Now, science finally proves that polyandry is beneficial from an evolutionary point of view. Research shows that the reason why sex between two genders has remained the way humans procreate is that females must be given a choice to mate with only the best of the males. One could argue that this could equally be an argument in favour of polygyny. This is not the case. Polygyny does mean that only a selection of males can breed, since there are approximately as many women and men in the world. But it is a patriarchal system that puts the choosing in the hands of the males, which is unnatural and unfavourable, since the “wrong” males are allowed to marry. It also means that the world will be full of sexually deprived males.
Polyandry on the other hand provides all men with a wife. The wife can marry many men, but choose to have children with only one or two of her husbands – the ones that she feels will be the best fathers for her children. Thus, the most suitable males will be allowed to breed but other men will still be allowed a healthy outlet for their sexual and emotional needs.This will also mean that the risk of over population will be contained.
So, the Quran is right in restricting polygyny, while allowing unlimited polyandry.
I have read several articles on polygyny being on the rise among African Americans.
I can understand why.
There are overwhelming statistics showing that African Americans still do not have the same opportunities in society. In some states in America, an African American child is more likely to go to prison than to college. The amount of people who are living well below the poverty line is much higher among African Americans than any other ethnic group in the US. The amount of children who are left to grow up without a father too. Criminality and violence of course travel in the wake of poverty and misery. Discrimination against African Americans being what it is, there is no wonder people lose hope, feel like outsiders in society and look for ways to feel empowered. Violence and criminality are ways to feel empowered. Religion is another. Islam can be very attractive to a person who feels left out and looked down upon by society. Hence, Islam is on the rise in the US. Especially among women who are the most left out and the most discriminated against, as always.
African American women then are left in a situation where no or poor education leaves them financially vulnerable. Criminality and violence among the men means that more men from among the African American population are in prison, or killed. Women are left alone to fend for their families, without any hope of ever finding anything but minimum wage jobs. And of course, once they have embraced islam, they are not allowed to marry outside islam. The Arabic population often harbour discriminating views of the African American group, and marriages between the groups are rare. So, the women are left with the African American men who are muslims, free men and alive.
This means that these women sometimes feel they are forced to choose between being single moms, working 2 or 3 jobs to pay their way or accepting polygyny. Men of course take their chance to take advantage of the situation. A culture has developed where these men feel like kings of the hill when they have plural wives, many of them even let their wives pay their way. Poor education, a miserable view on women and society and an orgy in basking in the glory of maledom established by islam are the traits that unite these men.
It saddens me to see how some try to paint this modern kind of slavery in the colours of ethics and, worse, love.
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them to excel the other and because they must provide for them from their means; the good women are therefore obedient to Allah, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
We have all heard these words. We all know how male scholars have interpreted them to mean that men in islam are the guardians of women, leaders of the family, and women must obey their husbands because their husband excel them in strength and reason. But look again. Is that what it says. Islamic scholars are amazing in their ability to interpret the Quran to their liking. But why not simply read what it says? First of all, it says men are to work, and maintain women. And it says they must do this because “one of them excels the other”. But who excels?
“…and beat them”
Well, most of us know that intellectual work is considered a degree above manual labour. In the surah Allah clearly says that menial work, manual labour, is meant for men and men must work to maintain women. The obvious interpretation here then is that men are commanded to do manual labour to maintain women, since women excel in every other aspect than raw muscle. So Allah is demanding that men do the manual labour because women are meant for better things. Men are the worker bees to the women’s queen bee. So: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made women to excel men, and hence men must serve and maintain them, just like slaves did the work for Pharaoh. And this is why men have to spend out of their pocket – their labour belongs to their mistresses/owners. This also means that we must read the rest of the surah differently. It says good women are therefore devoutly obedient to Allah. Women must be obedient by keeping men as their labourers. And the rest of the surah is written in a way in Arabic that makes it impossible to understand if it addresses men or women so men have naturally read it to say that it means men can punish women. BUT it could just as correctly be read the other way around! So this is what An Nisa 4:34 really says:
Men are the maintainers (labourers belonging to) (of) women because Allah has made some of them (women) to excel others (men) and because they must provide for them from their means (give up their salary to them, i.e. men are as slaves to women); the good women are therefore obedient to Allah, guarding the unseen (things men don’t understand) as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those (husbands and other men) on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.