Spoiled Children of Divorce

Ali Mazrui – A Muslim’s Idea of Polygamy and Extended Family
April 4, 2008, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From the Guardian’s List of 100 Top Intellectuals is Ali Mazrui, a Political Scientist from Kenya. Ali Mazrui’s father had two wives. He discusses his attitudes towards growing up with this type of family below. This is from http://www.invitation2truth.com/islam-explained/world/mazrui.html:

I am prepared to learn from Aristotle. I am prepared to learn how other cultures are doing and then to look afresh at my Islamic culture and see how it does. My father was polygamous. I don’t say this in a censorious family. I did not live in an oppressive extended family. The part I remember is that my father wanted me with him all the time: both when he was with my biological mother and with his other wife. I was therefore with both women whenever he was with them. The other woman treated me as her own child. The point I am raising is not whether there is an objection to polygamy.

We can discuss this if you wish. The point I am making is that my father died a long time ago. The second woman, who is not my biological mother, is still alive today. And I love her. And so do my children. And I take them to her and they tell me she looks much younger than me and although I protest I have to agree with them. This is my second mother and from the day I started earning my first pound one of my obligations included my other mother. My father died in 1947. This loyalty continued to the present day. I think it is a combination in my case of two cultures: my Islam and my Africanism where you maintain loyalties beyond the life of the father. The extended family is real.

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