Even in the 21st century, when women empowerment is in the air, slogans of women empowerment can be heard in every nook and corner of our society, and women have long proved their worth in society, be it Indira Gandhi as prime minister, Mehbooba Mufti as chief minister, Smriti Irani as union minister, Tina Dabi as district magistrate, Kiran Bedi as superintendent of police, Arundhati Roy as author and Shabana Azmi as social worker, but the condition of many a Muslim woman is still awaiting the touch of empowerment.
She is still standing at the same place where she was hundreds of years ago. She is lagging behind in every field, be it education or employment, in the sphere of equality, in the right to speech and right to divorce and marriage. Amid innumerable crimes against Muslim females, like dowry deaths, early marriages, forced marriages, honour killings, polygamy is the most cruel of all because this empowers every male to threaten, suppress and exploit his wives throughout their lives. A Muslim male with this irreligious, illicit weapon harasses his wife and forces her to tolerate his unjust actions. The unprivileged, innocent and dependent Muslim wife, just to save her happiness, home and marriage, finds no other option but to submit before her cruel husband.
The practice of polygamy has also spread immorality in our society. Free from fear of police and court, the Muslim male often indulges in extramarital affairs. This immoral atmosphere in the home badly affects the psychology of children. Even the Quran doesn’t permit polygamy because in Surat un Nisa 4.3 Allah says, “If you fear you might fail to give orphan women their due rights if you were to marry them , then marry other women of your choice– two, three or four. But if you are afraid you will fail to maintain justice, then content yourself with one or those bondwomen in your possession. This way you are less likely to commit injustice.”
From the above ayat it becomes evident that if one fails to administer social, economic, physical and emotional equality, then it is better to marry only one. But friends, the irony is that Muslim males follow only half portion of the Surat un Nisa on polygamy for their own enjoyment and for giving due recognition to their bad and loose character, leaving unattended the clear Quranic directions that their act of polygamy is in violation of Allah’s command.
The tyranny of a Muslim male doesn’t even stop here. Let alone giving equal social, economic, emotional and physical rights, husbands cross all limits of cruelty, torture, and harassment of their wives. Marriage with a new young girl is more than enough to make them forget responsibilities towards their previous wife. This second marriage of a husband turns the first wife into a subject of taunts for society. The inhumane, illicit and religious act of the male raises innumerable questions on the character and worth of the female who happens to be his first wife. Above all, a poor wife does not even dare to divorce him because of her inability to feed herself and her innocent children.
In the end I want to say:
(1) When will Muslim males stop misinterpreting Quranic verses?
(2) When will a Muslim female becomes free of the fear of breaking of her marriage?
(3) When will a man’s second marriage, even with the consent of the first wife, be considered null and void and children born out of that wedlock illicit in the eye of law?
(4) When will polygamy be considered as a non-bailable offence?
(5) When will our Muslim females be free of the fear of loss of home and husband?
Last but not the least l would like to request to honourable Modi ji that like triple talaq, polygamy should also be banned.