Friday 1 August 2008 (28 Rajab 1429)

      Religious cop 'violates Shariah' by marrying six women
      Arab News 
      JIZAN: Prince Muhammad bin Nasser, governor of Jizan province, has 
ordered an inquiry into whether a 56-year-old member of the Commission for the 
Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice violated Islamic law by marrying six 
women. For its part, the Jizan branch of the commission has said it has already 
begun internally investigating the case. 

      According to media reports, the man, whose name and position within the 
religious police has not been divulged, has three Saudi women listed on his 
family ID card. The other three women that he is allegedly married to are 
Yemeni, but only one of them has legal status. The man has admitted to marrying 
all six women, but maintains that he was already divorced to his fourth and 
fifth wives vocally and in the presence of the women's families, a claim the 
families of these women refute.

      Islamic tradition states a man may separate from his wife through vocal 
declarations of divorce in the presence of witnesses. It is forbidden for a man 
to be married to more than four women.

      The fourth wife gave birth to a child three months ago. The fifth wife 
moved back to Yemen, but her family claims the father still owes them half of 
the SR20,000 dowry he agreed to pay for the woman. The sixth wife, who is 22, 
says she was unaware of the man's marital status at the time she agreed to 
marry him. 

      Sheikh Saad Al-Shuthri, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Islamic 
Scholars (the Ulema), told Al-Watan daily that for this man to have been 
abiding by Islamic law he could not at any time have been married to more than 
four women, and that exceeding this number is a major sin

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