Rafed English

A Fixed-Time Marriage and Harem

One of the subjects, which the West uses as a weapon to vilify the East and about which West has also prepared films and dramas, is the question of the formation of harems. Unfortunately, many instances of it are to be found in history.

The life of certain caliphs and sultans provides a complete model of 'harem' formation, which is described as an outstanding symbol of the licentiousness of the man of the East.

It is alleged that the legality of a fixed - time marriage is equivalent to the legality of a 'harem' formation, which is a weak point of the East and has brought disgrace to it. Not only that, it is equivalent to the legalisation of licentiousness, every form of which is contrary to morality and causes decline and ruin.

The same thing has been said about polygamy and the legality of polygamy has been interpreted as the legality of a 'harem' formation. We will discuss the question of polygamy separately. At present, we confine our attention to a fixed-time marriage.

This question should be studied from two angles:

(1) What were the social factors which led to a 'harem' formation in the past and whether the law of fixed-time marriage influenced this phenomenon?

(2) Does the law of a fixed-time marriage aim at providing an opportunity of 'harem' formation to the licentious men?

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari

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