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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

ISLAMIC TEACHINGS ON MARITAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS AND POLYGAMY

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The best among you is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best among you in my treatment towards my wives.” (Hadith)

“If you see any weaknesses in one another or if there is a quality a husband dislikes in his wife, he should be mindful of another quality that he likes in her. (Hadith)

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“The Promised Messiah (as) says:

“There is no harm in marrying orphan girls who are under your care, but if you feel that you may not be fair in dealing with them because they are orphans, then marry women who have parents and relations who are watchful over them, who would respect you and make you be careful. You may marry two or three or four of them, provided that you can deal equitably with all of them. But if you feel that you may not deal justly between them, then marry only one, even if you should feel the need of more than one.”

“At times complaints are received that despite having children, men make excuses to bring a second wife. If one cannot be fair and deal justly, then one should not marry a second wife. Justice includes all kinds of rights and responsibilities: if a person does not have enough income to support the expense of the family but still marries a second woman, then he deprives the first wife of her rights.

“To fulfil the rights of one wife is such a big responsibility that a person can put himself in a trial by not accomplishing this and thus, he can become the recipient of the wrath and displeasure of Allah Almighty. The Holy Prophet (saw) used to pray to Allah that ostensibly he always tried to fulfil the rights of all his wives; however, if he expressed a certain wife’s qualities to the others, he sought God’s forgiveness. This is precisely in accordance with human nature and Allah Almighty knows everything, as He is the Knower of the Unseen. He created man and gave the permission of more than one marriage and has declared that a situation can arise that one may be more inclined towards one wife. In such instances, He commands that it is imperative that the apparent rights of all wives be fulfilled.

“In one narration, the Holy Prophet (saw) said: “If a person has two wives, but is inclined only towards one wife, totally ignoring the rights of the other; then on the Day of Judgment, he will be raised in such a condition that one part of his body would be cut off and separated from the whole body.

“At times, complaints are received from women that their husbands do not pay attention to them and is more inclined towards the other wife. Sometimes, certain cases come to my attention where there is only one wife, and the husband vows that he will neither look after her nor divorce her or let her leave. If the matter goes to the Qadha then it is unnecessarily lengthened; some men will not give divorce, so that in desperation, the wife seeks Khula and the man thus escapes paying the Haq Mehr (dowry).

“All these matters distance one from Taqwa (righteousness). If a person seeks God’s mercy, then he has to demonstrate mercy and reform himself. He should fulfil the rights of his wife and let her live in his house with respect. If a person wishes to partake of a measure of God’s mercy, he has to expand his own mercy.”

(Garment for Each Other, pp. 102-108)

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