Azad Chaiwala, 33, from Birmingham has set up a site that promises to find Muslim men a second wife, or a third and a fourth for that matter.
Marriage, but not before the law
His told the BBC’s Good Morning Britain program he is making tons of money and has over 100,000 profiles, of whom about 2% pay a subscription for premium membership at the cost of 20 pounds. He boasts a hefty profit.
Bigamy is illegal in the U.K, as indeed across Europe and in a number of Muslim countries. In Britain the offense is punishable by seven years imprisonment.
But, Chaiwala says such relationships can be “celebrated” through a civil-style, community-based ceremonies that are as legal as having a mistress, using the services of a prostitute or visiting a swing club. The bond he promotes is vis-à-vis the community, not the state.
In fact, the site has a strict vetting policy for decency as well as to ensure the users are Muslim. The site makes extensive references to the Quran and makes explicit it is promoting marriage “within the eyes of Allah,” not before the law.
Legal precautions and marketing
There is a warning.
“In some countries polygamy is accepted, but not all. It is your responsibility to check local law where you reside. In countries where polygamy is illegal, Muslims who wish to practice it must accept that there is to be no legal signing of a marriage certificate or registration of the relationship as a marriage; especially if you are entering into a second, third, or fourth marriage. Legally this would then be seen as no different to one man having multiple female companions,” the site specifies.
The site also provides moral guidance, engaging at length in a theological treatment of the subject, telling men they must treat their wives equally in terms of material and time commitment.
However, without a legal marriage or civic union second wives have no legal claim to property, unless there is a legal contract of a different nature. In addition, the partner will not be regarded “first of kin” in case of an accident.
Chaiwala himself does not have a second wife and admits his wife is “skeptical,” albeit with “great understanding,” of his desire to have one.
He understands that women are not comfortable with polygamy, suggesting that “even the Prophet Muhammad’s wives showed signs of jealousy.”