Polygamy Allowed in Islam not encouraged, Indian Judge: Indian Express Report

( A rule of exception-part of the most legal system: Koya)


Polygamy Allowed in Islam, Not Encouraged

India, polygamy, Islam, Muslims, Shari`ah

The Indian court ruled that polygamy is only allowed under certain circumstances as the illness of the wife

CAIRO – An Indian court has ruled that polygamy is not encouraged by the Noble Qur’an, but only allowed under certain circumstances, saying the practice does not fit modern democracies, The Indian Expressreported Tuesday, January 1.

“The Holy Qur’an permits a Muslim man to marry more than one woman at a time (up to a maximum of four), but does not encourage such behavior,” Judge Kamini Lau said.

The ruling came in response to a case in which an imam is accused of marrying a girl to a married man without her consent.

Muslim Family and Polygamy (Special)All Facts on Marriage in Islam

Maulvi Mustafa Raja is accused of forcing a girl to tie the knot with a married man without her consent and in the absence of her parents.

Police said the consent of the man’s first wife, from whom he has got three children, was not taken at the time of his second marriage.

The court dismissed the claim that polygamy is encouraged in Islam, saying the practice is only allowed under certain circumstances as the illness of the wife.

“I may observe that even in countries governed by Shari`ah Law, the second marriage is permitted under special circumstances such as an illness of the first wife or her inability to bear children,” the judge said.

“In these cases, with the first wife’s consent, a man may marry again and this is referred to as polygamy, a subset of polygamous marriages.”

In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.

Islam sees polygamy as a realistic answer to some social woes like adulterous affairs and lamentable living conditions of a widow or a divorced woman.

A Muslim man who seeks a second or a third wife should, however, make sure that he would treat them all on an equal footing.

The Noble Qur’an says that though polygamy is lawful it is very hard for a man to guarantee such fairness.


The court argued that polygamy does not fit modern democracies.

“In the secular states of the Muslim world such as Turkey and Tunisia, polygamy is illegal in any form,” the judge said.

“Even in the nations where it is permitted, polygamy is only practiced by a small minority.

“Before a man can take an additional wife, he is required to obtain the consent of his existing wife or wives,” he said.

Muslims account for 160 million of India’s 1.1 billion people, the world’s third-largest Islamic population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

In India, divorce and marriage issues are dominated by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the single largest religious body consisting of scholars of different schools of thought.

In May, Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh issued a fatwa stating that marrying more than once made it “hard to provide equal justice to two wives in the Indian custom”.

The fatwa was issued in response to a query by a man who wanted advice on marrying twice.

The judge stressed that polygamy is allowed in Islam as part of “social duty and charitable motives or when it seeks to prevent destitution”.

“Keeping in view the conduct of Maulvi Raja and the seriousness of the offence involved, I find no ground to grant any indulgence to the accused,” the judge ruled.

“The application for grant of anticipat

4 replies


    When I was in College in Sacramento, the first thing many American girls asked me on learning that I was a Muslim . ” So you guys can marry more than two wives, right?”

    My answer would be, ” I would be lucky if I can do that but that is not the truth. 98% of the Muslim men have only wife. It is a rule of exception and is contingent on certain conditions.”


    The Quran stipulates the rule a Muslim man may more than one wife. But it is stated – as rule of exception- in relations to orphans and widows one of the most neglected part of any society.

    Generally widows, divorcees and women with dependent children are the last or not even on the list of marriageable women.


    One of the greatest virtues of the American community is they are prepared to listen to your reasons and explanation and very few get confrontational. This is a window of opportunity to invite them to Islam to see how Islam handles the social and domestic issues.


    I think the Indian Judge deserves to be congratulated for putting the principle of the Holy Quran in perspective,

  2. Everything said above is fine. However, please reflect: There are many unmarried ladies, whether widowed, divorced or just could not find a suitable husband (especially within the Jamaat). Consequently even now-a-days we in fact have an ‘unmarried-ladies-emergency’. Consequently wives of good husbands should in fact request their husbands to look after one more wife, take care of them … Allah would reward such wives even more than the husbands, who would take on such additional duties and responsibilities.

  3. Thank you brother Rafiq Tschannen for your bold views.


    In my interactions both with our Jamaat members and the mainstream Muslims (I am often approached with spousal/domestic issues/some also discuss marrying the daughters away to Non-Muslims)I found a strong resistance among our Muslim ladies to the idea of their husband having another wife.

    They scorn at the thought and regard it as being unfaithful to them. Here discussion cannot be just superficial. It involves a whole range of issues including, social, cultural and very personal opinions. Many Muslim ladies would argue that only Muslim men who are not satisfied would do such a thing.

    The primary objective of the law of the Holy Quran ( that I call rule of exception) in relation to polygamy is lost in the heat of arguments and sentiments.


    Before going any further, it is important to note that Allah has not revealed a Book full of codes for every situation. It stipulates the basics that are central to many different situations which is where intelligent reflection and reasoning are required and may prompt an Islamic jury deliberation.


    Like all rules in the Holy Quran when a situation arises where a Muslim man has to marry more than one wife, the rule of Allah needs to take effect (understandably) without remorse, complaint and resistance with the hope of seeking approval and pleasure of Allah.


    In the USA, polygamy is prohibited and one has to denounce its practice on becoming a US citizen which means you cannot legally marry two women at the same time.

    This prohibition in US law has opened back doors to having relationship without a legal marriage. And I am sure I am not wrong that there are far more men in US having multiple wives ( in cases many more than up to four allowed in Islam).


    In several Muslim countries (including India and Pakistan) the law does not require a registration of marriage. Scores of marriage are done without having to register a marriage. An Islamic Nikha is sufficient and for the most part it is very successful and married couples honor live by it.

    Of course (from I see in courts) there are some who take advantage of the loophole and for that lack of evidence do not claim a previous marriage because it cannot be substantiated.

    Customary practices are not recognized by US Family Law Courts not do they take any judicial notice of them.

    In a recent case, a judge ruled out admissibility of evidence of Hindu marriage practice for lack of a duly authorized marriage certificate that in US is granted by your County Reorders office where you do need to have at least two witnesses ( a requirement directly borrowed from the Holy Quran).


    Our Muslim sisters need to keep in mind the stipulation in the Holy Quran has an objective in front (particularly with regards orphans and widows).

    How far doe the exception extend? It has been good even where a present wife is not capable of bearing a child but is happy to allow a second wife and were some men are overly sexual. It prevents illegal what may otherwise be unIslamic.

    I look forward with interest hearing some real legal discussions here.

    Happy New Year! God bless all!


  4. To all the ladies ‘out there’:

    It is definitely not ‘a black mark’ on the first wife if a husband marries a second one.

    In most cases there is definitely nothing wrong with the first wife. On the contrary, she is a first class lady and needs to be complemented for giving the permission (or permitting it to happen).

    Therefore again, ladies ‘out there’: Do not worry. If you should give permission to your husbands to marry again you should be complemented, honored and – Inshallah – rewarded by Allah.

    (The cases where a husband marries again, because the wife did not get a child, for instance, are the minority of cases)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.