Arif Mohammad Khan
22nd Governor of Kerala
Assumed office
6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Chief MinisterPinarayi Vijayan
Preceded byP. Sathasivam
23rd Union Minister of Civil Aviation
In office
6 December 1989 – 10 November 1990
Prime MinisterV. P. Singh
Preceded byShivraj Patil
Succeeded byHarmohan Dhawan
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
1980 (1980)–1984 (1984)
Preceded byManohar Lal
Succeeded byNaresh Chander Chaturvedi
In office
1984 (1984)–1991 (1991)
Preceded byMaulana Saiyad Muzaffar Hussain
Succeeded byRudrasen Chaudhary
In office
1998 (1998)–1999 (1999)
Preceded byPadamsen Chaudhary
Succeeded byPadamsen Chaudhary
Personal details
Born (1951-11-18) 18 November 1951 (age 72)
Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
SpouseReshma Arif

Arif Mohammad Khan (born 18 November 1951) is an Indian politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). [1][2] He is currently the Governor of Kerala.[3] He is a former Union Minister. He has held several portfolios ranging from energy to civil aviation.[4]

Early life and education

Arif Mohammad Khan was born on 18 November 1951 in Bulandshahr. He was educated at Jamia Millia School, Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and at Shia College, University of Lucknow.[5]

Ex-MLA Asif Muhammad Khan is his younger brother.

Political career

Khan started his political career as a student leader. He was the President of Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union in the year 1972-73 and also its honorary Secretary a year earlier (1971–72).[5] He contested the first legislative assembly election from Siyana constituency of Bulandshahar on Bharatiya Kranti Dal party's banner but was defeated. He became a member of the legislative assembly of UP in 1977 at the age of 26.[6]

Khan joined the Indian National Congress party and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Kanpur and 1984 from Bahraich. In 1986, he quit the Indian National Congress due to differences over the passage of Muslim Personal Law Bill which was piloted by Rajiv Gandhi in the Lok Sabha. He was against the legislation to enable Muslim men to avoid giving their divorced wife or wives any maintenance after the iddah period as per the Quran and resigned because of differences with Rajiv Gandhi on this issue. Khan joined the Janata Dal and was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989. During the Janata Dal rule Khan served as union Minister of Ministry of Civil Aviation and Energy. He left the Janata Dal to join the Bahujan Samaj Party and again entered the Lok Sabha in 1998 from Bahraich. Khan held ministerial responsibilities from 1984 to 1990. In 2004, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate that year from Kaiserganj constituency. Later BJP appointed Arif as the new Governor of Kerala.

Jain Hawala Case

Journalist Sanjay Kapoor, in his book "Bad Money, Bad Politics" has claimed that, Khan received an amount of 7 crores of Hawala money. As per the CBI charge sheet, he was accused of being paid this amount of money when he was Union Minister but he was later acquitted in the case.[7]

Political views

Reformation in Islam

Arif Mohammad Khan has always supported reformation within Muslims.[8] He resigned from position of Minister of state protesting against Rajiv Gandhi Congress Government stand on Shah Bano case in 1986.[9] He defended Supreme Court judgment on Shah Bano case in Parliament.[10][11] Khan opposed triple talaq in India and said that it should be punishable with 3 years in jail.[12] Khan has asserted that Muslim men are still allowed to be polygamous and can also give a divorce easily by paying paltry sums.[13]

Khan welcomed the Karnataka High Court's judgement upholding that the hijab is not an essential garment according to Islam during the 2022 Karnataka hijab row, stating that enforcing the wearing of a hijab is a conspiracy to push back Muslim females into the four walls of their homes and reduce their career prospects - he gave an example of imagining a female IPS officer who is responsible for controlling law and order in a district, who cannot do so wearing a hijab.[14][15]

On being asked for a reaction about the murder of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur by reporters, Khan responded that madrasas teach that blasphemy should be punished by beheading and demanded that what is taught there should be examined.[16]

Current activities

Khan has been deeply involved in writing since his student days. He is the author of the best selling book of the year 2010 Text and Context: Quran and Contemporary Challenges, published by Rupa & Co.[17] Now Arif Mohammad Khan is actively involved in writing articles and columns related to Islam and Sufism.[18] He has advocated abolishing of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.[9] Arif Mohammad Khan also supported the Supreme Court of India's Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum to make the right to maintenance of a divorced Muslim wife absolute.[19][20]

Governor of Kerala (2019 - present)

Khan was appointed the Governor of Kerala on 1 September 2019 by the order of the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. He took charge as Governor on 6 September 2019 from P. Sathasivam.[21][22] The latest political controversy regarding the appointment of Vice chancellors of backgrounds from SFI/CPIM to the universities of Kerala has put him in the spotlight.[23]

See also


  1. ^ Ananth V. Krishna (September 2011). India Since Independence: Making Sense Of Indian Politics. Pearson Education India. p. 292. ISBN 9788131734650.
  2. ^ Alyssa Ayres; Philip Oldenburg (2005). India Briefing: Takeoff at Last?. M.E. Sharpe. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7656-1592-3.
  3. ^ Deeksha Bharadwaj (1 September 2019). "Arif Khan, Modi govt's only 2nd Muslim governor, whose political views align with the BJP's". The Print.
  4. ^ "Women get a raw deal again: Muslim Personal Law Board is still stuck in Shah Bano timewarp as its opposition to triple talaq bill proves". The Times of India. 9 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Biographical Sketch of Member of 12th Lok Sabha". Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election Results in 1977". Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Arif, Jain brothers acquitted in hawala case". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 8 September 1998.
  8. ^ Arif Mohammad Khan (6 June 2017). "No country for triple talaq". Indian Express.
  9. ^ a b Ajaz Ashraf, Arif on Shah Bano case: 'Najma Heptullah was key influence on Rajiv Gandhi',, 30 May 2015.
  10. ^ Shishir Tripathi, Triple talaq negates both equality and dignity of Muslim women: Arif Mohammad Khan, Firstpost, 14 October 2016.
  11. ^ Namita Kohli, ‘Rajiv was pressured by Narasimha Rao, Najma Heptulla during Shah Bano’, Hindustan Times 11 September 2016.
  12. ^ Eram Agha, Triple Talaq Should be Punishable With 3 Years Jail: Arif, News18, 13 March 2017.
  13. ^ "If triple talaq can be challenged, why can't polygamy?". Hindustan Times. 24 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Karnataka hijab row: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed welcomes HC's verdict". India Today. 17 March 2022.
  15. ^ Shakil, Marya (15 March 2022). "'Muslim Girls Won't be Restricted Anymore': Kerala Guv Arif Mohammad Khan Hails Hijab Verdict". News18.
  16. ^ "Islamic law that advocates beheading being taught in madrasas: Kerala Guv Arif Khan". The New Indian Express. 30 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Let the Quran Speak for Itself, Books and Documents, Saif Shahin,, New Age Islam". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  18. ^ Arif Mohammad Khan (28 February 2013). "Is there any scope for change and reform in Islam?". Tehelka. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Arif Mohammad Khan welcomes Supreme Court's ruling on Section 125". The Economic Times. 8 April 2015.
  20. ^ Bula Devi (25 March 2016). ""It's Not About The Slogan. By Throwing Challenges, Owaisi Is Reviving Separatism."". Outlook India Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Arif Mohammad Khan takes oath in Malayalam". The Times of India. 7 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Arif Mohammad Khan Sworn In As Kerala Governor". NDTV News. 6 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Why Kerala governor wants 11 university V-Cs out & how it's turned into a political slugfest". The Print. 26 October 2022.


Lok Sabha Preceded byManohar Lal Member of Parliamentfor Kanpur 1980 – 1984 Succeeded byNaresh Chander Chaturvedi Preceded byMaulana Saiyad Muzaffar Hussain Member of Parliamentfor Bahraich 1984 – 1991 Succeeded byRudrasen Chaudhary Preceded byPadamsen Chaudhary Member of Parliamentfor Bahraich 1998 – 1999 Succeeded byPadamsen Chaudhary Political offices Preceded byP. Sathasivam Governor of Kerala 6 September 2019 – Present Incumbent