Rudaw

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Iraq’s Rasheed Bank to give $8,400 loans to marry second wife

Iraq’s Rasheed Bank has decided to loan 10 million dinars ($8,400) to any male state employee wishing to take a second wife.

“Due to an abundance of requests from people for loans to marry a second wife, Rasheed Bank decided to loan 10,000,000 dinars to any employee wanting to marry a second wife,” the bank’s spokeswoman Amal al-Shuwaili told Rudaw on Wednesday.

Rasheed Bank is one of Iraq’s largest state-owned banks, with more than 138 branches across the country.

To be eligible for a loan, the applicant and his first wife should not have previously received any similar benefits from the government.

“The applicant should be a permanent state employee with no less than two years of service,” Shuwali said, adding that the applicant should have a guarantor who must also be a state employee.

“Everyone can benefit from this amount of money, regardless of their location,” she said, adding that the loan must be repaid within five years.

Polygamy is allowed under Iraqi law. In Kurdistan, there are strict sets of conditions for a man wishing to marry a second wife.

In 2008, the Kurdistan Region parliament amended the Personal Status Law of 1959, making it obligatory for a husband to obtain the consent of the first wife before marrying a second. The Iraqi parliament has not passed a similar amendment.

Under current laws in the Kurdistan Region,  in order for a man to be able to legally marry a second wife, his first wife must give her consent before a judge and he must provide evidence that his first wife is infertile or has lost the ability to engage in sexual activity.

He must also demonstrate that he can financially support more than one wife and sign a paper promising he will be fair and just with both women.

Polygamy, illegal in most countries, is common in many Muslim countries. In 2019, the leading imam of Egypt’s top Islamic establishment, al-Azhar, said men who want polygamous marriages “must obey conditions of fairness.”

“If there is no fairness it is forbidden to have multiple wives,” Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said. Source