How Maulana Fazlur Rehman got the Political Fatwa Wrong

by Raakin Iqbal

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuhu.

May the Blessing of Allah be upon you.

As a majority of us know, the Pakistan elections are coming up in the matter of weeks. Normally in the U.S, candidates and reputable Super-Pac’s will launch negative attack ads that focus on key political aspects, such as voting record, statements, and third party newspaper critics. However, in Pakistan a brand new trend of issuing ‘Political Fatwas’ is emerging amongst the Islamic Parties. These fatwas are baseless and are even violating the Pakistani’s Constitution, but mainly the Noble Quran & Sunnah.

According to the Express Tribune article (Link below), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), issued one of these bad boys against Imran Khan’s, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), either known as the ‘Movement for Justice’ or ‘Pakistani Turncoat’s. Their  leader, Maulana Fazlur Rehman (who went from a leader to “Supreme Leader” by adding extra cheese and sour cream) issued a fatwa stating that voting for PTI is “haram”. How does he justify it? Well here are bullet points according to the Express Tribune Article:

– “The Yahoodi (Jewish) lobby’s money is working (for Imran)”
– “A person who could not make his own children Muslim nor Pakistani, is dreaming of becoming prime minister of Pakistan and making the country an Islamic welfare state”

and my favorite one:

“I am asked, ‘what is the proof that he (Imran Khan) is an agent of the Jews,’ I say there is only one proof and it is my own responsible personality. I am so righteous that I would never talk ill against anyone.”

Now in the U.S, we do see our occasional personal and character attacks on politicians running for office. But in this matter, Pakistan should take the higher road because it claims to follow the Noble Quran & Sunnah. The Pakistani Constitution clearly states:

“Steps shall be taken to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam and to provide facilities whereby they may be enabled to understand the meaning of life according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah”  – Article 31, Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy.

Could we argue and say that Mr. Rehman (along with the other politicians who use personal attacks to rally their base) are in violation of the very fundamentals laid out in the constitution? Clearly making personal character attacks are in violation of the Holy Quran & Sunnah. According to the Noble Quran, he is already violating the following because it is slander or character assassination. Please refer to the following verse from the Holy Quran:

“Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.” (24:11)

Mr. Rehman cannot justify a fatwa or in any case a statement by saying, “I would never talk ill against anyone”. According to the Noble Quran, for any statement to be considered not slander or character assassination they must provide witnesses. In the Holy Quran in 24:13 [translated], “Why did they not produce four witnesses against him Since they have not produced witnesses! Then with Allah, they are the liars”.

It makes me wonder how do these guys pass such baseless fatwa’s? In the Holy Quran and Sunnah, a fatwa is passed based on knowledge and facts. Not based on heresy. This reminds me of the following verse [Translated], “When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great” (24:15).

The definition of a fatwa according to the Islamic Supreme Council of America, is an Islamic legal pronouncement. It is issued by an expert in religious law (mufti), pertaining to a specific issue, usually at the request of an individual or judge to resolve an issue where Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) is unclear. To Call Imran Khan a ‘Jew’ or a ‘Agent of the West’ doesn’t question Islamic jurisprudence. Basically, it’s not rocket science to say that Mr. Rehman’s ‘Poltical’ Fatwa is baseless, along with violence of Pakistani Constitution and suprior violence of Holy Noble Quran. For reference, here are the qualifications of a fatwa:

  • Know the verses of Qur’ān pertaining to the ruling at hand;
  • Know the reason behind the verses of Qur’ān related to the ruling – when each was revealed and why;
  • Distinguish the supportive and oppositional verses of the Qur’ān;
  • Know all the hadith pertaining to the ruling and the soundness of their chain of transmission;
  • Be familiar with the legal precedents of the issue before him, including the arguments or consensus reached by earlier scholars; and
  • Be well-versed in the syntax, grammar, pronunciation, idioms, special linguistic uses, customs and culture prevalent at the time of the Prophet (s) and succeeding two generations.

(Source: Islamic Suprem Council)

Now if Mr. Rehman was to define a fatwa as according to Urban Dictionary, “a strong declaration given by some bearded freak that civilized people completely ignore”, then that defeats me and this entire blog post. May Allah guide us to the straight path In Shaa Allah.


Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation & Commentary. Elmhurst, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, 1987. Print.
“The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” The Constitution of Pakistan. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2013. <;.
HISHAM KABBANI, SHAYKH MUHAMMAD. “What Is a Fatwa?” Islamic Supreme Council, n.d. Web. 05 May 2013. <;.
“Political ‘fatwa’: Voting for PTI Is Haram, Says Maulana Fazl.” Political Fatwa Voting for PTI Is Haram Says Maulana Fazl Comments. The Express Tribune, 05 May 2013. Web. 05 May 2013. <;.
“Urban Dictionary: Fatwa.” Urban Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2013. <;.