Is there any change in the opinions of Imam Khomeini about women’s hijab (wearing of the veil) after the revolution? Such a change might be felt in some of Imam’s explanations and speeches, especially after the Islamic Revolution.

First of all we have to make it clear that there was not a change at all in Imam Khomeini’s opinions on the matter of  hijab whether before or after the revolution. Imam’s views in this regard are explicit and have been expressed based on the Islamic laws and jurisprudence as he used to put emphasis on the necessity and significance of hijab for all Muslim women who are expected to preserve it in the presence of strangers and any male outside of their immediate family. Therefore, here our discussion is not about a change in view but perhaps on Imam’s support for women’s presence in the society and the social role they play within the specified contexts. You may say of course this is different from Imam’s vision regarding women and their social presence before the revolution.

After the victory of Islamic Revolution the great Imam remarkably highlighted women’s social and active presence in different parts of the society. This was not, of course, a matter of change on the subject of hijab, but how something is given priority in accordance with changes in time and place as well as the social conditions.

Imam knew how women were abused and treated like an object in the corrupted regime of Pahlavi and the atmosphere before the revolution. His objection to their social presence in that era was in fact for the sake of preserving their dignity and true status which was seriously in danger and in many cases had been lost after the decree of Kashf-e hijab (unveiling) issued by Reza Shah. Similarly, Imam has the same attitudes on women’s presence in other contexts of the society such as working places and academic centers.     

In response to a query on a sinful presence of male and female students together in a class Imam explains: women like men have the right to study and progress in all allowed and lawful fields of science. Their presence together with men in a class is not a matter of sin and against the law in itself, but veiling must be preserved at any situation. However, if there is a fear of sin they should avoid attending that place.

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