The Government of the Province of Punjab has issued a notification to all universities to include the study of the Quran as part of the syllabus of every degree. The move makes it mandatory for students to learn some of the Quran, with translation.
The “Punjab Compulsory Teaching of Holy Quran Bill” was moved in Parliament by Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Dr Wasim Akhtar. The Bill was passed in 2018 stating that “being an Islamic country, the free and compulsory teaching of Holy Quran will definitely be a source of the establishment of a society based on the teachings of Islam”
In April the Governor of Punjab and former UK MP, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, met with seven Vice-Chancellors on how to implement the Bill. While it is not clear to what depth the lessons will go or what the further requirements are, a notification has been issued to all Punjab Universities.
Mr. Sarwar said “the Holy Quran has been the source of real guidance for us. Only teachings of Quran will improve this life and hereafter and Quran has the complete code of life revealed to our Prophet Muhammad to guide the world”
When Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan, he said he would make Pakistan into “Madinah ki riyasat” meaning a State like Madinah under the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has often commented on tackling extremism in different ways than the norm. In the Muslim world it has long been propagated that extremism is fuelled by religious ignorance of Islam. It is hoped that such a step by the Punjab Government will help curb such radicalisation. Such steps could kill two birds with one stone because religious ignorance also fuels extreme secular elements within Pakistan.