In a bid to ease restrictions for scores of polygamists, Kuwait authorities on May 17 reportedly introduced ‘electronic permits’ so that men can spend equal time with their wives. As per reports, men will now be allowed one-hour, twice a week visits amid nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. The traditional Islamic jurisprudence allows Muslim men to marry up to four women and with wives living in different houses, several citizens complained that they were facing difficulties to take care of their families. In a bid to make life easier for polygamists, the Kuwait government clarified the marriage rules amid the lockdown.
While speaking to an international media outlet, a resident, Abu Othman, said that he was trying hard to make sure neither of his wives feels neglected as with the restrictions in place to curb COVID-19 made it difficult for him to divide equal time between the two homes. He reportedly said that sometimes the police patrols understood his situation, however, sometimes he had to apply for permission claiming there is a ‘family emergency’.
Keeping in mind the problems faced by several families, Kuwaiti state’s Islamic scholars took the pain to clarify the marriage rule amid the lockdown. Ahmad al-Kurdi, a member of the Fatwa Committee at Kuwait's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, reportedly said that notion of justice between wives focuses on ‘marital spending and good treatment, not sexual relations and love’.
He added that a polygamist who is forced to live at one of his wive’s houses because of the curfew must give the other a choice between accepting it or agree to a divorce. With men struggling to treat their wives equally, the Kuwaiti government decided to introduce the ‘electronic permits’, which will help them spend time with their families.