Saudi cleric Saad Al Khathlan recently issued an edict stating that it's haram (unacceptable in Islam) for women to call polygamist husbands "cheaters".
His statement on the matter came in response to a question he was asked during a live television appearance on Al Risala TV channel's program "They ask for your edicts".
"God permitted men to take more than one wife. Therefore, describing polygamy as a form of betrayal means a person is objecting to God's sharia. Cheating can be used to describe illicit relationships and adultery, things that God prohibited," he said.
"Unfortunately, this rhetoric has spread in several Muslim communities. They believe that polygamists are unfaithful even though God permitted polygamy for men who are able to treat their wives equally," he added.
Al Kathlan's latest edict divided Saudi tweeps...
Some thought it made some sense...
"Regardless of polygamy and our stance on it, to label something permitted by God a betrayal is a huge problem."
Others completely sided with Al Kathlan...
"His words are righteous."
Many were having none of his statement though...
"And what if it's without the knowledge of the wife? Isn't that considered betrayal?"
"It is considered cheating"
"According to a marriage contract, a man is supposed to tell his partner about plans to take another wife. If she accepts, then the marriage continues, if not, it ends. But to just blindside her with a second marriage and control the union any way he wants. No, that's not up to him."
A few shared this point of view...
"Even though clerics often contradict themselves on this when they describe the prophet's refusal to marry after the death of his wife Khadija as a form of 'loyalty to her.'"
In Islam, polygamy is only permissible under a tight frame of conditions
In countries across the Arab world, many believe that Islam unconditionally allows for men to be married to more than one woman at a time.
However, every time polygamy comes up on social media, several users highlight an important fact that many seem to simply 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 Quran clearly states that men can marry more than one woman if, and only if, he treats them fairly. "But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one," Surat An-Nisaa (The Women) states.
However, the surah then decrees, "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.