Thursday, October 29, 2009

Polygamy (Having More than One Wife at the Same Time)

Actually I have planned to write about polygamy later, not in the close time. But I change my mind because existence of polygamy club, Global Ikhwan, recently has got public attention including me.

Polygamy in Islam has existed since thousands years ago. Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Muhammad are polygamist. In Indonesia, polygamy has existed at kingdoms period centuries ago, since Islam had not yet entered in Indonesia. Having more than one wife was common for kings, high officials and the riches. But present day, there are certain rules to have more than one wife.

Polygamy in Indonesia is regulated in Marriage Law number 1/1974 (Undang-Undang Perkawinan No. 1/1974) article 3-5, Compilation of Islamic Law (Kompilasi Hukum Islam) chapter IX, and Government Regulation number 9/1975 (Peraturan Pemerintah No. 9/1975) chapter VIII.

Main requirement to polygamy is fairness. A poligamist must fair to all his wives and children. The problem is how many people can fair like Rasululloh, or at least get near Rasululloh? Even Ali bin Abi Thalib, cousin and son-in-law of Rasululloh, just had one wife, Fatimah. Ali did not marry again because he did not sure can fair to his wives.

A polygamist is restricted having only until 4 wives. Yes, Alloh in Quran prohibits a man has more than 4 wives.

To commit polygamy, a husband must get Court permission, so that he must ask application to Religious Court. And to ask application, must fulfil requirements:

1. Existence agreement of wife/wives
Agreement can given in written or oral form. But although ther is written agreement, it must more resoluted with oral form on Religious Court.
What about the wife is crazy or the wife has gone and her adress is unknown? Someone crazy can not give agreement, because everything she said can not responsible. So that if wife/wives is/are impossible giving agreement and can not be a side on contract, or no news from wife/wives at least 2 years or because other reason that necessary getting Judge attention, the agreement is not necessary.

2. Existence sureness that husband can guarantee life necessaries of his wives and their children
It can proved by letterof explanation of income; or letter of explanation of income tax; or the other can accepted Court.

Religious Court just will give polygamy permission based on certain reasons. The reasons are:
  1. Wife can not do her duty as wife
  2. Wife in physical defect or taken ill that irrecoverable
  3. Wife can not bear children.
What about polygamy without Religious court permission is?
Marriage with 2nd wife, or 3rd wife or 4rd wife without Religious Court permission, it is mean marriage performed siri (Adat/Islam). Registerer Official of Nikah is prohibited to do his duty concerning polygamy without Religious Court permission. So that the marriage not have power of law. It means 2nd, 3rd, 4th wife and their children have no law protection if something bad happen. It concerning in legal community of goods, inheritance and parental authority.

Controversial of Polygamy Club

This week public of Indonesia is shocked by a polygamy club, Global Ikhwan, established in Bandung, West Java. The club original from Malaysia is controversial. It has 300 members from some countries, including 39 members from Indonesia. A famous ustadz and a restaurant businessman are mentioned as member of the club.

Many people especially women and activists disallow this club. Some people anxious about social perception as if polygamy is common and easy. As if there are persuasion to commit polygamy by the club. As if polygamy is campaigning. They worry because establishment of the club is performed openly.

The worry of women and activists is understood. They just want to protect women and children. Because many domestic violence cases are backgrounded by polygamy. The victims are not only women but children too. As happen to Budi (not true name, a true story) many years ago. Budi must worked when he was very young. He must worked because his father after having a new wife did not give living cost to Budi, his mother and his younger brothers. So that Budi worked to help his mother, to cost his school. Actually Budi ever asked his father responsibility, but he only got physical violence from his father.

Actually not all polygamy result in bad effect. There are also happy families with polygamy. Notwithstanding polygamy has become a sensitive matter for Indonesians. Mereover too many cases backgrounded by polygamy presented press. Divorce, domestic violence, even murder.

Concerning with restless caused the polygamy club, Moslem Canonist Council of Indonesia (Majelis Ulama Indomesia, MUI) has not decided about it. Meanwhile Minister of Woman Affairs, Linda Agum Gumelar said it better returned to Marriage Law.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Underage Marriage 2

October 13, 2009, in Pengadilan Negeri (District Court) Syech Puji has freed. Syech Puji is accused in enderage case. He accused of breaking Children Protection Law because has married Ulfa. (Read Underage Marriage)

He has freed because Judge agreed his exeptio. Exeptio is defence not including the main case.
In Putusan Sela (chink decision), Judge of District Court valued accusation is not accurate, not clear, and indistinct (obscure libel), so that null and void.
Of course freedom of accused resulted in many protests. Some people worry about appearing the same case with the other young girl in the future. It is not about marriage law anymore, but also about protection of children. Yes, Ulfa is still a child. Still 13 years old.

This case is still processed. Public Prosecutor will appeal to Pengadilan Tinggi (Appellate Court).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marriage Obstacle

There are marriage obstacles so that the couple can not marry. Those are:
1. Nasab connection (blood relation)
A man is prohibited to marry:
  • His mother, his grandmother and so forth in upward stright line
  • His daughter, granddaughter, and so forth in downward stright line
  • His sister, his niece, and so forth in downward stright line
  • His aunt.
2. Semenda connection/Mushaharah connection (familial relationship because of marriage)
A man is prohibited to marry:
  • His mother-in-law or his ex-mother-in-law
  • Ex-wife of his father , ex-wife of his grandfather, and so forth in upward stright line
  • Daughter of his wife or daughter of his ex-wife (step-daughter), granddaughter of his wife or granddaughter of his ex-wife (step-granddaughter), and so forth in downward sright line; except the marriage with his ex-wife broken qobla al dukhul
  • His daughter-in-law, his granddaughter-in-law, and so forth downward stright line.
3. Radla’ah connection (suckling relation)
A man is prohibited to marry:
  • A woman suckled him (suckling mother), mother of his sukling mother ,and so forth in upward stright line
  • His suckling sister, daughter of his suckling sister, and so forth in downward stright line
  • Sister of his suckling sister and so forth in downward stright line
  • Sukling aunt
  • A women whom sukled on his wife and her descend.
4. Certain situations
A man is prohibited to marry a woman whom in certain situations. Those situation are:
  • The woman is still in married with another man
  • The woman is still on iddah period with another man
  • The woman is not Islam
  • The woman is his ex-wife with talak 3 times. (The prohibition drop if ex-wife had married with another man the 2nd marriage is broken ba’da dukhul and her iddah with her 2nd husband is finish)
  • The woman is his ex-wife with li’an.
5. Polygamy reason:
  • A man is prohibited to commit polygamy with a woman whom has blood relation or sukling relation with his wife/s. The prohibition is in force although his wifes have been raj’i talak but still in iddah period.
  • If a man has had 4 wifes, he is prohibited to marry again. The prohibition is in force as long as 4 wifes all in wedlock or still on iddah raj’I or one of them still in wedlock and the others are on iddah period of talak raj’i.