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Al Azhar's Grand Imam: “Polygamy is Unjust to Spouses”

The comments haven't been received well by some.

Polygamy in Egypt

In what is proving to be his most controversial statements in some time, Egypt's Al Azhar Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb said on Friday that polygamy, more often than not, inflicts injustice on spouses and children, explaining that those who believe that polygamy is the right way of doing marriage are mistaken.

"Is the Muslim man free to take a second wife? Or is this freedom constrained by a set of conditions?" asked al Tayeb on his talk show on Egyptian state TV, continuing that polygamy is conditional upon justice between spouses. "If absolute justice can't be maintained, then polygamy is haram," he asserted.

Al Tayeb's comments were well not well-received by those who traditionally consider polygamy as an inherent right for men. Following backlash on social media, Al Azhar's media centre released a statement by the Grand Imam clarifying that Al Tayeb wasn't calling for legislations to abolish polygamy, but that he was questioning why an impoverished Muslim man would take a second wife and leave his first wife and her offspring to face poverty and hardships, according to the statement.