16 Apr 2001
Sura 4 (Nisa), Ayat 3. One of the most powerful laws mankind
has ever experienced on this planet.
This is the only place where the Qura’an not encourages but
permits Muslim men to have up to 4 wives (only from Ahle Kitab)
at one time. This law had/have serious effects on millions of
Muslim co-wives and their children, forever. And so it is
extremely important to look at it once again.
On one hand this is a divine permission from the merciful
Creator. On the other hand nobody willingly gives his or her
girl to a married man. Why? Simply because there is pain for
women in it. Even all our Maolanas (many a times having co-wives
themselves) definitely look for a bachelor to get their
daughters married with. Even the Prophet (SA) did not allow it
for his own daughter, twice.
While dealing with the sensitive subject, it must be
remembered that throughout history, this has been a point of
attack by anti-Muslim groups on Islam/Muslims. Throughout
history our Maolanas, as we will see, defended the attack with
peculiar, unrealistic and completely unacceptable logic. Only
because they always looked at the reality of human-pain through
the window of Books/words.
That was a mistake. As the result of this mistake they were
forced to justify the words of the Qura’an at the cost of
human lives, which the whole world could see and still can see.
We will not do that. We will take the opposite course. We will
start from the reality of cursed house of co-wives and proceed
through Hadis/other information to reach the Qura’an
ultimately. It will be an honest journey without any “hidden
agenda” against Islam. That way we will recognize the
undeniable facts that
(1). This law is extremely painful/insulting to innocent
women, (2) Anything which tortures innocent people can not be
divine, (3) If the Qura’an is divine as it claims to be,
something went very wrong with the law.
First let us imagine a house of co-wives. We see there:
1. Polarization of “Groups” centering each wife. 2. A
competition/enmity/rivalry between/among the groups/wives. 3.
Continuous quarreling with high voices/indecent words. 4. Mutual
distrust disrespects and insult. 5. Family-conspiracy (for
property etc.) against each other, sometimes ending in killing.
6. Continuous absence of positive values and virtues in the
home. 7. Kids grow up in that poisonous atmosphere with a
negative philosophy. 8. Kids never receive a passionate, kind
approach towards life and people. 9. Kids generally develop a
strong resistance/repulsion to the stepmother and her kids. 10.
Kids develop a silent hatred towards the father, making him
responsible for the mess. 11. The father becomes a victim of the
situation, as he grows older. 12. In poor countries it increases
poverty of the home. Nobody can stop even a poor man from having
I can go on and on, without being a social scientist.
Microscopic exceptions are there but those are not examples. No
matter how you approach, the fact remains that a house of
co-wives is the worst place for a kid to grow up in and a hell
for the women themselves. So when such a hell is allowed by a
divine command, there has to be a very strong reason, not an
And there is one. A real reason, not the excuse/s our
Maolanas show. What they show?
1. The wife may be unable to bear children. 2. The wife may
be too sick to do household work. 3. Women like the system.
4. Women get “old” faster, so men have to be provided with
more women for their “need”. 5. The “need” of men is
higher by 99 times than that of women. On the contrary, in some
books, it is stated that women’s “need” is 99%, men’s is
only 1%. (Ref- some “Islamic” books from the footpath of
Dhaka, Bangladesh). 6. The number of women is much higher than
the number of men. Some factual statistics are there to prove
it. This will be dealt with in details.
1, 2 and 3 above are dishonest. Although no Maolana says
that, infertility and sickness can happen equally with men as
well, but even then the women are never allowed to have another
husband at the same time. No. 4 is medically wrong. Rather, in
Europe for last decades we saw that women got hyperactive with
hormone-therapy and since then men were in wild search for
Viagra. For no. 5, it is difficult to say who was the great
Islamic-Einstein that gave us the numbers on what basis. I can
only ask scholars to prove it medically.
Point number 6 is the most important one. Statistically women
are more in number almost everywhere. The UN Population Report
of 1964 shows it clearly in Korea, USSR, England, France,
Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, USA etc. In
general, females are 52% and men are 48% of human society. That
makes women more than men in number by 1.08 times. (WOMAN AND
HER RIGHTS – Maolana Allama Mutahhery. In some countries such
as India, the figure is opposite though). Marriage is a human
right, and “ If the right of the surplus women to marriage is
not recognized and the morally, financially and physically
well-qualified men are not allowed to have more than one wife,
free love and concubinage are bound to become rampant,
destroying the very basis of real monogamy”. Here al the
Maolanas show a picture of as if all the marriageable men and
women are going to marry at the same time on the same day. This
does not happen. It is a high number of people with a dynamic
situation. Never a groom will find that there is absolutely no
bride for him. Again, can polygamy free a society from free love
and concubinage? . Did allowance of up to 4 wives save
Muslim-societies from secret love or extramarital relationship?
No, not at all. The root of those social aspects are embedded in
complex human nature. Polygamy ( up to 4 or 40) is not even a
remote answer of those. Free sex of the West often results in
social “disease”, but a “religious medicine” does not
work there. It depends on morality, which is not dependent of
religion, as proved by our experience and a research of Mr.
Probeer Ghosh. He showed that 100% of the criminals (from
chicken-thief to killers) in Jail strongly believe in God,
Prophet, Books, Sin, “Sawab”, Keyamat, Roj-Hashar, Pool-Sirat,
Behest, Dojakh etc. etc. Still their religious belief could not
stop them from committing heinous crimes.
It is interesting to note that (1) The critics of this law
always disregard the social/familial need of it in some special
circumstances. They focus only on the free license of satisfying
sexual lust of immoral men and on the inhumane torture on women.
(2) On the other hand, the Maolanas always highlight only the
social/familial need of it with an artificial generality,
disregarding the cry of pain of the women and free license of
satisfying sexual lust of immoral men. They never say that
“Check-Balance” of this powerful law is confined only in
advises and not in visible applied legislation of Islam as in
the punishments of theft and adultery. So it acts not in favor
of the oppressed but in favor of the oppressor.
DEAR READERS, IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY ARGUMENT, THE QURA’ANIC
NUMBER OF “UP TO 4” ALONE CLEARLY, STRRONGLY AND
CONCLUSIVELY PROVES THAT THE LAW WAS NOT LAI D DOWN TO HANDLE A
CONTINUOUS SITUATION OF WOMEN BEING 1.08 TIMES MORE THAN MEN IN
As men were not, are not, and never will be, even double than
women in number, a law of “up to 4” can not at all relate to
that. At best it could be “up to 2”. It can be said with
absolute confidence that nature keeps a balance so that no
species will ever have male or female 4 times than the other.
So, the Qura’anic purpose of “up to 4” was not to handle
the situation of the numbers of 52-48%.
Then, what was the purpose? Let us look at those very words
of 4:3 now.
“And if you fear that you can not act justly among the
orphans- then marry those who seem good to you, two, or three,
or four, and if you fear that you shall not deal justly (with so
many) then (marry) one only….”.
Is it clearly said here that you are allowed to marry any
woman of the whole world? Nope ! Not at all! On the backgrounds
of (1). The hadis about its situation of revelation of the law,
(2) The clear use of “orphan-girls” in 4:127 related to 4:3
and ( 3) The preceding and succeeding sentences of Sura Nisa-3,
leaves no way to use this law to marry other than orphan-girls.
Readers, please read the Ayat once more. Isn’t it more
relevant to orphans? Yes, definitely
This Ayat was revealed after the “Ohud” war, where many
Muslims were killed leaving behind many orphan girls. As
recorded in Sahi Bokhari page-678-Hadis#2428:- When she was
asked about the Ayat 4:3, Bibi Ayesha (RA) said :- “If the
orphan girl is beautiful or rich, the caretaker himself marries
her without giving suitable “Mohr” but they do not do that
if she is not beautiful or rich. THIS AYAT IS REVEALED TO STOP
THIS INJUSTICE (emphasis mine).
So we got that the law was meant to handle a particular
situation of orphan girls of that particular situation. If
“THIS INJUSTICE” of that situation does not exist, the
instruction does not imply either. This is further and
conclusively proven in Ayat 4:127. “ THEY ASK FOR YOUR
PERMISSION TO MARRY WOMEN. TELL THEM, ALLAH PERMITS YOU ABOUT
THEM AND WHAT IS NARRATED TO YOU, IS THE INSTRUCTION ABOUT THOSE
FATHERLESS-GIRLS WHOM YOU WANT TO MARRY BUT DO NOT GIVE THE
PRESCRIBED RIGHT… “
The explanation section of the Qura’an ( S.V. MIR AHMED
ALI) says the same :- “This is directly related to 4:3 as in
THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN REFERRED TO HERE ARE THOSE MENTIONED IN
Vr.3………… Yataaman-Nisa MEANS THE GIRL-ORPHANS.
Now, let me put forward some faint voices responding to
humanity against this century old strong inhumanity towards our
“”According to Maolana Omar Ahmad Osmani, verse 3 of the
4th chapter applies ONLY TO ORPHAN GIRLS AND WIDOWS AND DOES NOT
ALLOW PLURALITY OF WIVES FROM AMONGST OTHER WOMEN. The argument
is that, the definite article “al” in “alnissa” MUST
REFER TO YATAMA i.e ORPHANS. OTHERWISE THE WORD “NISSA”
WOULD HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT TO CONVEY THE SENSE OF GENERALITY OF
“ The permission to marry more than one wife is ….. in no
way general in nature”. --J. Aftab Hussain in “ Status of
Women in Islam”,
Also, “ ….the choice of wives for plural marriages MUST
BE FROM AMONG THE WIDOWS OR ORPHAN GIRLS. IT IS ONLY IN THIS
SENSE THAT THE RELEVANCE OF THE OPENING SENTENCE OF THIS VERSE
IS JUSTIFIED. If this is read and considered with the preceding
verse (4:2), the meanings become more clear. IT IS AGAINST THIS
BACKGROUND THAT POLYGAMY HAS BEEN PERMITTED. (Women’s Rights
in Islam- Mohd. Sharif Chowdhury).
The preceding and succeeding sentences of 4:3 deal only with
the interest of the orphans. In the middle, a sudden permission
of marrying “any woman” of the whole world is not befitting.
It could be befitting in Sura Nisa Ayats 19, 20,21,22, 23, 24,
25 and other places where the Qura’an tells whom we can marry
and whom we can not. We all know that many words of the
Qura’an can be explained in more than one way. And
unfortunately our rule-makers always took the ones against
At the end, we have to look at the verdict of none but the
Prophet (SA) himself about none but his own daughter Bibi Fatima
(RA). A solid clue indeed. Hadis No. 2472, page 687:- “( After
Hazrat Ali (RA) had sent a proposal to marry the daughter of Abu
Jahl) the Prophet (SA) said “……..Definitely I say ,
Allah’s Kasam! The daughter of Allah’s Rasool and the
daughter of Allah’s enemy can not unite in the marriage of the
same person”. After this sermon, Hazrat Ali (RA) withdrew the
proposal of marriage”.
Bypassing the fact that a creation (a man) can not be an
“enemy” of the all-powerful ever-existing magnificent
Creator, let us move to the next incidence. This time it was a
Muslim father, so “Enemy of Allah” was not applicable. Hadis
no. 2473 page 687:- “ I heard the Prophet (SA) saying from the
Mimbar – “Hisham Mugeera proposed to me for the marriage of
his daughter to Ali Ibne Talib (RA). But I did not allow and I
will not allow until Ali (RA) divorces my daughter Fatima (RA).
Because Fatima is a part of my body. I hate what she hates and
whatever hurts her hurts me””.
So our Prophet (SA) accepted the fact that being a co-wife
hurt Bibi Fatima (RA) and she hated it. She was saved from the
curse of this verse because she was none but the daughter of
none but the Prophet (SA) himself. But our poor helpless
fathers, or anybody in the world in that matter, have absolutely
no authority to stop any cruel/torturous husband from marrying
again, again and again. Because it is not true that “Islam
allows a Muslim man to have a maximum of only 4 wives”. The
truth rather is, “Islam allows a Muslim man to have a maximum
of 4 wives at a time”. Then he is absolutely free to divorce
any wife anytime quite easily, none in the world can even ask
him the reason of divorce. Then the happy man can marry again.
This cycle can be repeated endlessly, legally, Islamically.
For the Rahmatullil Al Amin (SA), billions of helpless
Fatimas/Ayeshas of Muslim world were/are also expected to be his
virtual daughters and be helped the same way.
They were/are not, they were/are to abide by the law. And our
Maolanas are stubborn too. They would rather save the words at
the cost of human lives. So there is nobody to save our dear
No, not true. There is something called time. And the women