Wives Rather Than Mistresses (Polygamy necessity of the age)

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  • Wives Rather Than Mistresses (Polygamy necessity of the age)


    Polygamy is a practice that has been heavily, frenziedly and ceaselessly assailed by orientalists to call great Islam into serious questions and malign its honest messenger Muhammad.


    Polygamy was verbally attacked as early as the era of Prophet Muhammad himself, when Jews attempted to cast doubts on the validity of the system.


    Omar, who was Ghafra's slave, narrated, "Jews, upon seeing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) marrying a great deal of women, said: Look at this man who never eats his full, and who, we swear by God, is keenly interested in women". They seem to have cast covetous eyes on, and found fault with, Prophet Muhammad for his polygamous practice. So covetous they were that they said, may Allah curse them, "If he were really a prophet, he would not be so eagerly interested in women". Huyay son of Akhtab, a leading Jew, was the one who most criticized the prophet.


    However, Allah ‑ exalted be He ‑ belying them, told them about His grace and amplitude of means which He has endowed His prophet with. Marking the occasion, Allah has revealed to His prophet the verse reading, "Or do they envy mankind for what Allah has given them out of His bounty?”[1], referring to His prophet Muhammad. The same verse goes to say further "But We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great Kingdom", obviously referring to what Allah ‑ exalted be He ‑ has conferred upon David and Solomon (peace be upon them both) of wives and female slaves: each one of them had married more than Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was to have later.[2]


    Throughout ages, foes of this religion, inside and outside alike, have been attempting to discredit the principle of polygamy, with their ultimate goal as being to plunge deeply into skepticism the Holy Quran, the Shari'ah and Prophet Muhammad himself.


    A Muslim country has carried matters to such an exaggerative degree that it has introduced a toughened‑up anti‑polygamy law on the model of Western nations.


    In Egypt, Jihan, the wife of late president Anwar El‑Sadat, has one day attempted a similar ban on polygamy, but well‑grounded ulema (religious scholars) of Al‑Azhar, and members of the entire sweeping Islamic trend, have managed to nip in the bud the attempted barring of polygamy. (Unfortunately, Jihan did later succeed in having a certain law passed, which regarded polygamy as in itself posing harm to the first wife, thus empowering a first wife to bring a lawsuit for divorce.  In the wake of President Sadat's murder, with his widow having almost no influence to wield, this law article has later been rescinded.


    Nevertheless, media have persistently been having a bad press of polygamy, though permissible in the Shari'ah. As media have been ridiculously depicting polygamists, as exhibited by vile, low‑quality films and TV serials, they have, at the same time, been alluring enormities as a matter of jocularity. A secular woman has even appeared on an international television station lately to assail polygamy as introduced by Islam.


    Some others have been so insolent and perverse to have published in a Cairo‑based weekly newspaper a set of serial articles under the title of "polygamy is haram" ‑ or polygamy is not permitted by religion. So simply an obscure ignorant attempt, with a foolish and insane stroke of the pen, to suspend the application of confirmed texts of the Holy Quran and Sunna (Traditions of the Prophet).


    Public opinion in Muslim nations has even been so led astray that women in Egypt's rural areas have been circulating a common saying about a man planning to keep another wife to the effect that they would rather proceed in his funeral than proceed in his marriage ceremony.


    These reasons, and others, have prompted me to write this book, which I regard as only a modest attempt at rectifying fallacious notions and straightening out matters ‑ and it is Allah alone whose assistance can be sought in the face of all such blasphemy.


    [1] The surah of "Al‑Nisaa". or women, verse 54.


    [2] The Generations of the Prophet's Companions, volume 8, page 233.


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