Black Muslims : Monogamy And Polygamy

Discussion in 'Islam Study Group' started by noor100, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. noor100

    noor100 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Written by Dr. Bilal Philips
    Thursday, 06 July 2006

    This article is not put together in defense of polygyny (plural marriage) for Allah has already confirmed its validity as clearly stated in the Noble Quran: “Marry of the women that please you, two, three or four, but if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly with them, then only one.” Moreover, the Prophet (pbuh) demonstrated in detail how polygyny should be put into practice by his divinely guided lifestyle.

    Polygyny was the practice of most of the major companions of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as many outstanding Muslim scholars from the earliest time of Islam up to the present. Polygyny was also practised among a portion of the general masses in most Muslim countries before and after the advent of European colonization.

    In fact, it is only in recent times (early twentieth century) that a loud new cry has been raised by non-Muslims attacking the institution of marriage in Islam due to its recognition of polygyny and the ease with which divorce may be obtained. They propose the replacement of the Islamic form of marriage with restrictive impractical monogamy practiced in the West, arguing that it is the only just and civilized form of marriage. However, to this day, polygyny continues to be practised by some Muslims throughout the Muslim world.

    Having said that, however, there are a few points raised by the opponents of Islam which should be answered. Firstly, among these is the totally erroneous claim that Christianity's introduction of monogamy not only protected the rights of women but also had a civilizing effect on the world in the realm of human relations. First of all, it should be noted that there are no scriptural accounts of Jesus prohibiting polygyny, and early Christians were polygynous, following Jewish tradition. Some of the Church Fathers accused the Jewish rabbis of sensuality, yet not a single church council in the early centuries opposed polygyny nor was any obstacle placed in the way of its practice. In fact, St. Augustine declared openly that he did not condemn it. Luther, on occasion, spoke of it with considerable toleration and was known to have approved the bigamous status of Philip of Hesse. In 1531, the Anabaptists openly preached that a true Christian must have several wives. There was even a time in 1650 when some of the Christian leaders resolved that every man should be allowed to marry two women. It is also recorded that the German reformers, even as late as the sixteenth century, admitted the validity of a second and third marriage contemporaneously with the first in default of issue and other similar causes. In fact, it was only after Christianity was revised according to Paulian doctrines that concepts of monogamy were introduced into Christian philosophy in order for it to conform to Greco-Roman culture. Greece and Rome had evolved an institutionalized form of monogamy in societies where the majority of the population were slave women who could be used freely for sexual purposes. Hence what was termed monogamy in theory was in fact unrestricted polygamy.

    Secondly, along with the development of monasticism there arose a philosophy which regarded every gratification of the sexual impulse with suspicion and disgust. For those who chose celibacy or self-denial as their way of life, the greatest challenge was their own sexual desires. The writings of early monks are filled with their descriptions of dreams in which they are tormented by beautiful and alluring women. Many Christian saints were reported to have been convinced that they were tempted at night by voluptous and lascivious female demons called succubi that tormented them. While nuns and other Christian women, on the other hand, asserted that they were visited at night by equally alluring beings called incubi who had sex with them. Women were despised and blamed for corruption based on Eve's supposed submission to the Devil and her subsequent encouragement to Adam to eat from the forbidden tree. Some Christian scholars of the past even interpreted the forbidden tree as sex itself. The following are statements of canonized saints of Christianity concerning women: “Woman is the daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of Hell, the enemy of peace; through her Adam lost paradise (St. John Damascene)”. “Woman is the arm of the Devil, her voice is the hissing of the serpent (St. Anthony)”. “Woman has the poison of an asp, the malice of a dragon (St. Gregory the Great)”. Hence, sex was looked upon as an evil impulse necessary for procreation but despised for pleasure. And, the acceptable form of marriage was reduced to the simplest possible terms, monogamy.

    The question remains why a male-dominated society should be so opposed to polygyny when such a large number of its married members practise a form of it by engaging in illicit or casual relationships. Some males self-righteously assert that monogamy is maintained to protect the rights of women. But, since when has the western male been concerned about women's rights? Western society is riddled through and through with socio-economic practices which oppressed women and led to the upsurge of women's liberation movements in recent years, from suffragettes of the early nineteen hundreds to those of recent times.

    The reality is that monogamy protects the males right to play around without any responsibility, since the incidence of infidelity among them is usually much higher than among females. The birth control pills and easy access to abortions opened the door to illicit sex and the female became tempted to join in the fun. Inspite of her natural and general inclination towards meaningful relationships, she became caught up in the so-called sexual revolution. However, she is still the one who suffers from the side effects of the pill, coil and the loop or the trauma of abortion in much the same way as she suffered in the past the shame of child birth out of wedlock. Meanwhile the male continues to enjoy himself worry free, aside from the recent plagues of venereal disease, herpes and A.I.D.S., which are now causing many to reassess their sexual habits. Males in general continue to be protected by monogamy, while prostitutes, call girls, mistresses, secretaries, models, actresses, store clerks, waitresses and girl friends remain their playground. The fact is that polygyny is vehemently opposed by male-dominated Western society because it would force men to fidelity. It would encourage them to take socio-economic responsibility for the fulfillment of their polygynous desires and provide protection for the weaker members of society, women and children from mental and physical abuse.

    Some might argue that if the stigma of illegitimacy were removed, the problem could be solved without having to resort to the legalization of polygyny. However, every child has a natural desire to know its parents and the resulting chaos in ancestry could easily lead to incestuous relationships. Females have a vested interest in institutional polygyny because of the obvious socio-economic protection it provides. For the preponderance of females in the world is an established fact. The death-rate at birth is much higher for boys, and women as a whole live longer than men; not to mention the large numbers of men who die daily in the various wars around the world. Thus, although the ratio may vary from country to country the results are still the same; women outnumber men. This apparent imbalance has been further aggravated by the fact that homosexuality appears to be more frequent among men than among women. Hence there are more females competing for a diminishing number of males. Consequently, there will always remain a large segment of women unable to fulfill their sexual and psychological needs through legitimate means in monogamous societies. Their presence in an increasingly permissive society also contributes to the break down of Western family structure. A strong family structure is an absolute requirement for a strong and a healthy society. And, the only way that the family can remain strong and responsive to the needs of its male and female members is through the Islamic form of marriage of which polygyny is a part.

    The Monogamous marriage system, clearly, does not take into consideration the real needs of human society. It limits possibilities for both men and women while claiming to protect the latter. Instead of providing protection for women, it provides a hypocritical shield for men to hide behind while favoring a wife to the detriment of a girl friend or vice versa. Islam has a complete marriage system which takes into account all the human variables and provides men and women with viable options. To deny the validity and legality of polygyny is tantamount to denying the comprehensiveness of the Islamic marriage system and the wisdom of the divine decree. It is not possible that everything in life should happen according to our feelings and desires. Nor is it possible to live without experiencing pain. On the contrary, Allah has stated in the Noble Quran that Muslims shall be tested:

    “Be sure that We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your labor), but give glad tidings to those who are patient.”

    “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe’, and that they will not be tested?”

    Neither tests nor pain, whether physical or emotional, can be avoided in this life. Nor can any aspect of the Islamic system be negated merely to justify a particular individual's or groups' opinions. Although polygyny may be painful for some women, it is also beneficial for other women and society as a whole. Muslims must accept the whole of Allah's message and submit to the fact that Allah's wisdom is superior to our opinions.
     
  2. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very good article noor100, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and will copy and save for future reference.






     
  3. noor100

    noor100 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I like this article too because it's not apologetic on this issue.
     
  4. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Peace and Love!



    .......For sure, its straight forward with the wisdom and takes no prisoners, so to speak :)

     
  5. noor100

    noor100 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    With all the problems we as black people have in this society...the shortage of men,children without fathers,crime etc.Honorable polygamy would be a blessing to many...if we as black people[especially women] can deal with jeasousy,selfish and hateful attitudes towards each other...and start opening our hearts to others who don't have.
     
  6. noor100

    noor100 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Polygyny: A Blessing in Disguise

    By Meriem Ezzaoui

    Redefining the halal and haram is an illness that is spreading rampantly through our ummah. Many Muslims have chosen to define what is permissible and what is prohibited in order to suit their personal needs. These 'modern' definitions are against the commands of Allah(subhanahu wa ta'ala) and the Prophet's(peace be upon him) sunnah and hadith. To prohibit the halal and permit the haram is a grave sin.

    We are not allowed to prohibit that which Allah (swt) decreed as His favor upon us. It has been forbidden many times within the Qur'an. Allah (swt) says "And do not say, concerning the falsehood which your tongues utter, "This is halal and that is haram," in order to fabricate a lie against Allah; assuredly those who fabricate a lie against Allah will not prosper" (16:116) Why then do we women tend to practice this act of disbelief?

    Many of you will ask yourselves when have you done this. One word will explain, polygyny. This simple harmless word is the root to our sin. Hearing or reading this word can cause our bodies to react physically. The face cringes, the stomach turns and shivers run throughout our body. Unlike most words this word assumes the role of an enemy. A dark enemy that threatens to take away a valuable possession, our husbands. We must remind ourselves that our husbands are not our possession but a gift from Allah . How can we 'own' another person when we do not even 'own' ourselves? Part of our inner jihad is to reeducate our thoughts on male-female relations. Our minds have been clouded by the Western institution of marriage which forbids polygyny.

    The marriage structure and marital relations of the West influence many Muslims around the world. We have come to accept the idea of one man one women despite the evidence that these relations often fail quickly and easily and bring more harm to society than good. So why are we so eager to accept a Western practice that clearly does not work the majority of the time? Are we, as an ummah, afraid to be different? Are we trying to blend in with the kufr when we should be setting the example? The Prophet (pbuh), as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, said, " Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange, so good tiding to the strangers". Allah (swt) says: "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw upon them their over-garments. That is more appropriate so that they may be recognized and not molested." (33:59). Allah (swt) has not commanded us to hide because we are different from the kufr and the People of the Book. Quite the contrary, we are told to be proud of our differences. We must call to mind frequently that these differences are in fact blessings given to us from Al- Wahhaab. The acceptance of polygyny will strengthen our ummah. Jealousy will subside, extra-martial affairs will decrease, single, widowed, divorced sisters and orphans will have protectors and maintainers.

    Although, most of us do not declare out loud "Polygyny is haram" the actions and opinions of many support this statement. When our sisters demand that the marriage contract include an 'escape clause' in case of a second wife they are essentially stating that polygyny is haram. The same can be said of women who make it impossible , through personal and financial demands, for a husband to marry another (a right Allah gave all men). Yes, these sisters are not prohibiting polygyny for all, just for their husbands. Instead of helping a sister in need perhaps they are pushing her to sin.

    The Sunnah of our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) allow both polygynous and monogamous marriages. Uthman and Omar were also married to more than one women. Is not the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the model of the perfect Muslim? Were not Uthman and Omar part of the holiest generations of Muslims? Yet, many try to prove that polygyny is not recommended. A monogamous society is idealistic but not realistic. Human society is not designed for one woman-one man due to death, divorce and believing women outnumbering believing men . Monogamy is more harmful than beneficial to the Muslim ummah. It lacks stability and leads to chaos. This statement is supported by the condition of monogamous societies which suffer from high divorce rates, extra-marital affairs, teen pregnancy and single mothers.

    Sisters, let us return to the Sunnah and the example set by the Sahabah. These men and women should always remain our role models. Let us try to refrain from condemning their actions as we do when we criticize polygyny. Let us assist our sisters who need a home, love and support. Instead of badmouthing the second wife we should thank Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for His Compassion. Imagine if your husband were to die what would be your fate? You may have a family to support you but what if that was not the case? No place to shelter your babies and no food to feed them, would you oppose polygyny then? What if you were single with little hope of marriage except to a married brother, would you refuse or accept and complete half your faith?

    We should want for others what we want and have for ourselves. The ummah will remain weak until we look out for our sisters. By accepting polygyny we create a stable ummah without excessive backbiting and gossip. We help Muslimahs find love, friendship and maintainers. We enable sisters to have a family or care for the one they already have. Instead of working to provide food and clothing she can teach her children Islam. She can study Islam herself and perform dawa. Instead of criticizing and complaining about polygyny praise Allah (swt) for this wonderous blessing.
     
  7. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I concur 100%
     
  8. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Having these sentiments, speaks truth to power, noor100, and in addition to the conditions mentioned, honorable polygamy would help offset the current trend of black men with white women. Our men seem to be obsessed with white women fever. Not only is this trend visible on television, daily, its prevalent in real time, 24/7...365, smh.

     
  9. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Peace and Love!

    .......In all honesty, this is a serious step in the right direction, requiring bold radical faith and soundness of mind.




     
  10. noor100

    noor100 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Book:polygamy In Islam
    Bilal Philips & Jameelah Jones



    'Polygamy is the Muslim practice most frequently and severely maligned by Westerners and modernist Muslims. This book can be read with profit by all unprejudiced readers who wish to know its justification and rationale.

    One of the greatest contrasts between Islam and the West is their conflicting concepts of relations between the sexes. Indeed, the very first question a Muslim convert is confronted with by an American or European is ‘Why does Islam allow four wives?’ This book...replies straightforwardly to that question and much more.

    The authors describe all the most important characteristics of marriage in Islam, pointing out that the Western notions of sex equality and romantic premarital ‘love’ are not necessary in Islamic marriage based on piety and the commitment on the part of both parents to win the pleasure of Almighty Allah.'

    This book contains basic guides for anyone interested in understanding the rights and obligations of males and females in Islamic plural marriage. The guidelines have been drawn from the Quran, Hadith and opinions of Islamic scholars.

    http://www.amazon.com/Polygamy-Islam-Bilal-Philips-Jameelah/dp/9960953300
     
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