Source: CNN Arabic

Saudi cleric Abdullah al-Mutlaq sparked controversy on Twitter earlier this week after a statement in which he encouraged men to take second wives went viral.

The Islamic scholar, who is an advisor to the kingdom's royal court, made the statement on state television program "Fatawi" (Religious Edicts) during a segment in which he was asked about solutions to spinsterhood. 

"Some women don't help men in treating their multiple wives fairly and equally. The moment she learns her husband is about to take a second wife or already did, she goes crazy," he said.

The cleric went on to say that a woman's shock or anger in reaction to her husband taking a second wife is considered "haram" (unacceptable in Islam.)

"This is not acceptable, it's haram. I swear to God on this, I've seen women who refused to stay in marriages after their husbands took second wives. I'd ask them to wait and give their husbands a chance and they wouldn't accept that," he added.

"A woman should support her husband in treating her and his other wives fairly"

Concluding his statement, Al-Mutlaq added that instead of being envious of their husbands' new wives, women should ask God to bless their partners' second marriages.

The cleric's statement has been making the rounds on Saudi Twitter for the past two days, dividing tweeps along the way.

While some believe nothing is wrong with the scholar's statement, others are outraged by his misogynistic rhetoric.

Some are all for the cleric's statement

"He's right, he said nothing wrong at all."

Others just can't even with it though

"We present to you, the news of our beloved country"

Al Mutlaq's statement angered many

"I just want to understand what these clerics have to do with people's lives. Just because you have a beard, it doesn't mean you also have a right to intrude on the life of a married couple, telling the man to take a second wife and the woman to be patient and pray! How is this any of your business!!! Or are you all focused on polygamy now that you're done with edicts on ovaries and driving?"

Some think polygamy isn't a solution

"Solutions to spinsterhood lie in providing employment opportunities for our youth and reducing the cost of dowries. Don't leave our young men and women unemployed and then come tell them that the solution to their problem is polygamy." 

"Instead of taking a second wife, give the money to a bachelor who can't afford to get married"

"The last things clerics think of are a woman's dignity and her feelings"

"Our era is not for polygamy"

"A patriarchal society that doesn't care for a woman or her feelings, nor considers the emotions of families and children. Polygamy is one of the main reasons behind the destruction of families." 

Not the first time polygamy sparks an online debate in the Arab world

This certainly isn't the first time polygamy is brought up on Arab Twitter, as it's often debated in viral hashtags and online trends. 

Every time the issue comes up on social media, several users highlight an important fact that many seem to ignore or forget: In Islam, taking more than one wife is only permissible under a very tight frame of conditions.

The religion first allowed polygamy for the sake of widows and orphans who have no means of survival.

The only Quranic verse that speaks about polygamy is believed to have been revealed after the Battle of Uhud, which led to the death of many Muslim men who left behind families in need of support.

The Quran clearly states that a man can only marry more than one woman if he treats her and all his other wives "equally."

"But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one," Surat An-Nisaa states. The surah then declares: "You will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive to do so." 

This makes Islam-approved polygamy near impossible to attain, even when conditions for it apply.