Polygamy, Not My Problem

Polygamy, Not My Problem

“If you don’t want your husband to marry another woman,” the imam said, “then, reflect on the hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam. You should love for your sister what you love for yourself.”

I turned off the video and sipped my tea in the silence of the room. I had planned to watch the prominent imam’s entire lecture on the subject of plural marriage in Islam, but I couldn’t get past the first few minutes.

It wasn’t that I disagreed with his point. After all, it is true. If Muslim women who are already married think of a potential co-wife as a sister in Islam instead of a potential rival, then sharing a husband wouldn’t be so difficult.

But is this mental shift really as simple as people make it sound?

Is it even realistic?

“What role do you think women play in polygamy?”

I had just arrived for a meeting at the home of a community leader and his wife when he asked me this question.

The inquiry took me off guard because it was unrelated to the subject of the meeting. He wasn’t asking about the details of women’s role in a Muslim marriage (He already knew that). He was asking what role they play in ensuring that a husband’s pursuit of subsequent wife in plural marriage is successful and relatively uncomplicated.

“They don’t have one,” I said.

I could tell he hadn’t expected this response. Then again, I hadn’t either. But it was what I honestly felt.

Brows furrowed, he asked, “What do you mean?”

“She’s not the one taking another wife—he is,” I said. “So the burden is on his shoulders, not hers.”

“But don’t you think women have some responsibility in making it work?”

“No, I don’t.”

The shocked silence in the room made me realize I should clarify.

“I’m not saying she has no accountability to her co-wife,” I explained. “The co-wife is her sister in Islam, and she can’t violate her sister’s rights.”

I went on, “But what I mean is, beyond her normal duties when her husband is married to only her, her role doesn’t change when he marries someone else. But the husband’s role does change because he chose polygamy.”

He nodded, beginning to see my point.

“And when a man marries another woman,” I told him, “he must understand that his first wife will naturally be hurt and upset. But this comes with the package. And if he can’t handle this natural hurt and upset without blaming his wife or asking her to change, then he’s the one at fault. Women will be women,” I said with a shrug. “And if a man doesn’t fully accept what that means in reality, then he’s not ready for polygamy.”

“But If You Fear…”

Though it has been many years since I had this conversation with the community leader, my views have not changed. If anything, they have become more resolute. And if there were any advice I would give to Muslim leaders who wish to tackle this topic with any success, it would be this: “Stop addressing women, and start addressing men.”

Allah says,

“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].”Al-Nisaa’, 4:3

The more I reflect on this verse, the more I get a small glimpse into the infinite wisdom in these words. Specifically, five points stand out to me:

  1. Allah is addressing only men in this verse.
  2. No advice or instructions are given to women regarding plural marriage.
  3. Allah is asking men to engage in careful introspection when determining whether or not to pursue polygamy.
  4. The last part of the verse clearly implies that marrying more than one woman results in increased responsibility (and thus accountability) as opposed to marrying only one woman.
  5. The last part also suggests that polygamy itself will be a challenge—so much so that Allah tells men outright that being married to only one increase the likelihood of the man being just to his wife.

No, I’m not suggesting under the guise of naseehah (sincere religious advice) that “one is best for you” while secretly hoping that no man engages in this Sunnah.

Actually, in my heart of hearts, I do hope that men (at least the ones responsible and financially capable) find a way to make plural marriage work—with wives by their side who are both fulfilled and pleased. Otherwise, there will be an ever-growing list of single— never been married, widowed, and divorced—women denied the joys and blessings of an Islamic marriage.

But what I am saying is that whatever responsibility exists in making the Sunnah of polygamy work rests almost entirely with the man, who must engage in careful introspection, seeking advice, and making du’aa and Istikhaarah when making this difficult decision and subsequently living with its naturally challenging consequences.

It goes without saying (or at least it should go without saying) that if a man’s current wife doesn’t wish to be in polygamy, it is illogical to ask her to shoulder the responsibility of making successful something that she neither desires nor chose.

The real man is the one whose good treatment, patience, and understanding will inspire even the most reluctant and upset wife to stay with him—even as she may never like that polygamy is part of her life.

In other words, real men implement the Sunnah of being men.

Will You Share Your Husband?

Time and time again I speak to women who have helped their husbands find another wife, supported their husband’s decision, or even made a habit of speaking or writing about the beauty of this Sunnah. Some have even gone as far as to share their home with a co-wife (something even I would not suggest or recommend).

Yet, despite Muslim women having gone over and beyond the call of duty in trying to overcome their natural dislike for sharing their husband (as a simple Google search on polygamy will reveal), advice, lectures, and complaints by Muslim men on the subject of polygamy continue to focus on the actions and thoughts of women. It is always with the apparent goal of inspiring women to love the arrangement and relish in its blessings by giving their husbands “no problems” with the pursuit.

Ah… If only…

But the fact of the matter is that Allah created women with a natural reluctance and dislike for sharing their husbands.

When I speak to women struggling in polygamy, one of my first pieces of advice is to accept that polygamy is inherently difficult and painful for women. It’s not “supposed to” be enjoyable or desired, I tell them—even though this natural difficulty and pain does not preclude having a loving, fulfilling relationship with your husband though he’s married to someone else.

Those women who seek to “love polygamy” often live in psychological and emotional turmoil as they deny themselves the right to hurt or even cry. They feel guilty for any resentment or emotional outbursts, and their husbands, unfortunately, often berate them for their struggles.

“This is the Sunnah,” their husbands may say, “so if you don’t love it, you have weak emaan”—and, tragically, the wives believe them.

Ultimately, many of these women simply “break” and become so embittered and spiritually traumatized that they blame Allah or Islam for their misery—when neither Allah nor Islam asked them to “love polygamy” in the first place.

Be a man.

In my view, this summarizes the essence of the only advice men should give (and receive) regarding polygamy.

And, no, being a man doesn’t mean diving into polygamy while completely disregarding the first wife’s feelings. Sometimes, as we know from the famous story of Ali and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with them), it may actually mean not pursuing polygamy at all.

“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”— (Bukhari and Muslim)

Yes, women, like all believers, can benefit from reminders for their souls, and these reminders may or may not inspire them to accept polygamy in their lives.

Either way, women should love for their sisters what they love for themselves—as should men with their brothers.

But suggesting that this means a woman should accept polygamy and love for another woman to marry her husband is little different than suggesting that a man should accept divorce and love for his unmarried friend to marry and enjoy his beloved wife.

So, dear imams, let us ask men and women to focus on their own responsibilities and roles, not someone else’s.

And by the mercy of Allah, as a woman, polygamy is not one of mine.

Why Wait, Read more from Umm Zakiyyah NOW

This article was first published via onislam.net

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Copyright © 2014, 2015 by Al-Walaa Publications. All Rights Reserved.


  • Yasmin Posted 2015-04-23 6:29 pm

    SPEAK ON IT! LOVED this blog post! And I agree! Very well said! Insha Allah men will reflect on this and women will free themselves of the burden of guilt regarding Polygyny.

    • Um Mariam Posted 2016-03-02 1:55 am

      I am in the perhaps unusual position of being the 2nd of 3 wives and did remarry after widowhood with the intention of having an Islamic family in which to raise my orphaned child and not wanting to be alone. The “first wife,” although younger and more attractive, apparently did not want to treat me as an equal and wanted excessive time. The 3rd wife, who cane after me, was disrespectful toward me and indirectly insulting toward me at times. I think a man’s other wife or wives really do have a role to play in polygamy, as Sr. Ummzakiyyah says, in abiding by Islamic behavior. If they can just act with Islamic manners toward their husband and each other, many problems will be eliminated.

    • Um Mariam Posted 2016-03-02 2:00 am

      I don’t agree with the American idea of being a “co-wife.” Wives of the same man each have their own families. They are both obliged to become close friends or to interact with each other regularly. I am polite toward my husband’s other wives but otherwise avoid them, because I want to avoid being treated unkindly, especially as I have “behaved myself” and my actions have not warranted being mistreated by them.

      • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 5:14 am

        I understand your position and it happens at times.
        I would like to know how did you first meet his other wives, how was it?
        Did you ever felt its better if you would have never met your co wives, like just lived with him as his only wife.

    • Um Mariam Posted 2016-03-02 2:04 am

      Yet, this is a small problem compared to the matter of “co-wives” who are not raising their children according to the best Islamic standards. You think “peer pressure” is bad? Try living with your children seeing their half-siblings being allowed by their mom to do /have/or watch what they are not allowed to. I become the “strict mom” and could be viewed by my kids as “the bad-guy” who says too often says no. My husband disapproves of the others being more lax or less-conscientious with their children, but he apparently cannot control them. He is busy much of the time and virtually all the child-rearing is left to the moms. Alhamdulilah, my kids are still ok, but this is the main struggle for me.

    • Um Mariam Posted 2016-03-02 2:05 am

      I love my husband for his good qualities and don’t focus on where he might be lacking (we are all lacking in some ways), but I wish I had known before marriage more about his first wife’s akhlaq and level of Islamic commitment. And I wish I had known that he perhapas wasn”t as careful as he could have been in choosing a wife for her character and adherance to Islam above all else. I am not obsessed with my love for a man–this life is so short anyway–but I am vitally concerned with how his other wives and their children may affect my kids.

    • Um Mariam Posted 2016-03-02 2:06 am

      It is difficult to think of keeping your child from interacting much with half-siblings due to concern that their behavior might be a negative influence on your kids. Sisters, consider this when you think about marrying a brother who already has children, because your kids are likely to want to play with, admire, and look up to their old sibs and want to emulate them. This is a very serious issue. Compared to this, worry and angst over the issue of your husband being with another (halal) woman seems almost frivolous and silly (no disrespect intended–just my personal feeling).

      • Khadijah Posted 2016-12-09 10:46 am

        Assalamu Alaikum sister Um Mariam,

        I am a divorcee with one kid. A muslim brother (with two kids) asked me to become his second wife and I agreed.
        The reason he gave my father was that he is not happy with his first marriage. My father is really worried because he thinks the guy is lying. He says if the guy is not happy with first marriage he should have divorced her rather than taking a second wife. The guy also told him that he will never divorce his first wife.
        What do you suggest me to do?

    • Khadija Posted 2016-11-07 6:14 pm

      The most difficult thing for a women

  • warda Posted 2015-04-23 9:32 pm

    Jzakillah khyr sister I myself going thru this turmoil of feeling guilt and thinking I am selfish. But ur article did gave me an insight allhumdulilah for timely read. I was really very tense on the role I should play or how can I bring myself to be OK with it.

    • warda Posted 2015-04-29 12:10 am

      If you were first, how would you feel? Bsds, is it liking for your sister what you would like for yourself? And please read the ayah again, it is for the mother of orphans.

      • tmitc868 Posted 2016-10-05 5:16 pm

        I can not believe that of all the times I’ve heard, “love for your sister what you love for yourself” no one than follows it with …..”Yes! And what I love for myself is a husband of my own.” The problem is that those women seeking to marry another sisters husband are not being considerate of her. They do not care how she feels of the matter, if she has accepted it or knows, how it will affect her children and family that has already been established, etc. The hurt woman is constantly the one admonished while everyone else goes about feeding their nafs. There are many women who are open and happy to enjoin a polygamous family. Why then would any woman care less about her sister to not seek these who look to cooperate?

        • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2016-10-05 5:54 pm

          Emotionally, I understand where you’re coming from. However, marrying into polygyny is having a husband of your own. He’s still your husband, even if another woman can say that same thing about the same man.

          Our husbands aren’t our personal property, ukhti. Therefore, there’s no such thing as “marrying another sister’s husband.” There is only marrying a servant of Allah who is lawful for marriage. If we’re talking about her purse or shoes, then we can talk about taking another sister’s property. But this concept doesn’t apply to human relationships, unless you are advocating buying and selling slaves.

          And who says the only women with souls are the ones who marry the man first? Is this how Allah views us? The only women with valid feelings are the first wives? But everyone else can be treated like property, to be shifted around to any available polygynous family who would take her? Think very carefully about what you’re suggesting, bc it’s an oppressive ideology.

          Should we prevent women from marrying men THEY CHOOSE because someone’s feelings will be hurt? If she truly isn’t just following HER nafs, then she’d follow her own advice and consider the SECOND WIFE’s feelings. Everything you’re suggesting here is about following the first wife’s nafs, even if it means another woman suffering, and a family being broken apart before it even begins.

          But if we truly believe choosing a man is like a game of chess, as you suggest, where everyone should be moved around to protect “The Queen”, why not choose a different chess board, and go to ANOTHER MAN who doesn’t want polygyny at all? Or better yet, if any woman doesn’t want polygyny, perhaps they shouldn’t get married in the first place? That way we don’t have to face this problem ever, and all married men and women are happy.

          If that doesn’t sound fair to you, then consider that this is EXACTLY what you’re asking others to do. So love for your sisters what you love for yourself, and apply this to your own life before suggesting that others apply it to theirs.

          • Umm Hussain Posted 2016-10-27 7:41 am

            You can dress the issue up any way you like. If a man has one wife and marries a second, the second wife IS marrying someone elses husband. If that second marriage lasts, Alhamdolillah. From what I have observed, most polygamous marriages in the US do not. In addition, a man may decide to take a second wife. His wife may decide she does not want to be in a polygamous relationship. This is the reality many Muslims fail to take into consideration. This is not the 15th century, must less the 19th century. Most adult American women are literate, educated, with marketable skills and own and manage their own property and have accomplished much on their own by the time they marry.

          • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2016-10-27 8:41 am

            I don’t need to dress up the issue of polygyny. Allah has already dressed it up by making it beautiful and allowed. I don’t care what century it is. I don’t believe in seeking to control other human beings. My husband isn’t a piece of property. That is a timeless truth.

            But if you believe women own their husbands, you have a right to your imagination. It’s not against the law to believe in fairytales. But in real life, whether a man marries another woman or not is his choice and his choice alone, no matter what a woman THINKS her husband would never do. You can quote a million statistics about lasting marriages, and it won’t change this basic, quite obvious fact.

            And the truth is, this reality doesn’t bother ME because I have a whole existence and worthiness that a man couldn’t dream of touching, even if he married three other women along with me. I have more important things to focus on than following the faults of people who have nothing to do with my life. If someone wants to live in monogamy, let them. If someone wants to live in polygyny, let them. Why are we so threatened by other people’s personal lives? SubhaanAllah.

            And I have no idea what a women’s worldly education or marketable skills has to do with the issue of polygyny in Islam, unless you are speaking of the psychology that says a woman’s worldly degrees and wealth + a husband all to herself equals having full worth as a human being. As I mentioned before, I don’t view my worth in those terms. Women are worth so much more than a university degree and her husband’s choices. Why are we so insecure? May Allah help us find fulfillment in our own lives and choices, and not those of a man.

          • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 5:30 am

            I am quiet inspired by your thinking, quiet stunning mashallah.
            Usually I would not write such to a comment, but the depth of the thought and answer had me pause 4 times to stop and reflect in middle of ur writing.
            I had thought some of what you mentioned above, but how you put it is amazing.

            Referring to the post at 5:54 pm

  • ummi muhammad yusuf Posted 2015-04-27 2:52 pm

    i dont clearly understand the last paragraph where you said:But suggesting that this means a woman should accept polygamy and love for another woman to marry her husband is little different than suggesting that a man should accept divorce and love for his unmarried friend to marry and enjoy his beloved wife.

    could you please just rephrase that for me

    • Maghdie Posted 2015-04-28 3:38 am

      She is saying that there is little difference between the 2.

      If woman must accept polygamy and her sister in sharing her Husband, men should accept divorce and their brothers marrying their (now divorced) wives.

    • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-04-28 8:12 am

      Thank you for your comment, ummi muhammad. What I mean is, if we take the hadith literally (i.e. loving for your brother or sister what you love for yourself) and apply it to marriage, then it must go both ways: A man should love for his Muslim brother to marry his beloved wife, just as a woman should love for her Muslim sister to marry her beloved husband. The point is, this is a flawed argument. Almost no one *loves* for someone else to marry their husband or wife. Not even the Mothers of Believers (wives of the Prophet, peace be upon him) felt this way. So we shouldn’t ask this of others. Nevertheless, we can still love each other for the sake of Allah in polygamy despite its natural difficulty and struggles.

      Read the popular “His Other Wife” series

      • Aisa Posted 2015-04-28 12:34 pm

        But divorce (Hated by Allah) and polygamy cannot be compared.

        • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-04-28 2:13 pm

          The two can be compared because this point was not about what is more (or less) beloved by Allah. It was about what happens when you take the statement (“love for your brother what you love for yourself”) literally and apply it to marriage. In any case, neither divorce nor polygamy is haraam, and there is an incident in Islamic history where a Companion (one of the Ansar) did offer to divorce one of his wives so his Muslim brother (a Muhaajir) could marry him.

        • Y A Posted 2015-06-08 2:38 pm

          Divorce is not hated by Allah, that is a weak hadith. Divorce is one of the solutions to marriage problems, albeit a more permanent one. The sahaba used to get divorced. Are we better than the sahaba?

          Divorce is the most hated to abusive men because then they can no longer keep their doormat… er, wife… under their thumb while using Islam to justify it.

        • michubells Posted 2017-02-18 10:43 am

          DEar sister ..

          why u said Allah hate divorce ? its weak hadith as long as I read. why u make it haraam when Allah make it halal? why Allah hate it when Allah allow it?

      • Ahmad Posted 2015-08-12 7:07 pm

        Interesting article. Do you think its OK for the wife to seek a divorce if she does not want to live in polygamy?

        • Umm Hussain Posted 2016-10-27 7:48 am

          Why wouldn’t she. The husband seeking an additional wife should take that into consideration. Especially if the wife is intelligent, resourceful and her own person (i.e., not totally dependent on her husband in almost every aspect of her life). So much is always written and spoken about a man’s right to polygny, while failing to reiterate a woman’s right to divorce if polygyny is not what she wants in a marriage.

  • Muslimah Posted 2015-04-28 2:40 am

    JazaakAllahu khair for this timely article! I was just having a discussion about the very same topic with my husband the other day and I very much agree with the article. Why is it that the women are expected to be the “sacrificing, forgiving and adjusting” part of the relationship?
    I cannot even imagine that after my death my husband would marry another woman (which obviously is kind of the norm we see in homeland nowadays, whereas if it were the other way round, the woman usually doesn’t get married again) let alone taking another wife when I am alive!

  • Nicole Posted 2015-04-28 3:13 am

    I have been saying things that mirror your words for years. There is another haddith that states ‘A man who is unjust to one of his wives, half his body will be slumped’. Later in Al Quran, it says a man can NEVER be equal to more than one wife. Quran (4:129) – “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire” Underscores that a man is not able to treat multiple wives fairly. He would therefore be unable to acquire more than one wife if this were a requirement – which it is not.
    It was my husband who pointed this out to me whilst discussing 4:34.
    You’re a brilliant logical woman. Mabrook and thanks for your contribution!

    • ReemaReem Posted 2015-05-22 4:39 pm

      Wa alaikumu salaam,

      Yes, but doesn’t this verse refer to those things that are not tangible, such as how much more a man may love one wife over the other. It does not however, refer to time, money treatment, etc…
      This verse does not give the man license to be unfair because he cannot be “just”.

  • Umm Nuh Posted 2015-04-28 3:30 am

    Assalamu alaykum,

    Masha Allah. Great post and you’ve managed to put into words what bothers so many of us about the way plural marriage is addressed in Islam.

    You quote the prophet salla lahu alayhi wa salam as saying, “You should love for your sister what you love for yourself.” However, from my knowledge that is not what the prophet salla lahu alayhi wa salam said. Unless there is an accompanying or similar hadeeth to, “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself,” we must be careful about how we translate the meanings of ahadeeth.

    JazakAllah khayr for all the great work you do.

    Umm Nuh

    • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-04-28 7:54 am

      Wa’alaiku mus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, Umm Nuh

      Thank you for taking time to read the article and comment. The statement “You should love for your sister what you love for yourself” was not my quote. It was the imam’s from the lecture I was listening to (See beginning of the blog when I mention turning off the lecture). In any case, the imam was not quoting the hadith. He was referring to it, and there’s nothing wrong with this. It is like saying to someone who’s angry, “Reflect on the ayaat and hadith about patience. You should calm down.” The point is the audience already knew the hadith, so he was giving advice based on the meaning of the hadith.

      As for the hadith itself, you will notice that it is quoted later in the article.

      BarakAllaahufeeki. Thank you for your support.

      Umm Zakiyyah
      Read the popular “His Other Wife” series

  • Muslim Posted 2015-04-28 6:39 am

    An insightful article and I agree with some of the points. However, Let’s get straight to the issue in relation to a sexualized environment many of us live in. Every single sister that fornicates or masturbates, that can’t get married, ask them why they don’t pursue polygamy if they are not meeting decent single brothers who then meet a decent guy who is married. I wouldn’t be surprised if a fair number will say that they don’t pursue it because the first wife will be against it or hurt ot will make life difficult. In my mind it requires both the man and the first wife to make it work and the attitudes of one will have a bearing on the actions of the other.

    • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-04-28 8:05 am

      Thank you for your comment. You bring up some very important points, maashaAllah.

      In the article I mentioned that a Muslim woman cannot transgress the rights of her Muslim sister (even if she doesn’t want polygamy), so if the first wife sets out to make another woman’s (or her own husband’s) life difficult, then she is transgressing others’ rights. I do agree that many women do not pursue polygamy for the reasons you suggested; however, it is up to the husband to “Be a man” and make a judicious decision on whether or not to pursue polygamy, even as his first wife will be naturally hurt and upset. So in the end, the responsibility rests with the man to address the situation based on what he believes is best. I agree that it requires both the man and the first wife to make it work, but the first wife’s role is only that she does not transgress the bounds of Allah (by purposefully making the woman’s or man’s life difficult, for example), not that she actively supports or loves the arrangement. This is what I mean.

      Again, thank you for your comment.
      Read the popular “His Other Wife” series

    • Umm Hussain Posted 2016-10-27 7:56 am

      I want to know where all the men are who can afford more than one family. I know of none myself. Unless there are a lot of women willing to have a misyar marriage where the husband is not responsible for financially supporting his second wife.

      • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 8:47 am

        The issue of support is not based on the man’s income, but rather on if the woman is excepting to accept him with his financial status.
        e.g. even if the man is poor but its fine with the woman, its okay, they can marry.
        This is placed on the woman to determine, not the man.

        If there was a minimum requirement, then it would have been clearly mentioned, and almost none of the sahabis would have been able to marry, as they were almost all poorer compared to the poor of our day and age.

  • si Posted 2015-04-28 8:50 am

    Such a well written article sister. I often find it so hard discussing this topic without getting very angry and emotional. But you have managed it with such dignity sister .

  • Nora Lynn Posted 2015-04-28 9:09 am

    As salaamu alaykum, Sister I’m in tears reading this article. FINALLY someone is stating the truth about polygamy. I read the title of the article & almost didn’t read it; because I have decided not to read, listen to lectures on, or even entertain conversations on this subject. Due to the fact that within these avenues women are always made responsible for polygamy or ridiculed for not wanting to participate in it. Your article brillianty & logically illustrates my views on polygamy. It validates my feelings that are often dismissed as weak & emotional or sinful & selfish when discussing this topic. Thank you for writing this article. And May Allah bless us all in our endeavors..Ameen

    • warda Posted 2015-04-28 11:48 pm

      I feel sorry for the first wives and amazed how Divine words get manipulated… no doubt Allah swt is most patient.

  • Faisal shah Posted 2015-04-28 2:33 pm

    i think it’s time either to ban polygamy, or women should have same rights to have more than one husband ….as there is a scientific way through DNA who is the father…….

    • warda Posted 2015-04-29 12:04 am

      Lol if we were not muslims.

  • Evvie Posted 2015-04-28 2:59 pm

    I am curious, what do you think of revrsed pairing? Like two husbands and one wife? (needed to say I am not Muslim – I am not limited/blessed by any religion) I don’t think that monogamy is the only “right” way to live. Polygamy is an option for certain people, but why only polygamy by women? It seems rather limiting and not fair? You haven’t thought about it?

    • warda Posted 2015-04-29 12:03 am

      As we are muslims, We can not go before the teachings of Allah. On the other hand all His teachings are very rational and logical, if people/muslims dont manipulate His teachings.

      Bsds you are cent % right, in every logical mind comes this idea… but even biologically it’s not convenient for women to have relation with more than one man at a time or is it? Even DNA test was not there at that time.

    • Umm Hussain Posted 2016-10-27 8:05 am

      First of all Muslims follow the Quran. Polygamy is legal in Islam. Rather in the strictest definition, a man can have up to four wives. Women can have one husband. Period.

  • Syedzaadi Posted 2015-04-28 3:36 pm

    A very intresting topic. But lets be real we are living in 2015 and in all honesty people cant share a chair never mind a husband. Today if a husband does suggest polgamy its all about sexual purposes and variety. The Prophet pbuh used to marry divorcees or widows to give them a status in society & support them and honour them. Today i dont think that is the case and is sad that we live in times that every hadith is taken out of context and miscontrued to suit their own agenda. About wishing your sister what you wish for yourself is a goid hadith and why does it have to link with what you have yourself you share it means that i ‘hope’ or ‘wish’ that Allah swt gives you your own share and someone or something like you have for yourself nothing is impossible for Allah swt so we should be praying for our single brothers & sisters in that context. 14000 years ago was a different era we cant compare that to our times. Also which man would want to give themselves a headache & stress of polgamy as if a career, kids, bills, finance, health isnt enough on your plate. From what I have seen in polgamy marriages is it always ends in misery and is a dysfunctional environment for children plus not fair on the children. People should stop being selfish and think of making the next generation better muslims first

    • warda Posted 2015-04-28 11:53 pm

      People/ muslims/ men like you are hardly find. immense respect for you !! Btw I cent % agree with you, I have also seen only disasters by polygamy and insecure and slightly disordered kids by its effects.

  • Rina Christopoulos Posted 2015-04-28 4:01 pm

    Asalaam Alaykum Sisters,
    Just a question I would like you to help me with . . . what if you are the other woman, that are single, without a husband, widowed and have kids to look after and a brother ask you to marry you to look after you and your children . . . what do you do . . . as I’m in such a situation and do not know what to do . . . do I turn his help away, not to marry him and carry on with my life battling to survive . . . Like I said, just a question and would really like to know what advice you can give me. May Allah make it easy for all of us.

    • Iftikhar Kango Posted 2015-04-28 10:58 pm

      Hi, I am a Muslim man, 45 and single. Would like to know women for partnership. Please contact me email: kango.iftikhar@gmail.com or fb

    • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-04-28 11:38 pm

      Wa’alaiku mus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, Rina.

      May Allah bless you with a righteous husband in this world and in the Hereafter.

      The best person to help you is a wakil or wali (your Muslim father or other relative who knows you well and will look out for your best interests). However, from an Islamic perspective, you should marry the person who is best for your life and soul. This person might be married or single, but for the practical implications of either decision, you should seek the advice from people closest to you who know your situation and who know the brother who is proposing.

      And Allah knows best.

      Umm Zakiyyah
      Read the popular “His Other Wife” series

    • warda Posted 2015-04-28 11:44 pm

      Rina!!! Given you advice with the purest of intentions. Kindly consider it, mistakenly in the comments area. Besides always remember Allah never leaves His people alone, being single is far much better than being in a wrong marriage.
      Lots of Prayers for you.

  • Iftikhar Kango Posted 2015-04-28 10:52 pm

    Women, however, must be able to give good sex, to put it bluntly, which is not something a woman can’t do (unless she intends the opposite). Apart from that ie woman’s careless attitude towards love life I, as a man, do not see a good reason for seeking another woman as second wife.

    • Julina Posted 2016-05-06 1:37 am

      Might i respectfully disagree with you brother, It is not women won’t give a good sex life or don’t desire for one, they are after all they are human too. Most healthy women have a fair amount of desire available of their husband unless they have been abused, circumcised deeply, or brought up with heavy sexual taboos in their culture.

    • Julina Posted 2016-05-06 1:39 am

      I put forward the idea that woman is something which “replies” in relation to situations, tries to make improvements (Unless she is in survival mode.) So.. Adam RA was created first, The man in lead/ front he naturally “goes first” in this game, and then she will naturally reply to it.

    • Umm Hussain Posted 2016-10-27 8:08 am

      Didn’t you just post a ad looking for wife. Then followed with women should be able to give good sex? I can not stop laughing.

  • warda Posted 2015-04-28 11:32 pm

    I don’t agree!! Can I like my husband for my blood sister? Come on, don’t mix things… besides polygamy is conditionaly allowed, I can never understand WHY WHY we all don’t accept or discuss the first part of the ayah, which clearly states, IF YOU CAN NOT DO JUSTICE WITH THE ORPHANS, THEN MARRY the women of your choice 1 or 2 or 3…
    This ayah was for the orphans of the shuhuda and their mothers, not for the pleasure of men! Get a life people! Why the hell we all ignore the first part of the ayah which starts with a ‘IF’…

    No man can do justice with the two women, not at all. Never seen women married to the same man satisfied with their lives or their husband. Kids are separately tortured by the society and step relations.

  • warda Posted 2015-04-28 11:40 pm

    Rina!! you should simply reject the offer if that man is already taken and cheating on her first wife.
    As here the hadith is being stated, you are not a believer if you don’t like what you like for yourself. I believe no woman would like to share her partner. Consider the feelings of the other woman and please don’t let the Devine words manipulated. It is conditionaly allowed, cheating and deceiving is certainly not allowed at any cost.

  • Madiha Posted 2015-04-28 11:40 pm

    Can you imagine how difficult it can be for a woman to suppress that jealousy factor?
    It’s difficult, impossible, to imagine your husband in same relation with someone else. It shivers down my nerves and a feeling of nausea engulfs me. When I say same relation it’s not just about sex. It’s about that close bond of love, friendship and compassion I share. And don’t point at my I’maan.

    And the other side of the coin, it’s equally difficult for singles (unmarried, divorced and widows with or without children) and some married men. Can you imagine, fornication, mastrabation, pornography and other addictions are becoming a part of my life? I am living with a guilt of committing a major sin. Yes, I know I should fast to curb it. But my health doesn’t allow me to fast. And don’t point at my I’maan or call me shameless.

    “It’s actually all about our level of connection with Allaah. Our level of submission to Him.”

    The jealousy factor will not get erased off my DNA but if I seek His help and submit myself it will become quite easy.

    It will become easy for me to suppress my desires, if I get closer to Allaah. A desire to be a mother, a wife and my sexual desires.

    There are few problems in our society, deeply rooted and their solution lies in getting closer to Allaah. And somewhere or the other, connected to polygany.

    The discusion can’t be stopped here. Polygany is not just about having two or three or four wives. Its about justice. On men’s part it’s about running two families. Dealing with two different souls. A good amount of mental, physical, emotional and financial power is required.

    But why do we make it difficult for those men and women who are well equipped confident?

  • warda Posted 2015-04-29 12:11 am

    The translation is not of just ORPHAN GIRLS but both BOYS AND GIRLS.

  • Amy Posted 2015-04-29 1:22 am

    Asalaamu alaikum,

    I am a convert to Islam and honestly, polygamy is something that I ABSOLUTELY HATE. Why are women expected to share their husbands happily and welcome 2nd, 3rd and even 4th wives? We feel naturally hurt and upset by this. But men, on the other hand, can’t even imagine what it would be like to share his wife! I’m not saying I think that women should marry multiple men. But what I am saying is that when it comes to feeling possessive, jealous and deeply emotionally hurt by this, why are women just expected to deal with it and men couldn’t even IMAGINE sharing their wife?! To marry another wife and hurt the first wife is a disgusting practice. I’m sorry, but if you love someone you would not want to hurt them this way. Now if a woman comes from a culture where this is accepted and even expected and she has no problem with it, then of course he could take 4 wives. But he is with a woman that he would hurt by doing this, he really just shouldn’t do it.

    Men don’t want to think about their wives sharing a bed with another husband so why would women want to think about their husbands sharing their bed with another wife? If my husband ever tried to take a second wife, I would RUN not walk to court and divorce him.

    • Rose Posted 2015-04-29 11:00 am

      Amy 🙂

      Not wanting to practice for a reason is a different thing. But hating a command of Allaah is not correct. We might fail to understand the wisdom of Allaah behind a command. May Allaah grant us correct understanding.

      • Emily Posted 2016-05-12 1:50 pm

        Be careful not to confuse people. It is not a ‘command’ of Allah. The verse that allows for polygamy is referring to an issue of social justice–making sure that orphans have a family structure to grow up in. It is a possible solution for social issues, not a ‘practice’ that men are required to fulfill. It isn’t about the men who are doing the marrying, it is about community ties, social justice, providing safety and security for everyone. There are some serious restrictions on this solution as well. For many who are marrying multiple women, they are simply involved in adultery and have some flimsy excuses to themselves and others.

        • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 9:38 am

          I advise you to learn Quran first, and the rules required to interpret Quran before jumping to emotional conclusions.

      • Emily Posted 2016-05-12 1:51 pm

        From what I understand, one of the conditions is that the first wife needs to agree to the arrangement. You have to ask yourself, what is agreement? If she is manipulated and faces divorce or some other harm, is afraid of her husband, etc., she might verbally agree, but have no internal agreement. Marriage, whether with one women or more, involves so much. If you have one wife and struggle to pay rent and the basics for your existing three children and wife, you have no business expanding your family with another wife, children she may already have and any that you might have with her in the future. That is the height of irresponsibility. Maybe you think that you will have an arrangement where she agrees to absolve you of any maintenance. Three years later, you have twins with her and they have astronomical medical bills. You’re going to leave them out in the cold financially? I would hope not, but that then means that everyone is suffering.

        • struggling to accept Posted 2017-04-10 2:40 am

          My situation…..sob

      • Emily Posted 2016-05-12 1:52 pm

        Let’s say that the man is better of financially. He has a wife and two children who go to private school. He just has to marry this young lady he knows of via a work buddy’s cousin. His first wife isn’t thrilled, but puts up with it for the sake of peace. She needs his financial support. He needs to adjust his existing family’s budget and they have to adjust their assumptions about what they will receive, where they will go to school, how they will live so that this man can have something else he wants. This is just a recipe for disaster.

        • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 9:48 am

          Children education is the problem of the father not the mother. As per sharia a man is not obliged to send his children to an expensive school.
          One of the basic principles of Tawheed is the belief that how much a person will earn and eat etc.. is all decreed from Allah, including how many wives he will marry.

      • Emily Posted 2016-05-12 1:52 pm

        Step-families of all stripes deal with this, but it’s recognized that step-families are not ideal, but people doing the best they can to deal with real life after a divorce or death of a spouse. They are tricky situations with countless books written about how to navigate step-family dynamics, kids go to counseling to deal with the jealousy, feelings of displacement and disappointment, etc. Some families are more successful than others and some families truly suffer and the new arrangements dissolve. There are a lot of parallels with polygamy.

        People who think polygamy is a ‘religious practice’ that they need to fulfill are living in a bit of a fantasy. It’s an arrangement that can be used to address certain situations, but it should never be approached heedlessly and selfishly.

        • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 9:51 am

          So you mean you are the first one in centuries who has understood this portion of Islam, and all the 1000s of great shabas and scholars has understood it wrong?

    • Sani Posted 2015-04-30 10:28 am

      well I don’t agree with u sister… there are lots of other sunnahs to be followed other that polygamy… I wish men follow rest of the sunahhs first… I being a woman can never share my husband with anyone… I would rather kill both of them or take a divorce … period…

    • FearTheFire Posted 2015-05-01 5:16 am

      Sister Amy: Assalamu Alikum. It’s great to know Allah has guided you and you are now a Muslim. In Islam there’s something called as ‘Divine law’ and other is ‘Submission to Allah’. The first one forms basic guidelines from Allah – could be mandatory, obligatory, optional etc. The second one, the one who submits his will to Allah, is called a Muslim. As humans we may not like many things that Allah has told us to do or we may not understand why Allah has provided certain guidelines. Either ways, as a Muslim, it is our duty to abide of what’s said and it is our duty not to negate the divine guidance – Quran or Sunnah.

      In my blog http://goo.gl/WAm64N (on the same topic) I have tried to explain why this submission to Allah is important and negating a divine law could make us go out of the fold of Islam. Hope this helps.

  • monilola Posted 2015-04-29 8:09 am

    Assalam alaykum…….
    Am glad someone out there is pouring my heart out for me. It’s not easy at all, but Alhamdulilahi for Islam. I dont think women should be the only one guilty of jealousy or weak Imaan. Its unfair. Most men cheats on their wife and if woman refuses to accept second wife, they call it selfishness. Just sick and tired of ways some Men misconstrued Allah’s word. So sad. May Allah forgive us our shortcomings. Amen.

  • Nawal Posted 2015-04-30 2:15 am

    This thought just came across my mind.. Shouldn’t a man love for his wife what he would love for himself (You should love for your brother (or sister, basically any Muslim) as how you would love for yourself)? Would he love for himself being hurt by any means, especially when it comes to the matter of his own heart? If no, then isnt the act of doing something which he knows will hurt his wife tremendously, an act of not loving her as he would for himself? I mean it irks me how some men will always put the rules on women, while he is conveniently exempted somehow. Sorry if my wordings is not too clear. Kinda in a rush

    • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 10:02 am

      The best amongst all is Prophet saw in manners. Him marrying many women shows its not ill treatment towards women.

  • FearTheFire Posted 2015-05-01 3:13 am

    Great post. May Allah bless you and your family. Have shared my point-of-view on this topic here that summarises four key areas:
    – Negating a divine decree from Allah;
    – Polygyny is an option;
    – What a wife needs to understand;
    – What a husband must understand

    Have referenced your blog too.

  • mamamama Posted 2015-05-01 9:06 pm

    More often than not, the husband would be having an affair with a younger lady. And when he is head over heels with the new love, he neglect the 1st wife and kids as well as starting to see faults in everything the 1st wife did. He might be close to or already committed sins with the affair. Wallahualam.

    Then he said he want to take a 2nd wife. And the 1st wife, finally understand why she is being treated coldly. Now, she need to oblige to the husband and be ready to accept a new ‘sis’.

    Wow.. it seems like the 1st wife has no right at all.. this is the reason why women find it difficult to embrace polygamy. Its far from the kind of polygamy that The Prophet practised!

  • Umm Amaan Posted 2015-05-02 6:21 am

    Excellent article which is completely on-point. As a divorced single mother who has been on her own for 4 years and and who would like to get married but can’t due to the stigma attached to single mothers, this article was a welcome relief in many ways and has opened my eyes to polygamy. I have been ‘considering’ it for a few weeks now, mostly due to my increasing age and the fact that my kids need a father figure to motivate and inspire them. I have two main fears of pursuing this avenue for marriage. Firstly, I fear my co-wife will hate me and cause problems for me. Maybe she might curse me or deliberately ruin things between me and my husband. Secondly, I fear that if I DID enter into such a relationship, while I would have patience with it,

    I worry my husband will NOT be able to fulfill his duty towards us both and somehow I would be left having to make all the sacrifices because he feels guilty about marrying again and wants to please his existing wife. Women ARE naturally emotional, and no one wants to accept they are sharing their husbands. Men have a huge responsibility in ensuring women are treated fairly and are given equal time and importance. I would hate to be in a relationship living in fear my co-wife wants to harm me or is cursing me etc – I certainly wouldn’t want to be the cause of anyone’s misery.

    And this brings me to a big point. Many sisters BLAME the co-wife and hate on her, when they should only look to the husband and deal with it with HIM. A REAL man should be able to deal with it, but equally so, women need to STOP blaming the co-wife. I am at a stage in my life where if I don’t marry soon, I fear I will never be able to get married (I am going into my 40’s now) and will die old and lonely. What are women like me who are in need of a companion and a father figure for their kids supposed to do? Single brothers rarely would take this responsibility on because let’s face it, even if they DID want to marry you, their families would probably never agree. And if married brothers can’t take that responsibility, then who DO we marry?

    As painful as it is for women to deal with, they ALSO need to realize that as long as their husband still loves them and provides for them and doesn’t allow his second wife to emotionally come between them, then they should remember that if they bear it with patience, Allah SWT will reward them in it. I am NOT saying they should be happy about it, but I DO think that if women stop and think about how desperate another woman MUST be to want to enter into a polygamous marriage in the first place, then perhaps she would be less inclined to hate or blame the woman. No woman wants to share her husband, and it would be just as hard for a woman entering a second marriage as it is for the existing wife.

    • Fariha Posted 2015-05-02 10:37 pm


      Allah SWT would make things easy for you. He knows the hikmah of bringing us to this stage in life and then testing our faith.

      I can make you find a right proposal of a very pious brother, if it seems okay to you.
      Please feel free to contact me through gmail on fareehakbutt@gmail.com


  • Faizal Posted 2015-05-02 1:47 pm

    Ah this never ending issue on polygamy. The fact remains,.men can have up to 4 wives, whether the wives like it or not. So live with it and just accept that fact.

    But if the men does not treat the wives fairly, be sure he’ll what he deserves during Judgement Day. Be sure about that.

    Allah is most fair. Put that to your head and speak less. May Allah grant your husband his 2nd, 3rd and 4th wife. Ameen.

  • Umm Adam Posted 2015-05-02 5:34 pm

    I take Issue with Polygamy being called Sunnah. Simply put the Sunnah was to marry 1 wife until she dies. The Prophet(saws) married after his wife died someone to care for his children. He married more after that for reasons of examples that divorced and widowed and old women are worthy of marriage. He also married for political reasons. None of those are the reasons why a man takes a 2nd wife. So then it cannot be Sunnah if he is not doing it for those reasons.

    • Idris Posted 2015-05-15 6:03 am

      Sister, Sunnah is the emulatable practice of the Prophet; sayings, actions, and silent approvals as contained in authentic narrations (hadeeth). It will not be out of place to say it is sunnah. The maxim that it is sunnah means always compulsory is what should be corrected. The companions of the Propjhet with whom Allaah is pleased with married for other reasons other than those of the Prophet and the Prophet allowed it and can also be said to be sunnah. What we should concentrate on is how to manage polygyny in the light of the Qur’aan and Sunnah without violating the Allah given right of one or the other. Muslims today do not know how to fulfill the rights of Allaah properly e.g. Salah, zakat, hajj, etc. It is therefore not strange that muslims ‘mis-practise’ polygyny.

      May Allaah rectify the affairs of muslims.

  • Muhammad Usman Sheikh Sheikh Posted 2015-05-03 7:16 am

    Masha Allah, this article is very well written and sister you Masha Allah have a very good writing style. May Allah Azzawajal enhance your skills, bless you with more wisdom and make them a source of inspiration and guidance for people around you. Ameen.

    Now with my comment: I strongly agree with the points that you make in your article as you have very well supported your claims BUT, I certainly do not feel comfortable reading on the other comments where sisters are discussing issues that maybe of great importance and trying to issue fatwahs (Islamic Rulings). Firstly, I must say that we have a very bad habit of doing this while we engage in giving sincere naseeha to our fellow brothers and/or sisters. Dear sisters/brothers, let us remember that we are in no position to issue a ruling based on our understanding / interpretation of the verses of The Glorious Qur’an. So let us refrain from doing so.

    Secondly, with regards to the issue at hand, even though I, being a man strongly agree with the author’s point of view, that, the burden of the greater responsibility in a polygamous marriage is on the shoulders of the Man, I would never disregard the role played by the sisters nor consider it equal to zero.

    In my humble opinion, if the sister practices patience (Sabr) over her circumstances, then Allah Azzawajal may reward her with something even greater. Imagine a scenario where in today’s tough economic age, both the parents work and leave one, two or more children behind, could you really trust domestic household help (A complete stranger) with your children? I’m sure the answer is NO for at least 95% of you if not all. Having a co-wife who may have the potential to instill some positive values in the children at their tender ages, would definitely be something beneficial and at the least a better alternative than having a complete stranger – Non-Mahram man or woman in the household to take care of the children.

    Furthermore, I really like the point a sister makes that there are some things that lie beyond the scope of our comprehension and we must definitely accept them as being the divine laws of Allah SWT, rather having to choose with our personal interest, the virtues of Islam that suit our modern day lifestyle. Having said that, I don’t understand why sisters today, misunderstand their own potential and their own psyche. I, in no way am claiming to be a pro at women’s psychology but I honestly believe that it is the Women who possess the ultimate key to the establishment of better, harmonious societies. And the key (again in my humble opinion), is for them to give ultimate priority to their home and tarbiyah of her children. If our sisters become better mothers, then they have the potential to instill some very beautiful and positive values in the children who maybe presidents or imams of the future. And by doing this, as hard as it maybe, I honestly believe the sister is the utmost happiest and fulfilled. As (again in my humble opinion), after the birth of her first child, the major part of her attention is given to the child.

    In conclusion, these are my humble opinions and I do not expect anyone to follow them but please understand the our Religion is Beautiful in every aspect and every regard. The issue of Poligamy may actually be a blessing for our modern day societies and lifestyles, it is all a matter of perspective, even if we cannot comprehend it within our finite little minds. May Allah Azzawajal bless all sisters and brothers with abundance of Love and Prosperity and make it easy on them with what ever tests that Allah Has blessed them with Ameen.

    And Allah Azzawajal Ultimately Knows Best.

  • Ummmuhd Posted 2015-05-06 5:11 am

    Polygamy is more difficult when you have a bad mouthed husband like i do. He says” you can go if you want to, afterall you are not the only woman in this house and you are not the only woman i can sleep with”. Please imagine your husband tells you that how would you feel? The other issue is justice, he provides accomodation for other wives and asks you to provide fir yourself since you earn more than others. One thing is CERTAIN, he’ll pay me back on the day of reckoning bi iznillah for i am humiliated.

    • Idris Posted 2015-05-15 5:54 am

      Those words will be unkind from any muslim, how much more a muslim husband. May Allaah ease your affairs and correct your husband’s.

  • Sherifa Posted 2015-05-06 11:15 am

    Yea my experience is similar to urs. My husband insults me at will, so much that i am only in the marriage for the title ‘married woman’. I feel almost nothing towards a man who claims to have married me just to assist me. Mine also provides houing for others and claims that i should sort myself out.

  • Sherifa Posted 2015-05-06 3:44 pm

    May Allah ease our affairs. Amin

  • sha Posted 2015-05-06 7:48 pm

    It will however always be a problem for the first who has shared burden of starting of family and sacrificed so much for the husband to be pleased with her. The pain and jealousy, something she is forced to live with for the rest of her life. Allahu mustaan. Sometimes we forget that the reward is from Allah swt and not from our husband loyalty to wife because men are just not capable of loyalty, but it still hurts in a way it will scar you forever and no i do not have to be okay with it or accept it, however you (the husband) must bear all consequences of your unilateral decision.

    • Idris Posted 2015-05-12 7:40 am

      I do understand that the hurt is natural with women. Even if they are sisters and not co-wives. An insight into what ‘Aisha did at the time of the Prophet with dishes of a co-wife is a big lesson. The same is with men, they have jealousy. But these two are not virtues but human shortcomings that we have to work to improve on. It does not mean we will get over it but we should not relent or resign to its ‘naturality’.

      From your statement ukhtee …

      “…. and no i do not have to be okay with it or accept it, however you (the husband) must bear all consequences of your unilateral decision.”

      It’s like you still feel it is betrayal for the husband to have another wife. Would you have thought that the prophets of Allaah (Ibraheem, Lut, Isma’eel, Moosa, Muhammad etc) – may Allaah be please with all of them, and the noble companions have betrayed their first wives when they married other women? Oh! You may say, ‘those are pious men and we cannot compare them to men of now-a-days’. Maybe. But are we not supposed to copy them as they are our fore-runners and examples for us? Some of their wives are bad too like the wives of Nuh and Lut. Does that make their husbands bad prophets?

      The messages of Islam as contained in the ‘unabrogated’ part of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are eternal and they guide us to the best of ways.

      I share some retrospects below:

      “….. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”

      Qur’aan 2 vs 216

      “… Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship …”

      Qur’aan 2 vs 185

      ” … He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. … ”

      Qur’aan 22 vs 78

      “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”

      Qur’aan 2 vs 208

      Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever.”

      Sahih Muslim 2956

      Subhanallaah! In a prison, you do not get everything you want.

      Let us all look at what we have prepare for the day …

      “The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.”

      Qur’aan 22 vs 88-89

      May Allaah ease our affairs on that day ukhtee and make us all benefit from His Mercy SubhanaHu wa Ta’aala. That is the most important thing for us as Muslims.

      Nothing in this world is worth our hereafter except seeking the pleasures of our creator.

      Was salaam ‘alaykum wa rahamatuLlaahi wa barakaatuHu

      • michubells Posted 2017-02-18 11:58 am

        truly well said brother

        Qur’aan 2 vs 216

        “… Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship …”

        Allah make it ease for us right? I wanna ask u somethin. If a wife feel truly betrayed and seek comfort from another man. and she fall in love with him and no love, no respect anymore for her husband. What should she do? Its hard for her to love her husband anymore. Can she seek divorce? If its going continue, and we said keep ur marriage, if u don’t u are not good woman nor good wife. we never know either she cheat like sleep with other man or going crazy.

        remember Allah wanna make it ease. not hardship for us.. so what would u suggest to this kind of sister?

      • michubells Posted 2017-02-18 12:13 pm

        what I wanna said is,,, is that us who make her suffer or Allah wanna her in pain like that? Allah make EVERYTHING EASY FOR US ! THEN WHY US MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO HER ? thats why Allah allow divorce. if not, why would Allah allow divorce ?

        WE, MOSLEM Society from imaam to us (MOST OF US) who said believer told her u are wrong. u are bad wife if u ask divorce just because polygamy. U COULDNT SMELL PARADISE. HEAVEN IS CLOSED FOR YOU. and I wanna ask, who are WE? are we angels? are we close enough to Allah? once again, WHO ARE WE ?

        is that brother who have heaven? or Allah?

        is that her husband, her imaam, her brother who JUDGE her in the JUDGEMENT DAY or ALLAH who judge all of us?

        So I wanna say, its Allah’s RIGHT and ONLY ALLAH can judge her action, not us.

        May Allah forgive all of our sins 🙂

  • Idris Posted 2015-05-12 7:57 am

    And to the men, more importantly, fear Allaah!

    It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever has two wives and leans towards (i.e. favours) one of them (over the other), will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.”

    [Musnad Ahmad (2/347) No. 8549, Sunan Abu Dawud (2/242) No. 2133, Sunan al-Nasa’i (7/63) No. 3942, Sunan Tirmidhi (3/447) No. 1141, Sunan Ibn Majah (3/143) No. 1969, Sunan al-Darime (2/193) No. 2206, classed as saheeh by al-Haafiz in Buloogh al-Maraam (pg. 322) No. 1067]

    “When a man has two wives and does not treat them equally he will come on the Day of Resurrection with a side hanging down”

    [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

    “The best of you are those who are best to their families (wives and children), and I am the best of you to my family.” [Tirmidhi, Sahih]

    It does not mean you will not mistakes, but when you do, know that …

    And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.”
    Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani.

    “And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)”

    Qur’aan 20 vs 82

    So repent with respect to how you deal with your wives. Remember the golden advice from the Prophet of Islam on his farewell hajj …

    “Fear Allaah concerning women, for you have taken them on the security of Allaah and have made their bodies lawful to you by the words of Allaah. Your right over them is that they should not allow anyone whom you dislike to sit on your bed. If they do that, then hit them, but not severely. Their rights over you are that you should be kind to them and clothe them properly. ”

    If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are four conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person. If it is money or property, etc, it must be returned to him; if it had to do with slandering him etc, then you should allow him to insult him in return, or ask for his forgiveness; if it had to do with backbiting about him, then you have to ask for his pardon.

    Nothing in this world is worth our hereafter except seeking the pleasures of our creator.

    Was salaam ‘alaykum wa rahamatuLlaahi wa barakaatuHu

  • sha Posted 2015-05-14 6:16 am

    I agree. but maybe i forgot to mention, i never agreed to it before marriage which he acknowledged, so to disregard it, is to disregard my right. i understand completely the sunnah and the purpose for women who need protection, i accept Allah swt allows this but with conditions that it do not disrupt existing household. why do men often overlook that his wife is a reflection of him as a man?
    a wife needs to feel secure, that he is protecting her rights as much as his, protecting her integrity as much as his. to take upon himself that to look into his existing family and improve its condition that his tarbiyah is exemplary and for him to replicate it will strengthen the family and ultimately the ummah. a wife despite the hurt and jealousy, would learn to accept if her rights will always be protected and his words match his actions. so do not admonish, punish and list out all her shortcomings, to be reasons for taking another wife, chances are you as a husband have them too, and taking another wife is not an answer. repair your relationship, be kind, generous, forgiving and take care of your existing family, before you even think about establishing another. Understand that you shape the family you have.

  • Idris Posted 2015-05-15 5:51 am

    Sister Sha,

    I empathize with you and would not say i understand exactly what you are going through because I am not you and you may be better than me in the sight of Allaah. I will just advise on patience and understanding. My point is not to allow anybody’s (in)action affect your relationship with Allaah and being kind to fellow Muslims and human beings in general. A point to note is that our estranged Muslim husband, wife, child, friend or neighbor are Muslims first and have rights over us. Remember:

    The Messenger of Allah (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

    “Do not envy one another, and do not inflate prices for one another, AND DO NOT HATE ONE ANOTHER, AND DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM ONE ANOTHER, and do not undercut one another in trade, but [rather] be slaves of Allah and brothers [amongst yourselves]. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: HE DOES NOT OPPRESS HIM, NOR DOES HE FAIL HIM, NOR DOES HE LIE TO HIM, NOR DOES HE HOLD HIM IN CONTEMPT. Taqwa (piety) is right here [and he pointed to his chest three times]. It is EVIL ENOUGH FOR A MAN TO DESPISE HIS MUSLIM BROTHER. The whole of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property, and his honour.”
    [Reported by Muslim] – (Emphasis is mine)

    In essence, two wrongs does not make a right. A sinful or deficient Muslim is still a Muslim and we should give him/her the rights. We naturally expect a reciprocal but it is not the best. The ideal is to look up to Allaah’s marvelous reward especially on the day of judgement.

    What I think we all know but need to constantly remind and admonish ourselves about is that we are not perfect. Every (wo)man has the tendency to have shortcomings and with some greater than others. Muslims are not perfect; they wrong themselves, others and even their Lord. Some will repent and get the forgiveness of Allaah and the wronged, while others will not and will be punished sooner or later. That however does not take Islam from them because they have left the greatest and unforgivable wrongdoing; associating partners with the Lord, Creator and Owner of all that exists – Allaahu Akbar. So help one another whenever possible or at least help yourself and not keep or bottle up anger or anguish for long because that will not help but rather torment and hunt your peace of mind. Lift up your heart to Allaah and He will in shaa Allaah lift off you the pains sooner or later. The world is a place of turmoil and struggle – (Q90:4 Verily, we have created man into toil and struggle). We will continue to do that but can only find rest and peace in turning to Allaah (Q13:28 – Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, BY THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAAH HEARTS ARE ASSURED – FIND PEACE.”).

    I do not know your husband or the circumstances that you disagreed on or why he took a second wife. It will be unfair for me to comment so as not to be judgmental on it but to pray that Allaah give you all a better way out. (I hope I have not read being judgmental about you either – please overlook and forgive if you read so but know that I do not intend so and tried not to write so as well).


    “And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and RECONCILIATION (MAKING PEACE) IS BETTER. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.”

    I believe all the admonitions above applies to me as well.

    O Allaah! Grant peace to the heart and life of your dear servant Sha and her family. Alleviate her fears and ameliorate her conditions. And same for me and all Muslims in shaa Allaah.

    And with Allaah alone is true success and guidance.

  • Deleeda Posted 2015-05-28 10:19 pm

    Reading this… everything that I felt but could not express into words is written in this superb article. The topic overwhelms me because subhan’Allah it is true that while yes it is permissible in Islam, there are warnings from Allah swt in the verses of the Quran… so if Allah is warning you that it is difficult to be fair… why go into it? Yes it is a sunnah but are the men and women in this society really like those of the Prophet saw and his companions… and then people say, but shouldn’t we do as the Prophet saw did… if he did it why can’t we. Yes of course we should implement the sunnah but subhan’Allah how we pick and choose what we would like to implement… does a man truly feel he is worthy of a second wife if he can’t even give the Islamic rights to the first wife, his children, his parents??? And I say this… because SO many people that I know who are divorced whether it be polygamy on alot of occasions (or not), do so because not only did they endure a difficult marriage of mistreatment from their husband whether it being verbal mental or physical abuse… the husband then decides to use religion to remarry? And expect the wife to accept and be patient so that their may be a harmonious home…??? Umm what!? How can there be a harmonious home if your first wife doesn’t accept?? (Allah swt places intuition in a woman, so if she says no, it could be that she knows her husband inside out… not just jealousy) and what of the consequences with your children if the mother is unhappy, the home is unhappy… who’s priority comes first. Your wife?? Your children?? Or your desires?? Astikhfir’Allah… what has this world come to… Allah swt allows us to stand up for our rights not succumb to oppression if that be the case for some women who are enduring this hardship. I too, have been married and divorced, so I understand the difficulties some women face.. yallateef.. we are in the times of fitnah.. May Allah swt keep us steadfast, forgive us for our transgressions, be aware but protect us from evil and help this ummah ameen.

  • Y A Posted 2015-06-08 2:45 pm

    From what I’ve seen, in real life, polygamy in the west is only ever used to abuse women. Men who claim to be following the sunnah, and claim to be very religious, marry women as second wives (usually converts), in secret (they use the excuse it’s illegal, even though multiple common law marriages aren’t), then dump her out onto the streets after a few months. And she has no recourse, and none of the rights she’s entitled to under Islamic law.

    If a man is a terrible husband to his first wife, he’s going to be a terrible husband to his other wives.

    I advise everyone to be wary of this. We aren’t in the times of the Prophet, we aren’t in a stage where a woman will have her rights cared for. If anyone ever asks for your hand, you must insist on 1) complete advertisement of this marriage. The whole community MUST know about this, and 2) Your own living quarters, complete with furniture and everything you need, PAID BY HIM. Don’t get skimped out on your rights. Don’t settle for nothing as a mahr. Make sure YOU are taken care of.

    May Allah protect us all.

    To clarify: I am NOT making polygamy haram. But to bury our heads in the sand and think it’s some sort of idealistic arrangement fosters abusive environments for women.

  • Sherifah Posted 2015-07-12 1:18 pm

    Salamun alaykum, please, who are those whom the right hand possesses that Almighty Allah talks about in the Qur’an?

  • adri Posted 2015-10-07 4:59 pm

    Salam aleikum!
    I understand your point of view sister. It hurts to share your husband because we all are emotional human being. I am second wife and is hard for me too. i was divorce, convert and living in a city with few practising muslim. so finding a good husband was difficult. and more difficult is to be a single women with christian parents that do not accept islam and it was very hard to find good job wearing hijab. so i know that majority of women hate polygamy, i used to hate it too, but sometimes we have to chose what is best for our deen.

    • tmitc868 Posted 2016-10-05 6:27 pm

      I can not believe that of all the times I’ve heard, “love for your sister what you love for yourself” no one than follows it with …..”Yes! And what I love for myself is a husband of my own.” The problem is that those women seeking to marry another sisters husband are not being considerate of her. They do not care how she feels of the matter, if she has accepted it or knows, how it will affect her children and family that has already been established, etc. The hurt woman is constantly the one admonished while everyone else goes about feeding their nafs. There are many women who are open and happy to enjoin a polygamous family. Why then would any woman care less about her sister to not seek these who look to cooperate?

      • tmitc868 Posted 2016-10-05 6:29 pm

        That comment was not meant for you but to a previous posted comment. But I would like to know, when you make the decision that is best for your deem, are you accepting the proposal of men who are looking to have another wife, or are you seeking out married men and offering yourself?

  • Sara Posted 2015-10-12 6:22 pm

    Assalamualaikum sister Umm Zakiyyah, You mentioned 5 points regarding the Ayah about polygamy. Were these points derived on basis of your own interpretation of the Ayah or from the tafseer of the Ayah? If they were not from the tafseer, could you share (if possible) the meaning of the ayah explained by the Ulema who follow the Quran and Sunnah in accordance with the understanding of the Sahabahs. I think it’s better that we understand the Quran verses from authentic Islamic sources rather than personal opinion. (Please forgive me if I sound blunt sis. I have no intention to do so) Having said that, the article definitely gave a clear insight regarding polygamy from a women’s perspective (which is often disregarded) . Jazakallah Khair and baarakAllahu feeki 🙂

    • Aboo AbdirRahman Posted 2016-08-17 3:37 am

      BaarakaLlahu feek

    • MQ Posted 2017-03-11 10:55 am

      Very accurate demand, I have been thinking same reading lots of personal interpretations of verses here. And how rulings are derived from those sources is a big science.
      The mention of orphans in the verse actually was to mean that if mean feared they cannot do justice with orphan girls, as they may not have a wali or someone caring for them, so a not so suitable man may marry her with less mahr.. Not how people read and think it means,
      Secondly the initial command in Quran is to marry 2s, 3s, and 4s, and then one is conditioned with the inability to do justice, not the other way round.

  • Brothr Posted 2015-11-24 7:22 pm

    Having 4 wives is the right of every man. But its best to have one wife because treating them all equally fairly is very difficult. Even Allah said so.

    We cannot put conditions on it which Allah has not put on it ie conditions such as the first wife’s permission for the second marriage, first wife has to be barren or sick etc.

    What I dislike is when men who marry second wives do not like it for their sister’s husband/daughter’s husband to marry again and also when such men dont like their daughter or sister to be someone’s second wife.

    After all love for your brother what you love for yourself. So love for your sister’s husband to marry again just as you marry again and love for your other sister to be a second wife just as your second wife married you even though you were married.

    Another thing I hate is when second wives make a fuss about their husband’s third marriages. Thats just hypocritical.

    People in the above two categories are the furthest away from loving for their brother/sister what they love for themselves.

    If people get past these two pathetic mental blocks then multiple marriages would be much more tolerable.

    Multiple marriages is the sunnah of Rasul so people should accept it wholly in society if they want to practice it.

    But monogamy is also the sunnah of Rasul. Muhammad (SAW) was married monogamously to Hazrat Khadijah for 25 years and she was very beloved to him. A good number of scholars even say that practising monogamy is the sunnah. For instance Imam Ash Shirbeeni said: “It is a Sunnah not to marry more than one wife if there is no apparent need.” [Mughni al-Muhtaj 4/207]

    • Umm Zakiyyah Posted 2015-11-25 3:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Brothr. I think we should be very careful with our tongues and the use of the words “hypocrisy” and “Sunnah.”

      If it is hypocrisy for a man to have multiple wives but dislike polygamy for his sister or daughter, then what of the Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, forbidding Ali (ra) the husband of his daughter Fatimah (ra) from taking another wife due to her distress over the situation? Also, if it is hypocrisy for a second wife to dislike her husband to marry a third wife, then it is equally (or even more so) hypocrisy for the first wife to dislike her husband to marry a second. For aren’t we Muslims first and foremost and our thoughts and beliefs should be based on our faith? At least the second wife has already shown her belief in Islam’s definition of marriage by entering into the difficult situation of polygamy in the first place.

      In truth, none of the above is hypocrisy unless a person believes something is fundamentally wrong while the Qur’an and Sunnah says otherwise (then sets out to forbid it while practicing something different in their own life). We cannot help being human and disliking something that hurts us or makes us jealous (or that hurts those we love), even if we know it is not wrong. Human emotion (sadness, happiness, dislike, etc.) based upon our life circumstances in no way contradicts our belief in Allah and Islam, nor does it point to any hypocrisy within ourselves. The Prophet himself experienced all of these emotions, even negative ones after Allah decreed hardship for him (i.e. losing his wife Khadijah [ra], the revelation stopping for some time, the death of his grandsons, seeing Fatimah suffer, etc.). Even though all of these things were decreed by Allah for the greater good, the Prophet disliked experiencing them.

      In marriage, both monogamy and polygamy are Sunnah, and neither is inherently better than the other except for what Allah has shown to us specifically based upon the intricate details of our own circumstances. It is not Sunnah to practice polygamy based on “apparent need” any more than it is Sunnah to practice monogamy based on “apparent need.” Who is able to determine this in any case? And what is meant by “apparent need”? Apparent to whom? Even if we believe in this “apparent need” theory, what greater “apparent need” is there than to turn to Allah in du’aa and Istikhaarah and follow the path He shows is best for our lives and souls?

      Surely, no one who believes in Allah and the Last Day can look at another person’s life and say with certainty what is best for them, nor can they say that such-and-such is “hypocrisy” and such-and-such “Sunnah” unless the statement is based on a clear principle in our faith that is not subject to natural emotion and human choice. However, marriage is fundamentally a matter of choice, as decreed by Allah (with or without “apparent need”), and the proofs for this abound in both common sense and Islamic history. So it is better that we keep silent and refrain from having opinions about matters that do not concern own lives directly.

      As the Prophet, sallallaahu’alayhi wa sallam, taught: Part of a person’s good Islam is that he stays out of matters that don’t concern him.

      May Allah guide us and forgive us, and make our focus our own lives and souls, and may He guard our tongues, purify our hearts, and place love and mercy between the believers.

      • tmitc868 Posted 2016-10-05 6:35 pm

        Well, the matters of the ummah and the women are the women’s concern.

  • Qays Posted 2015-12-01 12:43 am

    As salamu alaikum. Excellent advice. Jazakum Allahu khayr.

  • M. T. Posted 2016-06-12 5:03 pm

    You are presenting same “womanly argument” but in a smart way that 1) Role of man changes, not of wife and 2) She should take sister-wife as a sister not rival.

    Point # 2, Even most pious women including Azwaj Mutahiraat had jealousy among themselves so if you say otherwise, believe me… I am not believing you.

    Point # 1, indeed role of man changes but woman (referring to 1st wife) tries her best to make taking 2nd marriage difficult as much as possible for her. This is based on personal experience, no matter what man dies for her woman, she will still not be happy for his “easy death”.

    In short, women are women where some are a little more intelligent like you who present their “dislike” of sister-wife like the smart way.

  • Karen Posted 2016-06-18 4:28 am

    Allah Glory to Him, He is The Wisest did nowhere said in The Holy Quran that i must accept polygamy, if i feel i was treated unjust, then by His Great Mercy i am free to divorce. I personally rellay only on Him and He said for who divorce He will InshAllah gives the both from His bounty, this is Him The Most Merciful, He gaves us His hand and promoce so we do not scare and do not stay in a marriage, when we are in pain.
    We can say furthermore, that is hardly unlikely to meet a person nowadays which religious commitment and understanding and wisdom are enough high to can meet the requierments of a polygamous marriage.
    Thank you oh, Great Allah, that you protect my honor.

  • Khadijah Posted 2016-12-09 10:48 am

    Assalamu Alaikum sister Umm Zakiyyah,

    I am a divorcee with one kid. A muslim brother (with two kids) asked me to become his second wife and I agreed.
    The reason he gave my father was that he is not happy with his first marriage. My father is really worried because he thinks the guy is lying. He says if the guy is not happy with first marriage he should have divorced her rather than taking a second wife. The guy also told him that he will never divorce his first wife.
    What do you suggest me to do?

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