Islam permits polygamy, doesn’t propagate it: Court

‘Shariah Allows Practice Only As Part Of Social Duty, Charitable Motive, To Prevent Destitution’


New Delhi, Jan 1: A Moulvi, accused of performing a girl's marriage forcibly with a married man, has been denied anticipatory bail by a Delhi court which said the Shariah Law allows polygamy but only under special circumstances. The court denied the relief to Moulvi Mustafa Raja of Delhi dismissing his arguments that as per the Shariah Law, a man is allowed to keep four wives at a time.
“I may observe that even in countries governed by Shariah (Islamic) law, the second marriage is permitted under special circumstances such as an illness of the first wife or her inability to bear children. In these cases, with the first wife's consent, a man may marry again and this is referred to as polygamy, a subset of polygamous marriages. The Holy Quran permits a Muslim man to marry more than one woman at a time (up to a maximum of four), but does not encourage such behavior,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court also said polygamy is only permitted in certain circumstances including when the husband's death has left his wife with no other means of support.
According to the police, Raja had forcibly got the girl married with accused Nadeem Khan last year without her consent and also in her parents' absence and that the victim was raped by her alleged husband.
Even the consent of Khan's first wife, from whom he has got three children, was not taken at the time of his second marriage, the police had said.
The girl had managed to escape from Khan's clutches and had informed her parents about the incident after reaching her house, it said. The court, while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea, said the practice of polygamy has been regulated or abolished in many Muslim states/nations and it cannot be encouraged in a liberal democracy like India.
“In the secular states of the Muslim world such as Turkey and Tunisia, polygamy is illegal in any form. Even in the nations where it is permitted, polygamy is only practiced by a small minority. Before a man can take an additional wife, he is required to obtain the consent of his existing wife or wives," it said.
The judge also observed that polygamy is permissible in Sharia Law "as a part of social duty and charitable motives or when it seeks to prevent destitution."
"Keeping in view the conduct of Moulvi Raja and the seriousness of the offence involved, I find no ground to grant any indulgence to the accused. The application for grant of anticipatory bail is hereby dismissed," the judge said.
Moulvi Mustafa Raja had moved the Sessions Court fearing his arrest in an FIR registered at Aman Vihar in North West Delhi. In the FIR, he had been accused of forcing the girl to marry an already married man.
GKNN Adds from Srinagar: Pertinently, in October last year, Jammu and Kashmir High Court, in a landmark judgement, while deprecating the practice of ‘arbitrary’ divorce ruled that the “power to pronounce Talaaq (divorce) is not absolute or unqualified.”
The 23-page judgment by Justice Hasnain Massodi went extensively into details of the Sharia law and Quranic injunctions on the subject to find support for the view that “husband cannot have unrestricted or unqualified power to pronounce the Talaaq.”
The judgment laid special emphasis on fundamental sources of Sharia law to understand the concept of marriage in Islam, the rights of the parties to the marriage contract and the mode and manner the contract is dissolved.
The judgement said: “Though Islam visualizes a situation where a marriage may run into rough weather for reasons beyond control of the parties to the marriage contract, and provides for a mechanism to end or dissolve the relationship in such case, yet the device of divorce is to be used as the last option when the marital relations have irretrievably broken down.”

Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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