The Quran and hadith (specifically hadith) states: “None of you will have faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”  See the quote in the below, it seems to be from 1935 and the 2nd Khalifa, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad eventually had 7 wives and its unclear if they had their own homes, instead they seem to have had rooms in the famous Qasr-e-Khilafat in Qadian and Rabwah. We have also found contradictory statements from the 2nd Khalifa just a year later in 1936, see the quotes in the below.

“In our country, 80% of men cannot even provide two meals to their wives. For such people, it is advised to only marry once. The remaining 20% cannot treat their wives justly. Some are not physically strong enough, and some cannot afford separate houses for each wife. Although Shariah requires separate houses for wives, in our community, there are many conflicts because men fail to build separate houses for their wives. In this context of justice that I have explained, out of a hundred, there would only be a handful who can marry more than once.” [Fatawa Musleh Maud, part 2, pg. 55-56].

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_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Archive link( Ta’addud-e-Azwaaj (Polygamy) Address on 28 September 1936

On 28 September 1936 after Asar prayer Hazrat Khalifatul Maseeh Sani (Second) conducted the nikkah of Molvi Abdus Salam sahab Umar son of Khalifatul Masih Awwal (First) with Sughra begum daughter of Hazrat Mir Umar Saeed sahab Hyderabadi in Masjid Mubarak, Qadian for the bride price (Haq mehar) of one thousand rupees.

After reading the Masnoon (tradition of Muhammad) sermon Khalifatul Masih Sani said:

“I can’t speak much because of cough. It is difficult for me to speak because of the condition of my throat these days and because the effect of a Friday sermon on my condition and the weakness resulting from it doesn’t end before I need to give a subsequent Friday sermon. However, I want to address a few useful points relevant to the nikkah in a few minutes.

This nikkah that I have stood up to announce is a second Nikkah meaning a second mariage. It has become a tradition in our region that people consider second marriage a crime. So when a person is about to commit this act he tries to provide several arguments for it and says that these are the reasons why the second marriage was required (in my case). Or his friends talk with other friends like when a person tries to buy mutton in UP their friends and acquaintances start asking if everything is alright and whether someone is ill at home? Just like that when people talk about someone’s second marriage then some smile and others who are against it create a lot of rhetoric. The believers present arguments which justify it and explain that these are the reasons why a second marriage was required. As far as I unerstand, there is nothing (about it) in the Quran for which a Muslim needs to be apologetic. Actual bad is that which God declares bad and good is what God declares good. Who are we to declare one act bad and the other good and that too because some Westerners call it bad and object on it. I remember when the first time I observed the verse “…then marry of women as may be agreeable to you, two, or three, or four; and if you fear you will not deal justly, then marry only one…” (Quran 4:4) it was Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Awwal (First)’s time and Hafiz Roshan Ali sahab (late) also used to get taught by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Awwal (First). Though we were not classmates, he was at a higher level and I was a beginner but we used to get some lessons together. Specially our classes on Quran Kareem and Bukhari used to be together even though one pass had finished. Sometimes we used to discuss verses of the Quran. I remember when we discussed this verse I told him that from the Quranic verse it appears that 2, 3, 4 marriages are the actual rule. Meaning 2 or 3 or 4 marriages should be done and “one” has come with “if you fear”. Meaning the first and actual rule is to marry multiple times and if you cannot do more marriages then the rule is to do one. Why should we lower the priority of the thing that Shariah prioritized and why leave a real rule only because in contemporary times there are more cases of people leaving them.

For example, Shariah ordered Haj but given the preconditions of it only 1 in a hundred can go to Hajj. Then given the distance of the journey and other such things then one in several thousand can go. If one in a thousand can go, then a 100 can go in 100 thousand and 80 thousand can go from 80 million. But the people who go to Hajj are not so many. The people who go to Hajj are 8 to 10 thousand on average. But how many are there who meet the obligation of Hajj but they don’t go. And amongst those who go to Hajj only 2% meet the obligation. If those people who have the obligation of Hajj go for it and we keep the average age of a human to 30 years. Then 15 years are spent in childhood and elderly age. If the remaining 15 years are split into works then a period of 5 or 6 years remains where a person can go to Hajj. If those people who have the obligation of Hajj go and the people who go to Hajj by hitchhiking and asking for money are eliminated then the amount of Hajis that go for Hajj will remain the same. If the economic condition of this region improves and suppose one person in a hundred starts to go for Hajj. Then 800 thousand shall start going from 80 million. And if the age of a generation is kept at 50 years then 800 thousand shall go in 50 years but it is clear that the obligation of Hajj will not be affected by every 1 in 100 going for Hajj. This is because exceptions (who don’t go for Hajj) are more. The meaning of a rule is not that the exceptions are less. People only look at the larger amount of exceptions and imagine that it is not a rule, not a good deed, not a preferred deed. Just like the example I gave for Hajj, the same can be said for Jihad. The rule of Jihad with the sword has completely vanished. The people who had swords in their hands have thrown them away. But that does not mean that Jihad has been abrogated forever.

The real reason is that people are scared of European objections. In the case of polygamy specially the objectors get support from women. NonAhmadis will be nonAhmadis, but we can find such examples in our own Jamaat. There are examples of this in Qadian itself where people say Salam, hug each other and help each other in everything but don’t look where a person is going on the path of hell by not doing justice between two wives. They don’t point him towards improvement. If women stay silent on the issue of injustice then the opposition of polygamy will start to fade away. I think half of the enemy attacks will be dispelled and actually 90% of it will go away. But as long as women keep demanding and being considered oppressed it is difficult to suppress the opposition of polygamy. It doesn’t mean that the permission of polygamy is faulty, but that the people who practice it are reckless.

Which Islamic injunction remains that has not been attacked and objected by the Europeans. They attacked but got humiliated so there is no reason why we should hide an Islamic injunction or consider it impractical in fear of them.

I was talking about my discussion with Hafiz Roshan Ali sahab (late) about the verse. His nature was jolly and he usually objected to get clarity. We used to stand and discuss in the balcony on the roof of the mosque near the stairs. He used to object and I answered. Eventually our discussion used to end at this statement that ok, you should practice whatever meaning you think of this verse. I used to say that at the right time I will show you with my practice.

So Shariah has declared polygamy alright for is, in fact where marriage is mentioned in the Quran more than one marriage is preferred in a way. AnHazrat (Muhammad) did more than one marriages but you never gave a reason. We only present reasons today when naive people object on his marriages. Otherwise the greatest wisdom for us is that it is ordered in our Shariah. People also create reasons, but that is supplementary not the primary objective. The primary objective of marriage is that believers increase numerically. The Ummat-e-Muhammadiyya (Muslims) increase when we increase children through polygamy and bring them up. In this manner if we increase 10 or 20 lineages and provide for them then these lineages only increase Ummat-e-Muhammadiyya. This is why Rusool Kareem (Muhammad) said (Masnad Ahmad bn Hanbal, volume 3, page 158) meaning marry those women who are loving and birth many (male) children. When Hazrat Masih Maoud was considering our marriages his first question used to be that said person has how many children, how many brothers are they how many children do those brothers have?

I remember the Hazrat Masih Maoud inquired about the place where Mian Bashir Ahmed’s marriage was suggested. He asked how much children does that family have. When he got to know that it has 7 sons then before considering all other aspects Hazrat Masih Maoud said this is very good. The marriage should be with this family. The marriage suggestions of me and Mian Bashir Ahmed were considered at the same time and for both marriages Hazrat Masih Maoud inquired about how many children, how many boys, how many brothers about the families of proposed suitresses. So where you saw other aspects, you kept “walooda” (birth of males) superior. Even when people ask my advice today, I tell them the same thing to see how many children are there where the marriage is being suggested.

Hence when an important objective of marriage is to have children and polygamy increases the number of children then what objection can be made on it? The real thing that should be insisted on is justice. If justice is maintained in polygamy and no crippling exceptions are not present then the majority should marry multiple times without a doubt. People ask where so many girls would come from but this is the wrong idea. If girls fall short in our region more come from other regions.

I have seen several times that people write letters to Umoor-e-Amma for 2, 2 years, keep looking for suitors and complain that they don’t get suitors and in the mean time some other people are able to arrange marriage. This does not mean that the system is not good. On the one hand the department is lazy and on the other hand people are reckless themselves. Otherwise suitors are there ho are not considered. I have directed the department people to employ inspectors of BaitulMaal and missionaries, who visit different places, to facilitate this work. If such difficulties are present, it is only a fault of the system. Otherwise it is a law of nature so automatically such conditions occur where the balance of boys and girls is maintained. The case of an imbalance is where women are in majority and Islam has solved that through polygamy. Recently our missionary was arguing about polygamy in a crow of women in Hungary. He was asking that you are so many women tell me how many of you are married? If you followed Islamic teachings your life could have been sorted. They said that although we don’t say this out loud but we feel in our hearts that the Islamic teaching of polygamy can improve our lives and that if this law is promulgated n our country then several faults can be removed.

I have described it several times that there is not a single Khalifa who was monogamous. Meaning that Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Usman, and Hazrat Ali, all of them were polygamous. Fifth Khalifa, whose Khilafat is doubtful and not considered Khalifa because he would not concede Khilafat if he was a true Khalifa, it is said about him that he was very polygamous. Once someone told me that Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahab objected on one of my marriages saying that Rasool Kareem married multiple times because he wasn’t getting children. I asked if Hazrat Abu Bakr, and Hazrat Usman were also not getting children and that’s why they were polygamous? Then Hazrat Imam Hasan, about whom some people say he was a Khalifa even though he abandoned Khilafat himself and he wouldn’t have done that if he was actually a Khalifa, married so many times that several reasons are presented to explain his polygamy. Hazrat Khalifa Awwal (First) used to think that more than four wives can be kept. Mir Muhammad Ishaq sahab once came to me running. His speed was as if he has just wone a battle. I asked him what it was? He said that it has been proven that more than 4 wives can be kept and a Hadeeth has been found. Hence there was a book of Hadeeth under his arm, a paper was settled in it as a book mark and it had mentioned the many marriages of Hazrat Imam Hassan. I didn’t have so much knowledge to argue about that Hadeeth. I would be 15, 16 years old. I asked does Hazrat Masih Maoud not have knowledge of Ahadheeth that you say that more than 4 wives cannot be kept at the same time? You should present this Hadeeth to him. At this, Mir Muhammad Ishaq sahab took the book and presented the reference to Hazrat Masih Maoud. Some time later when he was coming back I saw that his head was down and he was trying to evade me. I ran to him because I was waiting to see what answer he gets from Hazrat Masih Maoud. I inquired about what Hazrat Masih Maoud said. He answered that he aked where is it mentioned that all these wives were alive at the same time.

Hence, one marriage is an exceptional scenario and polygamy is as a law.

No doubt our region is in poverty, but polygamy can be done in poverty and a peaceful life can be spent. The difficulty is that western lifestyles are being adopted and incomes are low. Author of Masnavi Rumi has written about a person who used to tell his friends that he has eaten his fill to the nose when his friends invited him to eat food. Said look at my moustache the oil/fat is still stuck to it. Sometimes he said I have had Mutanjan and the grease has not left my lips. He kept saying this for some time. One day, by coincidence, his friends were gathered in his drawing room when suddenly his son came running and said Father the mutton fat that you used to rub on your moustache has been snatched away by a kite/eagle. His entire story got exposed there. It’s the same condition here. People are adopting Western lifestyles and their ideas are same old ones. The combination of this makes their feet in two boats and this is the reason for the creation of difficulties. Otherwise the law of nature did not create difficulties. In some Islamic regions like Tibet etcetera it is said generally that said person is very rich because his home is filled with such grain, he has so many buffalo, so many cattle hence these things are considered wealth by them. Some other areas, like on the border of Afghanistan, it is said that said person is very rich because he has 4 wives so in some regions wives are also considered wealth because they also till the land and do other work and income increases like this. Yes even nonMuslims who are influenced by Muslims keep more than one wife and can keep even more than 4. The Nawabs and Rajas of Hindustan have no limit on the number of wives. The real issue is that the cultural differences in every country create problems otherwise there is no reason why there should be any difficulty in polygamy even in poverty.

Links and Related Essay’s

Hadith on Faith: Love your brother as yourself

What is Qasr-e-Khilafat? The Palace of the Khalifa?

Mirza Basheer-uddin Mahmud Ahmad had 20+ children with 7 wives


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