3 Questions Before Converting to Islam- Part 2

25 January, 2017
Q Dear Brothers and Sisters, first of all thank you for your website. I have researched into all three major religions and Islam is the one for me because it has the only logical answer. I love the religion and I am 99.9% ready to take my Shahadah (the testament of faith). Yet, I feel that some specific principles and rules in Islam are too difficult for me to accept and this sort of prevents me from embracing Islam at the moment. I pray to God to help me and give me answers to those outstanding issues. Could you please help me with those unanswered questions? Here are my questions: 1. My first question is regarding the death penalty and leaving Islam. It has been confirmed to me that it is true that if a person decides to leave Islam, he should be executed. Isn't this against the preaching of Islam and Allah, Who says that He gave us a free will to choose bad or evil actions? 2. My second question regards polygamy. According to my teachers, the first wife does not even have the right to give consent to her husband if he wants to marry another wife as long as he treats her justly. Is it true? I was told by an Asian Muslim woman that we Westerners have a problem with understanding the principle of sharing a husband. Asian women are used to this and don't see anything wrong with it. For me it is so repulsive to imagine my beloved husband having another woman, making love to her and then the next day coming to me and making love to me. I find it very perverse. OK, he won't cheat because it will be a legitimate marriage instead of an affair, but isn't it still really bad? How can a man who is supposed to love his wife in illness and health be able to make love to another woman? 3. My third question is about adultery. A woman would be stoned to death. OK. I agree that there must be a strict legal system with strict punishments for a society to be decent and not risk behavior that is prohibited. Again, my question is based on the judicial mistakes that happen to innocent people who were sentenced to death. As with any death penalty, in the United States for example, this is the risk. A married woman could be raped by an ill-minded group of rapists (you must admit that even in a good society there are black sheep). Of course, they don't want to be caught so they rather work together. She will report them. Yet, the one rapist might say that his mates are his witnesses who would happily lie for him, saying that she had an affair with one of them and that they saw her going in the house or that they caught them. And because she knows that they saw her, she is not blaming them for a rape; one word of hers against their word. Who would the court believe? If you could answer me, it would change my life. I will pray that my answers come very soon. Thank you very, very much. Sister to be.

Answer

Salam (Peace) Adriana,

Please find the second and final part of the answer to your question below. Find the first part at the link here.

Second, your question about polygamy, as to whether the first wife has a right to object to her husband’s marrying another woman. According to some scholars, the Shariah does not require the husband to get the consent of the first wife for a second marriage.

If the conditions for a second marriage are right according to the Shariah, he can legally go ahead and marry. But we need to understand the spirit of the Islamic ruling first.

For instance, if the second marriage is likely to upset the first marriage and the family structure is already established, then a second marriage should be avoided, as it undermines the very purpose of the Islamic rules of marriage.

But the permission of plural marriage is given in the context of protecting widows, as they need to be taken care of. In the very same verse it is stated clearly that if a man cannot treat his wives with equity, he should not marry more than one woman.

This is a clause usually ignored or taken lightly by many men, depriving women the rights Allah Almighty has granted.

It is also worth mentioning that the bride has the right before marriage to demand her fiancé to agree in advance to certain conditions of hers, in case he is interested in pursuing another marriage later on.

Actually, this can be part of the marriage contract. As it is the duty of Muslims to fulfill all obligations, the Muslim husband cannot but honor such a condition.

If you need to know more about the first wife’s rights concerning the permission for the husband to pursue a second marriage, please refer to Ask the Scholar service in order to get more familiar with the logistic details of the matter.

Third, you ask about adultery and its punishment.

The first point to note here is your mentioning of punishing adulterous women only. No way!

The prescribed punishment is for adulterous men and women. As for the details for when and how the punishment is to be applied, this needs a detailed answer from a scholar of Shariah.

Some scholars of respected opinion discuss the point that there is no Quranic verse that clearly states stoning as a punishment. The majority insist on applying this punishment, which was originally prescribed in the Biblical Law enforced on the Jews and was mentioned in the hadiths (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad.

It is, of course, understandable that the punishment prescribed by the Jewish Law could have been implemented by the Prophet in some cases. Yet, you’d rather seek the opinion of our Shariah section on this matter. They would definitely give you the opinion of a specialized scholar in Shariah.

Another point you raised is about the miscarrying of justice, namely the possibility of inflicting a terrible punishment on the innocent. This is very real and it is relevant to the law-enforcement departments in ANY system.

In fact, the Islamic jurists have stipulated certain strict measures to prevent punishing the innocent. But even then, there is this possibility when the authorities are insincere and hypocritical people. Only Allah Almighty can prevent such lapses and punish those who carelessly handle His laws.

We can only pray that truth triumphs and justice is done in every case.

And Allah knows best.

Please do not hesitate to write to us if you have more questions.

Thank you and may Allah reward you!

Salam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Why Is Apostasy a Sin?

What does Islam Say About Freedom of Religion?

What Are The True Teachings of Islam?

Is Polygamy Justified Today?

A Revert: Shall I Marry A Married Man?

Can We Replace The Punishment of Zina?

Are Raped Women Punished in Islam?

Confused About The Procedure of Islamic Marriage!