The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
Notes
permitted, an alternative, “life imprisonment”, has been provided “whereby the rigours of such a condemnation can be seriously mitigated”. He states that “Bahá’u’lláh has given us a choice and has, therefore, left us free to use our own discretion within certain limitations imposed by His law”. In the absence of specific guidance concerning the application of this aspect of Bahá’í law, it remains for the Universal House of Justice to legislate on the matter in the future.
88.God hath prescribed matrimony unto you. ¶63
Bahá’u’lláh, in one of His Tablets, states that God, in establishing this law, has made marriage “a fortress for well-being and salvation”.
The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.1.a.-o., summarizes and synthesizes the provisions in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and Questions and Answers concerning marriage and the conditions under which it is permitted (Q and A 3, 13, 46, 50, 84, and 92), the law of betrothal (Q and A 43), the payment of the dowry (Q and A 12, 26, 39, 47, 87, and 88), the procedures to be adopted in the event of the prolonged absence of a spouse (Q and A 4 and 27), and sundry other circumstances (Q and A 12 and 47). (See also notes 89-99.)
89.Beware that ye take not unto yourselves more wives than two. Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of God, both he and she shall live in tranquillity. ¶63
While the text of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas appears to permit bigamy, Bahá’u’lláh counsels that tranquillity and contentment derive from monogamy. In another Tablet, He underlines the importance of the individual’s acting in such a way as to “bring comfort to himself and to his partner”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the authorized Interpreter of the Bahá’í Writings, states that in the text of the Aqdas monogamy is in effect enjoined. He elaborates this theme in a number of Tablets, including the following:
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