The craze for Polygamy and unrestrained bigotry

Many years ago, I made a resolution not to engage in religion topic openly, especially on social media. It makes absolutely no sense, I had reasoned, for me to be advancing religion while I am aware of its abuse. My immediate target was to live according to the dictate of the scriptures, and if I am flawed, to right my own wrong rather than looking for other people's flaws to be used as sermon. There is no better way to announce your religion than through your conduct .

I long discovered that it was much easier to stand on pulpit of Grace and preach, than to live the words   so I took the difficult journey . Guiding me was the story of encounter of Khidr and Musa and host of others from ethics. 

As a result, I tend to see loud and pompous religion scholars (of all sects) disgracing themselves in competition to preach against other people's ideals without walking their talk. I am used to it but my philosophy has always been, "when it comes to religion, judge no one". The Hadith on the story of a man who killed 99 people and then added a cleric, who predicted he will go to hell, is another reference for me.

On a WhatsApp group I belong, there is a particular guy who appear to be obsessed with polygamy in such a way that I found him irrational, and dangerous. He has a nice personality and is quite pleasant on outside. He is also a brilliant professional. But life has a way of showing us the hidden from our weakness than our strength.

First of, he thinks and act as if only Muslims are polygamous. Second, he think it is blasphemous for anyone to suggest in public that people should marry and have children they can afford. I have always wondered, why he take this more seriously, and personal than massive poverty and insecurity around us. When you talk about the ills of the society, he will barely scratch it in the surface and his best thought is predictable- blame the government! He blame Government for people marrying more wives that they can bear and blame Government for irresponsible parents that have too many children they they empty on the streets. Any suggestions that these people should be moderate is always a blasphemy in his ears.

My first encounter with him was dramatic. He accused me of blasphemy against Islam because I had said that people should stop marrying women they can't take care of! He get to my nerve, eventually, I must admit. But I maintained by stance. Your right ends where others lose theirs. Indeed, you may be that man who love everything in skirt, but to consider people choice of monogamy and open preference for fee children as blasphemy against Islam is nothing short of insanity.

I gave up. 

Several months later, I have come to see this is his own ideology. And he is fanatical about it to such an extent that he won't mind losing friends over it. 

A simple message: "do not marry what you can't afford and do not have more children you can't take care off." Is what often rile him. He sees this as blasphemous even if the context of conversation is secular, or among other religions.

How can two people be talking and you think they are targeting your religion because they choose to advocate simplicity? And who told you that Muslims invented polygamy? Some day I will write in this. But for now, I think this is a bigotry carried too far! 

With a mind like this, I can understand why our society is hopeless. I can understand why many people continue to defy simple logic and reason regarding social behaviours.

Whatever you practice, it should be your right. Whatever others practice, as long as it doesn't impede on your ability to practice yours, it is their right. Even if it is area of religion. The Qur'an says : Lakun deenukum, waliyedeen! It also says there is no compulsion in religion. But when things like having one wife and manageable children become an attack on your own belief and religion, when everyone who advance moderate position about life and keep their faith private is an atheist, I can say that you not only lost your religion but has become a bigot of first class order !

I am Isqil Najim

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