Article In Issue 12 Of Islamic State (ISIS) English-Language Magazine 'Dabiq' Promotes Merits Of Polygamy

November 18, 2015

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On November 18, 2015 the Islamic State (ISIS) released the 12th issue of of its English-language magazine Dabiq. One article, by Umm Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah, discusses the merits of polygamy in Islam. She has already written about issues concerning women, such as sex slavery, in previous issues of the magazine.[1]

Al-Muhajirah uses some passages from the Quran to buttress her argument supporting polygamy: "Allah said in His clear-cut revelation, 'And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice] [An-Nis─ü':3]. This is a verse as clear as the sun that does not require extensive explanation or interpretation. Therefore, O slaves of Allah, you may marry two, three, or four women, unless you fear that you will have shortcomings in your fairness towards them or will fail to fulfill their rights, in which case you suffice with one wife."

The author points out the hypocrisy she finds amongst non-Muslims on the matter, since Christianity and Judaism both practiced polygamy. She concedes that Islam was not the first to introduce polygamy: "What’s strange is that the Jews and the Christians taunt the Muslims with respect to polygyny, yet if they were to look into their own books they would've known that it was something present in their religions, for it is stated in their books that Ya’q┼½b had two wives and two concubines, and that D─üw┼½d had a number of wives and concubines, as mentioned in 2 Samuel [5: 13] and 1 Samuel [25:42-44]. They also stated that Sulaym─ün n had 700 wives and 300 concubines, as mentioned in 1 Kings [11: 3]."

Umm Sumayyah al-Muhajirah proceeds to enumerate what she sees as the advantages of polygamy for women. For example, under the practice widows and divorcees are cared for, and do not have to worry about providing for themselves: "Indeed, the legislation of polygamy contains many wisdoms. Amongst them is that women are greater in number than men, who face many dangers and hardships in their lives, such as war, hazardous work, and disasters. Likewise, young men tend to prefer virgins and abstain from marrying widows and divorcees, so who then would look after this group of women?"

She adds: "Furthermore, Allah might afflict a woman with infertility, but instead of divorcing her Islam has permitted the man to marry another woman while keeping his infertile wife honored and supported... Also from the wisdoms of polygamy is that the woman, by her nature, has her life interrupted by phases in which she is unable to fulfill the rights of her husband, as is the case with menstruation, childbirth, and postpartum bleeding. So during such phases he can find in his other wives what should prevent him from falling into forbidden or suspicious matters. But, by Allah, if there were no virtue in polygamy other than the fact that it's a prophetic Sunnah from the best of mankind, we would have sufficed with that as a proof with which we would deafen the ears of the stubborn opponents."

Umm Sumayyah reveals her disgust towards many women she has encountered from Muslim countries who object to this practice. She advises: "So pay no attention to the statements of unprincipled women whose sources of reference are vile plays and soap operas. Rather, let your example be the women of the prophetic household. And every sister should know that when her husband wants to marry another woman, it's not obligatory for him to consult her. If he does that, it is an act of generosity on his part and a means of preserving the companionship between the two of them."

At the end of the article, she offers some tips to men with multiple wives, and to those who intend to take multiple wives. She advises that the men be gentle with their wives and speak softly to them, and adds that patience and tolerance is necessary when informing a wife of a decision to take another. She continues by reminding the men that they must fulfill the marital duties of a husband towards all of their wives, and that they should fear Allah if one of the wives is oppressed in any way.


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