Polygamy: The Sacred Act Of Marriage Redefined. Discusses

1539 words - 6 pages

Our culture emphasises the importance of monogamy as it is illegal for a person to be married to more than one husband or wife at the same time. However, not all cultures practice monogamy; in some cultures, it is absolutely acceptable and normal to have more than one spouse at a time. This type of marriage practice is called "polygamy," and there are two main forms: Polygyny is practiced when a man has more than one wife at a time. Polyandry, on the other hand, occurs when a women is married to more than one husband at the same time. The fact that polygamy is successfully practiced in diverse religious and cultural settings suggests that, although not generally an accepted marital form in the west, it is an effective social arrangement.A culture that is known for its men having several wives is the Islamic culture. This practice is based on the teachings of the holy Quaran. According to these teachings God has given permission for man to marry up to four women, on one condition: he must be able to treat all of them fairly. This is not an easy task unless the man is wealthy. Men are polygamously allowed up to four wives whom they can equitably support. However, in muslim culture, probably no more than five percent of all households are polygamous (Speaking Graphically). A man is obligated to treat each wife equally and fairly. This is a difficult task, considering that the man is responsible for the financial well being of all of his wives. He is also the provider for all of his children. It is also important to consider the emotional component of a marriage. It is difficult to give each and every wife the same attention because one wife may be more emotionally involved with the husband than the other wives, which would cause a feud in the household.Although Islam men are allowed to have several wives, there are certain circumstances where this is more acceptable than others. For instance, providing a fatherly figure for orphans is the only specific circumstance supporting of polygamy mentioned in the Quaran (Polygamy 65). If a man marries a widow and becomes a father to her children, then he has done a good deed. The Quaran does not require that a man marry exactly four wives. It is acceptable for him to devote himself to one wife. Also, it is considered by the followers of Islam to be an abuse of God's law if a man marries another wife just because she is younger and more attractive than the first wife. Looking back into Islamic history, the prophet Muhammad was married to a woman for twenty-five years until she died. He devoted himself to one woman and raised a family with her. After she died, he married the widows of his friends to be a fatherly figure to their children as well. Muhammad also married other women to enhance political alliances (Prusher).In Islam, marriage is considered a religious duty. One who refuses to get married, but has sexual relations, is considered sinful and disobedient to Allah. Marriage is an expected duty, but if...

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