Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide in our hearts as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatsoever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah. {Quran, 14:38}


Times 4

This is the first post that I have forwarded to someone prior to publishing on this site. Although I am not a co-wife, I am a woman and can feel for women who are. For that reason I wanted to assure that this article is based on True Islam and not that of my emotional stance. Of all people whom I trust of opinion, it is my husband who I trust the most in fair dealings. He backed me on this and gave me the green light to set free on my blog without need for correction. But just as a side note I've talked to him about this in the past because it is only been recent that I have been able to justify this in my heart not just my mind. (By clicking on the title above you can check out a good article written by Dr./Imam Jamal Badawi on greater details pertaining to the history of polygamy in the 3 monotheistic religions .) All Praises belong to God alone. Here I go again...

Ok, so I am having one of those pain in the neck thoughts about something that has been driving me nuts for some time, at least to some extent. I love everything about Islam. Islam is a perfect way of life, and yes, for everyone. The problem is people. Islam is perfect and people are far off from that, not excluding myself. I have been reading up on the topic of “Polygamy”. It is justified. It is moral. It is correct. It is even perfect. Polygamy is all these things under specific circumstances! First, let me get something straight, and clear up a messed up misconception of polygamy in Islam. In no way, I mean NONE whatsoever, is a man able to marry more than one woman for the sole purpose of justification of a man’s egotistical satisfaction, as many people, even those who consider themselves Muslims, believe. To be a True Muslim, we need to not only follow the rulings of Quran but we have to understand them. The way we understand them is by following the way of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Any decision we make as Muslims has to be in the frame of “What would the Last Messenger (pbuh) do?, How would he do it?”

So having said that, let me backtrack for a second. Islam is about getting down to basics. Quite literally too, modesty is not only the way one dresses, but it’s about the way Muslims eat, sleep, work and interact with one another male or female. Islam teaches us how to do these individual tasks, and for that reason, we will be held accountable for every single minuscule detail in our lives.
Everything “insignificant” is actually quite significant. Living large because life is short is a reckless mentality in the heart of a true Muslim. Moderation is key, so key! I am not saying not Islam tells Muslims they shouldn’t seek the pleasures of this life, I am saying that Islam tells people to always have the goal of the Hereafter and that we should love to do good deeds for the ultimate purpose of reaching Paradise.

Ok, so back to this Polygamy issue. Allah tells us in the Quran:

"If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then (marry) only one…" (Qur’an 4:3)

Dr. Jamal Badawi points out what this Verse (Ayah) really means:

1 That polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted.

2 That the permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of. Rather, it is associated with compassion towards widows and orphans, a matter that is confirmed by the atmosphere in which the verse was revealed.

3 That even in such a situation, the permission is far more restricted than the normal practice that existed among the Arabs and other peoples at that time when many married as many as ten or more wives.

4 That dealing justly with one’s wives is an obligation. This applies to housing, food, clothing, kind treatment…etc., for which the husband is fully responsible. If one is not sure of being able to deal justly with them, the Quran says: "then (marry) only one." (Quran 4:3) This verse, when combined with another verse in the same chapter, shows some discouragement of such plural marriages. The other verse plainly states: "You are never able to be fair and just between women even if it is your ardent desire…" (Quran 4:129) The requirement of justice rules out the fantasy that man can "own as many as he pleases." It also rules out the concept of a "secondary wife", for all wives have exactly the same status and are entitled to identical rights and claims over their husband. It also implies, according to the Islamic Law, that should the husband fail to provide enough support for any of his wives, she can go to court and ask for a divorce.

5 The verse says "marry," not kidnap, buy or seduce. What is "marriage" as understood in Islam? Marriage in Islam is a civil contract, which is not valid unless both contracting parties consent to it. Thus, no wife can be forced or "given" to a husband who is already married.

So this all leads back to the teacher and love of Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We know that he himself was married for 25 years to only one woman, the first Muslim by the way after Prophet Muhammad (received his first revelation). Her name was Khadija (may God be pleased with her). It was only after her death, did the Last Messenger (pbuh) married other women. He married a woman who no one wanted to marry, he married an elderly woman, he married a widow. The purpose of these marriages was NOT for fulfilling a man’s desire and living life with women all over him. NO IT WASN’T LIKE THAT. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon this most humble man, married women out of a legal responsibility to take care of them when no other humble man would! He did this to teach the Muslim men to look out for the female victims of society whom no one has their best interest at heart except those who fear God and believe that accountability will occur!!

Men are allowed to marry up to 4 women under circumstances that anyone can digest easily. Its not about men abusing this right of theirs to get married to a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wife for the sake of their own entertainment. Nothing annoys me more than when I’ve heard or read somewhere that a man can marry more than one woman rather than just “hooking up”. Marriage is something SO SACRED in Islam. So you can imagine me, as a woman, how ticked I get every time I hear that excuse. Hypothetically, if a man has children, a God-fearing good wife and another woman comes along who has embraced Islam and there are no pious men for her for whatever reason, then I can understand. If a wife is terminally ill and has children and the husband seeks to marry another woman, I can also get that. My point, is the point of polygamy justification, as ruled in Islam. It means a man marries for a justified reason, out of responsibility, out of compassion and mercy for another woman, or even for that first woman, not for feeding into his testosterone. Because if a man has everything and then goes out looking for some more, then that in itself is NOT JUSTICE done towards his first wife. Surely, Allah is a witness over all things. Let’s also keep a mental note of the fact that Allah tells men that it will be easier for them to stick with one wife as it will be difficult to be fair and just. So polygamy if practiced, needs to be done for the same careful purposes Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did it. Not for adorning himself in life, and not for the sake of the materialistic principle that having more is better. Period!


At April 21, 2006, Anonymous Mona Um Ibrahim said...

Well said! So many Muslims just take the face value of polygamy - it is permitted to have 4 wives - and run with it. Just like in the news when we hear the headline 'chocolate is good for you' but if you go an read the article in detail, it says dark chocolate only. Polygamy in Islam is not just about marrying more than one wife, it's much more than that, and your article helps clear that up. May Allah reward you and bless your family.

At April 21, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

may Allah reward you too Um'Ibrahim for your comparison on chocolate..

yummy! imagine what chocolate in Jannah will taste like?!! I hope I get to taste it!!!

may Allah grant Mercy & love on your family too.

At April 21, 2006, Anonymous Apples said...

Salaam Suhaa, thanks for dropping by earlier and thanks for introducing to I had their video on my blog:)

At April 22, 2006, Anonymous misfit said...

Well said Suhaa.

I get that crap all the time from non-muslims mocking at the muslims on marrying four wives etc. It's infuriating, I tell ya. It's a sheer waste of time/energy explaining it to them. Most times, I let it be.

This is a brilliant piece. Keep it going.

At April 22, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah apples:
i dont even remember how i came across this site, but i thought it was great, mashaAllah. and its insightful to see other Muslims sisters going through a hard time just wearing hijab. Here in the US its not difficult for me to wear it, although its because i dont care what other people think. the more we worry about people's impressions here and worry about fitting in the harder it can be. i understand many women refrain from wearing it here in the US because they are fearful of losing their jobs..anyways, the more we trust in Allah the easier I believe it comes and the easier Islam becomes in our practice.
i checked out your blog and its great that you posted the video of women in hijab..
may Allah reward u!

At April 22, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

Salaams Misfit:
So many people including Muslims sometimes get this point messed up in their heads. For a long time I didnt get it either, although I knew there had to be wisdom in it as I believe everything in Quran. So when the light bulb turned on in my heart of this issue I had to post on it!! :-)
jazakAllah kheir for your motivating comments
may Allah reward U !!!

At April 22, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

oh, and another thing misfit..nothing that you say or do is a waste of time in the site of Allah..

nothing goes unwitnessed. may Allah always keep that fact lit in our hearts, because we dont know how hidaya/Guideance will prevail itself by Allah in the eyes of the people!!
but i know what u gets frustrating sometimes..

At May 17, 2006, Anonymous bari said...

Sometimes I think that I might be a better wife if my sweet husband DID have another wife (not that i really want that). What? Well, perhaps that little competitive edge might motivate me to:
be neater
be nicer
be cleaner
be fitter
be kinder
be a better listener
be a better mother
be hotter ;-0
you know what i mean?

I often joke with him that I'd love another wife as i could use another pair of hands to help out in the house (but of course thats silly, cause she'd need her own house)
Besides, as an only child i'm a LOUSY sharer!!! But, in all seriousness, there are circumstances where I believe I would agree.

At May 17, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

i couldnt help but laugh , because could definantly be more of all of those too! at least try to be "hotter".. subhanAllah..


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