Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spinsters in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, it is perfectly legal for a man to be married to four women at the same time. The country is ruled by Islamic law, and according to Islam, men are allowed up to four wives. The logic behind it all started out with good intentions. Back in those times, men went off to war and many of them never came back, leaving behind an overabundance of widows, fatherless children, and young unmarried women. So the four wives concept set out to solve this dilemma.

Men with more than one wife here in Saudi Arabia is not really all that common, although I bet that most people who live here can name at least one - if not several - men or women who are in a multiple marriage. I personally can name five different cases that I know of - and I don't really know that many people and have only lived in KSA for less than three years. One of the problems with having multiple wives is the manner in which most men go about it. Permission or approval is not required from the First Wife, but most men are afraid of the First Wife's reaction, so they secretly wed Wife #2. There is not much thought or consideration given to the First Wife's feelings or her children's feelings. And more than likely, Wife #2 is not some poor widow with lots of children to care for or an older not-so-pretty spinster that life has passed by. All five of the cases of second wives that I personally know about were sneakily married in secret without the First Wife's knowledge - and when the First Wife and her children did find out later, they were devastated. To me, the fact that the man sneaks around in secret to do this indicates that he knows what he is doing is wrong and hurtful.

Women in Saudi Arabia for the past several decades have been pursuing their educations and a percentage of them have chosen careers over the usual expectation of marriage and children. A Saudi woman has a legal guardian, or "mahram" all her life - either her father, her husband, or her brother or possibly an uncle. This mahram can allow or prevent her from doing things like going to school, working, or traveling. She cannot appear in court without her mahram and cannot leave the country without his written permission. The Saudi woman is relegated to the legal status of a child in Saudi Arabia. It is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, for Saudi women to marry men from other countries, even if the men are Muslim.

Over the years, the costs of extravagant weddings have risen dramatically, plus Saudi families have demanded an unrealistic and increasing amount of money to be paid for her dowry upon her marriage. The dowry money is supposed to go to the bride herself but some unscrupulous fathers have taken the money for themselves, many times to settle debts that they owe. Virgin girls as young as 8 have been sold by their fathers to men in their 50s or even up into their 80s. But this post isn't about these cases or the fact that there is no legal minimum age requirement for marriage in Saudi Arabia. This post is about the claim that there is a social problem due to the rising number of spinsters in this country, where a woman in her late 20s is often overlooked as a viable marriage partner because she is too old. I've always disliked how unmarried men are playfully, and even admirably, referred to as "bachelors," while their female counterparts are negatively and pitifully called "spinsters" or "old maids."

Some young Saudi men are trying to tackle this issue of spinsterhood in their country and have formed a group on Facebook called "We Want Them Four," a campaign to encourage men to marry the four wives that they are legally entitled to according to the religion. The group now has over 600 members. Lines are being drawn in the sand dividing those in favor of this campaign and those who are just against the concept of multiple marriages in the first place.

Being a First Wife or Wife #2, #3, or #4 is a degrading, offensive, and insulting thought to most women, including Saudi women that I have spoken to about this topic. And what about the children? I know of some children of First Wives who are hurt, bitter, and scarred for life because of their fathers' actions of taking another wife. What about making it easier for Saudi women to marry men from outside the country? Nothing in Islam dictates that Saudi women should be restricted in this way. Do single women in Saudi Arabia really want to be "saved" and married off as a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wife? Certainly there are better solutions than men marrying four women. I'd rather stay single myself...

Click here to read an amusing and unbelievable 2005 news story about a Saudi man who has married at least 58 different women.


  1. If you take a look at all Religions, only Islam clearly commands to ''Marry only one''. Taking more than one wife is not a Requirement. It is a ''Permission'' heavily conditioned and those abusing it are being un-islamic. That's why it is important to remember that Islam (properly translated into Englisg as: Surrender to the will of Allah in a Complete way of life) cannot be equated with the Muslims.

  2. Great effort susie, hope you will be able to reach out to the female crowd and make them understand the situation they are in and make them understand the need of being educated and self sufficient even though in a small way

  3. I know about this but it never fails to stun me, never.

  4. Can anyone post statistics on how many married more than one wife ?
    (second, third, fourth..)..

    how many spinsters are there ?

  5. >Back in those times, men went off to war and many of them never came back

    Wasn't this to make the winner to marry the loser's woman ??

    Mohd himself married woman after her husband, father got killed..

    I thought this is a legalized reward for conducting war..

  6. I'd rather be no wife, than wife #1, 2, or 3. No one benefits from this arrangement but the men!

  7. In Saudi 2-12% of marriages are polygamous, depending on the region, with the highest being in the Southwest among the tribes culturally the same as the Yemeni ones whether polygamy rates are higher.

    Of those in a polygamous marriage 90% are with 2 wives. Of the rest 90% are with 3 wives. ie very very few with 4 wives.

    Re: spinsters I don't know, but it is important to remember that spinsterhood starts really young, compared to in the West. ie the percentages would be higher if you count all women above 25 (which is one indicator used in Saudi) vs all above 40 (another indicator used in Saudi and closer to the Western notion of spinsterhood).

  8. Those statements make it clear to every thinking woman on earth that Islam, in particular Wahhab style Islam, does not grant equality to women and why they might not want to live under sharia. The incessant claim that this is “unIslamic” is questionable since Muhammad himself had many wives and encouraged his followers to do the same. It is highly doubtful that any man can treat multiple wives equally!

    Amazing that in the 21st century a male child would have more rights than and adult woman.

    Susie, would you care to say anything about consanguinity and the resultant genetic defects in Saudi Arabia as a consequence of such customs as not being able to marry a non-Saudi man even if Muslim?

    “Global Prevalence of consanguinity map”

    Selling human females for a “bride price” makes them chattel, no better than a goat or a sheep. Men who have the need for underage “virgin” brides are paedophiles and nothing more! In the west we often see people of very mature ages of 50, to 80 and beyond fall in love and get married. No one is relegated to “spinsterhood” unless they choose that. Educated women of 30 are often seen as barely mature enough to marry in particular if they have chosen a career. The average first marriage age for women in the U. S. is about 25 and 29 for men. In western Europe it is typically around 30 plus for both genders. Many people simply never marry and are still respected as full, productive members of society.

    The very idea that men are doing women a “favor” and “saving” them by marrying them is laughable and ludicrous to many in the west. Those men would do well to be productive and bring their societies into the 21st century rather than obsess about marrying (sex).

    What is so bizarre is that women all around the world, hundreds of millions if not billions of them have more freedom and rights than Saudi and other Muslim women; as half of the population, they contribute to their societies. Why this is seen as a bad thing is mystery.

    Susie the negatives of Saudia Arabia are very clear. Tell us about some of the positives would you? It’s depressing to constantly read the dark realities most particularly since neither we nor the Saudi women can or are willing to do much about this, respectively.

    On that note, you must love your husband tremendously to have given up your God-given equality and human rights for him. Are you, as a western woman, at least able to go about without a mahram? Must you wear hijab and an abaya or do you do it only to please your husband?


  9. 'Back in those times, men went off to war and many of them never came back'...then wouldn't it better for the wife to have more than one husband?? Regardless of how it started, I find this absolutely infuriating and cannot understand that this is still happening in this day and age. I have seen many documentaries on this topic and the women and children are always the ones who end up suffering. I love reading your posts, Susie, but at the same time, it makes me SO mad to see what women have to go through in countries such as Saudi Arabia.

  10. All I can is this is a really sad state of affairs.

  11. Simple calculation:::
    So let us say 10% of men are polygamous and married 2 wifes.
    so 10% men get 20% woman.

    take away some spinsters (what percentage ??)

    let's say spinsters are 5%.

    So only 75% of woman and 90% of men are left.
    so if every woman marries just 1 husband..

    15% of men are left without wifes.

    What is the solution for men left out of marriage due to some alpha males cornering more woman ?

    what are the social consequences ?
    Can someone write an article from this left out man's perspective..

  12. It is amazing how men cay say Islam permits them to marry up to 4 wives; yet is unable to differentiate what is permissible and what is obligatory.

  13. What is Islam?
    Who is a Muslim?
    Islam is the name of a way of life which Allah as the Creator wants us to follow. In many non Islamic societies, there is separation of "religion and state." This separation is not at all recognized by Islam. Allah as the Creator is very much concerned with all that we do, including the social, political, economic and other portions of our society. Therefore, Islam is a complete way of life.

    The foundation of Islam is Allah, the Creator of everything known and unknown to us. He is One and He is Unique. Allah has taught us about Islam via two mediums, the Quran and the Sunnah. Both the Quran and the Sunnah were transmitted to us, humanity, via the messenger of Allah: Muhammad. The messenger of Allah was nothing more and nothing less than a mortal messenger of the Immortal Creator.

    The Quran is a book containing the literal word of Allah. It was transmitted from Allah to an angel of His (Gabriel), and from the angel to the Messenger of Allah who delivered it to us. The Quran covers a broad range of topics including evidence to support its claims of being the Word of the Creator, stories of former generations, rules which humanity is asked to obey, and information about the Hereafter. The Quran claims that it is protected from change by other than Allah, and this is confirmed by its 1400 year history. The earliest copies and the latest copies are the same.

    The Sunnah is the term used to describe how the Messenger of Allah lived his life. The Messenger of Allah is an example for all Muslims (or those who accept Islam), to follow. Whatever the Messenger did, said, or approved of is a source of Islam just as much as the Quran. The Messenger's role is not exaggerated, his life was dictated by what the Creator desired, and the Messenger did not add or subtract to Islam according to his own personal whim. His life was such that his wife called him "a walking Quran."

    The Quran and Sunnah are the only two mediums by which Allah has directly taught us about Islam. This leads us to the following simple but critical theory:

    If any man engages in a belief or action which clearly contradicts the Quran or Sunnah, then that belief or action cannot be thought of as Islamic.

    This rule applies whether the man or woman is a Muslim or non-Muslim. Hence, we cannot equate Islam and the Muslims. Islam is a way of life. Muslims are people who claim to follow that way of life. A Muslim may claim to be a follower of Islam, but be wrong. Some misconceptions about Islam, are due to the wrong beliefs and actions of some Muslims, and others are due to a considerable lack of understanding and false stereotyping by some non-Muslims. Aren’t people educated enough to see the contradiction between the “Wahabi Doctrine” and the only One version of “Islam” that was taught by the Prophet Muhammad??? (salallah-allahu alaihi wasallam).

  14. Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam?

    Please follow the link below:

  15. social problem due to the rising number of spinsters in this country,

    What about making it easier for Saudi women to marry men from outside the country? Nothing in Islam dictates that Saudi women should be restricted in this way. Do single women in Saudi Arabia really want to be "saved" and married off as a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wife? Certainly there are better solutions than men marrying four women.

    Same happens in other Gulf Countries. The solution you suggest makes sense to me. Gulf women should be free to marry foreigners and to live with their families here if they want to, just like men are free to marry foreigners and pass citizenship to them. Gulf men dont like this idea explaining that nationality is passed through the man, so if the husband is a foreigner- then the woman and children should take his citizenship and eventually go live in his country. That's one of the obstacles stopping women from marrying foreigners- it would most of the time mean they'd have to go leave far from their parents... Although some women would agree to that. I hope we'll live to see the day when Saudi or other Gulf women can marry British, American etc men if they want and it would be a normal thing.

  16. "To me, the fact that the man sneaks around in secret to do this indicates that he knows what he is doing is wrong and hurtful."

    Amen! I totally agree. If you are only doing that which your Prophet did, therefore, every Muslim should be fine with it, you wouldn't have to sneak around. I don't think even the "Mothers of the Believers" were fine with all the marrying Muhammad did!

    If he is your example and you see multiple marriages = unhappy home(s)/wives/children then learn and don't repeat the problem and make more unhappy people.

    I'm with you, Susie. I'd rather be single.

  17. >The Quran claims that it is protected from change by other than Allah, and this is confirmed by its 1400 year history. The earliest copies and the latest copies are the same.

    The "first" written copy of Koran is after 150-200 years.
    No one clearly knows when it was first written down.
    Until then it was orally transmitted.

    As much as muslims like to claim it is 100% authentic, passage of time might have introduced some variations (before it was written down)..

  18. Off topic: I think what I wrote this morning after reading the French news is of interest to readers here:

    Why, even if you hate the niqab, you should hate the French "burqa ban" more

    All are more than welcome to read and comment.

    I hope it clarifies the political stakes in France and the consequences for the non-Gallic non-Roman Catholic Arab/African-French in France.

  19. Alhamask said... ”The Quran claims that it is protected from change by other than Allah, and this is confirmed by its 1400 year history. The earliest copies and the latest copies are the same.”

    Ever hear of the Caliph Uthman and all the “wrong” copies of the Qur’an that he had burned?

    The Shia dispute the current version of the Qur’an and add two additional surahs known as al-Nurayn and al-Wilaya.

    ”His life was such that his wife called him "a walking Quran."”

    Are you aware that many people around the world believe that Muhammad made up Islam to suit himself as a warlord and a convenient way further his Islamic empire? Even his favorite wife, Aisha, noted that he changed the Qur’an according to his personal whims.

    Ever hear of abrogation? The peaceful Meccan surah were abrogated after Muhammad was driven to Medina where he began to fight to further his new “way of life,” a way of life whose goal is to subjugate all of humanity under Islam.

    Muhammad led many bloody, aggressive battles to further Islam. That is a historical fact. His companions and followers carried on. The flag of Saudi Arabia has a sword on it. Why is that?

    ”Aren’t people educated enough to see the contradiction between the “Wahabi Doctrine” and the only One version of “Islam” that was taught by the Prophet Muhammad??? (salallah-allahu alaihi wasallam).”

    People are very educated. Books about Islam as well as the Qur’an are flying off the shelves. People know that the Wahhabi doctrine is the same as what Muhammad taught and that is what frightens them.

    ”The Sunnah is the term used to describe how the Messenger of Allah lived his life. The Messenger of Allah is an example for all Muslims (or those who accept Islam), to follow. Whatever the Messenger did, said, or approved of is a source of Islam just as much as the Quran.”

    So you approve of fighting bloody, aggressive wars to further Islam, beheadings, dismemberments, child marriage, polygamy, slave taking and subjugating the whole world under Islam as the “messenger” tried to do and the Qur’an demands?

    ”In many non Islamic societies, there is separation of "religion and state." This separation is not at all recognized by Islam. “

    This is precisely why Islam is under suspicion as being subversive, supremacist, seditious and of course anti-democratic, since, as you have correctly shown, that by definition, Islam cannot be democratic.

    The Middle Way

  20. Does Islam explicitly prohibit Polyandry ?

  21. Just a thought there
    Don't you get the eerie feeling Susie that it's just a matter of time before you become 1/2, 1/3 or even 1/4? Or that you possibly already are?
    Consider this as a tip-off.

  22. I am new to your blog...its very fascinating to read about your life in Saudi Arabia. I have managed to read all your posts but I have a question. At the very beginning of your blog you mention a daughter you visited before you left to KSA. Why do you never speak of her?


    I am totally okay with my husband marrying a second wife (with my full knowledge and respect for my feelings on the subject) or with BEING a seocnd wife if the first wife is not going to be hurt by it. Islam allows it for a reason. But too many women AND men abuse it.

  24. Great post, my last post was actually very similar, you make many good points. I can't stand the sneakiness it's often done with.

  25. Susie you said...

    "One of the problems with having multiple wives is the manner in which most men go about it. Permission or approval is not required from the First Wife, but most men are afraid of the First Wife's reaction, so they secretly wed Wife #2. There is not much thought or consideration given to the First Wife's feelings or her children's feelings. And more than likely, Wife #2 is not some poor widow with lots of children to care for or an older not-so-pretty spinster that life has passed by."

    That has always been my argument, men rarely do it for the right reasons and they act as if it's an obligation, ha ha, seriously, I don't think Allah rewards a man for marrying a young beautiful widow over an widow with orphans.

    Another sister argued that women who are not okay with polygymy are jealous and petty...uhmm, ok, maybe (everyone is entitled to her opinion).

    BUT, the scenario that you described above is very common, and I would say that men who can "afford" to take more than one wife are rare, if they applied Islam properly.

    My conclusion is that many men are cheating, not marrying, if they have to run around and live a secret life with another woman or family. AND, women are just as much to blame for marrying a man in secret, that's not cool at all.

    Unless we changed the definition of marriage...

  26. To Alhamask - I understand what you are saying, but it is difficult to separate Muslims who are followers of Islam from their actions.

    To Anon @ 1:55PM - I doubt that there are any statistics available for either of your inquiries. Men can divorce a wife by simply uttering "I divorce you" 3 times in front of male witnesses, so there's no telling how many cases of polygyny there are out there. Since women past 25 are considered spinsters in KSA, I believe the problem seems bigger than it really is.

  27. To Anon @ 1:58 AM - I think that would be considered the spolis of war, but I don't hink there's any set expectations or arrangements that this always happens.

    To Chiara - Thanks for the stats. I think it's pretty hard to get any accurate numbers though.

    To Alexandra - There is definitely a higher incidence of cousins marrying in Saudi Arabia and other countries in this region than in the West. I'm sure it does contribute to genetic defects, but again, accurate statistics are hard to come by in this area of the world.
    I do try to write about the positive things in KSA, but I also write about things that bother me or that I would like to see change. I know it's not really my fight since I am not a Saudi woman, but if I can get people talking about it, I see that as a positive.
    Western women in Jeddah generally always wear the abaya because it is the custom here. When I am out in public with my hubby, I also wear the hijab, only because he wants me to. He is concerned for my safety - I am usually accompanied by him, my son, other relatives, or friends. I've not really been out by myself.

  28. To Anon @ 11:28AM - I do believe that the issue of spinsters in the Kingdom is not quite the problem that some people believe it to be. You've come up with an interesting theory and questions. Thanks!

    To The Middle Way - Thanks for your information and explanations. Much appreciated.

  29. To Anon @ 4:14AM - Polyandry is totally prohibited by Islam.

    To Anon @ 5:23AM - Well, if my husband ever does that, he knows I will not be around any longer.

    To I Heart Blogs - I don't mention my daughter very much as she is grown and has her own family. She lives in Arizona and I get to visit her and my grandkids once every year or two.

    To OmaniPrincess - You are a better woman than I! I do agree with you that this aspect of Islam is abused. Thanks for speaking up for women like you - I know they are out there.

  30. Thanks for answering my question! I was wondering if there are any women's organizations trying to fight for women's rights in KSA, ones that are are local?

  31. Hello Susie, I enjoy reading your blog from time to time, but I must say that the comments are often aimed at demeaning and bashing Muslims. As some 'anons' commented above: about the Quran's genuiness. Hoe can it have been written 150 years after the prophet's death when copies were 'burned' by Uthman if Uthman was a Companion of the prophet i.e he was his contemporary. The different copies were destroyed so as not to cause confusion in the future, they were recorded in different dialects of various Arab tribes. They did not differ in content. Even now we have four main 'readings' of the Qur'an, where a particular letter may be pronounced differently. For example in one of the readings Musa is pronounced Musa, but with another reading it is pronounced Muse with an accent on the e. These readings are to be found all over the Muslim world. to 'anon who cites the Shia dispute of the Qur'an : which Shi'a do you mean and which division of which sect? The further the sect is from the original sources of the Sunnah, the more extreme and unfounded they become. Not all the books and teachers claiming to be interpretations of the Islamic Deen are correct or dependable.Thouosands of 'scholars' have written their own 'explanations' of the tafseer. One should be very strict in following a methodology when searching for answers. The writer, his sources, his mentors, his language. even the publisher and the country it was printed in have a bearing on any book's integrity. If Islam was spread by the sword, how come an ancient monastery in Egypt holds records that evidence the co-operation between Coptic monks and the Muslim conquerors in North Africa to rid the land of the Byzantine churches and their teachings. ? The flag of Saudi Arabia has a sword on it because it was 'UNITED' by the sword. A fragmented wilderness of tribes who were being exploited by the Western powers at the time and the Ottoman Turks, where turned into a magnificent country, no matter what anyone might think. Wasn't America united by guns and cannons, when millions died? Wasn't one European country doing battle with the other for centuries? Islam came at a time when superstition and heresy was tearing the Christian churches apart, when Northern European countries were still practicing very barbaric and savage ways of life. Before all the anons who attack Islam write their comments they should go and read some true history, not the fantasies of Muslim haters.
    Umm Salwan from Libya.

  32. Susie--it is true that it is hard to get reliable stats but those were from a source I respected, which I have cited so often I now just type it from memory. I think it is important to remember these are by region, and the numbers will vary within subpopulations of a region, including by social class. I do think too that the impact is so striking that the impression of how often it is happening is higher that the stats. None of these of course, allow for the usual hidden mistress--common across cultures.

  33. You're always talking about the same subjects...get a life and leave the muslims alone...

  34. Stop insulting islam susie, please.

  35. To the Last 2 Anon Posts (which are obviously written by the same person) - My life is in Saudi Arabia and I write about things that interest me, that I don't understand, or that bother me about living here. If you don't like what I write, just stay off my site - simple as that.

  36. I understand that this is outrageous for other people but I think that we need to undertand their culture.

  37. Women have their share of blame for all this. Actually, the situation is probably all their fault.

    First of all, if Saudi women didn't demand a man's weight in gold to marry, then maybe younger men would be able to marry them. As it is, only pensioners can afford to marry them. Sure, it's their right to demand what they want, but it's also their right to end up having to marry into some old perv's harem because nobody else can afford to marry them... And if you want to stay single your whole life, that's fine too. But stop pretending you have the right to tell other women who do want a family what to do with their (not yours) life.

    Second, about marrying foreigners, what's stopping women from doing so now? Nothing. Oh, they can't leave the country without permission? Then their husband goes to Saudi, they get married, and then she no longer needs her family's permission to leave. ;) The only thing stopping Saudi women from marrying foreigners is their own inhibitions. Saudi women don't want to end up away from their family, because they're big cry babies. That's the real reason. Even if their foreign husbands were given citizenship, not many would stay. A man does not relocate like that. The two would probably end up moving back to his country anyway. This is not a bad thing, in my opinion... My point is, the "restrictions" are only in women's heads, and are repeated over and over but they're just pretexts. Where there's a will, there's a way.

    For the record, I am not Saudi or a Gulf Arab at all. Nor would I want to be one. ;) I live in the West, and would love to see barriers between nations disappear. But all this whining is pathetic. Women, stop being cry babies and stand up for yourselves. This comment board has become the Wailing Wall of spinster cry babies. LOL

  38. people love to sit back and point fingers and say "o look at them they are so weird they need to change"

    just watch the show cheaters, then you will realize who has the real issues lol

    Also lets not act as if there is no such thing as polygamy in the USA, It is present and there are many people living that way. some openly some not because they fear persecution.

    at least in saudi arabia they can live freely and openly without fear of persecution, mistreatment or legal action against them.

  39. this story just got put up on cnn today 7/28/2010

    a 14 year old forced to marry her 19 year old cousin.

    what backwards, oppressive, third world muslim country did this inhumane story happen in you may wonder?

    The answer is........... the United states of america

    heres the link

  40. Hi 7sn - Thanks for the link. The big difference is that this type of thing is ILLEGAL in the US and most other countries in the world. There are no laws or recourse governing this type of thing in KSA - females are not protected here by the law because of the male guardian system.

  41. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  42. Ali: I agree with all your first points, not you last whining spinster comment.

    I know Saudi women who married British Muslim men. They moved to UK is all. They didn't need their family's permission. In fact, in Islam, family cannot prevent such a thing.

    And the MAHER thing IS the issue for all young men. I knwo PLENTY guys wanna get married young, and would be happy with one wife, but hey, you make them wait until they are nigh 30-40???? Your OWN fault sisters. I agree.

    Gold maher does not equal good marriage.

  43. Well, as there is nothing to protect women in Islamic marriage, and no maintenance if the hubby decides to divorce her or upgrade her with a younger model I think women have every right to get as much money for selling their sexual duties as as they want.

    And let's not forget, If polygamy is such a nice thing for women then why did the prophet not want it for his favorite daughter? Why did he keep her from suffering to be a co-wife?
    And the granddaughter of the prophet had it written in her own marriage contract, no more wives.
    So I that makes it perfectly sunnah for every women to demand no extra wives.

  44. Could someone with authoritative info clarify a few points from Ali's post?

    Contrary to what Ali says, my understanding is that:

    1) a Saudi Muslim woman is only allowed to marry a Saudi Muslim, though male Saudi Muslims can marry foreign Muslim women.

    2) A Saudi Muslim woman may not marry anyone without the permission of her mahram.

    3) A Saudi Muslim woman (maybe any Saudi woman) may not leave the country under any circumstances without the permission of her mahram.

    If these are correct, it would appear that a Saudi Muslim woman who wishes to be in good standing in Islam is pretty much boxed in on all sides by whatever (and whoever) her family wants.

    Thus she cannot leave the country to marry a Canadian, for example, of any faith. Nor can she marry any Westerner residing in KSA, of any faith. Nor can she marry a Saudi Muslim man of her choosing without her family's permission. Nor can she marry an Arab of Muslim faith (say, a Yemeni) who is not Saudi.

    Of course I may have my information wrong and I look forward to being corrected.

  45. I have a question based on the note from Umm Salwan from Libya...
    Who where the western powers? who according to you were exploiting a worthless desert.
    It must have been inbetween some barbaric wars, they packed up and went across the world to a worthless pile af sand to wage war....sorry but I have not so much B.S. before.

  46. I don't think it is fair that people are lashing out at Susie for "attacking Islam" because she is not. She is merely stating what is happening, consequences, and her opinion. Yes, men are allowed multiple wives in Islam but only if you can treat them all equally. I find that many people overlook that portion and it is actually quite difficult to do. Also, the real context for the permission to allow multiple wives came about after a war when many women had lost everything. It was to help them out, not to appease the lust of men or to claim "spoils of war". I believe it is even stated in the Qur'an that "Allah does not like lusty men". If people are taking multiple wives simply out of lust, desire, pressure, etc, there is no religious context to that whatsoever and it is almost hypocritical to attach it to religion like that to justify it.
    As far as I know, selling women as brides has no grounds in Islam as well. A woman who was forced into a marriage told the prophet her story and he told her the marriage was null and void.

    The thing is that since holy sites reside in the KSA, people like to automatically think that they are representatives of Islam and muslims for the entire world when they are really not. The KSA does not allow religious freedom but the peak years in Islamic Spain sparked a golden age for the Jews, who lived in harmony alongside their muslim neighbors. Women have trouble getting jobs and are not permitted to drive but ironically, the first wife of Muhammad, Khadija, was a wealthy businesswoman who had her own business and he was her employee!. I think if she were alive today, she would cringe ans shudder at the situation of the women in KSA.

  47. From my reading of history, the multiple wives situation seems to be a way of legitimising the taking of women after conquering an area and was mainly a power play. Men who allow their daughters to be part of a family with multiple wives seem to see their children as pawns as well.

    The late Emir of Kuwait, Jabir married often and apparently did not know many of his children. This practice only tailed off when families refused the marriage.

    It is a sad commentary when a family doesn't value their daughter unless the daughter sees a short term marriage as a way of getting money.

    I saw a documentary once where the three older wives were happy that their husband married again as he then left them alone - again this is very sad. I would have loved to see the comments of the children.

  48. Audhu billahi minashaytaan irajim!!!!! I cannot believe what I am reading here and how careless you are oh you ennemy of Islam, cease immediately your hateful propaganda against Islam or you will regret it, first of all you are married to a Mulsim man from Saudi and should respect his religion otherwise you should'nt have married him, now WHO gives you the right you a kaffir to critizise us Muslim women like this?it is nothing to do with you and you have no right as a disbeliever to undermine ISLAM this way but what is more infuriating is that you are doing it from Saudi itself?? now this is the result of those shameless and careless men who go around making zina and marriying disbelievers who never become MUSLIMS and trash it all their life, please tell your husband for me, "where is his Ghirra, his love of ALLAH his pride? does he know your are shamelessly dislplaying pictures of yourself here???You are helping the ennemys of ALLAH and fuelling the fire of hatred amongst well jewish followers 'mother in israel' and jewish and christians haters. I totally back the sheikh on his death fatwa and so do thousands of others. I cannot believe how low and weak some Muslims have become and are so blind and lost to follow the west on everything, they are polluting the mind of the Muslim youth, but hey we the pious will be victorious and the munafiqoon sorry on the day of judgment. Now it's neither none of your business the fact that Muslims can marry up to 4 wives and you should worry about your own country wich ban polygamy of marriage but allow a man to have countless mistresses, children born out of wedlock, now what about those 'harbroken' children who never make it in life because they ever didn't know whom their father was or were rejected and hidden for fear of their wives,by their fathers whom never paid child payments to their mum??? you are joking please try to make out like your sick system of life can surpass Islam in anyway. You want to talk about spinsters??Look in your own country where women in their late 30's and 40's resort to sperm bank to have a child because they didn't find a decent partner or are so fed up of broken promises bad relationship,been cheated on and useless immature men that won't commit, that they result in such drastic measures, you are only fooling yourself, because you are weak and you know Islam is the truth....wake up before it's too late and you end up in that coffin alone with the Angels of death questionning you....your abode will be hell and for what?

  49. To Anonymous 4Dec @ 3:56PM - you sound really angry. But at what? First of all, I am not criticizing Saudi women at all - everything I ever write is in support and defense of Saudi women, their rights, and their causes. Certainly this post is not critical of Saudi women in any way. If anything, it is somewhat critical of Saudi men who sneak around and marry another woman without the knowledge or consent of his first wife. So what exactly got you all riled up?
    You have judged me and called me "shameless" for having my photo here when it's really not your business and not up to you at all, is it? Why does it bother you so much if it doesn't concern you?
    You also said that it's none of my business that Muslims can marry up to 4 wives - but you are very wrong. I am married to a Muslim man and I am living in Saudi Arabia, where multiple wives are allowed - so how exactly do you figure that polygyny is none of my business?
    I have a right to my opinions, and you can disagree with me, but why can't you do so in a decent and calm manner instead of attacking me like a crazy ranting lunatic?
    The rest of your diatribe doesn't even really make sense and is written with such anger that I am not even going to address it. You are a perfect example of what turns me off about islam and other religions.

  50. Я шукаў у Інтэрнэце, спрабуючы знайсці ідэі аб тым, як атрымаць свой персанальны сайт блог закадзіраваны, ваш цяперашні стыль і тэмы выдатныя. Ты кода яго сабе ці ты наймаць кодэра, каб зрабіць гэта для вас асабіста?

  51. Aafke-Art: Actually, you are quite wrong. You speak out of context. You forget WHY the Prophet Mohamed did not allow Ali, his son in law, husband of Fatimah to marry a second wife. It was not because she disagreed with second wives, of the Prophet himself, but because of the woman Ali wanted to marry. She was the daughter of those who had harrassed, intimidated, and hurt the Prophet's family already. For example, divorcing his other two daughters, without a reason, but simply because they were Muslims. So it wasn't the issue of more than one wife. It was the issue of WHO the wife was.

    But I do agree, a woman can have it as part of her maher not to have another wife, but this has to be agreed upon between the husband and the wife BEFORE the marriage. If after, well, to be honest, it is kinda your own damn fault for not being educated in your religion and knowing your rights. Read.

    And otherwise, a wife does have the right to divorce if her husband takes another wife after her without her blessing. It is halal to do so.

    But don't twist things.

  52. Aafake-Art: Also, about maher, it is actually haraam to have it be a high ammount, ie forbidden in Islam. This is a cultural thing. Yes, a woman can ask for whatever she wants, but if it means no men can afford to marry her, even good ones? Then she is wholly stupid and to blame for her lot in life.

    My maher was one rose, and a silver ring. I stated in my MAHER document, that if my husband divorced me, then AND ONLY THEN, would he have to pay me ANYTHING and I demanded the equivelant of alimony or a house of my choosing in my name where I want. That is for divorce with no reason.

    Demanding money just to get married of a large ammount is soley a cultural thing. And it causes women and men to be unmarried, no offense.

  53. Sorry but if you choose a religion as islam,then why would you get surprised if your husband takes other 3 wives?You have to accept it,you believe in this religon...(this was for the muslims in general,not for you)

  54. Jardelle, these women do not really choose to be muslim. They are born into it, and apostasy(leaving their faith) is punishable by death.
    Personally I don't see the fuss about unmarried women. There is nothing wrong with staying single, especially when the alternative is a husband who treats you as a posssession.

  55. It is nothing more than KSA's Govt's effort to keep the Arab race racially pure by not allowing marriage of their women folk to non Arab Muslims. Something Nazis also preached to Germans. If you mess with Allah's Law where Allah and his prophet strictly forbidden the nationalism and preference of Arab over non Arab, you are going to simmer in your own soup. You wait for another 10-15 years and sexual immorality with prevail like a pandemic in KSA where numbers of spinsters will increase significantly. KSA's so called owner's of Islam are using their rigid and degrading man made laws to go against the law of the nature and they will loose badly. They are depriving righteous muslim women of their due rights to choose their own grooms and Govt is creating obstacles to make sure this does not happen any time soon.