‘Unnecessary and Costly’: Taliban Leader Reportedly Urges Group Members to Avoid Polygamy
14:49 GMT 22.05.2022 (Updated: 14:54 GMT 22.05.2022)
© AP Photo / Rahmat GulTaliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021
© AP Photo / Rahmat Gul
Islam allows Muslim men to have up to four wives at a time, with the practice being legal in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some other predominantly Muslim nations.
Taliban* leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has urged group members to shun polygamy, describing the practice as “unnecessary and costly”, according to Kabul-based Bakhtar News Agency. The Taliban, which has been sanctioned by the United Nations for terrorist activity, has not commented on the matter.
In an order issued on Sunday, Akhundzada reportedly underscored that “Taliban members should avoid second, third and fourth marriages”.
The order comes after the Taliban leader issued a similar decree in mid-January, which did not prohibit multiple marriages but warned that hefty sums spent on marriage ceremonies and dowries might draw criticism from the group’s opponents.
“If all leadership and commanders avoid polygamy, they won't need to get involved in corrupt and illegal practices”, the decree explained.
At the same time, the January document stipulated some exceptions, endorsing multiple marriages for those who either have no children, have no male child from a previous marriage, who are marrying a widow, or who have enough family wealth to afford multiple wives.
Most of the Taliban's senior leaders are thought to have more than one wife as polygamy has long been widespread in the Pashtun societies of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where women have traditionally had little say over who or when they should marry.
The Taliban's latest rise to power kicked off last summer, when the militant group wrapped up an offensive against Afghan government forces, entering the capital Kabul without firing a shot on 15 August 2021 and declaring the end of the war.
On 31 August, the US military finally left Kabul Airport, putting an end to a near 20-year military presence in Afghanistan. Washington’s withdrawal was followed by the Taliban installing an interim government chaired by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who headed the Foreign Ministry during the group’s first government between 1996 and 2001. Hasan Akhund has been under UN sanctions since 2001.
*Organisation is under UN sanctions over terrorist activities