Polygamy in Islam: The Myth, the reality.
By: Sabah Kunle-Muhammad
One should regard monogamy as the norm and polygamy as the exception to the rule. We have quite often seen the abuse of polygamy through various time, but under certain circumstances, we can prove its viability.
Firstly, I must emphasize that Islam does not impose polygamy on any culture. By no means is someone expected to practice polygamy even as a Muslim. It must however be known that polygamy is an ancient practice of many societies.
When one looks at the history of Islam; the prophet of Islam, Muhammad () was monogamous for the most of his married life. He married his wife Khadijah at the age of twenty-five and she was his only wife until she died. He was fifty years of age by that time.
The prophet, however later took women as wives, whereby he demonstrated to his followers and to mankind as a whole, the true practice of polygamy. Polygamy is a sacred law absolutely requiring men to treat their wives equitably. Equitable treatment includes but is not limited to: a) financial support and maintenance
At this point, many might be thinking, “Great, you’ve outlined the classic Christian argument against divorce and remarriage, but what does this have to do with miscegenation? Isn’t that what you are supposed to be writing about?” The reason I invoke this passage is because, over the course of several discussions, I have noticed how alienist arguments in favor of miscegenation often parallel the dubious argument that the Pharisees used to argue in favor of divorce and remarriage. We are conditioned to think of legalism, such as the Pharisees represented, as something that prohibits what should otherwise be permitted, only taking into account explicit Bible passages. Thus, kinists who oppose miscegenation are often labeled as legalists or Pharisees. The reality is that legalism can cut both ways. Legalism can indeed argue that something should be forbidden which in reality should be allowed. A good example of this is the prohibition of alcohol amongst the teetotalists. However, legalism can often use crafty legal arguments to argue that something should be permitted which should generally be forbidden. (Think of a lawyer who uses a legal loophole to exonerate a dubious client.) I believe that most arguments that alienists use to promote the general permissibility of miscegenation are of this variety of legalism.