JIZAN, Aug 1: Prince Muhammad bin Nasser, governor of Jizan province, has ordered an inquiry into whether a 56-year-old member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice violated Islamic law by marrying six women. For its part, the Jizan branch of the commission has said it has already begun internally investigating the case.
According to media reports, the man, whose name and position within the religious police has not been divulged, has three Saudi women listed on his family ID card. The other three women that he is allegedly married to are Yemeni, but only one of them has legal status. The man has admitted to marrying all six women, but maintains that he was already divorced to his fourth and fifth wives vocally and in the presence of the women’s families, a claim the families of these women refute.
Islamic tradition states a man may separate from his wife through vocal declarations of divorce in the presence of witnesses. It is forbidden for a man to be married to more than four women.
The fourth wife gave birth to a child three months ago. The fifth wife moved back to Yemen, but her family claims the father still owes them half of the SR20,000 dowry he agreed to pay for the woman. The sixth wife, who is 22, says she was unaware of the man’s marital status at the time she agreed to marry him.
Sheikh Saad Al-Shuthri, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Islamic Scholars (the Ulema), told Al-Watan daily that for this man to have been abiding by Islamic law he could not at any time have been married to more than four women, and that exceeding this number is a major sin.