By Adedoja Adigun
Muslims (especially men), are particular about the Qur’an allowing the men to marry more than one wife. They are very excited about this part.
They say it’s the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW; it’s Allah’s word and so on, but they conveniently forget to mention the part where it was also said that men are allowed to marry more than one wife if they can be just to them.
“If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry 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 (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.” — [Surah 4, An-Nisa ayah 3].
This ayah was said to have come to the aid of women during the battle of Uhud when the men were killed in battle and widows needed men to cater for them. Particularly, because of Allah’s concern for the welfare of women and orphans who were left without husbands and fathers as a result of their death while fighting for Islam. It is a verse about compassion towards women.
However, Muslim men seem to use it as an excuse to be promiscuous nowadays. Men will forget to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, to wake up for Tahajjud (i,e. night prayer), to give alms, to treat women with respect and honour. Polygamy in Islam isn’t there to oppress women or make them feel inferior.
Importantly, it should be borne in mind that there are many Sunnah the Prophet SAW enjoined Muslims to engage in as means of being close to their Creator. Sunnah like praying at night, fasting thrice a month, righteousness to animals, entering the restroom with left leg and coming out with right, etc. need to be explored more by Muslim men; not polygamy which many of them have exploited as a means of taking advantage of the women folks.