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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? No


Constitution Year 2004
Last Amended not amended
Source International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


We the people of Afghanistan:
1. With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam
3. While acknowledging the sacrifices and the historic struggles, rightful Jehad and just resistance of all people of Afghanistan, and respecting the high position of the martyrs for the freedom of Afghanistan,

Article 1 [Islamic Republic]

Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

Article 2 [Religions]

(1) The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
(2) Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.

Article 3 [Law and Religion]

In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.

Article 17 [Education]

The state shall adopt necessary measures for promotion of education in all levels, development of religious education, organizing and improving the conditions of mosques, madrasas and religious centers.

Article 18 [Calendar]

(1) The calendar of the country shall be based on the flight of the Prophet (PBUH).
(2) The basis of work for state offices is the solar calendar.
(3) Fridays and the 28 Asad and the 8 Sawr are public holidays. Other holidays shall be regulated by law.

Article 19 [Flag, Insignia, Emblem]

(1) The Afghan flag is made up of three equal parts, with black, red and green colors juxtaposed from left to right perpendicularly.
(2) The width of every colored piece is equal to half of its length. The national insignia is located in the center of the flag.
(3) The national insignia of the state of Afghanistan is composed of Mehrab and pulpit in white color.
(4) Two flags are located on its two sides. In the upper-middle part of the insignia the sacred phrase of "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet, and Allah is Great" is placed, along with a rising sun. The word "Afghanistan" and year 1298 (solar calendar) is located in the lower part of the insignia. The insignia is encircled with two branches of wheat.
(5) The law shall regulate the use of national flag and emblem.

Article 20 [Anthem]

The National Anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashtu and mention "Allahu Akbar" and the names of the ethnic groups of Afghanistan.

Article 23 [Life]

Life is a gift of God and a natural right of human beings. No one shall be deprived of this right except by the provision of law.

Article 35 [Organizations, Parties]

(1) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form social organizations for the purpose of securing material or spiritual aims in accordance with the provisions of the law.
(2) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form political parties in accordance with the provisions of the law, provided that:
-- The program and charter of the party are not contrary to the principles of sacred religion of Islam, and the provisions and values of this Constitution.

-- The organizational structure, and financial sources of the party are made public.
-- The party does not have military or paramilitary aims and structures.
-- The party should have no affiliation to a foreign political party or sources.
(3) Formation and functioning of a party based on ethnicity, language, Islamic school of thought (mazhab-i fiqhi) and region is not permissible.
(4) A party set up in accordance with provisions of the law shall not be dissolved without lawful reasons and the decision of an authorized court.

Article 45 [Unified Educational Curriculum]

The state shall devise and implement a unified educational curriculum based on the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam, national culture, and in accordance with academic principles, and develops the curriculum of religious subjects on the basis of the Islamic sects existing in Afghanistan.

Article 54 [Family]

(1) Family is a fundamental unit of society and is supported by the state.
(2) The state adopts necessary measures to ensure physical and psychological well being of family, especially of child and mother, upbringing of children and the elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of sacred religion of Islam.

Article 60 [Head of State, Vice Presidents]

(1) The President is the head of state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and conducts his authorities in executive, legislative, and judiciary branches in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
(2) The President shall have two Vice Presidents, one first and one second.
(3) The candidate to the Presidency on his or her candidacy shall declare the name of the Vice Presidents to the nation.
(4) The Vice President in the absence, resignation, and or death of the President, acts in accordance with the provisions of this constitution.

Article 62 [Qualifications]

(1) Presidential candidates should posses the following qualification:
-- Should be citizen of Afghanistan, Muslim and born of Afghan parents, and should not have citizenship of another country.
-- On the day of becoming a candidate, his age should not be less than forty years.
-- Should not have been convicted of crimes against humanity, criminal act, or deprivation of the civil rights by a court.
(2) No one can be elected as president for more than two terms.
(3) The provision of this article is applied to the Vice Presidents as well.

Article 63 [Oath of Allegiance]

The President-elect, prior to resumption of his/her duties, performs the following oath of allegiance in the presence of members of the National Assembly and the chief justice:
"In the name Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate In the name God Almighty, in the presence of you representatives of the nation of Afghanistan, I swear to obey and safeguard the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam, to observe the Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan and supervise their implementation; to safeguard the independence, national sovereignty, and the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the fundamental rights and interests of the people of Afghanistan, and with the assistance of God and the support of the nation, to make great and sincere efforts for the happiness and progress of the people of Afghanistan."

Article 66 [Restrictions]

(1) The President takes into consideration the supreme interests of the people of Afghanistan while enforcing the powers stated in this Constitution.
(2) The President cannot sell or bestow state properties without the provisions of the law.
(3) The President cannot act based on linguistic, ethnic, religious, political, and regional considerations during his term in office.

Article 74 [Oath of Office]

Prior to taking office, the minister perform the following oath in the presence of the President:
"In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate: I swear in the name of God Almighty to support the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam, follow the Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan, protect the rights of citizens, and safeguard the independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, and consider God Almighty present in performing all my responsibilities, and honestly perform the duties assigned to me."

Article 80 [Restrictions]

The Minister during the course of their work cannot use their posts for linguistic, regional, ethnic, religion and partisan purposes.

Article 81 [National Assembly]

(1) The National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as the highest legislative organ is the manifestation of the will of its people and represents the whole nation.
(2) Every member of the National Assembly takes into judgment the general welfare and supreme interests of all people of Afghanistan at the time of casting their vote.

Article 116 [Independence]

(1) The judicial branch is an independent organ of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
(2) The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court (Stera Mahkama), High Courts, Appeal Courts. Structure of authorities of which are determined by law.
(3) The Supreme Court as the highest judicial organ, heads the judiciary organ of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Article 118 [Qualifications for the Supreme Court]

A member of the Supreme Court shall have the following qualifications:
-- The age of the Head of the Supreme Court and its members should not be lower than forty at the time of appointment
-- Shall be a citizen of Afghanistan.
-- Shall have a higher education in law or in Islamic jurisprudence, and shall have sufficient expertise and experience in the judicial system of Afghanistan.
-- Shall have high ethical standards and a reputation of good deeds.
-- Shall not have been convicted of crimes against humanity, crimes, and sentenced of deprivation of his civil rights by a court.
-- Shall not be a member of any political party during the term of official duty

Article 119 [Oath of Office for the Supreme Court]

Members of the Supreme Court take the following oath in the presence of the President before occupying the post:

"In the name Allah, the Merciful and the Compassionate I swear in the name of God Almighty to support justice and righteousness in accord with the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam and the provisions of this Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan, and to execute the duty of being a judge with utmost honesty, righteousness and nonpartisanship."

Article 149 [Islam, Fundamental Rights]

(1) The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended.
(2) The amendment of the fundamental rights of the people are permitted only in order to make them more effective.
(3) Considering new experiences and requirements of the time, other contents of this Constitution can be amended by the proposal of the President or by the majority of the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of Article 67 and Article 146 of this constitution.


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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