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The Verse on Polygamy in the Holy Qur'aan Sort by:
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Posted on Jun 26, 2006 at 01:45 PM

Polygamy in The Holy Qur?an 1. Transliteration of the Qu?ranic verse 3, Chapter IV. Wa ?in khiftum alla tuqsituu fil-yataamaa fan-kihuu maa taaba lakum-minan-nisaaa-?i masnaa wa sulaasa wa rubaa?. Fa-?in khiftum alla ta?-diluu fawaa ? hidatan ?aw maa malakat aymanukum. Zaalika ?adnaa ?alla ta-?uuluu. (From The Holy Qur?aan; Transliteration in Roman script, by Muhammad Abdul Haleem Eliasi) 2. Translation And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two, or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many), then (only) one or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will no do injustice. (Translation by Mohd Marmaduke Picktall) 3. Tabari?s commentary is the most extensive and the most regarded work on the Holy Qur?an. The Arabic text is of thirty (30) books grouped in twelve volumes. It is estimated that it would require about 25 000 pages to translate the entire text with the footnotes. Tabari links his commentary of this verse no. 5 that relates to right of the women to free gifts from the husband (dowry) as a result of the marriage, gifts which is hers to keep and dispose as she pleases. The summary below, is itself extract from another summary in French, by Pierre Gode, Editions d?Art Les Heures Claires, 19, Rue Bonaparte, 19, Paris. First, the verse asks the guardians of orphan girls to not marry them if they doubt their ability to be just and provide them with their equitable dowry (which should be equivalent to the dowry the husband would give if he was to marry another woman. Instead, the guardians should marry other women, outside of their family over which they have authority. The guardians should choose other women whom Allah (SWT) has made appropriate and acceptable. However, if the men fear not being able to just vis-?-vis these other women, were they to marry more than one, then they should limit themselves to one only or to resort to the captives they own. Tabari mentions a hadith narrated by Urwa, in which Aisha, the mother of the faithful told him: ?Oh, my nephew, this verse? addresses guardians of orphan girls who want to marry the young ladies because of their beauty and/or their wealth. By the verse, it is forbidden to the guardians to marry the young ladies under their authority unless they are fully equitable with them and give them their full rights. Otherwise, they are ordered to marry other women. Tabari cites various other commentaries that, although with the same general meaning, refer to the practices of the era of ignorance (prior to Islam) when there was widespread abuse toward orphans both boys and girls and injustice towards women who had no rights whatsoever. Tabari?s final opinion is the above that is in accordance to Aisha (RAA)?s hadith. He adds that there is a part of the verse that, although not fully expressed, is obvious: the prohibition to marry two, three or four wives applies to those who are certain that they would not be just and equitable among their wives. Hence, those who have the certitude of their capability of justice and equity between their spouses, can marry that much wives if they so desire. This is a very imperfect summary translated from French of another summary of the Arabic masterpiece of Islamic knowledge whose extensive erudition and beauty is unequalled. May Allah (SWT) forgive me for such imperfections. Whatever is correct in this summary is from Almighty Allah (SWT). All the defects are the result of my ignorance of all these languages: Arabic, English and French and principally of the divine words. I seek forgiveness form Allah (SWT) and return repenting to Him

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