Search This Blog

Friday, May 19, 2006

Polygamy = Sunnah Rasul?

One thing that always makes me upset and angry with this polygamy thing is that those irresponsible men say that it is SUNNAH RASUL. Sunnah means if Muslim people do it, they will get reward from God; if they don’t do it, they will not get punishment.
They only see that Prophet Muhammad had more than one wife, without acknowledging that Muhammad did it not for sexual satisfaction, but to spread Islam to other ethnic groups during that era, and since his wives came from different ethnic groups, it was expected that there would be no war among those ethnic groups. Irresponsible Muslim people forget that Muhammad did it after his first wife, Khadijah, passed away. During Muhammad’s marriage to Khadijah for 15 years, he didn’t practice polygamy. He got married again under God’s command. His disapproval for Ali—his son-in-law who married Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah—to get married again showed that in fact Muhammad himself saw the injustice of polygamy. He said to Ali, “If you marry another woman, it means you will hurt Fatimah, my daughter. Anybody who hurt my daughter, it means he also hurts me.” This stopped Ali to do what he wanted.
And what I see from those irresponsible Muslim men who practice polygamy or polygyny (having more than one wife) of course is much different from what Prophet Muhammad did. Recently (or outside of Muhammad’s era) Muslim men have more than one wife for their sexual satisfaction only. They believe that they were created in this world to have a higher libido than women and one wife is not enough for them.
Once I read an article in local newspaper stating what Puspo Wardoyo said (FYI, Puspo Wardoyo is the one who will launch POLYGAMY tabloid in Indonesia, he has four wives to my knowledge, and some years ago, he had a very embarrassing event called POLYGAMY AWARD: a competition for men who have more than one wife.) In the article, Puspo abusively said, “Practicing polygamy is only a matter of how strong you are to move your hip!” Didn’t he just put women in the lowest degree? Only as sexual object? So where is the SUNNAH RASUL???


I don’t believe
Women were created from men’s rib

--we are not vegetative--

even if yes
women can still be proud
not to be taken from other part of men’s body
to be oppressed

--we are not vegetative—

Perhaps God has never asked women
Whether we are willing to be vegetation
So that God knows
That we also can make a choice
In this life
Not just to vote
In the General Election day
Not just to choose
Which spices to use to cook
Not just to choose
Which shirt for husband to wear
Not just to choose
Babies’ diapers
Not just to choose
The color of lipstick
Not just to choose
To be quiet

Ask women what we want
We can answer
We can make a choice

(I got the above poem from Jurnal Perempuan number 32, I translated it into English)

If only those Ulama give women rights to say what we want in this life, we will not let those irresponsible men to see us only as sexual objects!!!
PT56 11.19 190506


jiwakitamerdeka said...

Women all over the world should unite: Stop those irresponsible men to see women only as sexual objects. But the world now is full of images of women as sexual objects. Some purposely done by beautiful women themselves, may be out of ignorance or just naive. Kalau sudah ikan melompat-lompat, kucing yang tidur pun tertawa...

By the grace of Allah, Islam forbids this via lawful marriage. Polygamy? To avoid illegal sexual relations with women, that happen we know, other than first wife, Islam permits polygamy. Up to 4 only, my a responsibility.

Anonymous said...

i don't want to attack you or let your views down, but i do want you to look into the subject more deeply. islam put the whole issue in its rightful prespective and hounered the wife to a great extent. and if a moslim male can't meet the sunni rules of multiple wives, he is told to here don't merry only for sex, and even if they did, maybe his other wife is not sexually compatible. whatever the reason, it still prevents them from ingaging in illegal sexual relations and all the trash we know of going with societies that don't have such privilage as us moslims do.. marriage keeps people together, prevents divorces, prents diseases and gaurntees a lasting the end, i like to say that at least we have more choices and alternatives and those others who can't have these choices so they choose to divorce, stay in a lousy marriage or go a head and cheat...islam is great, so don't missundrstand nor abuse its true meaning and interpretations as many your reading before opening your mouth...

amira said...

Salaam sister,

I am appalled browsing your blogger, quite confused perhaps. I don't know what your mainstream idea is, religious or secular? You cited numerous Islamic credos, but at the same time you carried lots of secular innuendos.
Mind you sister, the two wouldn't mix together.
Firstly you misconstrued the term 'Sunnah', as per your quote of : "...SUNNAH RASUL. Sunnah means if Muslim people do it, they will get reward from God; if they don’t do it, they will not get punishment".
The context of Sunnah in your article - related to the context of polygamy - refers to every act practiced and every word uttered by Rasulullah PBUH as recorded by his faithful companions. These records are commonly known as hadits. Hence all issues related to the prayer, such as the required number of daily prayers, the number of raka'at and the recitation in each prayer, as well as how to perform the prayer from beginning to end, are explained by the Sunnah. Similarly, all issues related to zakat, such as the minimum amount on which zakat becomes payable, the percentage paid, the kinds of wealth, goods, and animals on which zakat is obligatory etc, are clearly expounded by the Sunnah of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Sunnah Rasul is also revelations from Allah which serve as a second source of Islamic shariah (as Al Quran being the first).
Now, your definition of Sunnah, the term 'Sunnah' here is part of the Fiqh. Within Fiqh (jurisprudence) there are degrees in each act : Fardh (some also agreed to call it Wajb), Sunnah, Mustahab, (some also add Makruh and Mubah).
Therefore Rasul's 'act' in polygamy cannot be explained using your choice of term of Sunnah.
Rasul PBUH did marry 11 women, and it must have been part of revelations from Allah (as you've noticed that those marriages were not for sexual gratifications rather they were for da'wah) hence this act IS Sunnah Rasul.
Allah gave wahyu to Rasul PBUH, some are only applied to him (or his family) - such as all his widows were not allowed to re-marry after his departure, that despite his impoverished condition, he and his family were not allowed to accept any zakat - and some are applied to all mankind.
Likewise, it is written in Al Quran that men are allowed to marry up to 4 women, providing that he has to be able to treat them equally (gives care and material provisions equally), and as is for 'love', it's stated in Al Quran that men won't be able to 'love' their wives equally eventhough they (men) want it to. This, mind you, was also experienced by Rasul PBUH who loves Aisha RA more than he loves his other wives.
Nevertheless, polygamy is Halal, for Rasul PBUH, and for men.
Regarding the intention in marrying a woman, we can't afford to ignore the verse in Al Quran inferring "if we cannot hold our lust, it's better for us to get married, if we're unable to get married (because of poverty, sickness, etc) we suppose to fast". From this verse, sexual desire seems being the reason for us to get married. And hey, it is written in Al Quran, so it's halaal.
Allah created men and women equally to love and protect each other. The best among His creatures are the ones who fear Allah the most (have taqwa). If a man taqwa/fears Allah, and he marries more than 1 wife, guess what, none of the wives would feel neglected or experienced injustice. He may not love them equally, but he would respect them and treat them equally.
Just because of some self centered, chauvinist men brag about polygamy, don't go about analysing Islam and Al Quran in order to rationalise your own interest.
Al Quran is there for us to follow, not for us to pick and choose matters that suit our needs.
Whatever your stories about men and women in your country are, it's up to Allah to let them walk their path. If some lady is happy to be the second, third or even the fourth wife, so be it. As long as the marriage is halaal, you don't have any case to charge them.
Look inside ourselves, have we followed Al Quran entirely, have we endlessly performed our 5 daily prayers, have we paid our zakat, have we devoutly fasted in the month of Ramadhan, have we put on our hejab, these are all mentioned in Al Quran.(Btw, is that you in the picture, where's your hijab ? don't you believe what Al Quran says? An Nur (24):31). And we all very much know the price of disobeying Al Quran, it's HELL FIRE. And if we're a wife/mother, have we followed hadits concerning duties of a wife/mother ? There are plenty of hadits books to choose from. Find out every single duty of a muslim woman / mother.
Trust me sister, once you follow Al Quran and Sunnah Rasul related to being a muslim woman, you don't have to scream and shout to the world demanding a piece of 'feminism', it's there already, given by Allah to preserve our dignity. Either you submit (Islam = submission that leads to inner peace) and take it, or you're strayed to the secular world and doomed.

Anonymous said...

dear amira,

I agree with you for most of the arguments. But there is a lot of misunderstanding about polygamy in Islam. I have been reading about this issue for a while, and my conclusion was, it is not something which is promoted by Islam, but Islam gave permission to have more than one wife. But I don't know whether the man will get sawab for following the in prophet for this matter. If there is more reward for having more than one wife, Rasoulullah will not stop Ali(R) for his remarriage. If Rasulullah did that, then I believe Allah SWT will correct him through revelations. Similar corrections happened in Quran (Abasa, and Durah Thahreem). And also I didn't find any single Hadith where Rasulullah encoraging shaba's to have more than one wife.

You can't expect the wife will be ready to bear this, even fathima (R) couldn't.
And finally Islam is the only religious which recomended a limit for polygamy, no other religion has any restriction on numbers. So I think Islam tried to demote the practice having several wives.
As a conclusion It is Halal but not promoted by Islam.

Please note this is only my opinion and don't take it as an authentic. I think it is everyone's responsibility to learn themself.

Your brother in Islam

A Feminist Blog said...

Dear brother,
Thanks a million for the comment you meant to say to Amira.
Unfortunately you didn't leave your email address or any other thing so that I can reply directly to your mailbox.
Once again, thanks a million. :)