Polygamy has always been a hot debate in the non-Islamic world since a very long time and is forbidden in most of the cultures and religions in the world. But despite being a taboo act, men have been doing it secretly in every part of the world regardless of their religion or culture. In Islam, polygamy is allowed, the only condition being, that the husband should be just and equal to all his wives and should not discriminate for any reason among them. If we ask women’s opinion on polygamy, most of the women will reply in negative on this subject as obviously, sharing one's husband with another woman is an impossible task when most of them cannot share their husbands with his family. But Muslim women understand the need and despite their nature have voted in favor of polygamy.
A public poll was held in Princess Nora University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which stated that “Do you prefer marriage with a married man?” An unexpected result was obtained which showed that 61% women voted in favor, 30% voted in negative while 9% preferred to have no opinion on the topic. This result created grounds for a large debate on Twitter in which academics; writers, legal experts and many other learned men took part in, some supporting and others opposing the debate. The reasons for the preference of the majority are not known, although it sure is an unanticipated result.
According to a professor of literary criticism at Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, in Islam polygamy is the “original right of men” and in some cases, it is an obligation. According to him, polygamy has multiple benefits and the main beneficiary is women, not men. These days’ women are as ambitious as men and want to marry within the same class as they are and since the number of women is greater than men, learned women will be deprived of learned men if the men are limited to one wife only. Multiple marriages for man can be cited from the verses of Holy Quran and is based on five basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence.
The first principle is what is permissible, which is the topic of discussion; almost every Muslim is in favor of the permission of polygamy in Islam. The second principle is the topic of Halal and Haram and it depends on the circumstances of the man, a man is implicated to marry a woman he likes if she is of the same religion rather than having an unlawful affair with her. If she is of another religion then it is another matter entirely and further laws are there in this regard. The third principle is the obligation, that is if a man is wealthy and he does not marry more than one woman, then he is not obliging Islamic principles as he is more than capable to cater to both the wives the condition being that he must be just to both of them. The fourth principle is not in favor of polygamy if the husband is not just with his wives and is a difficult man to live with. In this condition, Islam is not in favor of that man to marry more than one woman even if he is wealthy enough. Lastly, the fifth principle is what is forbidden, according to the professor, when a man is cruel to his first wife and is a miser then he is strictly forbidden to marry again lest he does the same with his second wife.
Islam is a religion of balance and the implication of polygamy is not only for men’s benefit. Women might not approve of it but the fact is that the disapproval results in extra marital affairs and many other social evils. Another fact is that a woman should have a heart big enough to share her husband, it is not an easy task and every woman cannot do it notwithstanding the religious approval.
Source: Arab News
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