The grand imam believes that the understanding of polygamy has been distorted.
Rabat – The grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Islamic Institution, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, has said he believes that polygamy is often an injustice to women and children.”
Al-Tayeb argued, “The practice is the result of a lack of understanding of the Qur’an and the tradition of the prophet.”
He made the comments on his weekly television program and on Twitter.
Al-Tayeb recited a verse from the Qur’an, Surah an-Nisa 4:3, which says that in order for a Muslim man to have multiple wives, he “must obey conditions of fairness—and if there is not fairness it is forbidden to have multiple wives.”
Al-Tayeb explained, “We have to read the verse in full, and the part which says, ‘two, three and four wives,’ is only part of the verse, and not the entire verse, as having multiple wives oppresses the women and her children.”
In his weekly television show on Friday, Al-Tayeb told viewers, “Those who say that marriage must be polygamous are all wrong.”
The grand imam called for a broader revision in the way women’s issues are addressed.
Over the weekend, social media commenters heavily debated Al-Tayeb’s remarks. The imam joined the debate, clarifying that he did not call for banning polygamy but for people to care more about women.
“I do not call for legislation that abolishes the right of polygamy, but I reject any legislation that destroys the law of the Holy Qur’an or Sunnah,” he tweeted.
“Women represent half of society. If we don’t care for them it’s like we are walking on one leg only,” he added.