89 Beware That Ye Take Not Unto Yourselves More Wives Than Two


contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of

God, both he and she shall live in tranquillity. 63

While the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas appears to permit bigamy, Baha'u'llah

counsels that tranquillity and contentment derive from monogamy. In

another Tablet, He underlines the importance of the individual's acting in

such a way as to bring comfort to himself and to his partner.

'Abdu'l-Baha, the authorized Interpreter of the Baha'i Writings, states

that in the text of the Aqdas monogamy is in effect enjoined. He

elaborates this theme in a number of Tablets, including the following:

Know thou that polygamy is not permitted under the law of God, for

contentment with one wife hath been clearly stipulated. Taking a

second wife is made dependent upon equity and justice being upheld

between the two wives, under all conditions. However, observance

of justice and equity towards two wives is utterly impossible. The

fact that bigamy has been made dependent upon an impossible

condition is clear proof of its absolute prohibition. Therefore it

is not permissible for a man to have more than one wife.

Polygamy is a very ancient practice among the majority of humanity. The

introduction of monogamy has been only gradually accomplished by the

Manifestations of God. Jesus, for example, did not prohibit polygamy, but

abolished divorce except in the case of fornication; Muhammad limited the

number of wives to four, but making plurality of wives contingent on

justice, and reintroducing permission for divorce; Baha'u'llah, Who was

revealing His Teachings in the milieu of a Muslim society, introduced the

question of monogamy gradually in accordance with the principles of wisdom

and the progressive unfoldment of His purpose. The fact that He left His

followers with an infallible Interpreter of His Writings enabled Him to

outwardly permit two wives in the Kitab-i-Aqdas but uphold a condition

that enabled 'Abdu'l-Baha to elucidate later that the intention of the law

was to enforce monogamy.

89 8: O Son Of Glory! Be Swift In The Path Of Holiness And Enter The facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail