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.

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