Home Latest News ‘Women Not Required to Cover Face Under Sharia’

‘Women Not Required to Cover Face Under Sharia’

by AFP
Shah Marai—AFP

Shah Marai—AFP

Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology still advises women to cover up to ‘avoid threats or mischief.’

Pakistan’s top religious body has said women are not required to cover their faces, hands or feet under Islamic sharia law, a rare judgment from the conservative council of clerics seen as “encouraging” by rights activists.

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

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 realized that their legitimacy is being challenged and this ruling is aimed at improving their image,” said Bari. “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.

Blasphemy is a volatile issue in Pakistan, an Islamic republic of some 200 million, where even unproven allegations can stir mob violence and lynchings. But this month the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Mumtaz Qadri, who killed Salmaan Taseer for seeking 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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ssyousafzai October 20, 2015 - 7:44 pm

This is not Islamic state where islamic rules are challenged and verdict is against. And the judge (so called) say that we cannot refrain if someone do wrong ALLAH will ask him

Aziz Ihsan (@47karachi) October 20, 2015 - 8:30 pm

This CII is based on politicized so called scholars, don’t expect any good from them

Azzy October 20, 2015 - 9:51 pm

Only about six square inches must be covered mandatorily. the rest is optional.

Muhammad siddiq October 20, 2015 - 10:08 pm

سی آئی آئی مبارکباد کے قابل هے.
It is a true Quranic decision and a very bold ruling in the nowadays environment of Pakistan.
آللہ سی آئی آئی کو مزید توفیق دے کہ آج کے دور سے متعلق اسلامی تعلیمات میں کنفیوژنز کو دور کرنے کے لیے اسی طرح حقیقی اسلامی فیصلے صادر کر کے عام مسلمانوں کو تذبذب کے عذاب سے نجات دلائے.
I wish we may we return to the Islam practiced by our Prophet Muhammad pbuh and not of the extremists or any sect.
اسلام کے نام پر جاری بعض لوگوں کا اپنی ذاتی رائے کو لوگوں پر مسلط کرنے سے عام مسلمان کے لئے اسلامی طرز زندگی قابل عمل ہی نہیں رہی.

Imran Ahmed (@ImranAhmedMRCP) October 21, 2015 - 9:10 pm

Why in the name of all that is unholy do we pay idiots to have idiotic discussions which we air and on which we waste time?

Msh October 25, 2015 - 6:35 am

Despite that it is for the first time CII a brain child of Gen Zia ul Haq , a mullah in uniform has spoken the truth , yet the Mullah Shirani a political appointee to please a religious party by Corrupt Zardari has supported the veil. It is now very clear that that the covering of face by women has nothing to do with Islam but the local traditions.


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