I am not married, hence do not think I am here to give a lecture. I am here to give my opinion, as a woman and from the little I have seen. You may stop now, if you do not wish to read the somewhat sensible rants of a single sister on this very popular issue as I might not be saying anything you have never heard.
As much as Scholars, Alfas, Imams and all other religious philosophers try to triumph the issue of polygamy, it has come to my notice that maybe, just maybe It is necessary to talk more about how it should be carefully practiced rather than proving to the sisters that it is a part of the deen and though not compulsory, it should be accepted by them while adding that they should avoid kufr (which may come from disbelieving in the ayah). It has come to my notice that many who indulge in such have little knowledge about it, especially when they are young and rich. I hear tales ranging from sad to horrible about husbands and their wives and usually I see the woman or women in more grief.
Recently I heard a tale of a wife who suddenly suffered a horrible fate because she refused to allow her husband bring in a new wife and when the alfas came to help, they asked her to pick one- either the horrible fate is removed and her husband marries in the new wife or the new wife is not allowed in and the horrible fate continues. And, of course, she chose the latter. The grave part of this sad story is that they gave her such a choice, this makes one suspicious that the ‘alfas’ may have planned the horrible fate in the first place. Why is it usually the next course of action for a man with enough money or maybe more than enough to go ahead immediately to marry a second wife and be encouraged by even single friends to go ahead. However, when trouble brews, those friends would not render a significant helping hand. Permission does not mean compulsion and it is permission I see in that verse of the Qur’an
Don’t misconstrue, please, I do not disbelieve in that ayah of the Qur’an, may Allah increase us all in eeman. In fact, I believe, it is there for a good purpose. However, the manner in which it is practiced, the way it seems some homes break rather than grow, the fact that such houses in harmony are rare, the fact that when a man intends to bring in a new wife, it is expected that the occupant wife be ignored or treated harshly in expectation of her jealousy or bad behavior, the fact that the verse has been made to be a threat to set a woman straight, the fact that there are very few houses thriving in this circumstance reveals that maybe the lecture shouldn’t be directed at women anymore, now, it should be directed at men.
No more lectures about the permission to marry more than one, sisters know that already. Now, sincere and change-inducing lectures are necessary to guide men on the simple yet difficult path they chose to follow. It is time to change the attitudes of the leaders of the homes, it is time to remind all about the accountability of that day; about the day when they would be asked about the trifle between their wives, when they would be asked for what purpose they married, for every man would be judged according to their intentions.
It is time the direction of the lectures changed, it is time the men are addressed too and more effectively for that matter.