Polygamy As a Form of Marriage: Based on Sociological Research


Polygamy as a form of marriage is, as a rule, more common in Arab and Muslim countries than in Russia. The desire of modern Russian men to commit polygamy can be interpreted as a consequence of the improvement in their material condition, which makes possible to support two or more wives and their children, while at the same time not taking into consideration the moral side of the issue that it is necessary to devote the same amount of time to all wives, to solve family problems if necessary, and to raise children. Despite the fact that the Quran says that it is better to take divorced and single mothers as the second and the third wives to support them, modern men are not guided by moral and religious principles, but rather by the desire to have a younger wife. This article presents the results of sociological research, both quantitative and qualitative. As a quantitative study, we conducted a pilot survey of Muslim women in the Republic of Tatarstan, which revealed some trends in the socialization of Muslims in Russian society. Further, a number of qualitative studies were conducted in order to study the Muslim environment in more depth: in-depth interviews with Russian Muslim women, as well as semi-structured interviews with imams of mosques. The results of the research made it possible to create a typology of polygamous families: — a Man with a good financial situation, in some cases having a high status in society, which can allow him to support several wives and their children, creates a marriage with several wives. In this type, family members are not always practicing Muslims, most often they are ethnic Muslims. — Male migrants, more often coming from CIS countries, less often from Arab countries, leave their wives and children, come to work in Russia and create new families. However, for such wives from Russia, there is no guarantee that the husband will not leave for his homeland and will not return. — A man who belongs to non-traditional religious movements, where it is possible without observing the necessary conditions to conduct the nikah rite with a woman from the same ”group” that shares his ”religious” views, including without notification, permission of the first wife. More often, this is a man who does not have the financial ability to support several wives.

Keywords: polygamy, polygamous family, Muslim women, Muslim, Islam

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