Zara Sochieye FAQs
  History of Hudood Ordinance
  Zina Ordinance
  Hudood: Verses from the Quran
  Both Sides of the Story
  Experts Commentary
  Program Transcripts
  Zara Sochieye Declaration
  Email The Declaration to friends
  A Quick Summary for Media
  Press Quotes
  Foreign Media Coverage
  Promos and Print Ads
  Submit Feedback
  Review Feedback
  External links
Program Transcripts

Capital Talk: Hudood Ordinance
Host: Hamid Mir
Participants: Chuadhry Wasay Zafar (Federal Minister for Law)
Fauzia Wahab (MNA, Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians)
Senator Professor Ibrahim Khan (Muhtidda Majlis Amal)

* Is the Hudood Ordinance a religious issue or a political one? Why has this issue not been resolved as yet?

Wasay Zafar: I feel that it has been heavily politicized and everyone tries to score a point by stating his point of view. The emotions of the people are being played with when it is mentioned that Islam is in danger if the Hudood Laws are touched upon. If a law is made, it should be implemented properly too in order to avoid its misinterpretation. Which Islam is that which does not gives a woman rights when she reached the age of maturity? A girl reaches puberty at around 12 years of age but we have the set the limit at 16 years after which she can get married to a man of her choice. This may be a custom in India, Sarhad or Balochistan where keeping a woman bounded by tradition is a common thing, which again is something that was rampant before the arrival of Islam. The Holy Prophet has given women so many rights and implementing them is staying true to Islam.

If a girl marries out of her free will, in the last three years, the High Court has allowed the girl to do for the past three years. Tell me of the times when there have been incidents where a girl married out of choice and she wasn’t insulted by the use of the Hudood Ordinance. Islam never prohibits a woman from marrying, it can be our personal or family honour at stake but the honour of slam is not in danger.

Our religion gives women rights but we do not think of women as humans and mistreat them. A man may do anything but when it comes to a woman, we feel our honour is at stake. Even when a woman is getting married, her will is necessary to be asked for. There are things that need to be changed and that too at the earliest.

* Do you want to see any changes in this law or you want it to be discarded?

Fauzia Wahab: I want this law to be discarded as I believe that it has got nothing to do with Islam. If you have read its text, then you will be able to see the sick mentality it reeks of. This law dealing with Zina came up in 1979, which also relates to Zina-bil-Jibr too. I just want to know that is there really so much of rampant adultery in our society that we need a separate law to deal with it.

In my opinion, this ordinance is blasphemous, and I an insult in the face of Islam. It portrays a sick mentality and gives an impression as if every man and woman in Pakistan is indulging in sin. We do not need this law. This ordinance has words in it that a respectable woman would never utter. All I can make out of this ordinance is that the then dictator, Ziaul Haq had it drafted to please his supporters. This law should be repealed as it in not divinely ordained.

* Is the Hudood Ordinance man made or is a divine law?

Professor Ibrahim: If this ordinance is repealed keeping in mind the Quran and Sunnah, then we will support it but if it goes against the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah, we will oppose it. I feel that Fauzia sahiba has shown her sick nature. If there is a punishment for a crime, that doesn’t mean that everyone is a criminal. According to her rational, then the laws before Hudood also implied the same. Hudood Allah, which are mentioned in the Quran offer protection. In the HO, the first ordinance deals with theft and states that the hand of the thief should be cut in order to stop the rime from spreading. These laws are there to protect the society. Hudood are those that are stated in the Quran, such as Qisas and Diyat, which says that Qisas is mandatory. Then again, for the protection of wealth, it says that the hand of the thief must be chopped. Then there is Haraba, which is stated in Surah-e-Maiida, and then there is punishment stated for Zina in Surah Noor. This means that the penalty set for Zina is set by Allah and not by humans.

* Is this entire ordinance the law of Allah? The clauses drafted by men, can they be repealed?

Professor Ibrahim: There are two parts in here, one is the punishments that have been set up by Allah and secondly, it deals with the implementation of these laws. The Zabta-e-Faujdari is regulated by our courts and contains references from the book of Allah and hence cannot be changed but as far as the ordinance is concerned, it cane be changed and updated according to the times.

A report on the HO

Khalid Masood, Chairman Islamic Ideology Council

The Hudood Ordinance is like other laws. It is made by humans and it can, therefore, have weaknesses, even flaws. There can be procedural flaws as well. To look at all of these in detail, it is important that we treat is as a law. Unfortunately, this issue has been politicized because of which we do not see it as a law alone.

Justice Haziq-al-Khairi, Chairman Legal Committee, Islamic Ideology Council

When this ordinance was made, way back in 1979, there was no Parliament and at that time no one in the public sphere raised any voices neither these laws were presented to the public. The people were not even asked that these laws are being implemented and what is their opinion on it.

Justice (retd.) K. M. Samdani, Former Law Secretary, Government of Pakistan

"As far as discussing a law is concerned, any law can be discussed. Similarly, the Hudood Ordinance though has been linked to Allah and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has nonetheless been constituted by man. It is man's creation and if some one says that there cannot be a dialogue on this, he is mistaken."

Dr. Mehmood Ghazi, Former Minister for Religious Affairs

There has to be room for improvement in the Hudood Ordinance from the very first day. And many people have supported this point of view. I will give you my example. In 1984, I have said this on several platforms that the Hudood Ordinance can be looked at anew. Al its flaws or gaps be removed and plugged. I was a member of the Islamic Ideology Council between 1990-9. In that period, we started the exercise of reviewing the Ordinance and many recommendations were made. But these were not implemented.

Justice (retd) Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Jalandhari, Former Justice Federal Shairiat Court

I myself told late Ziaul Haq that there were 1500 women locked up due to this ordinance. The women admitted that they had been raped but the perpetrators of the crime were never arrested. When they gave birth to illegitimate children, this was proved.

* Fauzia Wahab says that this ordinance should be completely discarded while Professor Ibrahim insists on changes. What is your opinion?

Wasay Zafar: Pick up any ordinance related to women from all over the globe and you will se that there is a punishment for rape too. This law has been there for 100 years but the words have been rephrased and this has been implemented.

Fauzia Wahab: But this law does not speak about rape, in fact all its focuses is on is adultery.

Wasay Zafar: Rape is the translation for Zina-bil-Jibr and we should not abhor it. There should be a law that deals with rape and kidnappings, There are seven laws in this regard.

* So intend on scrapping the entire ordinance?

Fauzia Wahab: Out of the 58 Islamic countries, this aw has been

implemented on us for reasons purely political. Thanks to this, Islam

and Pakistan is presented in a negative light. What’s the use of having an ordinance like this?

* Will you support the government in order to repeal this law?

Fauzia Wahab: We support each and every law that leads to freedom and democracy in the country.

Professor Ibrahim: I do agree with the law minister but what needs to

be checked is what they intend to do practically. If it is something

related to Quran and Sunnah, we will support it. In Article 270 and

271 of the constitution, the meaning of providing safety is not this. It’s a simple law and can be changed with the approval of the Parliament. To say that those who created the Hudood laws are embarrassed is a wrong statement. The law is right but its implementation is not. The Muslim Family Law Ordinance, created by Ayub Khan, is against the spirit of Quran and Sunnah.

* A clause in the HO asks a rape victim to present four male witnesses. If a victim does not have witnesses, where does she stand?

Professor Ibrahim: This is wrong, unjustified and if the government wants to repeal this, we will lend support. There is a discrimination in this law that needs to be corrected. There can be a doubt if the woman is accusing a man who has actually committed the crime or not.

Wasay Zafar: The question is that of Zina. In Zina-bil-Jibr, a woman’s testimony and her medical report are enough proof but if someone accuses respectable citizens of adultery, then four witnesses are needed.

* To change the law, is 2/3 majority in the Parliament required or simply a majority?

Wasi Zafar: If the law has to be repealed, then 2/3 majority is not needed. Article 270 gives it immunity but it does not stop a change in it. There are some things that lead to confusion but once a law is established, a lot of problems will be solved. We have already sent in a draft that states the changes that are needed.

* When will the draft be presented in the Parliament?

Wasi Zafar: Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, our leader, would know about this. This is an issue that relate to the Interior Ministry. We have created the changes though we did take notes from the Interior Ministry.

* What are the changes needed in the Hudood Ordinance?

Professor Ibrahim: I have to go through the ordinance as well as consult my fellows After due thought, the law can be changed into a common one, but there can be no change in the terms stated in Quran and Sunnah.

* Are you in favour of Ijtihaad?

Professor Ibrahim: We are definitely in favour of Ijtihaad. We can even do it now.

Fauzia Wahab: When was the last time we had Ijtihaad? Since the 11th century, there has been no Ijtihaad as the Maulanas are not willing to improvise.

* Is Ijtihaad still feasible?

Professor Ibrahim: Absolutely! Even Allama Iqbal said that when ever a scholar would step forward an improve a law, he would be doing a great service to Islam.

Wasay Zafar: If a person uses Ijtiaahd for his personal gains, than that is deplorable. There have been various instances where consensus from the Ulema was sought on issues and a workable solution was reached.

* The debate on Hudood Ordinance sure is an indicator that hopefully the Parliament will work out a feasible solution. As Wasi Zafar, the Minster of Law says that the Hudood Ordinace can be repealed by having the majority of votes while even the leader of Muhtidda Majlis-e- Amal is open to the ideaof having suitable changes in ordinances. Hopefully, in the times to come, there would be mutual consensus between the government and opposition and a positive way out can be reached.