Women not required to cover faces, hands and feet under Sharia: CII

Published: October 20, 2015
CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani. PHOTO: PID

CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani. PHOTO: PID

Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) said women are not required to cover their faces, hands or feet under Islamic Sharia law, a rare judgement from the conservative council of clerics seen as “encouraging” by rights activists on Tuesday.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which was formed in 1962 to advise parliament on the compatibility of laws with Sharia, made the ruling during its meeting on Monday.

However, the chairman of the council Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani also “advised women to follow ethics and have a careful attitude in society”, a spokesperson told AFP.

Saying ‘divorce’ consecutively should be punishable, rules CII

He said the cleric had recommended women “cover up their body parts to avoid threats or mischief”.

Farzana Bari, a prominent women’s rights activist, termed the ruling “very interesting”.

“It is a good sign, the clergy seems to have realised that their legitimacy is being challenged and this ruling is aimed at improving their image,” Bari told AFP.

“The orthodox clerics have been put on the back foot, look at the Supreme Court decision about blasphemy laws, it’s encouraged some clerics to come forward and speak about amending the laws,” she said.

Women’s rights: ‘Anti-poor, anti-women CII should be abolished’

Blasphemy is a volatile issue in Pakistan where even unproven allegations frequently stir mob violence and lynchings.

But this month the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of a politician who sought blasphemy law reform, in a historic verdict hailed by moderates as a blow against religious extremism.

The CII, whose recommendations are non-binding, has drawn widespread criticism in the past for other rulings.

Last year, the religious body declared the prohibition of child marriage incompatible with Islam and demanded that the government amend its laws, prompting outrage from human rights activists.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Stranger
    Oct 20, 2015 - 4:13PM

    Marhaba !! we need more of his ilk. Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Oct 20, 2015 - 5:04PM

    why does the CII exist? its a useless thing really, ministry of religious affairs should manage all religious matters. even ruet e hilal committee is illegal.Recommend

  • sabi
    Oct 20, 2015 - 5:11PM

    There is no must in religion because its a matter of heart which can not be forced.If we obey God’s commands by fear of worldly laws we will be rejected by the Almighty because hypocrisy is not accepted by the God.Hijab or no hijab doesnt require any law. Recommend

  • miristan
    Oct 20, 2015 - 6:00PM

    Mulana Sahib we know this already. Please tell this to Saudis ,that this is a cultural tradition of Arabs. Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Oct 20, 2015 - 6:23PM

    Some improvements in the prevailing traditions in our society have started now. Maulana Shirani shoulod be appreciated.Recommend

  • Afrooz
    Oct 20, 2015 - 7:00PM

    Why are these people given airtime by the media? Does their opinion even matter?Recommend

  • Duggu
    Oct 20, 2015 - 9:17PM

    Finally, a sane ruling. Recommend

  • Oct 20, 2015 - 10:32PM

    mr i think u have got SAUDI phobia.stay tune to ur own country ,its gud for ur healthRecommend

  • Patriot
    Oct 20, 2015 - 11:46PM

    Mulana is on next flight to CanadaRecommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 21, 2015 - 12:08AM

    Is this person relevant ?…….or is the CII kept alive to be used as a prop for political patronage with the religious parties.Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Oct 21, 2015 - 1:37AM

    Job preservation? Maybe the winds are finally changing and the conservatives are on the defensive?Recommend

  • DudeFromDC
    Oct 21, 2015 - 6:59AM

    Wow..Thats a big leap from 7th Century to 10th. A few more leaps like this will take you to 21st.Recommend

  • T. A. Khan
    Oct 21, 2015 - 9:28AM

    Very good decision by CII, right interpretation of Quranic Verses.Recommend

  • Oct 22, 2015 - 2:16PM

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