Monday, October 25, 2010

Muslim Polygyny Contrasted With Multiple Sexual Relationships

From the Filipino version of Yahoo Answers comes this question

Muslims can you explain the difference between polygamy?
And ordinary multiple sexual relationships? I am unable to understand a distinction, the only difference to me seems that one is designated as a doctrine (In Islam) but in form they are completely homologous

I’m not Muslim, but the difference between polygamy and “ordinary multiple sexual relationships” is that polygamy specifically refers to marriage. As such, polygamy can be a subset of ordinary multiple sexial relationships, but there are other such relations that aren’t polygamy. Muslim polygyny is a subset of polygamy, and is often limited to a man having no more than four wives as a time. Most Muslims who recognize the validity of polygyny do not recognize the validity of polyandry or group marriages, which are the other basic forms of polygamy.

One person responding wrote…

marriage multiple or single marriages involve comitment and trust etc.

sex does not.

Another wrote…

Ordinary multiple sexual relationship without marriage in the name Allah which is called adultery/fornication or freesex is not allowed or haram in Islam.Mut'ah marriage for just as certain period is allowed in Islam.It is for legalising of adultery. Poliandry for woman in Islam is stricly prohibited Approaching adultery or zinah in Islam is prohibited too such as kissing,hugging and embracing with not mahram between a girl and guy

Another wrote…

Well when a man marries more than one WIFE...the women are treated equally and given the noble status of a WIFE not a mistress or someone they can sleep with one day and throw out the next........the women are given a share in property and the husband is mandated to provide all necessities for them including clothing/food/shelter/love/respect and honor...the husband is also responsible to provide for their children.....

As you know if you read this blog, I believe that gender equality is essential to marriage equality, so women should not be restricted from taking on multiple husbands. However, if someone chooses to be a Muslim and chooses the restrictions of Muslim monogamy or polygyny, they should be free to do that.

I also believe that, in contrast to the laws in some Muslim contries, consenting adults should be free to engage in sex and cohabitation without marriage, regardless of sexual orientation.
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