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Polygamy according To Hindu Law

Further he writes:-

"There is a good deal of controversy as to whether polygamy is sanctioned by Hindu Law. According to Mann the Law on the subject is as follows:-

a) "For the first marriage of twice-born men (wives) of equal caste are recommended, but for those who through desire proceed (to marry again) the following females, (chosen) according to the (direct) order (of the castes) are most approved." (Here follows the list of women who may be approved of). (Manu, iii 12)

A) "If twice-born men wed women of their own and of other (lower castes), the seniority, honour, and habitation of those (wives) must be (settled) according to the order of the castes (Varna)." (Manu, ix 85)

c) "If, after one damsel has been shown, another be given to the bridegroom, `he may marry them both" for the same price that Manu ordained." (Manu, viii 204) d) "Among all (twice-born men) the wife of equal caste alone (not a wife of a different caste by any means), shall personally attend her husband and assist him in his daily sacred rites." (Manu,ix 86)

e) "But he who foolishly causes that (duty) to be performed by another while his wife of equal caste is alive, is declared by the ancients (to be) as (despicable) as a Kandala (spring from the) Brahamana caste." (Manu, ix 87)

"The above quotations clearly indicate that Manu sanctioned polygamy, `and it is now quite settled in the Courts of British India that a Hindu is absolutely without restriction as to the number of his wives, any one may marry again without his wife's consent, or any justification, except his own wish." (Mayne, On Hindu Law and Usage, p.113)*

Adapted from the book: "Why Polygamy is Allowed in Islam?" by: "al-Hajj Ahmad H. Sheriff"

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