Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam?

Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam
Dr. Zakir Naik
  • Only QURAN Says to 'Marry Only One': "Qur'an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase 'marry only one'. There is no other religion or religious book that instructs men to have only one wife."
  • POLYGAMY Practice More Among Hindus than Muslims: The report of the 'Committee of The Status of Woman in Islam', published in 1975 mentions [Page Nos 66-67] that the percentage of polygamous marriages between the year 1951-1961 was; 5.06 among the Hindus while only 4.31% among the Muslims.
Why is a man allowed to marry more than one wife in Islam? Or why is polygamy allowed in Islam?
1. Definition of Polygamy: Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted and polyandry is completely prohibited. Now coming to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than one wife?
2. Qur'an is the only religious scripture in the world that says 'marry only one': Qur'an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase 'marry only one'. There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife. In none of the religious scriptures like the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta or the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had several wives. In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a couple of centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had 2 wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah. (960 A.D to 1030 A.D) issued an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, when an Act of the chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.
3. Hindus are more polygamous than Muslims: The report of the 'Committee of The Status of Woman in Islam', published in 1975 mentions on page numbers 66,67 that the percentage of polygamous marriages between the year 1951 -1961 was 5.06 among the Hindus and only 4.31 among the Muslims.
According to Indian law only Muslim men are permitted to have more than one wife. It is illegal for any non-Muslim in India to have more than one wife. Despite it being illegal, Hindus have more multiple wives as compared to the Muslim. One can imagine what would have been the percentage of polygamous marriages among the Hindus if the Indian government had made it legal for them. Earlier, there was no restriction even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives allowed. It was only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it became illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the Indian Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and not the Hindu scriptures. Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife.
4. Qur'an permits limited polygyny: As mentioned earlier, Qur'an is the only religious book on the face of the earth that says 'marry only one'. The context of this phrase is the following verse from Surah Nisa of the Glorious Qur'an: 'Marry woman of your choice in twos' threes' or fours' but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, (with them), then only one' [Al-Qur'an 4:3]
Before the Qur'an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals with them justly. In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says: 'It is very difficult to be just and fair between women'. [Al-Qur'an (4:129)]
Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to marry more than one wife.
Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do's and Dont's.
(i) 'Farz' i.e compulsory
(ii) 'Mustahab' i.e recommended or encouraged
(iii) 'Mubah' i.e permissible
(iv) 'Makruh' i.e 'not recommended' or discouraged
(v) 'Haram' i.e prohibited or forbidden
Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
5. Average life span of females is more than that of males: By nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. During paediatric age however, in childhood itself a female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, there are more deaths among males as compared to the females during paediatric age.
During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women. More men die due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in the world than widowers.
6. India has more male population than female due to female foeticide and infanticide: India is one of the few countries, along with the other neighbouring countries, in which the female population is less than the male population. The reason lies in the high rate of female infanticide in India, and the fact that more than one million female foetuses are aborted every year in this country, after they are identified as females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more females as compared to males.
7. World female population is more than male population: In the USA, women outnumber men by 7.8 million. New York alone has one million more females as compared to the number of males, and of the male population of New York one-third are gays i.e sodomites. The USA as a whole has more than twenty-five million gays. This means that these people do not wish to marry women. Great Britain has four million more females as compared to males. Germany has five million more females as compared to males. Russia has nine million more females than males. God alone knows how many million more females there are in the whole world as compared to males.
8. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical: Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than thirty million more females in USA who would not be able to get husbands (considering that America has twenty five million gays). There would be more than four million females in Great Britain 5 million females in Germany and nine million females in Russia alone who would not be able to find a husband.
Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA, or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA. The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who already has a wife or becomes public property. There is no other option. I have posed this question to hundreds of non-Muslims and all opted for the first. However a few smart people before accepting, said they would prefer their sisters to remain virgins. Biologically, it is not possible for an average man or a woman to remain celibate throughout life. It may be possible in exceptional cases of one in ten thousand. In the vast majority, the person either gets married or performs illicit sex or indulges in other sexual perversions. Sex hormones are released in the adult body every day. That is the reason why Islam has prohibited monasticism.
In Western society it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful, unprotected life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having more than one wife, in which women retain their honourable, dignified position in society and lead a protected life.
Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to marry a married man or to become public property. Islam prefers giving women the honourable position by permitting the first option and disallowing the second. There are several other reasons, why Islam has permitted limited polygyny, but it is mainly to protect the modesty of women.
Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam
If a man is allowed to have more than one wife, then why does Islam prohibit a woman from having more than one husband?

A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing Muslim men to have more than one spouse while denying the same 'right' to women.

Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic society is justice and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal, but with different capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and women are different, physiologically and psychologically. Their roles and responsibilities are different. Men and women are equal in Islam, but not identical.

Surah Nisa' Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with who you can not marry and it is further mentions in Surah Nisa' Chapter 4 verse 24 "Also (prohibited are) women already married"

The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited in Islam:

1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of such marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the mother can easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than one husband, only the mother of the children born of such marriages will be identified and not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to the identification of both parents, mother and father. Psychologists tell us that children who do not know their parents, especially their father undergo severe mental trauma and disturbances. Often they have an unhappy childhood. It is for this reason that the children of prostitutes do not have a healthy childhood. If a child born of such wedlock is admitted in school, and when the mother is asked the name of the father, she would have to give two or more names! I am aware that recent advances in science have made it possible for both the mother and father to be identified with the help of genetic testing. Thus this point which was applicable for the past may not be applicable for the present.

2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.

3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a husband despite having several wives. A woman, in a similar position, having several husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife. A woman undergoes several psychological and behavioral changes due to different phases of the menstrual cycle.

4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or sexually transmitted diseases which can also be transmitted back to her husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the case in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having extra-marital sex.

The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are probably many more reasons why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has prohibited polyandry.

Masyarakat Yahudi di Iran

Tidak banyak orang yang tahu bahwa penduduk Yahudi kedua terbesar setelah Israel di TIMUR TENGAH adalah di Iran! Iran…? Bukankah Iran berseteru berat dengan Israel dan bahkan Ahmadinejad mempertanyakan kebenaran jumlah korban Holocaust? Ya. Saat ini ada sekitar 25.000 penduduk Yahudi di Iran dan mereka bahkan punya perwakilan di parlemen Iran! Meski pemerintah Iran berseteru dengan Israel tapi mereka menetapkan diri untuk tinggal di Iran dan tidak bersedia untuk dibujuk pindah ke Israel. Bahkan ketika pemerintah Israel merencanakan untuk membayar keluarga Yahudi Iran yang mau pindah ke Israel sebesar $60,000, Masyarakat Yahudi Iran mengecamnya dengan pernyataan :
" Identitas Yahudi Iran tidak bisa dibeli dengan uang. Masyarakat Yahudi Iran adalah termasuk penduduk Iran tertua. Yahudi Iran mencintai identitas dan budaya Iran mereka. Jadi ancaman dan rayuan politis kekanakan semacam ini tidak akan berhasil."
Lantas bagaimana kehidupan mereka jika Iran dan Israel berseteru? Apakah hak hidup dan hak minoritas mereka diakui? Meski Iran dianggap sebagai negara yang 'tidak toleran' di mata Barat, utamanya dalam perseteruannya dengan Israel, pemerintahnya justru memberikan tempat dan perlindungan bagi warga Yahudi Iran. Bapak Revolusi Iran, Imam Khomeini, melindungi agama dan penduduk Yahudi dan, seperti Kristen Armenia, mereka dianggap sebagai 'Ahli Kitab' dan mendapatkan kebebasan menjalankan agama mereka berdasarkan Konstitusi Islam Iran Th. 1979. Imam Khomeini membedakan antara masyarakat Yahudi dengan Zionisme dan menganggap penduduk Yahudi tersebut sebagai warganegara Iran belaka dan melindungi hak-hak mereka.
Berdasarkan Konstitusi tersebut masyarakat Yahudi Iran dapat memilih perwakilannya di parlemen Iran dan menikmati hak-hak administrasi mandiri tertentu. Penguburan dan hukum perceraian Yahudi diterima oleh pengadilan Islam Iran. Bahkan penduduk Yahudi Iran juga kena wajib militer.
Penyangkalan Holocaust
Ahmadinejad beberapa kali menyampaikan slogan "Hapuskan Israel dari Peta" dan mempertanyakan jumlah korban Holocaust selama Perang Dunia II yang dianggapnya berlebihan.
Mr Mohtamed, perwakilan warga Yahudi di parlemen, menentang sikap presidennya – yang menunjukkan bahwa warga yahudi bisa dengan bebas menyampaikan pendapatnya di Iran. Ia juga mengutuk keras pameran kartun tentang Holocaust oleh koran Iran yang dimiliki oleh pemerintah daerah.
Meskipun menentang pemerintah Israel, pemerintahan Ahmadinejad baru-baru ini menyumbangkan sejumlah dana ke Rumah Sakit Yahudi Teheran, satu diantara hanya empat RS Yahudi di seluruh dunia yang dananya disumbang dari masyarakat yahudi yang tersebar – sesuatu yang agak aneh mengingat bahwa bahkan organisasi bantuan lokal pun kesulitan menerima bantuan dana dari luar Iran karena takut dianggap sebagai antek asing.
Ciamak Morsathegh, direktur RS ini berkata, :"Anti Semitism bukanlah fenomena Timur, bukan juga fenomena Islam atau Iran. Anti Semitism adalah fenomena Eropa," Ia menambahkan bahwa orang Yahudi di Iran, bahkan dalam kondisi yang paling buruk pun, tidak pernah mengalami penderitaan seperti orang-orang Yahudi di Eropa.
"Dengarkan saya, komunitas Yahudi disini tidak menghadapi kesulitan. Posisi kami tidak seburuk yang diperkirakan orang di luar Iran. Kami menjalankan agama kami dengan bebas, kami merayakan perayaan keagamaan kami, dan kami juga punya sekolah dan Taman Kanak-kanak sendiri." kata Farangis Hassidim pekerja Yahudi di RS tersebut.
Bagaimana dengan komunikasi dengan sanak famili yang ada di Israel? Sambil memotong daging, Hersel Gabriel si penjagal bercerita bahwa ia mengira akan mendapat masalah ketika kembali dari Israel, nyatanya petugas imigrasi tidak berkata apa pun tentang hal tersebut.
"Apa pun yang dikatakan di luar itu bohong semua –kami hidup nyaman di Iran – kalau kita tidak berpolitik dan tidak mengganggu mereka maka mereka juga tidak mengganggu mereka." katanya
Pelanggannya, Giti, ibu rumah tangga berusia paruh baya , sepakat dan berkata bahwa ia dengan mudah berbicara pada dua orang anaknya di Tel Aviv di telpon ataupun mengunjungi mereka.
"Tidak ada masalah pergi ataupun kembali; saya pergi ke Israel sekali lewat Turki dan sekali lewat Cyprus dan tidak ada masalah sama sekali.
"Yang lucu adalah bahwa sebelum revolusi islam di Iran, mungkin hanya ada 20 orang tua yang beribadah di sinagog," bisik Nahit Eliyason, 48, sambil melewati empat wanita lain untuk mencari tempat duduk yang kosong di Sinagog. "Sekarang tempat ini penuh. Sulit untuk mencari tempat kosong."
Paris Yashaya, produser film yang mengetuai komunitas Yahudi Teheran menambahkan, : "Kami lebih kecil dalam jumlah, tapi lebih kuat dalam segi lain."
Sebagai masyarakat non-muslim, orang-orang Yahudi diperbolehkan menyimpan minuman keras di rumahnya dan berdansa.
"Kadang-kadang saya pikir mereka lebih toleran terhadap orang Yahudi ketimbang pada diri mereka sendiri….. Kalau kami berkumpul di rumah, dan keluarga sedang merayakan upacara dengan anggur dan musik yang terlalu keras, dan jika mereka tahu bahwa kami Yahudi maka mereka tidak akan menegur kami, " kata Eliyason
"Dimana-mana di dunia ada orang yang tidak suka pada orang-orang Yahudi. Di Inggris mereka menggambar swastika (lambang Nazi) di kuburan Yahudi. Saya tidak beranggapan bahwa Iran lebih berbahaya bagi orang Yahudi ketimbang di negara lain.
Balikpapan, 25 Januari 2008
Satria Dharma
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Baca referensi di
Iran's proud but discreet Jews
Jews in Iran Describe a Life of Freedom Despite Anti-Israel Actions by Tehran
Michael Theodoulou, Special to The Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonito 1998/02/03/ intl/intl. 3.html
Iran's Jews learn to live with Ahmadinejad
Ewen MacAskill, Simon Tisdall and Robert Tait in Tehran
Tuesday June 27, 2006
The Guardian story/0,, 1807160,00. html
IRAN: Life of Jews Living in Iran
Iran remains home to Jewish enclave.
By Barbara Demick
http://www.sephardi cstudies. org/iran. html