Re-reading the Position of Women in Islamic-Iranian Mystical Texts (With Reference to Attar and Rumi’s Works)

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Persian Language and Literature, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


Contrary to the traditional disciple-making efforts that commentators of mystical works present to consolidate fanatical attitude towards mysticism and to hide any epistemological defect, these works have its own disadvantages like any other knowledge system. One of them is the category of “women”, which, according to the continuation of the patriarchal worldview and the Mithraic origin of  Iranian-Islamic mysticism, has been investigated with a dogmatic and gender-oriented approach. Therefore, in the mystical tradition, despite the praises that are sometimes given to women in Sufi works, women are considered to be the symbol of evil passion; and the love for her is figurative and lustful. In such cases, the mystical texts acknowledge their own attitude and thus -often contrary to the efforts of their fanatical admirers- they provide a possibility for so-called "destructive" analyses. The present article, by stating contradictions in two of the most famous mystical poets's  works, Attar and Rumi, in the issue of "woman",  shows their patriarchal attitude in a deconstructive approach,often in a practical way (using textual signs). Thus  it concludes that as the researchers of mystical works have often tried to exonerate the mystic poets's patriarchal or misogynist gender-oriented view, the mystics themselves have not.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 03 January 2023
  • Revise Date: 26 July 2023
  • Accept Date: 05 September 2023
  • First Publish Date: 17 September 2023