Antara, Meulaboh – West Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) chairman Teungku Abdurrani Adian has expressed support for a plan by the Aceh administration to legalize polygamy.
"Polygamy is legal in Islam, but it has not been regulated in the local bylaws. We [ulema] will support if it will be implemented," Adian told Antara in on Saturday.
The legalization of polygamy, he said, would be the best solution for suppressing nikah siri (marriages blessed by an ulema but not registered by local administrations), which were commonly initiated by men in the sharia-governed province.
He added that as the marriages were not acknowledged by the state, women tended to be put at a disadvantage, specifically in terms of the distribution of inheritances and child recognition.
Adian also argued that if polygamy was not legalized then the number of illegal headmen would grow in Aceh.
Indonesian law does not prohibit polygamy, but civil servants, as well as police and military personnel, are barred from having more than one wife.
"We support the proposed regulation, even more so if polygamy is legalized by state laws; it would even be better," said Adian. (ars)