Sunday, May 22, 2011

Polygyny: Would I ?

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Over the years, polygyny has played a role in my life in many ways. When I was a single Muslimah, I had several proposals for polygyny and have witnessed polygyny attempts... and failures. One might think that with my attitude towards it, I might have been a willing candidate for polygyny.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I always looked at it with the questions:

What is the benefit for him?
What is the benefit for me?
What is the benefit for his family?
What are the losses for him?
What are the losses for me?
What are the losses for his family?
Does his wife want it? Does she accept and agree to it?
How does he plan to practice it?
Can he afford it?
Do we have similar goals?
Is he forward thinking regarding safeguarding our future and our goals collectively as a family?
Does he have genuine reasons for wanting to marry me?
What is his religious understanding and practice?

Believe me, there are plenty of other questions I could ask but I never even got past the first six or seven. Usually, I didn't even get past the first two! Needless to say, I didn't accept those polygynous proposals. In fact, in each case the first thing I asked the brother was, "What about your wife?" I will not be the one to hurt his wife, take time and resources away from his children, and ruin the simplicity of being one happy family unit. I'm not the party crasher. I'm not the one to squeeze a sixth person in a five-passenger car and cause discomfort for everyone on the journey.

I'm sure this sounds funny when I am in polygyny and have welcomed, or at worst case, accepted it into my life as a blessing and a test from Allah. However, there is a big difference between being a first wife where polygyny is imposed on you, and to be unmarried and make a conscious decision to enter into polygyny. The former entails having Allah send life changes and tests to you and facing them. The latter entails looking at  a prospective situation, its pros and cons, and choosing it.

So,  I wondered to myself, under what circumstances would I enter into polygyny? Before everything else, I would need to be in a situation where I needed to married...and where polygyny could work well or better than monogamy. Perhaps if I were widowed, needing support and stability for my children or to keep us in a certain place (like here in Madinah) it would become an option. Obviously there would need to be a great benefit to our Islam, with sound understanding and in depth knowledge. At my stage of life and deen, the only way to respect and obey a man is for him to have serious focus, obedience to, and worship of Allah.

So, if all this is in place, what's left? His wife. She must know me, understand me, love me, and actually want me in her life and family. She must be so satisfied with me that she would trust me to raise her children if something should happen to her. How's that for a tall order, LOL?

Now before anyone jumps up and argues, I know that the existing wife doesn't have to agree to polygyny. I know that she doesn't have to like me or be friends. I know that she doesn't even have to get to know me. This isn't about any Islamic requirements; this is about me and my heart and what I can live with. I cannot live with the guilt and fitna of marrying someone at the expense of others. I don't want to be another woman's heart wrenching test or unpleasant, lifetime burden. That makes for a wounded family. I will not expose my children to that and I will not accept that distraction from my deen and worship bi ithn Illah, taala.

I know what the implications of polygyny are. Basically, the first wife has to include and be affected for the rest of her life, by another woman who she never chose to share with, or even be friends with in many cases. The existence of that person in her family means that nothing is the same. Her marriage and marital intimacy is altered forever. There is no freedom to go on vacations without paying the price of time and money for someone else. Everything is on a schedule, restricted by time division and having to always be considerate of someone else. Everything is more complicated, more tiring, and sadly, less pleasant. It is a enormous and painful test for most women.

Marriage is supposed to be forever and it is meant to be one big family, on the same page, striving for the same goals, functioning in their respective roles, happy together and loving each other... for the sake of Allah. Sound too good, too ideal? Well, it isn't really; it will always have it's tests and trials. However, I've seen too much and been through too much to willingly settle for anything less that that.

May Allah bless us all abundantly, shower His soothing mercy on us, and make our good intentions a reality - ameen.


  1. ITA with you. I dont think if it was suggested to me i would ever have CONSIDERED the idea. it was a total no no.
    But as you know, after marriage things can change! :(
    How are you anyway. InshaAllah all is well xxx

  2. Ameen to your dua sis!

  3. Subhan Allah! I agree with you on all of your points. The only things that I would add is that the Brother would have had to be in Polygyny before. A wife who has been Polygyny will understand the situation better. We can write a book about the benefits or Polygyny or listen to a great lecture about it. But when you are packing your husbands clothing to be with another women, or watching him walk out the door.........That's another story. That takes a lot of patience, maturity and fearing Allah.
    Also may Allah save me from ever having to find a brother online. This outlet is how some brothers find second wives. I just can't imagine being a willing participant in polygyny with someone.......No one knows!! I just think getting married should be as close to the Sunnah as possible, Allahu Allem.
    The fitnah of the internet.

  4. As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Everytime things get so hard that I cant bare it you come along with a post to help me. As a first wife I am struggling really hard. With the intimacy, sharing time and resources. I recently had to help my husband pack and drop him off at the airport. I ask "Why do I have to take you" His reply " You are my best friend" I want to spend this time with you." Girl made me want to cry. Heck I have crying for 4 days.

  5. As salaamu alaykum Sweetlikechocolate.

    Yes, sometimes things are covered up because Allah means us to go through the test rather than avoid it. May the test benefit you and may everyone involved learn what they need to from it - ameen.

    Al hamdul'Illah, I am well. Barak Allahu feeki!

  6. Umm Salwaa,

    On the second point about not finding a brother on the Internet, that's why I said his wife would have to know me. I don't mean meeting some stranger on the Internet and then sitting with his wife for an hour or two before deciding. I'm talking about from families and sisters I know and love. People who are in a network of friends and acquaintances who can speak of each other's character, practice, and faults. In this way, it is very close to the Sunnah.

    As for having been in polygyny before, that might not be possible if it is an agreement between close friends, fi sabeel Allah. However, I can understand what you mean, because it helps to know that the other parties have some first-hand experience and the maturity to handle it. Of course, usually that first-hand experience is from a failed attempt.

    It's a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to the brothers. It can be a case of a brother having made an error of judgment or insincere intentions the first time around and having learned his lessons, OR it can be a brother who just doesn't take heed of Allah's signs and lessons. He's the type who just keeps on looking for polygyny when Allah has sent him every sign that he should be contented with what he has and work on correcting and improving his deen and his family.

    May Allah guide and protect us all - ameen.

  7. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Halal Wife.

    Men who have good, practicing, patient, and tolerant wives tend to be the ones who look for polygyny. They seem to expect her to do everything to please him, regardless of her mental and emotional state because of it. I'm sure that your husband feels that he is being kind, loving, and reassuring when he tells you that you are his best friend and he want's to spend that time with you. However, men simply don't understand that if they say they love you and you're their best friend and yet make clear to you that they aren't satisfied with you and will cause you pain and a lifetime of greater sacrifice, then it will never be entirely believable.

    Turn to Allah; He means what He says and He is totally believable.

    It is difficult for me to say anything to soothe you, so I pray that Allah will heal and soothe your heart.

  8. Mai- Habibiti, I was referring to myself. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of your post, as if how I would go about it. Sorry I worded it incorrectly. There is no way I assumed that you would look for some random stranger off of the internet!!! Pssst.........check your e-mail.

  9. Umm Salwaa,

    I didn't think you were suggesting anything about me...or you! There is no need to apologize or explain. I understood what you were saying, and I was talking hypothetically.

    Before marrying my husband, I looked on the Internet for a husband, but I realized that it never gave an accurate representation of the person. I gave that idea up very quickly.

    I think that our experience makes it very clear where the fitnah lies in the whole polygyny process, wa al hamdul'Illah.

  10. Also you said "He's the type who just keeps on looking for polygyny when Allah has sent him every sign that he should be contented with what he has and work on correcting and improving his deen and his family."
    I am just wondering how do you combat that? Do you make Duaa that Allah helps him to be satisfied with just you? When is it enough? For a woman when do you throw in the towel with Polygyny?

  11. Oooh! Umm Salwaa, you ask the most nitty-gritty questions mashaa'Allah!

    You know, I started typing out a response but it is deserving of a whole post inshaa'Allah. I'll start putting something together and try to post soon.

    Barak Allahu feeki my dear, dear sister!

  12. What you said was what i really needed to hear JazakAllah khair <3

    to the first wives-has your marriage in any way become stronger/have your husbands in any way 'improved' towards you and made extra sure to spoil you in any way?
    do y'all have any other first wife friends around you that seem contented and happy with it all/are even friends with their co-wives?

  13. As salaamu alakum Mai....What if the husband does not pray other than during rammadan, drinks and is not financially capable of supporting two wives must less two families without both wives working? What would you suggest the first wife and only wife as of now do? Of course other than turn to Allah I mean

  14. Mashallah I don't think I've read a blog post so filled with truth, emotion, and understanding. This really made me think, about being on both sides. What if I were the single sister being approached by a married brother? How would I respond? I've not really ever been in this situation before. Lol, I've been married since I was young 20's, so I didn't really ever have that kind of proposal. I have however been a first wife with a husband who wanted more. Honestly when I'm reading through the questions I really think these are questions every women should ask herself before getting involved with a polygynous marriage. I think when you have a woman who is planning to marry your husband, and is given the opportunity to get to know the 1st. wive, talk ect., and she doesn't take it that there is the first sign. What it says to me it this women does not care about me, or want good for our family. Even though she doesn't have to, you must realize your coming into a family. I'm not currently in a plural marriage, nor do I have any intentions of being in one. Allah know best because my husband will make plans, but it's up to Allah. Mai Jazakallahu Kharin for sharing this, it really is very beneficial. I think I'll print it off and refer back to it as needed. Inshallah. Their are so many obstacles that arise with polygyny that I think men never think of initially. I did tell my husband I don't think I'd stay with him if he does decide to make that decision. i don't think he believes me though. Lol sometime I feel like such a rebel. I'm religiously rebellious, just kinda in my own lil way with things I'm finding near unbearable. Ameen to your duas Mai, your sister in Islam Umm Assad :0}

  15. I don't enterily agree with what you write here:"However, there is a big difference between being a first wife where polygyny is imposed on you, and to be unmarried and make a conscious decision to enter into polygyny. The former entails having Allah send life changes and tests to you and facing them. The latter entails looking at a prospective situation, its pros and cons, and choosing it. "

    You still can say no, ask for a divorce or make it clear when you marry that polygamy is not for you.
    You don't have to be a martyr,Allah doesn't require that men marry in polygamy or that the wife has to suffer through it,it's a choice.


  16. As Salaaum Alaykum, I have been a silent reader for some time now and always agree with you 100%. I have a question for you.... How would you feel if your husbands new wife didn't want a relationship with you? Mind you, you and your husband had already been married for over 10 years prior to them getting married. And trust me when I tell you, I've tried everything to get her to want a relationship with his children and I but she wants no parts of us, Mashaa Allah. Never had a big fall out or anything like that... just courious as to what you would do in this situation? May Allah reward you for your help! AMEEN!

  17. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Co-Co.


    It is hard to speculate about her reasons for not wanting any involvement with you and your children. It may range from knowing that it will cause her feelings of insecurity, jealousy, or even guilt all the way to not being on the same page as you either Islamically or perhaps on another level.

    I think I would accept it as Allah's Qadr and consider it a protection for me and my children. I would leave her alone, not make any approach towards her, and get on with my life. Although it is a beautiful thing for a family to all be on the same page and real friends, when they aren't it can be a fitnah to be close or involved.

    Rather than expend time and energy trying to build a "great" relationship, I long came to the conclusion that if it doesn't come naturally, don't force it.

    I pray Allah richly blesses your family and protects you from the fitnah of polygyny - ameen.

  18. Opps! I made a lil typo. lol I didn't mean to write I'm religiously rebellious. May Allah save me from that. I meant to write I'm not religious rebellious. Sorry I don't how to edit a incorrect post that's already written.

  19. As salaamu alaykum Hanna.

    Whether you accept Allah's test of polygyny in your life or choose to walk away, you would not have to make the decision unless it was imposed on you. It may never reach reality, but the concept and intention have already been communicated.

    You and I have a different view of tests; perhaps due to our different ages or developmental stage. However, I wish to share this with you, only so you will understand my viewpoint a little better.

    “The divine decree related to the believer is always a bounty, even if it is in the form of withholding (something that is desired), and it is a blessing, even if it appears to be a trial, and an affliction that has befallen him is in reality a cure, even though it appears to be a disease! Unfortunately, due to the
    ignorance of the worshiper, and his transgressions, he does not consider anything to be a gift or a blessing or a cure unless he can enjoy it immediately, and it is in accordance with his nature. If he were only given a little bit of understanding, then he would have counted being withheld as a blessing, and the sickness as a mercy, and he would relish the trouble that befalls him more than he relishes his ease, and he would enjoy poverty more than he enjoys richness, and he would be more thankful when he is blessed with a little than when he is blessed with a lot.” {Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah}

    I think that and my post, "Tested? Here's the Deal" will clarify why I don't focus strongly on rejecting those tests. Most certainly I am not saying it is wrong to do so and if Allah should guide me to it, I would walk away rather than sacrifice my deen. However, I don't think that trying to handle Allah's tests makes me a martyr at all. Quite the contrary, it makes me smarter, wa al hamdu l'Illah 'ala kully haal.

  20. @Sweetlikeschocolate

    I cannot answer your questions yet; I'll have to see how things develop so I can give it a fair response, inshaa'Allah.

  21. @Saleema, are funny! I did raise my eyebrow when I read that you were religiously rebellious, LOL! Al hamdul'Illah you are a good girl with some lines you won't tolerate being crossed. Sounds just like me!

    I'm glad you found this post beneficial. I finally managed to make it blog worthy.

  22. @ Saleema again,

    Yes, I know what you mean about if the prospective wife doesn't want to meet the family. I, too, consider it a clear sign that she really doesn't care at all about us and being a family. That tells me that all she's interested in is my husband. It also leaves me feeling like the lifetime sacrifice that the children and I are making is mainly to satisfy her self-serving desires.

    It's a hard thing to keep fitna-free in such situations, especially as the never-ending restrictions and complications come out of the woodwork over time. Just imagine that if your husband dies, you have to arrange to split his pension with her and all the inheritance is diluted. In some cases, the inheritance becomes next to nothing with so many people to share it between. All that for someone who doesn't want to know you.

    May Allah protect us from that fate - ameen!

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  24. ......sigh!! Marriage can be a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But Allah is the most Just. No one can eat your rizq. It is already written for you.And you will get every penny until you meet death It's difficult to digest because you put so much effort in it, and someone comes a takes a portion.

  25. sister co co

    are you a first wife?

    Ive heard first wives mentioning how the second wife does not want anything to do with the first wife.
    i remember a first wife once telling me (she was very comfortable with her husband remarrying, very pro polygyny mashaAllah) that her husband turned a lot of women down because their request before marriage was would the husband be willing to not mention his first wife at all and have a totally separate relationship (like she didnt exist when he would be with them)
    i think the kids suffer in this, at the end of the day they are siblings no matter what

  26. Maashaa Allah, may All reward You Ameen, thats the same advice all my Compaions gave me and I'm going to leave it alone. Mashaa Allah I will now look at it as My Lord the Most High protecting me from something And Allah knows best. O.k im done with all the questions ;-)) I'll get back to being a silent reader...

  27. OOps I ment may All reward you not All..

    Sweetlikechoclate, Naam I was married to him first we were married 10 years with 4 kids before he got married mashaa Allah. I do think the kids suffer also now he has two children with his other wife and the kids hardly get to see each other. He do sometimes get all the kids and take them out but it is not often. My kids ask to see them all the time and I feel bad that I can't make that happen (Qudar of Allah). As time passes they ask less and less and I hate to admit it but im grateful for that. Mashaa Allah, I'm going to take the advice giving and make Duaa my heart becomes content with it.... Duaa is the weapon of the believers and im using my ammo...;-)

  28. @Mai I can imagine that would be difficult to share money, or inheritance with someone who really didn't like me,or my kids. I remember when this sister, and my husband were talking about getting married (in the past). I asked him if she asked about me or how I felt about the situation. He told me she didn't really ask about me, or my feelings. That really upset me. The more I saw it being just about "them", and their was really no caring or concern, the more I knew this is gonna be a big mistake. I made that it would never come to pass. I knew my kids, and I would be very much in the background, like not really a priority. It wasn't a good situation, and I was happy my husband never married her. I do remember her being hurt, but Allah is the best of planners, and some situations just aren't meant. Alhumdulilah! @Coco Yes Dua is most definitely the weapon of the believer, lol it's interesting to see how long our Sajoods get when we're in mess. Ameen to your Duas :3}

  29. @Anonymous, wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

    I'm going to tread very carefully with my answer to you. This question about what exactly a woman does if her husband intentionally does not pray is one I've been looking for clear answers to for over 20 years.

    There will always be a difference of opinion, There are many scholars who say that because the person left their prayers for an extended period, he is not Muslim and you cannot be married to him. There are, of course, different ways of handling the matter, the first one being dua', the second going to your Imam or someone relatively near you who can advise you. It may be that they will try to talk to your husband and guide him to resume his prayers and leave the alcohol. I have first hand experience in brothers who will not even sit with an Imam for religious advice and guidance, or will listen with deaf ears. If this is the case, you then must put your situation forward again and see what they advise you. I cannot simply tell you that if you have somewhere to go, you should leave, because there are steps to follow to ensure that it is done in a way that is pleasing to Allah. However, there is no question that in such a case you cannot remain with him. Inshaa'Allah, you will find wise and beneficial counsel from an Imam in your community.

    May Allah guide you, and may you follow His guidance with surety of sucess - ameen.

  30. Saleema and Umm Salwaa,

    The only reason I sit calmly when things aren't right is because Allah IS The Fair, The Balancer, and The Rectifier. I cannot tell you how many times a situation that was wrong has gone up in smoke while I sat calmly. Sabr is ALWAYS rewarded and those who trust in Allah and His Perfect Qadr, always come through these hardships enriched with benefit.

    You have examples of this many times in your lives, too. Bi ithn Illah, you will see it many more times.

    May Allah protect us all - ameen.

  31. Mai, thank you for this post. I have been avoiding polygamy blogs like the plauge because it can be too raw at times and there has been alot going on lately. Before I married my husband I was approached by brothers wanting me as their 2nd wife. Even a sister approached me for her husband trying to "sell him" on me. But in the end I did not want to be responsibile or any part of another sisters painful "test". I have seen friends and family deal with the pain and test growing up so I always felt it wasnt for me. I asked myself the same questions well not all of them because i never really considered it seriously enough to even get past the first question. I pray Allah makes it easy on you. Right now I have nothing positive to say so I will refrain from saying what i feel.

    SLC comment "husbands in any way 'improved' towards you and made extra sure to spoil you in any way?
    do y'all have any other first wife friends around you that seem contented and happy with it all/are even friends with their co-wives? "

    In the very very very beginning did my husband improve buying me gifts and things. But since then his behavior and our marriage has drastically changed. I think its important for other sisters to really talk to the 1st wife and see if she would actually recommend the brother in marriage let alone polygamy. Many sisters who want nothing to do with the first family have a rude awakening when they realize this brother wasnt the knight in shinning armor they thought he could be. And if they taken time to talk with first family, alot wouldve been revealed. Just my 2 cents. But back to the post/question SWL I have a friend whose husband recently took a 2nd. She is trying her best to deal with it in a positive way but she has said she basically has to sike herself out just to make it through the day. So I guess the answer is no.

  32. Saleema- Mai had recommended a book about the rectification of the heart. In polygyny I feel the the new wife has to have a pure heart and truly fears Allah. There are some women out there who are polygyny experts. They want to talk to you, get to know you and prove to you that they are a good fit for your family. But once they snag him, they turn into a venomous snake.
    Mai- When exercising patience should a woman say nothing to the husband, only complain to Allah?

  33. @Umm Salwaa yes that is very unfortunate. I've seem this before, and it usually doesn't last. Manipulation, and deceit are destructive. @Mai patience is a great quality to have. It gets us through, (Bi ithni llah)

  34. Jaiyana,

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran for your kind wishes. I have come to the conclusion that unless we are really blessed with a co-wife of our dreams and we love her and want her in our lives, then polygyny is unpleasant. Even under the very best conditions, it is a test.

    To be honest, I know a several sisters who are in polygyny, and a few of them get on and are like friends. However, they have clear boundaries and still struggle with the fitna of it all.

    1. Now im not in a polygynous relationship but i do believe that polygyny is the base, the foundation of marriage if the man is able to. The best person to walk upon this earth was in such a kind of relationship so was his followers and those who came after. Some even say that 1/4 a man is better than the fitna there would be staying single. And even thou you dont like the other woman, there can still exist a sense of wanting good for her since she is another muslimah upon the sunnah, perhaps make dawah on her. And me being single and not ever been in a relationship its easier said than done because i dont have children to explain for. But as some other sister stated here, that by focusing on YOUR life, YOUR family.

  35. Yes, Umm Salwaa...women like that don't stand a chance with Allah; it is just a matter of time until they get their comeuppance.* (*now that's a nice British word, LOL!)

    You know, it is very hard to find sincere sisters...married or single who have the heart, mind, and level of Islam to be positive, beneficial members of a polygynous family.

    The ironic thing is that the clean-hearted sisters who are continually striving to rectify their hearts are usually already married...or have a similar outlook to mine and don't go for polygyny.

    To answer your question about whether to stay ma' Allah or speak out, it depends on what you have to say and how your husband takes your comments. For me, I make dua' for Allah to guide me to the best communication of the matter and pray for His intervention. Sometimes my husband gets the message without me ever saying a word, or through some other source.

    If you do feel it necessary and the doors are open for communication, then find the very best words and the most neutral, calm, and pleasant speech you can inshaa'Allah.

  36. So how do we find comfort in the the eye of the Storm? This post with the added comments was a reality check. Some men are obsessed with the perfect polygynous life. So even when it does not work out with the current one, he will just exchange her for someone new. And the first wife is dealing with it all over again. What is enough enough?

  37. Umm Salwaa,

    I really don't know, aside from that I just try to shut as much out as possible and beg Allah for resolution and relief.

    Yes, some men will just keep on trying with different women. Others will make a big project out of "fixing" one of them, so they become perfect material. Whether they succeed, or just put even more time and effort into "training and development" of another woman rather than the existing wife and family...Allahu aalim.

    Many first wives are in a really difficult situation because they have to weigh up all the aspects. The kicker is: most of them have children. The other kicker is: it isn't easy for the good, practicing, easy-going wives to get out of these situations.

    It isn't convenient for polygynous men to grant a divorce to the wife who has the major and established role. As my husband once said, in reference to a different situation, "Why will a brother give his wife a divorce if she is taking care of the house and children and he has no better alternative?" After all, such a wife is free; babysitters, maids, and restaurant food are expensive. Very inconvenient indeed.

    So, we are left to pull out our most powerful weapon - dua. If we are oppressed in the situation, it is direct to Allah. If we are simply begging Allah to help us through, Allah says, "Call upon me, I will answer you."

  38. Subhanaallah. This post and its comments make me feel very sad about polygynous marriages. It seems they bring about so much sadness for the wives involved. It makes me think about the Hadith "laa dirar wa laa diraar (fee Islam)" "there is no harm or doing of harm (in Islam). Maybe I am looking at it wrong, maybe what we see as harm being done to us women is actually a big blessing and is only increasing our reward with Allah swt. In shaa allah that is the case. I am totally not against plural marriages, after all our beloved Prophet supported them. But all this really makes me think about the actual terms in the Quran for marrying more than one wife. It has to be done RIGHT. It seems so many men fail to provide a situation enjoyable for the wives. Also I find it very hard to imagine why a Man would choose to hurt his wifes feelings in this way. Only a Man could answer that I guess. Or maybe culture (and shaytaan) has told us we should be hurt b this. Does anyone know how the women in the time of the prophet dealt with it? Was it natural? Did they mind?
    My heart is aching. :(. Is it just me or does this whole thing seem sad?
    Mai thank you for speaking the straight foward word. Maasha'Allah.
    May all the women with hurting hearts find tranquility with Allah and may it all be done to please our Creator first and then our husbands. Ameen.

    Umm Raya

  39. As salaamu alaykum Umm Raya.

    Every test and hardship is a blessing, as long as one understands it is sent by Allah for a reason and one must learn and grow from it. However, when Allah tells us that He tests those He loves, we need to be prepared that it might get very difficult if He loves us a lot.

    I think that it is important to differentiate between hurt and hurt pride. One blessing in polygyny is that is can bring humility.
    It is much harder for women whose husband isn't doing it for the right reasons and isn't practising it well or properly. However, the beauty of that is that the husband's failings result in her getting even greater rewards. She never loses, as long as she holds firmly to the rope of Allah.

    I am incredibly blessed that my husband is trying to do it well and for the pleasure of Allah. I am not hurt by the concept of him taking another wife, per se. The few things that hurt me in our relationship are the same now as before polygyny.

    Of course, I am not immune to polygyny either...or should I say, to it's effects. The reality of the test, it's duration, implications, and extent, are very heavy at times. Most people won't like to have their life, freedoms, and comfort zone disrupted by someone else's choices/decision. In this, I am only human.

    I think that much of the sad aspect would be avoided if prospective wives asked those questions beforehand and, perhaps, got to know the family she was marrying into. It all comes back to making an educated and well-thought out decision with realistic expectations...and taqwa.

    The Prophet's wives (radhi Allah anhunna) felt jealousy. They struggled with various issues in polygyny. Imagine that, when they had the most ideal husband on this earth! Obviously, with the men today mere shadows of our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, how much greater those emotions can be.

    Ameen to your dua', thumma ameen!

  40. Wa alaikum asalam Mai,
    Sorry I wasn't meaning your husband specifically hurt you, I guess I was meaning 'why would a man want to put so much pressure on his wife'. I know it is their right and I am not going to say no to that but no man could truly believe it wasn't going to be hard for their first wife. To me I think no matter how the second wife acts towards the family this is not nearly half as important as how the husband handles it all. He has the ability to make each wife feel special and to try his ultimate best to cater for each wifes needs. He is responsible for who he chooses as a second wife. While it is good for the second wife to concider the first I think it is not really her obligation to do anything other than what pleases the husband (while not causing fitnah of corse). she is not really required to please us first wives. of corse in shaa allah she would be rewarded if she did. Blame the man for any problems I say. haha. I Joke.

  41. As salaamu alaykum Umm Raya,

    I didn't think that's what you meant, habibaty. Don't worry. But at the end of the day, it is ALL about the man and he DOES take the responsibility of it - the good and the bad. After all, he chose his first wife and the subsequent wife/wives...if his choice is flawed, everyone suffers and it is on him. If he doesn't manage the situation well, everyone suffers and it is on him. If it causes any imbalance or injustice, it is all on him. If someone isn't happy in the situation, it's on him. Even to the extent that if their Islamic understanding and practice is wrong, it is on him...Allahu akbar!

  42. As Salaamu Alaikum

    You gave me your email before and I have somehow lost it. Would you mind if I email you?

  43. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

    It is That is the e-mail anyone can contact me on, inshaa'Allah.
    You are most welcome anytime!

  44. assalam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

    i am reading so many polygyny-blogs on the internet, I loved this one as it was *finally* positive. But now again, it scares me that even you, Mai, say polygyny makes everything in life less pleasant. Is that really how you feel?

    these blogs really upset me, because it 1. makes me feel extremely guilty as i considered to be a second wife while the first wife was in really much pain , and 2. makes me feel "why Allaah allowed this then, what is this for religion?" .. and 3. makes me worry about what pain i could go through in my life .. sometimes i wonder; "is it really THAT bad?" , dont all these sisters on the internet exegerate? (im just sharing my thoughts) i really feel sad when i read these stories, but sometimes i also think; and what about me? im searching for a husband quite a long time, and im not succeeding , i feel extremely sad and lonely about that too .. many times i wake up in the morning thinking "d*mn another day" .. why there are almost no blogs from second wives? Why it seems they can accept polygyny and not feel so extremely bad in polygyny, and first wives do? Maybe because they know how it is to be really alone, maybe cause they know half a husband is better than nothing?

    A question for all the first wives; do you wish you were single forever instead of sharing your husband? Is sharing your husband maybe worse than being alone?

    Im sorry if this sounds jugdemental, i just really need to share these thoughts ..

  45. @ Elena: I also considered becoming a second wife, with scant regard for the first wife's feelings (although negotiations never became a reality) because I was a single mother, tired of working to support myself, and wanting another baby. It was only when I accepted that perhaps I wasn't meant to ever remarry, that lo and behold, I received a suitable proposal Alhumdullillah - from a single brother! If Allah wills, there is a husband out there for you, and you do not need to cause another sister such heartache to get what you want! Also, I would say a man who knowingly causes his first wife so much pain, is perhaps not the most emotionally intelligent of husbands... (and therefore not a good mate anyway???) In any event, I don't think it's healthy if you're relying on a husband to fill a 'void in your life' - that's a lot of pressure on another human being! Insha Allah, you will find a husband when you least expect it... Remember also, the Prophet SAW prevented Ali RA from taking another wife while Fatima RA was still alive and the Prophet SAW struggled with the emotional aspect of polygamy (feeling more love for one wife than for the others) and also, the Prophet SAW practiced polygamy when the number of Muslim men were severely depleted after numerous battles - some estimates say 70 men out of a group of 350 Muslims in total were killed in battle - so that's almost half of the men killed! - not really 'normal' conditions....

  46. @Elena With regards to your question would we as first wives rather be single forever or share a husband? When I think about it either scenario could be a happy or unhappy situation depending on the people involved. If I was single, and really wanted to get married to a particular man I really couldn't see myself justifying marrying him if I knew his current wife would be devastated. I understand why second wives sometimes avoid the current wife. They would have to feel somewhat guilty about causing heartache. Obviously no women is "ready, willing, and able" to share her husband. It's usually after a lot of tears, discussions/arguments, and coercion that she finally gives in, and accepts the situation. I do know second wives who have really struggled with being in polygyny. They are not always happy either. Their are times when second wives feel bad/unhappy as well. It's a sacrifice for everyone. I honestly don't know how to choose between being single forever, or sharing my husband forever. Lol forever is a long time. I'm thinking whatever situation is more peaceful, and conducive to my Iman would be the best choice, Inshallah. I pray I won't have to make that choice. I do have a friend who considered marrying a married man, but he wanted to keep the marriage secret so it wouldn't hurt/upset his current wife. He loved her and, didn't want to loose her. My friend wasn't okay with being any man's "secret". In the end they didn't get married. She is still trying to wait patiently for the right man to marry. It is a test. May Allah bless you with a good husband, and may Allah help us all to have the best outcome for our situations. Ameen

  47. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Elena.

    I wanted to share my personal view on being a second wife. Remember, it is just how I feel about it. I've had a lot of polygyny offers prior to finally marrying my husband. This view I have has developed over years.

    I most certainly am not saying that you or any other sister should have the same view. However, I do think that you should ask those questions when considering any marriage offer. It is important to really understand what you will be getting into and consider the various aspects involved.

    Although I didn't mean to turn tables and put a negative slant on polygyny, it is only fair to acknowledge certain realities about polygyny. It isn't a test because it is easy and pleasant, it's a test because it is a life-changing event that alters many aspects of marriage...forever.

    For most women who have been happily married, have children, and enjoy a strong relationship with their husband, polygyny is every one of the things I mentioned and it does make everything in their married life less pleasant. Although there are benefits to polygyny that I appreciate, I am not an exception.

    I don't find it more pleasant not to be able to get up and go away for a few days for a break anymore. Oh, perhaps we could do it, but it would mean having agreements from the other wife, making sure everything was okay for the period we were away, and having to make up the time and the children sleep however many nights without their daddy. Any and all plans that require more than a night, have to scheduled and there is always a price to pay. If we were to travel all together anywhere, then I will never be able to relax as I used to with my husband.

    They are just a few examples. However, that is part of the test; some of the ease of the dunya must be given up to a certain extent.

    As for your question, my answer is no. I don't wish I was single forever rather than share my husband. I don't think it is the sharing that is such an issue for most women, it is who they have to share with or under what conditions. Correct me, sisters, if I am wrong. If the polygyny is done badly or wrongly, or is a fitna in my life to the detriment of my Islam, then I would not wish to be in it.

    I pray that Allah gives you a most suitable and beneficial companion to share your life with Elena. Inshaa'Allah, the husband who is written for you will come along very soon - ameen!

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  50. assalam aleikum,

    Thank you sisters who have replied on my message, and answered my question.

    Later on in the day I regret that I said that maybe first wives exegerated their feelings. I wnat to say now that i do (try to) respect all feelings, and I do not want a competition who has the hardest test, but what i did want to show is that there are more tests than only polygyny, and that there is always another side of the story. For myself, i also came to the conclusion that i prefer staying single, even if it means forever, than being a second wife as long as i can controll my desire, and can take care of myself alhamdulillah. But I dont see women who choose to be second wives as some kind of evil, also not if they do not want to meet the first wives .. firstly cause there could be a bigger story, feelings and desires, and NEEDS we dont know, so we should not generalize.. and in the end; we all want to be happy, right? We care more for our own peace of mind, iman and happiness than we care for our sisters, esspecially if we dont know them.. that is just human nature. Marriage is half of our religion, and for getting kids you get huge reward .. for denying such a chance to make another woman happy, or less sad .. i dont even know if that is earning you any reward? Islamically it would not even be the most right choice I guess.

  51. Elena- I do sort of see things the way you are describing. A sister who is having trouble finding a suitable husband, may choose a married one if the situation seem desirable. Another problem is that if she meets the brother online. They connect then start chatting, video conferences. Then she sort of falls for the Brother and all those questions are out the window!!!

  52. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Yasmine.

    I think you have two questions specifically for me. The first is regarding my daughters and how I deal with it. The second about my husband's realization of my hurt and apologies.

    As for my daughters, I have tried to act as though it is the most normal thing in the world for their daddy to take another wife. I never show them any negativity towards the situation. When asked why he took another wife, I say that he wants to have more babies and then remind them of the fun we will have while he and the step-children are away.

    I know there is a certain aspect of being rejected and that later on they will understand the more adult aspects of it all. Everything is a learning experience and inshaa'Allah they will understand from a child's perspective as well as an adults what polygyny is like. Children have to understand that polygyny is all about sharing. They won't get to see their daddy as much as they used to; that's part of what it is about. That's a choice the man makes.

    Inshaa'Allah, they will remember how nicer he was to them or that he spent much more time with them rather than just in the same house as them, when he was in polygyny. That might be a very positive thing.

    As for my husband seeing me hurt, he has clearly told me that he never means to hurt me. I don't take it personally, he is following his own agenda and path. Perhaps this is the route to improvement and correction for him. For most, they must learn through experience and mistakes.

    The aspects that one might expect me to be hurt by, don't hurt me. However, upheaval of our family life, major setbacks, drama, and distraction or detriment to my Islam, etc. are things that affect us all negatively, and for those things - when he sees them for what they are - he does, or has, apologized.

    Everyone has some weaknesses in their deen. However, although we often focus on the hardship and test that polygyny presents to women, it is a much bigger trial and a huge lesson for the men. It requires such a level of Islamic practice and correction of the heart and priorities, that few men can practice it properly or well. Yes, Allahu aalam.

  53. sis I shared a line of yours on my tumblr account. Hope its okay?

  54. A Muslimah...That's perfectly okay; I'm public, LOL!

    You have a beautiful collection of quotes, mashaa'Allah. May they increase and influence others. Barak Allahu feeki. If it benefits, then al hamdul'Illah.

  55. ok heres another question

    do any sister blame the second wives for marrying their husband (note he may have told her family his 1st wife was ok with it)
    and do they feel she should live her life compensating for taking the husband away? if that makes sense

    or do you think her life is her life and to a certain extent remain separate/you know, live her life and you live yours unless you both mutually find you get along-but even then still separate marriages if that makes sense.

  56. Sweetlikechocolate,

    I don't blame the second wife; I blame the husband. It is all up to him if he marries again, who he marries again, and how he marries again.

    Even if there is a situation where the second wife is causing fitna in some way or putting a burden on the first wife, still it goes back to the husband because he chose her and he has authority over her. He has to get her with the program, he has to keep everyone happy.

    If the husband hasn't handled things well or the wives don't get along, then most certainly keep it separate and pray the man sets things right.

  57. Mai- How do you feel about your children going with your husband to the other wifes home? Does your husband try to persuade you to let them go?

  58. Umm Salwaa,

    As my husband will rightly state, they are his children so there is no need to persuade. I would have no choice in the matter if he wants them to go.

    In the first polygyny attempt, this was a sensitive subject for me and I was rather adamant that I didn't want my children going with my husband to the other wife's home. That was because I didn't believe she was the right influence for my children.

    Now, if I were to go only on my feelings, I would again say that I don't want them to go with him to her home. However, my reasons must have a basis in Islam, with proof. So unless I have sound reasons, I let the subject go. If he wants to take them, I say: tafaddhal.

    So much depends on the reasons for him wanting to take them. If it is out of spite or to hurt, then that is quite different than just to meet their siblings and be familiar with the other wife in case something happened where she had to care for them.

    As a mother it isn't easy, but as a Muslimah I know that they belong to Allah first. I had to learn many things as a child and not all of them were easy or pleasant. If that is what Allah decrees for them, then so be it.

  59. Oh thanks a lot. May Allah reward you for writing this blog insha Allah. :-)

  60. assalamu alaykum, I came across your blog via another sister and I admire your outlook on polygyny. I wish I could be more like that and I really respect you for it. May Allah reward you and bless your marriage ameen.

    I agree that a woman should try to meet or make friends with the other wife first, though it isnt necessary. I feel it can make a big difference mashaaAllah.

    I myself am a first wife. I love my husband and our family. But I am having a hard time in polygyny and would never have chosen this life. I stay and battle my nafs and shayton because I am trying to accept Allahs qadr and my husbands choices, as well I love him and know I am blessed to have him. But some days I am afraid the struggle might go the other way. I look forward to more posts on such issues in polygyny and may Allah reward you for your efforts to educate others ameen

    1. Hello lovely woman,

      One day people will have so much love for every human that no living soul will be affraid... But today we feel not good about because of jalousie, pain in our heart, money,.. I'm olso a man who wants to be with two woman but it's because my soul wants the soul connection. When i have enough connection with people i don't need this. And there is another thing... We our constantly in proces with ourselves. In the universe you can find a source of eternal love wich you can reach when you need love... When you have reach a point where all your emotional problems or solved you know! Then you will see a bright light and never forget what is the mening of to be loved. The light of God. The light that shines in you and in everbody.

      I have never taken another woman (sexualy) in my live because i didn't solved my problems and i would not it when my wife or the world is not ready for it. In this world we have problems with our egos, with our religions, with judgement,... Let there be LIGHT first en let PEACE GROW. When there 's a time with no war, no pain, no sorrow, no regret,... then we are in HEAVEN. You will create only your own haven on earth and you will feel and know that it is ok to love more people but not only for man... olso for woman. So if your man have two woman and he does LOVE you like he should he will olso accept you CONNECT with woman or man.

      If not then he doesn't see the light yet and it's only his ego who's talking for himself.

      So Polygamy is ok in two directions and in heaven... but not when there no heaven arround you!

      I love you soul to be so open and honnest and never doubt about what you feel. Your feelings our always telling the truth.

      If you let your SOUL enter your body you will know the truth.

      I hoop you will have a blessing lifetime with the fulfillment of all your needs

      Love and Light,


  61. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Stranger.

    Ameen to your dua' and jazaaki Allahu khayran for sharing your struggles on this important topic. My dua' are with you sister. What I have found over the years is that those sisters who remain strong, steadfast, and upright through polygyny and have good relationships with good husbands, end up lasting through the storms and earthquakes. Hang in there, turn to Allah, and protect yourself and your babies as much as you can from the fitna of the situation. In the end, you can never lose if you keep focus and control fee sabeel Illah.

    May Allah RICHLY BLESS your marriage and may you find yourselves companions in both this dunya and the aakhirah - in lofty places in Jennah al Firdaus - ameen!

  62. I don't know how sisters cope with polygamy. I am originally from a country where about 40% of marriages are polygamous so it is something that scares me. I personally would not want any contact with the other sister if my future husband marries another woman. however, I have limited control over that as he could decide to take our children to see her. Also, many women come with a fight and give you problems. Some come with the idea to get rid of you to have the man all to herself.

    Also, how will he split the finances? I would hate to see him spend our marital monies on another woman. I really hope I will not be tested with it inshallah. I just want a peaceful life with me, my husband, and kids without some other woman and kids in the picture competing me for his time, attention, and money. My children worry me most. ALL the cases of polygamy I have witnessed with the exception of one, involve some neglect of one family (usually the 1st) in preference of the new family. Also, you have some men bad talk their first wife to the new wife, making the new woman act superior to the first wife and disrespectful to her. I cannot imagine being friends with a co-wife. I don't know how other women do it. I will be polite to her, but I can't be her friend. I just could never trust such a woman who I am sharing my husband with to have genuine good feelings for me and my kids. I don't know why men would put their 1st wife through such pain. To me it would mean his love for me has diminished if he is willing to put me through such pain b/c of another woman. Also, some of the other women come in with this attitude like "I got your man".

    In my culture, you might have some people rub it in your face at public events when your husband gets another wife. I know a woman who diasppeared from public for the 1st year her husband got another wife b/c she said she didn't want to deal with such people. She wanted to wait until things died down and people got tired of gossiping about it. Now she is living her life happily with her beautiful kids. Her husband spent so much money on the new wife in the beginning. I knew it must have been hard for the first wife to see him spend most of their savings (he built a house for the 2nd wife back in our native country) on her after struggling with him and giving him 6 kids. Now however, she got a job and her daughter went to a good college. I am glad she is not letting her husband's new marriage make her miserable. What the new wife would hate is for you and your husband to continue your life happily as if she doesn't exist. I think the best way to deal with polygamy is to focus on YOURSELF, YOUR marriage, and your kids and let him worry about the other wife. He chose to marry her and add that extra burden on his family. Let him deal with it. Let him prove his manhood as polygamy is more than just changing bed every few days. If she is not a peaceful sister, limit contact with her to only calling her when it is necessary. Don't ever let her or your husband see you devastated. You can cry your eyes out when he is not home, but never let him see it. Give him and the new wife the opposite reaction from what they would expect. Kill them with kindness. That is what my cousin does. She lives her life peacefully and happily and tries her best to treat her husband well and NEVER mentions anything about the 2nd wife. She acts as if she doesn't exist. So it is the 2nd wife who goes crazy with jealousy. She went to the 1st wife's house and broke her family pics and furniture. The husband divorced her. You don't want to let another woman usurp you from your home. That's how I would deal with polygamy if I were tested with it. Don't let your husband and his new wife get the satisfaction of seeing you hurt and distraught.

    1. Nice story what can happen in this life! Lucky she is still alive!

      And indeed JEALOUSY is a pain in the ass for polygamy.

      Most of earth man and woman are not ready yet!


      Love and light