[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Adyannet

[Date:] 2 Azar 1394 [23 November 2015]


Baha’is: The Pioneers of Removal of Hijab in Iran

The Baha’is were the first sect in Iran to [start the] rumours about the removal of the hijab [women’s veil] and the unimpeded association of men and women [who were not intimate], under the guise of women’s freedom. During Iran’s Constitutional [Revolution], a decree was issued by Abdu’l-Baha, discouraging Baha’i women from wearing the hijab, and it can be inferred that what Reza Shah forcibly performed (the removal of the hijab) was not unprecedented, because the Baha’is had taken the first steps in the Constitutional Era. In a Tablet written by Baha’u’llah and sent to London, He wrote, [Persian quote][1]

The arrival of this tablet in Tehran caused commotion among the Baha’is, and Ibn-i-Abhar, one of the Baha’is, began organizing assemblies for freedom of women. During this time, Taj al-Saltanah, the daughter of Naser al-Din Shah, also participated in these meetings, which were both informative and interesting to watch. The crown princess was the adornment of these gatherings. In these circles, for example, a small number of people would enter and leave freely, and they established circles of affection and love and sometimes would recite poetry …

These meetings became so scandalous that some Baha’is themselves opposed them, calling them circles opposed to chastity, and those who were leaders of the removal of the hijab wretched. This trend is also reflected in some unpublished sources of the history of constitutionalism. Finally, a tablet from Abbas Effendi arrived for the Baha’is of Tehran [directing them] to remove the hijabs of their wives.

Now, in their special assemblies, which were attended by men and women, women sat without a hijab, and they wanted everything to be equal between men and women and were busy doing the same in other provinces of Iran … Finally, it is necessary to mention that the observance of the hijab and equality of dress between women and men had nothing to do with the violation of women’s rights and their oppression. To read more in this field, you can refer to many books that have been written on the wisdom and effects of the hijab and chastity (such as: “The Lost Identity of Iranian Women In The Transition From Tradition to Modernity”, written by Atefeh Hoseini, the story books about covering and hijab, written by Ali Mir-Khalafzadeh, and the book “Harim Reihaneh [Reihaneh’s Boundaries]”).



[1] [The original text is as follows:]

"حرّیت نساء رکنی از ارکان امر بهائیت است! و من دختر خود (روحا خانم) را به اروپا فرستاده‌ام تا دستورالعملی برای زن‌ها ایرانی باشد... اگر در ایران زنی اظهار حرّیت نماید فورا او را پاره پاره می‌کنند، معذالک احباب روزبه‌روز بر حریّت نساء بیفزایند"