Polygyny in Islam

Thus, although some forms of music may be permitted according to the Fiqh of Islam, but if one wants to reach to that station of proximity to Allah in this world, and one of closeness to the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bait ' in the hereafter, it is necessary to refrain from even those things which may be permitted - music being one of them. The Qur'an makes the man and woman partners in bearing the heaviest responsibilities in Islamic life, and that is the responsibility of enjoining the right and forbidding the evil. It is then an exaggeration in rigidity, not allowed by Allah. Today we still witness the holiness in the Church as Christ has promised. Uses editors parameter CS1 maint:

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Has Islam really prohibited interest?

Among these is the term "mixing or mingling ", which refers to mixing of men and women in one place. During the Age of the Prophet blessings and peace he upon him , the Age of the Companions which succeeded it, and the age of their followers, Muslim men and women met at different gatherings, religious or otherwise, and this was not forbidden at all.

Under the right circumstances and for good reasons, it was legitimate and natural for them to meet. Nor was it called "mixing" then. In our age, however, the word has become very common. Nor do I know when it came into use with the new connotations unsavoury for Muslim men and women, since mixing one thing with another suggests a dissolution, the way sugar or salt is dissolved in water, a metaphor that would have unpleasant suggestions if applied to male-female relations.

Anyway, the purpose is to point out that not every kind of socialisation is prohibited as some may imagine and as other hard-liners argue. On the other hand, not all forms of mixing are acceptable as propagators of Westernization claim. In the second volume of my book Contemporary Legal Opinions Fataawa Mu'aserah , I answer questions on this and several other related matters such as greeting women, handshaking, treatment of women by male doctors and the reverse, in addition to other questions.

A careful Muslim should refer to these legal opinions if he or she wants to learn about the rules of the Islamic teachings shar'a. Here, nevertheless, I would like to make the point that it is our duty to adhere to the best guidance which is that of the Prophet Mohammed blessings and peace be upon him , his righteous successors and enlightened Companions whose pious paths he recommends sticking to, avoiding the two extreme routes of Western permissiveness and severe Eastern asceticism.

By examining this guidance of the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him , we find that the woman was not caged or isolated as happened later during the age of Muslim abatement. The women attended the major congregational prayers on Fridays at the Prophet's mosque, including the night Al-Esha and dawn Al-Fajr prayers. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him would direct them to form rows behind the men rows, and the more to the back the better so that they would not see the sensitive parts of men's bodies that might have shown due to the fact that only a few were familiar with trousers and underwear, and there was no partition between the men and women.

Moreover, in the early stages of congregating for prayer, men and women would go through the same entrance where crowding would occur. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him said, "If only we left this entrance to the women". They also attended the two Bairam a religious celebration congregations and took part in these big Islamic celebrations that involved all people, old and young, male and female, in the open outskirts where they would chant the name of Allah.

The women menstruating would stay away from prayer and witness the good of the day and Muslim's prayer to Allah.

Some, however, such as the devotional retreat in the last ten days of Ramadan and the attendance of the Bairam congregation by women, are in the process of coming back to life through the efforts of the youth of the modern Islamic awakening. Women always attended the teaching sessions of the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him. They would address aisha with the questions they found awkward or too bold to ask.

The Prophet's wife, aisha may Allah be pleased with her , praised the women of the Ansar whose shyness did not prevent them from seeking knowledge of the religion and asking questions about major issues such as impurity full sex or ejaculation preventing one from performing some forms of worship , night ejaculation, washing from impurity, menstruation and other such matters. This, however, was not enough for them compared to the men's completely enfolding the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him ; so they demanded a special day of teaching be allocated to them without vying with a crowd of men, and said openly, "Messenger of Allah, the men have taken complete possession of your company, so devote one of your days to us.

Realistically speaking, this defies logic as such work would be unduly onerous for the aged when considering the physical and psychological exigencies of war. Eventually, the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him allocated shares in the spoils to them. They were also keen to take part in the Muslim conquests of distant lands to help disseminate the message of Islam. Anas narrated, "One day, the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him took his siesta in the house of Urn Hiram.

When he woke up, he laughed. There were kings seated on their thrones. A whole section is devoted to highlighting woman's roles in the battles and military expeditions.

In the sphere of social life, the Muslim woman played her part, preaching of good deeds, enjoining what is right and forbidding evil, in conformity with Allah's statement: Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do , and forbid people from Al-Munkar i. His comment on this was "everybody's knowledge is better than mine". By examining the Qur'an's discourse on woman's affairs and by looking onto the lives of the Prophets, we hardly find such an iron curtain, as is drawn by some people, between men and women.

Thus in the prime of his youth, Prophet Moses peace be upon him is depicted talking to the two daughters of the old man of Madyan. He asks them questions and gets their answers without any particular feeling of guilt or embarrassment and magnanimously helps them. One of them returns soon after with an invitation from her father for Moses to come to their house.

One of them even suggests her father hire Moses, as he is a strong and honest man. This is how the Qurtan puts it: He said, "What is the matter with you? And our father is a very old man. Truly, lam in need of whatever good you bestow upon me! You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun polytheists, disbelievers, and wrongdoers. Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy. From where have you got this? Advise me in this case of mine.

I decide no case till you are present with me. Kings, when they enter a town country , they despoil it, and make the most honourable amongst its people low. And thus they do. It was said to her: Hence the correctness of the claim that the revealed code of preceding nations which is given in the Qur'an and the Sunna traditions of the Prophet Mohammed is also a code for us as long as no code of ours renders it null.

Allah said to his Messenger: So follow their guidance". Later, of course, the punishment changed to flogging for the unmarried couple who commit adultery and stoning to death for the married ones In summation, the encounter of men and women is not prohibited in itself.

Quite the contrary, it is allowable or even required if done in pursuit of a noble cause like gaining knowledge or performing good acts in which the joint efforts of both men and women are necessary. Pseudo-arguments for unrestricted mixing This is the position of Islam on man-woman relations, and their common involvement on charitable and righteous lines is what we call legitimate mixing; yet "intellectual imperialism" has managed to create in our countries people who turn a deaf ear to the ruling of Allah and His Messenger.

These people call on us to give the woman free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity. They want her to mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together. She is supposed to find the "right man" from all those she has known.

In this way, it is said, life is supposed to be more secure and have greater stability in the face adversity. These people who may well be thinking of themselves as unblemished seraphs, tell us not to worry about the man or woman as a result of this "decent" communication, innocent friendship and upright contact. The frequency of their contact will pacify desire. The two sexes will supposedly find satisfaction in the mere look, conversation or, in the extreme, dancing together, which is only a form of elevating artistic impression.

Sensual pleasure would have no place. It is a clean vent for energy, nothing more. This is said to be what the advanced West did after they rid themselves of complexes and privation. Pseudo-arguments disproved In answer to this line of thinking, we must say that we are Muslims first and foremost. We do not sell our religion in imitation of the vagaries of Westerners or Easterners.

Our religion forbids us from promiscuous mixing with its showiness and seductiveness: So follow you that Islamic Monotheism and its laws , and follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allah if He wants to punish you. In the United States, in Sweden, and in other countries where sexual freedom is the norm, statistics show that feverish lust is not alleviated by freedom of talk and contact, nor by whatever may follow that.

On the contrary, the more people taste, the thirstier they become. It would be better if we studied the consequences of this freedom or what may as well be termed looseness and abandonment of virtues and traditions in modern civilised Western societies. Effects of promiscuous mixing Numbers and events that fill statistics and reports provide a more convincing indictment of this point.

Sexual freedom and the sexual revolution has borne its bitter fruit with the dissolution of the barriers separating men and women and the resultant effects are set forth as follows. Moral decay The consequences of sexual promiscuity have been the disintegration of morality characterised by the tyranny of desire and the triumph of bestiality over humanity, the loss of sense of chastity and any sense of shyness and reserve by both men and women giving rise to an internally disturbed society.

In a famous speech in , President Kennedy said that American young people were loose, indulgent and decadent; six out of seven young men were not fit to join the army because they were up to their ears in lustfulness.

He warned against the ills of such youth leading the country. In a book by the Harvard Research Centre director, entitled The Sexual Revolution, the author firmly states the United States is heading towards a catastrophic situation of sexual anarchy, akin to that of the Romans and Greeks. He adds that Americans are beset the by dangers of sexual intemperance that would overwhelm their culture and all aspects of their life. While the communists were more reticent on these matters, and general restrictions existed on media coverage, in , Khrushchev declared that the Soviet youth had deviated and had been spoilt by luxury.

He threatened to open concentration camps in Siberia to rid the society of the decadent youth that posed a threat to the future of the Soviet Union. Illegitimate children The rapid increase in the numbers of illegitimate children is directly related to the unlimited rein given to desire and the removal of barriers between young men and women.

Statistics on the ratio of pregnant school girls in the United States revealed dreadful dimension. In a newspaper report, one third of the infants born in were illegitimate.

Most of them were born to young women under nineteen. Drops in Marriage Rates The availability of sex without any liability of marriage and family has led youth take the route of spending their youth between different partners, enjoying change without commitment to a "monotonous life" and without having to provide the costs of a responsible married life and the liabilities of fatherhood.

Thus a huge number of young women are deprived of the opportunity to have a husband, and settle with a modicum of peace and security, because of the illicit yearnings of easy relationships. Similarly, there are a lot of young men who are also deprived of a peaceful life.

Statistics published in the United States show, for the first time since the beginning of the century, the majority of the inhabitants of San Francisco are celibate; fifty-three per cent are not married. For Bruce Chapman, who announced the findings, this was probably an indication of the obsolescence of the traditional family pattern.

He added that these social changes were good for the welfare of the city which had witnesses a forty per cent increase in the number of youth between twenty-five and thirty-four during the previous ten years. This, however, did not include the homosexuals of the city who constitute fifteen per cent of the population.

In the face of the sexual degradation which is a predominant social phenomena on the Western world, it was natural for Swedish women to stage a ,woman demonstration in protest against unlimited sexual freedom.

It must have been woman's institutes and awareness of their future life and where their interests lie that motivated them to organise such a huge protest. High Divorce Rates and Destruction of the Family Not only is marriage beset by many obstacles, it is also unsafe after its accomplishment. The family collapses and bonds break with occurrence of the slightest problem. In all Western countries, divorce rates are skyrocketing. Spread of Lethal Diseases The outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as neurotic, mental and psychological diseases, the spread of complexes and disturbances that claim hundreds of thousands of patients are among the acknowledged effects of sexual promiscuity.

This virus is responsible for the body's loss of immunity leaving it vulnerable to all factors of decay Millions of people have succumbed to this menace, a fact that provides a modern piece of evidence for the words of the Prophet Mohammed blessings and peace be upon him that, "Lechery never appears in a community, but with its proclamation, plague and affliction appear throughout, which did not exist in bygone generations". Freud and his followers in psychoanalysis argued that the lifting traditional restrictions on sexual instincts would relieve the nerves and consciousness, undo complexes and give souls a sense of comfort and ease.

The restrictions have been lifted, the desires have been released and the complicated souls are only worse off; nerves are tenser and anxiety is the disease of the age. Not even the opening of a million clinics have helped. It is hard to believe this is the picture the proponents of unrestricted mixing would like to see of us when Allah has protected us against its evils. Or is it only that they do not know? The Woman as Mother The first contact with a woman is with one's mother, who suffers in the pregnancy, delivery, nursing and rearing of her child.

History does not recall a religion or a system which honours the woman as a mother and which raises her as Islam does. Islam repeatedly commends the woman, and this comes directly after the command to worship and believe in the Oneness of Allah.

Allah has made honouring one's mother a virtue, and He puts forth the mother's right over that of the father for what she endures in pregnancy, delivery, nursing and raising her children. This is stated and restated in the Qur'an, in multiple chapters, to imprint this notion in the child's mind and heart as per the following verses: His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years-give thanks to Me and your parents,-unto Me is the final destination.

The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him asked him, "Have you repaid her? If it is optional, he must have her permission, for being good to her in a type of jihad. With the advent of Islam, it recommended caring for uncles and aunts, both on the father's side and the mother's. A man approached the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him and said, "I committed an offence, could I atone for it?

Asma'a bint Abu Bakr asked the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him about her relationship to her unbelieving mother who had come to her. He said, "Yes, be on good terms with your mother". His father has taken him from me. Sheikh Shaker said its authenticity is correct. Transmitted also by Abu Dawud.

This means that the mother is worthier as she and the father shared in the begetting of the child, then she was singled out for such things as nursing which the father had no share in.

Therefore she deserves to be the first when it comes to disputes about the child. He met her carrying the child in Mahser a market- place between Quba and Medina. The child was weaned and could walk. He said, "Her scent, her bed, and her lap are better for him than yours until he grows up and chooses for himself ". She has to take care of her children, raise them well, implant virtues, and make them loathe evil.

She has to teach them to obey Allah, encourage them to defend what is truthful, not dissuade them from fighting for the sake of Allah one form of jihad because of the motherly sentiments in her heart but to favour the correct way over sentiment. We saw a believing mother, Al-Khansaa, in the Battle of Qadesseyah eloquently urging her four sons to be brave and steadfast. Then as soon as the battle was over and the news of their four deaths came to her, she did not wail and carry on but said with certainty and contentment, "Praise be to Allah who honoured me with their martyrdom for His faith.

Moses" mother, for example, responded to Allah's inspiration and calling when she cast the apple of her eye into the river, assured of Allah's promise: We shall bring him back for you, and shall make him one of Our Messengers.

She prayed to Allah to accept her vow: Gabriel , and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord believed in the Words of Allah "Be!

She also cannot be good to them and care for them except by taking from her husband's money to give to her family. Their traditions allowed the father to bury his daughter alive for actual poverty, or for expected poverty, or out of fear of a disgrace she might bring upon them when she grew up. In that context, the Qur'an says, denouncing and derogating them: For what sin was she killed?

He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonour or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision". When Islam was revealed, it decreed a daughter-like a son-was a gift from Allah, to be granted to whomever Allah wishes of His worshippers: Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things. Her mother who bore her had wished the child to be a male to serve Allah and to be of the righteous: I have vowed to You what the child that is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship , so accept this, from me.

I have delivered a female child, "-And Allah knew better what she delivered,- "And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge with You Allah for her and for her offspring from Satan, the outcast.

He made her grow in a good manner. Allah says in the Qur'an: We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him made the place of the father in Paradise next to him. Muslim has transmitted on the authority of Anas: Other traditions stated that these heavenly rewards are granted to anyone who treats the female sex well, even if she is one.

On the authority of Abu Huraira: On the contrary, it is a blessing to be thanked for and a mercy to be desired and requested because it is a blessing of the Almighty and a reward to be gained. In that way Islam nullified forever the custom of burying girls who now have a great place in the heart of the father.

This is shown in what the Prophet greetings and peace be upon him says about his daughter Fatima, "Fatima is part of me; what makes her angry, makes me angry". But for the soft girls in cats" downy fur, Who have taken their smoothness, I would have been in great, great trouble On this vast earth and wide. Surely when our children are among us, They are the apples of our eyes surveying the earth; If the wind blows on any of them, My eyes will never close. As to the father's control over his daughter, it does not exceed the limits of moral education, exactly as her brothers.

He asks her to pray when she is seven, but raps her if she does not pray when she reaches ten. He has to separate her and her brothers at that age [ They should not sleep together in the same bed or bathe together as little children do. Her upkeep is obligatory on him according to his religion and law until she marries. He does not have the power to sell her or make her the property of another man by any means. Islam has annulled the selling of free persons, whether male or female, in any form.

If a freeman bought or owned a daughter who had been a slave for another, she should be freed as soon as he owned her, whether he likes it or not, according to Islamic Law. If the daughter has her own money, the father should keep it for her.

A father is forbidden to marry his daughter to another man in exchange for being allowed to marry that man's daughter, which is called in jurisprudence as a "vacant marriage" due to its lack of dower, which is the right of the daughter, not the father. In addition, the father has not got the right to marry his daughter to a man she hates and does not approve of. He must have her opinion of the man she is going to marry, whether she agrees or disagrees. If she has been married before, she has to utter her consent clearly.

If she is a virgin and overcome by shyness, it is enough to listen to her silence, which is a sign of consent. If she says, "No," then he has no power to force her to marry someone she does not want. The two sheikhs have transmitted on the authority of Abu Huraira, "A widow cannot marry unless she gives her consent, nor the virgin until she is asked permission.

They asked, O Messenger of Allah, how can she give her permission? He said, By her silence". On the authority of Khansaa" bint Khaddam Al-Ansari said: When she went to the Prophet greetings and peace be upon him , he annulled the marriage. The Prophet greetings and peace be upon him gave her the choice. According to Sahih Muslim and others, "A virgin is asked," which means she must give her permission and approval. She said, "O Messenger of Allah, I approved of what my father did but I wanted to know if woman had any word in the affair: If the father or the person in charge marries the widow or divorcee without her permission, the contract is invalid and revocable, as in the story of Al-Khansaa bint Khaddam.

As to the virgin, she has the right to choose; if she wishes, she gives her permission; if not she refuses, which annuls the contract, as in one of he previous Stories. The counsel of mothers in the affairs of their daughters is not because they have a say in the marriage contract, but it is also that the daughters feel secure and have intimate relationships with their mothers, which is longer lasting for companionship and more effective in bringing their daughters and their husbands together, if the principle of the contract is based on the mutual satisfaction and desire of mothers and daughters.

But if it is other than that, one would not get away safely from their harming effect i. Moreover, mothers are closer to their daughters; they listen more to what they say. For these reasons, their consultation concerning the marriage of their daughters is appreciated and Allah is more knowledgeable. It could be for another reason in addition to what is mentioned. A woman might come to know through her special relation with her daughter and through her private conversation with her a matter which could invalidate the marriage contract.

It could be due to an illness which makes her unable to perform her duties as a wife. For this reason, the Prophet's words, "The virgin should not be married except through her permission which is silence", as she might be shy to disclose her agreement and to show her desire in the marriage.

Therefore her silence indicates her being free from a deficiency that prevents intercourse, or a reason which is only known to her and which does not permit marriage. And Allah Almighty is more knowing. If that person proposes and is suitable, then he should have the priority, as in the Hadith, "Nothing is better for those in love than marriage".

It is mentioned by Al-Albany in the "authentic ones" The above Hadith is not mentioned in their writing, but they illustrate it in their views by what is found in the Qur'an referring to marriage: Allah forbids preventing a women from seeking marriage as it is a right which she is capable of managing, and so it should be accepted of her. Abu Hanifa put as a condition that her marriage has to be to a suitable husband, otherwise the responsible persons have the right to object.

In the case of a woman marrying with the permission of the guardian but without his attendance, it is permitted by some jurists though the general consensus puts the presence of the guardian as a condition, otherwise her marriage is void. The knowledgeable Ibn Qud'ma said: If the contract is validated by a ruler, it is not allowed to be annulled.

The judge here has a special point: The ruler has the priority because it is a negotiable matter, and so his verdict is not annulled, exactly as giving the right of pre-emption for the neighbour. This is according to Ibn Qud,ma's deep knowledge and fairness, may Allah be pleased with him.

However, to be tactful and discrete, the marriage should be accomplished with the agreement of all parties concerned, the father, mother and daughter, so as not to leave the opportunity for gossip, enmity, and quarrelling, whereas Allah has legislated marriage to promote love and mercy.

It is required of the father to choose for his daughter a good man who makes her happy and who finds happiness in her company. The father should concentrate on the man's morals and faith, not on materialistic and earthly matters. He should not put obstacles in the way of the marriage if a suitable man proposes.

The Hadith says, "If the person who satisfies you in morals and faith comes to you, let him marry your daughter. If you do not, you will create sedition on the earth and widespread corruption". She is not a "commodity" to be offered and given to the one who pays more, as in the case of many ignorant and greedy fathers continue this practice until today.

The Hadith says, "It is the good fortune of a woman to facilitate her engagement, to facilitate her dower, and to ease her womb-i. One should, therefore, escape from her and turn to a monastic life of self-denial.

Others considered the wife to be an instrument of pleasure for man, a cook for his food or a servant to his house. Islam came to abolish the monastic state of life and retirement from the world. It urges marriage and considers the state of marriage as one of the signs and proofs of Allah in the universe: Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect". By Allah I am the most fearing of God among you, the most pious, but I fast and then break my fast, I wake up at night to worship Allah and I sleep, and I marry.

Whoever does not follow my way Sunna , he is not one of us". She is considered the key to happiness. It is a good wife. If he looks at her, she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him". See The Selected Al-Muntaqa A good wife, a good house, and good transport cause happiness.

A bad woman, a bad house and bad transport cause his misery". There is no woman among them-who knows it-but none of them wishes my coming to you. Fighting for Allah Jihad is meant for men; if they succeed, they take their due and if they die martyrs, they are alive in the afterlife and are provided for by Allah. So, what equals their deeds in our obedience to Allah? A few of you do that. On the contrary, it establishes for her more than a protector and observer: The first of her rights is a dower, which Islam obliges the man to give to the woman as a symbol of his desire, in marrying her and of wanting her.

So, where can we find this in other civilisations, where a woman pays a sum of her own money though, by nature, the man requests her more than she requests him? The second of her rights is maintenance. The husband is required to provide his wife with food, clothes, a place to live and medical treatment according to his environment, conditions and income.

The wealthy have their own measure, whereas the poor have theirs. The Prophet greetings and peace be upon him said stating the rights of women, "You are obliged to provide them with food and clothes honourably". Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him". The Prophet greetings and peace be upon him said, "The most faithful believers are the best in manners and the most gentle of their own people".

He then said, "Tit for tat". She is obliged to take care of his money, not to spend it except with his permission; and of his house, not to allow anyone in, even though they be a relative, except after asking him. Such duties are not too burdensome, nor unfair, in return for her rights. Therefore, every right has a duty in return. It is fair of Islam that it did not make all the duties a woman's concern nor a man's concern. When he was asked about it, he said, "I adorn myself for my wife as she does for me.

This is a wonderful example illustrating the deep Qur'anic knowledge of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Independence of the wife Islam does not ignore the personality of any woman because of her marriage, as in some cultures which attach the woman to her husband in addition to giving her his name.

Islam has kept the distinct, independent personality of the woman as it is, and that is the reason we know the Messenger's wives by their own names. In addition, her civil personality is not diminished by marriage, nor does it lose its eligibility for making contracts, etc. She can sell and buy, rent her properties, buy properties, donate some of her money, give charity, deputise and dispute.

These are matters attained only recently by the western woman, though she is still restricted in some countries by the husband's will. Divorce The missionary and orientalist invasion of the previous age focused its attack on two issues meant to decry the Islamic attitude concerning women. These are divorce and polygamy, though in fact they are two of the good things Islam is proud of. It is unfortunate, indeed, that when these two issues are discussed among some Muslims, they refer to them as two problems of the family and society.

They speak of them in a way that disparages our great Islam and its outstanding Law. The fact is, Islam did not make laws regarding these two issues except to cure many problems in the life of men and women as well as in the life of the family and society.

The genuine problem is in misunderstanding what Allah has pecreed, or in misapplying it. If anything is misused, it leads to pernicious disservice. Why did Islam legislate divorce? Not every divorce is commendable in Islam. Some cases of divorce are disliked or even forbidden because they entail destruction of the family, which Islam takes care to build and form.

That is why it is recounted in the tradition which was transmitted through Abu Dawud, "The most hateful halal permissible thing to Allah is divorce". If the aversion between husband and wife is undiminished, and the means of reconciliation and attempts by reconciling parties fail to bring them together, divorce then is the bitter medicine which has no alternative. This is the reason why if there can be no reconciliation, there is divorce.

The Glorious Qur'an says, "But if they separate by divorce , Allah will provide abundance for everyone of the them from His Bounty". It is totally illogical and unnatural to force, by the power of law, a life partnership on partners who do not feel comfortable with each other and do not trust each other.

On the contrary, they undergo feelings of repugnance; they hate each other and cannot tolerate living with each other. To force such a life by the power of law is a severe punishment, undeserved by man except for committing a major crime. It is worse than life imprisonment and is certainly like the unendurable hell. In olden times a wise man said, "One of the great calamities is to live with someone who does not agree with you, but does not leave you. Of the distressing matters in the world for the freeman, Is to perceive the inevitability of befriending a foe.

If that is said about a companion one meets one or more times a week, for perhaps an hour or several hours a day, what about a wife who stays at his home, who is very close to him and is the partner of his life?

Limiting the circle of divorce However, Islam has established a number of principles, teachings, and rules which, if followed and used with discretion, would lessen the need for divorce and limit its scope to a great extent. Some of these are considered: The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him said, "A woman is married for four attributes, for her money, her family name, her beauty and her religion.

Get the religious one and you will be comfortable". For that reason, the Messenger blessings and peace be upon him said to a man who intended to marry a certain woman, "Go and behold her, for it is more likely it will lead to harmony between you".

This prophetic command, "Behold her," if it does not indicate obligation, it certainly indicates preference. The Hadiths prophetic traditions referring to the same meaning are numerous. Jabber said about the woman he married, "I used to hide underneath a tree till I saw of her what led me to marry her".

Unfortunately, there are some Muslims, especially in the Gulf region, who perceive the man's beholding his intended fiancee as an unprincipled act. In contrast, there are those who allow the man to sit alone with his intended fiancee and allow them to go out together and frequent cinemas, etc.

Thus, what is correct is lost between two extremes of exaggeration and licentious behaviour. We have already mentioned the following Hadith, "If the man who satisfis you in faith and morals comes to you, let him marry your daughter.

It is never allowed to force a woman to marry a person she does not want. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him dissolved the marriage of a woman who was married by force.

Such estrangement might also be reflected on her married life and have a great effect on it. It is transmitted that the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him said, "Ask women about their daughters," as has already been mentioned in the Hadith and in the speech of Imam Al-Khattb in his report.

The husband and wife each have duties in return for his or her rights. A Muslim is supposed to perform his or her duties before asking for his or her rights. If he dislikes one trait, he will find another to satisfy him. In the Hadith, "No believer should loathe a woman who believes in Allah; if he hates one of her manners, he is satisfied with another". He should not hasten to yield to his emotion and should hope Allah changes his urge to something good. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good".

The Almighty has said: If Muslims follow them and keep them, divorce will be greatly limited. When and how does divorce take place? Islam, however, does not decree divorce at all times nor in all cases. Divorce is permissible, according to the Qur'an and the Sunna prophetic traditions when the man is not hasty and chooses a suitable time.

For instance, he should not divorce his wife when she has her menstrual period, nor when she is purified of her menses if he has had intercourse with her. This will ensure she is not pregnant.

Some jurisprudents have gone so far as to say the divorce is not valid then because it does not follow what the Prophet blessings and peace be upon him has commanded us to do. In the authentic Hadith, "Whoever did what we did not command, his deed is invalid".

If he is not fully conscious, or forced, or in a state of wrath which causes him go beyond his intention and imagination and utter what he does not want to say, it is not considered valid.

He should have the intention to divorce his wife and to be actually separated from her. But if he makes of the divorce an oath to swear with, blackmail or threaten, it will be invalid, as some ancient scholars have said. If such types of divorce are not valid, what remains is the intended, premeditated divorce which is reflected upon and studied by the husband before approaching it, and which he sees as the sole cure for an unbearable life.

On the contrary, as mentioned in the Qur'an, divorce gives every divorced man two chances to go back and redeem the situation. If the divorces occur one after another, and if the two times do not succeed in changing their minds, the third divorce is the final and decisive one, after which the divorce cannot return to him unless she has first been married to another man and widowed or divorced from him.

Therefore, putting the three chances given by Allah in one utterance is against the decree of the Qur'an. That is what is indicated and illustrated by the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymeya and his disciple Al-Qayyim, and what the Islamic Law courts accept in several Arab countries.

Its duration is usually a until she gives birth if she is pregnant, or b three menstrual cycles if she has regular periods, or three calendar months if she no menses. For details and exceptions, consult a book of Islamic jurisprudence Fiquh.

During the iddah the woman is not free to marry anyone else. If it is a reversible divorce, her husband may choose to take her back at any time during the iddah. If he does not take her back after the waiting period, the divorce is final and the woman is free to marry someone else, or she may go back to her husband with a new marriage contract, and he must Pay her a new dower.

This is a duty on Al-Mutaqeen the pious ". It is a cure as it should be, at the right time, in the right measure, in the right style and with the right aim. On the other hand, Christianity has totally forbidden divorce for Catholics; except in the case of adultery, it is also forbidden by the Orthodox Church. Their reason is that what is united by Allah whom they call God cannot be separated divorced by man.

Allah makes Laws for His worshippers according to what is in their interest, and He is the One Who knows them better. It is no wonder that many now get divorced for the most trivial reasons, and their married lives have been subjected to degeneration and collapse. Why is divorce initiated by the man? They ask, "Why is divorce initiated by the man alone?

He is the one who pays the dower and what follows until the establishment of the family is built on his own shoulders.

Therefore, it is very hard for him to destroy that establishment except for powerful reasons and inevitable necessities which would make him sacrifice all these expenses and absorb these losses. A man may be less hasty as he is less affected by emotions. As for the woman, she can be very affected by emotions, especially during the menses.

What is more, it may not be in the parties" interests to leave the divorce to a court because not all the reasons for divorce are meant to be public, to be transmitted by lawyers and writers to become the subject of gossip on everyone's tongue. Yet, in the West divorce is achieved through court. This does not lessen divorce, nor does the court stand in the way of the man and woman who seek divorce.

How can an averse wife divorce her husband? This is an important question for a great number of people: What is her way to get rid of the injustice of the husband if she loathes life with him for his harsh temper, his ill conduct, or for not performing his duties in an obvious way? Or there could also be physical or financial impotence which prevents him from fulfilling these duties, or other reasons. The answer is that the Judicious Law-Maker i. Allah has made several outlets for the woman through which she can overcome her dilemma: In the authentic Hadith, "The truest condition is that which you made lawful, to have physical intercourse".

A woman who dislikes her husband can ransom herself by repaying what she took as a dower and things like that. It is not fair of her to be the one who wishes for the divorce and the destruction of the marriage bond; and then the husband becomes the only loser. The Prophet blessings and peace be upon him asked her, "Would you give back his orchard?

He asked the husband to utter one irreversible repudiation". Some of the Prophet's Companions said to the arbitrators, "If you wish to unite them, then do so; and if you wish to divorce them, then do so.

If the husband has a weakness which deprives him of having sexual intercourse, the wife can raise the matter to court for a divorce in order to prevent any harm touching her.

In Islam, there should not be harm or any harming effect on others. If the husband harmed his wife and hurt her, restricted her unfairly, such as by refusing to sustain her, for example, she can ask the judge to divorce her.

In such a case, the judge will force a divorce to put an end to harm and injustice on her. And some scholars of Islam have gone so far as to divorce a wife from her poor husband if he failed to sustain her and she asked for divorce. Islamic Law does not commit her to be patient when it comes to hunger with a poor husband if she does not accept it out of loyalty and nobility.

With these outlets, Islam has opened many doors for a woman to be liberated from the cruelty of some husbands and their being domineering without having the right to be. It is perfect justice: They have used it as an oath to swear with about everything great or small. Moreover, many jurisprudents have widened the scope of divorce, even to include the divorce of the drunkard and the one in wrath, and also the forced one, though the Hadith says, "No divorce in blind rage".

All on the authority of Abu Huraira. It is not valid except by a certain utterance, at a certain time, with a certain intention.

We owe this to Allah; that is what Imam Al-Bukhari and other predecessors perceived, and which has been confirmed by Ibn Taymeya and Al-Qayyim and others.

This expresses the spirit of Islam. As to miscomprehension or misapplication of the rules of Islam, it is the responsibility of Muslims not of Islam. Polygamy Missionaries and orientalists treat the subject of polygamy as if it were one of the rites of Islam, or one of its duties, or at least a desirable practice in Islam.

This is an inaccuracy or a misconception. The overwhelming norm of marriage, for a Muslim, is to marry one woman to be his solace, the joy of his heart, the keeper of his house, and the one to trust with his secrets. Thus, quietude, love, and mercy, the foundation of married life according to the Qur'an, would support them. Therefore, the learned say, "It is disliked for a man who has a wife who is chaste and modest and who is enough for him to marry another.

This will subject him to what is forbidden. He is forbidden to go to the one on the night devoted to the other except out of expedience such as a crisis or grave illness. He is also forbidden to go there in the day time except for necessity such as a visit for a harmless illness, or to inquire about a certain matter he needs.

If he does not stay long, there is no expiation because it is a slight matter. If he stays or has his lust consumed, he should expiate by going to the one he treated unfairly and staying at her place the same time he stayed with the first woman. That is what is decided as an elucidation of the obligatory justice. This is because Islam is the religion which conforms to sound naturalness and treats reality with out escape, exaggeration or fantasy.

Polygamy in olden times and in Islam 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".

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.

If one is not sure of his ability to fulfil such duties equitably and fairly, he is forbidden to marry more than one wife. Do not blame me for what You have and I have not. 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. Islam is the last word of Allah by which all His messages are concluded sealed. Therefore, it came with a general and eternal Law to embrace all nations, all ages and all people. Islam has not made laws for the urban while overlooking the rural, nor for the cold regions and not the hot ones, or vice versa; nor for a certain age while ignoring the rest of the ages and the other generations.

Islam appreciates the importance of individuals as well as communities. A man could have a strong desire to have children but find him self married to a wife who is childless because of infertility or illness, or any other reason. Would it not be more respectable and better for her if he married another to realise his wish while at the same time keeping the first and ensuring her rights?

Some men are more sexual and lusty, but one could be married to a wife who has little desire for men, or who is ill or has a long period of menstruation or whatever. She does not satisfy the desire of his instinct nor fill his lustful eyes that seek other women.

Would he not be allowed to marry another in a lawful manner instead of seeking another as a mistress, or instead of divorcing the first one? In addition, the number of eligible women for marriage might be more than the men able to marry, especially after wars that deplete the best of men and youth.

It might be in the interest of the society and the women themselves who would prefer being second wives than living as spinsters all their lives, deprived of married life and what it has of quietude, love and protection, deprived of the bliss of the motherhood their instincts call for. There are only three ways for these surplus women: This is in addition to what might happen afterwards of begetting illegitimate children, increasing the number of fatherless children deprived of physical and psychological rights who become unproductive citizens and tools of destruction and corruption.

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