Monday, March 9, 2009

Mohammad's birthday

The Jawa report says that today is the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. I must admit I have not found corroborating evidence, but since the Muslims use the lunar calendar it may be difficult to track.

Either way, I once participated in a "Interfaith Dialogue club" that was started by Islamic students. In addition to participating in discussions, I was MC at a three-night guest speaker seminar, and spoke myself at a Ramadan dinner. In addition, we have had Islamic neighbors from Egypt who were good friends, let their children come over to our house, and even came to a 4th of July picnic with us. One of my sons best friends had a father from Lebanon, and the family was also Islamic.

Ironically, the father had been betrothed to a cousin in Lebanon before he fled to the United States. His wife confessed to mine that at first she was worried if he ever went back to Lebanon he would marry her, since the betrothal can not be broken. But, when they did go back, she met the lady, and was really impressed. She said that if her husband did decide to marry her, it wouldn't be a terrible thing. Though this is all third hand, I thought it an interesting attitude as my wife absolutely abhors polygamy -- one reason among many others I will never become a polygamist.

Anyway, back to Mohammed. Wikipedia reports that he had 13 wives, and it is commonly assumed that several thousand Muslims practice polygamy. It seems to me that many people have found spiritiual inspiration in the teachings of Mohammed, and have lived a better life because of it. I think Muslims that want to practice polygamy should be allowed to practice it without the government forcing them to choose between their conscience and the law. It seems to be a very reasonable arrangement for families to have that flexibility.

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