[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[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:] Tasnim News Agency
[Date:] 10 Khordad 1393 [31 May 2014]
Who Was the First Unveiled Woman in Iran?
This article examines the character of Zarrin-Taj Qazvini, one of the Baha’i [sic] women who plotted and carried out the conspiracy to do away with the veil in Iran.
Until the removal of the hijab and the beginning of the far-reaching changes in Reza Shah’s modernism, there is no example of Iranian women, and even court women, appearing unveiled in public without a hijab except for one woman!
During the reign of Naser al-Din Shah, the first woman to unveil in public was a woman named Zarrin-Taj, nicknamed Tahereh and Qurratu’l-Ayn by the Babi sect’s leaders, and the only woman to be considered one of the Letters of the Living. (A title given to the first 18 individuals to believe in Ali-Muhammad the Bab, according to the Abjad numerology.)
Prior to turning to Seyyed Ali Muhammad, the Bab, Qurratu’l-Ayn was a woman who was praised for being a scholar, a genius and a poetess. She was born into a religious family and was the daughter of Molla Muhammad-Saleh, the religious authority in the City of Qazvin. She was born in Qazvin in the year 1320 [sic].
Zarrin-Taj married her cousin Mulla Muhammad, the Friday prayer leader (son of Mulla Muhammad-Taghi, the martyr), and had two or three children. She was led to the presence of Mirza [sic] Ali Muhammad, the Bab, by Mulla Husayn Bushru’i, and her work reached a point where she sometimes invited people in her own name, and sometimes in the name of Seyyed Ali Muhammad, the Bab. The Bab gave her the title of Tahereh.
Qurratu’l-Ayn was a woman, writer, poet and speaker, familiar with literature, jurisprudence, and the principles of theology and interpretation. In Iran, contrary to the customs and traditions of the time, she was the first woman to appear unveiled in front of men, and used to converse and argue with scholars and men of learning.
In the contemporary history of Iran, according to the instructions of a colonial school, she was the first woman to remove her veil and appear in the community of officials. With this brazen and daring act, she left the first cornerstone of the removal of the hijab in the Islamic society of Iran and the beginning of the colonial goals by plotting the first spark, and ignited hell.
Qurratu’l-Ayn would sit at the pulpit with an unadorned face, and would say bluntly: “What Islam has brought [was] abolished and became obsolete at the time of the advent of the Bab. Until today, it was obligatory for you to follow the rules of Islam, but since the advent of the Bab, it is no longer permissible for any Muslim to follow the rules of Islam. Live with complete joy and be free from any shackles.”
Qurratu’l-Ayn was executed by Aziz Khan, the commander of Naser al-Din Shah’s army, in the garden of Ilkhani on 27 Mordad 1231 [18 August 1852].
After her death, the idea of unveiling women became one of the colonial programmes to deculturize Muslim nations.