The term polygamy is used interchangeably with, and most commonly refers to, polygyny – d. Polygamy is one form of marriage, monogamy another. Polygamy has been cited as a possible contributor to Africa’s low savings rates (Tertilt, 2005), widespread incidence of HIV (Brahmbhatt et al., 2002), Polygamy and Islam Polygamy and Islam ~ 3 ~ POLYGAMY AND ISLAM In terms of the birth rate, men and women are almost equal in number. THE CONCEPT OF POLYGAMY AND GENDER A. Howe ver, the rules guiding it are stric t and as such it was not regarded as a form of licent iousness or evil. In the United States, polygamy has been practiced primarily by the Mormon Church, although the practice is much more prevalent in other parts of the world. Polygamy is defined as a form of marriage involving more than one wife or more than one husband. One of the most common themes in their attack against Islam is regarding the Prophet Muhammad’s many wives. The research also applied Whitehead’s concept of conjugal contract, defined as the ‘terms on which husbands and wives exchange goods, incomes and 1. Polygamy is widely practiced i n West Africa as well as other parts of Africa. In 1956, Tunisia has attained the status of an independent nation and later, in 1957, became a Republic. c. Polygamy is a form of marriage less satisfactory than monogamy and one which cannot do justice to the full spirit of Christian marriage but in certain circumstance individual Christian can still put up with it, as they put up with slavery, dictatorial government, and much else. An extensive review of cross-cultural evidence, largely based on studies by anthropoligists and sociologists, hopefully provides some new insights (Section IV). This booklet will discuss the concept of polygamy in Islam, followed by the marriages of the Prophet. The trend over the past century has been toward limiting polygamy. Critical reflections on polygamy in the African Christian context 166 According to Gaskiyane (2000:97), the concept is defined as a culturally determined, socially acceptable and legally recognised form of permanent marriage where a man has more than one wife at a time. But subsequently, for a variety of reasons, the number of men in society decreases, leaving an excess of women. Marriage Marriage in Islam is a sign of God’s power and glory. Polygamy remains common in much of Africa.1 In the “polygamy belt” stretching from Senegal to Tanzania, it is common for more than one third of married women to be polygamous (Jacoby, 1995). Some societies have introduced a gradual reduction … Polygamy of either sort is far less common than it used to be, and is now concentrated in Africa, the Middle East, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. Historical Background of Islamic Family Law Reform in Tunisia Tunisia is a Muslim Arab country located in the Maghreb region. 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