Projekt per år
Iran has witnessed an increase in cohabitation relationships, or so-called white marriages (izdiwāj-i sifīd), which has caused wide political and religious efforts in cultivating religious selves based on an Islamically defined moral order. This article examines the symbolic re-enactment of the wedding of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, and Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and the first Shiʿi Imam, a ritual which participants use to receive spiritual legitimation for their cohabitation practices. These re-enactments are organized by the Shirazis, the designation given to followers of Muhammad al-Shirazi (1928–2001) and of his brother Sadiq al-Shirazi (b. 1942). Shirazis use the aesthetic enactment of the wedding of Fatima to build an alternative to state-centred structures of domination within Iranian society. Through using the materiality of representations, Shirazis in Iran aim to counter societal changes around sexual relationships and cohabitation practices, which young Iranians use to express political disobedience. Women of this study, however, shared embodied experiences of seeing Fatima and constructed their own collective identity and articulation of political dissensus. Refusing the defined moral order of both the regime as well as the Shirazis, women fight for their politics of recognition by defining their own sexual identities and gender relations.