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Discussing the fact on the subject ‘the Prophet Muhammad PBUH did Polygamy’ is still an interesting topic of discussion. There are lots of analyses that emerged and evolved. Start from just a view that it just as evidence of physical and biological strength of the Prophet; up to the analysis of the humanitarian mission and loaded with the noble of Prophetic values. Currently, over a last decade, the Prophet’s polygamy was read as a media campaign on the abusive manners against women. The facts of Prophet’s polygamy has been stated attractively by many words such as ‘polygamy is sunnah(recommended). Facts that the Prophet implemented polygamy and statement which say ‘polygamy is sunnah’ has been socialized in the recent situation, while the reality of polygamy is not relevant anymore with demand on the justice for women. 

Indeed, there are many other facts that are not revealed in the term sunnah, as something which was implemented by the Prophet. If the facts are revealed, we can confirm that the phrase ‘polygamy is sunnah’ is not entirely excuse for not criticizing the practices of polygamy which is bustling done. 

Many people are deluded by the phrase ‘polygamy is sunnah’, or ‘polygamy was implemented by Prophet’. So they are afraid to criticize the polygamy marriage. Because criticizing polygamy, let alone reject and forbid-is considered critical behavior of the Prophet. For Muslims, making criticism of the Prophet is a disgraceful act, and even can be considered as an act of apostasy. 

The phrase ‘polygamy is sunnah‘ with the meaning of appreciative and full of advice on polygamy, in practice deny the reality of other ‘sunnahs’ which more impartial on something which is principle rather than just a conclusion of polygamy or monogamy. Such as sunnah for not hurting other people, the sunnah to refrain from violence and sunnah to uphold the justice. Those sunnahs are much more fundamental than just the sunnah on polygamy, even though the  sunnah to get married. 

Even if there is text hadith which states that ‘marriage is sunnah’, but the majority of scholars discuss marriage as well as other deeds, which can be mandatory, voluntary, hated, even illegitimate. Because there is something more principle: if a real benefit to be good, but if the harm could be worse, even illegitimate. This is the ‘sunnah’ that more principle’. 

From ‘A’ishah, she said that the Prophet stated: “Marriage is my sunnah. Whoever does not practice, so he is not including my ummah. Marry! Because I will boast a large number of you in front of other people. Anyone who has the ability, then marry! If not, then fast for fasting it can be a control. “(Reported by Ibn Majah, see: Kashef al-Khafa, II/324, no. Hadith: 2833). 

Although in the text of this hadith marriage regarded as sunnah, but in the discourse of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), marriage does not necessarily become the only choice. Probably some people may choose not to marry, because they do not have desire and prefer to worship or study. There are many arguments put forward in this conversation. At the very least is a hadith text that links marriage with ability, and opening opportunities for those who can not afford marriage to fast instead of the advice to get married. When marriage is associated with the ability, means he does not become the only choice. Because there must be a condition where a person does not feel able to marry, and he choose not to marry. Even the hadith of Ibn Majah text above explicitly mentions the option not to marry with the phrase ‘fast’. 

There is another hadith text more valid: From Ibn Mas’ud ra. said, that the Messenger of Allah said: “O young men, whoever among you who has the ability, then marry, because marriage could control and keep the pubic eye. And whoever is not able to then fast, because fasting could be a control for him. “(Reported by Imam Bukhari, Kitab an-Nikah, no. Hadith: 5066). 

Married in the text of this  hadith is associated with one’s ability. Meaningful to people who do not have the ability, or maybe readiness, he is free advice to get married. In the commentary of Ibn Hajar (d. 852 AH) of the text of this tradition, people who are unable to marry (sex) actually advised not to marry, if not marriage  for him could  be hated. Indeed, in a discourse of Islamic jurisprudence, marriage is not necessarily a sunnah, although mentioned in the text above hadith as being sunnah. Married is more associated with the conditions of the couple readiness and ability to provide welfare. 

Imam al-Ghazali (d. 505 AH), for example, states that for someone who feels could benefit from being married and avoid the possibility of abuse in marriage, she should get married. However, when he was just not going to benefit, or could not avoid the possibility of defamation, it is not advisable to marry. (See: Fath al-Bari, X/139). More assertive, Imam Shafi’i (d. 204 AH) states that marriage is a matter of lust and no concern to worship,  moreover Sunnah. Exactly the same as eating and drinking business is done to satisfy stomach lust. 

Therefore, according to most scholars of Islamic jurisprudence, the law related to the readiness conditions of the couple; it can be Sunnah (recommended), Wajib (mandatory),  Makruh (hated), and could be haram (unlawful). Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id explained; it can be mandatory when a person feels very dependent to get married, which if not done he could be involved with adultery. Also can be  forbidden, when marriage becomes suppression area against his wife, both in terms of  physical or psychological fulfillment of the needs (maintenance). It can be Sunnah, if somebody  is not dependent on marriage, but the marriage can benefit him. If the marriage does not bring benefits, the law would be makruh (hated). (See: Fath al-Bari, X/138-139). 

Statement of some Islamic jurists indicates that the phrase “marriage is sunnah ‘can not be understood literally, and applied in general situation. This expression is the motivation for everybody to provide marriage as something that can bring them to  the better condition and and benefit. With conditions like this, everyone will be motivated and encouraged to marry and improve the lives of her marriage. However, the reality of life could have happened was the opposite, in which marriage can also bring in contempt and violence. Islamic Jurisprudence leader (Ulema fiqh) has been so carefully read the text of Hadith ‘marriage is Sunnah’ in the context of real life so that it can become compulsory, hate, even illegitimate. 

Getting married can be forbidden, because in Islam there are more principles than just getting married or not married, that is justice, and nonviolence. If an act will result in harmful, it is certain that something is in principle prohibited in Islam. Therefore, every marriage which will result in contempt on one side, women or men, or both, it must be prevented and forbidden. Thus, the talks ‘marriage is sunnah’ from the beginning must be linked with the principles of a more fundamental, justice, equality and non violence. 

In a text of the hadith narrated by Imam Malik in Kitab al-Muwatta ‘, Ahmad bin Hanbal in al-Musnad, al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak, ad-Dar al-Quthni in as-Sunan and Ibn Majah in al-Sunan, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH stated clearly: “There should not be something that is destructive and outraged” (la wa dharara Lâ dhirâr). The text of this tradition has become the main principle in developing the building of Islamic jurisprudence (qâ’idah fiqhiyyah), so that every legal decision of Islamic law should be freed from everything that might be damaging, violence, outraged or result in violence. (See: as-Suyuti, al-an-wa Asybah Nazha’ir, p. 173). 

If this logic is used, it is not proper to promote  discourse ‘polygamy is a sunnah’ as religious propaganda,  moreover to be a principle thing in religion. Indeed the spirit of justice and non violence, which should be a guide in understanding all the hadith texts about polygamy, and monogamy. This can be really found in texts on the hadith about the Prophet Marriage, Prophet’s warning  against perpetrators of polygamy and his rejection on Ali ibn Abi Tali’s plan to do polygamy by taking another wife beside Prophet’s daughter, Fatima az-Zahra ra. 

Understanding that ‘polygamy is sunnah’ as a recommendation or appreciation of the polygamy issue is a gross oversimplification, as well as can be misleading. ‘Polygamy is sunnah’ are actually not just allowed polygamy, but involving all the behaviors, actions and sayings of the Prophet in matters of polygamy. Because of the Sunnah, as defined by the scholars are all actions, behaviors and sayings of the Prophet PBUH., Then ‘polygamy is sunnah’ is all the behavior and actions of the Prophet associated with polygamy, when, why, how and how treatment is given when interacting with their wives. For issue number, all scholars have agreed to proscribe ‘footsteps to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet’. As is known in our history, Holy Prophet marry more than four women. When the Holy Prophet death, which was recorded as the wife of the king at that time amounted to nine people. But all the clerics forbid exemplary ‘sunnah’ married with more than four women. Because the Prophet self nearly three times ordered a few friends to divorce his wife over four people. That is expressed on Ghilan ibn Salamah al-Saqafi ra., Wahb al-Asady ra. and Qays ibn al-Haris ra. 

From Ibn `Umar. said: that Ghilan Saqafi bin Salamah al-Islam has ten wives at the time of Ignorance (before converting to Islam), with it they also converted to Islam and the Prophet told him to choose only four of them. “(Reported by at-Tirmizi). (See: Ibn al-Athir, Jami ‘al-usul, juz XII, p. 164, no. Hadith: 9031). 

This is of course not Hadith text, or Sunnah  to order somebody doing polygamy, but on the contrary to  restrict or to limit somebody doing polygamy. This limitation is not common, because there are some more fundamental principles  those are prohibition to hurt and to oppress other people. The prohibition to marry more than four, as affirmed by many scholars, also at least imply that the ‘polygamy is sunnah” is not simply understood only ‘imitate’ the Prophet in doing polygamy. Because there is many more other Sunnahs, which is used as the primary reference of the Islamic jurists (fuqaha), especially the Sunnah which is more principle. The sunnah on Non violence and Sunnah  of justice. 

Sunnah justice is explicitly stated in some texts of hadith. Among them:  “From Abu Hurairah ra.: The Messenger of Allah said: He who has two wives, then he does not do justice to both, then he will come on the Day of Judgement and half his body fall (split). In Abu Dawud narrated: Whoever has two wives, then he tends to one of the two, then he came on the Day of Judgement and half later his body apart. In an-Nasa’i history: “He tends to one of the two, then he will come on the Day of Resurrection, and half of his body apart.” (Reported by Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i). (See: Ibn al-Athir, juz XII, p. 168, no. Hadith: 9049). 

In the hadith (or commentary) of al-Mubarakfuri (Muhammad Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd ar-Rahim, d. 1353), there is another report that confirms that the person on the Day of Resurrection will drag half of his body fell to the floor. This expression is the description of a painful and terrible torture. (See: al-Mubarakfuri, Muhammad Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd ar-Rahim, al-Ahwadzi Tuhfat, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1995, juz IV, p. 228). 

Something will not be threatened with a grievous penalty, but because of something is prohibited by religion and including acts of sin. Not do justice to the wives in polygamous marriage is a sin which will be punished in the here-after. In another narration, there is a saying that a tendency toward one of his wife, who is bigger than the other wives, is a sin which carries a punishment hereafter. In a the commentary of the Sunnah text Syawkani said , a person who stay longer with one of his wives, for example with the one two nights while in others only one night, including acts of injustice which is threatened with grievous punishment in the text of the Sunnah. This act also prohibited the Quran in a letter an-Nisa verse 129. (See: al-Syawkani, Nayl al-Awthâr, juz VI, p. 371-372). 

The threat of punishment against perpetrators of injustice in polygamy, is one form of explicit criticism of the practice of polygamy itself. In addition to criticize the way other, more subtle, such as the need for restrictions on the number, there is need for rules and the necessity to consider the needs of ‘taking turns’ between the women (wifes). Another  critics of the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. against the practice of polygamy, like the appreciation of the monogamy life between the Prophet and Khadija ra., or when the Prophet didn’t allow Ali ra. to do polygamy when he is married to his daughter Fatima ra.  and let Ali to decide  whether he will  have a divorce with Fatima ra. and then marry to another woman, or he will stay with Fatima ra. without marrying another woman. All of this are forms of criticism against the  polygamy practices, which if understood as a whole, is actually can be understood that the term ‘polygamy is sunnah’in fact is that in the ideal level is prefer to choose monogamy. 

“From al-Miswar bin Makhramah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah. said in the stage: “Some families from Banu Hisham bin Al-Mugheerah ask me a permission to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abi Talib,- Please everybody know-, I am not going to allow, once again it will not be allowed, I am really not allowed, unless Ali ibn Abi Talib wants to divorce my daughter, then marry their daughter. Know, that my daughter was a part of me, what is disturbing her feeling is bothering me, what hurt her was also hurt my feelings. ” (See: Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, juz X, p.. 409, no. Hadith: 5230). 

In this Sunnah texts, implicitly stated that the reason for the Prophet does not give permission for polygamy, which is due to disturbing Fatima’s feelings and hurt her. Therefore, Imam al-Bukhari titled the chapter for yourself this hadith with the statement “hard efforts of the parents to defend for her daughter to continue to be treated properly and fairly” (chapter dzabb ar-rajuli ‘an ibnatihî fi al-ghirati wa al-ishâfi) . Polygamy hurt Fatima ra., As well as hurt many women. Prophet feels the hurt, and obliged to defend it in order  his daughter will not become victims of  the harm full treatment. 

There is another reason, because the name of the girl whom Ali ra. wanted to marry is Al-Juwairiyyah,  the daughter of Abu Jahl.  The Prophet. does not want her daughter live together with the daughter of the enemy of Allah. This reason is often expressed by some scholars. It also expressly mentioned in one history of the text of Sunnah. 

“From al-Miswar bin Makhramah ra., Said that Ali proposes the daughter of Abu Jahl for a marriage to, although and he has a wife Fatima ra, daughter of the Prophet. Fatima heard of it, and came to the Prophet., Saying: “He thought you would never upset defending your daughters (oh father). This, Ali will marry the daughter of Abu Jahl. ” Then the Messenger of Allah rushed, and I heard, after prayers, Prophet said: “Amma ba’du (then after that), I have been married off my daughter to the son of Abu al-Ash ar-Rabi and his loyal and honest to me. Fatima is a part of me, I am not happy if there are people do bad against her, in a history, if there are people who make defamatory (interference)-to her, by Allah, will never be back together with the princess daughter of the Messenger of God’s enemy in the lap of one person husband forever. ” (Reported by Muslim and at-Tirmizi). (See: Ibn al-Athir, juz XII, p. 162-163, no. Hadith: 9026). 

According to Sheikh Ahmad Shakir, a prominent cleric al-Azhar, that the prohibition on the polygamy case of Ali ra. is a Prophet’s family matter,  because of  The Prophet does’t like that her daughter will stay together in a house with be the daughter of Abu Jahl. The prohibition of polygamy is not because they want to forbid ‘that have been lawful’ or otherwise justifies ‘that has been forbidden’. If so, then anyone not authorized to perform the prohibition against polygamy, except if starting from ‘personal’ or ‘family’ reason. Polygamy is something that is lawful unto God Almighty, and may not be anyone forbids it. Facts on the prohibition of  Ali ra.’s polygamy is a ‘privat matter’ or ‘family matter’ of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH, because of displeasure’  that daughter of the Prophet will stay together in a house with the daughter of Abu Jahl. “The ban is not related to the prohibition of ‘shariah polygamy’ real lawful God Almighty. (See: Syahhatah, Abdullah, al-mar’ah fi al-Islam al-Madhi bayna wa al-Hâdhir, al-Hai’ah al-‘Ammah al-Mishriyyah, tt, p. 146). This is one view, which is not the only understanding that is born from these hadiths. This view is very open to be critisize, either by argument ‘principle of justice’, or through comparison with other understandings of the text the same hadith (narration)

This view should be considered as contrary to the morals of the Prophet the forgiving of traces of the enemy, do not bring up past mistakes and does not associate a person with her parents fault. Making the ‘candidate’s second wife is a daughter of Abu Jahl’ as the reason for the prohibition of polygamy, is actually very confusing in the context of discussion about the personality of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Because, by accepting this reason that we portray the Prophet as vindictive toward the enemy. Yet all knew the nature of the Prophet not so. What relationship the Prophet with Abu Sufyan ra., the main enemy of the Prophet in the war against the Quraish, after he converted to Islam is very good. In fact his wife who tore the Prophet’s uncle’s chest, Hamza and ate his heart. Even before Abu Sufyan entered Islam, Prophet married his daughter, Umm Habiba ra. Prophet. also married the daughter Safiyah Huyayy bin Akhthab The Bani Nadhir leader who fought the Prophet until the last drops of blood. 

Note relation of the Prophet with traces of the enemy was very much. And it must be many notes or records of some people who initially hostile to the Prophet, then turned to Islam and became the main defender and has a very good relationship with the Prophet. It is a very naïve thing , if later the Prophet considers a bad effect on al-Juwairiyyah bint Abu Jahl, just because of her status as the daughter of the enemy of Allah.  Although she herself had converted to Islam and become a good Muslim. Islam never associates somebody with the sins of others, even parents, with their children. 

However, Fatima ra. daughter of the Prophet, felt sick when she will be treated in a polygamy. She told of her feelings to the Prophet and Prophet able to feels her worry. Prophet also responded the voice of a woman who is sick because she will be treated in a polygamy. The Prophet said:  “Fatima is my daughter, part of me, I feel disturbed what bothers her, and I feel hurt from the things what hurts herself”. 

Whatever the reason, obviously there is the fact that the Prophet did not allowed Ali ra married a second time when Fathima ra. still in his side. Prophet to bid to Ali ra to divorce Fatima ra., if he want to marry another woman, or stay with Fathima ra. without being married to another woman. Because polygamy  become a fitna (examination) for Fatima ra. and very disturbing life. 

Prophet, in the text sunnah above, appreciate to the loyalty of Abu al-Ash husband of Zainab bint Muhammad. Though Abu al-Ash almost as long as six years be separated from Zainab who was in Medina, because he was still in the ranks of the unbelievers of Quraysh in Mecca. However, Abu al-Ash remains faithful, as well as Zaynab, so when he followed Prophet to Medina and converted to Islam, the Prophet bring them back without repeating their marriage at  all. 

Women have every right to feel hurt against polygamy, even it is natural and nothing to do with religion. Fatima herself felt hurt, and her feelings  was acknowledged by the Prophet. Means, hurt  feelings because of polygamy is also ‘voluntary’. Because it was also felt Fatima ra. and also recognized the Prophet. Women can not allow polygamy, or parents can not let her daughter being violated by a practice of polygamy. This refusal has nothing to do with less religious, less patient, or less faithful to the husband. Rejection is full women’s rights, parental rights as well.  Furthermore, it is also a Sunnah which was implemented by the Prophet in the real life. In the Sunnah text above, it was obvious how Fatima ra. and the Prophet rejected the plan polygamy of Ali ra. And something that the Prophet practiced, or recognized the Holy Prophet is a thing which called ‘the sunnah”. Once again, rejecting a polygamy is sunnah, hurt against polygamy is also sunnah. Because of the Sunnah is something which is done, spoken, or recognized by the Prophet. 

This is all because there are more principles of sunnah, that is the sunnah of non-violence. If the practice of polygamy brings violence as is the case at the present time, we can be sure it is not something that Islam encouraged and not worthy of being promoted with the phrase ‘polygamy is sunnah’. In this context, we can clearly see how the Qur’an gave his choice in monogamous marriage, as something closer to not do evil. Dzâlika adna alla ta’ûlû, says the Qur’an (Surah 4: 3). Monogamy is closer for you to not do ugly, says the Koran. From this text, Imam Abu Hanifah had stated before the Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur was a dialogue about polygamy: “We must behave in a civilized Koran which states that polygamy is closer to insult someone for not doing.” Finally, maybe we can affirm that monogamy is the ideal choice of  the  Koran. 

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