TAMING ISLAM’S POLYGYNY LAW: Revealing Male Sexual Desire in Indonesia’s Polygyny Practices

Azhari Akmal Tarigan, Nurhayati Nurhayati, Watni Marpaung


As of current, polygamy in terms of polygyny in Islamic law remains to be a debated topic. One of the reasons for the debate is that polygyny is viewed through the lens of men. Research on polygyny viewed from the male sexual perspective is still extremely rare. The research data were gathered through in-depth interviews with four polygyny practitioners to discover the most subtle, private, confidential, and exclusive aspects of polygyny's sexual practice. The study found that the sexual lust on the part of the male (husband) is a form of sexual sublimation and subtle sexuality in the practice of polygyny. Additionally, the findings indicate that the sexual lust is practice for recreational purposes. The research findings may have implications on the emergence of new understandings on the practice of polygyny. Nevertheless, the study raises an intriguing question for future research: why are women willing to be sexually objectified by polygynist men?


Islamic law; male sexuality; polygamy; subtle sexuality

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2021.15.1.149-170


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