Give ‘em more wives - Muslim leader supports marriage to two or more partners
For the Government to restore peace, stability and order in Jamaica, a Muslim leader is proffering polygamy as a suitable option.
"If the Government should permit polygamy with the condition that those who have surplus money, they say 'Go and get married', the country will live in peace and harmony. No doubt there will be peace and harmony," Sheikh Musa Tijani told THE STAR.
Tijani of the Islamic Council of Jamaica reasoned that polygamy should be used to address societal ills and should be encouraged for those who have the means to afford it. He cited the works of Prophet Muhammed, who said "Oh, young men, whoever have the means to maintain the marriage, go and get married now."
"To marry more than one wife is a solution to the problem. So if you have the one wife and the one wife cannot satisfy you, what are you going to do? You go and look for another woman to satisfy you, you marry another one and have the two. What do I mean by satisfy? If the man wants to have sexual relations every day, you marry another one," he said.
"It is going to help a lot because most of the crime that you see, people do it purposefully to maintain their women, they want to show off. The main thing that is causing the problem in the family life is the single parent. In Islam, the man and woman are equal, a man cannot do what a woman does and a woman cannot do what a man does. It is stressing for a woman to do what a man does, it is hard. Women need the help," the minister of religion reasoned.
For Tijani, who grew up in an African household, polygamy was engraved in the culture, irrespective of religious alignment. He shared that in those blended households with several wives, it is the duty of the first wife to care for the children. With this arrangement, children are grown with love and discipline.
"We don't really see the problem with it. Everybody plays their role and it works right," Tijani said.
However, when he arrived in Jamaica in 1989, it was a culture shock for him to see that monogamy was practised.
"I don't think any Jamaican really wants their partner to partake in polygamy, except if their religion allows them to do so. I don't think they really want it. They even asked me 'Are you mad? Give up my husband? No, no'. They don't want that but if we want to change that culture, the Government would have to help," he argued.
Although he has been in Jamaica for more than two decades, Tijani only has one wife and joked that he cannot afford another. But he indicated that he would love to officiate polygamous marriages should the Government give the go-ahead.
"Islam doesn't say that every Muslim must have more than one wife, there is not any evidence of that. Evidence is for you to get married ... but to marry more than one wife, you must have a reason and the first wife must consent," he said.
He shared that he is aware of at least two Muslim couples who are polygamous, but abide by the nation's law which only legalises monogamous marriages.
"They register only one wife and the other would be like a babymother and a lot of people have babymothers, so it is normal," he said.