Sunday, August 30, 2009

When would I consider this "second wife" business

I am the first wife, so first off, I should begin with when I would accept a second wife (and a third:p). Or maybe I should begin with, I am the only wife, and my husband isn't looking. First off, my mother would kill him if he took a second wife (she is a non-muslim) and my mother-in-law (she is a Saudi Muslimah) would kill him. And being that it is against the law in my country it would make our lives difficult in general. And since it isn't a practice in my husband's family it would have to come out of some out-of-the-ordinary circumstances for us, since my husband is adamant that polygamy is a sunnah of exception, not a sunnah that is mustahaab. He says he would only consider it if half the male population were physically wiped out, and even then he still thinks that he would be too selfish to treat a gaggle of females fairly. It is alot of work, he says, upkeeping one wife, should she desire not to work one day, and to support all your possible children Islamically, helping them with the expenses of education and marriage and getting their first home.

BTW all, this post came out of some thinking after reading Aalia's post [here: http://chasing-jannah.blogspot.com/2009/08/ask-co-wife-interview.html ].
Still, I know women (even seeing my husband happily married to me!) eye my husband up as possible marriage material. One waitress at my favourite restaurant [not a Muslimah alhamdulilah---- I mean in this situation I would have been saddened by a Muslimah behaving this way--- not that I don't hope she comes to Islam:p] approached my husband with her phone number after I went to the restroom. The owner of the premise happened to be within earshot. "No thank-you Ma'aam, I am married," my husband informed her. "It doesn't matter," waitress said. "No thank-you," my husband said. After she went away the owner came up to my husband and apologised. (Yeah, it doesn't hurt that the owner is one of my favourite clients from my old job unbeknownst to my husband and she is the sweetest and most fiesty and independent lady EVER lol). She (the owner) informed my husband the matter would be taken care of, and she fired said waitress after service. My husband relates the experience to me, afraid it will make me feel insecure. He doesn't need to worry. I trust him already. Some Emirati chick already tried to pull the same thing. My husband generally doesn't look a woman in the eyes and always remains a respectful distance. The fact is, studies have proven, that women are more attracted to married (or engaged in a relationship) men than unmarried ones. It is wired into our brains:p Not that that is ANY excuse for behaviour without hayaa (modesty) and taqwa (fear of Allah).

Despite what alot of misinformed people think, polygamy is not encouraged in Islam. In Judaism and Christianity polygamy existed (with NOOOOOOooooooooo cap on how many wives you could have) up until the Jewish priesthood and the Christian church (not the teachings of either faith) put a kibosh on that. Islam actuallywas the first to make a move to do anything about multiple wives. Islam said you could ONLY EVER have four wives at the same time. It further specified that a man could only marry more than one woman if he could physically and mentally and spiritually treat all the women he aimed to marry fairly and equally. Which is where my husband whines, but I don't want to... Personally, I think he is CAPABLE, but I do not think he is WILLING to work that hard lol.

There is also another thing about that ayah in the Qu'ran permitting polygamy (allowing of course the four cap and the fairness part) that many forget, but let me quote it in whole first before explaining in depth:

And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [the] women such as are lawful to you - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one ...

THIS ayah SAYS THAT if you cannot be fair towards the orphans (which unmarried reverts, divorced women without families, and orphan children all are) [fair, means limit yourself to halal conduct and give sadaqah] IF YOU CANNOT DO JUST THIS, then, you should marry, to stop yourself from taking advantage of them or doing things improper. This is part of it (who you can marry when marrying more than one), coming before the cap, and coming before the "treat them fairly" bit. So if a man is marrying more than one wife, it should be a woman who is alone in the world, with little or no support. THEN, on top of that, if adds, of these women in your care, if you would marry one, do not marry another if you cannot treat her fair. It does not say you should marry three, or four, lol, if you can take care of the women without improriety within the shariah. But it says, to prevent impropriety you should marry them. Which doesn't make marriage to more than one a recommendation of the religion. The recommendation is that marriage itself stops impropriety, and the best kind of women to marry if one must marry, are those women who have no one to care for them, and really, the ayah states, that the only reason to marry more than one is to care for orphans (whether they be children who need a mother who is financially and emotionally capable to raise them, a divorced woman, a widowed woman, or a woman without family). It is quite literal, and is obvious in the Arabic AND translated text. I will say of course there are many men that abuse the meaning of the text, and thus so-called Islamic polygamy gets a bad rap, but that is not how it is. How it truly is, is very unselfish on the man's part, and an act of charity (not lust and self-satisfaction).

So having studied the sunnah of multiple marriages, I can conclude, I would accept if my husband married a second wife (even if our families both disowned us for this or my country prosecuted us for this) if she was:

a. a divorced woman who could find no other good Muslim man to marry her and she was lonely and having difficulty supporting herself and maybe even her kids (I'd be willing to work to help support her too even though Islamically my husband couldn't marry another if he alone couldn't come up with the income),

b. a revert sister without a Muslim family who couldn't find a husband but was lonely,

c. a widowed woman in the same condition as woman a..,

d. If I could not have children and my husband wanted some (then obviously he could marry from a, b, and c)

e. If I had some horrible illness that made me a vegatble, or like, paralyzed, or fatigued to the point of vegetation lol (here, and only here, he could marry any woman that he wants).

In all cases but e. I would have some further criteria... I'd have to get along with the other woman, so I'd have to approve of her too, on top of my husband approving of her. Personally, myself, I'd want us all to live in the same house (but a big house, with each wife having her own floor). I wouldn't want side by side bedrooms, ya know? Ick. But I wouldn't want my husband sleeping under another roof. I would feel vulnerable then. But I guess I would be able to live with it if wife two or three or four from categories a. and c. already owned their own properties and didn't want to sell them or move their kids. But that would be hard for me. I perfer the monster house with our own sections idea.

One of the happiest marriages I have ever seen was like this (there were three wives and two were close in age [the second and the third (the third was a divorcee with an abusive family)] and the second wife was a widow from her first marriage and was thirty years older than their husband and she was like the Mommy one the other two went to for advice. There were all extroidanarily close, and obviously, the husband sought out women that needed help and that would get along, and thus, lol, the marriage was actually harder on him (since he had to work to support all three) than it was one them. Plus, lol, since they were all so close, if he ever truly messed up, usually all three would be mad to him together lol.

So I have seen it work. So I know I could do it, if it was done right. I am totally not into the guy needing another woman (who isn't in need) when nothing is wrong with his first wife (so what, she gained some baby weight, what have you done lately?hmmm?!). I would do it if divorced or widowed if the wife or wives sat at the same table as the husband and no one was just picking me as the baby-making machine or the sex toy ya know? If that were the case I'd wind up divorced pretty fast because becuase I require intellectual depth from a spouse and require to be required for the same.

I`d also want the big house compared to seperate houses because of my own preferences. And I would never, never agree to marry a man if I knew he was already married and his wife wasn`t involved in the process. That`s about it.

I know I don`t have to worry about it in the slightest, but I thought I`d get all my thoughts and reasonings out, lol, to understand my entire stance on the issue.

37 comments:

Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chloe Inga Designs said...

very good post! very insightful, as always :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's easier to feel comfortable about polygamy when your husband is so non-threatening about it, and states no interest in marrying another woman. Your feelings about polygamy and whether you could deal with your husband taking another wife are all noble and good :-) I have those same feelings (and conditions). However, my husband has actually said he might marry another woman at some point, and I think when your husband says this it kinda brings it home! Bear in mind we've only been married less than a year and he's already mentioned it :-(

The romantic ideals go out the window a bit when you realise how dreadfully insecure and sad it makes you feel to know that your husband thinks you may not be enough for him.

I really love my husband, and I know he'd do everything fairly and properly because alhamdulillah he's a very good muslim, but it still totally breaks my heart that he can't feel the same love that I do, and if I start to think about how it would feel knowing my husband is going to be enjoying a honeymoon period with another woman, and going through all those special moments that you have when you're getting to know someone new, I just can't bear it. It would seem like all the special things we've shared together have just blown away in the wind.

Candice said...

I feel pretty much exactly the same way you do on this issue. I don't think my husband would be able to support another wife and treat us equally. BUT, if he was able, AND there were women who needed it (like the conditions you went over), then I would have to accept it.

Om Rawda said...

Agree with you to some level...i just don't like that you should "choose" with him...i mean that's his partner , you should be involved but he doesn't have to ask your permission , i don't think Prophet Muhammad ever took permission from his wives to marry another!!! so i don't think that's the right of a woman.

Anyway , it's a vicious loop that requires strong fiath in order to get along in such marriage

Life's Balance Beam said...

Salaamaualikum pixie,
i hope your having a wonderful ramadan inshaallah!!

Ah im so glad SOMEONE understands me lol. its really sad to see women "ugh i cant stand that second wife crap id be so mad"

i understand as a woman if the situtation wasnt done correctly, and even i used to make those comments, but i have been trying and im stilll trying to see the hikma in it.

i am not married yet, how ever inshaallah will be soon, and beofore i sign any contract or have my futur husband sign one, at the sit down with my wali, i want to have a head on conversation about this, because if my husband decided to get married and i didnt know, it woul dbe world war 20000 up in my house!! lol i'd probably load his food with tobasco sauce and pepper. haha

but i love how u said the three women in the sittuation are, mashaalah thats beautiful, and if i did have a co wife, i would pray that she is either like a sister to me, or like a stranger to me (give glad tidings to the strangers) but i always friendly, also lets me treat her kids as my own, and vice versa.

i have a question though.

how would you feel marrying a man with a child? if there is no drama attatched to the childs mom, or no feelings, and he was a honest to goodness person?

Pixie said...

Aalia: I like the sound of your mother in law:D

About your last point, remember when some lame dude asked one of the brothers if about a certain revert girl as a second wife (cuz he thought she was blonde:p)! I just was like, no super pretty blonde convert sister is going to want marry this dude for his reasoning, even as a first wife, ha, let alone as a second?!

Pixie said...

Choe Inga Designs: Jazzakallah kheir. I am going to have to check out your blog sometime to see some of your designs.

Pixie said...

Anonymous: Please try to at least sign your comment with a made-up name. I have a strict no anonymous policy (which is stated right in the comment form message):D

Well, if my husband found a woman from the categories I listed I still wouldn't mind. If the woman came from outside those categories, I would divorce. That's just me. You might try and talk to your husband though, ask him if he is doing it to be seflish or to give sadaqah without indiscretion. You also should explain your feelings clearly without being accusatory (usually works for me and other sisters that I know), and tell him about the honeymoon period. Ask him to wait a while and give you your alone time, if he is actually going to marry another woman for a reason of charity rather than sex and status he'd be able to do this.

Pixie said...

Candice: yeah, the reason we women cry, that is not Islam so often during polygamy is that the man marries more women for status (babymaking) and sex, rather than as sadaqah (which is how the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam did it).

I guess I should add another condition (but I didn't since I know it isn't my lot in life he he he). If my husband were ever the leader of a Muslim nation, I would also concede to him marrying another women to prevent wars. Because this is also the sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed sallalalhu alahi wa salaam. I laugh when I see so many Omani princes (not the most Islamic types:p) marrying multiple wives. They certainly cannot claim any of those women were married for political reasons lol.

Pixie said...

Om Rawda: I don't mean choose as in I select her and critisize her, but she has to meet the conditions I laid in the post (be a woman truly in need or very alone) and I want to be able to get along with her. I wouldn't want another woman who doesn't want to get to know me and wants to never see me sharing my husband. I mean, I want to know what she is like, and I want my husband to have the Islamic manners to care how he would affect me, otherwise, he simply isn't treating me fairly, and that'd void his whole other right to another wife.

Suslique said...

there are women out there who can accept it and there are those who cant. Im definately in the second category. Its either me--the only wife or me single lady lol Alhamdulillah it works for us. Yeah i dont fit into typical muslim wife stereotype lol im an alfa dog and if stranger steps onto my property i'll just eat hER alive lol

Pixie said...

Life's Balance Beam: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullah wa barakto. LOL, I don't know, even before I heard of Islam, I was okay with second wives because I met some in Africa and they seemed happier in their marriages than the women who had one husband here in Canada: lol. My husband asked me if I was ever widowed and we had kids if I would remarry a member of his family. Granted this is a very good Muslim man my husband is talking about who I could be 100% amiable about, I reminded my husband that likely this brother will already be married by that point in time (inshaAllah it will never come). [Alhamdulilah, my husband is so thoughtful he wants to be my wali for any marriage future marriages of mine lol]. Bringing that point up, I did tell my husband I would be okay with it IF the guys future Saudi wife was too, and that she could treat me like a sister.

LOL, yeah, I'd totally more than pepper his food:p. He'd have trouble walking for a few days. That is if he had a sceret wife who met the conditions of a wife for sadaqah. If he didn't have a wife from those conditions, it'd be remarriage for all the wrong reasons, and I'd divorce him.

I suggest to any one getting married (there is a misconception that you can actually legally bind the marriage to be monogamous in the nikah agreement---that is not so or backed up by shariah) that you stipulate in your nikah agreement that you must know about any other wives of your spouse, and that you have the right to divorce him on remarriage (and what you want in the divorce on such an occasion should be detailed here). That IS in Shariah.
Even if you wouldn't divorce him even if he wanted to remarry for the wrong reasons, this clause in your nikah agreement is usually enough to make a guy reconsider such a foolworthy pursuit. Islam gives women alot of rights, we just need to know them in order to use them when needed!:p

Pixie said...

Suslique: LOL, me and a few other sisters had a conversation about the men of sahaba, and how if we had a type from there, who it would be, lol. Almost everyone went for Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him and forgive us for having this trivial conversation lol) and one very religious sister the Prophet sallalalu alahi wa salaam (since she could handle the burdens of this as well as the rewards). I surprisingly from myself saying Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) because I think I could relate to him more to his temper lol than others'. I think you would be an Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) type, lol, who, like Fatimah, even if she loved her husband very much, would excercise her right to divorce if her husband wanted to excercise his right to marry, lol. All these kinds are good, and made for different women. And please no one get offended at me for mentioning this conversation.

*samra* said...

Excellent post!!! i agree with what you wrote and about being a second wife aswell, no secret stuff!! btw it was so cute how 3 wifes were mad at him at the same time, but i think hthey work alhumdulilah, because it sounds he did it proper, and those women need it and he sounds humble.

Pixie said...

Life's Balance Beam: I missed you last question! I would probably feel fine (were I ready to be a mother---I myself am not very maternal---I am more teachery than motherly) with him, provided this child could deal with me, and that the other divorced wife held no animosity to the child visiting my home, ect... I think the character and conduct of the father is most important, and your readiness to accept children into your home, and not transgress the rules the blood mother already has for the child. I am the last one any one should ask about wanting kids though!:p

Cuz I don't want any babies:D

Pixie said...

Samra: Jazzakallah kheir. Yeah, that man was an excellent husband, but he had advice for other potential husbands: "Two was perfect, three is exhausting" lol. The women were also excellent and of the best manners, mashaAllah.

yusna said...

assalammualaikum pixie..

i agree with you on some points but what anonymous said rings true for me. Before we got married, my husband already constantly sing about this whole polygamy hullabaloo. it saddened me to think that i amnot enough for him. i try to be rationale at fist but even when proposing, and on our first night after the wedding, he repeated this cooly saying "i will always love you, my first wife". I feel hurt and try to leave it at that. But being human, i am made of lots of mistake. Every time we have arguments, he will bring this up, saying that I'll start behaving when he got married to another women. For him, this is sunnah mustahaab..not on the condition you stated. And him being a Yemeni who live all his live in Saudi to turn a blind eye to certain things that doesn't agree to his need is quite heartwrenching. I told him that if i feel he can't be fair to two or more women from the way he perform his shalat (usually not in time), he said that fairness is not men attributes. However, the prophet has given a say in this so he should fulfill the sunnah. Duh? For me doing the wajeeb is a jihad that following a sunnah you know you can't live up to it. If asked about love he said men's love is like a piece of cake, you can divide it to many pieces but the taste will be the same. So, all in all, though he is a good husband to the not-so-perfect-nor good me, it will eat up your pride, esteem and dignity when the husband non-challantly said he is considering another life with another women besides you. For me, all i could do is tawakkal and leave the matter to God Almighty. I hope it will never happened, but if it does, then may Allah brace me with strong heart and redha to accept His decision.

p/s:Keep posting..you keep me sane in the search of Nur Ad-Deen

Nadia said...

Ramadan Kareem! I was working with a team of researchers in Oman to study polygamy. We interviewed 1800 individuals who fell into four categories (Husbands, First Wives, Second/Third/Fourth wives, and children of multiple-marriage families). Our results were absolutley shocking. Among the 400 men we interviewed, only 3 or 4 had an Islamically legitimae reason to re-marry. Most men remarried in their early 40s when they felt they needed a cute new young wife. The stories from the first-wives were hearbreaking. Most of us were in tears. Nowdays, I've come to believe men re-marry for selfish personal reasons. The habit is dying slowly in the middle east but still exists quite strongly in the south of the Arabian Gulf, namely Dhofar and Yemen. Great post. Peace.

Pixie said...

Yusna: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto! InshaAllah your Ramadaan is going well. Hmmm, well my advice would be to educate your husband on the ayah he is using to give permissiability to marrying a second wife (the kind of women the ayah allows him to marry and what manner he should go about doing so) before you get disheartened. Make sure he knows he is doing it for an Islamic reason not a selfish one. Have him understand how his statements hurt you without getting emotional (be very intellectual on the subject and use the example of Fatimah R.A), and remind him that he has to be fair, and that means treating the feelings of all his wives fairly (and if he is hurting yours he has to be hurting hers as well by wedding to be fair and whod want to marry into that). Tell him WHEN AND HOW you could accept polygamy and see if he could live up to that before being very hurt. Try to be supportive and have him educated and understanding his own motivations, as well as your own. Um, what else... If he sees polygamy as mustahaab, tell him to focuss on the fard (salat) first, and make sure any potential spouses for him know about his lack of praying on time if he refuses to fix that before remarrying. If you would like him to talk to my husband on the subject ever I can provide him to phone your husband... InshaAllah you can do things mutually. Actually, fairness IS a characteristic of a Muslim man, as this ayah states (the one giving permission for up to four wives) that fairness must be a part of the process or it is disallowed.

Pixie said...

Nadia: Ramadan kareem! Yeah, I lived in Oman for a while (my mother is up in Muscat) and I went to one second wife`s wedding (and the first wife was miserable and the other woman was younger) and it didn`t seem very Islamic at all. I also saw a good example there, but from my mother`s colourful narrations and loathing of Omani men (Khalid, Naser, Kareeb, you remain the exception although my mother will not allow you to talk to my little sis about marriage Kareeb) that there are very few good examples to be had. Men see it as a right (mustahaab as well) but they pick and choose what parts of that ayah they want to follow. No woman should allow this to be abused---against the first wife by the second. I wonder what these selfish second wives are thinking sometimes. I`d NEVER do it if the reason wasn`t Islamic or the first wife had a problem with it. It`d be like being a mistress. Some women I know are okay with that, if they`ve got sex and money, but I am not. I have moral standards, and I expect all the Muslim men in my life to have the same. Sorry for the slight rant at the end.

Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...

Asalaamu `alaikum Nadia,

You said:

Most men remarried in their early 40s when they felt they needed a cute new young wife

That is sick and I would not stand for that. I am not against polgany but if it was for THAT purpose ONLY, HELL NO would I stick around.

Najah said...

assalamu alaykum,

Ali could not marry again in this specific story not because Fatima objected to being in a polygamous marriage. It was becayse the bride to be was the daughter of Abu Jahl, an enemy of Allah, and fatimah didn't want an anemy of allah as part of her household.

""Ali demanded the hand of the daughter of Abu Jahl. Fatimah heard of this and went to Allah's Messenger saying, 'Your people think that you do not become angry for the sake of your daughters as `Ali now is going to marry the daughter of Abu Jahl.'

On that, the Messenger got up and after his recitation of Tashahud (witnessing the oneness of the Creator and the prophethood of His Final Messenger) I heard him saying, 'I married one of my daughters (Zainab) to Abu Al-`Aas ibn Ar-Rabi` before Islam and he proved truthful in whatever he said to me. No doubt Fatimah is part of me; I hate to see her troubled. By Allah, the daughter of Allah's Messenger and the daughter of Allah's enemy cannot be the wives of one man.'" [Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Vol. 4, Book 53 (Book of One-Fifth of War Booty), Hadeeth No. 2900]

rahma said...

It makes me so sad when sisters speak of husbands who talk of marrying another so early into their marriage. Many Ulema consider it a form a abuse, not unlike threatening divorce to elicit a desired behavior.

Thank you for clarifying how it SHOULD be. So many sisters, like some here, have husbands who tell them i t is there right and that is that - and it isn't. It is the worst when med get another wife (young) when they hit their midlife crisis. It is devastating to the first wife - who feels rightly so - she has been abandoned.

Ines said...

I guess it is easier said than done but I quite like the idea of a part time husband. If my husband was to marry another woman I would get lots of time for myself!!!
I know many divorced sisters with children looking for part time husbands. Men that are already married and will spend no more that 3 /4 days with them. And I can see the benefits of such arrangements for both women involved.

Pixie said...

Najah: Wa alaaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakato---yes, there was a reason to object to the marriage based on the character of the woman Ali R.A was to marry and thus his intention had to examined. And so the marriage was not allowed, based on the inappropriateness of the match and the unfairness of such a match to Fatimah R.A..

Pixie said...

Rahma: Yeah, then those guys are no better than the non-muslim dudes here hitting midlife crisises and getting mistresses except in a way it is worse because often the woman if still stuck with the pain everyday because her country might be too corrupt to help her get an Islamic divorce easily. Aoothoobillahi!

Pixie said...

Ines: I am totally fine with what the second wife position wants so long as she cares what the first wife wants as well. Not to be absolutely selfish about it. Like I said, I am a sister who could handle it if done that way (lol, but I'd want the woman in our house not seperate rooves that's my only stipulation), but I hate when one sister is so selfish for a man that she hurts another woman. That to me is hard to forgive. The wife should encourage her husband to the true sadaqah of Islamic polygamy (not be frightened of it in order to want for her fellow sistsers what she wants for herself) but discourage him from the selfish self-serving kind (and in this case, the co-wife to be should want for her sister [the first wife] what she wants for herself).

Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...

Rahma, care to share which Sisters those are? I'm curious to know and invite them to express their thoughts on the matter, inshaa'Allah.

So many sisters, like some here, have husbands who tell them i t is there right and that is that

maimoonarahman said...

This post on polygamy is so insightful. There's this catholic friend in class who I assume has a strong dislike for Islam. She once yelled that we are barbarians because muslims in Australia asked for polygamy rights (:S). I did mention several times to her the conditions which make polygamy permissible, but she called me an ignorant Muslim:( I was speechless. Hope Allah forgives me because I couldn't defend his religion and word. Hope he brings down one of his signs upon her.

I think many Arab and other muslim men are taking advantage of polygamy rights granted to them with blatant disregard for terms and conditions. This has truly distorted the image of Islam further. Plus, many muslim women due to economic and financial reasons forego their right to attain divorce from their husbands. Non-Muslims, hence, percieve that divorce rights haven't been granted to women by Islam.

I wish I could clear all these stereotypes and misconceptions.

I love your blog. It has inspired me to take up blogging once more, except this time, I intend to blog more about Islam, Insha-Allah!

Pixie said...

Aalia: Rahma is talking about anonymous and Yusna.

Pixie said...

maimoonarahman: You might want to remind your Catholic friend of King Soloman (reverred for his wisdom in Christianity) who had over 300 wives! Tell her praise be to Allah that Islam, not Christianity said a man could only ever have four, and three had to be women that were alone in the world and needed support, and only if he could support all of them fairly. Jesus allowed polygamy with no cap on how many wives one could have, so did Moses, and only Mohammed sallalahu alahi wa salaam came with a message that said no more than four and treat women fairly, and let them take part in relgious and polticial decisions, and let them own property, and divorce if they are unhappy, ect, ect ect ect.

Pixie said...

Remind her also, if she is Catholic, that if her husband treats her unfairly and abuses her, she does not have the right EVER to divorce him and remarry in her faith.

While you, a Muslim woman, does. SubhanAllah.

NoortheNinjabi said...

Assalaamu Alykom wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
My husband and I have chatted about this issue too. Unfortunately, the sheikhs in Egypt tend to take a different stance on it being Mustahabb versus an exception. While I was in the US, the sheikh that came to the house to teach his sister Qur'an repeatedly talked to him about taking a second wife, "you know, while yours is in the US." Astaghfirullah. The conversation, at one time, then veered to having a wife on every continent. Double astaghfirullah.

I think that this is an issue that isn't discussed fully enough, especially in Muslim societies. JazakaAllah khair for bringing it up!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it state in the Quran that men can have more than one wife, but ONLY if they can treat them all equally. And then, afterwards, it says, "you will never be able to treat them all equally."

--Lea

Pixie said...

Noor the Ninjabi: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto!

Well, in a sense, since alot of women in Egypt are poorer, or widowed, or divorced (cuz of some loser), then I would say this is a case of it being mustahaab too. But what the clerics ALWAYS forget from the ayah is that the command is to marry more than one wife FROM AMONG THOSE WOMEN ALONE OR TO PROVIDE FOR ORPHAN CHILDREN. This is a great stipulation of the ayah itself, on the conditions of polygny. Very few men want to be THAT GENEROUS with their sadaqah. Polygny was to be for sadaqah reasons or medical reasons ALONE.

Pixie said...

Lea: no, the Qu'ran does not state "you will never be able to treat them equally" though english translations of the Qu'ran might. It states that rarely is more the case, but the rarely of the Qu'ran is even more rarely than the rarely of English:D It DOES say that one can only do so if they can treat all equally. It means rarely in the practical sense that very few men want to marry a divorced woman with more kids than his already existing wife and support them all, or a widowed woman as old as his mother (which was the sunnah of the Prophet sallalalu alahi wa salaam). It is alot of work on a man's part and cannot come from a lustful selfish place in himself to be the polygamy of which the Qu'ran allows in rare instances, as a provision for women.