Saturday, 25 October 2014

Polygamy Practice in Saudi Arabia

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse at a time. In Islam, men are allowed to keep a maximum of four wives at a time on the condition that they are fair to all four of them. Many men take this as an opportunity to keep more than one wife just because they want to and often little they do to be fair and give all their wives equivalent importance. The concept of polygamy is quite common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and men do not feel reluctant about having more than one wife. Even for the married women the concept of men having more than one wife is so common that they wouldn't be shocked if the same person would be seen with a different wife next time. The men of Saudi Arabia would have children with all their wives and that sometimes lead to a large number of siblings. In one incident, when a man during a job interview was asked about his siblings, he got confused and replied that he would have to ask at home and get back to them.

He later inquired his step-brothers from each of the step-mothers regarding the total number they are and concluded that they were a total of thirty-five siblings, Masha Allah!.  Though the women of Saudi Arabia are aware of the norm of polygamy in their culture from a young age, different women have different opinion regarding it. Where some would meekly agree that it’s their husband's right to have another wife, others would be fearful of the day it happens. Some would argue that because there are more women on this planet than men, spinsterhood can only be avoided if men keep more than one wife. Therefore when a woman reaches the age of thirty, she would rather marry a man who is already married than to stay a bachelor and struggle with the pressure the society would put her in.

Another reason to not object to polygamy would be to avoid extra-marital affair and child birth out of wedlock. On the other hand, some women who are uncomfortable with the idea of their husbands having another wife would argue that once the new wife arrives, the old one would lose her importance and obviously the husband would give more time and affection to the new one. For the possessive women, jealousy kicks in here and makes it almost impossible for them to accept their husband's second marriage.

However, as time has passed, inflation and expensive standards of living has taken a toll on the Saudi men, making it difficult for them to keep more than one wife at a time because in majority cases they have to keep each wife in a separate house. Therefore, the women of the upcoming generation can breathe a sigh of relief as they have less to fear thanks to the slow and gradual decline in the practice of polygamy.


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