Lashes for Saudi religious policeman with six wives

Man says he didn't know Islam doesn't allow men to marry more than 4 women at a time.

A Saudi court has sentenced an employee of the kingdom's religious police to 120 lashes for marrying six women.

The man said he was not educated enough to know that Islam does not allow men to marry more than four women at any one time, said an official at Ahad al-Massarha court in the southern province of Jazan.

"The judge did not believe him. Nobody believed him. I honestly did not," the official told Reuters.

The court banned the man from standing as a preacher and leading prayers, ordered him not to travel abroad for a five-year period and to memorise two chapters from the Koran.

The accused, in his fifties, is not a member of the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice's morals squad but holds an administrative position there, the official said.

Shaikh Abdul-Mohsen al-Qaffari, spokesman of the virtue and vice commission, said it was the commission that discovered the case. Judge Salman al-Waadani, who pronounced the sentence, could not be reached for comment.

The court official said, "Members of the commission were accompanied by police when they arrested the man with one of his wives but it was the governor of Jazan who ordered an investigation onto the case".

The commission makes sure Saudi society abides by an austere interpretation of Islam in the kingdom, where clerics control the justice system.

With more than 5,000 members, its squads roam streets and shopping malls to make sure unrelated men and women are kept apart, that shops and restaurants are shut at prayer time, that women are covered from head to toe and to search for alcohol and drugs.

Islam allows polygamy for men on condition the wives are treated fairly. (Reuters)

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Usman

I can only say " Oh My God " .

Posted by: Samuel-Gabriel

This guy should not only be lashed in public, but should be relieved of his duties as vice policeman. He should also be sentence to jail for lying and deceit.

Posted by: langyaw

the whole thing is a farce. so what do the authorities do with the extra 2 wives? the man will be forced to divorce 2 of them? who's going to choose? what if the man doesn't want to lose any of them? will they force him? maybe he should just divorce ALL of them, to be fair. -- langyaw

Posted by: M. Sag

Saudi Arabia is country where moralistic standards are at odds with each other. You can marry up to four but one more in the line you end up in trouble . If you are so desperate , then you can divorce one of them and marry another . The rule is at a time, only four . Hypocracy thy name is manhood ? Unmarried couple ( or even married lots? ) are not allowed to hold hands in public. What is the definition of being in public ? Homeless couple beware !

Posted by: Greer

Goodness ... I am not a Muslim, but even I know the 4-wife limit... and this guy works with the clerics...

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Everything you need to know about Qatar

Everything you need to know about Qatar

Former British protectorate has been ruled by the Al-Thani family...

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

New research sheds light on the overwhelming influence of the...

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Legal firm DLA Piper’s Middle East business recorded 10 percent...

Most Discussed