My sister-in-law told me about this last night and I thought it must have been a joke until I saw it today in Arab News. How did a man working for the Hai’a NOT know it was haram to have more than four wives?
Update on this story: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) Thursday denied reports that the 56-year-old man charged and convicted of marrying more than four wives is a commission agent. Instead, a Hai’a spokesman said, the man was a security guard of a Hai’a precinct in Masarha, Jazan.
SAUDI SENTENCED FOR SIX WIVES
By ARAB NEWS | Jeddah
17 February 2010
A court in Al-Masarha in Jizan region has sentenced a 56-year old Saudi employee of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Hai’a) to 120 lashes for being married to six wives at the same time, 20 lashes per wife.
He has been ordered to memorize two chapters of the Holy Qur’an. The court also banned him from traveling abroad for five years and delivering sermons or leading prayers in mosques. The accused had claimed he did not know it was against Islamic law to have more than four wives at the same time. He told the judge that he had no education beyond elementary school.
He faced the possibility of being stoned to death, a sentence applied in Islam against married men and women for adultery. Under Sharia rules, a man may marry up to four wives. However, the judge in the case, Sheikh Salman bin Yahya Al-Wadaani, said there was insufficient evidence to apply the Had Al-Zina (the sentence for adultery), according to Al-Watan daily.
The man was charged originally in June 2008 after he was reported for having three Saudi and three Yemeni wives. It also emerged during investigations that two of his Yemeni wives were resident illegally in the Kingdom.
The judge said there would be a separate case against him for marrying foreign women without official consent. No Saudi man or woman wishing to marry a foreigner may do so without approval from the Ministry of Interior.