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The Seduction of the Woman and Likening her to the Devil .............. 3 Is the Voice of the Woman Private? What is meant by creating her from a Crooked Rib? .................................................................................. 6 Does Islam allow Wife Beating? ...................................................... 10 Why is the Marriage of a Muslim Woman from a Non-Muslim Man prohibited ..................................................................................................... 14 Polygyny in Islam & the Other Religions-By Jamal Mohammad Al-Zaki 16


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The Seduction of the Woman and Likening her to the Devil the seduction (fitna) of the woman… what is the meaning of likening the woman to the devil? some people are inquiring why islam describes the woman as (fitna) and what is the meaning of likening her to the devil? concerning the first question, it is important to understand the meaning of (fitna). this word (fitna) was mentioned in the holy quran and the prophetic traditions in several meanings, but the mostly used meaning for such word (fitna) was “test or the trial”. in fact, i do not know whether such people, who accuse islam of describing woman as fitna, realize the true meaning of the word “fitna” or not. did they read the holy quran or not? the holy quran demonstrated to us that all the circumstances we experience in our life, whether good or evil, are fitna i.e. a test or a trial. allah the almighty said: {and we shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to us you will be returned} (al anbia’ 35) and said also: {he] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and he is the exalted in might, the forgiving} (al mulk 2), and said further: {and know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that allah has with him a great reward} (al-anfal 28). therefore, “the woman is a fitna” means that the woman is a test or a trial to the man. in other words, will the men devote their full time to their women and forget their lord and his worship? will the men disobey allah the almighty for the sake of the women? will they make the forbidden looks to the women? will they establish illegal relationships with them? or shall they keep their modesty and establish their relationships according to the manner which satisfies allah the almighty? likewise, the man is the test & trial for the woman; accordingly, if a beautiful and rich man, but not observing the orders of allah, came and asked the marriage form any woman, will she then be seduced with such beauty or richness and takes him as a husband? or will she even take him as a boy friend and disobey the orders of allah the almighty? or shall she realize that she is under a test and should refuse marriage to such man until he observes his religion and marries her according to the manner allowed by allah the almighty?


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moreover, the children are a test for their parents; will such children distract their parents from the worship of allah? will the parents bring up their children according to the islamic manners? or will they bring them up according to the western behaviors which violate the teachings and manners of islam? in fact, nothing can be construed as an insult to the woman when we describe her as fitna; allah the almighty described children as fitna, so, is this calculated as an insult to the children? of course no, because we know that the meaning of fitna is “test” or “trial”; accordingly, the term “fitna” applies to all of us, as mentioned by allah the almighty in this verse: {and we have made some of you [people] as trial for others will you have patience?} (al-furqan 20); therefore, every one of us is a trial (fitna” for the people around him. -----------------------------------------------------------the second issue is: does islam looks to the woman as a devil? of course no. this is completely false allegation because if we argue – which is not true - that islam looks to the woman as a devil, then the man also will be considered a devil according to such perspective, because the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “the men and woman are alike” i.e. alike in being subject to the same islamic teachings, orders and provisions. accordingly, if we argue that women are devils, then the men will be devils too, because they are alike!!! in fact, this allegation (i.e. looking to the woman as devil) was fabricated by some people in order to make others hate islam – as they are doing always. they are interpreting the prophetic traditions in a manner contradicting the original intentions and meanings thereof for the purpose of distorting the meaning. the prophetic tradition – which mentioned this issue – is true and right, and was narrated by muslim, and here is the text: the prophet – peace be upon him – said: [the woman, while going and coming, is as seducing as the devil; so, if one of you saw a woman and admired her, let him then copulate with his wife so that he can satisfy his desire (in the legal manner)]. dr. abdul hakim sadeq al fetouri said: “there is nothing insulting in this text, there is nothing disregarding the woman or disgracing her; contrary, the meaning of the text is that the men have affection and desires toward women and they enjoy looking to women; therefore, such looking will cause seduction and may lead to adultery; so,


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the woman who seduces any man and urges him to commit adultery is as seducing as the devil in seducing the believers and urging them to do sins. the said prophetic tradition came in the context of warning the women from the consequences of not wearing their hijab (islamic veil) in order not to seduce men. the prophetic tradition contained also a prophetic remedy for such seduction i.e. the man should copulate with his wife if he feels seduction in order to get rid of such seduction or desires in the legal manner. the above mentioned suspicions came from the defective understanding to the rank & dignity of the woman in islam and the wrong assumptions about islam and that it is siding with the man. the man was also described as devil if he told others about the details of copulating with his wife. the prophet – peace be upon him - described the man who tells others about the details of copulating with his wife or the woman who tells others about the details of copulating with her husband as the following: (they are just like a male devil and female devil who met and copulated with each other while the people are looking at them�) narrated by ahmad. accordingly, the likening to devil has nothing to do with the gender; whether man or woman, but it is related to the deed made by the man or the woman. this is one of the expressions used in the arabic language which does not indicate that the man or the woman is a devil himself/herself, as alleged by some people.


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Is the Voice of the Woman Private? What is meant by creating her from a Crooked Rib? one of the widely spread rumors is that islam considers the voice of the woman private and should not be heard; therefore, we would like to answer this suspicion in brief because there are plenty of juristic texts refuting such rumors. the holy quran narrated the story of the two daughters of the prophet shu’ayb (peace be upon him) when they spoke to the prophet moses (peace be upon him) in the following verse {and when he arrived at the water of madyan (midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). he said: “what is the matter with you?” they said: “we cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). and our father is a very old man} (qasas 23) and one of them told moses (peace be upon him) {then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. she said: “verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us} (qasas 25). accordingly, if the voice of the woman should be kept private, then how the two daughters of shu’ayb (peace be upon him) spoke to moses (peace be upon him)? moreover, how the could the woman be prevented from speaking while islam allowed her to sell, purchase, give advices, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong {the believing men and believing women are allies of one another. they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong} (al-tawbah 71). it is narrated also that a woman has stood up in the masjed and asked the caliph omar (may allah be pleased with him) to comply with the verses of the holy quran when the caliph wanted to put limits for the dowries, and said: how is it that you want to limit the dowry while allah the almighty said: {but if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts] , do not take [back] from it anything} (an-nisa’), then the caliph omar (may allah be pleased with him) said his known statement: omar has mistaken and the woman was right. and here is a self-explanatory prophetic tradition about the rank of the woman in islam: lady umm salama; hind bint abi umayyah – may allah be pleased with her – narrated


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that when the prophet – peace be upon him – emigrated, zainab – daughter of the prophet peace be upon him – asked the permission of her husband; abu al aas bin al rabi’, who was still a polytheist, to go with the prophet – peace be upon him – so he gave her the permission. then abu al aas went to medina and sent to his wife a request to take asylum for him from her father; then zainab looked from her room while the prophet – peace be upon him – was performing the prayer of al fajr (dawn) with his companions, and said: o people! i am zainab the daughter of the prophet – peace be upon him – i have granted asylum to abu al aas. when the prophet – peace be upon him – finished the prayer, he said: (i did not know about that until you heard it; surely, any muslim can grant asylum whomsoever) . narrated by al-albani in alselsila al-sahiha 6-770. islam has a great attitude and has given the due honor to the woman, but the ignorant people are circulating that islam disregard the woman and her dignity. it is better for such people to put their heads in the soil out of shame for their disgraceful attitudes toward the woman. they have transgressed her dignity and made her a piece of merchandise for selling and buying. if we contemplate in the position of the woman in the west we will feel sympathy because the lustful people exploited the woman to satisfy their desires and pushed her toward nakedness under the pretext of freedom and made her a symbol of prostitution under the pretext of art and invention; so what kind of honor is this? where is the honor of the woman? ----------------------------------------------------------------another fabricated suspicion about the woman is that: islam considers that the woman was created out of crooked rib; so, let us refer to the relevant prophetic tradition to know the truth: al bukhari narrated in his book “sahih al bukhari” that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: (he who believes in allah and the day of judgment should not cause harm to his neighbors. treat women kindly, they were created out of a rib (i.e. eve was created out of the rib of adam), and the most crooked part in the rib is the highest part thereof; so, if you tried to rectify the rib it will be broken, and if you left the rib as it is, it will remain crooked, and women are like this; therefore treat them kindly) .

what can we learn from this prophetic tradition? first: the prophet – peace be upon him – did not say that the woman was created


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out of a crooked rib as alleged by them, but he told that she was created out of a rib. this is something unseen revealed from allah the almighty to his prophet muhammad – peace be upon him. this does not contain any insult to the woman. it is just like when allah the almighty told us that {and certainly did we create man from an extract of clay} , so, does this mean that islam insults man? no, it is just informing us about something unknown to no one except allah the almighty and we should believe that.

second: the prophet – peace be upon him – has informed us about the fact that the woman was created from the rib of adam (peace be upon him), and this is also mentioned in the holy quran {o mankind! be dutiful to your lord, who created you from a single person (adam), and from him (adam) he created his wife [hawwa (eve)]} i.e. this teaches us the true relation between the man and the woman. it is an integral relation because the woman is from the man, and the man is from the woman. allah the almighty said: {you are (members) one of another} (al-imran 195). this prophetic tradition came in the context of directing men to treat woman kindly and tolerate them because the woman has an emotional nature. in explaining the following quranic verse {o mankind! be dutiful to your lord, who created you from a single person (adam), and from him (adam) he created his wife [hawwa (eve)]} }, sheikh al-sharawi – may allah have mercy on him – said: (allah the almighty said: {and from him he created his wife) i.e. if the woman was created from the rib, then the word “from” will refer to part of a whole, and if the woman was created like adam, the word “from” will refer to demonstration only, i.e. of the same kind. allah the almighty knows best what he wants to create, the shape, the task which will be performed by such creature; therefore, allah the almighty creates the specifications & features which can perform such goal & task. you may imagine that some creatures have no function in life, or that some creatures would be better if they were created in another shape, but the case is not like this. there was a man who contemplated in the creation of the world by allah the almighty and said: there is no creation and invention more than this. moreover, there was a welder taking the straight bars and curve it. seeing that, his son asked; why doesn’t the welder leave the bars straight? the father taught him: these bars cannot perform their function except by being curved. the same concerning hooks and sickles, if they were straight, they won’t perform their task. in the light of this perspective, we can better understand the prophetic tradition which mentioned: (treat women kindly, they were created out of a rib (i.e. eve was created out of the rib of adam), and the most crooked part in the rib is the highest part thereof; so, if you tried to rectify the rib it will be broken, and if you left the rib


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as it is, it will remain crooked, and women are like this; therefore treat them kindly) . the ribs in your thorax cannot perform their task i.e. protecting the heart and the lungs, except in this crooked shape which maintain the most important parts in your body; therefore, crookedness is like a sympathy and protection, and this is exactly the mission of the woman in life. she is, for example, taking care of her embryo during pregnancy, and after delivery she exerts more care and provides more compassion to her child. accordingly, the description of the prophet – peace be upon him – is not an insult or disregard to woman, because such crookedness in the nature of the woman is the essential thing supplementing her mission in life; therefore, you find that the sympathetic aspect is more prevailing than the metal aspect because the mission of the women requires such nature, while the mental aspect of the men is prevailing on the sympathetic aspect so that they can perform their mission in life. accordingly, allah the almighty has assigned a certain task for each creature, and each of us has his own task irrespective of any apparent defects).


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Does Islam allow Wife Beating? commenting on this issue, dr. muzammil h. siddiqi , former president of the islamic society of north america, states: “according to the qur’an the relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. allah says: “and among his signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and he has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (ar-rum: 21) the qur’an urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness. [in the event of a family dispute, the qur’an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects]. allah almighty says: “live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. if ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” (an-nisa’: 19) it is important that a wife recognizes the authority of her husband in the house. he is the head of the household, and she is supposed to listen to him. but the husband should also use his authority with respect and kindness towards his wife. if there arises any disagreement or dispute among them, then it should be resolved in a peaceful manner. spouses should seek the counsel of their elders and other respectable family members and friends to batch up the rift and solve the differences. however, in some cases a husband may use some light disciplinary action in order to correct the moral infraction of his wife, but this is only applicable in extreme cases and it should be resorted to if one is sure it would improve the situation. however, if there is a fear that it might worsen the relationship or may wreak havoc on him or the family, then he should avoid it completely. the qur’an is very clear on this issue. almighty allah says: “men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what allah would have them to guard. as to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance); for allah is


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most high and great (above you all). if you fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers. if they wish for peace, allah will cause their reconciliation; for allah has full knowledge and is acquainted with all things.” (an-nisa’: 34-35) it is important to read the section fully. one should not take part of the verse and use it to justify one’s own misconduct. this verse neither permits violence nor condones it. it guides us to ways to handle delicate family situation with care and wisdom. the word “beating” is used in the verse, but it does not mean “physical abuse”. the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained it “dharban ghayra mubarrih “ which means “a light tap that leaves no mark”. he further said that face must be avoided. some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by siwak , or toothbrush. generally, the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to discourage his followers from taking even this measure. he never hit any female, and he used to say that the best of men are those who do not hit their wives. in one hadith he expressed his extreme repulsion from this behavior and said, “how does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?” (al-bukhari, english translation, vol. 8, hadith 68, pp. 42-43) it is also important to note that even this “light strike” mentioned in the verse is not to be used to correct some minor problem, but it is permissible to resort to only in a situation of some serious moral misconduct when admonishing the wife fails, and avoiding from sleeping with her would not help. if this disciplinary action can correct a situation and save the marriage, then one should use it.” dr. jamal badawi , professor at saint mary’s university in halifax, nova scotia, canada, and a cross-appointed faculty member in the departments of religious studies and management, adds: “if the problem relates to the wife’s behavior, the husband may exhort her and appeal for reason. in most cases, this measure is likely to be sufficient. in cases where the problem persists, the husband may express his displeasure in another peaceful manner, by sleeping in a separate bed from hers. there are cases, however, in which a wife persists in bad habits and showing contempt of her husband and disregard for her marital obligations. instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another


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measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body, but never on the face, making it more of a symbolic measure than a punitive one.

even here, that maximum measure is limited by the following: a. it must be seen as a rare exception to the repeated exhortation of mutual respect, kindness and good treatment. based on the qur’an and hadith, this measure may be used in the cases of lewdness on the part of the wife or extreme refraction and rejection of the husband’s reasonable requests on a consistent basis (nushuz ). even then, other measures, such as exhortation, should be tried first.

b. as defined by hadith, it is not permissible to strike anyone’s face, cause any bodily harm or even be harsh. what the hadith qualifies as “dharban ghayra mubarrih “, or light striking, was interpreted by early jurists as a (symbolic) use of siwak ! they further qualified permissible “striking” as that which leaves no mark on the body. it is interesting that this latter fourteen-centuries-old qualifier is the criterion used in contemporary american law to separate a light and harmless tap or strike from “abuse” in the legal sense. this makes it clear that even this extreme, last resort, and “lesser of the two evils” measure that may save a marriage does not meet the definitions of “physical abuse,” “family violence, “ or “wife battering” in the 20th century law in liberal democracies, where such extremes are so commonplace that they are seen as national concerns.

c. the permissibility of such symbolic expression of the seriousness of continued refraction does not imply its desirability. in several hadiths, the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) discouraged this measure. here are some of his sayings in this regard:

“do not beat the female servants of allah” ; “some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them). these (husbands) are not the best of you.” in another hadith the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “how does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?”


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d. true following of the sunnah is to follow the example of the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who never resorted to that measure, regardless of the circumstances.

e. islamic teachings are universal in nature. they respond to the needs and circumstances of diverse times, cultures and circumstances. some measures may work in some cases and cultures or with certain persons but may not be effective in others. by definition, a “permissible” act is neither required, encouraged or forbidden. in fact it may be to spell out the extent of permissibility, such as in the issue at hand, rather than leaving it unrestricted or unqualified, or ignoring it all together. in the absence of strict qualifiers, persons may interpret the matter in their own way, which can lead to excesses and real abuse.

f. any excess, cruelty, family violence, or abuse committed by any “muslim” can never be traced, honestly, to any revelatory text (qur’an or hadith). such excesses and violations are to be blamed on the person(s) himself, as it shows that they are paying lip service to islamic teachings and injunctions and failing to follow the true sunnah of the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).”


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Why is the Marriage of a Muslim Woman from a Non-Muslim Man prohibited the secret behind prohibiting the marriage of a muslim woman from a non-muslim man . why does islam allow a muslim man to get married to al-ketabeyyat (christian or jewish women) while prohibiting a muslim woman to do the same?

this is a good and logical question , and before replying to it we have to confirm that islam prohibited this : and do not marry female associators (those who associate others with allah) until they believe; and indeed a believing bondwoman is more charitable than a female associator, even if you may admire her. and do not (allow) associators to marry (your females) until they believe. and indeed a believing bondman is more charitable than an associator, even if you may admire him.(al-baqara:221) this prohibition is mainly due to the fact that a woman, usually, follows her husband, for the man has a greater influence on his wife than she has on him. in fact, islam has a number of aims of which are the following two:

the first: islam aims at being apprehended clearly and unequivocally. this results in people’s faith that it is the religion of truth. that is why islam granted a muslim man the right to get married to a non-muslim woman providing that she is one of the people of the book, which means her being christian or jewish, because she, at least, believes in allah the almighty and his inspiration, regardless of the nature of this belief. accordingly, she can understand islam easier. especially when she gets married to a true muslim committed to islam’s doctrines in all his sayings and deeds. for when she touches in him islam’s ethics along with his handsome equitable behavior towards her, this can be a reason for her to convert to islam. however, she has the right to stick to her religion and no one has the right to force her to convert “there is no compulsion in the religion” (al-baqara:256).

the second: islam aims at keeping its followers committed and connected to it.


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therefore, it doesn’t let them being exposed to whatever has a negative effect on their faith. this is called temptation in religion “and temptation in religion is greater than killing”(al-baqara:217).

in fact, this kind of temptation takes several shapes and of which might be tormenting the muslim to change his/her believes.(in this case: being married to a non-muslim whatever his religion is).and why is that considered a temptation in religion? simply because, as stated above, the husband has the greater influence on his wife, and perhaps this non-muslim husband tries to exert a negative influence on his muslim wife leading her to leave her religion or, at least, to be uncommitted to its holly doctrines, which isn’t wanted by islam in what concerns its followers. for islam wants to provide the suitable atmosphere for them to be committed to its teachings.

this is why islam urged the muslim woman to choose a good husband. even when she is getting married to a muslim man, she has to select the one who follows islam’s doctrines commitedly and rejects who ignores them. all of that is for a muslim woman to cling to her religion and transcends herself from every negative influence.


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Polygyny in Islam & the Other Religions-By Jamal Mohammad Al-Zaki refuting the doubts about polygyny in islam the enemies of islam, the ill-hearted people and like have challenged the verses of the holy quran regarding the issue of polygyny as in the following verse: allah the almighty said: { marry such women as is good to you, two, three, four, (literally: in twos and threes and fours) }(1). the enemies of islam said that the holy quran has disregarded the woman, neglected her rights and returned her back to the traditions of the pre-islamic era.

before going through polygyny in islam and its purposes, we should answer this important question: is it islam which invented the polygyny? or was it available before islam? it is established, from the historical point of view, that polygyny is an old phenomenon known by the humanity since the old ages in all communities before islam: torah & judaism : torah has permitted the jew to marry more than one woman and has not even put a limit for the number of wives; however, the talmud limited the number to four wives only under one condition that the husband should be able to support them. talmud stated: the husband may not marry more than four wives, as jacob – peace be upon him – did, unless the husband has sworn to do that in the first marriage. so, polygyny here is permissible if the husband would be able to support his wives. (2). the book of genesis (sifr at-takueen) : jacob, peace upon him, has married: “(31) lee’a .. (24) rahil .. (25) one of rahil’s slave girls … (26) and one of lee’a’s slave girls..” (3) therefore, he had four wives in the same time: two sisters i.e. lee’a and rahil, and their two slave girls. the book of numbers (sifr al-adad) : dawood – peace be upon him, had several wives and many slave girls and his son sulaiman, - peace be upon him – had also the same: “as for sulaiman – peace be upon him – he had more than one thousand wives”. but the polygyny was abrogated under the civil laws stipulated by the jewish scholars and was adopted by the jewish assemblies; thereafter, it acquired the legal capacity. article 54 of the legal provisions of the israelis stipulated: “the man may not have


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more than one wife, and he should swear the oath not to marry again upon entering the contract” (6) therefore, the prohibition was not stipulated in torah, but from making the oath. polygyny in the bible & christianity : at the beginning, christianity has sanctioned the polygyny as in judaism and the priests did not object on the same until the seventeenth century in which the prohibition began and was finally prescribed in 1750 under the pretext that monogamy will promote their rank – i.e. the rank of the priests – and that they will be devoted to the propagation so that the problems of women will not distract them from taking care of the church and its followers. the prohibition took place gradually. first, it was prohibited on the priests only. thereafter, the church applied the religious rituals only on the first marriage of the people other than the priests; therefore, if the christian man wished to marry the second wife no religious rituals will be applied thereon. after that, monogamy was prescribed but it was allowed to have slave girls (7); however, this was also prevented in 970 a.d. under the order to patriarch ibram al-sorbani (8). in that way the prohibition took place under the man-made laws and not the divine ones.. then, they began propagating for the celibacy which was found in christianity only and not in the other religions. they considered celibacy as a sign for the goodness of the soul and a reason to reach sacredness and rise in the ranks of believe or the ranks of the church. they considered the lust as a vice so the priests should not have this vice!! one of the justifications mentioned by “polis” in his propagation for celibacy was: (32) i want you to live without concerns. the one who does not marry will always be concerned in the affairs of the god (33) his goal is to please the god, but the one who married is concerned in the worldly matters and his goal is to please his wife (34) therefore, his concern is divided; moreover, the unmarried woman and the single one are concerned about the affairs of the god and their goal is to be sacred in body and soul” (9). accordingly, they have perverted the wordings from their contexts; thus, their thoughts were destructive and their principles were wrong and cannot be agreeable by the sound minds and the pure natures. how can the progeny be found, or how the human beings multiply without a legal marriage? where is the love, mercy and the peace of mind? how to extinguish the instinctive lust which was put down in us by allah the almighty who guided us to the right way to discharge it? how can we find the marital


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home which is the fortified castle preventing from adultery and taking mates (girl friend/boy friend)? where shall the instinctive motherly passion go? where shall the instinctive fatherly passion go?...

polygyny in islam : allah the almighty has legislated marriage for human beings - : { and allah has made for you of yourselves spouses }(10) - for honoring them, completing his blessings on them, purifying their hearts and bodies from the abomination, adultery and corruption and helping them in keeping their chastity, virtue, love, mercy, integrity and stability. marriage is the ever strong, deep, permanent and sincere relation between man and woman. this relation accommodates the reactions exchanged between man and woman, each according to his function; allah the almighty said: { he is the one who created you of one self, and made of it its spouse that he might serenely dwell with her }(11). this is the vision of islam to the truth of the human beings and their martial function. it is a comprehensive and true vision (12). islam did not prescribe on people celibacy or monasticism: “allah the almighty has given us the true religion instead of the monasticism” (13). islam legislated marriage as a way to purity, chastity, and virtue; therefore, the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “he who wants to meet allah the almighty with purity and virtue he should marry freewomen” (14). the prophet – peace be upon him – also said “marriage is of my sunna – way of life – and everyone not applying my sunna will not be my follower; so, marry to enlarge your numbers (for the sake of allah and building the earth)” (15). he – peace be upon him – said also “any capable person should marry because marriage will protect his eyes from the prohibited glances and will protect his private parts from the prohibited actions…” (16). islam has also allowed “polygyny” if necessary and here are the grounds of polygyny:

first : islam did not invent the polygyny. polygyny was well-known and widely-spread in all communities. arab people in the pre-islamic era were practicing polygyny widely without paying any attention to any considerations.

second : islam has come in order to organize the affairs of people; therefore, it has interfered in order to organize the matter of the non-restricted polygyny, prevent the damages thereof, arrange it, and make it in conformity with the public welfare: allah the almighty said: { and, in case you fear that you will not act equitably towards the


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orphans, then marry such women as is good to you, two, three, four, (literally: in twos and threes and fours) }(17). after revealing this verse, the prophet – peace be upon him – ordered the persons who were having more than four wives to keep four only and release the others. al bukharai narrated in his book “al-adab al-mufrad” that the companion ghailan – may allah be pleased with him – has embraced islam and was having ten wives, so the prophet – peace be upon him – told him “choose four of them only” (18). abu dawood narrated that omairah alasadi said: i embraced islam and was having eight wives, so i informed the prophet – peace be upon him – about this, he said: “choose four of them only” (19). moreover, al-shafie narrated in his book –almusnad- that nawful bin mo’awiah al dulaimi said: i embraced islam and was having five wives but the prophet – peace be upon him – told me: “choose four of them and release the other” therefore, i released the oldest of them as she was sterile since sixty years (20). so, before islam, polygyny was not restricted and was not having any limits or conditions but after islam polygyny was restricted with four wives only.

third : islam did not leave polygyny to the fancy of the men, but it has restricted polygyny with “justice”; otherwise, this option – polygyny - will not apply. islam mentioned two kinds of justice: -: obligatory justice : it means the justice in treatment, maintenance, intimacy and all the other external aspects of justice in a way not to deprive any of the wives from such things and not to prefer any of them more than others as stipulated in the following verse: { in case you fear that you will not do justice, then one (only) } (21). the prophet – peace be upon him – said “any person having two wives and does not treat them equally & justly, then he will come at the day of judgment with his body not straight” (22). muslim narrated that abdullah bin amr bin al-aas stated that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “the believers who are just in their judgments, just in treating their families and just in governing their people will sit down on bright platforms to the right of allah the almighty whose both hands are right” (23). 2-: justice in emotion : the justice in emotions and affection is something falling beyond the control of people and it is not required from them. this kind is mentioned in this verse: { and you will never be able to do justice between (your) wives, (literally: women) even if you are (so) eager; yet do not incline away completely (literally: incline away all inclining) (from one), so that you leave her (behind) as if she were suspended }(24).


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however, this kind does not mean to wrong any wife. if the heart liked one wife more than the other, then there should be other space in the heart to accommodate the other in a way not to incline away completely from one of them and leave the other behind as if she were suspended or not married. lady aisha – may allah be pleased with her – the wife of the prophet – peace be upon him- was having a special position in the heart of the prophet – peace be upon him – who was giving her a special love, yet the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “o my lord, i am treating my wives justly in the external sense which i can control, o my lord do not blame me for the internal sense (the heart) which is under your control not mine”.(25). therefore, the later verse does not prohibit the polygyny mentioned in the former verse, because the justice required under the first verse is the material one while the justice mentioned in the second verse is not to incline away completely from any of his wives because the emotions of the heart are not under the control of the man but under the control of allah the almighty who turns them as he wants; therefore, the prophet – peace be upon him – said “o my lord who turns the hearts as he wants, make my heart firmed on your religion”. accordingly, if any person was not sure of achieving the just treatment in the external sense he should not marry more than one wife because allah the almighty said { in case you fear that you will not do justice, then one (only);(that means marry one only) }. the purpose of that is to avoid injustice and unfairness, allah the almighty said { that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice }.

fourth : the purposes of polygyny, subject to the regulations thereof, are the following (but allah the almighty knows best the purposes thereof): 1- the purpose of polygyny is not the satisfaction of the animal lusts or going from one woman to another, but it is a necessary solution for several problems. islam is focusing on finding the right solutions to all problems and it did not left any problems without prescribing the right solution thereto. 2- if we suppose that we have two systems – as mentioned by dr. mahmoud amarah – one of them allowing polygyny, prohibiting all the other forbidden relations between the two sexes and imposing a severe punishment on those who transgress the honor and commit adultery, while the other system prohibiting polygyny, allowing the forbidden relations between the two sexes and does not punish the transgressors in this regard… therefore, if polygyny was to be allowed, then the first system is more


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suitable because it respects the humanity of the woman, her rights and children. (27) 3- islam is looking to the society – the individual and society – from the point of view of giving the priority to the welfare of society rather than the welfare of the individual in order to avoid the blights and achieve the benefits for all. on the light of this, we can say that there are seven cases necessitate polygyny: special cases related to the divorced woman, widowed woman, spinster, sterile woman in addition to special cases related to the man, war conditions and laws of allah the almighty in the universe. (28)

the special cases of woman - the divorced woman, widowed woman and the spinsters are all confronting the ghost of deprivation because few numbers of people are interested in marrying them; therefore, they are living in suppression and conflict with the natural instincts; accordingly, they are in front of two options: either to approach the ways of seduction and deviation from morals, or to be wives for married men; being the second, third or the fourth wife. therefore, the polygyny is the most suitable, effective and sole solution to keep woman away from corruption and deviation and maintain their dignity and honor. - the sterile woman and the natural desire of the husband to have children: in this case, the husband has two options: either to divorce her in order to marry another one for the purpose of having children or to marry another one without divorcing the first one. the second option is surely the reasonable and effective solution which prevents divorce and keeps the dignity of the sterile wife. not only this, the sterile wife will find sociability and intimacy in the children of the other wife; therefore she can compensate sterility� (29) { thus allah creates whatever he decides } (30).

as for the special cases of the man - some men have strong desire and they cannot control their desires and one woman will not be enough, either because the weakness of her body in a way which cannot


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be treated or because of her old age.. then, should he suppress his desire and prevent his instinctive activity? or should he have the permission to commit adultery with any woman? isn’t it better to permit him to have another wife in addition to the first one?.. the third solution is the most reasonable and straightforward solution to meet the requirements of the instinct and preserve the islamic morals and it is the most effective way to protect the dignity and the company of the first wife. - there are other cases in which the number of women exceeded the number of men – as in the case of wars and diseases. it is a case of clear social disorder; so, how can the legislator confront this matter and find a solution for the welfare of the man and the woman and for the whole human beings? there is only one solution out of three:

the first solution: each man will marry one woman but the other one or two women – according to the percentage – will remain deprived along their life from having a husband, marital house, child or family.

the second solution: each man will marry one woman as a wife and doing illegal relations with other women without having any marital house. the children coming out of such adultery will suffer total loss.

the third solution: each man will marry more than one woman and make them experience the marital life, having a real house, a family and children; this will release the man from vices, sins and offenses and will protect the society from the disorder, losing the parentage and the dirty of vices & offenses. what is the most effective and suitable solution for the human beings? what is the most suitable solution to the manhood of the man and the womanhood of the woman? (31).

the answer:


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there is no need to think too much. the third solution is the right one. this solution will not only satisfy women willfully and freely, but will also make them request and encourage it. the women in germany requested polygyny because of the death of the youth in the world war and their desire to protect themselves from approaching the adultery and to save their children from the illegality. therefore, the international youth conference in munich , germany has recommended the polygyny as a solution to the large number of women and less number of men after the second world war. (32).

fifth: by organizing the matter of polygyny and making it conditional on “justice”, islam did not impose it on the woman and did not oblige her to accept it. the woman – whether married before or not – has the full freedom to reject or accept anyone wishing to marry her. the guardian is not entitled to oblige her to anything not desired by her. the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “marriage will not be valid except after taking the explicit approval, if the woman is not virgin, and after taking the implicit approval, if the woman is virgin” (33). once, a girl complained to the prophet – peace be upon him – because her father obliged her to marry her cousin in spite of her will. that girl said to aisha – may allah be pleased with her: my father obliged me to marry my cousin in spite of my will. aisha – may allah be pleased with her – said: sit down until the prophet – peace be upon him – comes. then she told the prophet – peace be upon him – who in turn invited her father and authorized her to choose what she wants, but she said: “o prophet of allah, i have accepted the action of my father, but i just wanted to teach women this matter” (34).

summary islam has allowed polygyny – as mentioned before – as a solution for several problems and made it conditional on achieving “justice”. the islamic sharia allowed marriage to handle several emergency cases and to solve several social problems in order to protect the whole society. however, polygyny is not widely-spread in a way to disturb women or motivate the ill-hearted people to challenge the holy quran. some non-muslim just people thought deeply in the matter and came up with the


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same positive points of polygyny. etienne dinet – in his book “mohammad the prophet of allah – said: “the theory of monogamy adopted by the christianity involved several disadvantages and resulted in three serious & dangerous consequences on society; prostitution, spinsters and the illegal sons. these social diseases and bad morals were not known in the countries which applied the islamic sharia completely, but these things – the above mentioned three consequences – entered and spread therein after contacting the western urban culture” (35). here is also an english female writer – london truth newspapers – stated: my heart is torn out of sorrow for the women, who have no husbands, but my sorrow is useless even if all people did like me; there is no solution for this tragic problem except by allowing the man to marry more than one woman. by this, this blight will go away and our daughters will have marital homes. the most dangerous catastrophe is to oblige the european man to marry one woman only…” (36). therefore, the society which closes the door in front of the woman and prevent her from having a legal relationship – under the pretext of liberty and giving the rights – will lead her to the way of vices and lusts and will make her a toy for everyone. where are then the rights they are calling for? where is the dignity of the woman? allah the almighty was right by saying: { and bring them their rewards with beneficence, as (women) in wedlock, other than in fornication or taking mates to themselves } but it seems that the west is saying: { drive out the followers of lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure } (37) …………………………………………………………………………………………………. (1)an-nisa 3 (2)woman position in judaism, christianity & islam, al-liwa’ ahmad abdul wahhab, page 150, ministry of endowments. talmud: it is the second book which jewish allege that it includes the oral teachings of moses – peace be upon him – and consider it as more important than the torah itself. (3)(the book of genesis 35:23-26) (4)(the book of the numbers 3:30 ). (5)(al-qozat “the judges”8:3-31) about: woman in judaism, christianity & islam by


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zaki abu adha, page 284-286. (6)woman position in the judaist religion by mr. mohammad ashor, page 11. his reference is: the israeli religious thinking by dr. hasan dada. (7)marrying slave girl: taking one of the slave girls as a wife without making a marriage contract, just like a right due from the slave girl toward her lord. (8)reference:woman in judaism, christianity & islam by zaki abu adha, page 291293. (9)(cornith 7: 32 -34) about: woman in judaism, christianity & islam by zaki abu adha, page 304. (10)an-nahl 72 (11)al-araf 189 (12)reference: the woman in the holy quran, by sayed qotb, prepared by ikasha abdul mannan, page 19. (13)narrated by al-baihaqi from the tradition of saad bin abi waqqas. (14)narrated by ibn majah in marriage book, tradition no. 1862. (15)narrated by ibn majah in marriage book, tradition no. 1846. (16)narrated by an-nassai, tradition no. 2242, and ahmad in his “musnad” (1/58). (17)an-nissa 3 (18)narrated by al-bukhari in his book “al-adab almufrad”, tradition no. 256. narrated also by ibn majah in marriage book, and also narrated by ahmad in his “musnad” (2/13, 14). (19)narrated by abu dawood, tradition no. 2241, and narrated also by ibn majah 1952.


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(20)narrated by al-shafe’i in “marriage book” volume 2/19. (21)al-nissa 3 (22)narrated by: al nassa’i – tradition no. 3942, al tirmithi – tradition no. 1141, ibn majah – tradition no. 1969, al-darami – tradition no. 2206, and ahmad, tradition 8363, 9740.


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