Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

The decision to marry is one of great importance. How early should this decision be made? How early is too early? And everythign else about marriage

Do you agree to polygamous marriage?

Yes (married man)
1
9%
Yes (married woman)
2
18%
No (married man)
0
No votes
No (married woman)
0
No votes
Yes (bachelor)
2
18%
Yes (spinster)
2
18%
No (bachelor)
1
9%
No (spinster)
2
18%
Not sure until I get married then can decide!
1
9%
 
Total votes: 11
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 21 Feb 2011, 14:17

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:The Imam was in prison most of his life. He had only one wife Narjis.


According to a book I read (will post the reference later as its at home), Bibi Narjis was a slave. Alongside her Imam had several other slave girls.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 21 Feb 2011, 14:18

Can you post reference for the wives and their names?
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 21 Feb 2011, 14:22

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:Analyze the trend. It is clear to me the later Imams had only 1 or 2 wives while the earlier ones had upto 6.


Meaning that all of them (except perhaps one or two as per your source) applied practically the sunnah of the Holy Prophet of marrying more than one wife.

Agreed?
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 21 Feb 2011, 15:11

Meaning that all of them (except perhaps one or two as per your source) applied practically the sunnah of the Holy Prophet of marrying more than one wife.


Meaning, we have to question ourselves and wonder, had it been the sunnah of the prophet, why did these Imams not practice it then? Why the trend? And why is there no hadith that tells marrying more than one wife is good.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 21 Feb 2011, 15:16

hasin wrote:
Muhammad Mahdi wrote:The Imam was in prison most of his life. He had only one wife Narjis.


According to a book I read (will post the reference later as its at home), Bibi Narjis was a slave. Alongside her Imam had several other slave girls.


Bibi Narjis was not a slave. She was a roman princess and a direct descendant of the disciple of P Isa. She was taught Islam through divine dreams and told to leave home, act as a slave whereby she would be taken in by Imam as his wife.

Also, just because Imam had slaves, does not mean he had marital relations with them.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 25 Feb 2011, 00:25

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:Meaning, we have to question ourselves and wonder, had it been the sunnah of the prophet, why did these Imams not practice it then? Why the trend? And why is there no hadith that tells marrying more than one wife is good.


Would you reach such a conclusion even though the Holy Quran clearly allows marrying more than one wife AND Holy Imams have clearly followed the instructions?

How then would you respond to our brethren-in-faith when they use similar logic to yours in response to Mutah being allowed or not?

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:Bibi Narjis was not a slave. She was a roman princess and a direct descendant of the disciple of P Isa. She was taught Islam through divine dreams and told to leave home, act as a slave whereby she would be taken in by Imam as his wife.


Bibi Narjis was brought to Imam as a slave. She was not married to him as a princess. She was captured by a caravan (under divine direction) and brought to Iraq as a Slave. I am not questioning her lineage. I am stating the fact that she was brought in as a slave.

The reason I brought this fact up will be clear in my reply to your point:

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:Also, just because Imam had slaves, does not mean he had marital relations with them.


Just because the Imam (and the other one or two imams) did not marry in public does not mean they did not marry more than one wife!

hasin wrote:Can you post reference for the wives and their names?
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 25 Feb 2011, 13:56

Would you reach such a conclusion even though the Holy Quran clearly allows marrying more than one wife AND Holy Imams have clearly followed the instructions?


I explained to you that the earlier Imams married for obvious reasons. Should those reasons arise today, then it would be sunnah to marry more than one wife.

However, as the later Imams showed. if there are few reasons to marry more than one wife, then it is no longer sunnah. This is evident from their practice.

I am not arguing about the legality of the practice. The Quran allows it (after marking it risky).
But again legal != recommended

How then would you respond to our brethren-in-faith when they use similar logic to yours in response to Mutah being allowed or not?


I dont get you. Care to explain?

I am not questioning her lineage. I am stating the fact that she was brought in as a slave.

Bibi Narjis was a slave. Alongside her Imam had several other slave girls.


And I commented on her lineage because she was not a slave in the normal sense. You categorized her with other slave girls and assumed that Imam had marital relations with all of them.

Just because the Imam (and the other one or two imams) did not marry in public does not mean they did not marry more than one wife!


The Imam are role models. People have to emulate them and the Imams know it.
Thus, the Imams used to give charity at night in secret, but they also gave charity during the day time so that people would be aware of the importance of charity.

Had polygamy been a recommended act, the Imams would have married in public.

Reference Kitab al Irshad+Internet
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Fatimah Zahra Karim » 22 Mar 2011, 19:44

hasin wrote: Bibi Narjis was brought to Imam as a slave. She was not married to him as a princess. She was captured by a caravan (under divine direction) and brought to Iraq as a Slave. I am not questioning her lineage. I am stating the fact that she was brought in as a slave.


Bibi Narjis was not captured as a slave. She ran off with the caravan and told the "captor" that he could pretend she was a slave. She was the one who would make a decision who to be "sold" to. What slave ever had this choice? The Imam sent someone to her with a letter, and upon reading it she agreed to be "sold" to the Imam (pbuh). Now how was she a slave? She joined the caravan to meet the Imam as she had been instructed to do in her dream, and the Imam paid her fare. Make any sense?

Plus, according to shariah, not all slaves are given conjugal rights like some people seem to be implying!
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Fatimah Zahra Karim » 22 Mar 2011, 19:57

hasin wrote:Bibi Narjis was brought to Imam as a slave. She was not married to him as a princess. She was captured by a caravan (under divine direction) and brought to Iraq as a Slave. I am not questioning her lineage. I am stating the fact that she was brought in as a slave.


Bibi Narjis (pbuh) was NOT a slave. She ran off and joined the caravan and made a deal with her "captor" to pretend she was a slave and that she would only be "sold" to whom she chose. What slave ever got to make that choice? Imam (pbuh) sent her a man with a letter, and upon reading it she agreed to accompany the man and go to the Imam (pbuh). So, she joined the caravan of her free will, left it of her own free will, with the person she chose to leave with, and Imam (pbuh) paid the caravan guy for her fare and for taking care of her. I don't see slavery anywhere in the whole incident...does anyone else?

A point to note, by the way, is that not all slaves have conjugal rights by default as some people seem to be implying.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby Insaan » 22 Mar 2011, 20:52

Here is an interesting answer for the above question.Read what Imam Saadiq (as) says at the end of question 23.
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22. Why are men permitted to have more than one spouse whereas
the women are not?


The Noble Qur`an has permitted polygamy (but, with strict
conditions and within prescribed limits) and here we have to face
up to a barrage of objections and assaults of the opponents, who,
armed with a cursory study and influenced by imprudent
sentiments, have set out to oppose this Islamic ruling. The
Westerners, in particular, tend to criticize us by saying that Islam
has permitted the males to create a harem and take for themselves
an unlimited number of spouses. As a matter of fact, Islam has
neither permitted the construction of harems - as they take it to
mean - nor has it permitted unconditional and unqualified
polygamy.

Explanation: Studying the conditions that prevailed in different
regions before the onset of Islam, we infer that unreserved
polygamy was a routine affair in those days even to the extent that
on some occasions, when the polytheists would convert into
Muslims they would have in their possession around ten spouses.
Thus, multiplicity of wives is not an invention of Islam; on the
contrary, Islam has confined it within the framework of the
necessities of human life and qualified it by means of strict
conditions.
Islamic laws are determined on the basis of the actual needs of
humans and not on the basis of external propaganda and ill considered
sentiments. The issue of polygamy too has been given
consideration from this angle. This is because none can deny the
fact that men, in the various goings-on of life, are more exposed to
peril than the women, and they are the ones, who predominantly
bear the brunt of actual casualties in battles and other catastrophes.
It cannot also be denied that the sexual life-span of men is more
than that of women since women, at a certain age lose their sexual
strength whereas men do not.
In addition, during menstruation and certain phases of pregnancy
the women are obliged to observe a restriction of sexual activity
whereas the men have no such restrictions.
Apart from all the above there are women who, due to various
reasons, lose their husbands and are usually not sought by the men
as a first-wife, and in the absence of polygamy, they would always
have to remain without a spouse; we read in numerous newspapers
that this group of widowed women, due to the restrictions placed
upon the issue of polygamy, complain of the tangles of life and
regard this curb as a kind of sentimental oppression which they are
subjected to.


Taking these realities into consideration, in such instances wherein
the balance between men and women is disrupted due to certain
factors, we are left with no option except to select one of the
following three alternatives:

1. Men should, at all times, content themselves with just one spouse,
while the extra women should remain without a spouse for the rest
of their lives, suppressing and killing all their innate needs and
internal desires.

2. Men should have only one official and legal spouse, but are
permitted to establish illicit physical relationships with women,
who are without spouses, and keep them as mistresses and
paramours.

3. Those, who possess the means, should be permitted to govern
more than one spouse. Individuals, who would not be
inconvenienced physically, economically and ethically, and who
possess the ability to maintain equity and even handedness amongst
all their spouses and children, should be permitted to take more
than one spouse for themselves.

Undoubtedly, there exists no other alternative than these three.
If we were to choose the first alternative, we would have to wage a
battle against human innate instincts and spiritual requirements,
and disregard these sentiments and feelings of the women - a battle
which we would never win. On the assumption that this scheme is
actually put into practice, the inhumane aspect associated with it is
something which is clear for everyone to see.

In other words, when necessary, this issue should not always be
scrutinized from the viewpoint of the first wife but should also be
analyzed from the standpoint of the second wife. Those who
consider polygamy to be the cause of the sufferings of the first wife,
view this issue from only one perspective. It ought to be studied
from three perspectives - from the standpoint of the male, the first
spouse and the second spouse, and the issue should be judged after
taking into regard the interests and well-being of all three of them.


As for the second alternative, if we were to select it, we would have
to legalize and formalize prostitution. In addition, the women, who
are kept as mistresses and used for sexual gratification, would
neither have any security nor a future for themselves, and their
status would be ruined, and these are things that no rational person
should ever accept.

Thus, the only alternative that remains is the third one, which not
only responds positively to the innate desires and the inherent
needs of the women, but it also keeps women away from the evil
consequences of prostitution. It prevents disruption of the lives of
this group of women and thus serves to protect society from a
multitude of sins.


It must be noted that although polygamy is a social necessity in
certain instances and is one of the incontestable rulings of Islam,
fulfilling the conditions necessary for it in the present times differs
vastly from that of the past. In the simple and Spartan life of the
past, it was easy for everyone to maintain equity amongst the
spouses but in the present times, those who wish to make use of this
ruling must ensure that comprehensive equity is observed.
Basically, polygamy should not be pursued for the sake of carnal and
physical desires.

Interestingly, the very opponents of polygamy (such as the
Westerners), during the course of history, have encountered events
that have clearly manifested their need for it. For example, after
World War II, the need for polygamy was intensely felt in the wartorn
countries, especially Germany, which even compelled some of
their intellectuals to reconsider their views with respect to the
prohibition of polygamy. In addition, they conducted a study of the
Islamic program of multiplicity of wives from al-Azhar University.
However, severe objections on the part of the Church forced them
to shelve their plans; the consequence of which was wild and
outrageous profligacy that eventually engulfed the length and
breadth of the war-torn countries.

Apart from the above, the inclination of some of the men to possess
more than one spouse is something that cannot be denied, although
if it were to arise as a result of carnal desires, it is not to be taken
into regard. A wife’s inability to conceive and the husband’s intense
desire to have a child provide a rational support to such an
inclination. There may be instances where the inability of the wife
to satisfy the intense sexual desires of the husband leaves him with
no alternative except to turn towards a second marriage
– at times
even compelling him to resort to illegitimate means to achieve his
objective in the absence of legitimate ones. Hence, in cases such as
these, his inclination cannot be regarded as being illogical or
irrational. It is for this reason that even in countries that prohibit
polygamy, in reality, relationships with several women are widely
prevalent whereby one male tends to have illicit relationships with
several women at the same time.

The well-known French historian Gustav Lebon considers the issue
of Islamic polygamy, which is bound and limited by conditions, to be
one of the distinguishing features of this religion. Comparing it with
the free and illicit relationship of a male with several females inEurope, he states: In the West too, despite the fact that the weather
and natural environment do not warrant such a custom (polygamy),
monogamy is something that we come across only in books of law!
For, I do not suppose that the presence of traces of this custom, in
our actual socialization, can be denied! Honestly, I am at a loss and
fail to comprehend what the legal, but confined, polygamy of the
East lacks in comparison to the phoney polygamy of the West? In
fact, I declare that the former is better and more seemly than the
latter, in every respect.101
101 Le Civilisation des Arabes (Tarikh-e-Tamaddun-e-Islam Wa Arab), translated
by Fakhr Gilaani, pg. 509

Of course it is not to be denied that some of the so-called Muslims,
without taking into regard the Islamic ideology behind this rule,
have sought to misuse it, maintaining ignominious harems for
themselves and violating the rights of their wives. This flaw is not in
the law but rather in the individuals themselves, and their deeds
should not be regarded as the laws of Islam. Is there any law, which,
despite its excellence, is not put to misuse by profiteering
individuals for their personal benefit?

Question: At this juncture some may question that if women find
themselves in the abovementioned circumstances; would they be
permitted to take two husbands for themselves too?
The answer to the above question is not very difficult:
Firstly: (Contrary to what is popular among the general public) the
sexual desire in men is several times more than that in women;
books relating to sexual issues state frigidity to be the disorder
which is prevalent in the majority of women whereas, in the case of
men, it is just the opposite. Even with respect to animals it has been
observed that sexual advancements are usually initiated by the
males of the species.

Secondly: Polygamy, in the case of men, does not entail any social or
legal complications whereas, if the women were to possess two
husbands, it would lead to numerous problems - the simplest of
them being the issue of genealogy of the child, for it would not be
known to which of the husbands it belongs, and such a child would
certainly not be cared for and supported by any of the husbands.
Some of the scholars are of the opinion that a child, whose father’s
identity is unknown, tends to be less loved and cared for by the
mother. Thus, such children find themselves deprived and denied
with respect to love and affection, and unclear about their legal
rights.
It may perhaps be unnecessary to mention that resorting to
contraceptives such as pills or the like can never yield certainty or
confidence that a child will not be conceived, for there have been
innumerable instances where women, who have used them or made
mistakes while using them, have conceived children. Thus, no
woman can, by trusting and relying upon such measures, take
multiple spouses for herself.

Due to these factors polygamy, in the case of women, cannot be
rational, whereas in the case of men, after observing its conditions,
it is not only logical, but practical too.102
102 Tafsir-e-Namunah, vol. 3, pg. 256

23. What is meant by ‘justice’ as mentioned in the conditions (to be
considered) with respect to polygamy?


In verse 3 of SuratulNisa, we read:
فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً
“…but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then
(marry) only one.”

Similarly, in verse 129 of this same chapter, we read:
وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ
“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives,
even though you may wish (it).”

The question that arises here is: What is meant by ‘justice’ with
respect to multiple wives? Is this ‘justice’ associated with issues of
life like sleeping together, gifting items and things, and providing
ease and comfort, or is it associated with respect to the heart and
human sentiments too?

Without any doubt justice, with respect to affections and sentiments
of the heart, is something that is beyond the control of man. Who
possesses the ability to exercise total control over his affection – a
state, which is governed by factors external to himself? It is for this
reason that Allah has not considered the observance of this kind of
justice to be obligatory and in verse 129 of this chapter says:
وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ
“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives,
(with respect to sentimental inclinations) even though you may
wish (it).”

Thus, till such time that the internal sentiments do not result in
granting preference to some of the spouses over the others in
actions, it is not prohibited. What is obligatory upon a man is to
maintain justice amongst the spouses with respect to issues that are
practical and external in dimension.

From the above explanation it becomes plain that those, who have
sought to correlate the above verse:
فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً
and thus conclude that polygamy is totally forbidden in Islam, have
made a grave error. – They have argued that the first verse places
the condition of ‘justice’, while the second verse considers this
justice to be an impossible task for the men.,
As has been referred to previously, the kind of justice, whose
observance is beyond the ability of man, is that which is associated
with the internal sentiments, and this is not one of the
requirements for polygamy; the condition for polygamy is the
justice which is associated with acts and deeds.

Testifying to this aspect is the latter part of the verse 129 of this
same chapter, which says:
فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ

“Now that you cannot observe justice with respect to your
sentiments between your spouses, at least do not direct all your sentimental inclinations towards one, leaving the other in
suspense.”


Consequently, people who have taken one part of this verse and
abandoned the other part, have erred in the issue of polygamy and
it is a cause for astonishment for every researcher.
103

Incidentally, according to Islamic traditions, it appears that the first
person to raise this objection was Ibn Abi al-˜Auja - one of the
materialists and a contemporary of Imam as-Sadiq (as) - who argued
over it with Hisham b. Hakam, the diligent Islamic scholar. Not
finding the answer to it, Hisham started out from his city, Kufah,
towards Madinah and approached Imam as-Sadiq (as) . The Imam
_ was greatly astonished to see him in Madinah at a time when it
was not the season for Hajj and ˜Umrah.

Hisham presented his
question, whereupon the Imam (as) said: “The justice intended in
verse 3 of Suratul Nisa is the justice associated with the
maintenance of the spouses (and observation of their rights, and the
manner of conduct and behaviour) whereas the justice in verse 129,
which has been regarded as an impossible task, is the justice
associated with internal sentiments (thus, polygamy, with
adherence to the Islamic conditions, is neither prohibited nor
impossible).”



After returning from his journey, when Hisham presented Ibn Abi
al-˜Auja with the answer he swore that it was not Hisham’s answer
but somebody else’s.104

It is quite evident that if we are interpreting the term ‘justice’
differently in the two verses it is because of the clear context that is
present in both the verses. The verse under discussion clearly states:
Do not direct all your inclinations towards one spouse, and has thus
permitted the selection of two spouses, but on the condition that,
despite the difference in internal inclinations, no injustice should be
done to the other with respect to actions and deeds. Besides, the
initial portion of verse 3 of this same chapter expressly permits
polygamy.
105

103 Tafsir-e-Namunah, vol. 3, pg. 255
104 Tafsir al-Burhan, vol. 1, pg. 420
105 Tafsir-e-Namunah, vol. 4, pg. 155
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 11 Aug 2011, 06:50

(salam)

Apologies for the very late response.

So, we started off discussing whether a man should marry more than one wife at a time (having assumed there was no argument against it being permissible for him to marry more than one wife at a time).

We are currently discussing whether whether it is recommended (i.e. mustahab) or just allowed (mubah) or maybe disliked (makrooh) depending on the arguments put forward,

Since all these terminologies are related to fiqh (and therefore rules of fiqh would apply), we can make better progress if we can all first agree if the above statement is representative of what we are discussing.

Could each of you then state whether you think it is mustahab, mubah or makrooh in its real (asl) sense i.e. without any other conditions being present.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 11 Aug 2011, 07:07

While posting your ideas on the above, do also post on whether you think muta is mustahab, makrooh or mubah.

Keep in mind, that according to the argument of Br. Muhammad, that if polygamy was mustahab, the Imams would continue practising it openly, if Mutah is mustahab, the same should be expected of the Imams.

In Imami fiqh, witnesses are not needed for the validity of nikah or muta. Hence marriages can take place in private and be valid.

Considering the politically turbulent times of the latter Imams where a close watch was being kept on the wives of the Imams to be able to identify and possibly assassinate any future heir, it is quite probable to assume Imams would practice the sunnah of their grandfather in privacy. A case in example is the marriage of Imam Askari to Bibi Narjis.

Even if you keep aside the above argument, how is it possible to deny the permissibility and recommendation of polygamy when it is strongly supported by the Holy Quran and the practical sunnah of the Holy Prophet and at least a majority of the Imams (if not all), just on the basis of not having historical records of the later few imams practicing polygamy, especially when marriages could easily have taken place in private without any third parties' knowledge?
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 12 Aug 2011, 00:29

Another reason for the observation that the latter Imams married fewer wives, is the age at which they were martyred.

For example Imam Ali (as) lived for 63 years (compare this with the narrations that list his wives as 8 or 9) while Imam Hassan al Askari (as) lived for 28 years mostly under house arrest while spies were all around him lest there be some news of his marriage.
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby abuali » 12 Aug 2011, 01:58

Fatimah Zahra Karim wrote:
hasin wrote:Bibi Narjis was brought to Imam as a slave. She was not married to him as a princess. She was captured by a caravan (under divine direction) and brought to Iraq as a Slave. I am not questioning her lineage. I am stating the fact that she was brought in as a slave.


Bibi Narjis (pbuh) was NOT a slave. She ran off and joined the caravan and made a deal with her "captor" to pretend she was a slave and that she would only be "sold" to whom she chose. What slave ever got to make that choice? Imam (pbuh) sent her a man with a letter, and upon reading it she agreed to accompany the man and go to the Imam (pbuh). So, she joined the caravan of her free will, left it of her own free will, with the person she chose to leave with, and Imam (pbuh) paid the caravan guy for her fare and for taking care of her. I don't see slavery anywhere in the whole incident...does anyone else?


According to Al Majlisi, Bibi Narjis Khatoon was indeed captured by the Muslims as a war captive and slave and taken to the slave market. However, by using her meritorious and eloquent speech she convinced her captor to sell her to the messenger of Imam Ali Naqi (as). The captor agreed upon receiving a good price offer from the messenger of Imam (as).

Fatimah Zahra Karim wrote:A point to note, by the way, is that not all slaves have conjugal rights by default as some people seem to be implying.


I am not claiming that slaves have conjugal rights by default. However, the master of the slave has conjugal rights over the slave by default.
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qamar
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Re: Should a man marry more then one wife at a time?

Postby qamar » 08 Aug 2013, 18:48

I had forgotten about this topic.

I find the arguments quite convincing.

Muhammad/Fatimah any points to explain the above?

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