On May 29, 2017, world’s leading Islamic scholar, the Assistant Commissioner Kharan, issued an order banning barbers from trimming the beards of their clients in a manner that may suggest any creativity, design or style. He also categorically declared that this practice was un-Islamic as all the national and international scholars were against styling of beards. It was gracious of the Assistant Commissioner to save much of the Islamic world by later clarifying that the ban on styling of beard was limited to the city areas only.

As we advance in our Islamic accomplishments, we realise that not just dictators, but democratic leaders, Senate, Assemblies and even Assistant Commissioners can introduce now versions of Islam. The recent harsher version of Ramzan Bill passed by the Senate that calls for a fine of Rs500 and prison term of 3 months is a case in point.

The people of Pakistan need to ponder, if they must for all times, accept new and often incorrect religious injunctions imposed by corrupt bureaucrats and gangster parliamentarians. One such bureaucrat was recently found to have plundered Rs730 million of the tax payers’ money while a criminal parliamentarian was recently hauled up for death threats to judiciary. Pakistan’s parliament is itself the world’s most militant parliament for having acquired 69473 prohibited bore weapon licenses for its members.

It may therefore be best to allow people to seek peace, tolerance and compassion in their faith and not be dictated by those whose own character and wisdom may be highly questionable.

NAEEM SADIQ,

Lahore, June 2.