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Is it only polygamy causing 'harm' to women & children?


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Author Topic: Is it only polygamy causing 'harm' to women & children?  (Read 37 times)
Zeynab
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« on: January 21, 2019, 05:33:36 am »



Is it only those few incidents of polygamy among Muslims living in the West that's causing harm to women and children?   Let's take a closer look.   

The following is a quote from a story that recently appeared in
CBC news
about a Muslim man who wanted to take a second wife after 26 years of marriage to his first wife who was very upset despite her husband's assurances that his second marriage wouldn't stop him from taking good care of her and their children.

"B.C. Supreme Court upheld the section of the Criminal Code that prohibits polygamy as constitutional and ruled that the harm against women and children from polygamy far outweighs concerns over protecting religious freedom."

As we don't know the details whether or not it was a happy marriage for that many years, it's obviously not possible to confirm individual opinions of this story.   However, my point is simply that I see an oversight or a double standard in the statement above.

First off, polygamy is not religious practice, it's a social culture that's optional and existed much prior to Islam.  Islam put limits to it and also some important conditions as elucidated in the Noble Quran such as prohibiting taking secret mistresses (even if you call them 'wives'), women are granted the right to divorce and therefore have the entitlement to reject being a co-wife; and of course two sisters cannot be co-wives.  Since Islam is not just a "religion" but a complete code of life - practical and spiritual - thus the Quran elucidates the rules of every facet of life including marriage.   

 Secondly:  Having mentioned the contents of the above paragraph, though polygamy is allowed in Islam, it certainly isn't supposed to be an unconditional option if the existing wife disagrees.  In that case, the husband will either have to quit the idea of another marriage or simply agree to divorce his existing wife with the necessary financial settlement.  It would also be incorrect to say that the existing wife "will naturally disagree."   Numerous incidents have shown where many haven't disagreed for personal reasons of their own.  Those men who marry secretly or who don't allow their existing wives to divorce them or who deny sufficient finances to their first wives and their children or who neglect giving care and love to their first families are completely misusing the terms & conditions of polygamy as highlighted in Islam and they need to be handled by the law strictly.

But the above statement I read at CBC website seems to reflect a glaring omission considering what's happening in most parts of the Western society that's so obviously harming women and children as a result of man-woman relationship out of wedlock ... much more than the misuse of polygamy.  This includes unmarried girls as young as 14, 15 and 16 giving birth.  In majority of all such cases, children are born after one-night-stands who have no idea who their dads are.  In several cases homeless women too give birth and a few hours later the father disappears forever.   Those little children who are taken away by the social security and find good foster homes are the fortunate ones.  But many aren't so fortunate who stay with their biological mothers.  The mother almost always struggles to bring up her child / children as a "single mom."  Many parents of such women don't have the financial means nor the desire to take care of their unmarried daughter's children. The challenge is often too tough for these women.  Several of them are too immersed in socializing and too young to understand the serious responsibilities involved in bringing up children appropriately.  Lots of children born of such women die of neglect at the hands of their young mothers and their boyfriends, one way or another.  It's no secret, these women seldom or never achieve a single satisfactory goal in life.  More often than not, their lives culminate in addiction - alcohol and drugs.  Because of their young age, apathy and lack of education, many consume alcohol and drugs even during pregnancy, giving birth to children with learning deficiencies like Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or worse.  In a nutshell, these women and their children suffer irreparable harm, which is certainly avoidable and must never happen.  Will there ever be a 'criminal code'  to discourage, if not prohibit, such horrifying social practices that have been systematically devastating the lives of thousands of women and little children?   In comparison to this, doesn't polygamy take the backseat?  In comparison, aren't the consequences of polygamy much rarer and far easier to resolve?    The answer is definitely yes.


Related posts:
Polygamy as interpreted by Muslim modernists
Polygamy as interpreted by Muslim modernists
Articulating further on that storm in a teacup - polygamy in Islam
Quran and the liberation of women
Responsibilities of men looking for polygamy



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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 05:56:13 am »



Spot on Sister Zeynab.  It isn't about advocating nor judging polygamy.  Neither would it be right to judge without knowing how strong or flimsy this marriage was, but the contrasting principles in the story cannot go unnoticed.  I really couldn't agree more with everything you mentioned about single moms, their children and unknown dads .... can such moms and kids ever have a life as happy as married mothers and children .. or even legally divorced mothers and their children?   If a woman isn't ready to handle a marriage, let her not marry and stay single, stay human.  It isn't obligatory for every female to bear a child if the circumstances aren't right.  The western society has absolutely no reasons to feel proud that they don't adhere to polygamy.  They have substituted polygamy with fornication having unlimited number of partners, just as in pre-Islamic era, polygamy was allowed with countless number of women ... in many cases it was just a temporary union dubbed as 'marriage' of sorts.  Present-day social culture of sexual promiscuity is precisely that.

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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 06:07:30 am »




.......  This includes unmarried girls as young as 14, 15 and 16 giving birth.  In majority of all such cases, children are born after one-night-stands who have no idea who their dads are.  In several cases homeless women too give birth and a few hours later the father disappears forever.   Those little children who are taken away by the social security and find good foster homes are the fortunate ones.  But many aren't so fortunate who stay with their biological mothers.  The mother almost always struggles to bring up her child / children as a "single mom."  Many parents of such women don't have the financial means nor the desire to take care of their unmarried daughter's children. The challenge is often too tough for these women.  Several of them are too immersed in socializing and too young to understand the serious responsibilities involved in bringing up children appropriately.  Lots of children born of such women die of neglect at the hands of their young mothers and their boyfriends, one way or another.  It's no secret, these women seldom or never achieve a single satisfactory goal in life.  More often than not, their lives culminate in addiction - alcohol and drugs.  Because of their young age, apathy and lack of education, many consume alcohol and drugs even during pregnancy, giving birth to children with learning deficiencies like Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or worse.  In a nutshell, these women and their children suffer irreparable harm, which is certainly avoidable and must never happen.  Will there ever be a 'criminal code'  to discourage, if not prohibit, such horrifying social practices that have been systematically devastating the lives of thousands of women and little children?   In comparison to this, doesn't polygamy take the backseat?  In comparison, aren't the consequences of polygamy much rarer and far easier to resolve?  The answer is definitely yes.

This is really so very sad  Sad and no one is pushed about it, instead making a mountain out of a molehill by picking a few incidents of polygamy here and there. 



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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 02:46:53 am »



The western society is so abashed concerning its own problems that they comfort themselves with minor issues that are like a drop in the ocean compared to the variety of misery unleashed from their own very permissive ideas of life that are pathetic and tearful as any civilized & honest person would understand.

Well compared Sister Zeynab.  These people need to realize that to be on denial, downplaying their own heartbreaking problems by playing up someone else's comparatively smaller and much less occurrent issues won't resolve their continued heartbreak that show no signs of changing.




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