Polygamy Around the World | happywives's Blog

Polygamy Around the World


Reprinted from:

Polygamy Around the World:

 Globally, Polygamy Is Commonplace
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
Sunday, September 20, 1998


Muslims are leaving the village for the city and adopting urban lifestyles, plural marriage is declining. When money becomes the basis of an economy, or when nuclear families replace an extended family network, the practice declines.

But educated women today do not approve of the status of mistresses," she added.

"They urge a man to take them as wives."

Elvira Kurayeva, a 35-year-old physician, said she became the second wife of a prominent Dagestani leader for the mere reason that she could not bear the thought of having a child out of wedlock.

"My brothers would kill me in disgrace if I had a child without being married,"

"I am from a respected family in Makhachkala," Sakinat said. "Being someone's mistress would be a stain on the family's reputation, while my being a second wife was fine with everybody."

Polygamy may be abhorrent to most Americans, but in the global community it is common, normal and accepted.

Although the percentage of men in the world who have more than one wife is relatively small, as many as a third of the world's population belongs to a community that allows it, says Israeli anthropologist Joseph Ginat.

There are many plural marriages in Africa, the Middle East and in Asia, said Ginat, professor of social and culture anthropology at the University of Haifa.

Many American Indian tribes allow polygamy; several experimental Christian groups practice it. And, of course, there are those famous offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Polygamy is the most prevalent in Muslim countries where there are no laws against it, and in communities that are more traditional and agrarian.

For example, it is common and growing among the 180,000 Bedouin of Israel. It is also frequent among some Mediterranean Jews living in Yemen. But having multiple wives and families requires money, so in each society that permits polygamy, only 10 percent to 25 percent of men actually practice it, and most have only two wives, Ginat said. The men most likely to be involved are those with the most economic resources and most status in the community.

Today, as many Muslims are leaving the village for the city and adopting urban lifestyles, plural marriage is declining. When money becomes the basis of an economy, or when nuclear families replace an extended family network, the practice declines.  ``When I was growing up in Bangladesh, my grandfather had two wives,'' said Iqbal Hossain, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake City. ``But now it is fast becoming a thing of the past.'' And, many say, polygamy is almost nonexistent among the Muslim immigrants in the United States.  If there are polygamists in America, ``they wouldn't even tell us Muslims about it,'' said Aziza al-Hibri, who teaches at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia. ``They would act the way people  who have affairs do.''  But even monogamous American Muslims do not condemn plural marriage.  ``Consenting adults are doing all sorts of things in this country in terms of marital arrangements. Why is this one not acceptable?'' asks al-Hibri, who is not a polygamist.


Polygamy was an accepted practice among early Hebrews, including several revered biblical figures such as Abraham, David and Solomon (who was the most married, with 700 wives and 300 concubines).

Because the Bible never condemns the practice, no Jewish theologian opposed it publicly, Ginat said. Finally, in the 10th century, a rabbi named Gershom outlawed polygamy for 1,000 years, saying that Jews were persecuted by so many nations that allowing polygamy only made it worse.

Gershom probably thought of a thousand years as an eternity, but that millennium ended in 1987, Ginat said.  However, Gershom was speaking only to Eastern European Jews (Ashkanazi). The Meditteranean (Sephardic) Jews continued to practice polygamy. A maximum of four wives is allowed by the Koran, the sacred writing of Islam's prophet Mohammed, under strict conditions.  ``If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four,'' says the Koran, ``but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one.'' 

Mohammed had 10 wives and two concubines, according to Cyril Glasse in the Encyclopedia of Islam. He was married monogamously to his first wife, Khadijah, for 20 years, and she was the only one to bear him children. But after her death, he wed several widows and other women for the purpose of creating political alliances.

The Catholic Church frowned on the practice, but occasionally sanctioned second marriages of political leaders, said Ginat.  There was some experimentation with polygamy during the Middle Ages, Ginat wrote in his book, Polygamous Families inContemporary Society, co-authored by Irwin Altman. In the 1500s, Martin Luther tolerated polygamy in certain instances as a political necessity to ``ensure the success of the Reformation,'' Ginat wrote. But he did not want it passed on to the Protestant masses.

Modern Israel: When Israel was established, in 1949, the government prohibited polygamy. Those who already had several wives could bring them, but no new polygamous marriages could be formed.  However, in cases where a wife cannot bear children or is mentally ill, the rabbis can give a husband the right to marry a second woman without divorcing his first wife, Ginat said.  Despite the legal prohibitions, Israeli Bedouin, who are Muslims, continue to practice polygamy. That means they must ``trick the government,'' Ginat said.

For example, a Bedouin man might publicly divorce his first wife, but privately continue the marriage. There is no law saying a divorced woman cannot have children, and unmarried women are eligible for government rewards for childbearing, he said.  For the Bedouin, polygamy is ``not a religious issue, it is power,'' said Ginat, who is studying the group's marital patterns.``The more children you have, the more power -- and the more honor.''  He described a man who was accused of murdering a member of rival group. Though he eventually was found innocent, the man concluded he needed more power to protect himself.  ``I have six brothers,'' the man told Ginat. ``I insist that they marry more wives so we will have more power in our extended family.''

Muslim Nations: Polygamy is practiced openly in Jordan, Israel,  Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran, as well as some of the Muslim nations of North Africa -- including Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and  Algeria.  These countries are made of mostly agricultural communities, where women are responsible for working the fields, while men  work with the cattle.

The number of wives is ``related to the amount of agricultural production a man can oversee,'' said the Rev. Patrick Gaffney, an Islamicist at the University of Notre Dame. ``The more wives you have, the more productive the farm is.''  Though their numbers are small, not all polygamists are  premodern illiterate people. Some are teachers, doctors or other professional men, Ginat said.  And some Muslim nations have tried to modernize their marital laws.

In the late 1970s, for example, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat pushed through a law requiring a man to notify his wife before initiating divorce. Previously, many men wed second wives without telling their first wives, Gaffney said.  The law caused such a furor that when Hosni Mubarak became president, he rescinded it. In Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, the founding president, issued a decree outlawing polygamy and based it on the Koran, Gaffney said. Bourguiba argued that because a man has to treat all his wives equally and no one can do that, the scripture ``was really saying that everyone should have only one wife.''

In some places, polygamy is a generational issue.  Until 1973, when oil prices quadrupled, the older patriarchs in the Gulf States were all polygamous. But their children -- catapulted into modernism by new wealth -- rejected the marriage patterns of their fathers, Gaffney said.   Education, housing and other support systems of a modern state made it unnecessary for families to take care of each other, he said. 

Polygamy vs. Christianity: Most Christian churches, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, require a convert to have only one wife before he can be baptized.

For Catholics, the ``rule is clear,'' said Gaffney, ``but the way it is applied ends up with a lot of exceptions . . . The finessing of reality in the name of ideology was a fairly common way of getting around intractable problems.''

The Anglicans have been debating the issue of African polygamy since 1888, when Anglican bishops meeting in London for their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference passed a resolution saying that polygamous men should not be baptized but ``kept  under Christian tutelage until such time as they shall be in position to accept the law of Christ.''

The circumstances under which polygamous wives could be baptized would have to be decided by local Anglican leaders, the resolution said.

Eighty years later, the bishops were still debating.

In 1968, one African bishop hoped for more practical advice to the problem of polygamy. One asked why Western society forbids  ``simultaneous polygamy,'' while permitting ``consecutive polygamy.'' At the meeting they discussed the fact that requiring  men to leave polygamous marriages ``caused great suffering and great disruption to many.''

And just this year an African Anglican archbishop from Cape Town raised the issue again, saying that ``polygamy in parts of Africa genuinely has features of both faithfulness and righteousness.''

American Indians: Polygamy was fairly widespread among American Indian tribes, said Patricia Albers, chairman of American Indian studies at the University of Minneapolis.  There were plural marriages among the Dakota of Southern Minnesota, Ojibway of northern Wisconsin, Mesquakia of Iowa,  and the Ho-chunk (formerly Winnebago).   In the Intermountain West, plural marriage was common among  the Shoshone and Paiute tribes; it was also practiced by the Utes and Navajos.  ``I don't know any tribal nation in this general region that didn't have it or disallowed it,'' Albers said.   At the beginning of the 19th century, the Blackfoot Indians of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana were increasingly involved in buffalo-hide trade, and ``families were more successful when they had more women engaged in processing of buffalo hides,'' she said.  

In many American Indian tribes, polygamy ``was not a sign of subordinate position,'' Albers said. ``It occurred where women stood on fairly equal footing with the men in their communities.''  Many tribes expected women to have responsibility, not only for her own children, but for those of her sisters as well.  That could be one reason why the most common type of polygamy practiced by American Indians was sororal polygamy, or  two sisters married to the same man.   If a woman's husband died, it was not uncommon for her to then marry her sister's husband, Albers said. It was a way of ``melding family units.''

Marrying a set of sisters also was fairly frequent among 19th-century Mormon polygamists.

But it is the only aspect of polygamy expressly forbidden in the Bible and Islamic law. Although early patriarchs such as Jacob married sisters, it was outlawed after the Mosaic law was established.  Another common practice in Mormon and Indian polygamy was for a man to marry a widow or divorced woman with a daughter by her first marriage. Years later when the daughter was grown, the man would wed her also.   ``Even though the daughter is not the man's biological child, it is considered incest in the Bible and in Islamic law and is prohibited,'' Ginat said.   As social scientists, Ginat and Altman have explored the way polygamous families cope with jealousy, their social and physical arrangements and their marriage rituals.

Polygamy's Practice Stirs Debate in Israel
Salt Lake Tribune   December 7, 2001 by Christopher Smith

WASHINGTON -- Polygamy may be banned by the state constitution and abolished by the predominant religion, but it is still practiced by ultra-orthodox followers of the faith, some who want it made lawful to avoid sticky legal and moral questions. Sounds like Utah, but it's Israel. Political pressure to loosen the prohibition on polygamy for Sephardi Jews who came to Israel from Muslim countries is growing, a researcher told the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting, which concluded Sunday in the nation's capital. But the push in Israel for legalized "polygyny," the alternative term for having more than one wife at one time, stems not from a shortage of marriage-age men, an abundance of single women or an upswing in demand for multiple brides. Anthropologist S. Zev Kalifon of Bar-Ilan University in Israel said the call by former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph to legalize polygyny is part of a political movement to restore conservative traditions and lash out against popular notions of social equality. "They feel that the secular world which they met in Israel when they immigrated in the 1950s destroyed the patriarchal Sephardi family and its values," said Kalifon. "The ban on polygyny is seen as something modern, an expression of western or European values." Stories in the Old Testament indicate polygamy was an accepted part of the social order and is technically legal under Jewish law. But the practice has been banned for Jews in Europe since the 11th century, when rabbinate leaders sought to ease tensions between Jews and their Christian neighbors, who considered polygamy barbaric. Kalifon said the view of polygamy for the Jewish people differed significantly from that of early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which renounced the practice by the turn of the 20th century. "What Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did was make polygyny an ideal, with an ideal man having more than one wife," he said. "In Judaism, it is permitted but definitely not encouraged, [and] was never considered an ideal." While European or "Ashkenazi" Jews adopted the rabbinical adjustment to ban polygamy as a binding tradition, the Sephardi Jews outside of Europe continued to take second wives. Two wives is the "unspoken cap" for Sephardi Jews, said Kalifon. Polygamy among Jews is not limited to Sephardim. Jews living in the predominantly Arab country of Yemen still practice polygamy under the belief that Israel's rabbis are wrong in their prohibition of plural marriage. Yemeni Jews have an "unspoken cap" of four wives, rather than two. "If a man can satisfy four women at the same time, then good for him," the Yemeni chief rabbi in Raydah, Yemen, told the Associated Press last year. Another group of polygamists associating with Judaism are the "Black Hebrews," some 2,000 African-Americans who emigrated illegally from urban Chicago to Israel in the early 1970s, claiming to be descendants of "one of the lost tribes of Israel." Besides practicing polygamy, the members are strict vegetarians and eat only raw food for four weeks each year. When Israel became a state in 1949, the ban on polygamy became legally binding on all Jewish residents. Yet some Sephardi Jews in Israel continue to take second wives in "underground" marriages performed by rabbis who oppose the legal ban. Kalifon said these plural marriages by Sephardi Jews have created a mire of legal problems. Kalifon doubts any groundswell of would-be polygamist Sephardim is the motivation behind Rabbi Yoseph's campaign, given that most of his congregants are poor immigrants who are unable to support multiple wives. "Polygyny, if done right, is a good way to go bankrupt," said Kalifon. He contends the pro-polygamy movement is spurred more by moral issues than legal, financial or demographic concerns. "Advocating polygyny reminds these [Ashkenazim] rabbis that they 'gave in' to outside pressures, changed tradition to fit in to the European world and strayed from the way of our forefathers," said Kalifon. "Polygyny says that Sephardi Jews are closer to the tradition, purer in their observation of Judaism and less assimilated into the modern world. The desire to reinstate polygyny can be seen as a symbol of the uniqueness of the Sephardi religious worldview and a test of their growing political strength."

Sudan Pushed Polygamy

Men are being encouraged to take more than one wife. The president of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has urged Sudanese men to take more than one wife to increase the population. Speaking on Sudanese TV, President Bashir said since Sudan was the largest country in Africa and rich in resources, it needed more people to aid development. 

"We should achieve this aim by having many wives," he said. Sudan's current population is about 30 million. The Sudanese should ignore international family planning policies, the president said in a speech to the ruling National Congress Party, shown on Tuesday night. 

 Men in this mainly Muslim country are allowed up to four wives, according to Islamic Sharia law.  

The Guardian-London Sunday February 20, 2000

Muslim fights to make three wives legal by Jason Burke British ban on polygamy faces challenge in human rights court  Medi Siadatan has it all: nine children, two acclaimed restaurants, one faith and three wives. But Siadatan is not happy. Though a respected Walsall businessman, by being polygamous he is forced to live outside the law. Siadatan wants the British legal system to recognise that a man has the right to be married to four partners. And he wants the law to guarantee multiple wives the same rights as any other spouse. He is launching a challenge to the British laws against polygamy in a move regarded as a test case. The Iranian-born restaurateur claims that the law violates his rights to religious freedom and has hired a French lawyer to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights. He married each of his three wives, aged 38, 32 and 26 respectively, in a simple Muslim ceremony. Under Islamic law, a man is permitted to have up to four wives. 'We would all feel a lot better if our marriage was legally recognised,' he said. 'Just as a lion has four females in his pride so a man can take up to four women. It is in man's nature to take more than one partner.' Susan Vogel, a Birmingham-based solicitor who specialises in family law and has worked closely with the city's Asian community, said that the 1998 Human Rights Act could 'conceivably' provide some justification for Siadatan's case. Many Muslims say the case encapsulates the debate over whether minorities have the right to follow their own customs or should conform to established British traditions. 'Polygamy is a very difficult issue for many British liberals,' said Fuad Nahti, editor of the Muslim magazine Q-News . 'It challenges the secular establishment. It pushes the boundaries of multiculturalism.' Khalida Khan, director of An-Nisa, a Muslim women's group, said that there needed to be a reappraisal of the law to incorporate more of the values of Britain's ethnic and religious minorities. 'At the moment there is a parallel legal system that is completely unrecognised by the state,'she said. The issue is also important to other ethnic and religious communities. Some marriages conducted according to the rites of Judaism and Hinduism are also not legally recognised. Children of such unions can find themselves deprived of inheritance or other legal rights. Opponents of any change to British laws say that they protect those who may be coerced into marriages. Siadatan's three wives, however, profess total support for their husband. 'We are all behind him in want ing to have our marriages legally recognised,' Cinzia, his first wife, said. 'Medi is a very honest man and we don't mind sharing him. If a man feels committed to more than one woman then there shouldn't be any legal obstacles in his way.' Siadatan says he tried a conventional marriage after arriving in Britain from Italy in 1975, but hated all the lying when he took up a mistress. 'So I told her the truth and the mistress moved in with us, but it didn't work out because the jealousy was so terrible.' He said: 'I decide during the day who I am going to be sleeping with. It depends how I am feeling. I don't have a rota system and occcasionally the four of us push the double beds together.' 


Where Wealth Means Many Wives
Moscow Times   November 27, 2001

By Nabi Abdullaev

 MAKHACHKALA, Dagestan -- What does a Russian do when he's hit the big time? Usually, he snaps up gold Rolexes, sleek, black Mercedes sedans and plush apartments. In Dagestan, however, he takes a second wife. And then a third and a fourth. Polygamy is banned under Russian law. But there is little enforcement of the law in parts of Muslim-dominated southern Russia, particularly in Dagestan, where many lawmakers and law-enforcers themselves have several wives. Former Dagestani Finance Minister Gamid Gamidov acknowledged having three wives. Nadir Khachilayev, a former State Duma deputy from Dagestan, also said he has three. Many of the lawmakers in the republic's legislative assembly have at least two wives, according to insiders. The practice spills down to business executives and even taxi drivers. "If I can afford to feed two families, then why shouldn't I have them?" Abusupyan Kharkharov, head of the Makhachkala seaport, said once in an interview with a Dagestani newspaper. "Moreover, Islam allows it." Under Islamic law, a man can take up to four wives if he has the means to provide a separate residence for each and to feed them and their children. However, experts say some Muslims in the Northern Caucasus region, which includes Dagestan, dubiously interpret religious canons and often use the teachings as an excuse to practice polygamy. "Modern polygamists almost never ask for permission to take a new wife from their first ones, which is essential in Islam," said Ruslan Seferbekov, a Dagestani historian and sociologist. "The first wives are usually presented with a fait accompli." In any case, polygamy is deeply rooted in Dagestani society. The practice has been around in the Northern Caucasus for centuries and treated as a perk for a few local nobility and clergy, Seferbekov said.

Perhaps the largest harem in Dagestan belonged to Amirchupan of Kaitag, an

18th-century feudal lord who married 18 women.

An outnumbering of women to men in the pre-Soviet Caucasus, which closely

resembled the post-Soviet demographic crisis sweeping Russia, helped fuel the

proliferation of polygamy, Seferbekov said.

Polygamy was outlawed in Muslim-populated areas by the Soviets, and those caught

with more than one wife faced a year behind bars. Criminal prosecution was done away

with in 1998, but the practice is still banned in the Family Code.

Nationalist Duma lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky tried to amend the law last November,

arguing that multiple marriages would stimulate the country's falling birth rate. His bill

was rejected.

Regional authorities in the Northern Caucasus have also attempted to put polygamy

on a legal footing. In July 1999, the Ingush parliament approved a regional law

permitting residents to marry up to four women. The law was annulled by the Ingush

Supreme Court a year later, when President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian republics to

bring their legislation in line with federal laws.

The well-off in the Northern Caucasus get around the law by registering only their first

marriages with the government. Subsequent marriages are registered in their mosques.

Regional government agencies rarely object, mainly because many in their ranks are

also polygamists.

"Most of the high- and medium-level officials in Dagestan have two and more

families," said Sakinat, 38, the second wife of a deputy in the Dagestani parliament. She

asked that her last name not be used.

"Polygamy is especially popular among top police officers," said Sakinat, who is a

university professor. "These men are not afraid of any prosecution."

There are exceptions, but usually the second wives belong to a certain social group,

said Khadizhat Kanayeva, head of the Women's Crisis Center in Makhachkala.

"As a rule, they are well-educated urban women in their 30s with developed

personalities and, as they say, with a female 'zest,'" Kanayeva said. "Such women

respond to the self-esteem demands of the new rich, who usually lack a cultural


In the Northern Caucasus, where people are still clannish, the first wife is a tribute to a

clan, Kanayeva said. The first wife takes care of the children and provides link between

the husband and his own clan. The purpose of the second wife is to please him, she


"But educated women today do not approve of the status of mistresses," she added.

"They urge a man to take them as wives."

Elvira Kurayeva, a 35-year-old physician, said she became the second wife of a

prominent Dagestani leader for the mere reason that she could not bear the thought of

having a child out of wedlock.

"My brothers would kill me in disgrace if I had a child without being married,"

Kurayeva said.

She got married at the age of 31, which local traditions deem as too old for a first


"Now I have a son and a family life, and it is better than nothing," she said.

Sakinat said the arrangement of being a second wife suited her and her family.

"I am from a respected family in Makhachkala," Sakinat said. "Being someone's

mistress would be a stain on the family's reputation, while my being a second wife was

fine with everybody."

Some Dagestani women find money to be enough of an attraction to become a second


"I would rather be the second wife of a rich man than let my future children grow up

envying their wealthy peers," said Madina Akhmedova, 21, a student at a

Makhachkala university.

Several of her classmates agreed.

But more often, said Kanayeva of the crisis center, women agree to become second

wives because of love.

"Women still seek romance. They hope for good, and they are ready to sacrifice

themselves for their feelings," she said. "But one day, their love makes them my


Kanayeva said she had been providing counseling to dozens of second wives who

suffer from the depression of learning their husbands have stepped into third


"The second wives have a lower social status than the first ones and they are more

intelligent," Kanayeva said. "For them, knowing that their sacrifice was made in vain, is

extremely painful."

Sakinat recently felt the harsh reality of seeing her husband tie the knot with wife No.


"I thought I would die from my feelings of betrayal after my husband took a

19-year-old girl as his third wife," she said bitterly. "She is just a new toy for him."

For many men, their decisions are not to be questioned. In this society, men wear the

pants in the family, or families as the case may be.

"My first wife gave birth to four girls, and I lost hope of having a son with her," said

Makhmud Makhmudov, 45, a taxi driver. "I then decided to take a new wife and take

my chances with her."

Makhmud said he is happy now. He got a son.



Polygamist TV Show Sparks Debate

Associated Press   December 14, 2001

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Hajj Metwalli has three wives and is considering a fourth. He's happy, his wives consider themselves lucky, and the soap opera about their fictional lives has set off a debate across the Arab world about polygamy, Islam and love.

The daily drama, "The Family of Hajj Metwalli," was the most watched program on Egyptian television and drew wide audiences on at least 12 other Arab channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, traditionally a stage for splashy TV shows.

Islam allows men to take up to four wives on the condition that he treat each equally. But critics argue that being fair to four women is impossible outside Metwalli's charmed and fictional life.

THOSE Metwalli.

Yehia Khalil, an Egyptian jazz musician, is no fan. He didn't like the idea of Metwalli's lifestyle dominating the small screen during Ramadan, when families are glued to their TV sets more than the rest of the year.

"We don't need this backward idea that money buys everything, including women. There was no mention of love in those marriages," Khalil said.

Mustafa Moharam, the series' script writer, said he was happy he had succeeded in getting people talking.

"I wanted to throw a stone in stagnant waters, I meant to push people to think and discuss relations between husbands and wives and the controversial issue of polygamy," Moharam said.

He added he wanted to encourage marriage, as he believes that the number of single people from both sexes is alarming.

"Unmarried women suffer much more than the first, the second or even the third wife," Moharam said.

His Metwalli is a rich fabrics merchant in his late 50s. The wives dance at each others' weddings and live in harmony in the same building - albeit in separate luxury apartments Metwalli visits according to a strict schedule.

"I'm very upset because this series is forging religious consciousness, deforming the value of marriage, and humiliating women by presenting them as objects and slaves," said Zeinab Radwan, who teaches religion at Cairo University.

"Are we promoting the culture of the harem at the beginning of the 21st century? What is this backwardness?" wrote leftist journalist Farida Al-Naqash.

Nowadays, polygamy is uncommon in Arab and Islamic countries. It is legal in countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but banned in Tunisia and Turkey.

In Egypt, a country of more than 67 million people, "The Family of Hajj Metwalli" is interrupted with government ads encouraging birth control and promoting the idea that girls are equal to boys.

Maraam Yehia Barqawi, a 35-year-old Jordanian homemaker, said she enjoys watching the series as a well-produced drama, but hopes it doesn't encourage men to marry again and again.

"I would kill my husband if he ever thinks of marrying another woman," she said.

Not all women agree.

Nahida Abdu-Salam, a single Iraqi government employee, 30, said that "Metwalli treats his wives fairly and kindly. He is able to meet all the financial needs of his women and children. I think no woman should ask more than this."

Film critic Tarek El-Shenawi doesn't like the series, but said, "No doubt every man has a part of Hajj Metwalli in him, even if he doesn't reveal it."



Egyptian Jailed for Marrying Too Many Wives

Reuters   January 24, 2002

CAIRO (Reuters) - A court sentenced an Egyptian businessman to seven years in jail with hard labor Tuesday for having more than the legally allowed number of four wives at the same time, court officials said.

They said Sayed Ragab al-Sawirki, owner of a chain of stores selling clothes and home appliances, was sentenced along with six others who played a role in Sawirki's complicated marital situation.

The investigation showed that Sawirki had five wives at once and had married 19 women, although not all at the same time, the officials said.

Under Islamic law, men can be married to as many as four wives. But polygamy is not widely practiced in Egypt and a recent television comedy series in which the main character married four women sparked heated debate about the practice.

The Koran, the Muslim holy book, says a man can have four wives as long as he treats them equally. It then makes the observation that this task is impossible. Some schools of Islamic thought believe the passage shows polygamy is not allowed.

The other people sentenced by the court included two clerks. One received a one-month jail sentence and the other a two-year prison term, both for forgery.

Fayez Saad, the father of the fifth wife, Salwa, was fined $43 for forging the birth certificate of his daughter, then 14, so she could marry below the legal age of 16.

Another of the wives, Dina Shukri, received a three-year jail term with hard labor for illegally marrying Sawirki a fourth time after previously divorcing him three times.

Under Islamic law, a woman who divorces the same man three times cannot remarry him again unless she has married a different man in the intervening period.

Shukri's two brothers also received three years each for signing the marriage certificate.



Vietnamese Polygamy King

Said To Have 64 Children. So Far!

Updated: Tuesday, March 09, 1999


HANOI, March 9 (Bernama-DPA) - He is known as Vietnam's polygamy king.

Seventy-two year-old Tran Chu, a Vietnamese bricklayer, started having children when he was 17 and he hasn't stopped.

He currently lives in central Vietnam with ten of his "wives". He has at least another ten in nearby provinces and some have made it abroad - one is reported to be in the United States.

As for the exact number of offspring, he is even less sure.

His oldest living son, Tran Viet Dinh, 53, says he thinks his father has sired 64 children. When grand and great-grandchildren are counted the tally comes to more than 173 offspring.

Locals in Hai Chanh village of Quang Tri province have dubbed Chu's extended family as the "Kingdom of Ten Wives".

Local officials are soon expected to recognize the collection of houses - one for each wife - as a village in its own right.

"We don't know the age of the youngest child because he still keeps impregnating women," Nguyen Thao, a planning official with Hai Lang district told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

According to Dinh, the father of ten children himself, there were times when three or four of Chu's wives were giving birth at the same time.

Thao said up until five years ago Chu was still travelling around the central part of the country, impregnating women along the way.

"Now he is old and he stays at home but many women still come to ask him to impregnate them," said Thao. "They come and stay with him for two months or so and then go away."

Chu may be considered a beneficiary from the American War, which killed so many young men, leaving scores of women now in their thirties and forties without partners.

"Most of Chu's wives are spinsters, who can't find a husband. They are between 35 and 45 years of age when they come to him and they come voluntarily," explained Thao.

Unmarried women over 30 are entitled to have a child under a Vietnamese law designed to compensate for this lack of marriageable partners.

The policy was adopted particularly to compensate the thousands of young Vietnamese women volunteers who gave their youth to the war effort and then found, after the conflict ended in 1975, that they could not find husbands.

Vietnamese men are only allowed one wife but in this case Chu has not officially tried to marry his other "wives".

Thao, who has visited Chu several times, says Chu is not especially proud of his demonstrated virility and seems to carry out impregnation on humanitarian grounds.

Chu still lives with his first wife, who acts as a "general supervisor" for the community.

"What I find interesting about this is that they have a very good management of their lives," said Thao.

Copyright Bernama 1998 © All Rights Reserved

This Blog Entry's Comment Board (1 comment)
1-1 of 1 Comments   

Posted on 04:27PM on Sep 25th, 2010
Christian Wedlock.

Can a woman have more than two husbands?

No, a woman cannot have more than two living husbands. A man has no choice, as he must be in wedlock with one living wife. But a woman has three choices. Firstly, no wedlock with a husband. Secondly, wedlock with one husband. Or thirdly, wedlock with two husbands. That’s it, there are no further choices for a woman, and there is no choice at all for a man.

1 Corinthians 7:2 King James 1611.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Yr. 1783. 10th George Prince of Wales Own Hussars. (King George III).
Yr. 1898. 19th Alexandra Princess of Wales Own Hussars. (Queen Victoria).

Therefore two women can own a regiment of cavalry, and two men can own a regiment of cavalry.

1 Corinthians 6:16 King James 1611.
What! know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Therefore in the New Testament a man and woman lying together are one flesh, as follows:

A husband and wife who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

A fornicator and fornicatress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

A man and common courtesan or common prostitute who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

(A common prostitute is a woman who commonly offers her body for acts of lewdness for payment. An act of lewdness can never be an act of carnal copulation, as it is blasphemy to state that the Angel Gabriel and Mary committed a lewd act. The common law of england states that it is impossible for any woman to be a prostitute under any circumstances, but that a woman may continue on to be a common prostitute.).

A fornicator/fornicatress and adulterer/adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

An adulterer and adultress who lie together by carnal copulation shall be one flesh.

Clearly the New Testament lays down that a man must be in wedlock with his own wife, and a woman must be in wedlock with her own husband. Furthermore the New Testament specifically limits the number of wives that a man can have to only one, but sets no limit to the number of husbands a woman can have. But there must be some limit for a woman, or one woman could be in wedlock with thousands of men. Rationally, if one woman can satisfy the bodily lust of one man every day, and forty men can satisfy the bodily lust of one woman every day, then is one wife for every man and forty husbands for every woman what the New Testament requires? No, because the New Testament is a document of truth, not a document of reason.

Luke 1:28 King James 1611.
Luke 1:31 King James 1611.
Luke 1:28-35 King James 1611.
In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel came in unto Mary, a virgin woman, and Mary conceived and delivered her firstborn son, Jesus, the son being God the Son. And when Mary’s womb delivered her firstborn son Jesus unto the world, then Mary was like all women delivered of a firstborn son unto the world, as a woman’s firstborn son can never belong to the mother but must belong to the Lord God.

Luke 2:23 King James 1611.
Exodus 13:2&12 King James 1611.
And so like all women delivered of a firstborn son, Mary was no longer a virgin woman, but like all said women, Mary was a holy woman.

Matthew 13:53-56 King James 1611.
Mark 6:1-4 King James 1611.
And husband Joseph Jacob came in unto Mary and husband Joseph Heli came in unto Mary, and Mary conceived and delivered Jesus’ brothers, James, Joses, Simon, Judas, and also Jesus’ sisters.

Matthew 1:6&16 King James 1611.
Luke 3:23&31 King James 1611.
Joseph Jacob was the descendent of King David’s son Solomon, and Joseph Heli was the descendent of King David’s son Nathan.

Genesis 38:16-18 King James 1611.
“Came in unto her” means congress or carnal copulation. In the Old Testament, Judah came in unto Tamar, his daughter-in-law, and Tamar conceived and delivered twin sons. Tamar had lain in wait for Judah on the side of a far away road, and Judah had been unable to recognize Tamar because she was wearing a veil, and only common harlots wore veils. Upon first seeing this strange woman wearing a veil, Judah bargained a future payment of a kid from his flock, and therefore gave as his pledge, his personal signet ring, his personal wrist bangles, and his personal walking staff, for coming in unto her. Tamar had been in wedlock with Judah’s first son, who God had killed for being wicked. Tamar had then been in wedlock with Judah’s second son, who God had then killed when he saw the second son deliberately spill his seed on the ground during carnal copulation with Tamar.

That was because if Tamar was made with child by the second son, and if such child was a baby son born of Tamar, then under the law of the Hebrews that baby son born of Tamar was the first born baby son of the dead first son, and not any baby son of the second son, despite Tamar having conceived that baby son with the second son. This meant that if a dead man had no son, but still had a widow and a brother, then the widow and the brother should ignore consanguinity, and if the brother was already in wedlock, bigamy, in order to give the dead man a first born son.

(The ancient Hebrews were a people of eastern civilization who accordingly rejected the concept of demos, and therefore practiced bigamy by the males. The ancient Greeks were a people of western civilization who accordingly accepted the concept of demos, and therefore practiced either monandry or diandry by the females.).

Upon the death of his second son, Judah had ordered his daughter-in-law Tamar not to marry again, because Judah promised Tamar that she would marry his third son when he became old enough for wedlock. But when his third son became old enough to marry, Judah broke his promise and forbade his third son to marry Tamar. When Tamar was seen in her third month to be heavy with child, Judah was told that Tamar was with child through harlotry. Judah then summoned Tamar to him in order to be burnt to death for harlotry, although it was against the law to put a woman to death for harlotry. Tamar came and produced the signet ring, the wrist bangles, and the walking staff, and said the man who gave me these is the man by whom I am with child. Then Judah confessed to all that he had broken his promise and sinned by going back on his word that Tamar would have wedlock with his third son when his third son became of age, and then denying such wedlock to her.

Six months later Tamar safely gave birth to the twin sons conceived with Judah and the midwife tied a red thread around the son’s hand which first appeared out of the womb. But then the hand was withdrawn into the womb and the second son, Pharez, without the red thread was born first, and the first son, Zarah, with the red thread was born second.

Ruth 4:18-22 King James 1611.
King David of Israel and Judah was descended from Pharez, and the red hand flag of the Ulstans and Scots shows the Red Hand of Zarah. The red hand is often shown on a white six pointed star, but it is not clear whether this star is a Star of Pharez (Star of David) or just a Star of Ulster.

Genesis 1:27-28 King James 1611.
Genesis 2:7&18-19 King James 1611.
Genesis 3:20 King James 1611.
The first man and first woman in this world were Adam and Eve. Adam means “man” in the hebrew tongue, and Eve means “life” in the hebrew tongue. Therefore a man is man, but a woman is life.

Romans 7:4-6 King James 1611.
Old Testament law dead and gives as an example that a woman can have more than one husband.

1 Timothy 3:2 King James 1611.
A bishop can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

1 Timothy 3:12 King James 1611.
A deacon can have only one wife, and as he must be an example to other men, a man can have only one wife.

Titus 1:6 King James 1611.
An elder can have only one wife.

1 Timothy 5:4&9   King James 1611.
Elders are not to provide for widows under three score years of age who have daughters or sons, as the children must provide for their mother.

The Estate of Marriage. Martin Luther 1522.
Although Martin Luther confirmed that a woman could have two husbands, he nevertheless immediately restricted it to women who were in a marriage which had produced no children and who had then obtained permission from their first husband to take their second husband. Confusingly, Martin Luther did not make it clear as to how long a woman had to wait before taking her second husband.

To sum up, the New Testament upholds the example of deacons, elders, and bishops, for men to follow. That example is one wife. The New Testament also lays down that the Old Testament no longer applies to men or women, except for the 10 Commandments, and gives as an example of this that a woman is no longer bound to have only one husband. If men must follow the example of the male Christian leader in marriage, whether bishop, deacon, or elder, then surely women must follow the example of the female Christian leader in marriage. What leader is that? The primary one in the New Testament is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, God the Son.

Luke 1:15&35&41 King James 1611.
Mary had carnal copulation with three men. The Angel Gabriel, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. However, Mary was only in wedlock with two men, Joseph Jacob, and Joseph Heli. Furthermore, the Angel Gabriel was not a man of this world, and he seems not to have taken a fully visible male form when he had carnal copulation with Mary as ordered by God the Father, for it appears that at some stage God the Holy Ghost came upon or entered Mary. Either this was at the moment Mary conceived or immediately afterwards. After Mary conceived, she immediately went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was six months with child, a son, who also had been conceived when Elisabeth had been filled by God the Holy Ghost.

Accordingly it would be fully in accordance with the New Testament for a man to have one wife, and a woman to have two husbands. That the Angel Gabriel had carnal copulation with Mary is both interesting and theologically necessary, but it is not enough of an example for a woman to attempt to take a third husband in wedlock, whilst her first and second husbands still liveth.

Matthew 19:11-12 King James 1611.
1 Corinthians 9:5 King James 1611.
The New Testament does not give man any choice; he must have wedlock with one woman. But do bear in mind that Jesus, God the Son, was never in wedlock with any woman, despite all Jesus’ Twelve Disciples being or having been in wedlock with a woman.

But the New Testament gives a woman three choices.

1st Choice:
Virgin woman without wedlock.

2nd Choice:
Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock without child.
Virgin woman with one husband in wedlock with female child or female children.
Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with firstborn male child.
Holy woman with one husband in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

3rd Choice:
Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with firstborn male child.
Holy woman with two husbands in wedlock with male child or children together with female child or children.

A number of denominations have a service for wedlock, but so far every one of them has inserted words that clearly say a woman may be in wedlock with only one man at a time. Even the State Lutheran Evangelical Church of Sweden states this, despite Martin Luther himself saying that a wife can be in wedlock with two living husbands.

But what do you expect. After all, Martin Luther stated in writing that under no circumstances was anyone to call himself a “Lutheran” and under no circumstances was any church to call itself a “Lutheran Church”. So what do all northern europeans called themselves? Lutherans! Ask them what church they belong to? The Lutheran Church!

A number of denominations do not have any service for wedlock, on the grounds that wedlock is not a church matter, as it is a state matter. But every such denomination has nevertheless inserted words in that denomination’s discussion of wedlock, that firmly says that a woman can only have one husband in wedlock at a time.

Nowhere do any of the denominations give any explanation for their defiance of the New Testament. Of course that just might be because there is neither any justifiable explanation or excusable explanation for such defiance.

Still, just looking at using only the principle of choice as a guide, all the above denominations are pointing in the right direction, even if they are not pointing down the correct path.

That is, a man has no choice, he must make efforts to be in wedlock with one wife at some stage of his life here in this world.

And a woman still has a choice, in that she may choose not to be in wedlock with a man in this world, or she may choose to be in wedlock with one husband at some stage of her life here in this world. This means that the principle of a woman having a choice remains intact.

The defiance of both the Lord God and the New Testament by the various denominations by the removal of a woman’s option to make efforts to be in wedlock with two husbands at the same time at some stage of her life in this world, still leaves intact the principle of choice for the woman and no choice for the man.

Constitution of The Spartans (Xenophon). 388 B.C.
League of The Iroquois (Lewis Henry Morgan). 1851 A.D.
Only two non-christian groups in the world have been known to practice New Testament wedlock. The Spartans and the Mohawk.

Only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Spartans, citizens of the greatest of the greek city-states, Sparta, and history’s final saviours of Western Civilization at Thermopylae (The Hot Gates) in 480 B.C.

And only monandry and diandry, or New Testament style wedlock, was lawful among the Mohawk, citizens of the greatest of the eastern woodland North American tribes, which forever blocked France’s attempt to seize New York so as to split England’s colonies in twain.

Not only did spartan women routinely have two husbands at the same time, but Sparta herself always had two kings at the same time, as Sparta had two separate royal families. This dual monarchy (there are no other words to describe it) came from the Agiad Royal Family and the Eurypontid Royal Family.

Although some greek city-states had matrilineal descent, Sparta had patrilineal descent like most greek city-states. Accordingly a Spartan woman practicing monandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her daughters and to her sons from her living sole husband at nine months previously. A Spartan woman practicing diandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her old daughters from her living old husband at nine months perviously, give patrilineal descent at birth to her old sons from her living old husband at nine months previously, and give patrilineal descent at birth to her new daughters from her old husband at nine months previously. But a Spartan woman practicing diandry would give patrilineal descent at birth to her new sons from her living new husband at nine months previously.

Much criticism of both the Spartans and the Mohawk, has been leveled by outsiders who complain of the extreme freedom of the females and the extreme militarism of the males. It must be noted that there is no record of any Spartan male, Spartan female, Mohawk male, or Mohawk female, complaining of female freedom or male militarism.

Whatever your point of view on Spartan life or Mohawk life, the New Testament lays down cast-iron guidelines for wedlock. The fact that the New Testament complies with Spartan law and Mohawk law is irrelevant.

Of absolutely no relevance to this discussion, the symbol of the United States of America is the bald headed eagle, which is a species that uses both monandry and diandry for conception, and where the one male or two males reside in the exactly the same nest as the one female. The one female and either the one male or two males, stay in the nest together and raise the chick together.

Mark 10:7 King James 1611.
Ephesians 5:31 King James 1611.
Both husbands must leave their families to go and become a member of the wife’s family, or the one husband must leave his family to go and become a member of the wife’s family.



1st. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall by direct, exprest, impious, or presumptuous ways, deny the true God and his Attributes; he shall be put to death.

2nd. If any person within this Government of The Mohawk shall maliciously and on purpose deny that any Mohawk person may have arms for his defence suitable to his condition and as allowed by law; he shall be put to death.

3rd. If any man shall traitorously deny his Clanmother’s right and titles to her Eagle Feathers and Dominions, or shall raise arms to resist her Authority; he shall be put to death.

4th. If any man shall treacherously conspire or publiquely attempt, to invade or surprise any town or towns, fort or forts, within this Government of the Mohawk; he shall be put to death.

5th. If any man lyeth with a man or mankind as he lyeth with a woman; they shall be put to death, unless the one party were forced or under fourteen years of age, in which case he shall not be punished.

6th. If any man or woman shall lye with any beast or brute creature by carnal copulation; they shall be put to death, and the beast shall be burned.

7th. If any person shall bear false witness maliciously and on purpose to take away any person’s life; he shall be put to death.

8th. If any person shall slay, or cause another to be slain by guile or by poisoning or any such wicked conspiracy; he shall be put to death.

9th. If any person shall commit any willful murder, which is manslaughter, committed upon malice, hatred, or cruelty, not in a person’s necessary or just defence, nor by mere casualty against his will; he shall be put to death.

10th. If any person shall geld any man or mankind to take away generative power or virility; he shall be put to death.

11th. If any person shall geld any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

12th. If any man forcibly stealth or carrieth away any woman or womankind; he shall be put to death.

13th. If any marryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation, other than his one wife; he shall be put to death.

14th. If any marryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation, other than her two husbands or one husband; she shall be put to death.

15th. If any unmarryed man above twentyeight years of age and under fortytwo years of age shall maliciously and on purpose refuse wedlock for over fourteen days with any marryed woman under sixtythree years of age, said marryed woman having borne a son, or unmarryed woman under sixtythree years of age; he shall be put to death.

16th. If any person shall maliciously and on purpose deny any marryed woman wedlock with two husbands, said marryed woman having borne a son, or any unmarryed woman wedlock with one husband; he shall be put to death.

17th. If any child, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall smite his Natural Mother or Lodgemother, unless thereunto provoked and foret for the self preservation from death or mayming, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that child so offending shall be put to death.

18th. If any stubborn and rebellious son, above sixteen years of age, and of sufficient understanding, shall not obey the voice of his Natural Mother or Lodgemother, and that when the said Mother or Lodgemother have chastened such son will not hearken unto them, then at the complaint of the said Mother and Lodgemother, and not otherwise, they being sufficient witnesses thereof; that son so offending shall be put to death.

19th. If any unmarryed man shall lye with a woman by carnal copulation; he shall be whipt thirteen strokes, unless he hath his Natural Mother or Lodgemother authority, in which case he shall not be punished.

20th. If any unmarryed woman shall lye with a man by carnal copulation; she shall be whipt three strokes, unless she hath her Natural Mother or Lodgemother authority, in which case she shall not be punished.
Add Comment
1-1 of 1 Comments   
Your Comment:

Previous Posts
Polygamy Around the World, posted October 22nd, 2007, 1 comment
10 Reasons Why Polygamy Really Does Work, posted October 22nd, 2007
Tajik Women Want Polygamy Legalised, posted October 22nd, 2007
Intellectually, Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically Fulfilled (Polygamy), posted October 22nd, 2007
I've Never Been Happier (Polygamy), posted October 22nd, 2007
POLYGAMY BLOG, posted October 11th, 2007

Here are some friends' blogs...

How to Embed Photos in your Blog Embed Photos How to Embed Videos in your Blog Embed Videos