother. (230)
17 July 1979 (26 Tir 1358 AHS)
When infants are taken from their mothersí care and put into nurseries, they develop complexes because they are placed in the care of strangers and are deprived of their mothersí love and affection. These complexes become the root of most of mankindís corruption. These wars that occur are a result of complexes, which exist in the hearts of bloodthirsty individuals. This thieving and treachery we witness stems mostly from the complexes within man.
If your children are separated from you, they will develop complexes and be drawn into corruption because of the lack of your motherly love. The former regime was actually assigned the task of leading our children into corruption, of not allowing them to be brought up, to be trained, in the loving care of their mothers, so that they would develop complexes. In the school system the story was the same, our children were placed in the hands of teachers appointed by them, attended universities they had set up; corruption from the bottom right up to the top ďFrom light they will lead them forth into the depths of darknessĒ (Qurían 2:257). The regime did not allow a sound education to be imparted, one that would create true human beings. (231)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)
They did not want true human beings to develop so they made the training of children by their mothers appear to be a very trivial matter. Some of the mothers, those who were easily influenced by them, came to believe their propaganda and stopped caring for their dear children themselves, sending them instead to nurseries where they received devilish training. (232)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)
You are responsible and the responsibility is great. A good, upright individual may train a world, whereas someone unscrupulous and immoral may lead the world to corruption. Both immorality and godliness originate from your laps, from your teachings and from the schools in which you teach. They wanted to remove the children from their mothersí care and send them to nurseries. (233)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)
For the ladies there is one matter, which is more important than anything else that is the proper upbringing of their children. Do not think that those who always decry (the profession of) being a mother and bringing up children, who make it appear a very trivial matter and very demeaning, are right. They want to distance children from their mothersí laps, where they will be given a proper upbringing, and send them from the start to nurseries for strangers to train. They donít want true human beings to be produced, and it is in your laps that this can happen. They wish to prevent your children from being with you and thus prevent true human beings from being trained. (234)
17 August 1979 (26 Murdad 1358 AHS)

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