Nowadays, polygamy is still a practice in some countries. Many countries tolerate polygamy without openly encouraging it. But, is polygamy allowed in Morocco? Can Moroccan men have more than one wife? If so, how many can they have? Is polygamy a practice governed by certain conditions?
In this article, we discuss this topic. After reading, you will know if polygamy is allowed or not on the Moroccan territory and if so, if it is subject to certain rules.
Polygamy in Morocco… is it a thing?
As said, many countries tolerate polygamy without openly encouraging it. This is the case not only in almost all countries with large Muslim populations, with the exception of Turkey (banned in 1926) and Tunisia (banned in 1957), but also in a few African countries with a majority of Christians and/or animists. But can men in Morocco have several wives? Yes then can, four to be precise, as many Muslim countries since it is written in the Quran (Islams’ holy book) but the husband must treat his wives properly and equally.
However, you should know that polygamy in Morocco is not really common as it uses to be. It must be mentioned that it is more practiced in villages and “less modern Moroccan cities”. but it is definitely less and less common over the years.
Morocco’s laws about polygamy
“The Moroccan code justifies the maintenance of polygamy in order to take into account the respect of “beliefs” and not to disrupt “traditional values”. If polygamy remains authorized in Algeria as in Morocco, it is subject to a condition of equity, left to the free appreciation of the husband, in his own right and conscience. The Moroccan code regulates polygamous unions by requiring that the first wife be consulted about a proposed second marriage (i.e., agree to become a co-wife) and that the second wife be notified of the existing marriage (i.e., also agree to become a co-wife). If either has not been informed of this fact, they are entitled to seek a divorce on the grounds of obvious fraud and/or serious prejudice. The Moroccan code also allows for a woman’s right of option to the condition of monogamy: this must be mentioned in the contract. Polygamy however in Morocco is decreasing over the years.
The authorization of the first wife is mandatory. That is one of the Women’s rights! In order to have the right to a second wife (a third or fourth wife, Muslim law does not prohibit it), the Family Code requires the husband to have the permission of the court, that his request must have an objective reason justifying the use of a second wife, which request must describe the material situation of the pretender to marriage. Therefore, the court only grants permission if the applicant has the ability to support both families, no injustice is to be feared, and no condition of monogamy has been stipulated. However, the consent of the first wife is always required, otherwise, she will have the right to ask for a divorce. The future second wife must also be notified and the judge must have her consent. In any case, the judge always makes an attempt at conciliation before rendering his verdict.
Does polygamy exist in Morocco? Yes. So, Moroccan men have more than one wife? They could, four, to be precise as in many Muslim countries. However, most Moroccan couples do not practice polygamy these days but some still do in small villages. However, the number of polygamous marriages decreased significantly over the years in Morocco. We should not forget that women also have rights on that matter and that a man can’t marry another woman without the consent of his first wife.