Islam · Muslims · Religion · Science · Shari'ah · Women

Polygyny In Islam Part I

Among the accusations that are always raised against Islam is Polygyny, which is the permission that one man can have more than one wife (Maximum 4 wives). There seems to be a sort of visceral disapproval of the practice by most women. “Why would Allah allow Men to marry more than one wife? Isn’t this infidelity?! Isn’t this unfair to women? Why isn’t this allowed for women as well?…”
The previous among many other accusations and question are always directed to Muslims in a taunting manner. In this post, I shall start tackling the issue of Polygyny, its application, and the wisdom behind it as understood by main stream Muslims.

The permission to practice polygyny was granted by our Creator according to our beliefs. Hence, there must be a big bunch of logically accepted reasons behind it. Let’s first grab some scientific knowledge related to the subject, they are extremely important in helping the reader reach the truth about Polygyny.

  1. The Nerve-centers in the “Hypothalamus” —which is the portion of the brain responsible for the sexual activities— is in males 2.5 times bigger than in females.
  2. The “Testosterone” —which is the main motivating hormone for sex in both males and females— is in one male equal to 15-20 females.
  3. Libido known mostly as “Sex drive”, is much stronger in men than it is in women by creation. Men think of sex and seek after it more avidly. This has been stated by most sex researchers. Some tests made on both males and females by Kinsey Institute stated that:
    1. 54% of men think about sex everyday or several times a day, 43% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 4% less than once a month (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
    2. 19% of women think about sex everyday or several times a day, 67% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 14% less than once a month (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  1. The uterine cramps and blood loss that women suffer from during their menstruation periods, cause notable decrease in their sexual desires. The blood loss period differs from one woman to another, its approximate range extends from 3 to 7 days, with a maximum record of 10 days every menstruation cycle (average cycle period is 28 days), leaving us with a percentage ranging between 10-25% of their marital lives in which they are unwilling to have sexual relations with their partners. Unlike what many physicians tried to prove, that there is no danger at all in practicing sexual intercourse during the period, many others refused this opinion and stated its fallacy. In a simplified manner, they explained the following:
    1. The vagina contains very useful bacteria called (Doderlein Bacilli, D.B.), it protects it against the invasion of harmful bacteria. This useful bacteria D.B. feeds on the sugar stored in the cells of the vagina, transferring it to lactic acid which kills the harmful bacteria. These cells that contain the sugar, start separating from the vagina for renewal in the middle of the monthly cycle, and they decrease gradually until they reach their lowest-level hours before menstruation. When the blood loss begins, the degree of acidic ionization of the vagina changes from acidity to alkalinity, resulting in the death of the D.B. and their elimination with the menstrual blood. This results in the perfect conditions for the harmful bacteria from the anus and the urinary tract to invade the vagina, and to feed on the blood which is their favorite food. It has been found that these harmful bacteria increase in both number and variety during menstruation, and only the flowing blood coming from inside the body keeps them out of the womb and prevent them from penetrating in to the body. Sexual intercourse will surely contradict this process.
    2. The parasitic microorganism called “Trichomonoas” that lives inside the vagina multiplies fourfold during the blood loss period. It is known of causing inflammations in the urinary system and it could only be transmitted through sexual intercourse. During the period it goes up the vaginal sinuses waiting for the opportunity to attack. More than 160 million people (males and females) worldwide are annually infected by it.
    3. The inner membrane of the uterus called “Endometrium” suffers higher level of “Prostaglandin” during menstruation. This Prostaglandin causes vaginal cramps and pain. The man’s semen is rich with this substance as well, so practicing sexual intercourse during menstruation can increase pain and cause harms to women. Modern studies have also proven the relationship between intercourse during menstruation and inflammation of the urinary tract in both men and women. Usually the infection occurs within 24 hours. Regular intercourse during the menstruation period may result in sterility through repeated bouts of inflammation.
  1. Pregnancy as well plays a big role in making women revolt having sex with their husbands during several months of their pregnancy and even after delivery. In the first trimester, because most pregnancy symptoms occur during this period and women feel physically unwell due to the changes occurring. In the last trimester, the women are preparing for delivery and are mentally not prepared for sexual-intercourse out of worry for the safety of their babies after six months of carriage. Men as well tend to avoid sexual relations with their pregnant wives near delivery out of fear for the safety of the baby. Researches has shown that tender nurturing and breast-feeding release bursts of the sex driving substance called “Dopamine” the pleasure chemical, after which drop in dopamine and rise in “Prolactin” occurs. Prolactine dampens the sexual arousal resulting in the emotional separation that so often follows in the days or weeks after a passionate encounter. This leaves the husband sexually unsatisfied in most cases.
  1. Women are emotionally more vulnerable than men, which sometimes affect their desire for sex negatively with the least disturbance. Published studies stated that the female brain has a much higher capability of reading subtle facial and verbal emotional expressions. Most Men, on the other hand, cannot read emotions, it’s only when they see actual tears that they realize that something is wrong. “Jessica Bennett”, a senior writer and editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, wrote an article named “The Pursuit of Sexual Happiness” describing the sexual behavior of women in comparison to men based on books written by different psychologists and researchers, among what she wrote was the following:

“…But women are complicated creatures: their sexual health is determined as much by their emotions as by their physical state, which might help explain why as many as 50% of women have trouble getting aroused….
…In their new book, “Why Women Have Sex”, University of Texas psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss aim to illuminate the complexities of women’s sexual motivations through women’s own words—an important step, they say, to better understanding how women can achieve sexual satisfaction. Based on five years of research and an online survey of 1,000 women, the authors consider motivation ranging from altruistic sex (I felt sorry for the guy) to revengeful sex (I wanted to get back at my partner) to palliative sex (I had a migraine). We hear from women who’ve had sex to boost their confidence, even if it’s with a man (or woman) they find repulsive, and from those who’ve used sex to barter for gifts or household chores (9% of us have used this form of economic sex, according to a University of Michigan study). We learn that 31% of women have had sex to evoke jealousy in the ones they love, while others have done it to protect themselves from getting hurt. Some, like the 25-year-old woman we described earlier, have had sex to boost their self-esteem, and 84% of women report they’ve done it simply to “keep the peace” at home….”

In the next post with Allah’s will, I shall finish discussing the issue.


IMME, ISBN:9789779027395

Written by: Ehab Shawky



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