Government loan to marry a second wife!

While developed nations seek to organize and limit population growth, we in turn create an imbalance in the population structure by manipulating relationships between men and women within the institution of marriage. Are issues more troubling to others found nobler here?

Recently, Saudi Credit and Saving Bank manager Talal al-Tomali in the province of Taif told Saudi newspaper Okaz, “The bank has began offering loans to help those Saudi citizens who want to marry a second woman, and there are conditions to obtain such a loan, including being no less than 18 years of age, planning to marry a Saudi woman and having a reason, aside from pleasure, to marry a second a wife.”

Mr. Tomali’s statement raises other question: Is it wise to focus blindly on profit making without heed to its inhumane consequences? And is it wise to keep silent in the face of what destabilizes relationships between men and women?

The announcement of the bank reveals awareness in crisis about the mutual man-woman relationships and anti-female racism. For example, the bank has set up some bizarre conditions. If a man must be at least 18 to marry a second wife, then how old was this man when he married his first wife? The answer is that he was clearly still a child.

The statement of the bank appears even more bizarre when we try to imagine another reason, other than pleasure, for which a man at the age of 18 would want to have a second wife. Finding any other reason is but a means to drive homes to instability and destruction.

This reminds me of Amin Maalouf's novel “The First Century after Beatrice,” in which the author created a world where the birth of a male heir was so important that the population of women was dwindling and the world was about to suffer emotional, economical and political repercussions. The title character, Beatrice, was born just before the turn of the 21st century and it was her father, an entomologist and nameless narrator, who recounted the tale of how a “magical” scarab bean begins a worldwide debate on gender bias.

Maybe we should try to find a similar “magical” scarab bean but with a reverse effect in order to encourage giving birth to females. This way the number of females will be far bigger and the bank can make more profit by offering more and different kinds of incentives to males who want to marry two, three or four women.

Developed nations seek to achieve more prosperity for their citizens and less population growth and to dignify their people, while we in turn are trying to destabilize our social fabric by interfering in marriage relationships of men and women.

Our reality today suggests that males outnumber females in our society, even if we still don’t have a clear scientific evidence of this and we are likely to face a social catastrophe because of polygamy. It is possible that in the future some men would find it difficult to marry because other men are taking two or more wives. Polygamy is also increasing the rate of divorce, as first wives tend to feel offended and degraded by a husband’s decision to marry a second woman.

Polygamy is a quest to destroy families in the name of permissibility in Islam, known as “Halal.”

Today we are witnessing institutions, such as the Saudi Saving and Credit Bank that encourages building a family on loans. What would be the future of a family built on loans?

We are faced now with a modern necessity to reconsider our tendency to put pleasure as our top priority at the expense of prosperity and development, let alone values and ethics—a culture that strips women of all rights and makes them objects of pleasure.

The repeated images of injustice and the humiliation of women for the sake of satisfying men’s personal pleasure desires call upon us to start thinking more seriously about the benefit of our society.

By Hesah Mohammed al-Sheikh


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