Decree controversy: Civil society activists seek abolition of CII

Published: March 15, 2014
CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani. PHOTO: PID

CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani. PHOTO: PID


Civil society activists have demanded that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) be abolished to avoid controversies related to interpretation of religious matters. 

They rejected a decree issued by the CII that “Islam does not prohibit underage marriage (Nikkah)”.

They demanded that the government removed CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani for what they called his ‘misogynist and inhuman mindset’.

“We have more than sufficient Islamic and constitutional arguments and evidence to strongly back our position, both against polygamy and early marriage. Since a case of the Women’s Action Forum is still sub-judice in the Shariat appellate bench of the Supreme Court, the CII deliberately made the inflammatory statement which is contempt of court,” said a statement issued by civil society organisations.

Human right activist Dr Farzana Bari said that the CII always remained a controversial body and issued illogical statements. She said that “this is modern age and we must follow accordingly, but unfortunately the body has an old mindset which interprets through its mindset. There is no need of the CII and it should be abolished as we have a constitution and that is enough.’’.

She regretted that Islam was being ‘misinterpreted’ by a particular school of thought.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • lalai
    Mar 15, 2014 - 9:28AM

    Why do we need a mullah to tell us what Islam is all about? Why don’t we set standards of intellect before letting someone to interpret Islamic teachings? It is time for Nawaz Sharif to reconsider his policy of making political concessions to mullahs.Recommend

  • javed Khan
    Mar 15, 2014 - 9:29AM

    He is nominee of JUI(F) and hails from Zhob District in Baluchistan.very unlikely due to political considerations he will be removed. Although he should be removed ASAP based on his performance


  • Mirza
    Mar 15, 2014 - 10:08AM

    What is the min age of a child bride according to these mullah? What is the min age when the marriage can be consummated? Can any scholar or mullah please let us know?Recommend

  • Truther
    Mar 15, 2014 - 10:29AM

    The sole objective of this so called CII seems to be in limelight of cheap publicity and to keep this nation in dark ages


  • Muhammad Irfan
    Mar 15, 2014 - 10:53AM

    I agree with Dr Farzana Bari,
    Dr Farzana Keep it up, CII should be dissolved our constitution is enough for us.Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Mar 15, 2014 - 10:55AM

    Finally the sane voice!
    I do not know when will we collectively understand the basic fact that religion is not state’s business and no religious body should have any role in making state decisions. After more than six decades of independence we are still debating the issues raised by medieval mindsets. If this kind of culture continues we will be very soon joining the ranks of bottom three countries in terms of human development index.


  • SK
    Mar 15, 2014 - 10:57AM

    It’s a welcoming demand by Civil society to close CII as it has very little role in reforming the society. I had been writing comments on this issue for last few days unfortunately my comments are not being published by ET recently. CII instead of pressing through more important issue like crime against women , rampant corruption and fornifications in the society is targeting issues that is of relatively low importance and may excacerbate the disharmony in society. The nation is least worried about asking permission of the first wife for second marriage or marrying of young girl at early age. These are the issues that concerns the nation least. CII if wish to play a constructive role in this society should look at the core issues that is fundemental to the survival of this nation. Like corruption, injustice in society , terrorism , mislead and ill informed jihadist. Suicide bombers buying their passage to heavens etc etc. CII should issue directives and advice to miscreants and Muslim enemy of this nation in light of Islamic principles and Sunna instead of promoting rift within society.
    I finally like to add that the current directives of the CII if implemented would only polorise the society promote polygamy and lead to more exploitation and abuse of women.


  • Fair Idea
    Mar 15, 2014 - 11:32AM

    Human Rights institutions follow the agenda of west in Pakistan and are funded by west.


  • A J KHAN
    Mar 15, 2014 - 12:29PM

    Unless we all stop outsourcing our religion to Mullah, we will neither be able to understand Islam nor will be able to follow it in its true spirit.


  • Malik
    Mar 15, 2014 - 12:34PM

    Growing up, my friends and many people I knew were dating in schools. Girls and boys aged 14 above had boyfriends and girlfriends engaging in physical relationships/premarital sex. When you start puberty you start thinking about sex and alot of people engage in it even in Pakistan. So what is the big deal if the age for Nikkah is reduced. Is it ok for someone to have a boyfriend/girlfriend at the age of 16 but not a nikkah??


  • Anas
    Mar 15, 2014 - 12:44PM

    So two women in Defence now termed as the entire civil society!


  • MK
    Mar 15, 2014 - 1:00PM

    And we all know too well our civil $ociety .


  • Moiz Omar
    Mar 15, 2014 - 1:16PM

    The Council of Islamic Ideology should be disbanded.


  • MK
    Mar 15, 2014 - 1:20PM

    What planet are you from?


  • MK
    Mar 15, 2014 - 1:35PM

    In reply to Malik’s comment.


  • Parvez
    Mar 15, 2014 - 1:46PM

    Religion has nothing to do with the running of the State………………. good advice.


  • MK
    Mar 15, 2014 - 2:00PM

    Their is no need to ridicule Islamic principals , either we are Muslims or we are not be brave and take your pick.


  • vaqas
    Mar 15, 2014 - 2:12PM

    Separation of religion from the state is the only way to bring about sanity into this country. Otherwise we are doomed to becoming a failure in both.


  • ali
    Mar 15, 2014 - 2:28PM

    when would mullahs in pakistan capitalize the Ijma, and Qiyas, which provide facility to integrate with ongoing situation in our religion?


  • Faisal
    Mar 15, 2014 - 7:18PM


    I want to get admission in your school !


  • wajid
    Mar 15, 2014 - 7:19PM


    Planet of the Apes !


  • SafaidSuch
    Mar 15, 2014 - 8:48PM

    110% right. If you do same thing illegally at age of 14 then what is the issue to have it legitimately.. Recommend

  • JK Mir
    Mar 15, 2014 - 11:43PM

    These people are from stone ages and are total clowns.


  • Saher
    Mar 16, 2014 - 1:16AM

    We need to educate our children of harms of early sex and the religious point of view regarding fornication instead of playing with their mental and physical health and well being by getting them married as soon as they reach puberty.


  • kammi kameen
    Mar 16, 2014 - 1:41AM

    @Fair Idea: true that, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


  • kammi kameen
    Mar 16, 2014 - 1:43AM

    @Malik: not okay, simply because it forces baby girls to sleep with 60 year old men. Do you have a young daughter?


  • Arindom
    Mar 16, 2014 - 2:51AM

    why is this guy in a Saudi-style gown?


  • SK
    Mar 16, 2014 - 7:10AM


    I really don’t agree with you Mr Malik. The promiscuity at young age you are talking about was relatively unheard of when we were growing up , yes there were tinglings of emotion between sexes but it never went physical. I still believe bringing down age of Nikah is not a solution of the problem you have identified. It is how you bring up your family, the ethics the values children grow up with determines how soon they become sexually mature. Sad to say but telecommunication has played a very negative role indeed in spreading vice among youngsters

    Marriage at young age may lead to more divorce, abuse and exploitation of woman. Girls may may attain sexual maturity earlier than boys but certainly they do not attain mental maturity that quick which is also required for a happy successful marriage. So it is conclusive to say that early age Nikah may address ones issue but open up hundred others.


  • Roni
    Mar 16, 2014 - 7:40AM

    I am with you on this one. With total silence from the mullahs, apologists and scholars on this subject who is stopping rich dirty old men to marry a 9 years or 11 years old girl? Or even a 5 years old when nobody has any guidelines. There is no 12 years old who is ready to be a proper mother in our poor uneducated country. No wonder people especially kids and women are most neglected in Pakistan.


  • Hassan
    Mar 16, 2014 - 8:26AM

    Whenever or wherever the word Islam & Mullah is used there is always a chain reaction of criticism, Coming to the subject we always misinterpret the context. We may have good jurist/ thologist but we clearly lake philosophers who can understand,interpret the Islam in the whole context rather than making judgments in Isolation


  • Hassan
    Mar 16, 2014 - 8:40AM

    100% agree but Legislator can still put a min-age cap on it if they wish to.Min age should be 18 years. If someone wants to get married early can grant permission from family courts. Court should ensure that that there are no force marriages.


  • Salman
    Mar 16, 2014 - 9:42AM

    Grow a long beard, dress up in a Saudi gown, let your belly grow out of control, add Maulana next to your name, may even call yourself a professor.

    But never read a book, never write a book, never publish your educational credentials, and never explain things your little brain cannot fathom.

    Then look around your tribal home, where your servants and your wives have never seen a school. You never even spent time in a library yourself, never had one in your district.

    And when you want – go to a meeting or a shura with your friends and give us new orders that defy human dignity and common sense.

    Go on.


  • Dr Mansoor Qasim
    Mar 16, 2014 - 12:38PM

    Hats off to Dr Farzana Bari.
    When shall we be able to discard such mullah mentality and its barbaric interpretation of our societal norms?
    Why on earth should we blindly follow their oafish precepts?


  • S
    Mar 16, 2014 - 6:54PM

    Lol @ farzana Bari. She always amuses me


  • Gunjan
    Mar 17, 2014 - 6:22AM

    @Malik: Never seen such illogical 28 people (author and 27 people who recommended) in one comment but it’s Pakistan!
    1) Not everyone is engaged in physical relationship before 16yrs of age. In fact, few.
    2) With marriage comes responsibilities and not with dating in school.
    3) Children are natural consequences of marriage, especially more among poor and children born to underage mothers are very likely to be malnourished and poorly grown.
    4) The modern economies and prosperity that you notice in west is built on certain human development paths and one of those is proper education to all up to a certain age and that goes beyond 18.


  • Observer
    Mar 17, 2014 - 11:47AM

    @Moiz Omar:

    “The Council of Islamic Ideology should be disbanded.”

    If you really believe that, you should demand that all the reference to Islam in the constitution be dropped and take out the word Islamic in “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.


  • Ahmed
    Mar 17, 2014 - 2:37PM

    I totally agree with Malik you can have premarital relation even if you are 14 and some of my classmates were having them at that age but you cannot get married… how absurd can this get… Islam advices parents to marry children with their consent at early ages… (obviously not with a five year old that would be absurd).. practically saying I would be happy to marry my children at 18 years of age… lastly civil society can go take a hike they have not contributed anything meaningful to our society… all these women like Farzana Bari and the lawyer one are good for cocktail parties… remember people these are the people who feed poor thinking how soft hearted they are although many in our society help out people and don’t even think they have done a philanthropist work…


  • Moiz Omar
    Mar 23, 2014 - 8:50PM

    I agree with what you just said. I’m for a secular Pakistan.


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