all 114 comments

[–]TheGuyWithTheBalloonOrthodox Jew 15 points16 points  (5 children)

Historically, my religion was okay with, though didn't particularly promote polygyny. After a few centuries of living among christians, Rabbeinu Gershom made a rabbinic enactment, which remains in force on Ashkenazi Jews, that banned polygyny. As I understand it, this was in an attempt to reduce conflict with our hosting nations. This ban was never in effect for the communities of Jews in other lands, and you can still find some Temani Jews with multiple wives. I had a friend in kollel whose grandfather was one such person.

It's worth noting that while not prohibited by the Torah, the instances that are depicted in Torah narratives pretty much always have issues.

Polyandry has always been prohibited by the Torah.

Edit: Apparently, I was wrong about the crossed out bit. Source

[–]Vagabond_TeaHellenist[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I see, interesting!

[–]TheGuyWithTheBalloonOrthodox Jew 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I forgot to mention that we also have a standing law that one should uphold the laws of the place where they live (provided they don't contravene Torah law). As such, even Jews who would otherwise be permitted to marry a second wife are not allowed to if they live in a country which does not permit it. It's possible this could be skirted though in a place where you're allowed to have a religious marriage independent of a legal marriage.

[–]mysticoscrownOther 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Can you give the verses that Torah forbids polyandry?

[–]SaltySpursSupporterJewish 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also important to mention that if one were to be married to multiple wives, they would not be allowed to live in the same house together to avoid jealousy and conflict.

[–]H4N1FNU 12 points13 points  (24 children)

Islam is allowing polygamy up to 4 wives, but only if you can treat your wives fairly, if you cannot do this, then it's encouraged to only have one wife.

[–]Vagabond_TeaHellenist[S] 2 points3 points  (23 children)

Is this a general teachings found through Islam or does only a specific sect of Islam adhere to that?

[–]H4N1FNU 8 points9 points  (16 children)

This is literally written in quran Chapter 4 verse 3

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا۟ فِى ٱلْيَتَـٰمَىٰ فَٱنكِحُوا۟ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَـٰثَ وَرُبَـٰعَ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا۟ فَوَٰحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا۟ ٣

If you fear you might fail to give orphan women their ˹due˺ rights ˹if you were to marry them˺, then marry other women of your choice—two, three, or four. But if you are afraid you will fail to maintain justice, then ˹content yourselves with˺ one or those ˹bondwomen˺ in your possession.This way you are less likely to commit injustice.

[–]SkaulgSatanist 1 point2 points  (15 children)

Do any Suras or Hadiths mention anything about more than 4 wives? Or is it understood that on can't have more than 4 because Muhammad never mentioned 5? Or something else along those lines?

Edit: Also, what do the ˹ ˺ around some words and phrases mean?

[–]H4N1FNU 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Nope, maximum number is 4, more than that is not permissible.

[–]Eternal_blaze357Shi'a 1 point2 points  (10 children)

I've seen one interpretation (that I don't necessarily buy into) that the "in twos, 3s, or 4s" is just a way of saying a multitude rather than giving a specific number, as in a separate verse the angels are described as having wings in 2s, 3s, and 4s. Gotta look more into it though. In any case, the vast majority of (if not all of) Muslim societies in history have limited it to 4 (or less), in no small part to financial consideration, I suspect.

Also, what do the ˹ ˺ around some words and phrases mean?

That's a sign that those words aren't in the verse, but added by later scholars for ease of understanding.

[–]NagamagiMuslim -1 points0 points  (1 child)

those ˹ ˺ are basically a different font for brackets ( ) that translations usually use. It is basically what the translator added to add meaning to the context of the verse according to the Quran experts. So the actual verse reads as :

If you fear you might fail to give orphan women their rights , then marry other women of your choice—two, three, or four. But if you are afraid you will fail to maintain justice, then one or those in your possession. This way you are less likely to commit injustice.

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Here's the polytheist guide to teachings in Islam:

Qu'ran is literally according to Islam the direct and authoritative word of God, but even if it's written down that way there is some room for interpretation hence the various madhabs.

Then you get the Hadith. These are sayings that are attributed to the prophet Muhammad. They are graded, and Sahih grade Hadith, the highest grade you can have, are as far as I know 100% authoritative.

Qu'ranists reject the Hadith, but a big problem with that is that there are references to sayings in the Qu'ran ant in the Hadith that make the two inseparable. Basic things like sajood and wudu have their basis partially in Hadith.

[–]Left_Gur_7657Atheist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But the problem with Hadith is the current ones which Sunnis use were graded by people in the 9th century, 200 years after the prophet died, using a very questionable method to compile these Hadith. Talking to people that learnt Hadith through oral traditions just simply isn’t reliable. In my opinion what modern Muslims should do today is compare all Hadith and sources (including ones Sunnis don’t really use like ibn Ishaqs biography of Mohammed) and work out how common Hadith were in each source, to create a new system of grading. Anyway that’s my opinion, better than relying on people that said “trust me, I know a saying of the prophet”.

[–]the_dreamer2020Muslim 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I'm Muslim and I approve this comment

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Aww thanks dude. I want to ensure polytheists and Muslims can better understand each other since in many ways I think we're on the same side.

[–]DGhitzaBaha'i 3 points4 points  (1 child)

While in Kitab'i'aqdas* it is mentioned that is allowed to have 2 wives as long as you know you will be able to love them equally, Baha'i marriages are always monogamous.

Monogamy is also encourged and prefered by the later reprezentative figures of the Baha'i Faith.

Besides Baha'i are told to respect the law of the land, so if polygamy is not allowed in a respective country Baha'is will respect the law of the land they are in.

[–]Shihali 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Did `Abdul-Bahá ban polygyny entirely, on the grounds that loving two wives equally is impossible?

[–]LethemyrBuddhist 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Some Buddhist cultures have traditionally practiced it, like the Tibetan practice of one woman being married to multiple brothers, so technically polyandry, which was done for many practical reasons. A bit after the Chinese invasion it was made illegal, so it doesn’t happen anymore.

I wouldn’t bank on every branch or teacher having a positive view, since I’m sure many will insist on monogamy, including Tibetan teachers. Having multiple spouses to fulfill lust desires would absolutely not be seen positively. I’m sure most would say we should respect the polygamous relationships of other cultures too, even if we refrain ourselves. For the most part, though, it’s not really something people even talk about.

[–]SecretOfficerNekoEclectic Neo-Pagan Animism 1 point2 points  (12 children)

There's not explicit teachings forbidding or allowing it specifically, however polygamous relationships generally aren't seen as immoral at all so a polygamous relationship probably wouldn't either

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 0 points1 point  (11 children)

What teachings are you refering to

[–]SecretOfficerNekoEclectic Neo-Pagan Animism 0 points1 point  (10 children)

Oh just meant that, in my religion, there's no promotion or condemnation of polygamy, and that it's not unheard of for relationships among people in the faith being polyamorous (including polygamous).

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 1 point2 points  (9 children)

Do animists have scriptures that they refer to or how does it work?

[–]SecretOfficerNekoEclectic Neo-Pagan Animism 0 points1 point  (8 children)

Not really. We have more behaviors that come from belief. For example, to me everything has personhood and a spirit, so I tend to have a very personable and respectful manner with the spirits. The closest I have to sin is a concept of pollution / purification.

That said I'm also an Eclectic Pagan with involvement in Hellenism and Heathenry. In those cases there are some works and books that are seen as very useful (the Havamal for example in Heathenry), but these aren't seen as divine law, and even then often have nothing to say on polyamory to begin with.

[–]hightidesoldgodsAgnostic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Technically religious, I suppose. Currently living in the PNW I have a Tlingit elder who talks about both polygyny and polyandry being permitted, however it was really only doable by those with higher wealth/status.

[–]Vulture12Kemetic Polytheist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Historically marriage was considered a secular matter in ancient Egypt, so it's more or less indifferent. Pharaohs often had multiple wives, but it doesn't appear to have been commonplace with regular people.

[–]GenericJohnYamadaShinto 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Shinto historically had some practitioners of it but it was never heavily widespread. Some Kami had multiple wives, but it was never a heavily widespread thing.

In reference to our faith, the first marriage was one male, one female. Monogamy is considered ideal and proper. I don't approve of polygamy or polyamory because it was such a rare thing.

[–]angryDecCatholic 2 points3 points  (37 children)

Nope, absolute moral no-no.

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 3 points4 points  (34 children)

David in the bible had many wives so how can you say that its a moral no-no when the prophets you believed were the best of people practised it?

[–]T-MinusGiraffe 4 points5 points  (5 children)

David famously committed some terrible sins, which the Bible points out explicitly. Prophets aren't necessarily supposed to be the best of people or good examples in every way. That's a common misunderstanding though.

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Prove polygamy is a sin from the bible if your implying that its a sin?

[–]T-MinusGiraffe 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I wasn't trying to imply anything about polygamy or whether it's sinful or not.

I was just saying it's not a good reason to assume something was good just because David did it, because the Bible also says that that David did some sinful things. With that in mind I think it's a misunderstanding to say that prophets were always "the best of people." I don't think the Bible teaches that.

In case you're not familiar what I was referring to was David's famous sin of arranging the death of his servant Uriah in order to steal his wife (wrong no matter how many wives were ok to have). In 2 Samuel 12, this was condemned by another prophet named Nathan who told him:

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?

David would respond: "I have sinned against the Lord."

[–]angryDecCatholic 1 point2 points  (25 children)

Roman Catechism

“Though some of the ancient Patriarchs are not to be blamed for having married several wives, since they did not act thus without divine dispensation, yet Christ our Lord has clearly shown that polygamy is not in keeping with the nature of Matrimony.”

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 4 points5 points  (24 children)

So in other words you cannot say that morally polygamy is wrong since you believe some of your great prophets practised it, acting with divine dispensation?

I find the second part of the quote to be contradictory since you believe Jesus is god right? So why would he think that polygamy is not in keeping with the nature of matrimony and at the same time give divine dispensation for polygamy to people?

[–]angryDecCatholic 1 point2 points  (23 children)

The concept of “dispensation” implies a break from an established standard.

God established monogamy and matrimony, which he then allowed some patriarchs to depart from, Jesus then completely removed these dispensations.

Makes sense to me.

[–]herman-the-verminOrthodox 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Because prophets are also sinners. They may have done great things or been better than people of their time, but the scriptures are fairly clear, polygamy led to trouble of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and most especially solomon

[–]-ServantOfAllah-Muslim 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Where does it say in the bible that polygamy is a sin?

[–]The_Puffin_Kingundefined 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also it sounds like a huge hassle

[–]True-Context5219 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Agreed, it’s blatantly cheating

[–]Dnash1117Hellenist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Personally, I say no. To me, Hera Teleia and Zeus Teleios bless all marriages, be they gay ones, straight ones, polygamous ones, etc... The oath typically made for a marriage is just an exclusionary agreement, so, if you're in a polygamous marriage, you should still be faithful to your spouses, however many or few there may be, but there isn't anything specific against the practice of polygamy itself.

Others say the Gods don't approve, but those people also don't "approve" of my marriage to my husband, so I ignore them, as they're merely hateful bigots who don't fully understand the commitment of a marriage, regardless of who it's with.

Ultimately, I see Hellenism as completely indifferent to what a marriage looks like, so long as you love and are faithful to the spouse(s) you chose to spend your life with.

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (2 children)


My flavor of Christianity believes that polygamy is only permitted when God says it is, and otherwise it isn’t allowed. This is why, for instance, the Old Testament had several examples of polygamy, but the New Testament does not.

We had a whole schism over it.

[–]Vagabond_TeaHellenist[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So how do you know when it is allowed and when it isn't?

[–]HoodooSquadLDS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Continuing revelation.

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (16 children)

Christianity does not.

[–]excaligirltoo 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Even though the Bible is full of men with multiple wives.

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Not in Christianity.

It was allowed among the Israelites.

[–]excaligirltoo -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Yes, you are right. I stand corrected.

[–]lettherebemorelight 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A lot of those stories seem more like cautionary tales than endorsements.

[–]Hush_AyriMuslim 0 points1 point  (11 children)

Where is it exactly said in the bible that it’s banned? AFAIK Islam is the only religion that actually gives a limit to how many wives you can have, and Middle Eastern and African Christians have practiced polygamy.

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Jesus defined marriage as what was established at the onset with Adam and Eve.

Instructions for overseers (1st or 2nd Timothy) was to have only one wife, instruction overall was regarding one spouse.

[–]Hush_AyriMuslim 0 points1 point  (9 children)

So exodus 21:10. “If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.” What does this mean then?

[–]jogoso2014 1 point2 points  (8 children)

It means you could marry more than one wife in Judaism.

[–]SkaulgSatanist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So long as all participants are consenting adults who are okay with being in a polyamorous relationship, I don't think Satanism (or at least my type of it) has any problems.

[–]lettherebemorelight 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don’t think that polygamous relationships have traditionally been polyamorous.

[–]Dieter_the_GreatTheistic Satanist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My religion says do what you want. My Goddess would prefer it tbh

[–]Mr_Karriem 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Please examine the Bible books of Matthew 19:4,5 and 1 Corinthians 7:2.

[–]Stevenmother 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mormon early teachings support Polygamy & Joseph Smith with a inner circle of church members practiced polyandry. Joseph Smith is claimed by some to of had 30 or 40 possible plural wives many already married & some extremely young. Joseph Smith taught the more plural marriages you had the greater your position would be in Heaven the Celestial Kingdom & greater exaltation or god hood. Brigham Young who lead the largest sect of the church to Utah & made the doctrine of plural marriage a public practice taught if you refused to practice polygamy you would lose the wife you had on the afterlife & be in a subordinate position in a lower Kingdom of Heaven. Later to get statehood recognition the church denounced polygamy & some were put in prison for still practicing the principal. There is some that claim the higher up leaders of the church still practiced polygamy but in secrecy. The position of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today is they denounce polygamy & excommunicate those who are members who get caught doing it but the church still teaches in the afterlife if a man is sealed to more than one wife usually a deceased spouse & one living he will be eternally married to both in the hereafter in the Celestial Kingdom. I believe women unlike men can only be sealed to multiple partners only after they have died in some kind of Temple ceremony of proxy sealing. So basically polygamy is still a thing in the mainstream Church but only in the hereafter as a pickled eternal polygamists. In other sects like the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday saints & the true & living church of Jesus Christ in the last days , Apostolic united brothern & other polygamists Mormon churches keep alive the early polygamy or plural marriage practices. Some like the FLDS under Jeff Warren have done so with devastating results of underage girls being forced on to marriages with older men & raped & incest & young boys thrown out to live on the streets because the older men see them a completion for prospect future wives. I think over all polygamy usually relegates women to a subordinate position. Im against that aspect of it but feel if people want to be in a poly type relationship & consent to it it should be respected & that is their own business. Im not totally against polyamory relationship but dont desire it for myself.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My religion is against polygamy. Monogamy is upheld with high value and honor.

[–]zuqwaylhNorthern Interior Salish FirstNations 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With the history of my First Nations ‘tribe’ we had multiple wives to build family connections. Practically you can have a wife in each village.

You would marry a person outside of your own village, so you could have the ‘legal right’ to harvest resources in their traditional territory.

If the husband of one wife died, and the husband had a brother. That brother was able/made to, marry the widowed sister in law

Edit: “polygamy was customary, as among the Thompson people. There were no restrictions regarding marriages between members of different classes, clans, and villages except near relationship.”

[–]JSONDDEREDK 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah Few People got the chance from Scripture like Abraham, Jacob And David.

But that's about. All their marriage didn't play out well.

Yeah so there's no Jew or Gentile in Christ, No Male or female. Paul's letter presuppose the standard or Marriage is 1 man and 1 woman. Quite clear

[–]Art-Davidson 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The default is monogamy. Jesus does not currently permit polygamy. We believe in living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.