KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - This baffling story had occurred in Central Sudan a long time ago. Related to Sudanow by Lawyer Faisal Mohammad Mustafa, the story tells that a man all of a sudden found that he was married to his wife’s daughter from a former marriage.
It so happened that a young mother from the White Nile District got a divorce from her husband after two years in matrimony, during which she gave birth to a baby girl.
With his divorcee’s consent, the man took the girl, travelled to his home village in the Gezira District and put her in the custody of his mother and sisters.
The divorced mother then married another man and gave birth to three girls.
Years passed and when the elder girl matured, a well-to-do man asked her hand and received consent from her and from her father, though the bidder was far older than her.
When it was all set for the wedding, the would-be bride told her father about the need to bring her mother to see her and to attend the wedding, a request the father readily complied to. He sent word to his former wife and she came to the village with her three daughters. It was a great day for the mother and her four daughters.
On the wedding day and when everyone was waiting for the knot to be tied, a man came in and told them that the groom would not be able to attend the wedding because his car was broken on the road and he had to stay behind until it got repaired. The man said the groom was deputizing him to stand for him and sign the marriage certificate on his behalf. The rituals were then completed, no problem.
When the wedding rituals were over, the mother bade her daughter farewell, wished her happy marriage and took her three daughters and travelled back to her home in the White Nile District, without being able to see the groom. In the midst of the wedding celebrations, she did not even pay attention to the full name of her daughter’s husband.
Later on the groom arrived and took his bride to his home village.
Years passed and the bride lead a happy life with her kind and loving husband and gave birth to two daughters, not aware that fate was hiding an ominous surprise for her and her husband.
One day morning she received note from her father that her mother was seriously ill and wanted to see her in hospital before she would die. She told her husband who had just arrived from travel about her mother’s request. He immediately travelled with her to see the sick mother, not knowing that the sick woman was in fact his own first wife. When they entered the mother’s room in hospital, they found her in bad condition, her three daughters surrounding her. The real surprise for him and his wife was that the three girls shouted to him in one voice: Abooy! Abooy! (Dad!Dad!) and rushed towards him. Their shouting awakened the mother, who showed signs of recovery after a few moments, perhaps after receiving what one can call ‘a benign shock.’
Looking at the woman on bed, the man discerned that she was his own wife.
He got the shock of his life to find that he was married to the daughter and her mother. He also wondered why he did not receive note of his wife’s illness. This may have happened because as a lorry driver he was always on travel and there was no means of contact at that time.
It is not uncommon in Sudan that a lorry diver, a railway worker or a travelling trader would have two or more wives living in distant places.
The man immediately realized that his marriage was unlawful under the Islamic Sudanese family law that forbids marrying a woman and her daughter and a daughter and her mother, either way.
So a divorce is mandatory. The man rushed out of the room, like mad.
He tried to find a way out of this dilemma, to no avail. The law was clear.
He divorced his wife and took her with her two daughters to her home village. And he also divorced his first wife in compliance with the law.
But he kept shuttling between his five daughters, giving them all the care and attention they needed. The girls were his in lawful matrimony, despite the error.
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