To discuss whats happening in the Muslim world and what can we do about it.
Thursday, 13 October 2011
UK Muslims Turn Polygamous to Duck Affairs
A growing number of second and third generation Muslims in Britain are reverting to polygamous marriages to avoid having sinful affairs that contradict with the teachings of Islam.
"I love both of them. Obviously you can love one more than the other,” Imran (not his real name), a second generation British Muslim who has two wives, told the BBC News Online on Monday, September 26.
"I spend one day and one night with one, and one day one night with the other," he added.
Imran, who currently runs his own successful business manufacturing Indian desserts, was born and brought up in Birmingham.
At the age of 18, his first marriage was arranged to marry his first wife.
Falling in love with another woman after seven years of his first marriage, the young Muslim chose to marry her to be a second wife instead of having an affair, which is forbidden under Islam.
"It's better than a man being married and then having mistresses on the side when we can do it legitimately and it's perfectly allowed," he says.
"God has created us the way we are, that mankind desires more in wealth in sexual desires.
"The main thing is as long as you are 'just' among them, Islamically what can be more right than that, if you are taking care of them, fulfilling their rights," he says.
Though Imran kept the news about his second wife a secret for a while, he later conveyed the secret to his first wife who gradually accepted the new situation.
Now, Imran says both wives get along together. They even go shopping together with all his children.
Imran is not a sole case.
Khola Hassan, a lecturer in Islamic Law and volunteer on the UK Shari`ah Council, says she has witnessed a sense of a right to polygamy develop, particularly amongst the third generation British Muslims.
Hassan believes that the number of polygamous marriages has increased remarkably over the past 15 years.
British Muslims are estimated at nearly two million.
The number of polygamous British Muslims is not known as British laws bans the practice.
To avoid the ban, Muslims legally marry the first wife, while the other is usually married through a religious ceremony supervised by the UK Shari`ah Council.
Though Islam permits polygamy, many Muslim scholars say that the practice has to be justified to avoid any injustice to either wife.
"If it's purely done for sexual gratification then that in itself is not a valid reason," Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, says.
Sheikh Mogra puts conditions for marrying a second wife.
The Muslim scholar said that the practice was first allowed following a battle in which many Muslim men martyred.
In order to safeguard their widows and children, many Muslim men were encouraged to take a second wife to sustain them.
Yet, Morga say that Islamic conditions for taking a second wife are clear that if a man cannot treat his wives fairly, justly and equally then he can only marry one woman.
"The moment it becomes secretive, or you start treating one less well than the other then you are contradicting the conditions that the Qur’an sets out."
Islam sees polygamy as a realistic answer to some social woes like adulterous affairs and lamentable living conditions of a widow or a divorced woman.
A Muslim man who seeks a second or a third wife should, however, make sure that he would treat them all on an equal footing, even in terms of compassion.
The Noble Qur'an says that though polygamy is lawful it is very hard for a man to guarantee such fairness.