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Q672: Why is polygamy not prohibited in islam?

Question 3

The unbelieving women will ALWAYS have one thing superior to believing women because in this world they had the chance of having a single husband to themselves ( in Christianity and many other religions Polygamy is forbidden). Please comment.

Answer 3:
Are you sure it’s forbidden in Christianity? Sayyiduna Isa Alayhissalam came to reform the religion of the Bani Israeel, and many among the prophets of Bani Israeel had numerous wives. Bible states that Dawood (A.S.) and Suleman (A.S.) had plenty of wives. Sayyiduna Ibrahim (A.S.) had two wives. So your assumption is wrong.

For arguments sake if it was forbidden, then is it natural or against nature to restrict man to one woman? Have you never heard of men having affairs? Why do they do that? Man is made polygamous whereas woman is made monogamous. This is the way Almighty Allah made us.

Do you know that, following a 30 years war, in 1650 there was a law in Uk that all men were allowed to marry ten women. The men were admonished to behave honourably, provide for their wives properly and prevent animosity between them. This was due to the lack of men and many women feeling abandoned. In those days adultery was an abhorrent act.

So always having one man is no ‘superiority’, you are asking this question under the influence of the environment you are living in. If you can come out of this cuckoo land and think with an open mind, you will realise that having a sawkan (co-wife) and treating her like your real sister or your best friend would make things a lot easier for you. You would have to do half the cooking and half the washing, you will get help from her with your children. When you are on your menses your husband won’t pester you, he will be able to fulfil his desire with your sawkan. The Arabian women were much wiser than our Asian and European women. Of course you have to make some sacrifices, like sometimes you might need him, but he would be with the other wife. But life is all about sacrifices, we have to give and take, so we can’t have everything the way we want it.

I read in one article that this Christian lady in Wolverhampton,UK was divorced. She was living on her own. She went for a holiday in the Maldives where she met some Muslim waiter at a restaurant. They became friends, so she took things further and said ‘I want to marry you’. He said I am a Muslim, and I already have a wife. She said I will become a Muslimah and stay as your second wife. He agreed. She came back, sold her house and went to stay with him.

She wrote in the article that even when my husband is with the other wife on the alternate night, I still feel secure. My first husband would come late at night; I would be tossing and turning in my bed, worried to bits about whom he would be sleeping with and what if he brought some disease from her and affected me with it. Also she writes ‘I only have to do half of the cooking and half of the washing.’

So this thought of superiority in having one husband is not correct. If a woman has a very good friend and she says to her husband ‘Do Nikah with this friend of mine as well and both live happily, what is wrong with that? This is our religious freedom and abiding by the law of the land, we should be allowed to keep a common law wife.

I can’t write much as I have one wife and I am not very experienced in that field. Maybe you might want to ask someone who has two wives and is treating them both in the best possible manner.

Just remembered; Sheikh Ahmed Ali of Bradford had two wives. They were of similar age, best friends, lived under one roof and were really happy.

Recently they had both gone shopping together at Morrison’s. They were crossing the road with shopping bags in their hands. Some maniac came speeding in his sports car. The younger wife rushed forward and managed to survive but the first wife was struck and dragged by the car for a considerable distance and she died in the middle of the road in the lap of her best friend as the ambulance arrived.

This worldly life is temporary, the real life is that of the hereafter. We should aspire for jannah and seek Allah’s pleasure by submitting ourselves to the instructions and guidance given by the Almighty Allah swt.

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