THE POLYGAMY WE ALL DREAD SO MUCH

Bismillaah…

Ahem! As I’m typing this post, I can imagine what some people will do as soon as they see the title. Lol! Some brothers will leave everything they’re doing (except salah, obviously) and read with keen interest. Some will be like, “ehen! now you’re talking”. Some sisters will scroll away as fast as they can, while some will click on “I don’t want to see this” or “hide future post from khadijah”. I just pray people will not unfriend or block me for this…

Marriage is a sacred concept in Islam so I try my best to keep it that way. No jokes. No passing of fatwa without daleel. No excessive dabbling into shady areas etc. Polygamy is a well-known, well-established, undisputed privilege given to muslim men to marry up to four wives at a given time-t. The evidence is overwhelming. Attempt to question the Wisdom of Allaah who gave this privilege, is a great abberation.

“…Then marry women of your choice, two or three or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one…”. Quran chapter 4 verse 3.

The style with which this ayah was presented shows that polygamy is not only permitted but encouraged to be taken as the rule. The exception (one wife), only comes as an “escape route”, for the men who fear that they may not be able to do justice financially, physically and spiritually. Therefore, a man who can hardly feed his first wife with one proper meal per day, has no reason to be flexing his elbows when polygamy is being discussed. Likewise, a man who, as a routine, misses salah in Jama’ah, and hardly meets up with fajr, let alone tahajjud, should not even show his face where 2nd wives are being distributed for free. He should rectify his basic obligations before thinking of extras.

My sincere advice to men is that, they should gently prepare the minds of their first wife upfront and not just declare their intention as a shocker. Her consent is not needed, fine. But her awareness and acceptance, even if it’s partial, will be nice. Purify your intention and ask Allaah for guidance and wisdom. I’m not saying that you must have separate mansions for both (or all) wives, but at least create enough breathing space for everyone. It doesn’t matter if they have accepted each other as friends or sisters, friction can come up at anytime; even the tongue and the teeth do have
misunderstandings sometimes.

To you, Mrs. Awwalu: Like I always tell women, “Don’t kill yourself”. I have this carefree attitude towards polygamy, even though I know it’s not coming from the bottom of my heart, lol! But, hey! It’s his marriage, not mine. You have just one marriage to worry about, while he handles multiple wives, multiple in-laws and multiple children. No need to feel insecure. Purge your mind of that “me and my husband” mentality. Some men (even non-Muslims) who are least expected to practise polygamy, have woken up one morning and decided to do so. If polygamy results in any form of physical, financial or emotional distress for you or your children, and attempts to seek redress fail, you can simply ask for divorce.

On a final note, we have to acknowledge the fact that polygamy was ordained for a reason. There are so many elderly singles, widows and divorcees out there who wouldn’t mind being taken as 2nd, 3rd or 4th wives. There are capable brothers out there whose wives are acting Efúnșetán; cowing them in order not to consider a second marriage. Let’s look beyond the evil portrayal of polygamy we’re constantly being fed with on African Magic etc. and utilise this “bonus” in a way that will benefit the generality of the ummah.

WAllaahu Ta’aala A’alam.

Khadijah Sanni-Tijani

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