The Council Of Islamic Ideology And Reforms In Legal Education In Pakistan

The Council Of Islamic Ideology And Reforms In Legal Education In Pakistan

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has become one of the leading organizations which has invited a lot of criticism from almost all quarters of life, especially in print media in the last few years due to its bizarre treatment of Islam – shocking suggestions, strange comments and hard-to-rationalize verdicts. The Council has started issuing verdicts after verdicts more than ever before usually in matters having either very little scope or no scope at all in the perspective of Islamizing the legal system of Pakistan.

For instance, the issue of beating of wife lightly or harshly was being discussed a while back often humorously in almost every office, street, home and social gathering. But, in a male dominated society like ours, where women are not given the required social space and status, beating of wives would continue regardless of whether the Council issues a fatwa against it, unless the masses are equipped with education.

Issues like allowing second marriage without the permission of the first wife, and endorsement of underage marriages, have attracted a lot of criticism from various segments of society for the CII. Similarly, the Council has also suggested the adoption of gold and silver as the medium of currency, among other things. Instead of adding to the confusion about Islam in a state where the masses are already less educated and more under the pressure of poverty, load-shedding and inflation, why is the CII not playing its role in promoting the message of love and peace among the people which is the real spirit of Islam?

There are also other issues of great public importance that need to be addressed by the Council – such as bringing reforms in legal education. Any reform whatsoever brought through these efforts will have a large impact on the administration of justice in future.

Unfortunately not a single word is ever uttered by any office-bearer of the Council about this matter of importance. The movement for reforms in the legal education of Pakistan could have been taken as an opportunity to bring uniformity and coherence in the syllabus of the law schools in the country.

Previously such items had always been part of the agendas of meetings in the Council and eventually a scheme of study was also proposed by the Council for the LLB degree in 1998. The then Committee on Legal Education recommended that the basic courses on Islamic law and jurisprudence should be made compulsory in the national curriculum at law schools.

The current stakeholders in the Council should pay attention to these issues and try to bring harmony in the legal education of the country and make it useful for the justice system. Pakistan has inherited its legal system from Britain hence it is a common law country, however, the importance and significance of Islamic law cannot be denied as it is one of the basic sources of the country’s legal system today.

The Council should get a grip and focus on the larger picture of the society and try to achieve the goal of Islamizing the judicial system of the country. In this context adding courses of Islamic law and jurisprudence in the curriculum of all law schools will be a great achievement in these challenging times.

The Council may pay attention to this and matters like that from now onward. However, practically it can become feasible only when the higher-ups in such institutions are people of high caliber, unbiased and without any political affiliations i.e. specialists in the field. It is suggested that legal education is the foundation of all judicial activities and thus needs proper attention from all quarters of the country especially from the CII.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any organization with which he might be associated.

Dr M Akbar Khan

Author: Dr M Akbar Khan

The writer is an Assistant Professor of Law at International Islamic University, Islamabad.