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Nigerian Muslim downsizing wives corps from 86 to 4

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 2, 2008 | 1:07 pm

Mohammadu Bello Abubakar

Just a month ago, Mohammed Bello Abubakar was resolute in his righteousness as the husband to 86 women and refused to divorce all but four, as Islamic leaders in his native Nigeria had ordered.

“A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them,” he said. “I don’t go looking for them, they come to me. I will consider the fact that God has asked me to do it and I will just marry them.”

Though Muslim scholars say the Quran forbids a man from having more than four wives—remember, safety in moderation—Abubaker swore there was no punishment for being such a prodigious lover. But this weekend, at age 84, he had a change of heart.

Could it have had anything to do with this?

Last week one of Nigeria’s top Islamic bodies, the Jamatu Nasril Islam, sentenced him to death.

The sentence was lifted but he was threatened with eviction from his home.

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