Incorrect recitation: Petition for disqualification of Rehman Malik filed

Published: January 1, 2011

The interior minister reportedly created an embarrassing situation when he failed to recite Surah Ikhlas despite three attempts during a recent cabinet meeting.

ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition was filed on Friday in the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking the disqualification of Interior Minister, Senator Rehman Malik, over incorrect recitation of Quranic verses.

It is alleged that the interior minister, during a recent cabinet meeting reportedly created an embarrassing situation when he failed to recite Surah Ikhlas despite three attempts. The surah is one of the most well-known in the Holy Quran.

Advocate Tariq Asad has filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the federal government, the prime minister, chief election commissioner, chairman senate and the interior minister respondents in the case.

He petitioned the apex court to declare Interior Minister Rehman Malik ineligible to be a member of the bi-cameral legislature. He does not qualify for senate, as he is ignorant of the fundamentals of Islam and should therefore be disqualified under article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, he has pleaded.

The advocate stated that in the cabinet meeting on December 29 when Rehman Malik was asked to recite the Holy Quran, the participants “burst into laughter” at his attempts.

The petitioner suspected that the Interior Minister may not be Muslim and therefore suggested that he be asked to recite Kalima Tauheed and Kalima Shahadat and say the obligatory prayers.

He further submitted that his ignorance of Kalima Tauheed had proven that the Interior Minister was not pre-qualified to contest parliamentary elections under Article 62 according to which a candidate’s eligibility to contest the elections for Senate hinges on his fulfilling all the qualifications including clause (e) which specifies that he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and that he practises obligatory duties prescribed by Islam.

“He could not recite Surah Ikhlas even from the paper in front of him which proves that he is not is not well-versed with the Holy Quran nor can he say his prayers. He does not qualify, therefore, under Article 62 of the Constitution. After his election, he stands disqualified under Article 63 (1) (p) thereof”, the petitioner contended.

Advocate Asad argued that the Chief Election Commissioner is legally obliged under clause 2 of Article 63 of the Constitution to refer the matter to the Chairman Senate for Malik’s disqualification from the Senate.

He requested the apex court to direct the Prime Minister to remove Rehman Malik from the cabinet as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2011.

Reader Comments (26)

  • Wasif M. Khan
    Jan 1, 2011 - 11:16AM

    I am surprised at the case to disqualify Rehman Malik for his alleged inability to recite Sura e Ikhlas at some cabinet meeting. I think it was grossly unfair to ask the poor man to do this. If someone wanted to check his faith he should’ve been asked to shower some fulsome praises on his boss; I am sure he would have put his snickering colleagues to shame. In fact I think the Interior Minister deserves kudos for not being a complete and shameless hypocrite like the rest of his cabinet colleagues. Any member of a government which, in every action exhibits utter contempt for Allah, His Prophet and their guidance, has no business to laugh at someone who failed to recite what his colleagues have brutal disregard for anyways.

    If a case for dismissal must be filed, then it ought to be filed against the entire cabinet for the way they trammel the word of Allah in every act of commission and omission.Recommend

  • abullah
    Jan 1, 2011 - 1:19PM

    malik should b ashamed i even know christians who have learnt this surah … those sitting with rehman malik should b ashamed of the way they were laughing …instead of helpinng him 2 get over it they all started laughing and thy all r immature ….i think so the maulvis should do sumthing about it they r big hypocrites and r quite on such issuesRecommend

  • Khurram
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:05PM

    It is unfortunate that in 21st century we have such rediculous nonsensical attitude. Eligibility criteria should be related to job description. I am amazed how failing to recite a verse can make a person ineligible for the office of Interior Ministery. If he were a cleric, only then this case could have been made. Not knowing Scriptures doesn’t have anything to do with his ability or inability to perform Interior Minister’s Job. If there is a law than can disqualify him only on that rediculous ground, it is a bad law.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Jan 1, 2011 - 3:33PM

    Dear all, we should not forget this is Islamic Republic of Pakistan, then it is necessary that rulers of this Islamic Public must have adequate knowhow of Islam, otherwise they should be disqualified.Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Jan 1, 2011 - 5:20PM

    So corruption is fine but reciting Quran is more important??Recommend

  • Disco Molvi
    Jan 1, 2011 - 5:58PM

    I’m no lover of Rehman Malik, but if advocate Tariq Asad is very much the concerned Muslim that he’s portraying himself to be, then he should’ve come out and helped Rehman Malik to become better versed in Quran recitation rather than ridiculing and filing petition for his removal and using Islam as a witch hunting tool.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 1, 2011 - 7:23PM

    To all the people who think that its okay for Rehman Malik not to know the surah, who advocate that corruption is fine but reciting Quran is important donot understand the simple fact, that being the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (not because I am calling it an Islamic Republic or because we practice Islam in Pakistan but because that there are laws in our constitution which make it an Islamic Republic) a member of the government SHOULD have basic knowledge of Islam regardless of the fact of how good he is at his job..Failing to do so makes him ineligible..Now how hard is that to understand??

    He must not have been selected to put him under a surprise test, rather a random selection must have been made to start with the recitation so the meeting could proceed. This is one of the shortest surah’s of the Quran and one of the first surah’s someone is taught or learns when reciting the Quran.Having said that, I donot mean to say that only mullahs deserve to rule Pakistan. Laughing at him was also very very immature of the other cabinet members.Shameless people!

    Just like corruption is equally a criteria to put any person out of the government, It by no means should be supported in any way, similarly not having basic knowledge of religion should be a big factor to kick him out of the government!Recommend

  • MA
    Jan 1, 2011 - 7:56PM

    the clip was funny. Recommend

  • Asad
    Jan 1, 2011 - 8:25PM

    Feeling sorry for the nation. Are these our issues?Recommend

  • Dhanya
    Jan 1, 2011 - 10:16PM

    What about his coat and tie. Is there anything said in Quran about male dress code?. Don’t he need a beard?. Recommend

  • Asif
    Jan 1, 2011 - 11:04PM

    The translation is essential as well, Recommend

  • Zeeshan Ummaid Ali
    Jan 1, 2011 - 11:46PM

    The sad part of the video was that when he made a mistake there were some people who were laughing. Just correct him or somebody else reads it and carry on. Don’t laugh when Quran is read wrong, its a serious matter. Correct him immediately like we correct sometimes our imam in taraveh.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Jan 2, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Those who are claiming that a member of the government SHOULD have basic knowledge of Islam regardless of the fact of how good he is at his job..Failing to do so makes him ineligible, I would say that this is the reason for your current pathetic state of affairs. You don’t raise your voice when the people in such positions are doing corruption, but always make such hue and cry on such non-issues. It is not hard to understand that in your opinion, or maybe in the eyes of the law, a person holding this office should have ‘basic knowledge’ of Islam. But it is is somehow hard to understand for you that why you are blindly sticking to that SHOULD.
    And it is rediculous that some are correlating knowing Arabic verses with basic knowledge of Islam. All of you know these Arabic verses by heart…How many of you know the meaning of such verses? Tragedy here is that you think you have knowledge of a faith by learning verses in a language you don’t understand and repeating those like a parrot.
    The 1973 law was made under pressure of some religious readers who happened to be in Parliament at that time. These laws are not irrevocable. If we now understand that some of those laws are mockery of reson and justice, they are simply bad laws and must be changed. Everybody knows that knowing certain verses does not make someone more pious than someone who doesn’t know them. The minister of Religious Affairs probably knows the whole Koran, but it didn’t stop him from corruption in the Haj affair. But you are alright because he knows verses. Pathetically funny! Recommend

  • sohaib
    Jan 2, 2011 - 12:17AM

    yaR whats so wrong about this?
    THIS is the version of Islam thats not fundamental. v dont want a fundamental Islam right?Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 2, 2011 - 1:04AM

    Then also disqualify Imran khan and Molana Sami-ul-HaqRecommend

  • shehryar
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:31AM

    the clip indeed rocksRecommend

  • Sonia
    Jan 2, 2011 - 7:43AM

    I am really fed up of looking into matters with ‘religious’ mind. Arabic is not our language and we can do mistakes. OK!!
    Please give space to your mind and think that we are human beings. I may not agree with Rehman Malik in principles, but this is a petty issue to attack someone. For me and Pakistan is just Pakistan and I wish that other tags attached to this nation should disappear soon.Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Jan 2, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Something is seriously amiss here. A christian (by virtue of being a christian) cannot be blasphemous, I mean if she does not believe in Islam, why is she supposed to respect the Prophet (this does not however mean she can insult him). Yet she is awaiting a death sentence and now you have a minister of the govt who needs to go not because he does not do his job well but because he does not know his quran. And then Pakistanis wonder why do they have an image problem (when it comes to rest of the world).

    Which country can relate to this?

    You are ok if you die from hunger but not willing to reduce your defence budget ( I mean 1 nuclear bomb is as good as 20, you don’t need more than 1 to wipe out any threat you may have…hopefully we will develop some technology to convert metal to food some day).
    You are ok if sunnis kill shias or ahmedis or vice versa but not ok if a NON muslim disrespects your prophet (btw no one can disrespect God)
    You are ok if your so called freedom fighters kill innocent women and children but not ok if a minister does not know some lines.

    Its ok not to know something (the case of the minister), he can learn. Its ok if someone disrespects your God (you cannot impose faith, you can however teach the person more about Islam..jailing them or killing them is not likely to increase the respect they have for your God). But it is certainly a crime to let people die for any reason (poverty, religion etc).Recommend

  • Mehmood Sheheryar Khan
    Jan 2, 2011 - 9:36PM

    Before publishing the story about poor Rahman Malik, the Express’ News Editor should
    see what language is being published in his newspaper – I have never seen such
    disjointed and badly written reports in the last 50 years of my reading of English newspapers of Pakistan (also now of India). Rahman was not tutored to recite the Koran nor trained for politics but the Law and its enforcement. The poor fellow cannot do that too except do the biddings of his Thanedar Sain. You expect too much from him?Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Blessed be our rulers who cannot recite a few initial verses from Quran in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.Recommend

  • sikandar
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Pakistan Zindabad lol. Funny eh!Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 4:18PM

    Mr. Malik It’s never too late to learn!!! People poking fun at his mistake should have helped him recite it correctly..
    Malik Rehman is a security minister not some Principal or Head Mulla of a Madressa.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 3:15PM

    Bharat-Pakistan rishtedaari zindabad. We share so many traits, especially like shooting ourselves in the foot and coming across as idiots to rest of the world.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 3:19PM

    @ Priya: we ain’t very different from the pakistanis. Let’s look inwards.Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Jan 4, 2011 - 5:50PM

    @Himanshu, agree with you.Recommend

  • Aslam khan
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:16AM

    India had Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar who founded their country. Had it not been for his vision, India would have disintegrated long back. Unfortunately we had no intellectual giant like him to show us the path.Recommend

More in Pakistan