Muslims and Mormons: Should men have 4 wives?

· Philosophy, Popular culture, Religion

An Islamic rule is that a man can have up to 4 wives. Originally, Mormons also had this rule. However, in the late 1890s, that practice was discontinued by order of their Prophet. The rule still exists in Islam; however, many men would not want this, as it entails a lot of responsibility. From what I understand, the idea at first was to enable men to take care of women who had become widows, etc. The debate over this issue centres around the fact that people think it is just an excuse for men to have accepted sex with multiple women. Of course, this no doubt happens, but it is not the main reason why the practice originated. Another issue is that it seems unfair that women cannot be married to 4 men if they want to be. However, that would just create confusion because it is the woman who gets pregnant, not the man. If she is married to 4 men, only DNA would tell who the father is. Also, while she is pregnant, that is 3 men who cannot have sex with her for that period of several months. The reason I point this out is that this topic is controversial and people often reduce matters such as this to the common denominator of sex.


Men need to have regular sex or they are not happy, just as a woman needs regular emotional fulfillment or else she is not happy. Of course, both genders need both emotional fulfillment and sex to reach their potential, but generally, sex is a priority for men, and emotional fulfillment is a priority for women. A lot of people today say that a man should not expect sex all the time, should not cheat, etc., but it is true that a lot of women act like they are extremely interested sexually until they get married, and then, once they have children, they are no longer interested. A lot of people also pay lip service to how important communicaton is. A man needs to try everyday in a marriage to do something that does not come naturally to him; he needs to take an active interest in the emotional needs of his partner. The reason why there is so much divorce is this lack of attention to the underlying needs that each of us as human beings yearn to have met.


When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the rationale behind polygamy (multiple marriages for one man) was that the kingdom of Mormons was supposed to be built up as quickly as possible so that there would be power in numbers because there was a lot of persecution aimed at the Mormons of this time because they upset the status quo. Another reason for polygamy at this time was that Joseph Smith wanted to be financially responsible for several widows of the time. Of course, some people say that the Prophet used this as an excuse to satisfy lustful behaviour, and point out that he died at a young age. This presents the possibility of God being displeased with him and removing His protection from him. I am not convinced this is true, but it is a possibility that has been raised by some.


In Islam, if a man is married to more than one women, he needs to support all equally. If he buys one a house, then he needs to buy any additional wives a house of equal stature. It is not an excuse for him to satisy his lustful behaviour. There are advantages for the woman in Islam whose husband has more than one wife. I think I’d be totally comfortable with this arrangement, although it is hard to know until you have tried it or known someone who has actually experienced it. For example, one advantage is that if more than one woman want a particular men, they are both able to have him. Men do not have this luxury. Another advantage is that it offers the chance for a larger family, assuming that everyone gets along. A third advantage is that the demands of marriage can be shared among all of the women involved.


The purpose behind my blogs and website overall is to provoke thought on subjects that a lot of people find very interesting. I also want to give both perspectives on a situation because the truth is often somewhere in the middle. Also, I want to build a bridge, small thought it might be, between different cultures because I think we all have a lot to learn from each other.

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