Does Polygamy Encourage Sensuality?
- :al-Hajj Ahmad H. Sheriff
The above quotation has brought us to the 34next objection of the Christian priests, that polygamy encourages lust and sensuality. We have already shown by arithmetical calculations and historical facts that the system of monogamy has compelled and is compelling millions and millions of unfortunate girls to live immoral life, and these writers still have the cheek to tell us that polygamy (which is the only cure to this malady) leads to sensuality!
The following paragraphs, taken from Polygamy in Islam, give us a fair picture of Western monogamy:-
"Islam allows its followers legal marriage in addition to the first one and, having allowed fullest possible legitimate outlet to the sex impulse, it prescribes very severe and deterent punishment for adultery, because adultery destroys peace, harmony, tranquillity prevailing in homes, throws doubt on the fatherhood of children and legitimacy of inheritance, and ultimately results in broken homes, ruined families and dissolutions of marriages.
"In Europe and America, it is just the other way about, and they have solved the problem of sexual outlet in a peculiar way. They have allowed women full and free inter-mixing with strangers of opposite sex in the name of so-called emancipation of women, and this has resulted in over-increasing cases of fornication and adultery.
Bertrand Russell says, `With the growth of women's freedom there has come a much greater opportunity for conjugal infidelity than existed in former times. The opportunity gives rise to the thought; the thought gives rise to the desire and in the absence of religious scruples, the desire gives rise to the act.
'( Marriage and Morals, p.72) "The result is that the men and women born during the present century is the so-called civilized Europe and America do not believe that fornication and extra-martial relations as such are a sin. There is neither internal nor external control in matters of sex. Conjugal fidelity is not expected now-a-days. The sexual revolution is in full swing.
"Of course, polygamy is considered an infringement of the rights of women, but practically these monogamists go on practising surrep titious, clandestine and underhand polygamy by defiling secretly the wives, daughters and sisters of other people.
Polygamy is considered an evil but left-handed wives are kept without any scruples. No eye-brows are lifted on sexual promiscuity. Enticement is provided by seminude dresses, freedom of intermixing with strangers of opposite sex, posters showing nude women, sex symbols, sex-insinuating material and obscenity in cinemas where physical contours move in synchronisation with seductive and vulgar music." (pp.9-11)
Mrs. Annie Besant worte on this subject:- "There is pretended monogamy in the West, but there is real polygamy without responsibility.
The mistress is cast off when the man is weary of her and she sinks gradually to be the woman of the street: for the first lover has no responsibility for her future: and she is hundred times worse off than a sheltered wife and the mother in the polygamous home.
When we see thousands of miserable women, who crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in Western mouths to reproach Islam for its polygamy. It is better for a woman, happier for a woman, more respectable for a woman to live in Islamic polygamy united to one man only with the legitimate child in her arms and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced, cast out in the streets perhaps with an illegitimate child, outside the pale of law, un-sheltered and uncared for, to become a victim of any passerby, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood, despised by all."
George Bernard Shaw advised the people of Europe to adopt the system of polygamy to save Europe from inundation of adultery.
Another Western writer, J.E. McFarlance, writes in his The Case for Polygamy or The Case Against the System of Monogamous Marriage:- "Whether the question is considered socially, ethically or religiously; it can be demonstrated that polygamy is not contrary to the highest standards of civilization. The suggestion offers a practical remedy for the Western problems to destitute families; the alternative is continued and increased prostitution, concubinage and distressing spinsterhood."
A Bishop from lbadan (Nigeria), Rev. Odotula, in a religious conference held in Toronto, shed another light on this subject. He said: "The West by prohibiting; the law of (polygamy) act with hypocrisy, as by frequent divorces they have in fact been practising this custom." And that Bishop is not alone. Even as early as last century the Christian clergy had realized that Islamic polygamy is infinitely better than the Western monogamy. Rev. Canon Issac Taylor, LL. D. speaking on `Mohamedanism' at the Church congress at Wolverhampton, on 7th October, 1887, said:-
"Owing to polygamy, Muslim countries are free from professional out-casts, a greater reproach to Christendom than polygamy is to Islam. The strictly regulated polygamy of Muslim lands is infinitely less degrading to women and less injurious to men than the promiscuous polyandry which is the curse of Christian cities, and which is absolutely unknown in Islam." (The Times, London, Saturday, 8th Oct., 1887) And recently, such a personality as
Dr. Billy Graham said:-
"Christianity cannot but compromise on the question of polygamy. If present day Christianity cannot do so, it is to its own detriment. Islam has permitted polygamy as a solution to social ills, and has allowed a certain degree of latitude to human nature but only within the strictly defined framework of law.
Christian countries make a great show of monogamy, but actually they practice polygamy. No one is unaware of the part mistresses play in Western society. In this respect Islam is a fundamentally honest religion, and permits a Muslim to marry a second wife if he must be strictly forbidden all clandestine amatory associations in order to safeguard the moral policy of the community."
(quoted in The Position of Woman in Islam, published by the Islamic Foundation, Karachi)
Adapted from the book: "Why Polygamy is Allowed in Islam?" by: "al-Hajj Ahmad H. Sheriff"
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