Friday, 18 September 2015

Muslim marriage Law and Indian civil society

Muslim Law in India means " that portion of Islamic Civil Law which is applied to Muslims as a personal law". It consists of injunctions of Quran and has been further supplemented and modified by state Legislation and modern judicial precedents of the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India and also of the Privy Council.

Muslim marriage Law and Indian civil society 

Marriage/'Nikah' according to Muslim Law is a contract underlying a permanent relationship based on mutual consent.

Essential Features

A Muslim marriage requires proposal (Ijab) from one party and acceptance (Qubul) from the other as is required for a contract. Moreover there can be no marriage without free consent and such

consent should not be obtained by means of coercion, fraud or undue influence. Just as in case of contract, entered by a guardian, on attaining majority, so can a marriage contract in Muslim Law, be set aside by a minor on attaining the age of puberty. The parties to a Muslim marriage may enter into any ante-nuptial or postnuptial agreement which is enforceable by law provided it is

reasonable and not opposed to the policy of Islam. Same is the case with a contract. The terms of a marriage contract may also be altered within legal limits to suit individual cases. Although discouraged both by the holy Quran and Hadith, yet like any other contract, there is also provision for the breach of marriage contract.


The solomonisation of marriage requires adherence to certain forms and formulas. They are called the essentials of a valid marriage. If any of these requirements is not fulfilled the marriage becomes either void or irregular, as the case may be. Thus the essentials are as follows:

  • Proposal and Acceptance
  • Competent parties
  • No legal Disability


Marriage like any other contract is constituted by ijab-o-qabool, that is by declaration and acceptance. One party to the marriage must make an offer (Ijab) to the other party. The marriage becomes complete only when the other party has accepted the offer.

According to Muslim Law it is absolutely necessary that a man or someone on his behalf and the woman or someone on her behalf should agree to the marriage at one meeting and the agreement should be witnessed by two adult witnesses. The Words conveying proposal and acceptance must be uttered in each other's presence or in the presence of their agents, who are called Vakil's. The other condition for a valid marriage is that the transaction must be completed at one meeting. A proposal made at one meeting and an acceptance at another meeting do not constitute a valid marriage.

There must be reciprocity between offer and acceptance. The acceptance must not be conditional Under the Sunni Law, the proposal and acceptance must be made in presence of two males or one male and two female witnesses who are sane, adult and Muslim. Under Shia Law, witnesses are not necessary at the time of marriage. They are required at the time of dissolution of marriage. The parties contracting marriage must be acting under their free will and consent.

Competent parties & legal disabilities

The Parties to a marriage must have the capacity of entering into a contract. They must be competent to marry. Muslim who is of sound mind and who has attained puberty may enter into a contract of marriage. The parties must be able to understand the nature of their act.


Means the existence of certain circumstances under which marriage is not permitted. These prohibitions have been classified into four classes:-
  • Absolute incapacity or prohibition
  • Relative incapacity or prohibition
  • Prohibitive incapacity
  • Directory incapacity


arises from:

  • Consanguinity
  • Affinity
  • Fosterage

Consanguinity means blood relationship and bars a man from marrying:

  • His mother or grandmother how highsoever,
  • His daughter or grand-daughter how lowsoever,
  • His sister whether full, consanguine or uterine,
  • His niece or great niece how lowsoever,
  • His aunt (fathers sister, mothers sister) or great aunt, how highsoever, whether paternal or maternal 
  • A marriage with a woman prohibited by reason of consanguinity is void. Issues from such marriage are illegitimate.

Affinity prohibits a man from marrying:

  • His wife's mother or grand-mother how highsoever
  • His wife's daughter or grand-daughter how lowsoever
  • Wife of his father or paternal grand-father how highsoever
  • Wife of his son or son's son or daughter's son how lowsoever
  • A marriage with a woman prohibited by reason of affinity is void.

Fosterage means when a woman other than its own mother has suckled a child under the age of two years, the woman becomes the foster-mother of the child. A man may not, for instance, marry his foster-mother or her daughter, or his foster sister.


Under the Sunni law, there are a few exceptions to the general rule of prohibition on the ground of fosterage and a valid marriage may be contracted with:

  • Sister's foster mother, or
  • Foster's sisters mother, or
  • sons sister, or
  • Foster brother's sister.

The Shia jurists place fosterage and consanguinity on the same footing and refuse to recognize the exception permitted by the Sunnis. The above mentioned prohibitions on account of 'consanguinity', 'affinity' or 'Fosterage' are absolute and the marriages contracted in contravention of these rules are void.


Springs from cases which render the marriage invalid only so long as the cause which creates the bar exist. The moment it is removed, the incapacity ends and the marriage become valid and binding. The following are the cases:

  • Unlawful conjunction,
  • Polygamy, or marrying a fifth wife.
  • Absence of proper witnesses
  • Differences of religion
  • Woman undergoing IDDAT

Unlawful conjunction: means contemporaneously marrying two women so related to each other by consanguinity, affinity or fosterage, which they could not have lawfully intermarried with each other if they had been of different sexes. Thus a Muslim cannot marry two sisters, or an aunt and her niece.

Under the Shia Law, a Muslim may marry his wife's aunt, but he cannot marry his wife's niece without her permission. Marriage prohibited by reason of unlawful conjunction is void under Shia Law.

Polygamy or marrying a fifth wife: means plurality of wives, i.e. marrying a fifth wife. It is unlawful for a Mohammedan to have more wives than four.

A Muslim woman cannot marry more than one husband. If a woman marries a second husband, she is liable for bigamy under Sec.494, Indian Penal Code and the issues of such a marriage are illegitimate.

In India no Muslim marrying under or getting his marriage registered under The Special Marriage Act, 1954,can marry a second wife during the lifetime of his spouse.

Absence of proper witnesses: It is essential amongst the Sunnis that at least two male witnesses or one male or two female witnesses must be present to testify that the contract was properly entered into between the parties. The witnesses must be of sound mind, adult and Muslim.

In Shia Law, a marriage contracted by the spouses themselves or their guardians in private are held valid. Presence of witnesses is not necessary.

Differences of religion:

A Sunni male can marry a Muslim female (Of any sect) or a Kitabia. Marriage with the Kitabia, i.e. a woman who believes in a revealed religion possessing a Divine Book viz Islam, Christianity and Judaism is valid under the Sunni Law. But he cannot marry an idolatress or a fire-worshiper. A marriage, however with a idolatress or a fire worshiper is merely irregular in Sunni Law, but void in Shia Law. A Muslim woman cannot marry any man who is not a Muslim, whether he is Kitabia (i.e. man believing in a revealed religion possessing a divine book) or not . According to Mulla, a marriage between a Muslim woman and Non-Muslim male is irregular. But according to Fyzee, such a marriage is totally void

Under Shia Law, no Muslim, whether male or female can marry a non-Muslim in the Nikah form.

Thus a marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim can only take place underThe Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Woman undergoing Iddat: Iddat is a period during which it is incumbent upon a woman, whose marriage has been dissolved by divorce or death of her husband to remain in seclusion and to abstain from marrying another husband

Under Sunni Law marriage with a woman undergoing Iddat is irregular and not void. But under Shia law marriage with a woman who is undergoing Iddat is void.


It arises in the following cases:


A Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim

Polyandry: means the fact of having more than one husband. Polyandry is forbidden in the Muslim system and a married woman cannot marry second time so long as the first marriage subsists. Muslim woman marrying a Non -Muslim: A marriage of a Muslim female with a non-Muslim male, whether he be a Christian, or a Jew or an idolator or a Fire-Worshiper is irregular under Sunni Law and void

under Shia Law.


This may arise from:

Marrying a woman 'enceinte': It is unlawful to marry a woman who is already pregnant by her former husband. Prohibition of divorce: When the marriage is dissolved by the pronouncements of divorce three times, re-union is prohibited except after the lawful marriage of the woman with another man and then its being dissolved after consummation.

Marriage during pilgrimage: Under Shia Law, Marriage during pilgrimage is void.

Marriage with a sick man: Marriage with a sick man suffering from disease which is likely to be fatal is invalid. If however, he recovers and the marriage is consummated, it is valid.


Even in the present context, when all other religions enjoin monogamy, polygamy i.e. authority to marry up to four women is a privilege of Muslim men. Since it is one of the religious practices it is claimed to be immune from any legislative enactment.


Skinner v. orde (1871) 14 M.I. A. 309. Helen Skinner was married according to Christian rites with George Skinner who died in the lifetime of Helen. Thereafter she cohabited with John Thomas who was married to Christian Wife, who was alive at that time. In order to legalize their union Helen and John both converted themselves into Islam. However their conversion was not held to be bona fide. It was held that this conversion was pretended for the purpose of Bigamy that was not permissible under the law.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Does Polygamy consider as a burden for Muslim Society ?

Polygamy means having more than one spouse at a time. Islam has always been targeted and attacked vociferously for being a religion advocating Polygamy. However, it is not true. Polygamy is an ancient practice found in many human societies that existed during different times. None of the other religious books (be it Vedas, or The Talmud or Bible), have any restrictions on the number of wives a man can have. It was later on that priests of these religions passed laws that a man cannot marry more than one woman. On the other hand, Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says ‘Marry only one’. We shall understand this in course of the discussion.

Does Polygamy consider as a burden for Muslim Society ? 

Polygamy can be of two types: Polygyny and Polyandry.

1. Polygyny
Polygyny refers to a condition where ‘a man has more than one wife’. This practice was seen in almost all societies on earth; and so is its prevalence in Muslim society. But it should be very well understood by us that Qur’an does not advocate Polygamy; rather strict conditions have been laid down for a man who wants to marry more than once. Let us refer to the following verse:
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَى فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلاثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَلِكَ
أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُوا
“And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then ‘only one’ or that your right hands possess (the slaves). That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.”
(Aayah No. 3, Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter No. 4, Holy Qur’an).
I emphasize the word ‘only one’ in above mentioned verse. It is clear from the verse mentioned above that a Muslim male is allowed to marry up to four women at a time. But along with the permission of marrying four, are associated some conditions, failing which, one cannot marry more than one.
Complimenting this is another verse from Holy Qur’an:
وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِنْ تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً
“You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other hanging. And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allah, by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Aayah No. 129, Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter No. 4, Holy Qur’an).
This confirms that the permission for a man to marry more up to four women at a time is conditional. One should be very sure that he will be able to do justice with all wives, physically, financially, emotionally and whatever aspects one can think of, related to the relationship of a husband-wife. Do we think it is that easy?
Therefore, Polygyny is not a rule, it is an exception. It is allowed but not compulsory in Islam.
2. Polyandry
Polyandry means a condition where ‘a woman has more than one husband’. Islam has allowed Polygyny, whereas Polyandry is prohibited.
Now comes the big question: Why is Polygyny allowed and Polyandry prohibited?
A. Reasons for allowing Polygyny:
Women, typically, have an average life span more than men. Population data of almost all countries show that female population is more during all the times. This is a logical thing to understand because Allah has created these two genders (male & female) with different capabilities as well as different responsibilities. Where a woman has been given the responsibility of taking care of homes, upbringing of children and carry out all the duties associated with a Muslim wife and a Muslim mother; a man on the other hand has to strive for earning the bread for his wife and children. It is the responsibility of a man (ordained by Allah) to protect and maintain his wife (or wives) and children. Refer to following verse from Holy Qur’an:
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other”
(Aayah No. 34, Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter No. 4, Holy Qur’an).
Problem of imbalanced sex ratio becomes truly problematic at times of war; and this was very much prevalent during old times. It was men who used to take part in war. Some of them would die during wars and leave behind their widows and orphans. Such women have only two options in front of them: Either get married again or Live unmarried for the rest of the life. Qur’an is saying that a woman shall be protected and maintained by a man. If we go by that, then the lady should opt for first option. But, what if she opts for second choice? She should be ready to encounter another problem. It is natural for some people with bad minds to eye such a widow or a divorcee who is living all by herself and striving to help her children grow. Such people will try to exploit her in all possible ways. A woman, on one hand may be stronger than a man in some things, but generally a woman is physically not stronger than a man. She needs a companion (in form of husband) to protect her from evil eyes. Apart from that, also a thought should be given to the feelings of that woman. She also has some desires; she also needs someone to be with her; she needs someone for her physical needs; she needs someone to take care of her (emotionally, financially, physically etc). We cannot say that once a lady is divorced or a widow, she has no right to live a happy life (as was and still is the case in Hindu religion). There is a chance (however slightest) that a lady is being denied the option of re-marrying after death of her husband or after her divorce, she might opt for other hidden means to satisfy her needs. So, which status is better for a woman: An accepted & respected second wife of a man (the Qur’anic approach) Or A virtual public property (as in the modern civilized approach)? The pious ones will definitely opt for the first option.
A.2. As discussed above, we know that men and women have been created equal by Allah. They are equal, but definitely not identical. The nature is different; the responsibilities are different; the abilities are different. One of these differences is that men are more polygamous by nature. No one can help this; Allah has created the man (male) like this.
A.3. We might sometimes face situations in our lives which can be best solved by Polygamy. An example of such a situation is following: There is a married couple facing a repeated problem of wife being not able to conceive (due to reasons whatsoever); all medical treatments have been done; doctors have tried their best, but still the couple is not able to have a child. The modern world has found a solution to such cases in terms of finding out a Surrogate Mother. I have no doubts that in every manner, the man getting married to another woman and seeking Allah’s blessings in form of a child (i.e. Polygyny), is a far better option than surrogacy. Any doubts?
B. Reasons for prohibiting Polyandry:
B.1. Islam gives utmost importance to the fact that every individual should be identified by his / her father’s name.
ادْعُوهُمْ لآبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ
“Call them by the name of their father; that is more just with Allah…”
(Aayah No. 5, Surah Al-Ahzab, Chapter No. 33, Holy Qur’an).
If a woman has more than one husband, then naturally she will have to sleep with more than one man. In such situation, if she becomes pregnant, it will be difficult to ascertain who the father of that to-be-born child is. Although some might say that modern science has made it possible to check by DNA tests about the actual father, yet tests are tests and are prone to error. It is not such a trivial issue that can be left to the jurisdiction of a laboratory.
B.2. Biologically, a woman having several husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife. She undergoes several behavioural and psychological changes due to different phases of her menstrual cycle, which is not the case with a man.
These are some of the obvious reasons. Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, may have many more other reasons for prohibiting Polyandry and allowing Polygyny.

Recommended approach for a Muslim:

The approach of a Muslim male to this subject should be very cautious. It is clear that a man is allowed to marry up to four females at a time, but at the same time it should be ensured that the conditions laid down for the same are met. In no way should someone try to use it as a shield for satisfying his physical lust. Rather, this permission should be used to help widows, divorced ladies, orphan-girls etc, when we find that there is no other suitable male available for such ladies in need. Muslim brothers should ask themselves: Do they really mean to do it for Allah’s sake when they intend to marry for the second, third or fourth time; or is it just their crooked lust?

Who can be a better example to follow than our beloved Prophet (Muhammad, PBUH)?
The approach of a Muslim female to this subject should be straightforward, normal and simple, as they would approach other issues of the religion. Allah has allowed him to do so, should be a reason enough for women to accept the fact that their husbands can marry up to four times. Questioning the legality of this act means questioning Allah. Who can dare do that? Instead, women should support their husbands to use this permission in Qur’an, in order they may go ahead and help the needy. Of course if they feel that their husbands are using it for shielding their lusty plans, then they may raise their concern and stand up to oppose it. But it should not be the case where a man wants to marry any widow or a divorcee or an orphan-girl, with a pious intention of obeying Allah and helping the needy, or in order to be blessed with a child, and then he finds stiff opposition from his existing wife. Muslim sisters should ask themselves: Who are they to prevent their husband from doing something which is allowed for them by Allah?

Lessons should be learned from the lives of Umm-ul-Mumineen.
It should be noted that in many Muslim societies, the practice of Polygamy is rare (or at least very less), because the gap between the numbers of both genders is not huge. However, it is equally worthy to note that number of extra-marital affairs in almost all parts of the world are much more and growing at a rapid pace. It is ironical that if a man marries for a second time legally with observance of all conditions, he is looked down upon; whereas, if the same man cheats on his wife and commits adultery in hiding, he is like a normal being to the society. Do we condemn Polygamy and advocate Extra-marital affairs?

Multiple wives (A Quranic view) What does the Quran say about polygamy? Can a man be married to more than one woman at the same time and whenever he pleases? The straightforward answer is no. The Quran presents only one very specific situation in which a man may have more than one wife, but even then, God advises that it is better to be married to just one wife at any one time. Before we present the Quranic view on this matter, it must be said that Muslims today have badly corrupted God’s law in the Quran as they allow men to marry up to four wives at will, while acting totally oblivious to the conditions set by God for this concession. They justify this by making ridiculous excuses such as their claim that men have a much higher sex drive than women, thus God accommodated men accordingly! To make such outrageous claims is devious enough, but they also support their claims with various notorious fabricated hadith which do nothing but slur the image of the righteous and totally devoted prophet of God. One such hadith states: Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268: Narrated by Qatada Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to have sexual intercourse with all his wives one after the other during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). ----------------------------------------

 If we examine the Quranic evidence we find the concession given in the following verse: “And if you fear that you may not be just to the orphans, then you may marry whom you please of the women: two, and three, and four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then only one, or what your right hand possesses. This is best that you do not face financial hardship.” 4:3 What is immediately noticeable from the above words is that the word "if" (inn in Arabic) at the beginning of the verse is a conditional word. What follows after the word "if" is thus a condition that must be met in order for what comes after it to be possible. This means that if a man is not supporting any orphans nor being entrusted to protect the possessions of orphans, then it is not lawful for him to marry more than one wife. If a man is supporting orphans or acting as a guardian to them, then taking a second wife for the purpose of looking after the orphans and giving them a mother figure would be allowed. In verse 4:2 God speaks of orphans, protecting their money, and warning against consuming their money unjustly. God is speaking to the men who are entrusted with the protection of orphans and their money. If a man fears that he cannot perform the duty as a guardian to the orphans and their money on his own, and in a just manner, then he is permitted to marry the woman of his choice to bring a motherly figure who would support the man in the raising of the orphans. God allows 2, 3 and 4 (depending on the number of orphans the man is taking care of). It must be stated here that this concession is allowed purely for the benefit of the orphans and not to allow men a varied sexual life (as those hypocrites claim)! We also note the very important words in 4:3: “If you fear you will not be fair, then only one, or what your right hand possesses.” These words must be read in conjunction with the following Quranic words: “You will not be able to treat all women equally even if you wish to do so.” 4:129 If we combine the content of 4:3 and 4:129 it becomes obvious that God is very clearly discouraging more than one wife. God only allows this action under very strict conditions and even when these conditions are satisfied, God still advises no more than one.

The perfection of Islam is a certainty, that a muslim must believe in, faithfully. Islamic shari’a has regulated all aspects of men’s life, for them to achieve the true happiness in life. By obeying this rules, a muslim will be able to achieve salvation and joys both in this world and in the Hereafter.

Allah The Glorified and Exalted decreed:

قُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“We said: Get you down from here, all of you, and guidance shall come to you from Me: then, whoever will follow My guidance need have no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Al Baqarah/The Cow/2:38]

In this verse, Allah has promised salvation and joys to those who are willing to follow and obey the teaching of Allah’s messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-. Thus, it is a must to refer all problems in this life to Islamic laws, that is, of course, Allah’s law too. Also in polygamy. And a muslim is not allowed to choose any rules or laws that against the shari’a, as Allah ordained in His decree:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

“It does not behove a believer, male or female, that when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair they should exercise their choice. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has strayed to manifest error.” [Al Ahzab/33:36]

How Islam Perceive Polygamy

In the Qur’an and Sunnah, it is mentioned that polygamy is sunnah for those who are capable of doing it. Allah revealed in His decree:

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا

“If you fear that you might not treat the orphans justly, then marry the women that seem good to you: two, or three, or four. If you fear that you will not be able to treat them justly, then marry (only) one, or marry from among those whom your right hands possess. This will make it more likely that you will avoid injustice.” [An-Nisaa’/The Women 4:3]

In this verse, Allah speak to the guardians of the orphans, if they have an orphan that they are responsible of, and they are afraid that they are unable to give them enough dowry, they should turn to marry other women, since there are still more women left. Allah does not restrict his condition, because Allah has allowed him to marry until four women. If they are afraid of being wicked if they married more than one woman, they must marry only one woman, or marry their female slaves.

By Allah’s permission, the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- himself had married nine women in his lifetime, as mentioned in a hadith narrated by Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him-:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَطُوفُ عَلَى نِسَائِهِ فِي اللَّيْلَةِ الْوَاحِدَةِ وَلَهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ تِسْعُ نِسْوَةٍ

“Indeed, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ever went to his wives in a night, and at that time he has nine wives.” [Narrated by al Bukhari, no. 5068 and an-Nasaa-i, 6/54

Also in the saying of Ibn ‘Abbas to Sa’id Ibn Jubair:

هَلْ تَزَوَّجْتَ؟ قُلْتُ: لَا, قَالَ: فَتَزَوَّجْ! فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ أَكْثَرُهَا نِسَاءً

“Are you married?” Sa’id replied, “Not yet.” And he said, “Get married! Because the best of this nation is one having the most wives.” [Narrated by al Bukhari no. 5069]

In the sentence of “the best of this nation” has two definitions:

First: It refers to Allah’s messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-. Thus it means that Allah’s messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- is the best person of this nation and with the most wives.

Second: It means in marriage, that is one with the most of wives.

Sheikh Mushthafa Al ‘Adawi said, “Both of the meanings share the shame basis, and indicate a similar meaning, hence becoming the foundation of the scholars who stated that polygamy is sunnah.”

Other basis indicating that polygamy is sunnah are the hadith of the Prophet that suggest muslims to have many children.

Among the hadith are:

عَنْ مَعْقِلِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ قَالَ: جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَصَبْتُ امْرَأَةً ذَاتَ حَسَبٍ وَجَمَالٍ وَإِنَّهَا لَا تَلِدُ أَفَأَتَزَوَّجُهَا ؟ قَالَ: لَا, ثُمَّ أَتَاهُ الثَّانِيَةَ فَنَهَاهُ ثُمَّ أَتَاهُ الثَّالِثَةَ فَقَالَ: تَزَوَّجُوا الْوَدُودَ الْوَلُودَ فَإِنِّي مُكَاثِرٌ بِكُمْ الْأُمَمَ

“From Ma’qal bin Yasâr, who said: A man came to the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and said: ‘I have encountered a woman of nobility and beauty, but she cannot give birth. Should I marry her?’ He said: ‘No.’ The man then came to him a second time, but he prohibited him. He then came for the third time, and the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said: ‘Marry loving women who give birth, for I will compete with you against other nations.'” [Narrated by Abu Dawud in hadith no. 2050, Sheikh Al Albani said: “good and valid”. See: Shahih Sunan Abu Dawud]

Regarding this hadith, Sheikh Musthafa Al ‘Adawi explained that: “Marriage, by Allah’s permission, may cause people increase birth. And the increase of birth can make them proud of their numbers. Thus, a fertile woman, if it is known that a man (who propose her) is infertile, should not marry him. But the prohibition (in this hadith) is makrooh, but not forbidden. Because the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him,- kept his wives who didn’t give him children, but Khadija and Mary,”

By that, it is known that one way to increase birth is by having more wives.

Wisdoms and Benefits of Polygamy

Every thing allowed in Islam must have it’s own wisdom and great benefits for muslims. To allow the practice polygamy is the best way to create dignified and honorable families and society.

There are several things to mention that indicate the wisdoms and benefits of polygamy, such as:

1. Polygamy is the chosen guidance, established by Allah The Mighty and The High Himself, for the sake of His slaves.
A woman might get ill, have her period, undergo her puerperal time, and the like, that interfere her to bear her tasks as wife. Whereas man is always ready to yield offsprings. Supposed a man is hampered during the time his wife unable to serve him, his functions will be lost in vain.

2. Allah has created fewer men than women. Men also face more life-threatening events during his whole life. Supposed that each man should only marry a woman, there will be more unmarried women left, forcing them to do wicked things such as adultery and the like. And turn away from Qur’an’s guidance is the greatest source of problems in manners.

About the number of men and women, the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- explained in his saying:

مِنْ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ أَنْ يَقِلَّ الْعِلْمُ وَيَظْهَرَ الْجَهْلُ وَيَظْهَرَ الزِّنَا وَتَكْثُرَ النِّسَاءُ وَيَقِلَّ الرِّجَالُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ لِخَمْسِينَ امْرَأَةً الْقَيِّمُ الْوَاحِدُ

“Among the portents of the Hour are the knowledge will be diminished, foolishness emerge, adulteries committed undisguised, and woman’s number increases, whereas man’s decreases, until a man equals 50 women.” [Mutafaqun ‘alaihi]

3. Generally, all woman is always ready to marry, but in contrast, plenty of men do not have the ability to bear the consequences of marriage due to their poor condition. Thus, the number of men ready to marry is less than woman.

4. Polygamy will be a mean to elevate the status of a woman whose husband is dead or divorced her, whereas she has none of her family to be responsible of her. By polygamy, there will be a man who is responsible for her needs.

Beside that, polygamy also offers a lot of benefits toward individual, the society, and muslim communities as a whole. Among those benefits are:

One of the most effective way for people to lower their gaze, maintain their dignity, and multiply their offsprings.

5. One of the way to protect men and women from various factors of wickedness and deviation. Sheikh Ibn Baz said in his fatwa, that polygamy contains great benefits to men and women as a whole. Because, by polygamy, All people will obtain benefits; lowering of gazes, maintenance of dignity, plenty of descendants, men will be able to do much for the sake of his wives, protect them from factors of wickedness and deviation of manners.

6. Increasing the number of muslims, thus Islam will have enough human resources to face their enemies in holy battle.

Sheikh Muhammad Al Amin Asy Syinqithi said, “Qur’an legalizes polygamy for the sake of women, to be able to get husband, and for the sake of men, to protect their uses from being wasted, such as when a woman gets older, and for the sake of muslims to increase their numbers, to be able to face their enemies to establish and keep Allah’s enjoin high.”

That is the beauty of Islam, regarding it’s permission for polygamy. However, to practice it, one must fulfill certain criteria and requirements stated in shari’a. And Allah knows best.

And Allah knows best.
May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون َ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Does this Christian New Year celebration harm Indian (Muslim) tradition?

Have you ever wondered about the issue of celebrating or partaking in Non-Muslim holidays, festivals and celebrations? What is the Islamic ruling regarding this? Is it permissible, is it disliked, is it impermissible? Is there a difference of opinion on this matter?

Does this Christian New Year celebration harm Indian (Muslim) tradition?

 Insha’Allah, in this short article, I hope that all of these (and related) questions will be clearly answered. Greeting the Kuffaar on non Islamic holidays and other similar holidays of theirs is Haraam by Ittifaaq (consensus of the scholars), as Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah: Congratulating the Kuffaar on the rituals that belong to them is prohibited by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals by saying
‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on…” 

 “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” 

This hadeeth was authenticated by a great deal of scholars including Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibbaan, Ibn Hajar, Az-Zarqaani, Adh-Dhahabi, Al-Haythami, Al-‘Iraaqi, As-Sakhaawi, As-San’aani, Muhammad Jaarullaah As-Sa’di, Ahmad Shaakir, Ibn Baaz, Al-Albaani, Ibn `Uthaymeen, and others.

 Ibn Taymiyyah, in his beautiful and monumental book Iqtidaa’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Mukhaalafatu Ashaab’il-Jaheem (In Pursuit of the Straight Path by Contradicting the People of the Hellfire), said:
 “Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to mislead the weak.”

In determining the non-Muslim celebrations that can be attended by Muslims, several main criteria should serve as guidelines so as not to contradict the teachings of Islam. The criteria are as follows:

 1.The event is not accompanied by ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith (aqidah). The meaning of “against the Islamic faith (aqidah)” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will lead to tarnishing the faith (aqidah) of Muslims.

 2. The event is not accompanied by acts against the Islamic law. The meaning of “against the Islamic law” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the Islamic teachings practised by the Muslim community.

3.The event is not accompanied by “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” in this country. The meaning of “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the values and norms of the Muslim society of this country which adheres to the Islamic teachings based on Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaah.

4. The event is not accompanied by acts that can “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community”. The meaning of “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will offend the feelings of Muslims about their beliefs and practices.

5. Universally observed festival by non Muslims without dispute as to the worthiness of the occasion.

So, just to differ from them, to show that we’re different, to indicate that he, in no way, is taking part in their Eid, he would fast on Saturdays and Sundays. It is as if to send a clear message: “I’m not partaking in the Eid of Non-Muslims. I want to differ from them. I love to differ from their practice (of relaxing, enjoying, partying) on these two days.” So, even though it’s permissible to relax on Saturdays and Sundays, he decided to exert himself and fast on these two days just for this particular purpose. Therefore, one can just imagine what our Prophet would’ve said if he were alive today and were asked about Christmas or Thanksgiving! Now, ask yourselves this: Are you imitating the Prophet more in your life, or are you abandoning his Sunnah?

Forget about whether it’s obligatory or recommended. This isn’t a Fiqh issue. It’s an issue of: Do you really love the Prophet Muhammad such that you will strive to imitate him in every aspect of your life? Or are you imitating the Kuffaar more in your life? Do you imitate their traditions more than the traditions of your Prophet? Who do you wish to be resurrected amongst? You will be with those whom you love.

New year is just a calendar and not a religious festival. We use many things which were invented by Westerns (Christians) like cars, phones computer etc. and so on, even our Law is also British (copy-past) law. So what's the problem with the calendar? In my view, we have to accept good things and avoid bad things , that's all. However, Islam doesn't allow unnecessary expenditure in the name of celebration either new year or any !  So, celebrating new year with limited expenditure may not be a Kuffar (non Islamic).

Editor's Note: This article is written on the data, those are collected by Main Uddin who is a pioneer professional blogger from North East India and regular columnist for various news media houses.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Holy Ramadan and ultimate dining etiquettes for Muslim World

Ramadan is ironically a month in which we are more eager to dine with others than usual. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” [1].

Holy Ramadan and ultimate dining etiquettes for Muslim World

Undoubtedly, many of us will be hosting an iftaar party and sharing food with others. Whether you are the guest or the host, being aware of certain table-manners can help to make that iftaar an productive one and avoid offending anyone by upholding the following Islamic values: General Rules:

 • Remember Allah before and after eating. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When any one of you eats, let him mention the name of Allah. If he forgets to mention the name of Allah at the beginning, then let him say “Bismillahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu (In the name of Allah at the beginning and at the end).” [2].
He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: _“Allah is pleased with His slave when he eats something and praises Him for it, or drinks something and praises Him for it.” [3]
 • Make du’aa. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to say when breaking his fast: “Dhahaba al-zama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr inshaAllah .” [4]. It is this time before you break your fast when the opportunity to make dua should be seized as narrated in many ahadith since it is guaranteed the fasting person’s dua will be accepted.
 • Eat with the right hand. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said to ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah, “O young boy, say Bismillah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.” [5].
 • Take whatever is closest to you. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said to ‘Umar ibn Abi Salamah, “O young boy, say Bismillah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.” [6].
 If something you want is far away, do not lean over others to take it. Instead, ask someone to pass it to you. Furthermore, avoid picking up the best (or even the worst) bits of food by digging into the bowl. The Prophet himself said: “The blessing descends in the middle of the food, so eat from the edges and do not eat from the middle.” [7].
 • Have patience and wait your turn for taking food. The party is meant to be a social gathering, not a race although you should hasten to break your fast as soon as its time! Furthermore, do not stare at the food as it doesn’t remind you to appreciate the experience of fasting.
 • Take only as much as you can eat. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A man does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat enough to keep him alive. But if he must do that, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink and one-third for his air.” [8]. If you are uncertain about how much you can eat, it is still wiser to take small helpings of food so that if you want, you can take some more later – this hadith does not also mean that one must literally fill their stomach up!
 • Do not eat greedily which entails smacking the lips, tearing apart bits of food ravenously, wrestling with food, etc and whilst it seems like an silly thing to do – it does happen!
 • Interact with others. The gathering is for making du’aa together, bonding with others, and exchanging noble ideas. Therefore, do not focus on only eating. In Saheeh Muslim (2052), it is narrated from Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked his family for condiments and they said: “We do not have anything but vinegar.” He called for it and he started eating it, saying: “What a good condiment vinegar is, what a good condiment vinegar is.” Al-Nawawi said: “This shows that it is mustahabb to talk whilst eating, so as to put the diners at ease.” [9].
 • Avoid talking while you have food in your mouth. Doing so provides an unpleasant sight for others however this does not negate the point made about complimenting the hosts dishes or hospitality.
 • Look after the people sitting next to you. Inquire if they need anything and always offer food to others before taking it yourself. You can also help them take the food by serving it yourself or at least, holding the bowl while they take it.
 • Maintain hygiene. Wash your hands before and after handling food, and rinse your mouth after eating. Apart from that, take a regular shower to prevent body odour, wear clean and ironed garments, maintain proper oral hygiene, and have a pure mind and heart.
 • Avoid doing anything peculiar at the table such as touching your nose, flossing the teeth, yawning (as it suggests boredom, but if you are overcome by it, put a hand over your mouth), spitting, burping (if you have to do this, at least make it inaudible by doing so with your mouth closed!), reclining while eating, reading books or doing anything which suggests boredom/seclusion, etc. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I do not eat whilst I am reclining.” [10]
 • Don’t commit your sins/bad habits. Whether you consider smoking as haraam or makrooh, it should not be done in the presence of those who do not want to be passive smokers (people inhaling second-hand harmful smoke) or even in the presence of kids and companions who will pick up your unhealthy and harmful habits.
 • Avoid extravagance/wastage of all forms, related to food, decorations, eating-utensils, etc. “And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance).” [11]. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: _“Do not drink from vessels of gold and silver, or eat from plates thereof.” [12]. So far we have looked at the important etiquettes often forgotten at the table when attending or hosting an iftaar party during ramadan, below are tips for both the host and guests to consider: Rules for Guests:
 • Well ahead of the party, notify the host of any food allergy that you have. It is also wise to inquire about the dishes during the party so that you do not end up eating anything which you do not prefer. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used not to eat food until he had been told about it or told what it was called, so that he would know what it was. [13].
 • Except for genuine reasons, do not decline any invitation or cancel your attendance at the last minute. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The rights of a Muslim over his fellow Muslim are five: returning greetings, visiting the sick, attending funerals, accepting invitations, and saying Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah have mercy on you) when he sneezes.” [14].
 • Inform the host whether you will be attending or not to prevent wastage of food and to prevent others from waiting for you. Also, inform the host if you think you will be late.
 • Always allow the host to take charge. Therefore, start eating only after the host has done so (however, finish before him/her). If you need anything, inform the host. Ask if the host has pre-planned the seating (decided who is to sit next to whom) and if that is the case, sit accordingly. That way, the host feels appreciated for his/her endeavour.
 • Finish whatever food you take. Not doing so suggests that you have not really enjoyed the meal, not to mention you will be wasting food.
 • Avoid criticizing the meal. If you feel that one dish has not been prepared well, put that aside, and try another one – it is unlikely that all the dishes will fail to cater to your taste-buds! Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did not criticize food. If he liked it he would eat it and if he did not like it he would leave it. [15]. In addition, if a dish is lacking salt (or any other condiment) according to your preference, then take a spoon of salt (or any other condiment) at the edge of your plate.
 • Before leaving the table, seek permission of the host. Try not to leave the table too early. If there is an urgent need for leaving the table, inform everyone and apologize. • If you feel sick all of a sudden, inform the host and take necessary actions. However, do not panic – imagine the feeling of worry the host may face if you become unwell after their iftaar!
 • Before leaving the party, thank the host, praise the food (or anything about the gathering), and make du’aa for the host. Anas narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah who brought him some bread and oil, and he ate. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “May fasting people break their fast with you, may the righteous eat your food, and may the angels send blessings upon you.” [16]. Rules for Hosts:
 • It is your duty to ensure that your guest is not bored or uncomfortable. Therefore, try to arrange a seating-plan where you put one shy person next to someone who has a good sense of humour or good communication skills. Furthermore, observe the guests and cater to their needs. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated about the story of drinking milk where Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) repeatedly said to him, “Drink!” and he kept telling him to drink until he (the guest) said,“By the One Who sent you with the truth, I have no more room for it!” [17].
 • Inquire about food-allergy. Also, try to serve favourites. This can be easily done if you keep a log of people’s likes and dislikes. • Avoid cooking too much or too little by preparing a list and estimating the number of guests so you don’t waste a great deal once the party is over.
 • Well ahead of the adhaan, keep everything (sufficient napkins/tissues, glasses, plates, etc.) ready at the table. That way you will not be rushing to-and-fro during the iftaar and can sit to make dua peacefully before breaking fast, and the guests will not feel deserted.
 • At the table, you should place bone-plates (to prevent the guests from stacking bones at the edge of the plate, which might be an unpleasant sight for others) and condiment-mills (guests may have different preferences for salt and pepper).
 • If you have invited the poor, treat them well. “Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury.” [18]. Many people make them sit on the floor or in a separate room, or serve them different food in cheap utensils. Make the poor dine at the same table. If you are not comfortable about their table manners, then at least make them sit in the same room with proper seating arrangement.If done with the right intentions and actions, an iftaar party will not only be a social gathering with impressive manners, but also an opportunity for achieving immense rewards insha’Allah.


 [1] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746; Ibn Hibaan, 8/216 and Saheeh al-Jaami, 6415.
 [2] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1858; Abu Dawood, 3767; Ibn Maajah, 3264; Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 3202.
 [3] Narrated by Muslim, 2734.
 [4] Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2357; al-Daaraqutni, 25.
 [5] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3576; Muslim, 2022.
 [6] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3576; Muslim, 2022.
 [7] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1805; Ibn Maajah, 3277; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 829.
 [8] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2380; Ibn Maajah, 3349; Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1939.
 [10] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5399.
 [11] Qur’an 7:31
 [12] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5426; Muslim, 2067.
 [13] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5391; Muslim, 1946.
 [14] Narrated by Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 1164 and Saheeh Muslim, 4022.
 [15] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3370; Muslim, 2046.
 [16] Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3854; Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 3263.
 [17] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6087.
 [18] Qur’an 2:263