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Taliban chief bans polygamy, calls it ‘unnecessary and an expensive affair’

According to reports, Taliban leadership believes that spending money on wedding ceremonies could lead to criticism.

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New Delhi: Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has issued an order banning polygamy among members of the group terming it “unnecessary and costly,” Kabul-based Bakhtar News Agency reported on Saturday.

The country, which is an ‘Islamic emirate’ governed under Sharia laws, allows for men to have up to four wives. Polygamy is widely practiced in Afghanistan. The absence of offspring from the first marriage is believed to be the primary reason Afghan men take multiple wives.

However, Akhundzada has emphasised how “Taliban members should avoid second, third and fourth marriages” as it’s an expensive affair. The order further instructed the Amr-ul-Ma’ruf Ministry (Ministry of Enforcement of Virtue and Suppression of Vice) to “identify violators and report to the leadership.”

In January 2021, a similar decree was issued by the Taliban when it was still in midst of peace negotiations with the Afghan government regarding the country’s future. The leadership was concerned about rampant corruption among members who were looking to raise money to either pay the bride price (dowry paid by the groom to the bride’s family) or sustain their many households.

The Taliban leadership also believed that spending a huge amount of money on wedding ceremonies could lead to criticism from their enemies/opponents or from within the group. 

Polygamy is common among the Taliban and most senior members have more than one wife. Even the group’s founder Mullah Mohammad Omar reportedly had at least three wives. One of those was Osama Bin Laden’s daughter that had secured an alliance between the Taliban and al-Qaeda before the events of 9/11.

(Edited by: Manoj Ramachandran)

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