Page 133 - Islam In Focus

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herself; when she knows that her man is bound by legal regulations and moral
principles in his intimacy with another woman, she is most likely to be less irritable
than when he enjoys the same intimacy otherwise. Naturally she does not like her man
to be shared by anybody else. But when she is confronted with a situation wherein the
man has the choice to be either legallly responsible and morally bound, or illegally
and immorally associated with someone else, she would certainly choose the first
alternative and accept the situation. However, if she is harmed or her rights are
violated, she can always refer to the law or obtain a divorce if it be in her best interest
By applying Islamic polygamy to this case, the man’ s integrity, the second woman’ s
dignity and the moral values of society would be more safeguarded. These cases need
no elaboration. They are factual elements in daily life. They may be rare, but rarer is
the practice of polygamy among Muslims. Those Muslims who resort to polygamy
are much rarer than the infidel husbands and wives who live in monogamous societies
Although it is risky and contingent on many prerequisites, as explained earlier,
polygamy is far better than negligence and infidelity, hypocrisy and insecurity,
immorality and indecency. It helps men and women to solve their difficult problems
on a realistic and responsible basis. It brings down to a minimum many psychological,
natural and emotional complications of human life. It is a precautionary measure to be
applied in the best interest of all parties concerned. Yet it is no article of Faith in
Islam nor is it an injunction; it is merely a permission from God, a solution of some of
the most difficult problems in human relations. The Muslims maintain that legal and
conditional polygamy is preferable to the other courses that many people take
nowadays, people who pride themselves on nominal marriage and superficial
To complete the discussion one has to examine the marriages of Prophet Muhammad.
These marriages are no problem for a Muslim who understands the ideal character of
the Prophet and the circumstances under which his marriages were contracted. But
quite often they stand as a stumbling block for non-Muslims to understand the
personality of the Prophet, and cause irresponsible and premature conclusions, which
are not to the credit of Islam or the Prophet. Here we shall not give any conclusions of
our own or denounce the conclusions of others. We shall present certain facts and let
the readers see for themselves
1. The institution of marriage as such enjoys a very high status in Islam. It is highly
commendable and essential for the sound survival of society
2. Muhammad never said that he was immortal or divine. Time and again, he
emphasized the fact that he was mortal chosen by God to deliver God’ s message to
mankind. Although unique and distinguished in his life, he lived like a man and died
as a man. Marriage, therefore, was natural for him, and not a heresy or anathema
3. He lived in an extremely hot climate where the physical desires press hard on man,
where people develop physical maturity at an early age, and where easy satisfaction
was a common thing among people of all classes. Nevertheless, Muhammad had
never touched women until he was twenty-five years of age, when he married for the
first time. In the whole Arabia he was known by his unimpeachable character and
called al-Ameen, a title which signified the highest standard of moral life