Polygamy in Islam is a concept not very well understood by many ordinary people. According to the injunctions of the religion, a man is allowed four marriages. However after the first marriage, if the husband wishes to remarry; he has to ask for approval for the second marriage. The same goes for the rest of the marriages.
In Pakistan, men generally exercise this as a right to just remarry rather than something they need to seek approval for
And it is accepted in the society because it has been adopted as a cultural norm.
A recent case has been making international headlines in which a man in Lahore was brought before a local court for not seeking approval for his second marriage from his first wife
In a historic ruling, he was fined Rs200,000 and sentenced up to six months in prison for his second marriage. And he had to submit surety bonds up to Rs50,000 to ensure that he is not imprisoned immediately.
Ayesha Bibi, the first wife, had filed the case against her husband Shahzad Saqib. And in her appeal to court, she said that it was against the law to remarry without your wife’s approval. Based on this interpretation, she asked the court to term his second marriage as illegal.
The law at this point suggests that a written approval is required from the first wife is the husband wishes to remarry
Although the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has detested such a thorough approval, it is something which the law demands.
Romana Bashir is the head of Peace and Development Foundation, which is a non-governmental organisation. She is of the opinion that it is encouraging that a wronged woman has used this law to complain to the court. The decision augurs well for women’s empowerment.
Women’s rights activists believe that the decision will discourage polygamy.
— Elham Manea (@ElhamManea) November 2, 2017
Kudos to the first wife!
Pakistan polygamy: Lahore man jailed over unapproved second marriage – https://t.co/zAmvAwDp96
— Sarah Nawaz (@SarahhNawaz) November 2, 2017
He thought he didn't need first wife's permission for a 2nd marriage as his religion allows him four marriages. https://t.co/mWPLwEZgEM
— Faria Salman???? (@FariaSalman1) November 2, 2017
This video explains the situation in more in-depth detail:
Do you think this is a good precedent to set or does this discourage polygamy? Let us know what you think.
Cover image via: jodipics.com