Amr va Khalq/ Veiling

All research or scholarship questions
Irish
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:43 am

Amr va Khalq/ Veiling

Postby Irish » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:52 am

I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, a compilation of the Writings edited by Fadil-i Mazandarani.

I have read that on page 341 of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, there is a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Baha, in which He says that women should a wear a scarf in public. i.e. He recommends that women do not allow men, other than those in their family, to see their uncovered hair. They should only show their face and hands in public.

Can someone who has this book please check it for me? If you don't read Persian, please scan the page and send it to me.

Tanx!!!

Sen McGlinn
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:11 am
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Contact:

Postby Sen McGlinn » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:39 am

http://reference.bahai.org/fa/t/c/AK3/a ... html#pg340

In this dispensation, hejaab is confirmed as a thing of the past [or, is a thing from the past which is confirmed].

In the Islamic dispensation, hejaab was such that women could not go to the streets and markets. They were like slave-boys or slave-girls who have been bought for money, so it was impossible for them to engage in a profession or gather knowledge. In every dispensation it has been permitted to show the hand and face, but in this day we need not be so strict. Perhaps, at some time, the Spiritual Assembly may call on all to wear something on their heads, such as the chaarqad (a head-and-shoulders scarf, fastened under the chin and leaving the face exposed) worn by the women of Iran, so that the four sides {of the cloth?] are clear of the face [ ??] and such that no strange man can see a single of their hairs. Not like the European women, who go out bare-headed, so that the head and neck and half the arms are exposed!

In this dispensation, the hejaab is such that someone [ie a man] may not enter a house where a woman is, without the permission of the head of the household. Rather, one person from the woman's family should be present: a father or daughter or brother. The point is, if one woman is in the house, a strange man should not enter.

and in another letter:

You asked concerning the matter of circumcision and hejaab: now is not the time for a reply. [or, there is no time to reply?]

and in answer to a question about the veiling of women:

The veiling of women is an impediment to teaching and learning. The experts in religious law make allowances in this matter, but until they heard the clamour of women, they did not allow it ...

Keyvan
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Keyvan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:01 pm

31. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye al together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.

(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 24)


Veils were a greek/arab custom that wormed its way as to being "the law" in Muslim society, but this was not what was asked.

what we can derive from this quote is that while hair would be covered, breasts could be exposed (before Muhammad). so in greek/arab custom veiling/hejab was not a symbol of "modesty" but something else (hairnet?) just as many housewives today wear a bandana and such.

in the development of Muslim jurisprudence this was adopted to mean, that the hejab now IS a symbol of modesty and that it must be expanded to veil everything, the most extreme being the burqa of taliban law. while the scale of the law is different depending on where you go, be it afghanistan...or central africa which is very relaxed, youll find many different interpretations, and their clerics make the case to justify the jurisprudence pertaining thereto.

so what we do know is that it calls for modesty, to not expose your breasts, and to not parade ones beauty in a call for attention. likewise the same law stands in Baha'i law










Sen, i dont know where you are getting these ideas but i have never seen anything to say there has been an abrogation, and thus connoting hejab perse was an instituted law of the previous dispensation.

also you must label your quotes with the author and source

Sen McGlinn
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:11 am
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Contact:

Postby Sen McGlinn » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:17 pm

Sen, i dont know where you are getting these ideas but i have never seen anything to say there has been an abrogation, and thus connoting hejab perse was an instituted law of the previous dispensation.

also you must label your quotes with the author and source


The source is the URL at the top of the posting, and it is the section of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, that "Irish" asked about. The words are Abdu'l-Baha's not mine, and I have no further information about where he got his ideas from. I have just given a rough translation so that people who do not read Persian know more or less what we are talking about

Keyvan
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Keyvan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:21 pm

Sen McGlinn wrote:
Sen, i dont know where you are getting these ideas but i have never seen anything to say there has been an abrogation, and thus connoting hejab perse was an instituted law of the previous dispensation.

also you must label your quotes with the author and source


The source is the URL at the top of the posting, and it is the section of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, that "Irish" asked about. The words are Abdu'l-Baha's not mine, and I have no further information about where he got his ideas from. I have just given a rough translation so that people who do not read Persian know more or less what we are talking about




no smart guy, im not talking about the QUOTE, im talking about your commentary. if this is a translation where are you getting it from? and why would you post this URL and not the translation.

additionally, given the problems associated with "provisional translations" over the years, to which the Baha'i World Centre has had to clear up questions raised by believers concerning items in the translated text (resulting in finding out that the authorized translations giving a totally different meaning), why would you not say that it IS in fact a provisional translation, let alone by who, and from what source you got it from.

brettz9
Posts: 1362
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:42 pm

Keyvan, I need to give you a warning for tone. Bahai's should be respectful in all circumstances.

Irish, I have also read somewhere that 'Abdu'l-Baha recommended that for the sake of wisdom, Baha'is in Iran should wear the veil until such time as it would be gradually discarded by the people there. Maybe this is what the quotation is about.

Keyvan
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Keyvan » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:44 pm

brettz9 wrote:Keyvan, I need to give you a warning for tone. Bahai's should be respectful in all circumstances.

Irish, I have also read somewhere that 'Abdu'l-Baha recommended that for the sake of wisdom, Baha'is in Iran should wear the veil until such time as it would be gradually discarded by the people there. Maybe this is what the quotation is about.



i was merely responding to sen's sarcastic tone with me, in effect to advise him of his own tone

Sen McGlinn
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:11 am
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Contact:

Postby Sen McGlinn » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:02 am

Keyvan, just go back to the first posting, and it will all be clear. Irish asked for a copy or translation of a tablet on page 341 of Amr va Khalq Volume 3. I posted the URL to that page (easier than sending him a copy), and a translation. Naturally it is not an official translation, since I just did it, ad hoc. We would call it a draft translation rather than a provisional one, because it has question marks inviting comment on the meaning in places.

I have not added any commentary. I would prefer to get feedback on the translation before going on to draw conclusions. And it goes on with another page of text, which I do not have time to translate at the moment.

It does look like it is written in the context of Bahais generally, or a Bahai school for girls, having difficulty in a Muslim environment, and Abdu'l-Baha leaves it up to the Spiritual Assembly to decide, but suggests that the Bahai women should wear a headscarf and not get about dressed like European women. Respect the local mores in other words.

But lets get some feedback on the translation, and can someone translate the second page?

Irish
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:43 am

Postby Irish » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:46 am

Thank you Sen. Were it not for you, I don't know when I would have realized that the Baha'i reference library has all the volumes of Amr va Khalq. Surprisingly, H-Baha'i doesn't have any of them.

Thank you for your translation. I will check it myself later and let you know if I have any suggestions. But it seems to be good and your comments are insightful.

"In every dispensation it has been permitted to show the hand and face, but in this day we need not be so strict."
This is important, since it is an interpretation which will be binding throughout this Dispensation.

As for the latter part the paragraph, all it says is that it would be possible for the Spiritual Assembly to order Baha'i women to cover their hair. As Brett pointed out, this may have been neccessay in order to not give the critics an excuse to accuse Baha'is of immorality.

I doubt 'Abdu'l-Baha was branding the European manner of dressing women as immoral in an absolute way. Is it more likely that He was alluding to the way European women travelling in Iran were dressing, a manner which may have offended the Iranians and which 'Abdu'l-Baha was warning the Baha'is there about?

Yet, some notable Baha'i women, such as Bahiyyih Khanum, Munirih Khanum, are usually seen in photographs wearing a chaarqad. And even Western Baha'is, such as May Maxwell, Lua Getsinger and Ruhiyyih Khanum occassionaly wore a scarf over their hair. Was this encouraged by 'Abdu'l-Baha?

But nowadays I don't see Baha'i women wearing a scarf, not even the wives of the members of the Universal House of Justice.

I'd be interested to know what the second page says. I'll make a stab at reading it, but I'm very inexperienced in translation. Maybe when you get time, Sen, you would be so good as to give us another draft version...

All this reminds me of an oral statement of the Master:
'Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other....If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.', about which the Guardian has written:
"The Master's words...can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard." (Lights of Guidance, pg. 440-441)

I think this is an interpretation which has implications which are binding on all Baha'is, although I don't think this interpretation has or will gain the character of Baha'i Law. Unfortunately, it is a rather incomplete statement, which doesn't take account of the various types of relationship that exist between men and women: members of one family? relations, but not close family? courting? engaged? etc...

I wouldn't mind if Baha'i women and men chose, of their own accord, to dress more modestly. Especially the young, single Baha'i women, who sometimes dress so revealingly that it makes me cringe, and I'm an twenty-something, single Irish male.
I also wouldn't mind if their was less hugging and kissing between Baha'is at least, whatever about between Baha'is and non-Baha'is, who may not understand our reasons for avoiding it.

Keyvan
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:58 am
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Keyvan » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:15 pm

Sen McGlinn wrote:Keyvan, just go back to the first posting, and it will all be clear. Irish asked for a copy or translation of a tablet on page 341 of Amr va Khalq Volume 3. I posted the URL to that page (easier than sending him a copy), and a translation. Naturally it is not an official translation, since I just did it, ad hoc. We would call it a draft translation rather than a provisional one, because it has question marks inviting comment on the meaning in places.

I have not added any commentary. I would prefer to get feedback on the translation before going on to draw conclusions. And it goes on with another page of text, which I do not have time to translate at the moment.

It does look like it is written in the context of Bahais generally, or a Bahai school for girls, having difficulty in a Muslim environment, and Abdu'l-Baha leaves it up to the Spiritual Assembly to decide, but suggests that the Bahai women should wear a headscarf and not get about dressed like European women. Respect the local mores in other words.

But lets get some feedback on the translation, and can someone translate the second page?





Oh ok. I did not catch that in the original post so that was my misunderstanding. I had drawn no conclusions. For I know you could have absolute accuracy or absolute fallacy, but I feel it is important to label such things as translations, particularly when they are your own.

British_Bahai
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:27 am

Postby British_Bahai » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:45 am

:forbidden2:

Since a few people are after an English translation of this text, would it not make sense to contact your local LSA and ask them to raise this issue with the NSA who may in turn contact the Universal House of Justice.

Once an ordinary Bahai translates a page into English, people will continually refer to it and, consequently, over time, people will assume that it is an official translation made by the UHJ, even though it is not.

This is important, because the translation is unapproved, and unless it has been approved by the UHJ, it really shouldnt circulate on the net.

__
On a side note, this is also why i am not happy about anyone being capable of uploading texts into electronic format (i.e. Star of the West typed by "brettz9").
There MUST be strict guidelines and procedures, because at the end of the day, how do you know who these people really are? ("brettz9", dont take this the wrong way - while you may have good intentions, others may misuse their position - they can make up sentences etc...).

I think this is an increasingly important issue, now that more and more people are referring to texts online. When texts are to be made available online, there must be strict procedures.

brettz9
Posts: 1362
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Postby brettz9 » Wed May 16, 2007 1:17 pm

Back (at least for a short while), so haven't replied in a while...

British Baha'i, as far as provisional translations, the House of Justice itself has permitted them: See http://bahai-library.com/uhj/provisiona ... tions.html (also http://bahai-library.com/uhj/translation.html ). The site labels them as provisional.

As far as postings of Star of the West, etc., the institutions in the U.S. do not insist on a review process for the internet. Baha'is are free to do so. In fact, Jonah earlier sought administrative oversight, and for whatever reasons (too much other work I'd guess), the offer was not taken.

I might also add that digital works which have been prepared by individuals have been used by the official proofreading team as a base from which their official releases are eventually made (after rigorous proofreading procedures refine the text's edit quality further).

But, you are right that there is a need for having official copies, and in fact, this site, as with others, are in touch with the official institutions to receive such copies, and we wish to develop mechanisms to convert these more well-proofread texts that they are sharing with us into a readable web format. (Of course, if we ever received better financial support (to at least break even!) from the community gathered around this site, we probably could be making more strides toward that end.)

In the meantime, go to the official site, http://reference.bahai.org . So you might ask, why even have copies of the files at other sites besides this one? If the fact that they are being shared voluntarily by the institutions does not indicate that there could be a use, let me point out that we may be able to do things with the texts which the official site either could not do or would not do, but which could still be useful. For example, if permission is received, we could set up a collaborative wiki to host collaborative information about the holy Texts which could be displayed alongside the texts themselves. Obviously an official site would not want to do this, but it could still be of large benefit to the community. Other sites just might like to apply more decorative formatting. Etc. Etc. Individual initiative, unity-in-diversity, etc., my friend.

Baha'i-run websites are under the purview of the institutions so if there are any cases of abuse, the lack of requirements here for prereview does not mean abuse will be overlooked.

Also, as far as this site, Jonah has agreed in principle to our "open-sourcing" of even the code to our website (we really just need a security audit). I have also made notes for those uploading texts encouraging people to consider lenient copyright (or what some call "copyleft") terms so that the texts contributed are not under the ownership of a select crowd (and so the library's contents (with author permission) can be perpetuated indefinitely). You could even set up your own site based off of the software and contents here (besides the contents for which we only received permission to post here perhaps), though given our limited resources, I think it would be more fitting for us not have a fork and work together, but if you come up with some special niche, go for it.

take care,
Brett

brettz9
Posts: 1362
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Postby brettz9 » Wed May 16, 2007 1:50 pm

Dgk_p19,

Respectfully, I think men have every right to discuss this, just as women do. We are talking about the laws of God here, and we are trying to get an insight into them.

And Irish brought up the subject based on an actual quotation (which I believe must have had a special context), so it was not like the men here said that hair is offensive to them.

Also, I didn't read anyone trying to decide the issue in an authoritative manner... Maybe you got that impression because Sen did not directly label his provisional translation as such and you got the impression he was saying that himself (if you read the full thread you'll see what it was about).

However, there is the pilgrim's note for which the House of Justice did confirm (at least the part of the note dealing with embracing and kissing) that it reflected the spirit of the teachings in which it is recommended that women cover their bosoms. http://bahai-library.com/guardian/easy.familiarity.html

For those women who may jump back and say that it is only a pilgrim's note and that no one has the right to judge what is modest, I might point out that in Lights of Guidance, reference is made to ensuring that "great take should be used that they [dancers] are not indecently clad". Granted, this would be by institutions, but the point is is that one cannot just indefinitely say everything is subjective (or else how could the fallible institutions make these decisions). Biologists would also tell you that the sensation of attraction is not a subjective matter (as do investors in firms that advertise based on this fact), but for some reason, as with so many things, even Baha'is in the West are cowed into denying the obvious truth.

While we're on the subject, I've wondered about this line from the Advent of Divine Justice by Shoghi Effendi:

A race of men," is His written promise, "incomparable in character, shall be raised up which, with the feet of detachment, will tread under all who are in heaven and on earth, and will cast the sleeve of holiness over all that hath been created from water and clay."


Of course some may take it figuratively (and perhaps it is), but when some people take things figuratively, they do so to emasculate the force of the message (as with the heaven and hell issue too as another example) and try to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to Baha'i vs. Western values... (I am not directing this to anyone, this is just a general statement, to myself as well)

On the other hand, this doesn't support the other lame extreme that blames women for things that unwholesome men may do to them. On the contrary, the extremes, as in so many other matters, tend to justify the other extreme's untenable position... Men or women in the East may say the women had it coming, while women in the West will wear practically nothing as they blame men for looking at them. People know what is true, but there is too little courage out there (and too little consultation on what the Writings have to say) to address it...

At least that's my take...

best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
Posts: 1362
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Postby brettz9 » Wed May 16, 2007 8:16 pm

all you say is true -- it's not men discussing it that I have a problem with at all - it is that it seems many men make women responsible for the chastity of men by saying they are underdressed and 'asking for it'. One can be tastefully and chastefully dressed w/o amassing one's entire head, neck, throat, 'bosom' and hands in fabric.


While your first sentence is valid, and most of the second sentence, the second part (the part about the 'bosom') does not necessarily follow from the first. Men who say women deserve it is one thing (frankly, I can't recall hearing any men make that argument, except in television), and women's responsibility is another (though they are somewhat related).

Listen, breasts definitely evoke a strong physical reaction from men--from a physical point of view, it is due to the evolutionary need for perpetuating the race with women who had sufficient milk to care for a baby. Curvy hips indicate the woman's pelvis can support a baby, red lips indicate blood flow and health, and so on.... My point is that these attractions are not arbitrary things, nor are they easily ignored by men (though they can be properly channeled). Some are going to have an effect on at least some of the men. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS SAYING THAT MEN CAN'T OR NEEDN'T CONTROL THEMSELVES (though out of moral laziness, some people will say that that's all there is to the situation).

In school, if a child waves around some candy he or she has, the teacher will also blame that child when another student gets in a fight with them about it. Does this mean that the other child can be excused for trying to take the child's candy? Of course not! But can we say that the first child's actions will have absolutely no effect on its environment? That is also shortchanging the first child's influence. You might say these are just children, and in a sense you are right; but all human beings are like children in a sense too.

Women are capable of doing wrong too. We are not supposed to burden others with more than they can bear--there is some blame involved in someone adding burdens to others. It is not at all of the same magntitude, as men should be capable of struggling with their baser desires, but women still have a power to do good or evil. While we have to look to men's actions, we cannot just say women are not culpable at all for an unhealthy environment.

I think that the reason Shoghi Effendi said in the Advent of Divine Justice that one of only three prerequisites for the success of Baha'is teaching campaign was absolute chastity and holiness (holiness being admittedly more broad than chastity, as he describes it also) is because there are many subcultures within America (and even within the mainstream) which are secretly longing for some kind of moral discipline--including women who find their lives consumed by men tormenting them when they haven't learned to live modestly.

You know, even within the Qur'an, there were nuances for some of the laws based on whether the women were older or younger, wearing something at home, etc. (somebody help me out).

I just wish some Baha'i women could be brave enough and come out and say--let's admit it--the bodies given to us have a powerful effect on others depending on how we use them. "Let's stop always blaming men for this fact and stop taking the knee-jerk reaction to say that any talk on this subject is to subvert women, and realize that we do have a power--and we should (for our own interest if nothing else) use that power in its proper place that God has destined for it --in the only place where its use will bring tranquility to us not to mention men--with our husbands (as marriage is prescribed for everyone who is socially responsible and mentally sound). And let's take some pity on these poor men who are raising the issue, as it is these men who are trying to preserve women's station and not objectify them. The East and West is another unity that requires both sides to address their own shortcomings with seriousness. The East also has a point (if we are not so engulfed in nationalistic pride and self-confidence to humble ourselves to consider it).

take care,
Brett

brettz9
Posts: 1362
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Postby brettz9 » Thu May 17, 2007 4:02 am

I wholeheartedly respect when people can quickly look back on a such a thing and say so frankly that their position has changed.

When reflecting on my own lack of ability to do this readily, I call to mind the immortal words of Fletch (said when something or other he did was proven to be wrong),

"It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. I am NOT a big man."

:)

best wishes,
Brett

Irish
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:43 am

Postby Irish » Thu May 17, 2007 2:26 pm

Dear Sen,
did you know you can edit your messages on the Forum? If you want, you can edit your first message to this thread so as to make it clear that you were simply providing a draft translation and not giving your own opinions on the issue. This may prevent confusion in the future.

Sen McGlinn
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:11 am
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Contact:

Postby Sen McGlinn » Thu May 17, 2007 6:06 pm

I see that, but if I went back and changed my posting, the responses to it would make no sense. Once people have responded, even if it is a misunderstanding, I think it is best to leave the post unchanged

iranpour
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: Amr va Khalq/ Veiling

Postby iranpour » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:46 am

I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, a compilation of the Writings edited by Fadil-i Mazandarani.
I have read that on page 341 of Amr va Khalq Volume 3, there is a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Baha, in which He says that women should a wear a scarf in public. i.e. He recommends that women do not allow men, other than those in their family, to see their uncovered hair. They should only show their face and hands in public.
Can someone who has this book please check it for me? If you don't read Persian, please scan the page and send it to me. Tanx!!

Hello irish, my dear fellow-countryman, surely I know you.

I had studied the series of Amr va Khalq in Iran when I was young and today I referred to Ps. 340-342 , the chapter on “Hijab and Circumcision” on the third volume and found nothing from ‘Abdu’l-Baha that Baha’i women have to cover their hairs, faces or hands, but there He emphasizes on their chastity and as pointed out by brettz9, ‘Abdu’l-Baha states there that sometimes according to the exigencies of time and place, in a special country, an Assembly may ask the Baha’i women to cover their heads, as it was the case in Iran at that time where they were asked to cover their heads with CHARQAD(S), when they were appeared in the public.

Answering another question regarding Hijab, as stated by Sen, He answered that it was not the time to answer the question.

Answering another question, He stated that later the Muslims have exaggerated on the subject in such a way that caused to prevent hearing the voice of a strange woman!

This was proved to be true by my own experience. When we were , visiting one of my mother’s Muslim relatives in Tihran and knocking their doors, one of their daughters who was answering us, changing her normal voice by putting her finger into her mouth and asking "KIYE DAR MIZANIH?" (WHO IS KNOCKING THE DOOR?)


Return to “Discussion”