His Other Wife: A Short Story

“…So give me a call, Aliyah. I think this may be the one.” Aliyah rolled her eyes as she deleted the voicemail message then pressed the “end call” button on her cell phone. Her uncle had converted to Islam when she was in high school and had been influential in her own decision to become Muslim, and for that, she would always be grateful. Her parents practically disowned her after she left the church, and her uncle Benjamin was the closest thing to a father she'd had since accepting Islam in college. But for the past eight months Aliyah was becoming increasingly annoyed with her uncle. She appreciated his enthusiasm in fulfilling his role as her wali, but she wasn't ready to get married.

But Aliyah couldn't tell her uncle that. Benjamin was wrestling a guilty conscience more than he was feeding his enthusiasm as her marriage guardian. It wasn't his fault that Aliyah was divorced. She wished he could understand that. If there was anyone to blame for her marriage falling apart, it was Aliyah herself. She was the one who'd eagerly introduced Matthew to her uncle and begged him to support the marriage. She'd foolishly believed that if she did everything right, everything would turn out all right.

Matthew was one of the good guys, Aliyah couldn't deny that. But she should have been less naïve about the nuances of the spiritual growth of a new Muslim. Matthew had been Muslim only a year when they'd met, and Aliyah had been Muslim for eight. It wasn't until they were living together as husband and wife that the seven years between their Islamic experiences felt like light years.

Aliyah collapsed on the couch of the living room and tossed the cell phone on a cushion next to her. She leaned her head back and stared at the ceiling. She needed a new job. She liked teaching algebra and computer science at the local college, and she would always be indebted to her best friend, Deanna, for asking her husband to put in a good word for her. And it didn't hurt that the masjid was only a five-minute drive from the campus, so she was able to relax in the women's musallaa during her lunch break and planning periods if she didn't have any student appointments. But the money simply was not enough.

The shrilling of the house phone sent Aliyah's heart racing, and she sat up quickly and opened her eyes. Aliyah hadn't realized she had fallen asleep. The house was dark except for a glow of light coming from the kitchen. The phone shrilled again, and Aliyah groaned as she pushed herself off the couch and walked over to where the cordless sat on a wall table near the front door.

“Hello?”

“Girl, open the door,” Deanna's agitated voice said.

Aliyah hung up without replying, and true to character, Deanna was pounding on the front door before Aliyah could even unbolt it and pull it open.

“Are you deaf?” Deanna said as she stepped into the foyer carrying a half-full paper grocery bag. “I've been standing outside that door for at least ten minutes.”

“I'm sorry, Deeja,” Aliyah said as she closed the door and locked it. “I was knocked out.”

Deanna rolled her eyes as she handed the paper bag to Aliyah. “Put the ice cream in the freezer before it melts, and you might want to heat up the gyros in the microwave.”

Aliyah's eyes widened, and a smile spread across her face as she peered into the bag. “You brought gyros?”

“Yes, against my better judgment. You know that bread has too many carbs.”

“I love you, Deeja!” Aliyah sang out as she made her way to the kitchen.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Where's the remote?”

“It's probably on the couch somewhere,” Aliyah called out from the kitchen.

“I saw his other wife,” Deanna said when Aliyah returned to the living room with their gyros on a glass serving plate, a stack of paper napkins next to them.

Aliyah felt nauseated all of a sudden. “How do you know it was her?”

Deanna pointed the remote toward the television to turn down the volume. “It was her.” She reached for a gyro then folded her legs under her on the couch as she often did to get comfortable. “She was with Matt.”

“May Allah bless their marriage,” Aliyah muttered as she sat down next to Deanna and lifted her gyro from the plate.

Deanna's hand froze inches from her mouth as she glared at Aliyah. “No, Ally. That is not the correct response to this news.”

“Deanna Janice Bivens,” Aliyah said, purposefully using the authoritative tone that Deanna's mother often used when she referred to Deanna by her full name, “yes it is the correct response. Now let's eat.”

“You know what your problem is?” Deanna said thoughtfully, setting down her gyro. “You're too nice. That's why people run all over you. I'm not saying you have to wish harm on that girl, but you don't have to pray for her marriage. She stole your husband, for goodness sake.”

“She didn't steal my husband.” Aliyah took a generous bite of her gyro, her eyes on the television screen as she savored the taste of soft bread, seasoned lamb, raw onions, and cream sauce.

“Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot,” Deanna said sarcastically. “You gave him to her.” She picked up her gyro again and took a bite, a disturbed expression on her face as she stared at the TV.

Aliyah lifted the remote from next to Deanna and turned up the volume, but it was difficult to pay attention to what the detective actress was saying to the police officer.

“Even when we were in college,” Deanna said, raising her voice over the television, “you always wanted to make everyone happy. But there's only one woman who can make a man happy, and that's his wife.”

Aliyah remained silent until she finished her gyro. “She is his wife,” she said as she lifted a napkin from the plate and wiped her hands and mouth.

“And she was also his second wife.”

Aliyah gritted her teeth. “Deeja, let's not go there.”

“Ally, please. You know I'm right. You practically became the poster child for women supporting polygamy, and that was a terrible mistake. You don't let some woman convince you that it's your Islamic duty to share your husband.”

“I suggested polygamy, she didn't. Anyway, what does it matter now? I've been divorced for over a year. Leave it alone.”

“No, I can't,” Deanna said. “I'm really bothered that you didn't take my advice.”

“Why do you think you have the answer to everything? You may be a marriage counselor, but that doesn't make you an expert on marriage.”

“Do you even hear yourself? Of course that makes me an expert on marriage. This is my area of expertise. I did my doctorate thesis on—”

“Yes, I know, as you've said a million times. But every marriage isn't salvageable, Deeja.”

“See, Ally, this is what pisses me off, your defeatist attitude. Do you know why I've been married for eleven years and why Jacob and I would never even think about divorce?”

“Um, let's see…” Aliyah said sarcastically. “Could it be because of Allah's qadr maybe?”

“This is why you should spend less time in the masjid. You think it's okay to hide behind religion so you can blame all your mistakes on some divine plan. Allah helps those who help themselves.”

“I'm just trying to—”

“Stop trying, Ally, and do. I don't sit around saying I'm trying to stay married. I stay married. I don't sit around saying I don't want my husband to marry another wife. I make sure I'm the only wife he'll ever want. If you think proactively, then you won't react to life. You'll make life happen.”

Aliyah rolled her eyes. “And how do I do that? Do tell.”

“First of all, you have to quit being so cynical. You look way better than Matt's new wife. There's no way he would've chosen her over you without you egging him on. If you would've just—”

Aliyah raised a palm to Deanna. “Deeja, just stop, please. I can't stand all this if only if. I don't believe in that. You can call me a religious fanatic if you want, but I believe it was Allah's plan that I'm not married to Matt anymore. I did everything I could to save my marriage.”

“Except listen to your best friend.”

Aliyah's eyes widened. “I can't believe you're saying that. I did listen to you. I just—”

“Then how did Matt end up marrying that tramp while you were still married to him?”

“Like I said, Deeja. I listened to you, but I just had a different point of view.”

“Then you didn't listen to me. You can't just hear me. You have to listen. The way to keep a man from marrying someone else is you keep the subject of divorce and polygamy out of your marriage. Jacob would never marry another woman because I don't give him any reason to.”

 

His Other Wife books digital and paperback CLICK HERE

“Jacob would never marry another woman, Deeja, because he doesn't want to. You said yourself that he believes that it's part of Islam to respect the laws of the land and that he just doesn't think polygamy is worth the headache.”

“Yes, but the main reason he'll never do it is because I make sure I'm good enough for him. I take care of myself. I give him sex every night. I pamper him. I—”

“I, I, I,” Aliyah said as she pointed the remote forward and powered off the television. “Dr. Deanna Bivens, the I-specialist.”

“I know you think I'm arrogant, but—”

“Overly confident is what crosses my mind. But I don't think arrogant is too far off the mark.”

“—I know what I'm talking about. I've counseled dozens of couples, Ally, so I'm not talking out the side of my neck. There really is something to putting in the work to make a marriage last. When a married person cheats, there's always a reason, a preventable reason.”

“Matt didn't cheat.”

“He didn't have to. You gave him permission to betray you right in front of your face. With your approval.”

“That's not how I define supporting polygyny.”

“You can try to put an Islamic stamp on this if you want. But the bottom line is that your marriage was in trouble and instead of proving how much you were worth, you supported the very thing that was tearing apart your marriage.”

Aliyah felt exhausted all of a sudden. “Look, Deeja, I don't feel like fighting about this anymore. What's done is done. I can't rewrite the past.”

“I'm not bringing this up to open old wounds. I just don't feel comfortable helping you find a new husband until I'm sure you understand what marriage means.”

Aliyah felt herself getting upset again, but she remained composed. “I didn't ask you to help me find a new husband.”

“You don't have to, Ally. I'm your friend, so I'll do whatever I can to help you whether you ask me or not. But the first step is learning what it means to be a woman.”

Aliyah clenched her jaw. “And now you're an expert on the female sex?”

The chiming of a phone came from next to Deanna. Deanna turned and reached into her handbag and withdrew her cell phone. “That's Jacob,” Deanna said apologetically after looking at the screen. She returned the phone to her purse and stood, pulling the straps over her shoulder. “Sorry I couldn't stay long. I just wanted to give you something decent to eat. I figured you're starving yourself up in here.”

“Thanks for stopping by,” Aliyah said in as cordial a voice as she could manage. She stood and followed her friend to the door.

Deanna drew Aliyah into a hug and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you,” Deanna said as she opened the front door.

“I love you too,” Aliyah said. “As-salaamu'alaikum.”

The sound of Deanna's car faded, and Aliyah realized she hadn't prayed Maghrib, the sunset prayer. She glanced at the clock and sighed. It was already time for 'Ishaa. She had to get better at praying on time.

I don't know how much more I can take from Deanna. The thought came from a deep place inside Aliyah as she sat on the carpeted floor of the living room after completing her prayers. Aliyah winced. Was she really thinking of giving up her best friend?

“You need to be more like me,” Deanna often said to Aliyah.

Maybe Deanna was right. Aliyah needed to have more confidence in herself. If Aliyah were more like Deanna, perhaps Aliyah would still be married to Matthew. Aliyah couldn't deny that a part of her envied the relationship Deanna had with Jacob. It was obvious that Jacob absolutely adored his wife. Aliyah would often overhear Jacob talking about Deanna at work. Occasionally, when Deanna was assigned to conduct a marriage workshop, she and Jacob would facilitate the workshop together, and the chemistry and connection between them was undeniable. Once, when Aliyah and Matthew had attended a workshop together, they had left in awe and were full of determination to implement some of the marriage-saving strategies Deanna and Jacob had discussed.

But as inspiring as Deanna was as a speaker and marriage counselor, she was becoming more and more difficult to deal with as a friend. In college, Aliyah and Deanna had bonded like long-lost sisters being reunited for the first time. They had so much in common then. They were both new Muslims struggling with difficult families. They were both academics with big dreams and high hopes. They both wanted to run their own businesses and be dedicated wives and mothers. And most importantly, they both were determined to make Islam the foundation and focus of their lives.

But even back then, when all seemed to be going well for their lives and friendship, Deanna had been the anchor of their relationship. At the time, Aliyah saw this as an immense blessing. She had been suffering with bouts of depression after her parents told her never to call or visit the family again if she insisted on being part of “that Osama bin Laden religion.” Aliyah had been very close to her family and had never imagined that the all-encompassing Christian love her parents talked so much about would not be extended to their now-Muslim daughter.

During this difficult time, Deanna's presence alone was enough to cheer Aliyah up. Deanna would cook for her, accompany her to Islamic events, give her surprise parties, treat her to a day at the spa, and even sleep on the floor in Aliyah's dorm room if Aliyah was having a particularly bad day.

Sometimes Aliyah had felt like a burden to Deanna, but Deanna would always reassure Aliyah that she was happy to be there for her and earn so many blessings. “You're my sister, girl. I love you. If you're happy, I'm happy.”

But Aliyah was often racked with guilt because she just couldn't muster the same enthusiasm for impetuous fun—or for Deanna's presence. There were times she really did want to be alone. Even when she was a child, Aliyah hated crowds. Attending church on Christmas and Easter often stressed her out because there were just too many people in one room, and Aliyah didn't know what to do with herself. So when Deanna would plan sudden trips to the mall or announce that they were going to some Islamic retreat for the weekend, Aliyah would often be suffocated with anxiety. In college, there were even times that Deanna's presence itself was suffocating.

But Aliyah was never able to bring herself to talk to Deanna about her feelings. Whenever the thought came to her, she felt like an ingrate. I mean, what kind of person gets upset when her best friend is going out of her way to be nice and helpful?

“Shut up, girl. You know you love me.” That had been Deanna's response when Aliyah had, shortly after the divorce, mustered up the courage to tell Deanna that her unannounced visits, incessant phone calls, and constant “constructive criticism” were becoming too much to bear.

“I just need some time alone,” Aliyah had said.

“That's what got you into this mess in the first place,” Deanna had responded flippantly, a playful grin on her face. “You spending time alone while you let your husband sleep with another woman.” Then she pulled Aliyah into a tight hug and said, “Let's go shopping. That will make you feel better.”

But it didn't make Aliyah feel better. And Aliyah had come back home with three department-store bags full of clothes and accessories she didn't want or need.

“I think you're jealous of me,” Deanna had told Aliyah last week after they had another big argument over the “real reason” Aliyah was no longer married. As always, Deanna insisted that it was because Aliyah wasn't more like she was and because Aliyah had been open to letting Matthew marry another wife. Agitated and sick of Deanna's constant holier-than-thou nitpicking, Aliyah had said, “Maybe your marriage isn't so great. You don't know everything. For all you know, Jacob could be looking for another wife right now. I would if I were him. I can't imagine living with your nagging everyday.”

Aliyah immediately regretted the comment after she'd said it. But at the time, she felt justified. Couldn't Deanna just leave well enough alone already? Okay, fine, your marriage is great. Your husband loves you and doesn't want another wife. But that's from Allah, not you. So shut up already.

“I'm sorry,” Aliyah had said, dropping her head in shame. “I shouldn't have said that.”

“It's okay,” Deanna had replied, reaching out and squeezing Aliyah's hands warmly. “I forgive you. I know it's hard to have a friend like me.”

Aliyah had coughed laughter, nodding in agreement. Tears stung her eyes as she realized that Deanna was finally understanding the heart-wrenching struggle it was for Aliyah to maintain their friendship.

“It would be hard for me too if my friend had the life I could never have,” Deanna had added before pecking Aliyah on the cheek with a kiss.

The shrilling of the house phone interrupted Aliyah's thoughts, and she immediately stood and walked over to the cordless. She glanced at the caller ID and sighed when she saw the name Nelson, Benjamin.

As-salaamu'alikum, Uncle Ben,” Aliyah said into the phone. She didn't feel like talking about marriage right then, but she couldn't keep avoiding her uncle. Besides, after the tense visit with Deanna, she relished the opportunity to hear from someone who actually believed she had all she needed to be happy and make someone else happy on top of that. She was tired of being Matt's other wife, the wife he didn't choose after he married another woman—with her support.

Wa'alaiku-mus-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, my beloved niece,” Benjamin practically sang through the receiver.

Aliyah burst out laughing. Benjamin's mood was always upbeat whenever he felt he'd finally found “the one,” the man who was Aliyah's long-lost soul mate, the man for whom (by some divine order) Matthew had only been Aliyah's boot camp in preparation for “the real deal.”

“Who is it this time?” Aliyah said, an expectant smile lingering on her face.

“Hey,” Benjamin said playfully, “that's no attitude to have before I announce who your Prince Charming is.”

“You say that every time.”

“This time is different. I really think this is the one.”

Aliyah chuckled. “And you say that every time too.”

“Well,” Benjamin said guiltily, laughter in his voice, “this one called me a couple of weeks ago and asked that I give him a chance to prove he's the one for you. But I didn't want to tell you until I was sure he was worthy.”

“Does he have a green card?” Aliyah asked jokingly.

“Yes.”

“A job?”

“Yes,” Benjamin said, “and a successful side business.” Aliyah could practically hear her uncle beaming in triumph.

“That actually makes money?”

“Yes, lots of it.”

Aliyah was unable to temper the growing curiosity. “And he called you, not the other way around?”

“Yes, he called me.” Benjamin chuckled self-consciously. “Truth be told, if I would've known he was looking, I would've called him myself. He's definitely the kind of man I think would see how special you are and never take that for granted.”

“Do I know him?”

“Yes, I think you do.”

Aliyah furrowed her brows as she searched her mind for who this could be. “How? From the masjid?”

Benjamin was silent momentarily. “Look, Aliyah,” he said, his voice more serious. “Before you give your answer, just think about it, okay?”

“Uncle Ben,” Aliyah said, her voice stern and cautious. “Don't tell me this is another one of those perverted she-could-be-my-second-wife brothers.”

“Aliyah, don't say that.”

“Uncle Ben!” Aliyah should have known better than to get her hopes up. She had made it abundantly clear to her uncle that she was not entertaining the proposal of any married men. She was not interested in another Matt-style disaster. She didn't want to marry someone and wonder whether or not she would be the woman he dumped in the end.

“It's Jacob.”

It took several seconds before Aliyah registered her uncle's words.

What?”

“I know it's unexpected, Aliyah,” Benjamin said, apology in his tone. “But he and I have been talking almost everyday, and I really think this could work if—”

Aliyah felt faint all of a sudden, and her heart raced in confusion and shock.  “Let's not talk about this anymore,” she said, almost choking on her words.

“But, Aliyah, he's really seri—”

As-salaamu'alaikum, Uncle Ben,” Aliyah said through gritted teeth before pulling the phone away from her ear and disconnecting the call.

Click Here for more UZ short stories

This story first appeared on UZauthor.com as part of “His Other Wife” short story series. It has now been expanded into a novel by the same name.

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy. Her latest novel His Other Wife is now available. Read HIS OTHER WIFE novel now: CLICK HERE. To learn more about the author, visit ummzakiyyah.com or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

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

41 Responses

  1. Peter

    This story is obviously set in a western environment, and is in its own way promoting Polygamy, which is illegal in all Western societies.

    Do they authors know that the are promoting the breaking of the law?

    Reply
    • muhajibah777

      That depends. You can have as many ‘wives’ as you want so long as you aren’t looking for government recognition of the marriages.

      Reply
      • Peter

        No that is not true. Polygamy is illegal in in western societies. It is also considered immoral.

      • Peter

        Laws reflect the values a society holds, what you say is illustrative of someone who totally lacks morals, and thinks laws do not apply to them.

        In the large number of Welfare Fraud cases detected, and prosecuted, a Muslim Marriage meets the definition of a common law marriage, which results in welfare fraud charges. You attitude of the law does not apply to you, and making excuses as to how you can sneak around the law, in indicative of a moral vaccum.

        I am sure there are many examples, in some societies, where polygamy works. However, the reason it was outlawed here, is that this practice results in many cases in the exploitation of women. It is just like some people can drive quite well with Alcohol in their system. However no one is allowed to drive impaired with Alcohol.

        In a Western Society it is illegal to get drunk and drive, it is illegal to have more than one wife.

        This is not a religious issue, it is a moral one.

      • Ruby

        Peter, legality and morality are not synonymous. Based on your logic, historical figures like Harriet Tubman were promoting “immorality” since escaping slavery was “illegal.” Also, blacks and whites having romantic relationships was “immoral” when anti-miscegenation laws were in place. Just as true moral people fought for their human rights back then, religious people can push for anti-discrimination laws to be put in place so as to not criminalize someone’s private decision to marry whomever they want. Anti-polygamy laws don’t protect women from exploitation. If this country was concerned with exploitation of women, the last thing to be concerned about is a consensual marriage. It’s none of our or the government’s business whom someone wants to commit to, no matter how many people are part of that commitment. To say this is about morality is laughable at best. It conveys a complete ignorance of what morality and legality mean in the first place.

    • Ali

      You do realize, –I hope– that you are talking about a work of fiction?
      And this piece is promoting polygamy? Seriously?

      Reply
      • Peter

        Fiction can promote ideas just as effectively, if not more effectively than the presentation of fact, as it can relate concepts in a way people can easily understand.

    • zakat

      Peter: go troll Hollywood for glamorizing immoral criminal behaviour before you come over here. peace.

      Reply
      • Peter

        Wow, you are the 7th person on here, to make THE SAME LAME EXCUSES. Attempting to use empty headed logic to deflect away from the fact this story is propaganda, promoting polygamy. The trol here is you, and clearly you support polygamy. You are just not too smart, and can only post an idiotic comment, to protect the bad thing (polygamy) you like. That makes you one of the “bad guys” in my books.

        If you have not noticed, in nearly every Hollywood movie, the bad guy always lose.

    • Salih

      Wait a minute. …, you read our blogg :D . That obviously made the MM team happy. Or sad maybe if they knew of other readers who read comments before the post. But leave that, Nice to meet you, I mean *read you. :D

      But the author should have included a disclaimer that this fiction is from someplace where Polygamy was legal. That lacking might be what ruined your appreciation of the other fictional couples over there somewhere in the corner. Some councellor who boasted about her performance on an ill-performer. :D . I left the story thinking about her until I met Peter who had a better insight. Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Amatullah

    Can novels be spared? Please.
    In india, people find a hundred and one things immoral, which is “common” in western societies. Does that help? Also,some things which are illegal here(India) are OK in the West. Does it mean the author has to travel to the country whose laws are in accordance with the novel they’re writing?

    Reply
    • Peter

      Maybe they should when it is promoting something that is illegal.

      Next you will you will start publishing stories that promotion the marriage of under age girls to old men in exchange for a dowery.

      Or the virtues of slavery, and how women’s testimony is only worth 1/2 of that of a man’s.

      Please, it is 2016, not 716, we in the West have progressed.

      Reply
      • Amel

        Sorry, but I find these comments ridiculous. Do you read novels in general? Do you watch movies? Because many of them mirror real life and include (and even glorify) things like murder, violence, prostitution, adultery and fornication, drug-use, drug-dealing, and many other things which are both illegal and/or immoral. When presented as a story, it’s called fiction, unlike the following, which are not fiction: Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, police violence and corruption, school shootings, racism and bigotry, Ashley Madison, friends with benefits, sexting amongst teens and tweens, child pornography, human trafficking, rape, meth addiction, and too many other unfortunate phenomena to list here. Are you okay with all of the above, or is it only polygamy that bothers you?

      • Peter

        In Western Societies, virtually all of the things you mentioned are illegal, so as a law abiding citizen, I do not condone illegal activity no matter how it occurs.

        So are you selective in what laws you follow? Do speed limits apply to you? Do you think you are entitled to murder someone?

        The context of where an article is posted does matter. if an article that promotes violence is posted to an audience that will act upon it, is wrong. that is why we have recommendations as to the suitability of a book or movie for a certain audience.

        Posting a story, to a Muslim Western audience that makes polygamy more acceptable, leads to the exploitation of Muslim girls and women. NOT non Muslim women.

        The same as if the article was promoting that the testimony of a female is only worth that of half of that of a man.

        It is a form of propaganda.

      • Sara

        Are you being serious? Promoting polygamy? I have only two words for you: “Sister Wives”. Please inform yourself before you start judging others.

      • Peter

        You have 2 words for me “Sister Wives”, wow, very impressive, maybe one day you may be able to post a whole sentence.

        SO WHAT ?

        I am extremely well informed and I am capable of forming a whole sentence!

        The facts are that Polygamous Marriages in the West, are in the vast majority of cease, exploiting young girls to the sexual benefit of older men.

        They rarely involved consent and are often accompanied by intimidation and violence. There is also significant levels of welfare abuse.

        If Polygamy in the West ONLY involved consenting adults, where the Husband truly did financially support all his wives and children, then I would have no problem and just view the husband with the same contempt as those guys who look at pornography and frequent brothels or who do not financially support their children.

        However, in the majority of cases in the West, polygamy does involve the exploitation of young women and girl, and welfare abuse. That is not speculation on my behalf, it is fact. a quick google search by anybody with 1/2 a brain will see reports and stories to support my claims.

        I am yet to find, a single article, written by a recognized body or independent authority anywhere in the world that presents credible cases where polygamy provides a benefit to society. NOT ONE INSTANCE.

        There are fringe sects like elements of the Mormon Faith, as some fringe groups of Muslims, who think it is great, but in every instance it is only great for the guys.

        In countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, there are number vocal MUSLIM groups advocating for the abolition of Polygamy.
        The vast majority of Muslims do not practice, nor want Polygamy. Otherwise it would be more widespread. Just like the vast majority of Muslims have no desire to own slaves or run around beheading people.

        The records to the contrary are massive and overwhelming. You just need to take your head out of the sand pit, and look.

        Polygamy in a western context is evil, just like slavery is evil, just as racism is evil.

        Clearly you are ignorant of the facts, and that is why the only thing you can say is “sister wives”, that is very sad.

        I have 3 words for you, which do make sense.

        Read and research.

        That way you will no longer be the empty vessel, posting gibberish.

  3. Amatullah

    You know what you should do then? Keep out of them! Simple! Not everyone in the world shares the same irrational problems as yours. Have a good time noting them down somewhere else.
    As someone who has already finished reading this story, it is NOT even near to what you are thinking about (or what you can ever think about? ) ! “Dont judge the book by its cover”.. Heard that before? No need for apologies, you’re forgiven.

    Reply
    • Peter

      Irrational? Please, it is not irrational to deplore a practice that has no place in modern times.

      In the Times of Mohammed, there was no welfare or widows pensions. So polygamy was a logical solution to females who had no one to support them, in a feudal society that existed in a desert environment.

      The rule was to only take the number of wives you can provide for, and you must treat them all equally.

      However, in a Western Society, the reality is that there is social welfare. The reality too, is that a large percentage of Muslim men who live in Western Societies, use Polygamy as a means to exploit women, and the welfare system. They do not marry only those they can afford to maintain, they let the state do it.

      So in a Western context, Polygamy has no place at all.

      The irrational person here is definitely not me.

      Reply
      • Amel

        Have you read the author’s novel? If not, how do you know the approach she will take to this topic?

      • Ruby

        Peter, why are you so fixated on micromanaging someone’s private relationship choices? Everyone doesn’t view marriage as merely a financial transaction wherein a man is agreeing to pay all of a woman’s bills.

        Some people get married and don’t even live together, and often a woman in financially independent.

        It may be hard for someone like you to comprehend, but some people get married because they love each other, period.

        And you really imagine that it’s “immoral” for them to be together just bc one of many changing laws has yet to grant religious people their moral rights?

        Wow.

  4. Asha

    I think this is a wonderful way to engage people into a different concepts that are hard to understand for muslims and non muslims. Taking the concept of polygamy and sending your message through a short story really engaged me. I think this blog is very useful in enhancing people’s understanding of Islam and promoting critical discussions.

    Reply
  5. Soumaya

    I personally did not like the fact that her friend thought her husband was loyal , but was actually going behind her back to arrange his own marriage with her friend. This shows Muslim men as a horrible light. Clearly he knows his wife will not accept it, but not only that but her friend . I truly feel that is just ridiculous . Do not expect wives to be loyal but husbands can do as they wish.

    Reply
    • Aliya

      Soumaya, most muslim men in situations like these end up doing horrible things. And the female “friend” with questionable loyalty will too.
      Its the reality of how messed up some things turn out to be.

      Reply
  6. Aliya

    I don’t believe there is any need at all to post this “short story”.
    People who like this kind of stuff can buy the book and read it. Its freely available I guess.

    Reply
  7. Siraaj

    In Peter’s moral Western world, unrestricted procreational and recreational sex (be it pre-marital or extra-marital) is perfectly legal and, by extension (of his logic) ethical so long multiple marital vows aren’t involved.

    Reply
    • Peter

      No, you are attempting to twist what I am saying, and doing so badly. You are trying to use the old, and very ineffective ruse, of trying to justify one immoral act, by referring to another, and pointing your finger and saying “why aren’t you objecting to that” Please, that is so amateurish. Changing the subject might make you happy, as clearly you are uncomfortable seeing polygamy exposed as a tool where older guys exploit younger women, within a Western context.

      I have no objection to consensual adults doing what both freely want to in the privacy of their own home. That is another subject however.

      What I object to, is propaganda, disguised as a story, that conditions young Muslim women, that polygamy is acceptable. Because it is young Muslim women, who are the victims of Polygamy. You may not care about these young girls, but I do.

      The same way if someone wrote a story, that tried to sugar coat the disgusting actions of some Catholic Priests who molested children. That was evil and wrong. It has no place in the society I live. Polygamy in a Western country, has no place, it is illegal for a reason, and anybody who tried to sugar coat it is wrong.

      It does not matter it is a story, if it sugar coats the exploitation of of the vulnerable, I will comment if I see it.

      Reply
      • Ruby

        Peter, I’m confused. You say, “I have no objection to consensual adults doing what both freely want to in the privacy of their own home. That is another subject however.”

        Marriage involves adults. So what is your point?

        I see you keep referring to grown Muslim women as “girls.” Why?

        As for the “propaganda” in this short story, which part refers to “young girls”?

        It seems you need to strip from women both their intelligence and maturity to make your point, which is lost on me btw bc you seem to believe that legality and morality are synonyms.

        And you also seem to have a rather misogynist view of grown adult women, whom you insist on referring to as helpless children who need to be controlled and prevented from consensual marriage.

        I think the issue here is you have a deep underlying inability to process the concept of morality outside the context of man made laws, and the concept of adulthood, maturity, and free choice outside the context of male existence.

      • Peter

        My you do try hard don’t you. Do you really need it spelt out for you? On course this story is not about young girl, I never said it was.

        However it has the ability to influence young Muslim girls, or Muslim women, that is their duty to allow their husband to take a young girl as a second or third wife. It is a form a propaganda.

        Why do you keep trying to twist what I say??? I might ad you are not very good at it, as you are so transparent.

        Now if the average muslim guy in the west was marrying 2nd and 3rd wives his own age, who fully knew and consented, and was financially supporting them, then would still find the practice of polygamy objectionable.

        What I find truly abhorrent is the reality of the situation when it comes to polygamous marriages in the West, you know as well as I do, that the majority of 2nd and 3rd wives, in Western Societies, are young girls, significantly younger than their husbands, who have little or no say in the matter. A significant portion, are imported from Muslim majority countries and many cannot even speak or write in their adopted country’s language. Many are promised to their future husbands as mere children.

        It is very easy to find the numerous published articles and papers on the problem of exploitation and abuse of women in the world. The is a direct relationship between Polygamy, forced marriage and underage girls being forced into polygamous marriages.

        Do I need to shame you with the facts??
        Shame on you for attempting to defend such an evil practice. There is NO PLACE for polygamy in a Western Country!

      • Ruby

        Oh, so now the truth comes out. This has nothing to do with the story or protecting young girls. It’s polygamy you hate.

        But turning your argument into a diatribe about innocent girls and vulnerable women (who are frequently harmed in non-polygamous relationships) gives you a scapegoat.

        Interesting how YOU now need to change the subject from the story and your original contradictory points and shift it to statistics and hypothetical “what if” horror stories.

        I’ve no problem with your hatred of polygamy and your worship of Western culture and laws. I don’t even have a problem with your belief that morality always equals legality.

        But at least formulate a consistent argument before participating in a discussion with intelligent people. It makes the conversation flow more easily.

        So if it’s polygamy you hate, let’s at least discuss it according to its definition: consensual marriage involving more than two adult people.

        I know you struggle with definitions of terms, so let me help you out a bit: neither monogamy nor polygamy include in their definition abuse of anyone.

        Just thought that little fyi might help you formulate your anti-polygamy arguments better.

      • Siraaj

        Peter, my point is pretty straightforward – you claim if something is legal, it is moral. If so, Hugh Hefner is not taking advantage of young girls, he’s obeying the letter of the law with every young twenty something he beds in his mid-80s with the help of magic blue pills.

        Polygamy was at one time illegal in the US, that is no longer the case. Utah was the last state to outlaw religiously ordained polygamy (i.e. even if there were no legal contracts with state), and they have since dropped it after their attorney general attempted to prosecute the “Sister Wives” family (and failed).

        In any event, what consenting adults agree to among themselves is really none of your business or anyone else’s – everyone reads and moved by different influences, not just “young girls”. Once people reach the age of adulthood, it’s up to them to make adult decisions. You would do well to respect those decisions, even if you disagree with them.

      • Peter

        Again, you are fabricating what you attribute to me. You clearly are not good at making assumptions about me, as you have a record of total failure so far. I suggest you stop fabricating, and stick to the subject matter.

        I would not watch such a show and find it just as offensive as the story, and the institution, (polygamy) you seem to support.

        One of the things you seem to forget, is that such a program would not be shown during children’s TV time. Western society does place limitations as to who should be exposed to such material.

        I note no rating has been placed on this story, and considering the forum it has been presented on, does give it a greater chance to influence.

      • Peter

        Clearly your moral vacuum does.

        Never seen nor heard of that show, sounds like total rubbish.

    • Peter

      Really? Are you not just showing how prejudiced you are?

      How dare you assume such! I am married, with 1 wife, and I support her and our children.

      I find sex between consenting adults far less objectionable, than young girls being forced into marriage and sexual exploitation.

      The presence or absence of vows, does not change an evil action into something good.

      I believe a man can rape his wife. I believe that marriage should only be between adults who both want to get married, NOT because of family honour or obligation. I do not believe young girls should marry guys old enough to be their father.

      Ethics and morality are clearly things you do not understand. The sad thing is you are probably one of those sheltered guys who spend way too much time looking at online pronography( who by the way Muslim males are the major consumers of online pornography), and think every Western women is a whore, and sleep with any male they see.

      That is way, so many Muslim men, when they encounter a Western culture, end up in prison on sex offenses.

      In my society a woman can wear what she wants, as my society expects the males to behave as gentleman. The onus is on the male to show restraint and ethics.

      In your value system, clearly demonstrated by your erroneous comments about the Western culture, you think that if a woman dresses in a way YOU think is promiscuous, you are entitled to act in immoral way.

      There are numerous examples of this playing out today, in Europe and elsewhere on Muslim men raping and molesting western women, due to the sense of entitlement you display. Yet alone examples going on in the Middle east and North Africa.

      What countries are the biggest consumers of online pornography, let me hint and none are Western.

      What countries have the highest levels of sexual harassment of women, by men again starting with Egypt, the list is predominantly Muslim majority.

      What countries are the most dangerous to be a women? Again, the list toppers are Muslim majority.

      Do you know the largest consumer of Viagra per capita is Saudi Arabia? That outside of Muslim Societies female genital mutilation is virtually unknown? That 80% of the world’s sex slaves are found within Muslim communities?

      So before you start preaching how immoral western societies are, try looking in what the alternatives are. My every relative measure, western societies adhere to Islamic principles to a far greater extent than any Muslim Majority country.

      Mohammed, for the period of history he lived, was very progressive in his attitudes to women, and how they were to be treated, he was a man in many ways ahead of his times, in the region he was in.

      The sad thing is today, the majority of Muslim males are not at the forefront of how to treat women, unlike Mohammed, but treat women as objects, to be exploited and used. You are an example of that backwardness and misogyny.

      Reply
  8. Wael Abdelgawad

    Kind of a “women’s story” – the equivalent of a chick flick – but it drew me in because it’s well written and the characters are nicely developed. Still, I wasn’t fully sold until I got to this line:

    “It’s Jacob.”

    That was an unexpected twist, and put a big smile on my face. Well done.

    Reply
  9. Ahsan Arshad

    What a surprising end. I could not have expected it. Now I cant wait for part 2. Quite interesting. After studying “if I should speak” from Umm Zakiyah in an online classroom setting, I am quite a fan of the authors work.

    Reply
  10. Ruhani Ilaj with regards to Early Marriage

    Ruhani Ilaj with regards to Early Marriage , “Marriage is one of the most beautiful relations, every person has a dream of their lovely marriage life, but a few of people aren’t able to fulfill their marriage dreams cause of some issues, who are interrupting their life to fulfill the dream and cause of this people are facing a delay in their marriage. Ruhani Ilaj with regards to Early Marriage is the one of the best ways, which helps the people to get marry and make their marriage life successful. If any people who are facing problems of delay marriage cause of some obstacle, People make things about them which not only embarrassed those people, even their families too. So if you are in this situation, facing some obstacle then you should take a help of a Ruhani Ilaj for early marriage.

    Reply
  11. Nusaybah abdulFattah

    It’s a great story! I can’t wait to get my hands on the full novel, in Sha Allah.

    After scrolling through all the comments, all I can say is Wow.

    People certainly have different views about things.

    One thing to serve as a reminder to everyone here talking about “Western this” “Western that” and Muslim men etc. is that Islam is a perfect religion. The muslims aren’t. And also, people have different cultures and come from different backgrounds. So they think, behave, act differently.

    Reply

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