Day 18 – A picture of your biggest insecurity

Asalaam Alaikum

My biggest insecurity at the moment is Polygamy. Some sisters will probably say I have weak imaan (faith) that I cannot accept the idea of polygamy. However it worries me quite regularly that my husband could islamically take another wife. I do not think I could live with that.

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  • The thing is about our religion is that it is interpretable in many different ways. And unfortunately, depending on the culture you come from, the interpretation is affected. My understanding of polygamy in Islam is basically, that it is just not doable/acceptable in today's society. Many Muslim men will use this 'power' to marry up to 4 wives, but I would love for ONE of them to REALLY read what Allah says in the Quran about it. I challenge them. The first wife has to be out of love. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th have to be WIDOWED with CHILDREN – and there is a historical reason behind this, which is simply not applicable today. But you don't see that happening anywhere across the Islamic world. Men will marry a 2nd and 3rd because they get bored with the first, or because the first did not produce sons… ridiculous and UNislamic reasons.

  • Thats the first time I have heard that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th wife have to be widowed with children. Could you tell me where it says that in the Quran? (not being nasty – genuinely want to know)

  • I have to admit that I don't like it too, maybe many people could say I haven't got good faith, or that I am selfish, but I dislike it.

  • Assalamu Aleykum,

    Dear sister I don't think that the 2nd or 3rd or 4th wife should be a widow.If I'm not wrong, our prophet Muhammad (SAWW) married Sawda (RA) before Ayesha (RA).The first one was a widow but not the second one.ALLAH walim.

    As you know, I'll be married soon to a man who's already engaged and I have to admit that I'm quite worried about the polyginy part.But whatever ALLAH SWT has sent to us if for our own benefit.ALHAMDULILLAH.

  • SubhanALLAH,what a coinciden, I have recently found out about the sister Mai's blog.MASHALLAH she really has an interesting view on Polygamy.I love her positive and humble attitude, she tries her best to always remember ALLAH SWT and to see the Khair in every situation.MASHALLAH she's a great sister.

  • I have read sister Mai's blog previously and masha'Allah I really appreciate her outlook and view on polygamy.

    I think of one the issues with polygamy is that it's not understood correctly and therefore not practised correctly. Many people simply think it's as easy as taking another wife but it's not. The husband he has to make sure he gives equal treatment to each wife, spends equally, gives his time equally, ect. Many men may not be able to do this.

  • Aaliyah so true. I dont think my hubby would consider it as he knows he wont be able to financially deal with 2 wives! He said I'm enough to deal with lol

  • Hiya! Sorry just noticed the replies!! And it's cool, I didn't think for a second you were being nasty at all LOL! My dad and I constantly discuss Islamic topics so I'm used to 'heated debates' hehe 😉

    The verse in the Quoran is from Surat Al Nisa and it reads (well, the English translation that I found online as I only read the Quoran in Arabic since I'm an Arabic speaker):

    "If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, three, or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one (Surah al-Nisa, 3)"

    The reason behind this verse is because of the battle of Uhud, where a large number of Muslim men were killed and so many women were widowed and their children orphaned. To safeguard them, this verse allowed for a man to take more than one wife, thereby, looking after the widow and her children. Just before this verse, and even after this verse, Allah repeatedly mentions the equality in treating the wives, and clearly states that if a man is unable to, then he should only take one.

    My 'issue' with many Muslim men (and I grew up in the Middle East by the way) is that they use this verse as their God-given right to marry whomever they want and however many they choose, and it is not always for noble reasons (such as to help protect a widow and her orphans). If they follow the Quoran exactly as it should be, we would be a different society.

    The prophet Muhammed (SAAWS) married many women not only Sawdah and Ayesha… let's not forget the first wife: Khadija. And each time it was to illustrate a point. He married a slave girl to show that there is no difference in class, for example. Ayesha was the only one he married out of love.

  • Alma you speak great sense. I think there are a lot of things in the Quran which have to be taken in the context of society at that time and this is one thing a lot of men seem to misunderstand. At the end of the day it is about being a good person and Allah knows who is doing it for the right and wrong reasons.

    I am still learning so much but in the west today I do not believe there is a need for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife and I certainly wouldn't allow my husband to do it, not that he would want to anyway! For example there were a lot of slave girls around back then who needed looking after and so a man was allowed to take them as his wife but not allowed to sleep with her without her permission. These days women have the state to rely on, back then they didn't. As Alma rightly says a lot of the actions were to illustrate a point and can't be applied in the same way today.

  • I wasn't going to get into a debate about this as my intention is not have a blog to debate islam. But I wondered where you were getting that from and I don't agree. The verse does not say you have to marry widows. It seems to be talking about orphans.

    I've been researching this the last few days and I have found that the verse you have quoted relates to a case about an orphan. You probably wont agree as you don't believe in hadiths but I had to say this for the sisters who may take what you say as definite proof. Now I am not a scholar and therefore I prefer not to debate things but I suggest anyone reading any of the comments above or indeed throughout my blog do their own research into it or speak to someone with knowledge. I found this in a number of places:

    Allah said,
    وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء…
    And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice,
    Allah commands, when one of you is the caretaker of a female orphan and he fears that he might not give her a dowry that is suitable for women of her status, he should marry other women, who are plenty as Allah has not restricted him.
    Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said,
    "A man was taking care of a female orphan and he married her, although he did not desire to marry her. That girl's money was mixed with his, and he was keeping her portion from her. Afterwards, this Ayah was revealed about his case;
    وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ …
    If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly…''
    Al-Bukhari recorded that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said that;
    he asked Aishah about the meaning of the statement of Allah, وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى (If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls).
    She said, "O my nephew! This is about the orphan girl who lives with her guardian and shares his property. Her wealth and beauty may tempt him to marry her without giving her an adequate dowry which might have been given by another suitor. So, such guardians were forbidden to marry such orphan girls unless they treated them justly and gave them the most suitable dowry; otherwise they were ordered to marry woman besides them.''
    Aishah further said,
    "After that verse, the people again asked the Messenger of Allah (about marriage with orphan girls), so Allah revealed the Ayah, وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِي النِّسَاء (They ask your instruction concerning the women..)." (4:127)
    She said,
    "Allah's statement in this Ayah, وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ (yet whom you desire to marry) (4:127) refers to the guardian who does not desire to marry an orphan girl under his supervision because she is neither wealthy nor beautiful. The guardians were forbidden to marry their orphan girls possessing property and beauty without being just to them, as they generally refrain from marrying them (when they are neither beautiful nor wealthy).''

    On this basis I do not take that verse as proof that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th wife should be widows

    I do however agree that a man should only take more that 1 wife if he can deal justly with them.

  • Salam Alaikum sisters

    I'm not a knowledgable person in any ways, so if anything i say is incorrect, May Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala forgive me.

    As UmmH has already posted that verse you (Alma) posted is about the prohibition of marrying an orphan girl without giving dowry, not Polygamy.

    a little nasiha here.. taking a verse out of the Quran and interpret it ourselves, can be very dangerous indeed. The reason we have great Scholars, who have dedicated their lives to study the Quran and Hadiths, MashaAllah may Allah reward them greatly for it, is for them to give us a full understanding of the Quran.. Very often a verse doesn't stand on its own but is connected through a few verses and have Hadiths connected to them aswell..
    The Quran and Sunnah go hand in hand.. One cannot understand and implement the Quran without the Sunnah.