12th Zul-Qa’dah, 1435 Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu brothers and sisters. Alhamdu lil Laah for everything, whether we think they are good or bad. Alhamdu lil Laah for one of our greatest gifts; Islam. May Allah azza wa jal grant us the ability to be able to maximize the benefit of every breath we take to please Him solely and become among His most beloveds. May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa be upon the best of creation, Rasuulul Laah suallal Laahu alayhi wa sallam, his household, his companions and his ummah. Aameen.
Ok, I am guessing that the title of this article is already giving you some kicks. Heheheee…keep smiling. But before anything, I just want us all to know some facts and I am stating these facts because there are some people who will need these stated in order to be able to probably consider thinking about anything that is written in this article.
The Facts (And I mean facts)
1. I am not marrying any man who is married before.
2. I don’t even know who I will end up marrying yet.
3. I might marry a single man or an already married man; it is still unknown to me.
Well, those three facts are saying the same thing, aren’t they? But that is it; I want to bring the basic understanding that I am not writing this article for a selfish interest, no. If I want to marry a single man or an already married man, I don’t need anyone’s endorsement, just one: Allah. Keep smiling. But again, why am I writing this?
I have been trying to communicate something to many of my sisters, in our only females’ whatsapp groups especially, for some time now and I win some over but mostly, they don’t want to even hear it at all. So the reason for this article is to try to communicate to my sisters especially again with the hope that perhaps, some will see where I am coming from. I pray so. So now, let us roll…
Note however that all that I am going to write might be theory because I haven’t yet had the experience of marriage so some might just think; she is just talking and I keep telling myself the same thing;
‘Rubaba, perhaps, you are just talking and if you should find yourself in it, you will act differently.’
But for now, this is what I believe and I hope and pray that I am able to walk my talk if ever I marry. The interesting and good thing is that; some people who are in polygamous marriages that I have been able to convince to have this understanding tell me how a lot more relieving it is when you start to see things that way.
Before Your Marriage
Islam is a religion that requires and demands total submission to the Creator; Allah azza wa jal. The moment you take the shahada, I don’t know how to put it for those born Muslim, you have said that whatever Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa and His last Messenger have said is true and good whether you understand it yet or not, whether you are comfortable with it yet or not. Somehow, as I grow, this understanding gets comfortable within me so much so that I have absolutely no questions about why this and why that. Everything is becoming acceptable, understandable and comfortable with me alhamdu lil Laah.
As an unmarried woman who is probably lucky to have some knowledge on Islam and a bonus of understanding of some things, I believe that even before you marry, you must learn to accept one thing: the kind of polygyny that Islam allows. Oooo Yes! You should. And that is simply for your own good.
So I grew with a passion for reading, I still do. During my Senior High School years, I had read romantic novels of all kinds. The representation of love in them is a ‘wooowww.’ What had saved me from getting entangled with a practical aspect of what I was reading was that; back in Junior High School, I had read a lot of books that talk about good morals and then the Junior Graphic. I used to buy that every Wednesday and the first place I’d go to is the Aunt Betty (I hope I got that right) page. Most of the time, the questions that Aunt Betty answered were about; love, infatuation, lust and romance among teenagers especially. So they gave me a pre-knowledge of the fact that at my age then, such feelings and imaginations were bound to happen yet they were nothing to dwell on because they were temporary and I had believed her totally. I used to not look at guys (I lowered my head) just so I don’t fall…keep smiling. Funny me huh!
Now, I am seeing that most of us, even the Muslim ladies, even the Muslim ladies who seem to know (that wasn’t a repetition), still see the marriage kind of love in that ‘book romance sense’ so much so that at the end of the day, they begin to question the privilege Allah, al-Alim, has given to the man of marrying from one up to four.
Now, hold on…before you begin to think that I am saying romantic love is not what Islam preaches…let me clarify something. Romance and the feeling of wanting to have a member of the opposite sex or sometimes someone you simply love, to yourself, knowing that the person cares for just you and all that; is something that I would like to say is inherent in humans. I am just casting a glance at how Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and Umar ibn al-Khattab radiyal Laahu anhum strived in their various capacities to be the best of men in the sight of Allah azza wa jal and his beloved Prophet. That was a great struggle for a good cause. I am also looking at how the Ummahaatul Mu’mineen, the Mothers of the Believers strived to be the best in the sight of their husband; rasuulul Laah. Competition for love has always existed. Selfishness in love has always existed but Islam gives you an understanding that helps you to know that sometimes love is not something you should seek to have alone, but get your portion right and that is all that is important.
So I am not going to talk about whether Muslim men should marry one or two or more or they shouldn’t marry at all; the power isn’t in my hands. I am not also going to talk about whether polygamy is good or bad; how dare me do that! Is Allah azza wa jal not the Knower? I am not even going to try to do this thing that we used to do; telling how bitter polygamy has been in our homes or how some men are not doing it as it should be done; no, I am not. Yes, polygamy has issues but this article is concentrating on sisters and how they can save themselves from all the hustle and bustle of the polygamy confusion.
So, before marriage, a Muslim woman should know that whoever she marries could marry again and again and again. That is whether he has the abilities or not, whether he is doing it for a good reason or not. A man is simply like that…you cannot change him. Now, either before or after marriage, you two could share the best of love… I mean the best of love, but when the need to have another wife comes, he will go for it; that will not mean his love for you is going to change; it could still be intact. Perhaps it could be due to something you did wrong or maybe you didn’t do anything wrong at all. It could also be that the woman who he is intending to marry again is a good woman or not? It could be in any kind of situation; good or bad…but at least know that if he wants to marry again, he would.
One thing that I am seeing these days is that women are seeking promises from their husbands to stay married to them ‘only’ and ‘forever.’ They sign contracts and all that. But of course, as Muslims, our word of promise alone is binding upon us to keep not to talk of a signed contract yet an important question comes popping up: What is the worst thing that could happen if the man one day wakes up and says;
‘I am sorry my love but I can’t keep the promise any more. I am going for more.’
Who stands to lose? Ok, the worse is that you decide to leave him. I will let you answer the question of who loses. If you have children, what happens? Imagine you left him then you had another man who gives you that same promise and breaks it…well, imagine that. What about if you got someone who had a wife and wanted to take you in, would you agree or would you simply live your life alone? Well, such is the reality of the case. The thing that pains me most is the negative response and influence that emanates from some Muslim wives when their husbands want to get more women. That is why I really wish I could push all of my Muslim sisters to the acceptance point. Most women simply ‘lose’ it. I hope you understand that. Some develop all sorts of illnesses due to the fact that their husbands want to go in for or have gone in for more wives. Some of them get high or low pressure (and I just searched the internet to verify what I am saying here), etc.
This is from the internet
With a sample size of 352 women, some from polygamous marriages and others from monogamous marriages, some researchers sought to find out the effects of polygamy on families and they have this to say in their results;
‘Findings reveal differences between women in polygamous and monogamous marriages. Women in polygamous marriages showed significantly higher psychological distress, and higher levels of somatization, phobia and other psychological problems. They also had significantly more problems in family functioning, marital relationships and life satisfaction.’
And this is the more reason why I want my Muslim sisters to start working on themselves towards the acceptance point even before they get married and even if they are married now, they can still work at looking at the reality of the matter because Islam is indeed a perfect religion…that is truth and it does not seek to give anyone problems. What I have come to benefit from trying to submit totally is that;
‘There is peace, serenity, calmness of mind and heart in it.’
So much so that things look a lot easier to handle no matter the circumstances. So far as it is Allah’s pleasure you seek and with sincerity and not that of a human being, then one should be able to take things easy as they come; the problems and the goody goodies. We must handle both situations with care. Besides, if we are believers who love Allah azza wa jal, then we must simply be ready for the tears as well as the smiles and hope and pray that at the end of the day, we score above average in our Book of Records.
Ok, so much to say yet I think, it is better to leave you to think through other things about polygamy which I could have written which I didn’t. This is solely for a beautiful love I feel in my heart for my sisters. Let us submit to Allah azza wa jal and wholeheartedly too. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa takes care of everything.
Remember always that I love you fiisabi lil Laah and I seek to selfishly gain the Shade and Nuur of Allah, al-Wadud, on the Day when we shall all see with clarity what our hands have set forth, with you.
Jazaakumul Laahu khair always!
www.mmahajia.blogspot.com for my articles
www.rubabawords.blogspot.com for my poetry
Rubaba Elhaam Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu-Morla