Polygamy has been quite a boring topic for me actually (you can check how many posts I have written for this topic in this blog of mine). But still this time, I will write something about it again. If I don’t come up with a new ‘finding’ in this article, I do apologize. :)
What inspired me to write this article is the hot debate in one mailing list I join about this topic. JIL (Jaringan Islam Liberal or Liberal Islam Network) is one big Islam organization in Indonesia with very progressive policies and support pluralism and gender equality highly. (Check its site at http://islamlib.com/en/) Therefore when it was found out that one member of the mailing list was a polygamist, some feminist members were upset with this. They opined that JIL was not consistent to fight the gender inequality because letting a polygamist join the mailing list. They believed that having more than one wife is a violent act toward women and children and JIL is therefore absolutely against it.
To defend his polygamous ‘attitude’, the ‘culprit’ (LOL) gave excuse that the verses in Alquran are indeed multi-interpretable. There is no absolute truth of one interpretation, including in polygamy (mostly polyginy). He was supported by some other members saying, “Why should we bother with this case if the women themselves do not mind being the second, the third, or the nth wife.” As one organization that supports pluralism highly, JIL is not supposed to be ‘narrow-minded’ by believing in only one interpretation of Surah Annisa 3 (and some other verses related to it): the practice of polygamy is HARAM.
The ‘opposing’ side responded that human beings were created with brain so that they will use it to THINK. When many facts show that polygamy indeed engenders more problems and violence to women and children rather than positive sides (such as giving aids to the second wife, either in financially, or sociologically, etc) brainy human beings are supposed to take a wise interpretation: polygamy must be condemned and crushed from the world (the latter perhaps is very impossible to happen though).
One thing (quite) hurtful to some people is that in the past, the ‘culprit’ showed his contempt of the practice of polygamy, especially when one polygamist in Indonesia (quite popular public figure) proposed an idea to have POLYGAMY AWARD to encourage men to have more than one wife. He condemned this shameful award because having more than one wife was not an ideal thing, and award was something mostly related to the best thing. And in fact, eventually, he himself also married another woman while his first wife was still healthy, alive. FYI, referring to the Compilation of Islamic Law in Indonesia, a man can marry another woman under the following condition:
- The wife cannot get pregnant to give the husband children
- The wife is invalid so that she cannot serve the husband in bed
- The wife is incapable of doing household chores, especially to serve the husband
My blog visitors can find out my view on polygamy by reading all posts of mine on this topic in this blog. As an additional point, I agree with one member saying that some ‘high profile’ of Indonesian public figures who are polygamists have got social punishment. Instead of making polygamous act accepted more worldwide (especially in Indonesia) by encouraging other men to follow their steps (such as PW who launched a tabloid named POLYGAMY a year ago, and in his chain restaurant he also provided one drink in the menu named POLYGAMY juice), their businesses even underwent loses. To me, it shows that although Indonesian (conventional Muslim) people get difficulty to separate religion from their daily routines, and they easily get ‘blurred’ in viewing things when ulemas influence national issues—such as easily condemning Al-Qiyadah as deviant religious sect, in term of polygamy, there are still many Indonesian people who are against it. My last year worry—that the giving of POLYGAMY AWARD and the launching of POLYGAMY tabloid would fool around Indonesian conventional Muslim people easily—did not come true. At least, until today.
PT56 13.05 191107
the picture was taken from this link.