Polygamy Stirs Row in Morocco

OnIslam & News Agencies

Polygamy Stirs Row in Morocco
Prosecutors in Morocco said Sunday they will open an investigation into a Salafist sheikh who accused a politician of “apostasy”.

RABAT – The general prosecutors in Morocco announced on Sunday, January 5, their plans to open an investigation into a Salafist sheikh who accused a politician of “apostasy” for calling for a ban on polygamy in the country.

“After the statements of Abdelhamid Abounaim that undermine organized bodies, an investigation will be opened,” the prosecutor said in a statement cited by Agence France Presse (AFP).

The controversy erupted several days ago when Driss Lachgar, head of the opposition Socialist Union of Popular Forces, called for a ban on polygamy in Morocco, though it is allowed in islam according to the principals of Islamic Shari`ah law.

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He also urged a debate on the share of women's inheritance, which is half what men receive on the death of a relative.

The suggestions angered the country’s salafists who condemned them as against Islam.

In response, the Salafist sheikh Abdelhamid Abounaim accused Lachgar of “apostasy” in a distributed video.

King Mohamed VI reformed Morocco’s family code in 2004, making polygamy more difficult.

A man must now seek the consent of other spouses and the permission of a court before he takes another wife. However, polygamy has not been banned in the country.

In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.

Islam sees polygamy as a realistic answer to some social woes like adulterous affairs and lamentable living conditions of a widow or a divorced woman.

A Muslim man who seeks a second or a third wife should, however, make sure that he would treat them all on an equal footing, even in terms of compassion.

The Noble Qur'an says that though polygamy is lawful it is very hard for a man to guarantee such fairness.

As for inheritance, Islam, as a divine religion, sets down rules that strike a balance between men's responsibilities and women's rights.

Islam gives the girl half of her brother's share in inheritance because Islamic Law doesn't oblige her to spend any money on anybody other than herself.

On the other hand, Muslim man, who is usually the bread-winner of the family, is obliged to spend on his wife, his children, his brothers, his sisters, and his mother and father.

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