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It takes boldness, wisdom, and empathy to write a book on polygyny that will be acceptable in a time such as ours when monogamy has been sold as the sole standard for marriage to all and sundry. I found 'Polygyny with Mercy' a strong remedy for all the misconceptions, misinformation, exaggerations, and corruptions that have trailed the topic polygyny. 

The author, Abdullateef Lanre Abdullahi is someone I have known for more than 5 years now and his previous books are sufficient to speak for his exceptional writing prowess which has seen his books gain wide acceptance both locally and internationally. His being a legal luminary in the field of Islamic Law and the fact that he runs a marriage counseling home (Mawaddah Consult) makes him the best fit to author a book on such a sensitive topic.

I have been a public writer on marriage for over a decade and if there is anything my audience know me for, it is my readiness to associate with whatever will be in the best interest of a healthy marriage, be it monogamy or polygyny. This was why I marveled at the timing of such an all-important book.

The book ‘Polygyny with Mercy’ provides a balanced approach to the polygyny discuss that neither seeks to neither glorify the egos of men nor succumb to the emotions of women. It presents polygyny as what it is – permission for Muslim men from their Creator which neither the unfortunate exploitation by some men nor the natural dislike by many women suffices for any conscious Muslim to criticize it, especially in lieu of its vast benefits to the Muslim population.

The book is written in an evidence-based style that leaves you intellectually convinced even if your emotions may think otherwise. The chapters are arranged like a voyage through the topic in a manner that depicts the wealth of writing experience that the author has gathered over the years from his publishing sojourn.

The first chapter is centres around the concept of marriage itself, its purpose, components of the marriage contract, and the responsibilities of couples. The next stop brings the reader to the polygyny discuss; its nature, a historical perspective in Islām as well as in other religions and cultures, the wisdom behind it and the conditions to be satisfied before thinking of entering the institution of polygyny.

The next chapter discusses the jurisprudential issues relating to polygyny that some men seem oblivious about before they jump into the ship of polygyny with ignorance. This chapter covers a plethora of important issues that both men and women should be acquainted with before they consider or find themselves in a polygynous arrangement. 

The author then discusses a great deal about contemporary issues concerning polygyny, such as it being a great test of faith for women and their natural aversion to it, justice and equity in polygyny, dealing with a co-wife, handling women's jealousy, modernism as an anti-polygyny tool, polygyny as a succor to the plight of some women, polygyny being beyond just sexual gratification and a whole lot more.

The last chapter deals with the impact of westernization on people's acceptance of polygyny. It also examines the impact of secularism and feminism on polygyny, the raging war waged by the west against polygyny, and euro-centrism, in the disguise of women liberation.

The book is fully packed with knowledge and facts. I highly recommend it to every Muslim, male, or female and even non-Muslims who may wish to have a proper insight into the Islamic compliant polygyny rather than an understanding picked from those doing it wrong. 

May Allāh reward the author and make the book beneficial to whoever reads it.

Audu Haruna Jimoh (Abu Imrān)

Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, 

Kaduna State University, 

Kaduna, Nigeria.

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