Abdul Rahman Nayef al-Obeidi, a 22-year-old Iraqi farmer, fell in love with two women, but instead of choosing between them, he married both in one night in a small village in central Iraq.
The wedding ceremony for Obeidi and two of his cousins, Intidhar (17) and Suad (22) was held on April 6 at his family home in Al-Laqlaq village, north of Tikrit.
The ceremony was attended by the families of his two brides, relatives and friends, who were happy and surprised.
Obeidi, the youngest of five sons, said that he informed his parents about his plan to marry his two cousins in one night and they encouraged him, though many of his relatives were against the idea.
“It took me less than one month to make a final decision because the two families are my relatives and I love the two girls,” Obeidi said.
The most important step was to persuade the two young women. Intidhar said: “He told me, ‘We will marry, me, you and Suad, in one night, so what do you say?’ And I told him it is all right, if you treat us both the same way.”
Islam permits men to marry up to four women, but stipulates that the wives must be treated equally. Suad said she was surprised when Obeidi told her about his idea, but he persuaded her to go along.
Obeidi’s older brother Salman played the role of mediator in the negotiations with the two families.
His father, Nayef Hamid said he feels proud of his son, although he is the only one of the five sons to marry two women.
Hamid said that he is ready to support all his sons if they decide to marry twice.
Obeidi’s mother, Rasmiya Mohammed too said she supported her son and did not want him to feel sad because he loves the two women.
Social media reacts
Commentary on a picture of the married trio posted on Facebook was mixed, with men generally supporting the idea, and women against it.
“This man is a hero. There is no one who has done that before him, and this man should be put in Guinness Book of World Records,” Ali Bassi Abbar wrote.
Another woman, Sara Saad, criticised the two new brides, writing that, “Any woman who agrees to such a marriage does not have any sense or dignity.”