(Persia Digest) - The compulsory hijab is one of the issues raised since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and has always had opponents and advocates. This debate has been raised once again in recent weeks, due to the protest of some women against compulsory hijab, known as "Girls of Enghelab Street" movement. In this regard, Razavi News Agency interviewed Ayatollah Dr. Seyed Mohammad Ali Ayazi, a researcher, and university and Hawza professor.
There are two issues regarding hijab. In the Sharia [Islamic law] debate, no one opposes hijab, and its necessity is unanimously accepted, but the debate is whether the government can force people to wear hijab.
The main point made by some cultural figures such as Mr. Motahari, Mr. Beheshti and Ayatollah Taleghani is that the compulsory hijab is not related to Sharia. We do not have a reason in Sharia to approve such a law on that basis, and then initiate Guidance Patrols to see who adheres to this law and who does not.
If the government intends to arrest and punish people who do not follow the laws pertaining to hijab, it has either no effect, or even backfire. As you see in the past thirty years with all the costs and actions put into this, the status of hijab has worsened every day.
Professor Mohammad Reza Hakimi says: I asked Mr. Motahari on the early days of the Revolution, “What kind of law [the compulsory hijab] is this?”. He replied, “Incidentally, I plan to talk with Imam [Khomeini] about this tomorrow”. Then, when Mr. Motahari asked about Khomeini’s opinion, he replied that he did not agree with this law, either, but he was pressed so much that he stated that the hijab should be observed in the offices. Therefore, the late Imam's opinion about hijab was for observing it in the offices, not in the streets. The legalization of compulsory hijab was done by a radical group.
To summarize, we have no reason to say that if one does not observe hijab, we can force them to obey the hijab law through punishment. We do not have such a thing in the Prophet’s and Imam’s way of life.