Brothers and Sisters in Islam, the day following ‘eidul-fitr celebration, I decided to go home and visit my parents. One of my female friends had advised to visit them when she discovered that I was still in school on the festive day. I remember sometimes mum would call and ask that I come home but I will complain about the busy schedule in school. I guess she would understand and bear with me for the meantime. Notwithstanding, it is very good to pay one’s parents visit as frequent as possible. For those of us who have people who show care and want us around them, we should be pleased and grateful. Many a people out there that wish they had someone who cares for and asks about them. May Allah pacify the hearts of those who have lost their parents and forgive us who play childish with the blessing of having one’s parents around.
This piece is about the story my mother shared when I visited them. I hope that after reading this article, everyone- male and female- will have a rethink and make the right choices when considering having a second wife or when your hubby brings a second wife home to you. We should all bear in mind that we are here to take one or two tests from our Creator, Allah. He intends to see the reaction of humans at varying (extreme) situations. Whether a man is rich or poor, young or old, strong or weak, he is in a state of test. And our results upon taking these tests dictate where we belong on the day of judgement. May Allah guide us so that we can pass all His tests and be amongst the saved ones.
This is the story of a polygamist lawyer. He married a second wife not so long ago and since, peace had caesed to exist in his home. If the first wife does not call my mum (because my mum is somewhat related to the husband) to complain that the man did not pay for some bill, the father will complain to my mum, the wife’s attitude to the second wife. Despite the fact that these two women do not live under a roof, they were never comfortable sharing a husband. Or for sincerity’s sake and based on what I know about this story so far, the first wife has been malfeasant in her actions. Of recent, a fight occurred in the family. I am not displeased with anything more than the first wife involving her children in the fight. She reportedly called on two of them to beat the second wife to the extent of bleeding her. This is the second beating for this second wife. Perhaps when the fight became unbearable and difficult to handle, the father called on his brother to help the situation. The uncle who must have been extremely pissed with the children’s rude attitude to their (step) mother, on arrival was said to have sent a thunderous slap to the niece, a 21 year old schoolgirl who also responded in like manner. So that you can get what I just explained, I meant that the niece slapped her close-to-50years uncle. They also beat him till he bled too. My own uncle who was also there was accused of being covetous. What a bemusedly furious set of kids! Among other silly things which these two kids reportedly did, obviously on approval of their mother, since she never tried to stop them, was trying to destroy their father’s law chamber. I am not sure they can think through and see that if the father died, the ownership and management of the firm become theirs. The case had to be taken to a close police station. You will agree with me that was needed. The rude lady who slapped her uncle also misbehaved at the station to the extent that the police wanted to teach her an unforgettable lesson but for the loyalty and respect they pay to the father.
Brethren, this is just one of the many cases that happen out there daily. We hear of only few of them however. This is how young couples go ahead to court asking for divorce. This is how the future of some of us becomes bleak and shattered by marital dissension. If you see sad faces around you or perhaps you visit the psychiatry, there is a high probability that these people are products of disastrously crushed homes. They say it is natural but the intolerance of female folks is becoming so alarming. Immediately mum shared this story, what came to my mind is the hadith of the Rosul concerning his experience when he went up-sky. Without doubt, what we experience in the society today is a living proof of what the prophet saw of female's punishment over 1400 years ago.
I cannot deny that I understand polygamy may be very challenging and tending towards unbearable. Having to share the same home, husband and property may not be easy because we are humans. But we should be careful of taking this fight too far. My advice to the ladies who are planning to marry is to supplicate to Allah for patience that matrimony requires. Trust me it is a lot of patience. It is something that requires years of supplication before one finally goes into it. Instead of spending hours, days, months or years praying that your husband does not bring in another wife, why not pray that Allah gives you the patience to bear it and pass the test, if it comes? Sister, do not become too enraged and forget about the Sweet Home that awaits those who are persevering and upright in the religion of Allah. It is not going to be easy to get Al-jannah. It is about patience, perseverance and peace-making. Be thankful to Allah that you have a husband. There are a lot of people who wish they still have their husbands as you do. The Rosul once shared his wish to intercede for a very large Ummah on the day of qiyamah. If you deny your husband the scriptural freedom he has to marry more than a spouse, this becomes a clear disregard for the statement of the son of ‘Abdullah. I should point out that wanting to have two or three kids,according to this hadeeth is not exactly what Islam encourages, an advice to our academicians. In preparation for marriage, one of the first things to do is to go and re-read the complete hadith on Isra and Miraj. If having read and re-read this hadith you are not really scared of yourself, stop thinking that you are ready for marriage. Read the full hadith here:
This article will be incomplete if I do not let a word or two of advice out to my brothers and fathers out there. Undubitously, there is freedom for men to practise polygamy. Women in Islam are not allowed to practise polyandry and you should respect them for this reason. You should respect that they do not have choice but to stay with you their whole life. Show love to them and fear Allah in your trying to exercise the freedom of marrying more than a wife. Imagine if someone is sharing your wife with you, will you be so happy? Do not go behind her back marrying a second wife. You cannot expect her to be happy if she’s hearing about the Mothnah from friends or relatives. Don’t make her feel the reason you are still keeping her under your roof is because she has kids that belong to you. This is like making her feel used and dumped. Her life should not be lived under you in agony and regret. Your Mathnah or Thulatha should never remind her of the day you asked for her hand in marriage. Don’t make her regret the door to her life she willingly opened for you. Please brother, do not say that she does not want progress for you when she advises that you should not take another wife yet. Perhaps she considered the family’s situation and saw that it is better not to add more responsibility to what you currently bear. According to one of our respected beloved scholar, Shaykh Tajudeen Al-Adabiy (Baba Lagbeni):
“Polygamy for men is not about wealth or riches alone, it requires a lot of sense and preparation.”
My advice to men willing to go for a second (or third) wife is to take to this Shaykh’s submission. Don’t think that only the women who disobey their husbands have punishment awaiting them. You better read your Quran to understand the punishment that abound men who maltreat their wives.
Lastly, I want to advise couples who put their children in hostels to think about this. The best guess I can make is that these kids, if not from their mothers, learnt the bad conduct from school. I pray that Allah forgives this woman who has transgressed and help the children she dragged into the unfortunate situation out. May He also help us with resounding faith in Him to bear situations like this. Amin.
Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmotullah wabaarokaatuh