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Marriage is a part of Sunnah, which is requested to Muslim to fulfill their need and to courage
the iman. As marriage is requested by Islam to the Muslim, Man is allowed to choose their
partner, and to marry more than one. This is happened due to ensure the descendant and heir of
the Muslim itself. However, this allowable marriage seems to be misused by certain people until
make women phobia to hear about it. Man marrying more than one is an issue where been talked
by anybody from the whole world. There are lots of objection from women especially, and
supported by man, who have the authority to marry more than one. To make this issue more
understandable, we manage to make little study about this issue, since it is an interesting topic.
However this issue should be look by several points of view, where it is not just consider about
one side opinion, but as much as we can, so that it would make this issue clearer.

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Man marry more than one, two, three, and four can simply be define as polygamy, which means
a system of marriage, whereby one person has more than one spouse. The term polygamy is
derived from a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriages" which is used in related
ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, and sociology. Polygamy can be defined as any
"form of marriage in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously. Polygamy can be
divided into 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; whereas polyandry is completely prohibited. While from the oxford dictionary,
polygamy can be define as the custom of having more than one wife at the same time. This could
be explained as a man is allowable to marry more than one wife at a time. To marry more than a
wife, man however should fulfill the requirement of it. In Islam, man is allowed to marry more
than one, but limited to only four at a time. This is to avoid the prosecutor in a man¶s life and
also to avoid illegal intersexual course.

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Some people talk about polygamy as if Islam was the first to permit it. This is incorrect
and a dismissal of history. Many nations and religions before Islam had allowed marrying a great
number of women, tens of them, even a hundred, without any conditions or limitations. The Old
Testament mentioned that David had three hundred women and that Solomon had seven
hundred, some of whom were wives, while others were concubines. With the advent of Islam, a
condition and a limitation were laid on polygamy. The limitation made the maximum number of
wives four. Ghilan Ibn Salma became a Muslim while he had ten women, so the Prophet
(blessings and peace be upon him) said to him, "Choose four of them and leave (divorce) the
others". [ Transmitted by Al-Termithy (1128) and Ibn Majah (1953) On the authority of Ibn
'Umar] The same thing happened to those who embraced Islam while having eight or five wives;
they were ordered by the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) not to keep more than four.

As for the marriage of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) to nine women, it was
something restricted and specified by Allah for him for the Islamic call and for the nation's need
of them after his passing away. He lived most of his life with one wife, Khadijah, may Allah be
pleased with her. That was a glorification by Allah of the Prophet's wives, who chose the way of
Allah, His Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) and the afterlife. Therefore, Allah forbade
him to marry any others nor to choose another instead of one of his wives. The Almighty says:
"It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives
even though their beauty attracts you". [Surah 33:52]

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Man is allowed to do polygamy for few reasons that is sometimes we as a human not really
concern about it. The reason man is allowed to do polygamy are:

1-‘ To fulfill man¶s need as the wife could not satisfy the man wants.
2-‘ As a component of justice in the treatment of widows and need to offer fair care to
orphans.

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 Allah creates man and women in different ability. There are some who have been created
strong, and some have been created weak. The weak person can¶t fulfill the strong person¶s
needs, that is why Allah created man is allowable to marry more than one, that is to fulfill their
need who can¶t be satisfied by his wife, and in accordance to avoid illegal intersexual course,
man is allowed to marry up to four women at a time.

However, for the current time, it can be seen, women are scared or most likely phobia to
polygamy, but can¶t fulfill their husband¶s need, insist not to allow the husband to marry another
women, and rather to see her husband to do illegal intersexual course rather than do polygamy.
This is not what a Muslim should do. The husband can bring this matter, where the wife object
the polygamy, but could not satisfy the husband, to the court to ask permission from the court to
do polygamy. Malaysia¶s Syari¶ah Law allows man to marry another woman as long as there is
valid reason for them.

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Polygamy is allowed because it is also act as a component of justice in the treatment of


widows and needs to fair care of the orphans. During the prophet Muhammad S.A.W., there are
wars happened, where many man died during the war, and left their child and widow without
enough wealth, and no one to take care of them. So, to avoid the widows and the orphan
suffering the war effect, the man who still survive and have the ability to take care of the widows
and the orphan were encourage to marry the widows and in the same time, to take care of the
orphans. This is also to avoid women from indulge in prosecution for reason to take care of their
child. These scenarios still happen, even in Malaysia. When people ask the prosecutor, why they
do prosecution, the valid reason they have is to give education and survive for their kids. So, the
best treatment for this scenario is to encourage men to marry the widow as they could take care
and save their descendent for humiliation.

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˴ ΎΑ˴ έ˵ ϭ˴ Ι
˴ ϶Λ˵ ϭ˴ ϰϨ˴ ˸Μϣ˴ ˯˶ ΂δ
˴ Ϩ͋ϟ΍ Ϧ
˴ ϣ͋ ˸ϢϜ˵ ϟ˴ Ώ
˴ Ύσ
˴ Ύϣ˴ ΍˸ϮΤ
˵ ϜϧΎϓ˴ ϰϤ˴ ϠΘ˴ ϴ˴ ˸ϟ΍ ϲϓ˶ ˸΍Ϯτ
˵δ˶ ˸ϘΗ˵ Ύϟ͉΃ ˸ϢΘ˵ ˸ϔΣ
˶ ˸ϥ΃˶ϭ˴
.˸΍Ϯ˵ϟϮ˵όΗ˴ Ύ͉ϟ΃˴ ϰϧ˴ Ω˴΃ ˸ϢϜ˵ ϟ˶΁˴Ϋ ˸ϢϜ˵ ϧ˵ ΎϤ˴ ˸ϳ΃˴ ˸ΖϜ˴ Ϡ˴ϣ˴ Ύϣ˴ ˸ϭ΃˴ Γ˱ Ϊ˴ Σ
˶ ΍Ϯ˴ ϓ˴ ˸΍Ϯϟ˵Ϊ˶ ˸όΗ˴ Ύϟ͉΃˴ ˸ϢΘ˵ ˸ϔΧ
˶ ˸ϥΎ˶ϓ˴
Surah An-Nisa (verse 3)

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The first imperative in this verse is to deal justly with orphans, and directed towards the
male guardians who would be managing the property or wealth on their behalf. Marriage to
female orphans is only advocated if and when the guardian fears that he will not be able to carry
out his duty honestly. The assumption is that marriage to the orphan will give the husband a
greater stake in carrying out his financial responsibility towards her. It does not by any means
represent a requirement for all male guardians to marry their female wards.

Secondly, the verse emphasizes justice towards the wife/wives as well. In other words,
polygamy is only possible if the husband will be able to treat his wives justly. Otherwise, he is to
marry only one wife, or even a female slave. The key theme is to prevent him from doing
injustice towards the woman (or women) concerned.

Other than that, this verse also shows the importance of being ad¶l. Ad¶l is required in
order for a man to be permitted to have more than one wife is that he should treat his wives
equally in terms of:

1-‘ Alimony
2-‘ Maintenance
3-‘ Fair distribution of cohabitation among wives.

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Alimony means the ability to support life. A man is only allowed to get marry if he has
the ability to support his life and to support his wife/ wives. The ability could in term of
physically, mentally, wealth. A man can¶t get marry if he can¶t support another person in his life.
Even if he doesn¶t have a permanent job, but as long as he has the ability to support and give the
necessary needs for another person in his life, he can get marry. This is due to the safety and
welfare of the wife. Even if he can support the wife in term of wealth, but he can¶t give
satisfaction in terms of women need, he also can¶t get marry. This is to avoid the women from
doing forbidden relationship behind the husband¶s knowledge, or even with his
acknowledgement. This is means to protect the descendent and the heir of the family from
becomes interrupted by unknown forbidden relationship.

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Maintenance means the contribution the economy maintenance, where the husband has a
strong source of financial. Without strong source of financial, it would be difficult to provide the
necessary needs by the family which is shelter, food, clothes, and etc. The husband is responsible
for maintenance of all of his dependents. The wife should not be burdened to handle the
maintenance; however wife could share the burden together as to make the family better. That
dealing justly with one¶s wives is an obligation. This applies to housing, food, clothing, kind
treatment and etc. For which the husband is fully responsible. If one is not sure of being able to
deal justly with them, it would be better for the man to marry just 1.

‰ º ( !()!$")!!*#+

A husband should be fair especially in distribution of cohabitation among wives. This


means that a husband can¶t give any extras to another wife without permission from his other
wives. If the first wife is given by his husband a car, the other wives should be given the same
value as the car¶s value. Although the word equal fairness is refers to visible matters (lahiriyyah),
it excludes the invincible matters (batiniyyah) such as the feeling of love by the husband to his
wife.

‰
The Quran then goes on to say that it will never be possible for a husband to treat all of his wives
fairly. This effectively limits the possibility of polygamy today.

˸ϥ·˶ϭ˴ Δ˶ Ϙ˴ Ϡ͉ό˴ Ϥ˵ ˸ϟΎ˴ϛ Ύϫ˴ ϭ˵έά˴ Θ˴ ϓ˴ Ϟ


˶ ˸ϴϤ˴ ˸ϟ΍ Ϟ
͉ ϛ˵ ΍Ϯ˵Ϡϴ˶ϤΗ˴ Ύ˴Ϡϓ˴ ˸ϢΘ˵˸λή˴ Σ
˴ ˸Ϯϟ˴ϭ˴ ˯˶ Ύ˴δϨ͋ϟ΍ Ϧ
˴ ˸ϴΑ˴ ΍Ϯ˵ϟΪ˶ ˸όΗ˴ ˸ϥ΃˴ ΍Ϯ˵όϴ˶τΘ˴ ˸δΗ˴ ˸Ϧϟ˴ϭ˴
Ύ˱Ϥϴ˶Σέ˴ ΍˱έϮ˵ϔϏ
˴ ϥ
˴ Ύ˴ϛ Ϫ˴ Ϡ͉ϟ΍ ϥ
͉ Έ˶ϓ˴ ΍Ϯ˵ϘΘ͉Η˴ ϭ˴ ΍Ϯ˵ΤϠ˶˸μΗ˵

"And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you
may desire it; and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the
other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband. But if you put things
to rights and are conscious of Him-behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace"

As for the condition set forth by Islam for polygamy, it is the self-confidence of the
Muslim to be fair in his treatment to his two wives in food, drink, clothing, housing and
sustenance. If one is not sure of his ability to fulfil such duties equitably and fairly, he is
forbidden to marry more than one wife. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said,
"Whoever has two wives and is more inclined towards one of them, he will come on the Day of
Judgement dragging one of his sides while it is drooping". [ Transmitted by Abu Dawud - his
own wording (3133), Al-Termithy (1141), Al-Nisa'i, 7/63, Ibn Majah (1969), Al-Doramy p.539,
and Ahmad, 2/347, 471. All on the authority of Abu Huraira.] The inclination which the Hadith
warns us of takes place when he overlooks her rights and not when he merely inclines in feelings
toward her, which is part of the equity that is not possible and which is forgiven by Allah. The
Almighty says: " You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your
ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and
provision)". [Surah 4:129] For this reason, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) used to
divide equitably between his wives and say, "Allah, that is my division as it is in my power to do
so. Do not blame me for what You have and I have not. [ Transmitted by Abu Dawud (2134), Al-
Termithy (1140), Ibn Majah (1971), Al-Doramy Book of Marriage p.540, and Ahmad 6/144 on
the authority of isha.] By what he had not got , he meant feelings and inclination towards one of
them in particular. Whenever he used to travel, he turned to drawing lots; the one whose arrow
appeared would accompany him. He resorted to that in order to avoid jealousy and to satisfy
them all.

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Even though many women nowadays refuse to accept polygamy, however there are
wisdoms of polygamy. Polygamy is actually helps increasing the numbers of the ummah. This
could be seen from our scenario today, where numbers of women are extremely more than men;
however, number of marriage registered is not compatible with the population. This could be
strongly because of the less consideration and concern of women about the importance of
polygamy, and this is exactly to show how Islam provides fair law to the Ummah.

Another reason is because of the duty of man, who works as army, police and etc, which
is to protect the religion, and the country, which easily lost their life. This will leads to widows
and orphans rate increase, and also could create more problems. If each men were to marry only
one women, this would have a harmful effect on her and on the society where it leads to
deviance and going astray, except for those whom Allah have mercy. The women who left
without a husband may deviate from the straight path and follow the ways of promiscuity where
she may fall into the swamp of adultery and prostitution.

7.0 CONCLUSION

Polygamy is one of the beauties of Islam. However, there are few man who applied
polygamy just to fulfill their need and lust, where this leads to the angry of woman, and make
women feel betrayed by a man.

þ
Appendixes

POLYGAMY IN MALAYSIA: ISLAMIC FAMILY LAW PERSPECTIVE.

Provision Section 23(1) [4] stated:

` No man during the subsistence of marriage shall, except with the prior permission in writing of
the court, contract another marriage with another woman. `

The court may grant the permission applied for if satisfied:-

Section 23(5)

[
(a) That the proposed marriage is just or necessary, having regard to,amongs others, the
following circumstances, that is to say, sterility physical infirmity, physical unfitness for
conjugal relation, willful avoidance of an order for restitution of conjugal rights, or insanity on
the part of existing wife or wives.

(b) That the applicant has such means as to enable him to support, as required by Hukum
Syarak, all his wives and dependants including person who would be his defendants as a result of
the proposal marriage.

(c) That the applicant will be working to provide equitable service to all his wife will follow the
Syarak; and

(d) That the marriage is reserved will not cause darar syari'e to the wife or wives who have
prepared.

Section 23 (10)

Each Court is ordered to provide the truth or that marriage is registered under this section, shall
have any power over the application any party to the marriage -

(a) to require someone to make a payment to support a wife or wives who have prepared or

(b) to order that any assets that have been obtained by the parties in the marriage of business with
them divide between them or that any asset is sold and the sale is divided.

There is a question addressed by some people on this issue `is permission from a Syariah Judge
needed for practising polygamy?¶ Proviso in Section 124(EUKI)

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It is an offence for a man to re-marry (marry more than one wives) in any place or state without
getting a written permission from Syariah Court. Therefore, he has to be punished with either to

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pay fine for not more than one thousand Malaysian ringgit or to be imprisoned for not more than
six months or with both punishments.

Some of the contemporary writers do accept the condition of polygamy which the permission of
a Syariah Judge is required with another two main conditions (it¶s from definitive proof). Two
main conditions are to be just and able in providing `nafkah¶. The reason for this opinion is this
is a new reason and it is an additional element for a complete condition to practice polygamy.
But what is the point of view from the some contemporary jurist?

There are a few Contemporary Muslim Scholars¶ arguments which rejected the efforts in giving
the authority for Judges in giving their permission for polygamy practices.

One of the scholars is Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili. He had rejected this provision due to several
reasons:

a. The verse 3 in Surah An-Nisa` refers to those people who have intention in marrying more
than one wife (polygamy) and not to a Judge. In addition, to judge an opinion of others besides a
husband is contradicting to the legal evidence of Syariah.

b. There is no benefit for a personal matter to be judged by a Judge. This could happen due to
the ability of a person in hiding own character and attitude which could not be identified clearly
by other people. Moreover, a person could not ensure what he or she wants and could do.
Therefore, it is considered as interfering others¶ personal matters and contradicting to one¶s need
(of a right deed). In addition, a marriage is part of personal life which involves a spouse
(husband and wife) and `wali¶.

c. Polygamy does not cause all problems and issues of social, ignorance of the rights and others.

To pursue this discussion, the other of Muslim Scholars, Dr Wahbah had given an alternative in
giving a remedy to wrong deeds in the practice of polygamy:

1. To educate nation with religious teaching and good values as well as to expose husband and
wife to the importance of a sincere and noble relationship which emphasizes on love and care
with blessing from Allah s.w.t.

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2. To punish those who treat the wives badly and ignoring the responsibilities and duties to the
wives. This shows the existence of punishment in here and hereafter. [6]

Meanwhile Dr.Abdul Karim Zaidan rejects the above conditions due to several reasons:

1. The two main conditions of practising polygamy are the criteria that must be possessed by a
man. Therefore, this is his duty to be carried on and will be judged before Allah swt in hereafter.
If he still continues with his intention even he knows that he is unable to fulfill these two main
criteria, this is a sin and he is responsible for it. However, it is not a sin for a man who could
practise polygamy justly even he has no confidence in fulfilling the two main conditions earlier.

2. There is no benefit for a man to give the authority to a Judge in deciding this issue. The
reason for this view is no one could judge the question of fair and justice before practising any
deed. Therefore, it is permissible to practice polygamy without getting permission from a
Syariah Judge which was determined by `Majma Buhuth al-Islamiah Year 1965¶. The Council
had decided that polygamy must be aligned with the teaching of Al-Quran and the examples in
this Holy Book. In addition, this issue depends on the ability of a husband and there is no
permission of a Syariah Judge is needed.[7]

However the law practitioners including Syariah Judges do not see the additional conditions are
contradicting to the Islamic legal laws which are seen as one process of `interviewing¶ and
`advice¶ (muhasabah) to ensure the two main conditions could be fulfilled and obeyed. Those
additional conditions are also could be taken as a `warning¶ and `general guideline¶ in imposing
the process of polygamy. The additional conditions are more on what we call `siyyasah
syariyyah` (governance corfirmity with syariah).

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