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The Muslim Woman’s Achilles Heel – the Second Wife


*Please note that the opinions expressed in this post, like all op-ed pieces on MM, represent the viewpoint of the author, and are not necessarily endorsed by all MM writers*

By Irum Sarfaraz

The wise have said that no matter how strong a person is, he definitely has one Achilles heel. Compared to women of any other society and religion, I consider Muslim women no less an epitome of wonder women. And their Achilles heel? Their husband’s second marriage. Its been years and years and I still haven’t found a single woman who wouldn’t object to her husband’s second marriage and would be willing to have a big heart just for the sake of two reasons; Islam has given him to permission to and he wants to. If ever I am in a really boring party where chances of the guests falling asleep are getting really strong, I shoot this question and lo and behold they are all not only awake but arguing in such heated contention as if their husbands are just about to get married in the next room!

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I know it is a cultural phenomena and one of the stigmas of the Asian societies that ‘a husband’s second wife is the worst thing that can happen to a woman’. The Arabs have no issue with it because that is the way they’ve been raised to view it. Women in any other culture on the other hand have been taught that this is the worst crisis that can befall a married woman. In my personal opinion, and much as I regret and hate to state the truth, the worst thing that can happen to a woman in the Pakistani society is divorce. After that she becomes free game. So she might as well have a husband with two wives than no husband at all. I also think that if this tradition of keeping multiple wives would become more common, not only would the women in all Islamic cultures besides the Arabs would start viewing it differently but it would also solve the growing ‘finding a match’ crisis in the majority of Muslim societies as well.

But even after years of reflection and consideration, I still haven’t been able to put a finger on why the vast majority of Muslim wives cannot stand to even discuss the topic without losing their cool. How do I view the situation? First of all if Allah has permitted it, how can one oppose it or be ‘totally against it’? I just cannot see the logic in it. Secondly, since women tend to view the situation extremely personally, if you can’t keep an animal tied up in your yard forcibly, how can you keep a human being? If a husband wants to marry again, why should he be stopped? Of course he should be able to support two wives and be willing to keep equality between them. But that is not for the women to worry about. That is between him and Allah. Islam has said that he should attempt multiple marriages only if he is able to keep equality. But that would be a discussion for the men. My argument is that Muslim women first need to get the ‘hang of the idea’ that if their husband wants to get married, he should be allowed to do so without the usual excessive fuss and ruckus associated with the event.

If one was to extend the discussion on ‘how this is more of a personal issue and than a religious one’, as put forth by almost everyone who opposes it, I personally believe that one of the major reasons why a man would want to keep two wives is because is ‘out’ of love with the first one and ‘in’ love with someone else. Why he is ‘out’ of love is not the point here. The point is that if he is then why should the first wife care what he does or doesn’t do when the major factor, love, has fallen out of her equation with him? She cannot keep him tied to you forcibly. So why are Muslim women still hell bent to oppose a law pre-determined by Allah? Point to ponder, are the women who see no harm in force, coercion and threats to keep the husband to themselves looking for ‘khairat’ or love? Even if they are unwilling to give the situation the benefit of the religious ruling they should still realize that by employing force they not only push their husband even further but also lose respect in his eyes in the process. Yes there are instances when men do love the first wife but still marry for children. But these are exceptional cases but I have also seen men so much in love with their first wife that they prefer to be childless than marry someone else and hurt the feelings of the first.

Let’s talk about why women oppose the idea so passionately even when they know that he is allowed by Islam. Someone suggested that the innate possessive nature of a woman does not allow her to share her husband with another woman. But if the husband wants to marry someone else, is he still emotionally the husband that she should be so innately possessive about? If he has no regards for her feelings, what is the point of being possessive about him? The love is gone anyway. Another lady suggested that if the husband is looking for another partner, it means that she is not the ideal wife for him any longer and hence she should try to find out what is causing him to distance himself by seeking another soul-mate. Good point but again, there are rare instances when the wife does not try to find out what is happening from her side, ‘ihtesab’, and tries to make amends, scared by just the threat of a second marriage. She does try to fix the leaks in the ship of her marriage to the best of her knowledge and capability. But if the husband thwarts any sincere efforts from the wife to make amends, if needed, and continues the litany of a second wife then all the more reason to let him off the hook. If despite all efforts from the wife to make things ‘better’ he still wants to marry, then that translates into an even better bargain for the present wife as now she has even less to regret that she didn’t try to ‘make the marriage work’. She should now think impartially that as long as her rights as a wife are fully taken care of and her kids still have the father around, that’s a very very good bargain.

But this second marriage tête-à-tête is not a big but always a HUGE deal to women who take any such discourse as a personal attack on their relationship with their husbands. I just want to get to the bottom of why women oppose what Islam permits. I am not asking anyone to actually find their husband a second wife. One of my friends said:

‘Why does it upset women? Ask yourself. Show me a single woman who would like to share their husband with anyone. It’s the same topic as the age old conflict between mothers in laws and daughter in laws. The average mother in law believes that even after marrying her son to her daughter in law, she still ‘owns’ him totally. If women can’t handle a mother in law butting in their lives all the time, just imagine how they would feel about another woman taking over their exact place. No way…..’
I know this is a point that many others would have in their minds but I don’t think, despite the fact that the mother in law and wife are also two women fighting over the husband, that it is even remotely the same thing as letting your husband marry another lady. As I pointed out earlier, the second marriage means that the emotional attachment just isn’t there for the first wife or even if it is, it will lessen, if not diminish entirely, as the husband is now sharing that pool of love with another person. With love and attachment lessened, the fight and resistance will lessen too. So no, I don’t think it would make any sense to compare the mother in law/wife tussle, in which the ferocity of the fight never lessens but only increases, with first-wife/second-wife tussle, in which the players eventually come to terms with the new modes of relationship. And believe me, they do.

There is another common reaction of the majority of women in this instance that if ever their husband mentions second marriage, they would walk out as they have been given the religious right to do so. But that is not a healthy or proper reaction. This shows an eye-for-an-eye attitude. A lady reacts to this by saying,

‘The Quran has clearly stated that a man can keep four wives simultaneously. Allah has given him the permission. So how can a woman say no to that…are you saying no to Allah taala?? Ok and about she being ‘free to walk out’ but that would be demanding something that Allah intensely dislikes, divorce, for something that Allah has given permission for. And what about the children, how is she going to raise them and help them to grow? Is she going to deprive them of a father and a normal family life at the hands of her obstinacy, jealousy and stubbornness?’

In my opinion, this lady made a lot of practical sense. I also got this heated tart response:

‘I refuse to agree with you. Maintaining equality between wives might be his problem, but in what context is it not our problem? Any woman will go through “—–” (excuse my French) when she hears that her husband is going to remarry……and by expecting a “human being ” not to feel, think and imagine the repercussions due to this, in my humble opinion, is being nothing short of hypocrisy. If a 2nd marriage situation arises in my case I really don’t know what I will do but one thing I definitely won’t be doing is singing and dancing at his wedding. The initial period would be nerve racking, depressing etc. but ultimately I would treat him completely as an acquaintance in my life and nothing else. As far as the kids are concerned, I would not come between them and their father but GOD knows how that’s going to give a “normal” life to anyone’.

This can perhaps be called the response that best reflects the mindset of the majority and indicates that such women are really attached to their husbands. Maybe even to the point of being jealous and possessive. Very common trait in women. I don’t know about other societies but if readers of Pakistani origin were to analyze objectively they would have to admit that there are tens of Pakistani wives who are even hesitant to hire pretty maids in their homes. Hmm. Possession and jealousy in full play.

Nevertheless, I would like to tie up the whole discussion with a simple thought. We are all commodities of Allah and He has already drafted the rules and regulations for our lives and how He wants us to live them. We do what he says and nothing more. If it is hard for some people then they should still accept it as Allah’s will and their ‘azmaish’ instead of wailing, lamenting and denouncing the rule. The boundaries have already been sketched out by Him so let’s not talk about ‘feelings of giving and sharing’ or ‘we are not commodities’. Another lady agreed with these words,

‘You know what ladies! The problem is with that little sound within ourselves, the sound that tells us ‘I am the greatest’… THE EGO…. In this matter as well as any other, this little sound makes our heads swell, and we say, “Why should we share? We are individuals, we have an entity.” Allah says, according to Hadith Qudsi, ‘Do not Takabbur, Takabbur belongs to me.”

Point being, get rid of that ego thing. Bow in front of Allah’s raza’.

Right on the dot.

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  1. Arab

    February 10, 2008 at 1:02 AM

    “The Arabs have no issue with it because that is the way they’ve been raised to view it. ”

    Not true, arab society is similar to most others, they also look down on men taking another wife (with some exceptions)

    • Sumayah

      October 17, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      Every Saudi man has many wives. Its about sex not love. The story never mentioned the truth.the truth is they marry multiple wives for sexual pleasures.

      • AL

        September 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        @Sumayah, yes that’s partly true. Many men do marry a second time for sexual pleasure but I can say the same for the first marriage. Remember that Islam doesn’t tell you to cut down on your desires but rather tells you in what way you can fulfill your desires and in what ways you cannot.

        The thing that many of the commentors here are overlooking is that monogamy is not realistic in a large majority of cases. Please do some research on infidelity stats and you can see even in non-Muslim cultures, though they do have only one wife, but a large number of them have had at least one affair at one point in their life. And check the ratio of divorce and breakups. And how their whole family system has collapsed.

        Islam actually limits it and puts responsibility on men. It’s very easy nowadays to have extramarital sex. If a man is willing to take a second wife with full responsibility and equality, isn’t he actually trying to fulfill his sexual desires in a way that Allah has allowed?

        If your husband goes out to fulfill his sexual desires outside of second marriage, where do you think that will go? Cheating is the start of a relationship’s demise, which later results in the spouse leaving his initial partner, and children, because their culture/law doesn’t allow you to have 2 at a time. To all the women who have gone through this and their husbands have taken a second wife, surely the ideal scenario for you would have been if he hadn’t, but pls compare it to another scenario where your husband had started having an affair with another woman, and then would have left you & your children to spend his life with this other girl.

        So here’s the scenario. Your husband, for whatever reason, wants to marry a second time. Let’s say it’s for sexual desires because that’s a reason which is not acceptable for most as he’s ‘already getting it’ and shouldn’t need to. But be in his shoes.

        He has a choice: either he can go have a one-time affair with someone, or he can take a second wife. Bear in mind that it’s very very very easy for him to have a one-time affair (no responsibility, less danger of worsening relations with 1st wife, no financial responsibilities, etc). And also keep in mind that if we do a sin once, the lust for that grows and it becomes ‘lighter’ for us and it becomes easier to do that again. And this time with a different woman. And then again, and again.

        I think in the light of Shariah, a better choice for him would be to take a second wife.

        Now let’s look at the first wife and her choices: she can seek a divorce, pressurize her husband to divorce the second wife or bear with it for the rest of her life even though she hates it from the inside.

        If she seeks a divorce, again the end result is same as if the husband had left her. She will have to take care of herself and her children, and in many Muslim cultures, it’s very hard for a divorced woman with children to get married.

        If you pressurize your husband to divorce/leave the second wife, what’s her fault in all this? Maybe she has some issues where no one is willing to take her as a first wife, like infertility, or ugliness, or some other issue. And if your husband has already had sex with her, she may have gotten pregnant, and your husband’s leaving her & her children will put her in a worse situation.

        The third choice you have is to bear with it, pray to Allah to give you strength, and demand your equal rights from your husband. Yes, it definitely hurts; no doubt about it. But out of all the choices you have, it’s the least bitter one I would say. Something is better than nothing. You will get at least 50% of your husband’s time. Sure, you didn’t marry him initially for the 50%, but when you accept Islam, you actually accept that Allah has entitled you to a minimum of 25% of your husband’s time. And if you look at society as a whole, the society is better off with this.

        It’s better for a society to have a 1000 women whose husbands have taken a second wife, and so the husbands are actually supporting 2000 women financially and giving them at least some love, compared to another society where the same 1000 women were abandoned by their husbands because they cheated or started an affair with another woman and those 1000 women get 0% during their life, while the husbands and their second wives go to hell because of adultery and children are born out of wedlock, which leaves those children with an attribute that they weren’t responsible for but which sticks with them for their whole life.

    • Maimouna

      February 18, 2016 at 12:39 PM

      I would like to let you know that my husband loves me very much and has a very healthy sex kids and we have no problems and he is going to marry again. Also I am English and it is very hard to allow this and I have t argues with him or given him a hard time but I know he needs this as he wants to marry an Arab and I would rather he does it in front of me than behind me. Also halal is better than forcing haram.
      So not very woman is the same and I have been married for many years and have always been against a second wife until Allah has changed me. I would still prefer it if he had only me but I want Jannah more.

      • Me

        April 1, 2016 at 11:17 AM

        I have also come to a conclusion to this hot and hated topic. All praise to the Almighty the knower of all things. I have been granted wisdom in my 16 years of marriage that nothing belongs to you, we accept this in all circumstances but not when it comes to our husbands. Once you realize who you are and what you are meant to be by the guidance of Allah and his book makes it clear. I learned that Allah allowed me to get married that made me a wife HE allowed me to have kids that made me a mother and it is up to me what type of wife and mother I want to be and I have decided to be the type of wife and mother that would be allowed to enter Jannah as Maimouna has beautifully put it. It was not an easy journey because I never truly trusted in Allah and I never had the sabr and greatfullness to realized how blessed I was. I love my muslim sisters for the sake of Allah so why not want for them what you want for yourself. Everyone wants to have a husband, a family or in the case of a widow or divorced female a dad for their kids. May Allah grant us all contentment and patients in this life and reward us abundantly for our sacrifices. Ameen

      • astar

        November 20, 2016 at 8:05 AM

        Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullah, from one sister to another, I think you’re amazing and your strength is amazing, mashaAllah.

      • Leanne

        November 30, 2016 at 12:03 PM

        Salam sister! I don’t know if you will get this but I was wondering if I could ask you some questions through email.

    • Aria

      November 26, 2016 at 8:02 AM

      Exactly, I’m Arab also, never met an Arab women ‘cool’ with polygamy??? women are women regardless of what culture you come from, it is the ‘Fitrah’ of both Men and women to hate sharing their spouse…..

    • Shelly

      December 9, 2016 at 7:28 PM

      The answer is obvious. Women feel threatened by a 2nd wife for all the same reasons that a man is threatened by the thought of having to share his wife with another man. Don’t act like men don’t get just as jealous.

      It’s insecurity masquerading as ego. Religious beliefs aside, most humans (male and female) are afraid of being compared and, most importantly, rejected. For the 1st wife, if the husband likes the 2nd wife better, they’re afraid of the rejection, embarrassment, and the possibility that the husband will leave her. How many women spent their lives hearing that they needed a husband to take care of them? The importance of finding a husband is drilled into them from day 1. Everything depended on it. Joy! You found a husband! You are going to be ok. But wait… “another woman?! I could be left alone, lonely, and raising my children on her own!” That’s a scary thought. They’re the same thoughts that go through any spouse’s head when they suspect their partner of cheating. 2nd wife is essentially an affair that your wife knows about and is forced to accept bc a man said that a God said that men can have what they want and it’s ok. Yes, men are supposed to keep the wives equal, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will. People are supposed to do a lot of things and they don’t. Which brings me to my next point…

      There can not be equality or fairness with multiple wives bc the scale is always tipped in the man’s favor. It’s basic math. For this example, let’s say the 2 wives live in separate houses and the husband splits his time evenly between them. The women are sharing everything- his time, money, love, bed, parenting duties, etc. They split it evenly. The 2 wives each get half. The man has a constant supply of wife all the time. No matter which house he is at, he has a wife’s love, sex, parenting partner, etc. He is never alone, while 1 of the wives is always alone. He gets to have sex with up to 4 partners. They can only have 1. Nothing is equal or fair about that.

      Personally, I think (and have seen) a lot of the insecurity also comes from arranged marriages. The men didn’t necessarily pick their wives. They married them bc it was their duty to. A 2nd wife is usually chosen. There is a different emotional attachment to a woman you *want* to be with versus the woman you were told to be with. Even if both parties are good people and like/love their spouse and respect their relationship, if a spark never happens with them (and it absolutely does with some couples), that piece, that passion is missing and humans will seek it out. For instance: how it feels when you’re at a party you planned with the friends you chose to be with and the music you chose to listen to as opposed to an office party you didn’t mind going to and enjoyed, but ultimately you went only to maintain those business relationships. When someone finds a person that ignites their desire, they want to be with that person all the time. When they’re not with them, they can’t stop thinking about them. Can you imagine being the arranged marriage 1st wife and having to “compete” with that?

  2. Pingback: A Battle of Faith and Love » Hurts My Mind..

  3. anaeem

    February 10, 2008 at 2:49 AM

    Overall, I find this to be very poorly thought-out piece and quite frankly embarrassing. Islam limited the practice of polygyny, which was otherwise endemic to pre-Islamic Arabia and not necessarily “promoted” it in the casual manner in which the author speaks.

    Furthermore, the author pays lip service to the explicit Quranic injunction stating its warning against polygyny without equity, but then goes on to try to justify a wife acquiescing to a husband’s demand on the basis that he no longer loves her. How can there be any kind of equity in marriage if there is not equal love?

    Again, I could go on and I don’t wish to be malicious, but this piece is just prattle.

    • A women

      August 17, 2010 at 7:10 AM

      Anaeem, I whole heartedly agree with you and couldn’t put my response any better.

      The key word in the Kuran is “Justice”. The author almost talks about practising polygamy like as if it were eating a bar of chocolate and not sharing it with your wife. I’m sorry, but this is a responsibilty of great magnitude that must be carried out very carefully because it involves more than one women and most importantly your children.

      Saying that, I don’t understand why any women would remain in a loveless marriage or why you would encourage them to live as though they were simply a vegetable. Like men, women have their needs and desires and should be able to fulfil them if men can.

      • Umer Siddique

        September 26, 2010 at 7:59 AM

        Justice as referred to in the Quran refers to material justice. It is impossible to feel an equal amount of love for all wives, and even the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was not immune to this. The point is that justice dictates that despite one’s love being greater for one than the other, this should not lead to favouritism. This is similar to a father’s love for his children; Ya’qub (as) loved Yusuf and his brother more than the other brothers, simply because they were more righteous. But the brothers could find no other complaint against their father other than love, and this is why the mufassirin say that Ya’qub was not to be blamed at all, since he never treated his children differently. If he loved some more than others, this was evident by the character of the other brothers.

        Anyway, this is an emotive topic but we should be careful when we state halal and haram.

    • Abdullah

      November 28, 2010 at 7:23 PM

      I absolutely agree with Aneem. Equality is everything, in finances and love. I am currently courting a sister to potentially be my second wife. My wife is fully aware. Yet there is no lack of love for her. We are regularly intimate with each other and there is no other person who shares my confidences. The key is the ability to be equal. You cannot have fallen out of love with the first, otherwise the equality stipulation in Quran is already breached. Love for the new wife is a given, as she is novel, so love of the first must be unwavering and strong.

      The fact that I love my wife is a necessary factor that must exist before I can morally contemplate a second wife. If that love did not exist in my marriage then my marriage would be broken and i must fix it, not think about getting involved in yet another marriage. Forgive the metaphor, but you wouldn’t open up a second store if the first one was nearing bankruptcy.

      I am very disappointed with this author’s lack of understanding of and research on the topic chosen for discussion. Were it not for level minded commentary, readers would leave woefully misinformed.

      • Dorothea

        July 22, 2015 at 10:28 AM

        Asalamu alaikum dear Brother,
        Mashallah, your understanding and wisdom was so beautifully put. I have not read anything more embracing of this sunnah, then what you have commented. My husband also is currently courting a sister and my relationship between me and my husband is similar to you and your wife…and inshallah will continue. You posted in 2010 and now we are at 2015. I would like to know from you, if possible, how you divide your time, and living situation, if separate or together, and etc., that is , if your second marriage did take place. If you or your wife may respond to me , as to the success of this sunnah or advice., it would be lovely. Jazakallah Brother, may Allah bless you and your wives and family.

      • Confused and Hurt

        August 28, 2015 at 8:38 PM

        My reality; my story: My husband of 10yrs has taken 2 wives during our marriage. He knew I couldn’t have anymore children when we married (it was my 2nd marriage and his first), he said it didn’t matter. He swore our love was enough. I live in the UK, he lived abroad. He subsequently came to the UK

        Within 3 yrs I discovered he had (secretly) taken a 2nd wife and she was pregnant. I was devastated when SHE broke the silence and told me. He latterly told me he had divorced her. The child was born, he would visit 2x per month. Things got nasty between them and he said she made him choose between her and I. He ‘choose’ me. He has no contact with the mother or child.

        The 2nd ‘wife’ (or 3rd however you wish to think about it…), again was kept secret from me. She came from abroad to the UK and even lived with us for 6mths. They told me they ‘would’ marry, in reality they were already married and she had become pregnant whilst under ‘my roof’. I prayed and prayed to Allah for help but I feel unheard. I often feel I’d be better off dead, started to cut my body, take too many tablets at night… I have tried/am trying so so hard to accept the situation but the pain I feel engulfs my mind, body and soul. It consumes me. When he touches me intimately, I feel like a lump of meat, dead inside.

        All along I’ve been told he only had sex with them to have a baby. Well he has a baby now, one that he sees regularly. He spends 50% of the week with them and the other with me. He has promised me so many times that he’d leave her after the baby was born. Both he and I know it is wrong to do this but the promise of this is what has made me stay and endure the pain. Yes, that’s selfish, but haven’t I suffered enough? They both have what they wanted. She (divorced), in her late 30’s, found a 2nd husband. came to the UK from a poor country and they had baby. All along they knew the reality of the situation, I didn’t. In Islam, men do not need to tell the 1st wife about the 2nd’s existence. I’m sorry but please, will someone explain to me how this is fair? I committed myself to a man in the belief that our love was enough for him. I reverted to Islam for him (initially), he made me believe in Islam. I gave up a 25yr old marriage to be with him, I caused my children and others pain when I divorced my ex-husband. Indirectly because of converting to Islam, I’ve lost one of my children and his 4 children; my grandchildren. My marriage is tolerated by my other children (I have 4), another one of which will not speak to my husband and at one point I was told (by my child) to choose between him and my grandchild or my husband. I stood by my husband because of Islam and because I love my husband so much. The fear, distress, pain of doing so ripped my heart in two. Alḥamdulillāh, I still have contact with 3 of my 4 children. So yes, I am probably wrong to hope and pray my husband keeps his word to me and divorces her. May Allah forgive me. But I cant pray anymore, I feel I’m loosing my faith, I’m lost. I don’t accept the current 2nd wife as she lied to me and deceived me. I love my husband, I do not have to love her. I sought guidance from the Mosque only to be told to divorce him! So I am trapped, caught between a rock and a hard place. I don’t want to loose him but I also don’t want 50% of a husband for the rest of my life; I didn’t ‘sign up’ for that, nor can I continue to live with all the ongoing pain and trauma it is causing.

        Long story short, to this very day, he vehemently states he only did/has done it to have a child and that he felt/feels no love for them, only for me and the baby.

        So this is my reality, my experience of ‘sister wives’. How can ‘Irum Sarfaraz’ say its all about a woman’s ego and for me and women like me, to basically ‘shut up and bow to Allahs Raza’?

      • Aria

        November 26, 2016 at 8:06 AM

        Nice to see a brother who wishes to be polygamous, upholding morality and basic common sense, see if there were more brothers like you, perhaps polygamy wouldn’t be so taboo,

    • Karima

      June 20, 2016 at 11:17 PM

      Love is the only thing the man is not obligated to devide equaly, because he has not control over his feelings

  4. sincethestorm

    February 10, 2008 at 3:03 AM

    I find this article lacking any knowledge of human nature. A wife who has a problem shouldn’t be made to feel less of muslim because her husband wants to take a 2nd wife. The wives of the Prophet SAW had problems with jealousy and they lived in that culture. There are examples of Aisha RA and Zainab RA rivalry. There is nothing un-natural to have problems with it but to say it is haraam of course is unacceptable. This is a natural human emotion and women shouldn’t feel guility for feeling this way.

  5. me

    February 10, 2008 at 4:07 AM

    hey u have a co wife?if not..1st go thru that experience..n then tell us abt it!

    • Fatima

      March 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

      It is very easy to assume what one might do if given any circumstance but I can assure you as a second wife it is very hard life and I am always looking over my shoulder to see where I am going to get hit next.The first wife has very hard feelings although she would rather die than admit it.Hate is to mild a word to use when you speak of second wife.
      The husbands are very much the guilty party.My husband told me that he was divorced from the first wife but in reality she was 8 months pregnant with there second child when he married me.If any Muslim man sees the opportunity to marry a second wife esp…. for purpose of immigration you better believe he will do anything to achieve that goal even if it means divorcing the first wife.This is real reason most muslim men are doing this and I do not believe anyone should use the Quran or Allah to hide behind and say this treatment of woman is acceptable.

    • Anonymous

      April 28, 2015 at 7:26 PM

      Totally true second wives force husband to ditch the first regardless using all tactics and the hurt never goes away she persist until he gives up society has a divorcee and children expense of second never equality they follow rules suit them

  6. theManOfFewWords

    February 10, 2008 at 6:45 AM

    You certainly are asking for it. Also, for an opinion column this is quite long. Let me introduce you to two of my favorite friends: concision and brevity.

  7. Aboo Uthmaan

    February 10, 2008 at 8:21 AM

    “Furthermore, the author pays lip service to the explicit Quranic injunction stating its warning against polygyny without equity, but then goes on to try to justify a wife acquiescing to a husband’s demand on the basis that he no longer loves her. How can there be any kind of equity in marriage if there is not equal love?”

    Because the “equity” is not referring to love, but the equal division of time, spending and so on. Furthermore, it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Having said that, often brothers say (when talking about this issue) “why can’t you women be more like the sahaabiyaat”, that’s all good and well, but how many brothers today are like the sahaabah!

  8. Muslim007

    February 10, 2008 at 8:27 AM

    I find it interesting that most articles concerning this topic tend to focus on a woman’s inability to accept what Allah has ordained. For once let’s focus on a man’s inability to practice polygyny correctly. There are some real horror stories out there ! These horror stories are no longer the exception, but are the rule of thumb. Many of these brothers (not all) are focusing on fullfilling their egos rather then being just to their wive(s). It is a rare case to have a man who exercises sound judgement and sound adab when persuing the big P. I agree that we definitely have a major issue with our mindset regarding this issue. But how can we discuss sisters “getting over it” when we have brothers who are not fulfilling their side of the bargain.

    Guys want to have their cake and eat it too, but can’t even afford to purchase it in the first place. ( it is a horrible analogy i know)

  9. Pingback: The Muslim Woman’s Achilles Heel - the Second Wife « Browngurl’s Web Rant

  10. angel

    February 10, 2008 at 8:47 AM

    I have to say this articles makes no sense. Just because something is halal doesn’t mean we MUST do it or enjoy doing it!

    Remember taking a second wife is permissible, not compulsory.

    I mean, it is halal to eat fish isn’t it? Well, I can’t stand the stuff! Does that mean I am sinful for not wanting to eat it? No! Even raw meat is halal, but how many people are going to be cool with someone force feeding them raw meat? Not many!

    There are many permissible things that people don’t like.

    It comes down to personal preference. If y9u don’t like it, don’t do it.

    At the same time, realise it is halal and don’t criticise others who want to do it.

    • Umer Siddique

      September 26, 2010 at 8:09 AM

      I think perhaps the point is that too many people are so anti-polygamy. Polygamy would definitely solve the problem of so many unmarried women in Muslim societies, and someone told me that Sh. Yusuf al-Qardawi mentioned a few years back that the time has now come for Muslim societies to be more accepting of it. Because of the enormous taboo, men do not dare even suggest a second wife to their first. As a male I can vouch for some brothers I know that certain thoughts about taking a second wife arise not even for emotive or sexual needs but a desire to help a relative or other sister whom they know is in a difficult situation now. The only thing that stops them from pursuing this is because they know their wife would not be happy, and secondarily perhaps the enormity of the responsibility, although the latter is not as much a concern as the former. We need to consider that if a man were to treat two wives with equity, this is a very noble thing in reality, because anyone married knows that any intimacy and romance acts takes up a little part of one’s relationship. The majority of the relationship can often be mundane acts, compromise, housework, picking up kids, going to study circles, giving da’wah, etc. Even if a male marries a second time purely because his physical needs are not being met by the first wife, it does not behove us to sympathise only with the wife (who is a human no doubt); one should consider that it is a tremendous act of ‘ibadah to take care of not just one wife but two!

  11. A commenter

    February 10, 2008 at 9:14 AM


    Polygamy is ‘allowed’ in the Quran but it is not a man’s ‘right’. Rather it is a ‘responsibility.’ Those men who marry because they are “out of love with the first wife” are not fulfilling any responsibility but rather treating polygamy as a right.

    Allah has allowed polygamy but so is concubinage allowed ‘in the Quran.’ Yet in 1400 years the society has changed drastically. Our ancestors may have had concubines and several wives too but once slavery was abolished concubinage went through the window as well. Now if for argument’s sake there is a Muslim holy war and there are women in booty I don’t think that any wife would like her husband sleeping with his war booty even though it is allowed in the Quran. Should my wife be condemned for disliking the idea that I am sleeping with a “pretty” slave in today’s time when she has grown up to believe that concubinage is immoral and sinful?

    Likewise, if there are women who don’t hire “pretty maids” I don’t think we should blame them. In fact we should be blaming their husbands who cannot be trusted.

    If a man is out of love with his first wife and there is all love lost between them then why must they still remain married? Isn’t it asking a woman to kill her soul and live in a relationship with a man who is in love with another woman and making babies with another woman? It is the most humiliating demand from a woman.

    In most polygamous marriages where a woman may want to live with a man only for the sake of their children it is the children who suffer most when they see their father lesser and when the father begins to divide his already little time with a new family.

    You are trying to sell your opinion about polygamy to hundreds of women. You can express your views but downright condemning women who disagree with polygamy is trying to tell them how to live ‘their’ lives.

    Finally, I am Arab and believe me Arab women are not happy with their husbands taking on other wives! :)

    • A women

      August 17, 2010 at 7:16 AM

      It is responses like these that further strengthen my belief in God.

      Bless you.

    • amena

      July 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I agree with woman can ever be happy with her husband marrying again.

  12. Organic Muslimah

    February 10, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    The biggest mistake you made is when you started making assumptions about cultures. Most Arab women, even Saudi women for that, ARE NOT CHEERY AND ACCEPTING OF POLYGNY. The idea might be conceivable, but surely not acceptable. Check your statements before you make them. As an Arab, I didn’t appreciate your claims that are not backed up!

    You are writing with the point of view of a divorced Pakistani woman perhaps? Then the rest of the article, from that view, totally makes sense! As a matter of fact, before asking Muslim women to find second wives for their husbands and accept the idea, why not ask our ummah to accept divorced women in society? Why can’t they be treated equally with the opportunity to remarry just like any ‘virgin?’ Our ummah’s view on divorced women is all wrong. Divorced women are considered scum in most Muslim cultures around the world! It’s time we change that. Once we do, maybe these divorced women will have the chance to marry single men, like the rest of us!

    I don’t deny what Allah has made permissible. I believe polygny can be ideal in many circumstances, but it rarely works out because men can’t be fair! I encourage you, dear sister, to take a quick look at my blogroll with polygny bloggers. I would like you to read the stories of women who clapped for their husbands when they married another. I would like you to read about their children who are messed up for life and probably will never lead a normal life after living through polygny!

    Do you consider the daughter of Saydna Muhammad (SAW), Fatima, any less of a Muslim? Her own husband, Ali (a.s), wished to marry and she refused to be part of polygnous marriage. It went as far as the prophet defending his daughter’s right to not be. What can we say about that? Why is that part of history brushed away?

    Do you know that one of the strictest Salafi Saudi sheikh, Ibn Uthymeen (may Allah have mercy on his soul), declared in a fatwa that it’s permissible for a Muslim woman to deny what is halal for herself! So if I think polygny isn’t for me, then I don’t need to make it part of my life. All I have to believe that it’s halal for others.

    I am little disappointed with this article. I would have expected better research and thought. I am not even sure who was quoted in the article.

  13. Pingback: My Achilles’ Heel because I am a Muslim woman? « Achelois

  14. dario

    February 10, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    THis article was incredibly strange to say the least. Why should a woman, who’s husband is out of love with her, even bother to remain in such a marriage. How many fathers and mothers would want their daughters to stick around in such a marriage while her husband marries again and has sex and makes babies with another woman practically in front her of eyes. Its incredibly disgusting, and at the very least, unbelievably disrespectful. And I can only imagine how screwed up their children would become if they had any to begin with.

    Overall, ‘Sincethestorm’ summed up my feelings to this article pretty well. I think there is something very wrong with proclaiming that muslim women (or women of any faith for that matter) who have problems with religiously based PRIVILEGES need to get over their “egos” and essentially become better muslim women. Who are you to be the judge for the entire female muslim populace.

  15. Ayesha

    February 10, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Very poorly written and had no logical coherence.

  16. Umm Reem

    February 10, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Sister Iram, as much as I like to read your articles, I would hate to admit that I don’t agree with quite a few statements pointed out here:

    1. The Arabs have no issue with it
    Not true. I am not sure how many Arabs you have interacted with, but having befriended with a ‘million’ arabs, they have as much beef with it as any desi, including Saudi women.

    2. I personally believe that one of the major reasons why a man would want to keep two wives is because is ‘out’ of love with the first one and ‘in’ love with someone else.

    IF this was the case, then Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam, would have never taken another wife after Aisah (ra).

    This could be true with those married men who ‘wrongfully’ get involved with other women (at work/internet etc.) fall in love with someone else and then take another wife. (and i think in this case the first wife has absolute right to object!)

    But as for those men who have gone through the ‘halal’ channel of finding a second wife, have no issues with their first wives and they love their first wives, but want another wife just because they ‘need’ more then one wives. It is something in their nature.

    If you ever go through “western” research about marriage/infidelities etc. you will often find them saying that a man cheats on his wife because he needs a change etc.

    In any case, I can tell you from having many friends who are in polygynous relationship that first wives are more beloved to their husbands then the second ones! And the husbands will give up their second wives if the first wife decides to walk out!

    3. So how can a woman say no to that…are you saying no to Allah taala??

    Once Sh. Ibn Uthaimeen was asked:
    “What is the ruling on a woman hating polygyny because of jealousy…”

    And shaikh, with his immense knowledge and wisdom understood the nature of women and replied a beautiful reply:
    “A woman’s jealousy concerning her husband is something that is innate and natural, and you cannot tell a woman, “Do not feel jealous over your husband.” If a person dislikes something even though it is prescribed in sharee’ah, that does not adversely affect him, so long as he does not hate the fact that it is prescribed…
    The woman who feels jealous does not hate the fact that Allaah has allowed her husband to marry more than one woman, but she hates to have a co-wife. There is an obvious difference between the two matters. Hence I hope that the brother who has asked this question, and other people, will think carefully about matters and not rush to judgement; I hope that that they will recognize the subtle differences whereby rulings differ.” (islam-qa: 10991)

    4. “would be demanding something that Allah intensely dislikes, divorce,…

    It is a very common ‘desi’ belief based on an unauthentic hadeeth that divorce is most hated in the sight of Allah…
    If this was the case, then Sahaba’s time wouldn’t have such a high divorce rate!

    So this door is not close on the sisters. In fact, if i get a chance I will post the fatwas from Islam-qa where the shayookh asked the sister to be patient with polygyny but if she can’t then divorce was allowed for her (and this is from the *most* conservative site!)

    5. So why are Muslim women still hell bent to oppose a law pre-determined by Allah?

    Sister, it is not a ‘law’ like the law of hijab or inheritance etc. It is something ‘allowed’ not necessarily obligation (depending on the situation).
    It is a fitnah for Muslim woman and like any other fitnah they are not going to ‘invite’ it upon themselves, but if it happens then they will try to be patient with it!!

    5. as I pointed out earlier, the second marriage means that the emotional attachment just isn’t there for the first wife or even if it is, it will lessen, if not diminish entirely, as the husband is now sharing that pool of love with another person.

    Honestly sister Irum, I would encourage you to speak to a few husbands who are in polygyny before saying this on their behalf. In many cases you will find out that the husband has an increased love AND appreciation for his first wife.

    Polygyny is a ‘fitnah’ for the first wife, and she will need tremendous patience to go through it. As any other fitnah, it can become a blessing IF she is patient and takes that fitnah to come closer to Allah.

    Lastly, I really believe that this topic can only be best written by those sisters who have gone through this experience, wAllahu t’ala ‘alam.

    • Umm Sumaya

      December 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Thank you sister, I thought I was going crazy reading this article!! I had never heard that a women is marrying a 2nd because he fell out of love with the 1st. Yes it may happen, but she is stating that it is the absolute reason.

  17. theManOfFewWords

    February 10, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    I think this is just a clever scam by the folks at MM to increase their site traffic. They KNOW this is going to generate a lot of “controversy.”

    Guys lets just congratulate Irum on her creativity and say, “hey, we’re not falling for this one. Better luck next time.”

    • Imraan

      January 4, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      No doubt the topic of Polygamy is not one one to swallow with ease. Let’s look look at the topic logically. .. There are are soo many divorced women firstly(good women with good Akhlaq) most of of them average over 35yrs…then those who are widows (good women as as well) n den there are are those who just haven’t found d suitable marriage partner. We know there are a lot of of wealthy men out out there who spend their money lavishly, most of the time apon the demands of the wife. Can’t their money be used to support another family.. Yes u may say, they can give give their money in charity to the family n n women etc. But that’s not enough. They need need the moral support of a man who can take care of their other needs… If you think about it, how many times have women pointed to their their husbands with the same finger they wear wear the ring ring he has purchased the clothing everything else, n say u don’t do anything for me. .So even with one wife ladies complain their husbands aren’t just etc. It all boils down to that a woman naturally wants everything for for herself.. There are are so many men who who want kids. They still love and care for the first wife n never blame them for not baring any any kids as everything is is from the side of Allah. So if the husband wants to to take a a second wife for reason of wanting to be around kids etc. Let them… Perhaps by agreeing with his intention his bond with the first wife would be be stronger. Yes I understand the jealousy n n stuff. But no person is void of these natural qualities. .It’s how we handle them when we do become envious. There is wisdom in every command of Allah. Who said performing fajr was was easy. It’s Allahs law. We We accept it. Tho it’s hard.

      • TTM

        May 20, 2016 at 12:28 PM

        I’m curious how a marriage becomes stronger by increased time together for a lifetime? When children who may have had a family for a substantial amount of time in their life now lose their father because HE has other desires? Now the father you used to see everyday, who’d help you with homework is only there 50% or worse — 25%? I wish the men would consider for a second how they would feel if another man were to touch and make love to their wife? How they would feel if she woke up one day and started thinking, “I want something different, as well as what I have”? Women get the stigma of jealousy as if men are immune to it. I do want for my sister what I want for myself — a husband of their own. All and all, I can appreciate that people differ in desires halal lifestyles, but it seem ridiculous to keep trying to promote this and cause so much fitnah. Let the charitable “couples” who want to consider this look into it. But stop promoting to brothers and sisters to create the fitnah where there was only a happy home. If Allah has provided him a good home and family, his gaze should be lowered to any other woman any way.

  18. Amad

    February 10, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    theManofFewWords, w/r to the “scam”… very funny.

    On a serious note though, writers can and have written on a variety of subjects here, and we have a lot of editorial flexibility. That is why the disclaimer at the top of many of our controversial articles (and you’ll see more of them) is an important one, because I can guarantee you that we all don’t agree on every article, and sometimes most of us may not agree on one either.

    And as Organic Muslimah pointed out (about the Salafi shaykh), opinions here don’t claim to represent any school of thought either. Though I can see the progressives are loving it, which is not surprising, considering their denial of stuff much more important and clear in Islam (like denying that ahadith are a form of revelation, bad mouthing Abu Hurayrah by even calling him a misogynist noudhibillah (!), and using scholars of deviant sects as their heroes), let alone accepting something (polygamy) what is clearly a permissible act, not an obligation or even recommended for all.

    Also, on a serious note, though traffic is important to any website, Allah has given us more than a fair share very quickly. So, that aspect is much lower down in the pecking order of priorities :)

  19. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 10, 2008 at 11:49 AM


  20. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Come now…we are all entitled to our opinions. Thats what makes us individual; the ablity to view and analyze things differently. Thats also what makes Irum meofalotofwords and the man of few words, themanoffewwords! Don’t agree with me, don’t become a second wife, don’t get a second wife but hey don’t cream me either! My laplop is smoking…!!!

    • Aria

      November 26, 2016 at 8:17 AM

      Your not entitled to lie, you said the Arabs have no problems with Polygamy, I’m Arab and there are also many Arabs who have responded to you, and corrected you, I don’t know where on earth you got this from, but your wrrrrroooooonnnng. lies

  21. Sumera

    February 10, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    A major point has been omitted in the article. Polgyny is a provision, for various circumstances for various times where it may be utilised. Its not a right in that it NEEDS to be exercised, it is not an obligation – no-one is obliged to be polgynous and no woman is obliged to be a part of such an arrangement if she so wishes not to be.
    It would help if articles are written using a balanced sophisticated approach rather than the “do this or you aren’t a proper Muslim” approach – the latter is not demonstrative of a good argument.

  22. ibnabeeomar

    February 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    great comments by sr. umm reem.

    i also have to say i respectfully disagree with many of the precepts in the article,

    “In my personal opinion, and much as I regret and hate to state the truth, the worst thing that can happen to a woman in the Pakistani society is divorce. After that she becomes free game. So she might as well have a husband with two wives than no husband at all.”

    i don’t think this is necessarily the truth. it’s important to contextualize the culture as well. this statement applies to some rural parts of pakistan, and those who picked up and “moved the trailer to england” so to speak. however, in relatively more religious circles of pakistanis, or even more educated, or even pakistanis who have moved to other countries like america i dont think it’s the case.

    also its a bit strange to take a problem thats rooted in culture, and say they should take the islamic allowance of multiple wives to solve the problem. they have bigger problems with the deen that polygamy.

    also on this point, i dont think the multiple wives is going to be a solution. if a woman does not want to be in the marriage, and the guy doesnt like her anymore – why make both of them miserable, and then add insult to injury by getting a second wife? just get a clean divorce and move on.

    “I also think that if this tradition of keeping multiple wives would become more common, not only would the women in all Islamic cultures besides the Arabs would start viewing it differently but it would also solve the growing ‘finding a match’ crisis in the majority of Muslim societies as well.”

    i think thats making a rather large assumption and discarding basic human nature. even ummuhat al-mu’mineen were very jealous in this regards, so what to say of others after them (radiyallahu ‘anhum)? the whole world could be doing polygyny but it will not change the basic nature of most women to dislike her husband getting a second wife. many may accept it and come to live with it, but i dont think it would be to the extent that it is made out.

    “As I pointed out earlier, the second marriage means that the emotional attachment just isn’t there for the first wife or even if it is, it will lessen, if not diminish entirely, as the husband is now sharing that pool of love with another person.”

    this statement is true only if you operate on the assumption that a man’s feelings of love are somehow zero sum. or as a better example, like a hard drive. there isnt necessarily a fixed amount to go around. when you have more and more kids, do you love the first one less and less? absolutely not. you may love your children for different reasons and in different ways, but the “extra love” doled out to younger siblings doesnt diminish the love for the elder ones.

    “Of course he should be able to support two wives and be willing to keep equality between them. But that is not for the women to worry about.”

    i think it IS for the woman to worry about. if her husband is seeking a #2 and he can’t support a #2, then the rights of the first wife will most definitely be marginalized. if he isnt going to be able to properly provide for her anymore, why shouldnt she worry about it?? i understand having tawakkul, but theres tying your camel as well. second wives are not WAJIB to say “ok i just have to put up with it no matter what”

    “I personally believe that one of the major reasons why a man would want to keep two wives is because is ‘out’ of love with the first one and ‘in’ love with someone else.”

    i think thats a very heavy judgment to lay down. all i will say is someone should seriously study the seerah of the sahabah, and also specifically study the seerah of the Prophet (saw) in regards to his wives before making such an assumption.

  23. theManOfFewWords

    February 10, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    LOL I see that feathers have been ruffled, Irum.

    Amad, I was joking about the site traffic thing.
    Looks like Irum is having an apoplexy, though.

    What I would like to ask thought is what she thought the benefit of this article would be. No true Muslim doubts that Muslim men have the option of more than one wife and all people know that it’s very natural for co-wives to be jealous of one another.

    I want to know if you said these words out loud or were they in your head: “Well let me just stick my hand in a wasp’s nest.” I admire your courage Irum. Just remember, changing someone’s mind about something is relatively easy. But to change someone’s feelings about something, that is like doing the Atlas up hill if you know what i mean.

    Do you?

  24. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 10, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    My intention was not to stick my hand in the wasp’s nest (but somehow it ended up there anyway!) and no I am not having an apoplexy since this is the usual response I get to the discussion. I am not trying to change anyone’s mind or feelings and I am not saying that jealously is uncommon in the situation….all I have always tried to figure out is why don’t women, and perhaps men too, rise above all these issues, impossible as they seem, and say that yes there is a provision for this in the Quran?

    • habib2002

      October 17, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      I think we all know and accept that there is a provision for this, but it is not an obligation. Most men use this provision to get a second wife but are not even following the fardh in Islam like Salat and Zakat, let alone provide for a second wife equally.


      April 22, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      I agree with your article, and also think perhaps you should have touched on the following as well:
      Praise be to Allaah.

      A woman’s jealousy concerning her husband is something that is innate and natural, and you cannot tell a woman, “Do not feel jealous over your husband.” If a person dislikes something even though it is prescribed in sharee’ah, that does not adversely affect him, so long as he does not hate the fact that it is prescribed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

      “Jihaad (holy fighting in Allaah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you…” [al-Baqarah 2:216]

      The woman who feels jealous does not hate the fact that Allaah has allowed her husband to marry more than one woman, but she hates to have a co-wife. There is an obvious difference between the two matters. Hence I hope that the brother who has asked this question, and other people, will think carefully about matters and not rush to judgement; I hope that that they will recognize the subtle differences whereby rulings differ.

      From the fatwas of Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen for al-Da’wah magazine


  25. ibnabeeomar

    February 10, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    “all I have always tried to figure out is why don’t women, and perhaps men too, rise above all these issues, impossible as they seem, and say that yes there is a provision for this in the Quran?”

    I don’t think anyone denies it….. but there’s a big difference between what is allowed, recommended, and obligatory. and in cases like marriage, it can vary depending on the situation.

  26. Tanveer

    February 10, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    – Opinions are not to be commented on, I hate to see so many comments on a personal opinion
    – People should not conclude on others opinion – I see so many comments attacking the writer
    – writers or commentators should be cautious about making their opinion public when they know the audience are different genders, ages, and culture
    – Also, its a poor judgment on MM administrators or leaders to not proof read this article. I believe in free press and open opinion scheme, but when it is about Islamic views and writer is drawing his/her opinion based on Quran & Sunnah there got to be proof and not just mere opinion statements.

    My personal note is that this is a very sensitive topic, which non-muslims have used to destroy the unity by provoking the women of inequality in Islam, and muslims themselves have less protected it by not following Allah’s commands and Sunnah correctly.

    May Allah help us learn from this article, by making us realize if we are in that situation how best to handle it and more importantly how to best live with a family that you have :-)

  27. iMuslim

    February 10, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    As a member of the MM staff, I had the opportunity to read sis Irum’s article in advance, and to be honest, I expected the exact response I have seen above.

    Putting the actual subject matter aside, I think the most important thing to remember is that MM is a blog… and a blog is just as much about personal opinion, as it is about informed opinion (as long as the personal opinion is not too off the chart).

    One thing I understood from the article is that whether we favour polygyny or not, we should discuss the issue in a calmer way, rather than losing our heads in an emotional debate. In that sense, I appreciated Umm Reem’s comment, which was the perfect example of the rational debate Sr. Irum was looking for, masha’Allah.

    I don’t think that is asking too much from others, but it is definitely asking for a lot, just because the topic is about emotional well-being more than anything else – even perhaps more so than whether a man can “afford” to remarry.

    We all joke about how women love spending their husbands’ money, but i think most women would take emotional happiness over material happiness any day, though none of us really appreciates that fact, until we go through heart break.

    Anyway, please don’t be too harsh with our dear Sr. Irum… she is an amazing writer, masha’Allah, and in her own way, she is just trying to help us come closer to Allah ta’ala, even if we don’t agree with everything that she says.

    Besides, a blog is just as much about the debate, as it is about what the author writes; this exercise has helped us to examine the evidences of Qur’an and Sunnah a little more closely, and perhaps has guided us closer to the truth, insha’Allah.

  28. AS

    February 10, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    As much as I love everything on this website and check it every morning at work – this is a TERRIBLY researched article.

    It has no real research done and makes generalizations left and right, about Arab women, and about this topic in general.

    I don’t feel like it deals with hikmah and the reality of women and the reality of human beings.

    “Get rid of your ego” is not the proper way to get anyone to accept polygyny. Further, I don’t even understand the point of this when Muslim marriages are failing left and right with just TWO people. Why can’t we address those failures FIRST?

    Lastly, just because Allah (swt) made something Mubah (permissible) in Islam, does not mean a person needs to accept it if it is not for them. Eating octopus is permissible in Islam, but one can absolutely hate the thought. The mubah does not need to be forced, nor does any human being need to accept all the mubah matters into their lives if one does not wish.

    Similarly, Allah may have made it permissible for a man to take multiple wives. As long as the Muslim women accept the legal permissibility of it IN THEORY – they have the RIGHT to REJECT IT for themselves, without being blamed that they have big egos or are somehow bad Muslims – that is absolutely RIDICULOUS and arrogant as a conclusion.

    If a wife doesn’t wish to spend one half, two/third, or three/fourths of her nights alone – she has the right to say: “If thats the deal, I may have to leave.” Without being blamed for being egotistical or somehow rebellious to Allah(swt). Granted that it would be better for her to try to maintain the integrity of her family if possible, but her right to what she signed up for when she got married should not be questioned.

    One should not take this as an attack against what Allah has made halaal. It is however an attack against the assumption that a Muslim woman who rejects it for herself is somehow arrogant, egotistical or impious. Such an assumption is arrogant by itself and does not take into account the nature of human beings and the rights of spouses.

    wa alaikum assalam
    Abdul Sattar

  29. AS

    February 10, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    I should follow up and say that my comments are not directed against the writer in any personal way. Alhamdulillah I have read AMAZING articles by the writer and am consistently impressed. I just think this one article could have used more research and direction, and pulled out one key assumption; nothing more.

    Forgive me for anything said harshly or unduly and it was not meant to be so.
    Abdul Sattar

  30. random

    February 10, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    wow, im assuming this is a very hot topic.

  31. AnonyMouse

    February 10, 2008 at 4:07 PM

    I have to agree with pretty much all the other comments here… although I’ve been raised in a household where polygyny has always been accepted as something permissable, I’ve also had the opportunity (?) to see examples of polygyny around me – in fact, at one time it became quite personal.

    I can sorta see where sis Irum is coming from (that we should stop denying/ making excuses about polygyny), BUT it’s just not that simple! Whether we like it or not, it’s an extremely emotional issue… for both the man and the women… and it’s impossible for us to say, “Okay, fine, as long as you follow the rules I’m alright with it.”
    Human nature doesn’t work that way, and even the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)’s wives had issues with him and with each other!

    There’s really nothing much else I can say that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll just leave off with making du’a that Allah grants us all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (of the Deen and human nature and everthing else)!

  32. Organic Muslimah

    February 10, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Great comment Anonymouse!

    I guess we are all tired of the horror stories related to polygny. I know my dear friend, iMuslim, felt obligated to defend sister Irum, but I am not sure why? No one is attacking her character, they are simply disagreeing with the contents of the article. It’s how the world works, it’s not personal.

  33. anaeem

    February 10, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    I don’t think anyone is questioning the legitimacy of polygyny in certain circumstances. I just think it’s important to differentiate between what is a conditional allowance (polygyny) and what is an obligation (like prayer and charity). For instance, war and slavery are conditional allowances in Islam, this does not prefigure that the most belligerent amongst us is the most pious. In fact, it can just as easily and often points more so in the other direction.

    Furthermore, as Islam is often self-characterized as foremost a religion of justice, I think as a community we should be more wary for and inclined towards the party which can be more readily exploited and oppressed. This is why Islam was first and most enthusiastically adopted by the poor, the women, and the slave.

    In the dynamic of an Islamic household, it is clear a husband has responsibility over the wife, but a ill-intentioned husband can just as readily manipulate this responsibility towards unjust and oppressive undertakings. Hence why, I think the author is utterly incorrect on somehow putting the moral onus upon a wife acquiescing and not questioning/fighting back the need and desire for her husband to take upon another wife, when the wife deems it to be a clearly unfair arrangement.

    Lastly, I see a parallel in how this kind of “shut up and take it” attitude and its ill-effects in the domestic sphere can be extended onto our societal and political level. I don’t think anyone would disagree that when a ruler or a person given authority over others exploits his responsibilities and engages in injustice, those oppressed have a right to speak, question, and fight back within righteous means and proper manners. Thus, the moral onus in maintaining peace and tranquility within their sphere should be upon those given responsibility whether it is a husband in the family or the political authority over the land.

    • TTM

      May 20, 2016 at 12:48 PM

      beautifully put

  34. suhaa

    February 10, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah wabarakatu:

    you have really contributed to much amunition to those who say it is the “right” of the husband, without mentioning the fact that it is much, much, much more of a “responsibility” if not in totality.

    the rare situation where you see polygny working for both husband and just that rare. it’s rare due to the lack of justice that is being produced and honestly a form of oppression the man imposes as a result. Islam is a perfect system, but many of these men need to re-evaluate their intentions and purposes.
    not once did Rasullilah (as) marry a woman due to his innate desire as a man wanting a female partner. even with the Our Mother Aisha, (ra) was not a choice that he himself inititated. All other wives he had besides her were widows, and all (with the exception of Khadija-first woman/ person in Islam) were in need of his support…aka: his responsibility. He married them due to an Amana/ a Trust for Allah in caring for those in need because back then whether a woman was a slave, a widow, a captive, a whatever..she was a nothing! So he took that role in sheltering them and to do this in a halal was best for him to marry. Allah knows Best.

    Certainly these are NOT the reasons we see men wanting more wives marry for these days as the commonality. give me a break..

    as far as Fatimah (ra) his own beloved daughter..her husband Ali (ra) approached Rasullilah (as) and told him of his intention to marry another woman. You know what Rasullilah (as) said? in Authentic Hadith, and I can get the source inshaAllah..Rasullilah (as) divorce Fatimah first!!! WHY? He continued to explain due to her well-being, pyschological state.. HELLO??!!
    How come we don’t hear of this in the fatwa being thrown at every corner?

    As far as Arab women not having a big deal with polygany..that is a lame excuse because 1. just because someone is having a fit about something doesn’t mean another won’t so your argument there doesn’t work. I am afirst generation Americanborn to Eygyptian parents so you can say I am somewhat arab as well…but the past year I have lived here in Madinah Munawarra aka SAUDI. For you to say that Saudi women are cool with soooo NOT true. It’s more like they have no other alternatives, and quite honestly I have met a few who tend to not respect their husband’s judgement of fulfilling his “rights” because they down their “responsibilities.”

    ..and women in these situations are being tested no doubt…may Allah give them strength.

    polyygny is halal, but it is an exception to a general rule..not something to be advocated for in most situations.

    even if a man had all the money in the world..and all the donia means to marry 4 for the sake of his pleasure..this would be a source of ‘zulm’ on the other wives if they couldn’t deal..which in most cases they can’t and rightfully SO.

    Islam is perfect as it is, some Muslims need to realize that and stop trying to justify situations that can’t be justified according to the Quran and Sunnah due to the desires of donia..

    may Allah guide us all for all of us are in desperat need of it, whether we admit that or not..

  35. suhaa

    February 10, 2008 at 6:02 PM

    after posting that comment, i just hope you dont take this as a personal attack on you..just the content of the article..and may Allah forgive me, but when i said Khadija (ra) was not in need of Rasullilah(as) I just meant in terms of financial gain and of that effect..thats all.

    Allah knows best.

  36. DAE

    February 10, 2008 at 7:23 PM

    The author was right about the achilles heel part….just look at the number of responses attacking this article.

    And I’ll leave it up to someone else to figure out the percentage of women who left comments against it.

  37. Sabir

    February 10, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    I think the author’s misguided generalization about Arabs stems from conflating ‘Arab’ with ‘Khaleeji’ (a misidentification that many Muslims are guilty of). Only in the nations of the Khaleej, which accounts for no mare than 15-20% of the Arab World’s population, is polygamy not unusual (and, as many have pointed out, many Khaleeji women are not happy about it). And this is probably more a result of economic affluence than anything else. In Egypt (the most populous Arab country), polygamy is just as much of a taboo as it is anywhere else.

  38. Joyhamza

    February 10, 2008 at 8:57 PM

    salaam alaikum,

    I felt as a student of this faith we need to look at things objectively. You might disagree with me but i would dare to say, to my opinion, the fury shown in the comments is a bit alarming.

    I just ask us to think whether the comments (almost all of them) are made to refute some of the points of sister irum that we disagree or are they the consequences of our inate disgust on something that Allah has allowed. Just going back to usool, generally speaking a mubah cant be made sunnah arrite, but can it be or should it be deemed as makrooh?

    We might say that never in the comments did we say that its makrooh. But isnt that the feeling we get when we read this comments. Anyone sincerely reading this comments would say that we would indeed be very happy if we could declare it to be a makrooh.

    There might be untenable logics shown in the article and they are being fiercely refuted. But many of the refutations themselves have serious logical flaws to my understanding. The horror part is that the mistakes in the comments are not being touched upon. it is as if we will not refute each other as long as we belong to the same camp.

    la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah

  39. Ama

    February 10, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    Joyhamza, I’d like to read your thoughts about which comments you found illogical. And I appreciate your point in general.

    I don’t think anyone said this outright, but it does seem to be sneaking through, that polygamy is only allowed in situations where the ratio of men to women becomes unbalanced.

    That of course is the typical progressive response, which goes in the face of tons and tons of proofs that the best generations of Islam did not practice polygamy only out of “social need”.

    So, this act is not a conditional mubah, i.e. only allowed under certain circumstances (example that wartime is a prerequisite). Prerequisites are not the same as responsibilities. However, like all acts, it can take different rulings (makrooh/mustahab) depending on specific conditions.

    Finally, I have this question that is tugging at my heart. While many took great umbrage to some of the issues the author brought up (and to be honest, I also disagree on many points), I am concerned about the priorities of our concerns. So, while we are alarmed at an article that is making generalizations (lets assume they are all wrong for the sake of argument), but never questioning any Islamic texts or Islamic fundamentals; yet at the same time, there are many bloggers out there who are calling out the Sahabah, like Abu Hurayrah (RD), questioning the authority of Sunnah, making fun of scholars and of ahadith, flaunting the basic fundamentals of Islam… yet we are content to let that pass. Do people find this picture a tad bit troubling?

  40. Asim

    February 10, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    Bismillah ArRahman ArRaheem

    I see many contributers to this discussion talking past each other. An example: I read posts that basically say that plural marriage is a man’s right, and others that say that it is a man’s resposibility (i.e., to maintain equality between wives is a responsibility).

    Of course, both are correct. It is just a matter of emphasis and verbiage. I wish someone would read through all the posts (and also the main article) again and come up with a list of premises that everyone here (well OK, maybe not everyone, but most regular Muslims following mainstream Sunni views) can agree on. Then we could discuss how to arrive at a correct understanding of the emotional and interpersonal aspects of polygamy from a wife’s perspective and suggest the best course of action for a wife who has to deal with being in plural marriage.


  41. Ahmad AlFarsi

    February 10, 2008 at 10:04 PM

    As I have learned, there is a legitimate difference of opinion on whether polygyny is mustahabb or simply mubah.

    It’s funny how many comments here reflect the mentality that it is “only mubah… PERIOD”… when that is simply not the case (as I said, it is an issue of ikhtilaaf).

    It is also troubling that, as Amad also pointed out, some people here are hinting that it is only permissible in “certain scoietal circumstances”…. as long as a man can afford it in his money and be just in his time (NOT his love), the texts make it very clear that it is permissible… and no scholar disagrees with this.

  42. niamah

    February 10, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    lol every tom dick and harry has an opinion , that doesnt meant it should be posted up! Really, only the articles that can bring some benefits should be posted so we dont waste our time arguing =)

  43. Joyhamza

    February 10, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    salaam brother Amad, before posting i did thought to refute some of the points made in the comments. But then I let it go as it clearly seems that things here are too emotional to be looked at objectively. So i just indicated at my general concern on how things are going here.

    In fact in your last post you yourself have hinted upon some of the points I wanted to make.

    I thought that sister irum, even if she is wrong, brought up an important issue which we could built upon understanding the issue more. But this “how dare you” comments washed away the opportunity.

    My opinions though, only my opinions.

  44. anaeem

    February 10, 2008 at 10:46 PM

    {That of course is the typical progressive response, which goes in the face of tons and tons of proofs that the best generations of Islam did not practice polygamy only out of “social need”.}

    Well I agree that polygyny was practiced even outside of the Battle of Badr model and that’s totally a fair point. However, even then I also think it’s fair to argue that there were certain social/economic advantages for polygyny (for both males and females) in a traditional pastoral society such as Arabia and elsewhere. This is the same reason why even today you still see high rates of polygyny and acceptance of polygyny as norm in many sub-saharan African countries (Muslim or non-Muslim). Similarly enough, one of the reasons why Islam was able to spread and adapt much more readily into sub-saharan African societies was b/c it was willing to be flexible and accommodated their social dynamics, unlike the later Christian missionaries who considered Christianization and Europeanization (Victorian era mores) to be one in the same.

    However, whatever these polygynous advantages are I would question how well they confer outside of the pastoral and pre-modern model and into the current conventional modern existence we see here in the U.S. or even Pakistan. Again it’s important to stress that the Qur’an explicitly limited polygamy when it was limitless before specifically in the name of marital justice. This is why again in my honest opinion the spirit of the law must be recognized and respected in tandem with the letter of it.

  45. Susan

    February 11, 2008 at 12:57 AM

    An excellent book on this subject is Polygynous Blessings: Musings of a Muslim Wife by MizAzeez, which can be purchased on Part diary and part scholarly research based on agreed-upon legislative proofs, Polygynous Blessings chronicles the author’s emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey over the course of ten months, as she attempts to reconcile her understanding and commitment to Islam with her husband’s decision to marry another woman. This book is objective and subjective at the same time, ma sha Allaah. It is a real a page-turner.

  46. arab sister

    February 11, 2008 at 1:59 AM

    sorry but i have to say WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE AUTHOR, that i disagree. may Allah swt reward you for your sincere efforts in writing this article. inshallah it was quite clear that you wanted to defend what Allah swt has made halal and what has been “hated” and even rejected by many.

    on the other hand, i’d like to point out that it’s extremely important to get facts straight inshallah. the bit about arab women alone can already diminish the value of your article in some people’s eyes, making them inable to even see what you were trying to say etc. as an arab sister, from one of the middle-eastern countries (not north africa or the khaleej) i can honestly say that in the society..actually the COUNTRY that i come from, unless they’re practicing or whatever, it is FROWN upon to have a 2nd wife. in fact one brother took a 2nd wife based on his 1st recommending him to do so, and everyone made a joke about it! although this sister was an exception… the women can’t handle it either… have you heard of the arab love-phrases: “soul of my soul”, “i’ll die for you”, “you’re my life” etc… lol

    also, for sisters that are married (i don’t know if you are) and actually have good relationships with their husband, it can be sometimes hard for them to think of the idea that he takes a 2nd wife, and honestly i would find it quite odd to accept an advice that says IT OBVIOUSLY MEANS HE LOVES YOU A BIT LESS NOW, YOU JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT… YOU’VE GOT KIDS SO YOU HAVE TO STAY TOGETHER FOREVER NOW.

    subhanallah, we have feelings.. we fall in love, we get jealous, sad etc. so if i lost the person i love, there will probably come a time where i “need love again”.

    even the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) adviced against couples promising eachother never to marry again, because a person does need that sort of feeling/relationship in life and to make a promise about something so “uncertain” like that is just not right…taking into account we have to keep our promises!

    i hope my point was clear inshallah… a lot of the comments, esp. sis umm reem’s mashallah have already said what i had in mind.

    may Allah swt bless our youth with good marriages inshallah, and grant harmony between the muslim spouses, and ease the situation of our divorcee sisters and grant them good husbans ameen.

  47. inexplicabletimelessness

    February 11, 2008 at 2:42 AM

    As salamu alaikum,

    This topic is a very sensitive yet recurring one. It is impossible to generalize about the nature of men or women or to state one’s opinion on the matter without stepping on a few toes. The manner in which we disagree is very important as Muslims, however. Remember, it’s just one topic, one article, so think wisely whatever you may write. ;)

    Anyway, if you want to rise above the never-ending, heated polygyny debate, I would VERY highly recommend reading the following books for more insights from an Islamic viewpoint:

    -Footsteps by Umm Zakiyyah (amazing book, written in the form of fiction but very, very powerful and uniquely presented!)
    Published by Al-Walaa Publications

    -From Monogamy to Polygyny: A Way Through (by Umm Abdur Rahman Hirschfelder & Umm Yasmeen Rahmaan)
    Published by Darussalam

    Before reading these books I had a completely different viewpoint about polygyny but now I consider myself to be much more enlightened about both sides of the coin; All Praise is due to Allah.

  48. Dawud Israel

    February 11, 2008 at 2:54 AM

    I wish there were more sisters like you Irum.

    TO those emotionally insecure opposing this article:

    1) Men today simply aren’t as chivalrous and as ‘manly’ as Islam pushes us to be so the number of men who are WORTHY of polygyny (ahem) are few. Yeah, chances are your husband is less than you…but if he is larger than life then…even the kuffar would agree!

    2) Practicing Muslims (especially sisters) for the most part can be very emotionally isolated (probably because the ‘modesty’ we practice) and cold and THAT is the real problem that makes polygyny such an issue. There is no love to begin with and there is no desire for love. So pointing it out becomes an issue.

    3) Women don’t know much about themselves and don’t make much sense. And Muslim men lack what is commonly known among the kuffar as “Game.” I (hate to) say this from experience but YES, there are women out there who will be fine with there man having multiple girls and thats because he shows them all the right level of love or at least appears to them to do so. And this is enough. Now granted this is in the world of the kuffar but can work as well with Muslims. If us guys got our game on then yeah, all would be swell.

    So in summary, people need to learn to love.

    By the way…

    You know what Pakistani women say about Arab women–they throw their shoes at the the stone pillar symbolizing Shaytaan during Hajj screaming, “This is the one who makes our husbands marry!” HAHAHA!

    *ducks as Arab sisters throw their shoes*

  49. Manas Shaikh

    February 11, 2008 at 3:29 AM

    This is a complex issue, and I could only come to a coherent decision about it today.

    I think it very well depends on the situation.

    I agree for the most part with Umm Reem, ibnAbeeOmar, iMuslim and Mouse. (I don’t find much contradiction in them.)

    In general, it is best if a man marries one wife, IMHO. And certainly women will be possessive and she should not be forced to enter into polygamy if she does not want to.

    If a man wants to marry just for the adventure of it, the woman has full right to stop him, or even to divorce him.

    However, the thing to worry about are the situations where the man has to consider polygamy because of circumstances?

    For example-

    In the times of war, there are many women who can not find their partners. The married women should be accommodating a sister in this case, so that the sister who would otherwise be deprived of husbandly love can experience it.

    A divorced women with small children are in a precarious situation. I think if a woman allows his husband to marry such a woman, Allah (SWT) will
    bless both of them.

    In another possible scenario, the wife may not be fertile (which as far as I know happens more often than in the case of men. Females having a more complex body.) In that case the man may want to marry to have children. (In this case, probably the first woman will have rights over his husband in not allowing him to marry again. I don’t know what Shari’ah might say about this.)

    So I think in certain special situation, it is imperative on the wife to allow her husband to marry another woman. But in general, he has to take her consent- which most often will not be granted- and he has to live with it.

  50. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 11, 2008 at 3:29 AM

    Whoa….watch out Br. Israel… I sense the guns turning in your direction now…!!! ‘women don’t know much about themselves and don’t make much sense’ ? Sisters, high time for him to discover why they say ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’….!!! By the time this mob is done with you, they’ll be throwing more than just shoes…..!!!

  51. Manas Shaikh

    February 11, 2008 at 3:39 AM

    Oh, and I forgot to mention one point: a man’s needs are more than that of a woman. As far as I know, more often the women “does not feel like it” than the other way round.

    Then he can not approach her during her courses. For some men, it may not be a problem. But for some others, it may well be.

    In such cases too…

    But in all these cases, he has to be able to practice equality as well as be able to provide for all his wives, if need be.

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      And he need four wifes for that??!!!What a joke

  52. brnaeem

    February 11, 2008 at 4:27 AM


    I think Manas has made the best point (in her first comment, not her second one – I don’t buy the physical need excuse, but maybe I’m just not man enough), that is when a ‘situation’ arises where polygyny becomes a social responsibility, will the current generation of Muslims be up to the task?

    Sadly (as the comments clearly exhibit), the answer is a big fat NO!

    The men (as Dawud mentioned) aren’t up to the task.

    The women (as Irum basically stated) are also not up to the task.

    Many have written off polygyny as the practice of horny men and submissive women, while neglecting the social relevance of this institution.

    We need to raise our sons to be man enough to take on a second wife *when the need arises* and we need to teach our daughters to be more understanding of polygyny and its proper place in society.

  53. Manas Shaikh

    February 11, 2008 at 8:41 AM


    that will be Br. Manas :)

  54. talwaar

    February 11, 2008 at 8:57 AM

    Why is it socially acceptable by everyone for a man to get his first wife to fulfil his carnal desires but not a second, third or fourth for the same reason?

    If we take the dhair meaning of the verse, it states that the second, third, fourth wife is legitimate (if not encouraged) IF (a big IF) the man can treat them equally.

    Why are there so many people putting conditions (sharth) on polygyny – such as in times of war etc – when I have not seen any textual evidence or scholarly argument that this was ever the case!?

    YES, the benefits of polygyny may be accentuated under such dire circumstances but to limit its legitimacy under those ‘special’ cases is false.

    People have been very quick to tear down the sister’s article but have provided very little substance in their counter- arguments besides a lot of emotional huff and puff.

    • TTM

      May 20, 2016 at 1:10 PM

      Because his “carnal desires” are met when taking the first wife. He had no wife before and thus had no outlet. To take more for only this same reason is greedy and irresponsible. That makes him no different then an American PIMP, but you call him a “husband”. The Prophet (PBUH) is the example to follow. Where do you see that he expressed to marry because he could not contain his desires? Muslim character is to practice restraint and modesty. Where is your modesty in this opinion?

  55. brnaeem

    February 11, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    AA- Manas,

    Duh…I knew that…not sure why I wrote ‘her’…embarrassing brain fart. Sorry bro!

  56. brnaeem

    February 11, 2008 at 9:36 AM

    Two more points I wanted to make:

    First, the comparison of polygyny to eating octopus is a bit lacking. While polygyny, when carried out with the proper intention, offers the potential for societal benefit, such as helping orphans/widows, the act of eating seafood is void of any such advantage.

    Second, I propose that we begin to look at polygyny in the way we view Jihad. Both are aberrations to societal norms, but when the need arises, they are highly commendable acts. Both incur great possibility of suffering, but with the proper intention, can also merit great reward. And only those who are properly trained should attempt to take part.

    Sadly, our current generation is incapable of partaking in either, if and when the need arises.

  57. Amad

    February 11, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    However, whatever these polygynous advantages are I would question how well they confer outside of the pastoral and pre-modern model and into the current conventional modern existence we see here in the U.S. or even Pakistan

    Actually, to be honest, I believe that there are far greater fitnahs for men today than in older times. The proliferation of fahshah through internet and TV has only increased the desires in direct proportion to what is available.

    So, we cannot ignore the fact that Islam does admit that man has carnal desires (dah) and it is mainly for this reason that it has permitted polygamy in order to avoid greater evil. Let me give you some real examples that I came across in Pakistan:

    Two relatives of mine. Both guys in their 30s. Both doing relatively well in terms of wealth, etc. Both MARRIED (once). Now, Pakistanis have HUGE stigmas to second wives. I mean they would rather overlook adultery than to consider this. So, both these guys are relatively happy with their wives in terms of what would be considered a “happy marriage”. But both are clearly not satisfied enough (we are friends too, so they tell me). Both would be able to support another wife. Both would prefer it over doing anything haraam. In fact, there are so many orphan girls and widows, that it would also be a great social benefit if they married again. But that would be IMPOSSIBLE. So, what happens: One of them is leading a secret life of desires and haraam already (without his wife’s knowledge of course), and the other is considering options in countries outside Pakistan, where he could keep a second wife without his wife’s knowledge. And I know that if he doesn’t do the latter, he too will be dragged into the haraam. Anyone who denies that this situation is actually quite prevalent in our Muslim countries is being dishonest. This same story repeats itself for many average Muslims (not the super-religious ones who may have other motivations, like fear of Allah, stopping them).

    Thus, when you make a mubah act almost “haraam” in society’s eyes and make it a social stigma and make it all just about the wife, then there are consequences.

    And for the average Joe in the West, who would give you a mouthful on whats wrong with the polygamous picture, ask him what of the high percent of men who engage in adulterous relationships, who have mistresses, who have secret rendezvous with their co-workers.

    So, I claim that things have gotten worse in terms of women being the greatest fitnah for man (as the hadith says)… yes the other fitnahs are also greater (children and wealth as the Quran says)… so I don’t buy the claim that in modern times, this is no longer an acceptable practice. Or to compare it to slavery, which is also a completely wrong analogy, since Islam ACTIVELY discouraged and slowly eliminated slavery as possible, while polygamy wasn’t.

    Sorry for the rant… glad I got that off my chest :)

    • summer

      October 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      this makes a factual statement i believe it to be rampantly prctice by modern muslim nowadays who’s into polygamy where men prefer to do do the haram things rather than taking a second wife.this practice is rampant worlwide as per observstion.

  58. Ahmed Brown

    February 11, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Wish the fiqh articles received this much attention.

  59. aliya

    February 11, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Sorry but these types of guys have no real desire for polygamy. They want a mistress, which is not a WIFE. With a mistress they get an attractive woman, no responsibilities and fulfill their physical needs. Even if they were for polygyny they would marry a young attractive, upper class women. These guys are not going to marry some older, dark, low class orphan or widow.

    Two questions:One, do men realize that polygyny hurts them more than women. It takes women out of the marriage pool and makes it harder for poorer men to get married.

    Second: Does a man really believe because he sees all the hollywood, p*rn, etc that what he wants is another Muslim wife. Because that Muslim wife is not going to fulfill those needs, all he gets is more responsibility, kids, nagging, you know another Wife. Is that really what you guys fantasize about getting yet another wife. Think about it.

    Lastly, pray tell of the children in all this. How do you explain to your kids that you brought another family into the picture, less attention from you, in their mind less love, less inheritance if any other kids are born. Its really a huge mess and I am sure this is the main reason polygyny is highly disliked in Pakistan.

  60. aliya

    February 11, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    I gotta say this again. Polygamy is bad for MEN. Women do not mind sharing men, if the man is a good provider, or good looking or charismatic. The the vast majority of Muslim men are average joes, maybe don’t have a college degree, not good looking, make a enough money to take care of the basics for one family. Polygamy takes women away from YOU. Do you guys know how hard it its for an average joe to get married. Why do think egyptian men are waiting till their 30’s or longer to get married. It is so much harder for this type of guy to get married. If it wasn’t for the high rate of cousin marriage in the parts of the muslim world, a much larger percent of men would be unmarried.

    There was another post before about early marriage needing to promoted to help men. Well guys you can’t have it both ways. If polygamy is promoted more and made the norm, a woman is not going to want to marry some young guy with no money, when she can marry an older, wealthier, stable and proven husband.

    Don’t let these comments fool you, more women support polygamy than they want to let on. As much as the first wife hates it, if her husband is a good provider or attractive she will share him, just like every other woman in the world who turns a blind eye to their husbands philandering.

    But you poor, average joes out there, you will have an even harder time getting married.

  61. Nazihah

    February 11, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    The main thing that is bothersome is that this op-ed is based on culturally condescending *assumptions* of Muslim women.

    **As I pointed out earlier, the second marriage means that the emotional attachment just isn’t there for the first wife or even if it is, it will lessen, if not diminish entirely, as the husband is now sharing that pool of love with another person.**

    How do you know what the second marriage means for the husband and wife? Even if you are a co-wife or know of one…or even two, that doesn’t mean EVERYONE’s situation is the same.

    I don’t think they’re is any benefit in presenting a poorly planned and researched op-ed. It’s actually quite disappointing.


    Outside of the Islamic state in the time of Rasulullah (S), (in europe and surroundings), society didn’t value the opinion of the individual. It wasn’t until the Enlightenment Period people were valued as individuals rather than as clans or groups.

    We’re still “suffering” the effects of the enlightenment period…MORE POWER TO the INDIVIDUAL! That’s why we don’t feel so great when we’re slighted by our husband.

    Obviously, this value is extreme, as it was the reaction to an already extreme way of life, where the interest of society always superceded the interest of the individual.


    I don’t think people are shocked because, “omg! I can’t believe we’re talking about second wives!”. It’s the careless assumptions and the “matter-of-fact” attitude that is slightly annoying, especially for this awesome blog.

  62. Niqaabis

    February 11, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    A good attempt to write about the topic of polygyny though I think it lacked research

    I know of sisters who are going through polygyny and from what Ive seen happen to them it is probably one of the most hardest thing to go through, whatever race you are, it’s not easy to accept.

    but on a brighter note I also know of sisters who are currently looking for 2nd wives for their husbands, not because they dont love their husband but more for the reason, they’re looking at how they can benefit their aakhirah, like freeing up more time for themselves for da’wah or making hijrah for the sake of their kids.

    wallaahu a’alaam

  63. khawla

    February 11, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    ha ha ha ha what a racket? very similar ones at every Friday Jumuah prayer in the sister’s area. Until the people (men and women alike) listen, learn rights of the Creator, will they be able to be at peace with polygyny.

  64. Umm Reem

    February 11, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    No one is denying the legitimacy of polygyny and validity in all times for as long as Islam thrives.
    From what I have learned, second marriage takes the same ruling as the first marriage i.e. depending on the situation, it can be fard, mustahab, muhab, makrooh or even haraam!

    We are disagreeing with the author when it comes to the reasons why a man takes another wife and the inevitable emotional trauma attached with it!

    I really believe that this subject needs a bit researching before someone decides to write about it. Because to best benefit from this subject, one needs to discuss:

    1. ‘how a man should do it’ (i.e. how should he brake it to his wife, when should he tell his wife, how should he handle her ‘reaction’, what words/actions should he use to handle her fears, how much emotional/physical affection should he show etc. etc. and honestly this should be told to by a sister)

    2. ‘how can a sister handle her emotional trauma’ (again needs to be told by a sister, ideally someone who has gone through it and what helped her, what were her fears, how did she act towards her husband, communication etc. etc.)

    3. LIfe after the marriage (how should a husband maintain a balance etc. And for this part, I think all three need to be consulted i.e. first wife, second wife and husband)

    As a sister summarized it for me who was in a polygynous marriage that the days she concentrated on her relationship with Allah azzawjal would be the good days, but the days her focus switched to her husband were the bad days! She was the first wife, and she is still married to her husband, but the second wife left.

    In any case, before the second marriage, life is a fitnah for a man to deal with the fawahish etc. but once he takes this step, then life becomes a fitnah for the first wife as she has to deal with her jealousy (and may also remain a fitnah for the husband because now he would be in ‘double trouble’!).

  65. moon

    February 11, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    The strangest thing that it is very clear here is that the flood of comments are from brothers and sisters who are not involved in a polygonous relationship at all!!!

    So it is very easy for you to comment on how you precieve it to be from the ‘outside’!

    First and foremost the generalisation that men get married a second, third or fourth time is because they do not love their first wife is very far from the truth, yes there may be some cases, but this is not the ‘norm’………nor is the assumption that it is because she cant have children……….what needs to be seen here, is many men get married again simply because they want another wife, they want to protect themselves from commiting zina, they want more company, they can (unlike women generally) love more than one spouse at a time and can deal with the differences the ‘variety’ brings!

    How the first wife handles the situation varies greatly, the main point to note here is, for the second, third or fourth wife the situation they are in allows them, forces them to learn that ultimately we all belong to Allah and our spouses are are only ours on loan from Allah, but the first wife often with the result of a polygonous relationship lose this altogether and end up trying to enforce their ‘ownership’ of their husband, and the controlling of his feelings and the use often of children in the marriage as a weapon to threaten the man with.

    The feelings and emotions are natural, a woman will get jealous, there is nothing wrong with this, but what is the challenge is trying to keep this in control, and living with this in a way pleasing not only to ourselves but to Allah also. To say a woman should want to live in this type of marriage is unrealistic, there are some women who can handle it over others who just cant, and that also is normal. We are not all the same and will never behave that way either.

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 4:58 PM

      The truth is man generally take many wifes for lust nothing more or less.Even if the first wife is satisfying his every sexual need he still look for another because his allowed.Why settle for one flavor if u can have several

      • M7md

        October 5, 2018 at 8:56 PM

        Are you or would you be fine with that?

  66. Amad

    February 11, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    “moon”, you bring up excellent points… and I agree with you.

    So, based on your first comment, it seems that you have some experience in this?? Would you mind sharing it?

  67. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 11, 2008 at 7:03 PM

    Brothers and Sisters in Islam:

    The purpose of the article was not to start a war of words that it has turned into but only an attempt at a discussion on why women are so defensive about the situation. As a Pakistani I have witnessed religious, social and cultural barriers to the event and hence I was trying to address all three.

    I think differently as I have a different personal perspective of this in my life. My brother, 40, has two wives. His reason was neither falling out of love nor falling in it but an aim to revive a Sunnah that he felt was starting to be scorned, much as I hate to use the word, due to social and cultural setups. Besides him the fathers of two of my best friends’ fathers have three wives each. Hence I never quite understood why no one would agree to my logic.

    You will notice that I have used opinions in my articles. These are based on a discussion on the topic that I started via email with eleven of my most well educated and diverse group of friends. We talked about it for almost two weeks. They include Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Arab Muslims because I wanted to get a diverse opinion. What I noticed was that the culture and society had little to do with why women reject it; the strongest reason for rejection, even if they were accepting it to be religiously ok, [even if tepidly] was emotional. That is also the prime reason why I strive to figure out why it is not possible for women to rise above emotions, no matter how impossible the feat, and accept it as something that is permissible and something that the husband wishes to do.

    My commentary was judged as being shallow, ill-researched, illogical, cynical and what not. But it is a pure opinion and perhaps more than that, it is me ‘thinking out loud’ in a forum that is the most well suited for this kind of analysis and discussion. I presented the situation as I saw and felt it. I wouldn’t take these musings to a ‘progressive’ or ‘modern’ group of Muslims because the underlying basis of this is religion whereas they would demand the basis of this discussion to be switched to the ‘individual’. If religion is taken out of it, there is nothing left to discuss, is there?
    How a man needs to break the news to his wife, how she needs to handle it, what life will be after the marriage and how he will manage to keep equality will differ with different individuals. Lets first see if the majority of the women can at least agree that yes perhaps it is ok for a man to marry for the second time. What I have concluded is that, ironically, although the majority does not question the legitimacy of polygamy, they still have issues with it. This is what has always thrown me off in any discussions on polygamy. The ‘progressives’ say NO! The people I have always talked to say, Yes…BUT….!!!!! I have always tried to figure out this BUT….somehow the answer still evades me….

    Again, I never meant to come across as cynical, condescending, patronizing, arrogant, lofty, belittling or demeaning etc. etc. [or attempting to ‘seek attention’] . Just trying to find a general consensus on something that, at least to me according to my personal experience, isn’t so complicated as the response to my post has proven it to be.

    All of you may differ with me on this second wife issue but you have to admit that my husband is a very lucky man…!!!

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      Well the reason is the same reason the man wont accept his wife to take another husband.Polygamy was never permitted for social issues;Its simply for the man pleasure

  68. AnonyMouse

    February 11, 2008 at 7:37 PM

    Jazaakillaahi khairan sis Irum… while I still disagree with what you presented in the original post, I also still get what you were trying to get across.
    May Allah grant us all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, ameen!

  69. Organic Muslimah

    February 11, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    Sister Irum, you said it correctly, your hubby is a very lucky man.

    I know many young couples, my age, who are finding it difficult to get married. The initial expenses of a wedding, mahr and setting up a home is draining for most college graduates (I am talking minimum, nothing fancy). I wish, if the wealthy older gentleman in my community will, instead of adding a family to their existing one, help sponsor a young Muslim couple to start off a halal life. You see, many Muslim couples I know prolong the engagement period due to financial burden. As we both know, being engaged for a long period of time means falling into fitnah, authobillah. I believe this will be an even better investment in Al-Akhirah because it’s considered sadaqah Jaaryah.

    When I look at Polygyny, I look at the whole picture. Just as explaining to a non-Muslim why I wear the hijab, I always must provide the context. The bigger picture makes sense.

    If we look at the bigger picture of polygyny we might understand why Allah (swt) made it permissible with conditions.

    When I have a community that:

    1) Views divorced/widowed women as leftovers that no one wants.
    2) Unmarried couples that are in need of assistance to get married and established
    3) Orphaned children with no homes
    4) Fathers who aren’t spending time with their children, thus a corrupt new generation of Muslims

    I wonder where are my priorities? Is shouting for the ‘revival of Sunnat Al Ta3dod (polygyny)’ important or educating my community about social justice, raising children and social responsibility? Why can’t a divorced woman have an equal shot at a virgin man? Why are her options limited to a married man? Why don’t the shoyookh spend time explaining the important of raising your children, being there.

    In Islam, a family is a unit of a community. And a community is part of the Muslim Ummah. If the foundation of the Ummah is corrupt, then what else is there left?

    What about my social duty towards my fellow unmarried brothers and sisters in Islam? Why can’t a man, instead of indulging in their desire, practice patience while sponsoring a couple and avoid fitnah in society? If we are going to look at the bigger picture, then I demand that we look at all the issues above.

    Keeping in mind the bigger picture, remember that many men view polygyny as a nice way to get extra sex. They forget that marrying a second, third or fourth wife means family responsibility, children, etc.

    Again thinking of the bigger picture, please consider why people of our times view the practice negatively?

    Finally, I would like to say, as long as the couple collaborate together, as a couple, in adding a new family to the existing family, then no one has any right to say anything. If a woman feels like polygyny might not suit her life, then she is Islamically allowed to include a clause in her marriage contract that states that she does not wish to be in that position. It’s simple as that.

    I’ve seen dedicated women of our ummah who don’t find sharing their husband as something they want to take part in. However, they give back to the community in other ways. I can’t say that a woman who accepts to be part of a polygynous marriage is any better than the one who doesn’t. That is for Allah to decide, inshAllah.

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      You want to know the real reason polygamy was allowed?;just take a look at your heaven;How manty wifes do men have there?

  70. Safiyyah

    February 11, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    You think women are “jealous and possessive”? I’d like to see your reactions if your wife were to be interested in another man!

    You cannot speak for all Muslim women. They are numerous sisters who are happy in polygany.

  71. Amad

    February 11, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    salam Sr. Safiyyah… who is your comment directed to?

    You are not talking about Sister Irum, the writer right?

  72. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 11, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    Is this question for me?

  73. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 11, 2008 at 10:27 PM

    Assuming it is directed towards me, I believe Sr. Safiyyah has mistaken me for a brother..!!!
    Well Sr. Safiyyah, if I had not been a woman I believe the sisters would have reached out from the screen and strangled me for writing this post!!! So alhamdullillah I am not…!!!
    As for your question, if my husband was merely flirting with another woman with no intention of marrying her, I would be extremlely upset. On the other hand if he handled the situation properly, respectably and within the provisions granted by Allah, I wouldn’t have an issue with it.
    If I was a man, for arguments sake, and my wife was showing interest in another man, I would be seething mad….and you know why? The man is allowed 4 wives, the woman is not allowed 4 husbands. So no provisions for ‘interest in another man’ at all.

  74. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 11, 2008 at 10:28 PM

    So alhamdullillah I am not a brother…!!!

  75. BrotherD

    February 12, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Salaam Alaykum, I would like to remind us to show mercy to one another and respect our differences of opinion. We can differ and express what Allah was blessed us with in terms of knowledge and understanding without getting personal or berating others. I thank the sister for bringing up this topic and getting us talking.

    I have thought about pursuing a second wife not because I have lost love for my wife. I know some sisters that are divorced and it is difficult for them to raise their children, both financially and emotionally. I have felt it my duty as a Muslim to step up and be there for the children and their mother for the sake of Allah. I have decided against it because I know it would bring great turmoil to my home and would devastate my wife and children emotionally.

    I won’t deny that sometimes I see a very attractive sister and it also crosses my mind, but Allah has blessed me with enough understanding to know that the damage this would cause to my wife and children is not worth it. Besides, it is enough responsibility to be a good father and husband to one family.

  76. imran khan

    February 12, 2008 at 12:27 AM

    If you can afford more then one then ,go ached. But I don’t want to pay for it thro tax.;jsessionid=3OK3CQ5KWWVS1QFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/03/nbenefit103.xml#form

    I came across a post recently that discussed salafi’s in UK and USA that they have more then one wife all live on state hand outs. They make these sisters to go benefit office, the staff in the office referred to these sisters “Holy Worse”

    Another point that I have picked up is that many people believe that they are doing these sisters a favour as there are more female then male. What rubbish.
    You will find that in only one group do women out number man and that is 65 years and over.

    If you ask most parents they will tell you that it is not easy bringing up children in this day and age. How do you expect sisters to manage bring up children with part time husband??

    I know few guys who have one wife in Birmingham one in London and one in Cardiff. While they enjoy having option right now (I know this thro their immature statements like “akh” when one has on period you have option to go to other wife “akh”). Yet they have no plan for future when their children will grew up (may be in different cites) with need for the father to be there all the time. Not part time father.

  77. sm

    February 12, 2008 at 12:40 AM

    Wow, so much from so many people!
    Irum, I agree with you only partially!
    Islam allows second marriage! There might be some cases in each era of time when a man is justified in doing it. Then God makes everyone accept the facts without any animosities and nonsense in the family!
    However,when a man wants to marry second time without any apparent justification then woman has options to walk out of his life. She should not pose victimised and suicidal, then the man will prohibit himself but will tend to flirt with other innocent women!
    Now, the disgaree part:
    Marriage is not to get a shelter and children from her husband but it is to feel fulfilled and comforted. Love is not a material thing to be given equally to all wives.
    Quran does not order women to stay in this situation. It is equal responsibility of both parents to think about children.
    It is quite humiliating to say that a woman should stick to this marriage inseatd of living husband-less! Are you saying that God’s blessings are limited?
    God has share of happinsess for everyone! And He has His own ways!

  78. Muslimah

    February 12, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    “Human nature doesn’t work that way, and even the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)’s wives had issues with him and with each other!”

    – The supreme difference being that the wives of the P(SAW) competed or were jealous in securing the love of the P(SAW) over his other wives and not in opposing the concept of polygyny. That’s an important distinction. And from what I gather, this is the crux of sister Irum’s piece.

    Which of the wives of the P(SAW) threatened to divorce him if he took another wife? Which of them threatened to report him to the government (you know what I mean)? That’s the point. The huffing and puffing some women make which is related more to the rejection of a husband’s choice to take a second wife than the reality of having a second wife.

    Finally, as an Arab I can say we are generally much more aware and used to the concept of polygyny as compared to other cultures, though Arab women might not be thrilled to have co-wives. Especially in the gulf region (which includes Saudi).

    Jazakillahu Kkayran sister Irum. You must have anticipated such would be the responses to your article and still you posted. You are entitled to your methodology and maintain the liberty to advise the Muslims as necessary.

  79. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 12, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Finally someone understands what I have been trying to put across all along…!

    ‘That’s the point. The huffing and puffing some women make which is related more to the rejection of a husband’s choice [or polygamy] to take a second wife than the reality of having a second wife’.

    And that exactly, my dear brothers and sisters, IS my point.

    [*knock on the forehead* you couldh’ve had a V8!!!]

  80. moon

    February 12, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Sister Irum, i think the main issue people have felt is that the article seems not to show what its ‘REALLY’ like, maybe as a suggestion you could have had this discussion more with sisters who are directly involved in a polygonous relationship and so therefore are in a better position to comment.

    Really believe me, there are many sides to this and dicussing with first, second, even thrid or fourth wives would give you and us all a better understanding of the whole issue.

    Brother Amad: i will think of sharing my experience but not tooo sure!

  81. Sequoia

    February 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    While I am obviously not as knowledegable about what is halal/haram compared to everyone else here, I do have a few opinons on this subject (which are not at all formed based on schoraly research :)

    – I wonder if alot of the oppoistion around this issue stems from woman feeling misled or manipulated concerning their husband. Before a marriage both parties have certain expectaions about our lives togther and our partner. (And this is not obviously just Muslims, but Christians, Jews, Buddhists, athesits, ect). I think we all have in our mind what we deem “the perfect” wife/husband. But being that we are humans we are flawed and are bound to dissapoint our partners. Sometimes its little things (being untidy, snoring, watching football too much, gossiping with her friends too much). But othertimes, these issues are problamatic. I have a non-religious friend “Brooke” who got married only to find out that her husband has a job where he is away 200 nights a year. Another girl I know “Laila” from one of the gulf states got married to another person her family knew in the USA. But when she arrived in USA, she found out that she had to live not only with her hsuband, but his mother who was a mean and cruel woman. This man was not also the professioal medical worker she had been led to believe, but rather worked ina pizza restaurant.
    My point for this, is that both these woman were misled or at least their partners weren’t completely open with them. One is a girl, non religious (brought up cathlic) and the other a Muslim from one of the Gulf States who does feel she is religious. Yet both share the same story of starting their mariage out witha person who was not very opne and honest with them.

    Which leads me (i know, i know… finally) to pologamy. I wonder if most of the first wifes feel betrayed, because thier husbands never mentioned it was an “option for them”. If a husband leads his wife to believe that he wants only her and never another woman, is it still halal? There are so many things that make a marriage dificult, but a mjor reason for problems is not openess or honesty.

  82. Umm Reem

    February 12, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    while we are at it… :)

  83. ~W~

    February 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    What bothered me the most in this article was the repetitive “Allah has permitted it” , “a law pre-determined by Allah” , “allowed by Islam” so how can anyone disagree.
    But the reality is that the Allah has not allowed the polygamy that is practiced today at all. In fact the way Muslims practice polygamy falls under taking messages of God in a frivolous spirit something which we are warned against (2: 231)

    First of all, I hate it when people take a verse out of context and hate it more when they chop a verse and keep repeating that chopped segment as evidence for what Allah said. In this case the part that is taken out of context is “marry from among women such as are lawful to you- two, or three, or four” , but the thing is, this is chopped from a verse 4: 3 ” And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among women such as are lawful to you- two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then only one – or from among those whom you rightfully possess.This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.” For this verse to be understood properly, we have to study it in context of the verses before and after it.

    If we study all these verses we will note that marrying more than one is conditional , verse 4:3 starts with “And if you fear” followed by “then marry” then further restricted by if you fear you may not be fair then only one. Another restriction comes in 4:129
    The verses before (4:2) and after (4:5) verse , are both about dealing with orphans. Conclusion: The legal male guardian of orphans is permitted to marry the mother in order to take better care of the children. So polygamy is permitted in the context of caring for orphans. It was a social support system for mothers of orphans ( children whose father died), and not a way for men to satisfy their sexual fantasies or to justify falling in love with someone else.

    Another thing to consider is that a wife has an unconditional right to obtain a divorce from her husband as evidenced by 2: 229. And she can use this right in case she does not like being part of a polygamy marriage.

  84. Amad

    February 12, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    ~W~: Your argument is not supported by evidence from the Sunnah and the practice of the Sahabah. It is indeed a strange conclusion.

    I would also be interested to know which tafseer you consulted? Or is this your own interpretation?

    Our religion is based on the two revelations: Quran AND the Sunnah UPON the understanding of the Companions. To understand Quran, you need the latter two. To claim to know what Allah means (i.e. to explain this verse means so and so) is a heavy burden, that needs to be supported by evidence. I look forward to seeing some.

  85. ibnabeeomar

    February 12, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    between this post and the jinn post im just glad no one has tried to combine the 2 subjects

  86. Tahseenthree

    February 12, 2008 at 8:09 PM

    Ha! Ha! The Youtube was funny, UmmReem.

    Wisdom comes to us eventually, insha Allah, but in our old decrepit years unfortunately. O to be young again but with the wisdom and knowledge accumulated over the years.

    That is why I can find humor in some issues now that would have made my young self mad.

    O Allah give me strength to change the things I can, the sabr to bear what I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference – Anon

  87. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 12, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    A Muslim Man’s Prayer:
    O Allah give me the strength [to marry again], the sabr to bear [the criticism of the world] and the wisdom [to make sure all my wives are happy] ! :)

  88. Omer Choudry

    February 13, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    When I first read the comments in this post yesterday I was thinking to myself that maybe someone should post a distracting jinn article to ease some of the pressure off Sr Irum. Apparently you guys are already on top of the game :)

  89. ~W~

    February 13, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Amad: The verses 4:1 till 4:6 are all about dealing with orphans. The verses are in straightforward simple Arabic and are self explanatory. Reading these verses again, I cannot see anything strange in my conclusion.

    We are asked to think and reflect on the Quran, and Islam is not merely a religion of Sheiookh and Mufasreen. On Judgment Day we will be dealt with as individulas. We cannot place the burden of wrong religious understanding or practice on another human being claiming that we followed him because he was Alim or Sheikh. Islam encourages us to be thinkers not just blind followers.
    Here are two other verses which are also in straightforward Arabic for us to think about:

    4: 82
    Will they not, then, try to understand this Qur’an? Had it issued from any but God, they would surely have found in it many an inner contradiction!

    47:24 Will they then not reflect on the Qur’an, or are there locks on the hearts?

  90. ibnabeeomar

    February 13, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    islam encourages us to think and ponder over the signs Allah has given us to reach the conclusion islam is the truth, and the Quran is from Allah.

    However – it is not a legitimate extrapolation to say this allows to ponder over the quran to give fatwa and make fiqh rulings.

    one cannot make such a claim without knowing arabic, studying all the ayaat/hadith related to polygyny, knowing what ayaat are general/specific, what abrogates/abrogated, etc.

    how would we reconcile, for example, with the fact that many sahabah had multiple wives that did not fit the situation described above?

    this is why the quran tells us to ask the people of knowledge if we do not know, in this case, we should refer to the scholars of tafseer and fiqh who have studied this issue in great detail. at the least we should look at the well known and accepted books of tafseer like tabari, qurtubi, ibn katheer, and at the least we should see what rulings the 4 famous madhahib gave on this issue.

  91. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 13, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Jzkallah a million times over Br. Ibnabeeomar for your response to br ~w~’s personal stand on interpreting the Quran. It is a strict and definite no no for the average person to try to interpret it by its literal meaning. I have seen hijabi girls removing their hijabs because ‘they didn’t see it written anywhere in the quran’. A very sad situation this becomes, indeed.

  92. Manas Shaikh

    February 13, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    It’s okay, brother. You have only proved that I was impartial, if not partial towards women. ;)

  93. Manas Shaikh

    February 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    * that was for brnaeem

  94. noname

    February 14, 2008 at 11:45 PM

    Atleast I can say for myself , I will never ever share my husband with anybody.

  95. kwaai

    February 15, 2008 at 12:08 AM

    I think sincethestorm basically sums it up.

    “I find this article lacking any knowledge of human nature. A wife who has a problem shouldn’t be made to feel less of muslim because her husband wants to take a 2nd wife. The wives of the Prophet SAW had problems with jealousy and they lived in that culture. There are examples of Aisha RA and Zainab RA rivalry. There is nothing un-natural to have problems with it but to say it is haraam of course is unacceptable. This is a natural human emotion and women shouldn’t feel guility for feeling this way.”

    Sometimes, when people write pro-polygamy articles… they seem to go full throttle quoting the Quran.. however give no examples of the hadith about the relationships of Umm ul Mumineen. They were “co-wives” as people have seemed to coin the term.. and they had the BEST husband they could probably ask for… Rasulallah Salallahu Alayhi wa Salam, yet they still felt the HUMAN effects of jealousy and envy.

    See.. the thing is we are dealing with a human issue here, it IS a personal issue… unlike the author of MM likes to think. I don’t think many Muslim women DENY that polygamy is allowed in Islam, they just personally feel… unhappy at the notion.

    Also, just to bring things back to reality. Did the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi WaSalam marry more than one wife… because he had lost “love” of his prior wives? No. No way. Every single wife he married was a new ruling, to set a new trend in society, or to make what was once Taboo.. a norm.

    He married a widow, a divorcee, a young girl… women from all different walks of life.. to show the validity behind them. Of course I’m not saying he didn’t love them… but rather that he married wisely. Every marriage was an act of wisdom. Something we don’t really see from some Muslim men these days. When men think about a “second wife” they think about Double the fun, more kids, or a younger more beautiful wife. That was definitely not the case of Rasulallah (S) and men should learn from his life.. not their own desires.

  96. Dawud Israel

    February 15, 2008 at 11:10 AM

    Do we forget that in Jannah all men will have multiple wives?

    Sisters have to accept it eventually, if not in this life than in the next.

    • A women

      August 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM

      Is that what you are looking forward to in Jannah? Goodness me, are all Muslim men like this?

      I think most Muslims are actually striving for Jannah to come closer to Allah Subhanawatalah, not multiple women!

  97. Abu Adam

    February 16, 2008 at 6:29 AM

    Sister Irum said:

    “What I have concluded is that, ironically, although the majority does not question the legitimacy of polygamy, they still have issues with it. This is what has always thrown me off in any discussions on polygamy. The ‘progressives’ say NO! The people I have always talked to say, Yes…BUT….!!!!! I have always tried to figure out this BUT….somehow the answer still evades me….”

    Salaamu Alaykum Sis. Irum

    Well done for your post, and articulating your thoughts. It is a shame that you are having to defend your position at all. Muslims should be falling over themselves agreeing with you – after all, when they disagree with you, they are not really disagreeing with you – they are disagreeing with Allah.

    That’s a shame… I wonder for how long our minds (as well as our lands) will continue to be colonised…

    When I read some of the comments from the Sisters, I can see why some of them would feel like that… But when I hear the brothers complaining about polygany, I thought of Ahmad Shakir’s comment (below). Although he mentions Jihad here, I bet you could easily put Polygany in there instead, and the comment would be just as valid…

    “One of the strangest things to note is that we are living in a time when some of the Muslims are embarrassed to quote the verses and ahadith on Jihad in front of their disbelieving friends. Their faces turn red because they are too shy to mention the rulings on the Jizyah, slavery and killing prisoners of war. They wish that they could erase these verses and ahadith from the Qur’an and Sunnah so that they would not be criticized by this world with its backward principles, despite its claims to be civilized. If they cannot erase them, then they try to misinterpret them and distort their meanings so that they suit the whims and desires of their masters. I will not say so that they suit their own whims and desires, for they are too weak and ignorant to have their own whims and desires. Rather, it is the whims and desires of their masters and teachers among the missionaries and colonialists, the enemies of Islam.”

    Sh Ahmed Shakir ”Umdat at-Tafsir’; 1/46

  98. Siraaj

    February 17, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    LOL@Sister Irum for writing this article,

    You said you haven’t met any sister who is in favour of polygyny – you haven’t met my wife, go talk to her – she’s actively looking for wife #2 (and eventually #3 and #4) for me, no strings attached.

    As a result of this decision that I have taken with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to research both the theoretical and practical aspects (financial issues, religious issues, etc) of this type of arrangement. My wife has also told a few sisters of what I’m doing and how she’s helping out (and happy to do so), and I’ve found A LOT of interesting discussions arguments, debates, etc.

    Most of them revolve around conflating the theoretical with the practical as well as rote recitation of cliched statements meant to appease nonMuslim western audiences’ acceptance of Islam into the mainstream.

    I skimmed the posts above and found about the same thing. Some hated the article because they said it was poorly researched. They then went on to make unsubstantiated claims. Others descended into ad hominems. Others didn’t realize this is a BLOG and many statements can be highly experiential rather than rigorously empirical.

    The fact is, you can quote bad experiences, and I can quote good ones. Sometimes, the husband finds the second wife against the first wishes, and sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, the wife finds a second wife for the husband, and sometimes that works out, and sometimes that does not.

    It is fine for sisters to not want their husbands to marry a second wife, and be jealous if he does. It is quite something else to go off on an irrational rant and want a divorce if he does. We often quote that the best of women were jealous of their co-wives – we rarely mention that none of them asked for a divorce as a result of being a co-wife, or became an emotional wreck as a result. Perhaps this is the fortitude and strength we are looking for in our sisters with regards to this topic.

    Wallaahu a’lam.


    • yummystuh

      August 25, 2010 at 1:57 AM

      Not all men are qualified and yes, I, for one have ranted and asked for a divorce (which he won’t give- so i’m stuck in a loveless marriage only to have a wife 15 years my junior thrown into my face constantly and to have people relay his feelings of dissatisfaction regarding my shortcomings) How would one continue in a marriage where there is no trust?? What kind of wife could i be whilst trying to remove the knife from my heart (from the back). Deceit makes a good foundation for destruction. He knew how I felt about it and did it anyway. Mr. Wonderful hasn’t fulfilled his islamic obligations to his first family before moving on to number 2. Yes, i can see how that’s Islamic. Do not judge the women until you have lived in their situation. there’s another cliche for you….

      My fortitude and strength have been helping with paying the bills and carrying the house for a very long time. I have absolutely no pride with this statement. I am extremely tired.. So please spare the insults to our integrity.

      Congrats to you. Either you are a remarkable man, MaShaAllah (keep up the good work) or your wife is absolutely tired of listening to you talk and wants someone else (possibly 3 ladies req’d) to take shifts listening sometimes. LOL!

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 5:16 PM

      Oh man how eager is your wife to get rid of you.No woman in her right mind who loves her husband will be looking for another wife for him.

  99. angel

    February 18, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    “Do we forget that in Jannah all men will have multiple wives?

    Sisters have to accept it eventually, if not in this life than in the next.” -Dawud Israel

    We don’t live in Paradise. You can’t compare.

    In Jannah there are no bad feelings, no jealousy, no injustice, why should the women worry, then?

    This life is the exact opposite. Accepting that your husband will be polygamous in Paradise, if the couple makes there at all, is very different to accepting that he will have multiple wives in this life.

  100. ummabd

    February 19, 2008 at 1:05 AM

    Dawud israel..i hate to say this but your few comments illustrate why sisters hate polygamy..cuz some men are so unfeeling and insensitive in their words towards women.

  101. ummabd

    February 19, 2008 at 1:07 AM

    i dont know who left that one comment but it scared me pretty bad. why are these 30 something guys not happy? makes me wonder if every guy out there who seems to be happy is perhaps not really satisifed.

    i mean did u mean they’re not satisfied sexualy or is it also emotionaly? there’s got to be a reason. have they tried solving their issues? have they tried talking to their wives about what they really want.

    it could be that they travel overseas and see and hear things perhaps their wives just dont know about or do .. so its like maybe there’s some social barrier between them talking about such personal things.

    i mean what is the real issue?

  102. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Br. Siraaj
    I wish you had joined this discussion earlier ‘in the thick of it’ as many readers would have loved to hear more about your unique experience and about the way your wife is handling this matter in your house. Now that’s the response I seek but have never been able to get from a woman. Three salutes and hats off to her..!!

  103. Siraaj Muhammad

    February 19, 2008 at 2:12 PM

    Ha, I think I saved myself a lot of time and arguing by coming in late.

    You should talk to her and do a part II. I’d be happy to contribute to round 2 of all the fighting ;)

    By the way, I think a lot of people missed your point about Arab vs Pakistani women. I didn’t think you meant that individual women liked it on the Arab side more than the Pakistani side – I simply understood that Arab society frowns on it far less than Pakistani society, which is something different.


    • Aria

      November 26, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      But it doesn’t necessarily at all, Pakistan is ‘1’ country the Arab world constitutes many different countries, I’m Arab, In my homeland it is illegal to take a second wife, without the firsts approval AND Men must prove to the courts that they can financially provide, Polygamy is definitely something that is regarded negatively, and is relatively uncommon, you cannot adequately compare and contrast the entire Arab world with Pakistan, as the Arab world isn’t uniform in its culture or social norms.

  104. Hid

    February 19, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    I must say be siraaj is a one lucky man-lol your wifey is looking for 2nd and 3rd….hmmmm she is certainly she desi or arab then =) (maybe a white convert )

  105. Siraaj

    February 19, 2008 at 11:43 PM

    Hid, you are absolutely 100% on target – my wife is a white convert.


  106. Irum Sarfaraz

    February 21, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    The excellent thing about converts, white or black, is that they know only ‘white and black’ and do not have any ‘gray’ perceptions in their minds at all. It is either permissable or not. Whereas we the ‘traditional and old’ Muslims have tons of gray areas that are made up of a lot of ‘if, ands and buts’…I think I am going to write something on this ‘gray’ in our imaan.

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  108. Ikram Kurdi

    March 14, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    I know an Australian non-Muslim guy who keeps many girlfriends, all who are happy with being with him and with being with the others, and who look for other girls for him.
    A man can have two wives and have equal love for both of them, and the two wives can also love each other. This is the ideal Islamic relationship between a husband and his wives.
    At our time, wives think of their husbands as their equals. While some centuries ago, a woman’s husband was like a king to her. She accepted all his decisions without questioning, because she had totally surrendered herself to her husband. She could have become a little sad if her husband found a new wive, but she wouldn’t have taken it personally.
    The men of our age are not masculine enough to earn the full respect of their wives. And they are programmed for equality, which diminishes the infinite respect that a woman can have for her husband, instead of the natural polarity that exists between the masculine and the feminine.
    The problem is not just with women, it is with men too.

    • Debbie

      April 14, 2010 at 8:29 PM

      Men are too aggressive, the more civilized world should be more dominated by meed, soft and human sides of human beings, that is the main reason we are less brutal, more civilized, women are better leaders and the world is changing to that direction, Muslim has been led the way about women’s right, but now they are way behind. Polygyny is so illegal in Non-Muslim world because it is so against human nature.

      • Umm Bilqis

        April 15, 2010 at 1:34 AM

        Debbie, do not be misguided, It is fun to read your posts because it shows how far many of us have come in our thinking thanks to Islam and the practicality of Islam.

        I an certain without a doubt that the decent non Muslims will one day after being tired of rebelling against Allah’s protective and wholesome injunctions for the promotion of sexual purity in a society will look for solutions in our Quraan.

        As for the societies in the west they suffer from a diseased social life, no one wants to raise children in such societies!
        The politicians are liars and crooks,
        The finincial leadership is full of liars and crooks
        The Medical/Pharmaceutical complex full of liars and crooks,
        Military is full of liars and crooks.
        Really where is your proof and evidence that polgny is against human nature?
        Rather it is pro women that a man who wishes to engage in affairs is held responsible for the women and the children that they have and should make the thing legal.
        Instead we witness the hypocrisy that is apparent in the lives of many non Muslims.

    • farah

      April 18, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      I like how men like to criticize women for not accepting polygamy and am sure they would rather die than to see their wifes even a little interested in another man.Women are just property in your head.Somenthing that is just for pleasure.You actually think this men really is in love with all of his girl friends;your delusional all he loves is the pleasure they give him.I bet you he has alot of money or they just cant find another man.

  109. Gill

    May 21, 2008 at 11:42 PM

    What disturbs me is the amount of men willing to defend their right to have multiple wives without looking at all at the rest of the Deen. Most of the men who I’ve heard of taking second wives, due so more out of cultural reasons (like Somalis), rather than any religious reasons. Yet their defense is rooted in religion.

    If a man can’t even handle one wife, can’t even adhere to the religion properly on his own, taking a second wife sounds like a ridiculous proposition in my opinion. And make no mistake, probably more than 90% of men fall into this category.

    Not to mention you shouldn’t be checking out other potential wives with your eyes. The primary method these men use.

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  111. shif

    June 3, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    Here’re two of His 99 Names:

    Al-‘Adl: The Justice, The Equitable
    Al-Latif: The Most Gentle, The Gracious, The One Who is Kind

    Muslim men have the rights for polyginy,
    muslim women have the rights to walk out of it.

    The first one is as (ir)responsible as the second:
    these people know it will hurt their wife and children feelings, and yet they still do it.

    “Whoever has two wives and leans unduly to one of them will come on the Day of Judgment with half of his body leaning.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Reported by Abu Hurairah (RA)]

  112. Hassan

    June 3, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    Muslim men have the rights for polyginy,
    muslim women have the rights to walk out of it.

    The first one is as (ir)responsible as the second:
    these people know it will hurt their wife and children feelings, and yet they still do it.

    What is (ir)responsible? Men to marry more than one wife or men to marry more than one wife but not doing justice between them? Kindly clarify, it seems you mis-wrote.

  113. shif

    June 3, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    “What is (ir)responsible? Men to marry more than one wife or men to marry more than one wife but not doing justice between them?”

    Yes, bro.

    Sadly, these are what happening in our ummah these days.

    Dear sister Irum, could you kindly let us know your opinion on supposed-to-be-“islamic” polyginies that turned to be utter disasters?

    Why not urge our muslim men to bow in front of Allah’s raza’, instead of our lust and desires?

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  115. Khadija

    June 12, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Maliki Law gives women the right to walk out of a polygamous marriage if she stipulates. Is that going against Allah?

    Muhammad saws, the Prophet, stipulated that Ali first divorce Fatima if he wanted to take another wife. Was Muhammad astaghfirullah going against Allah.

    In a hadith the prophet said that he wouldn’t marry Madinese women because of their jealousy(gheerahunna) I don’t remember the hadith mentioning that Medinese women don;t accept the law of Allah. Meccan women were more used to polygamy than Medinese women and the Prophet was ok with that…

    American women like Medinese women for the most part are totally not up for polygamy….and they don’t need to be made to feel like bad Muslims because they oppose it for themselves. That’s rubbish!!!

    By the way this is the most horrible post I’ve ever read, poorly written, incoherent, poorlu researched. Even the supporters of polygamy should be embarassed by this. No offense to the writer at all….

  116. Qas

    June 12, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    By the way this is the most horrible post I’ve ever read, poorly written, incoherent, poorlu researched. Even the supporters of polygamy should be embarassed by this. No offense to the writer at all….

    ya…kick em in the teeth and then say you didn’t mean for it to hurt…

  117. Abu Haneefah

    August 12, 2008 at 8:09 AM

    Salaam Alaikum,

    I thought this was a good piece and it raises some good points.

    I am married (to only one wife) – but would have no objections in marrying a second wife who was widowed, divorced etc.

    It wouldn’t be because I was out of love with my first wife but because there are Women in need of Husbands!

    However, I doubt it would ever happen because society would look down on the relationship and no doubt I would have problems with the families.

    Some Muslimahs today are selfish to the point that they would rather see her Sister in Islam be without a Husband than share her Husband.
    There are not enough men that are practicing the deen today, there are far more women that are.

    As a father, I would rather my daughter marry a practicing man that has another wife than a man who does not pray!

    In Iraq women (widows) are turning to prostitution because they cannot afford to feed their children – women outnumber men there!

    There is Hikmah behind Allah (swt)’s ruling, but some people do not want to see it.

    Men are required to give their lives and wealth in the way of Allah (swt) and they dislike it!

    “Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows and you know not.” (Q2:216)

    Women are not commanded to go out and fight Jihad – but they maybe required to share their Husbands when brave hounorable men go out and give their lives in the way of Allah (swt) and there is no-one to look after the wives and children of the Mujahideen!

  118. Bint

    November 13, 2008 at 3:04 AM

    seriously all societies have issues with it Arabs or non arabs….except African Americans living in America… they have no problems with it and I see them as really just about the only ones practicing polygamy anyways.

    Yes, I saw here and there one or two brothers taht were not Black and had more than one wife.

    The American women “seem” (key word seem and by American, I mean Black, White, and Latina) handle polygamous situations better than non pure American women(by that I mean arab, pakistani, whatever else).

    Being that said, I think we should have a balance here, let the non African Americans in America start practicing polygamy more and let the Blacks decrease on their polygamy tradition( in all honestly majority of these polygamous brothers are poorer than our immigrant counterparts with one wives…it makes you wonder, how do they even support having another wife, wallaahu alim).

    Please dont get offended by my article, I am saying it as it is :)

  119. Bint

    November 13, 2008 at 3:09 AM

    khadija are you a disenfranchised paki girl?

    or a white woman? if either then it is understandable or wait no your are most likely arab? American convert women are more accepting of polygamy then immigrant first or second generation women……

    so you cannot claim american women will not accept it because they do….

  120. Khadija

    November 13, 2008 at 4:57 AM

    bint are you referring to me?
    if you are where do i claim that american women do not accept it? I say most of them don’t but a lot of them still do
    I don’t know what you mean by “disenfranchised paki girl” but if i was pakistani that would be kind of offensive. no need for rude comments like that
    but no i don’t have a drop of pakistani blood in me
    no i’m not white

    “or a white woman? if either then it is understandable ”

    what are you saying???
    its ok to make a generalizations but let’s not go overboard here you act as if there are no convert african american women that choose to go against polygamy
    even though we all know AA brother practice polygamy here in the states I still think it’s the exception and not the rule
    and your assessment of arab women being more aginst it than convert women is completely wrong
    it’s too complex an issue to paint it with a lack and white brush
    yes in some arab societies it’s looked down upon to have another wife but in some of them it’s also not looked down upon; you’d be surprised
    it’s more ingrained in the culture in some places
    don’t talk about things you don’t know
    people too often say things about arabs and teh arab world
    the arab world is huge and there are all stripes of people in it

    now you want to know MY ethnic background

    the main identity I assocaite with is american but I am multi-racial
    you cannot paint me with one brush or stereotype me
    I have Afro-American, Hispanic-American, native-American and Arab blood in me for starters
    but that shouldn’t even matter
    Your assessment of acceptance of polygamy by ethnicity is ridiculous

  121. mumtaz

    December 24, 2008 at 1:23 PM


    I’m afraid I disagree most strongly with sister Irum’s piece, and I would suggest she write another piece after speaking to muslim women who are living through the charade of what muslim men convieniantly term “halal second marriages”, and insult their first wives by claiming “its my RIGHT, I haven’t done anything wrong! ” to get a more blanced perspective. I know of such a sister who would be willing to speak to you.

    It was interesting to note how some people jumped down the throat of ~W~ for quoting the full Quranic verse concerning Polygamy, I do not profess to be an expert in the area, but I would highly recommend reading the piece by Dr Jamal Badawi at, which seems to give the reasons to sanction polygamy was to protect the rights of orphans and their mothers, and not to satisfy the lusts of lecherous men, who getting bored of one wife, want a newer model to amuse them. It also lays out exceptional circumstances where polygamy may be a better solution then divorcing the first wife.

    It is really sad that polygamy in this day and age is not about providing a husband-albeit a part time one to those Muslim sisters who are widowed/divorced and may have children and need the protection, maintenance and companionship of a husband. The vast majority of cases are of men marrying younger women then their current wives and also virgins, I have yet to see an example of a man who is actually trying to help a women who is divorced/widowed or even more rarer a women who has children to provide a father figure for them. Therefore lets not beat about the bush that polygamy in our societies is for any noble causes. In addition Polygamy may have been rare but its becoming more prevalent with the ease of accessibilty afforded by the internet and mobile phones. Some Muslim men are engaging in non islamic chat and other fitnah in finding these second wives. Very little thought is spent pondering how would they themselves feel if the shoe was on the other foot and their wives were carrying on in this way communicating with ghair mehram men. This would be completely unacceptable if a women was concerned and in the same vein it should be equally wrong for a husband to behave in this fashion.

    It is a worrying trend as far from redressing the problems of the group of sisters described above it is transgressing in the most despicable and humilating terms the rights of first wives and their children and causiing them immense emotional harm and suffering. And for what? What can be loosely described as “halal flings”.

    Before anyone decides to jump on the “Its a muslim man’s right to have more then one wife” Bandwagon lets look at some of the evidence: Here in the UK there is a great increase in already married usually middle aged men (of Asian -Indian/pakistani origin) getting a second wife from North Africa-usually Morrocco, their poor first wives get the usual rubbish rammed down their throats that its his islamic right. The first wives are usually from the Indian subcontinant and may already be at a disadvantage as regards awareness of their legal rights and thus are pressurised into agreeing to a legal UK divorce so that the husband can then get a spousal visa to get the new wife over into the UK. The first wives and their children end up losing their property and other matrimonial rights. There are also numerous cases of the first wives (unknown to them)even being irrevocably divorced islamically from their husbands because of going through a UK legal divorce. Other shocking statistics are that either the first or the second wife or both are on benefits & welfare, so the man who would like to lord over two wives, who is so quick to demand his rights to a second wife cannot even fulfil his primary islamic duties as a provider and maintener of his families. It is a scandal and highly malines the entire Muslim community that the state should have to provide housing and benefits for such families when it is the husband’s responsibilty. If a husband wants to exercise his so-called “RIGHTS” at the very least show some responsibilty.

    Secondly it causes huge emotional damage and pain to the first wife and her children-I have known of cases where men have ended up divorcing their first wives in rage as she wont agree to a UK divorce. There are other cases of wives as described above unwittingly being divorced without their own or the husband’s knowledge and end up living in zina. Who is ultimately losing out in these cases? It is the first wives and many children who deserve a responsible Muslim father who should be a role model and leader of his household who is evading his existing responsibilities chasing after another wife. I have discussed this phenemona with Muslim brothers who say most are men who are going through a mid life crisis and it panders to their ego to get another wife.

    I am sick to death of reading on some islamic sites that the husband does not need permission of the first wife- yes true but what does common decency, morality and ethics say about how you should treat the most important person in your life – what the Quran describes as your garment? Also the first wife in these cases is advised that she should do sabr, great sabr and that she should accept the situation and use her feminine wiles to keep her husband interested in her, make sure she looks pretty, her home is clean, the kids are clean and there’s nice cooked food for her husband. I’m sorry but these suggestions do nothing to really help the poor wife-more like a kick in the teeth if you ask me, adding insult to injury. She’s already worrying herself to death why her husband’s got a second wife and this is just reinforcing her feelings of inadequacy and that she must have been deficient in some way for her husband to stray. Why do these sites not advise these men to do the sabr, great sabr and lower their gazes in front of strange women and not screw up their first wives and childrens well being, lives and future? Why is the man not told to exercise restraint in his lustful feelings? Also men fail to understand that there are very few cases of successful plural marriages-it isn’t we’ll all live happily ever after. The damage that is done continues for the rest of the life of the marriages, the wives feel great resentment and the first wives feelings of injustice, lack of self esteem and confidence are immense, many wives end up with depression – is this the foundation on which any muslim marriage should be based? When children are added into the equation the situation is further compounded. A second wife (and the huge damage to your existing family) is for life and not just for Christmas.

    Some sites-although very few and far between are more refreshing and are discouraging second marriages because they’re illegal in Eurpoe/USA/ Canada and because of the harm they’ll do to the existing wife and children and change things irrevocably for the rest of the man’s life.

    Lets just say for arguments sake that despite what the first wife/kids suffer its still worth it as the second wife is getting a husband she never had and all the benefits that entails, but do these marriages actually survive?? What is very telling is the contribution from the sister above who says in her experience the first wife is more beloved of her husband and in cases where the first wife has threatened to leave the husband, he has then left the second wife. In another article on this site I think “Airing Polygamyous Laundry” an Imam Hindy who is defending his position of being accused of assisting nikahs in second marriage cases states in his experience ” the majority of “polygamous” circumstances are transitional in nature.” He puts “polygamy” in quotation because he says “those who enter into “polygamous” circumstances divorce one – or both – of their spouses within months of the “marriage”. Therefore it seems few marriages survive.

    So basically no one ends up winning-except of course the selfish man who’s had his cake and eaten it as well. If the second wife is the one being divorced she ends up in a worse situation as regards marriageability, it would have been better for her future prospects to have remained single and in our cultures-unblemished. If the first wife ends up divorced, she is also in a similiar boat. If there are children involved the ramifications for them are also bad and detrimental. So no good has been achieved at all -only harm, more pain and more suffering for those who are most vulnerable and deserve better. The very thing that Polygamy was designed to alleviate-reduce the no’s of single unattached women has actually been made much worse and increased the pool of such women. The man it seems is getting off scott free.

    Therefore our communities and our islamic leaders should be doing much more to actually stamp it out and discourage it in the strongest terms. I accept that in exceptional cases and in truly noble causes it may have merit-provided the first wife is consulted and agrees to the arrangement as opposed to being told after the dastardly deed has been done or has a gun put to her head and is emotionally and religiously blackmailed into accepting the situation. In addition it should be advised strongly if not mandatory that before a plural marriage takes place there should be a consultation meeting of all meetings with a suitably qualified Shaikh ( both in Islamic jurisprudence and UK/ USA/ Canadian Family Law) where written agreements are made if the second marriage goes ahead in order to protect the rights of the wives and children.

    Apart from the handful of consenting cases of Polygamy for noble reasons Polygamy should not be accepatable as the Muslim men are not out there who can truly do it justice or treat their wives with utmost justice. Further if you consider that Allah is the Most Compassionate and Just-would He have sanctioned Polygamy for muslim men who by undertaking Polygamy are not considering the feelings and appreciating the contribution of their first wives in their lives and who are causing them such deep pain and real suffering? I think not -Islam is a unique religion where all parties rights are protected and Men should not abuse the responsibility placed in them. Allah would not have ordained the opposite ie. inequality, injustice, the causing of unnecessary harm and suffering. Men with the “Polygamy -its my right !” attitude need a crash course in what the Quran actually states about the rights of women and wives and the numerous hadeeths from our beloved Prophet (SAW), if they understood the true meanings of this they would never contemplate polygamy. It is all too easy for men to focus on one isolated hadeeth or incomplete ayat from the Quran to justify injustice.

    Further one sister has highlighted above that in the fast paced lives we live in the West- a man has to work flat out literally to earn his daily bread just to maintain one household – a considerable amount of time is spent on this activity alone, therefore very little time is left to spend with the family. When you further divide that between 2 households (or 3 or 4) what time is a husband providing to one wife and one set of children? Again how can Islam a religion based on duties, responsibilities and justice sanction such a situation? Our children are being bombarded from all sides by western values, promiscuity, alcohol/ drug abuse and crime, our Muslim children have the need of true Muslim full-time fathers more then ever before.

    A leading Shaikh in the area is greatly troubled, distressed and worried about the increasing numbers of divorces in muslim communities every 3rd or 4th marriage is ending in divorce in one husband -one wife cases. Surely we as communities need to invest in our communities in this area first. On this site the MANA Healthy Communities Covenent would be definately a much needed step in the right direction which includes pre-marriage counselling for partners. Where are the muslim marriage guidance services to reduce these cases? We as communities need to be encouraging removing the taboo of marrying women who have been married before and supporting brothers and sisters who want to marry but are unable to do so as highlighted in earlier blogs.

    Let us go back to the basics-another refreshing islamic fatwa site stated “let not each spouse in a marriage demand their rights as this a recipe for disaster, each spouse and particularly the husband should be focusing on what is my duty and responsibilities towards my wife/husband and children, what should I be doing to treat them with rehma, compassion, kindness and justice?” As this is what will ultimately reap rewards in this life and the Hereafter.

    If only more of our brother’s had the good sense to think like our brother on this site who said:

    “I have decided against it because I know it would bring great turmoil to my home and would devastate my wife and children emotionally.

    I won’t deny that sometimes I see a very attractive sister and it also crosses my mind, but Allah has blessed me with enough understanding to know that the damage this would cause to my wife and children is not worth it. Besides, it is enough responsibility to be a good father and husband to one family.”

    Subhannallah Brother may Allah bless you and give our other brothers the same good hidayah !

  122. Nader

    January 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Wow I can see that this has been heavily commented on. Many people probably wont see this comment, but if it’s worth anything.
    I agree for the most part that it would be quite odd to take many wives these days. The socio-economic culture doesn’t call for it, plus it’s illegal in most tof the west.
    Islam came as a mercy to all. It’s not ment enforce unconfortable situations on anyone, but to give options and opurtunity to people who need it. The verse says to only take one wife if you cant treat your wives equally. I would contend that in todays society you can’t treat wives equally or objectively. Therefore, if you agree with my contention, Allah’s command is to only marry one.
    there is no other religious book that says marry only one, and this is a practice first oficially encouraged by Islam. ( Taking the small steps)
    Obviously this served a purpose in the past, and can still in some parts of the world( islam was sent for everyone), but it not necessary in america and similar places, at least not for now.
    I hope this was usefull

  123. A. Khan

    February 2, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    This article was not referenced well, nor did it provide personal experience from the writer. Also, the fact that the author is questioning why first wives should feel upset, rather than trying to UNDERSTAND why first wives should feel upset upon the marriage of their husband to another woman.
    First, I live in an eastern country where this type of marriage is prevalent, and many of these second marriages (not all) are offshoots of an initial adulterous affair. That is one reason why a woman will be upset, cheating hurts!!!!
    Second, majority of men do not practice polygyny correctly and treat wives unequally. I know a man who has lived 60 years in his second wife’s house and visits his first wife on Eid day. He can not even afford the second wife, not even the first one, but demands money from the first wife (she is wealthy). Tell me, where does Islam fit in there? Who asked him to have 10 additional children, raised in poverty from the second wife, that are relatively uneducated and not contributing to society?
    Third, first wives feel rejected after their husbands marry again. The father is no longer there to help support the kids and is busy with a new mistress, her pregnancies, and often cunniving attitudes….
    Fourth, men often remarry much younger women, this reinforces the “expiry date” syndrome. Are we just animals that “expire” after a certain time period. We are human beings created by the same God and equal to men.
    Fifth, some first wives will begin relationships with other men because of the above feelings. The ideal is to be patient and devote yourself to God, but this is a an unfortunate trial for many women and often leads to their own downfall. Any loyalty they previously felt in an already disastrous and FAILED marriage is probably out the window.
    Sixth, women stop loving and respecting their husbands. Marriage can exist without love, but without respect it is just a ball and chain that someone is stuck with.

    Please people, the reality of second marriage is VERY ugly. There are alot of down points that remain hidden to the outside world.

    I hope the author does not have to mature and realize other people’s points of view through her own experience….. Other people’s point of view is valid and these women who experience this have valid feelings. Shame on the author for trying to make it seem otherwise.

    • Sameena

      August 10, 2010 at 11:20 PM

      One of the most intelligent analysis I have read of this issue! Thank you sister for articulating this for your fellow sisters. I am shocked that in this day and age we still talk about second marriages. What a shame. What a shame. Frankly after seeing some of the attifudes I have observed from muslim men, I have decided that I will marry a Christian or Hindu but not a muslim man. I just dont want to put up with this kind of misogyny. yes, misogyny exists all over the world and our brothers seem to outdo the rest of the world in the misogyny. So glad I am muslim in America.

      • Mansoor Ansari

        August 25, 2010 at 2:47 PM

        You have no problem in marrying a Christian or Hindu man but u have a problem with polygyny? Wow!

      • oka

        December 25, 2015 at 2:15 AM

        Same here. I am a muslim woman and I decided to never marry a muslim man because of this polygamie issue.Actually I am seriously considering leaving Islam because of it. It’s dirty, a shame, against all decency and it lower us as human being.No wonder Islam is the most hated religion nowadays. I feel nauseous to be part of a religion where people openly and comfortably debate their “right” to have a second wife.

  124. Skylar

    February 3, 2009 at 2:27 AM

    I am an American. I have been in a relationship with my husband for 6 years. He is the sweetest kindest, gentlest man I know. I met one of his ex girlfriends, and she was a sweetheart. We hit it off as friends, and she became the third person in our relationship. This has been nothing but fun adding another dimension to our relationship.

    I suppose not everyone has an open heart and an open mind.Because my husband is such a great guy I feel like I should share him with someone else. I am short on time, so will my response be. I am an American woman whose husband loves me, and we both have a large enough heart to have someone else in our life.

  125. Mohammed

    July 11, 2009 at 5:04 AM

    Haamidan wa musalliyan

    1) the Verse 4:3:
    “…marry the women you like, in twos, in threes and in fours. But, if you fear that you will not maintain equity, then (keep to) one woman, or the bondwomen you own. It will be closer to abstaining from injustice.”

    2) the verse 4:128-129
    128: If a woman fears ill treatment or aversion from her husband, then, there is no sin on them in entering into a compromise between them. Compromise is better. Avarice is made to be present in human souls. If you do good and fear Allah, then, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.
    129: You shall never be able to maintain real equality between wives, even though you are eager to. So, do not lean totally (towards one) and leave the other as suspended. If you act righteously and fear Allah, then, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

    First of all, regarding the first verse. reading the verse one will notice the general rule and the exception here. the general rule by Allah in society is the polygynous marriage and the exception is the monogamous marriage. Marry of women you like (other than the orphans) in twos, in threes, or in fours but if you fear that you may not maintain equitty then one (woman) only!

    Secondly, the second verse. all the mufassireen from Sayidna Abdullah bin AlAbbas RAA till the next..they have commented that what the verse refers to are: Love, Intimacy (the Sexual Intercourse experience), and Desire. for in these areas Allah states that it is an impossible for man to maintain real equity. and him the man trying to equitize it by giving more of say time, money, maintainence, support than the equal division, this will leave her – the wife or co-wife – suspended (in limbo) ie. not as a wife nor as a free-woman

    Thirdly, these two verses in turn dont contradict each other.

    Fourthly, the status quo with the Prophets (Ibraheem, Mosa, Suleiman, Dawud, Mohammed…etc) Alayhim-mus-Salaam and the Companions (AbuBakr, Umar, Ali, Muawiyah, Rafi3..etc) (Allah has been pleased with them) is that they mostly observed polygynous marriages and the exception was the monongamous marriage (eg: Jesus (will have 1 wife and children- InshaAllah) AlayhisSalaam, Salmaan AlFarisi, Allah has been pleased with him)

    Fifthly, In Islam we learn that Marriages can form based on many things. It can be formed on the basis of religion: religiosity or piety or religious devotion. It can be formed based on wealth, likewise on family lineage, political gain, lust ..and it can also be formed based on love. … yes one basis may be more ethical more right more noble than the other but whatever the basis is, the parties involved (the husband, the wife, the wives) must abide by the guidelines drawn for each party by Allah swt and His Messenger SallaAllahu ALayhi wasSallam and not cross its boundaries. There are a set of rights and a set of duties and they will be called to account for them. And if they abide by them in the spirit of Islam, the marriage will by the Grace of Allah be successful and enriching for all involved.
    And the prophet of Allah SallaAllahu ALayhi WasSallam said: I am depending on you all in outnumbering the previous nations ..

    Lastly, we testify there is no god but Allah (SWT) and Muhammad is His Messenger (SAAWS)

    Your Brother in Islam


    August 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM


  127. Sajjad Ahmed

    December 23, 2009 at 2:30 AM

    Salaamalaikum wa rahmatulLaahi wa barakaathahu

    I just happened to see this site and wanted to make a comment which I think is very important. Allah[swt] in his infinite wisdom has instructed the below verses. Please read it carefully

    Holy Qur’aan Suraah 4
    2. To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.
    3. If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

    Now I ask the question,
    Why is Allah[swt] asking to marry 2 to 3 or 4??????????……….If you cannot do justice to the orphans or their mothers……that is if you are tempted to devour their property, money etc…………..but if you marry them, you are lesser inclined to do injustice to them because they become your family…………………I believe this was revealed after the battle of UHUD………………. So dear brothers and sisters, before you decide for yourself that you can marry 2 or 3 or 4 etc……please note that conditions along with verse 4:129…………..

    129. Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self- restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    we can see that it is an extremely difficult and rare possibility that a man faces this situation and not an everyday situation which we think is happening………………..just to show the brothers that this condition was not allowed for satisfying their lust and a not a birth right which they can misuse and just to show the sisters to understand Allah’s [swt] message correctly and for all muslims a general message…………………………………………..

    Holy Quraan 3:103. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah.s favour on you;……………

    I pray to Allah to guide all Muslims in the right path.
    Sajjad Ahmed

  128. Khadijah

    January 5, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    I just want to know if there is a website for me to look for a wife for my husband? It is hard in the States to find a women who doesn’t mind being a co-wife. I have many reasons why I support this the first is that Allah(swt) allows this.

  129. destroyed

    January 16, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum we rahmatullah wa barakahtu,

    As a first wife of a secret poligamous situation,
    I have noted that the majority of writers in this topic are responding from opinion and feeling despite not having been in this situation.
    I have a few sentences that i would like to add to help other sisters and brothers see the possible effects of poligamy.

    Yes allah allows it but it is not an order.
    the wives of the prophet were married to the greatest man that allah ever created, whos life and character was the holy Quran, (Hadith from hazrat ayisha). would any wife want to leave that situation. compare that with the behaviour of the vast majority of our muslim brothers now.
    Allah is the one who places love in our hearts and we have no say over this, Quote from quran istigfirallah i do not recall the surah. Love is an emotion and some women are more emotional than others and this cannot always be controlled because it is something that is placed there by Allah himself.
    Should I as a jealous no venomously jealous wife suffer the sin of jealousy or as i wanted to do walk away from my marriage and the hell i knew that would follow for both my husband and myself if i stayed. distrust suspicion anger doubt causing mischief and unhappiness to another person are all also sins.
    when a husband is angry with his wife the hores of jannat speak badly sorry this is hadith but again i cant quote its source. astigfirallah.
    It is wrong to force the acceptance of poligamous marriages onto any woman and oppress them into a living nightmare It seems that a lot of sisters and brothers for thier own reasons do this.
    Mashallah some woman can accept it others i being in this group cant this does not make me any less of a muslim nor does it decrease my love for Allah Would Allah wish me to spend the rest of my life in turmoil, No i dont think so.
    After Two years of research into this topic i have found that the majority of second marriages are fraught with problems for all concerned including the husband the wife and the children.

  130. Umm Hussain

    February 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    So one person knows us all. One person knows our needs, preferences and histories. And not to mention our married lives. Not.

    I have said on more than one ocassion that a man who is sincere, kind, supportive and dutiful to his wife would more than likely have little problem taking a second or third wife — if he could afford it. A man whose behavior is like the Prophet Muhammad’s is rare. Very few women could resist wanting to please such a man or being intimidated if he chose to take another wife. At the same time, very, very, very few men can support one wife and their children in an appropriate manner, much less a second wife and possibly more children. Did I say that very few men can take care of one wife and his first set of children. And I have not even begun to discuss the good behavior and conduct lacking of many Muslim men towards their wives.

    Equally important, If a woman does not want to live in a polygamous marriage, just as her husband has the right to enjoy polygyny, the woman has the right to not be in one. Why is this concept of a woman’s rights being acknowledged so hard for so many of us to understand. And why is it that when a woman determines that polygyny is not for her, she is being selfish.

    Many women work, contribute financially into their households and manage their homes exclusively. Some even continue their education, start businesses and support their husband’s while in they are in school, creating start-up business, and even in jail. Please do not cast aspersions on such women if they somehow expect the same treatment from their partner.

  131. Hawwa

    March 13, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Jealousy is a natural human emotion. I feel sorry for the author, because she seems like she does not experience this in relation to her husband. This seems like a sad marriage to me. Even the wives of the Prophet PBUH were extremely jealous of his other relationships. Just read the story behind Surat At-Tahreem.

    To me, the author either has an unhappy marriage and couldn’t care less, she is not married at all and is speaking hypothetically or she has a HUGE ego problem herself and fancies that she will just ‘accept’ because it’s Allah’s will, instead of natrally being jealous.

    No, I would never allow my husband to marry again. It is my right to be happy, to not feel enmity towards others, to not feel threatened or second-rate. Mashallah to the sisters who are able to overcome these emotions for the sake of Allah. I am not one of them though.

    I do want a man to myself and as Muslim women, we have that choice. We are not Firsts (from the mormon faith) who must stay in polygamist situations even if they don’t suit us. I have seen sisters ‘accept’ their husbands relationships, only to end up hating the other wife at the end of it all and even resorting to physical violence in the end. I refuse to degrade myself so much so that I am catfighting over a man. I’ll just get out when I’m shown what the door the first time round.

  132. Hawwa

    March 13, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    Also, reading your comment on converts, I have to disagree. I grew up around converts, being the daughter of two and the truth is, many converted sisters do not understand their rights. They don’t understand that they are allowed to choose whether or not they want to be in a polygamous relationship or not, thinking that they are evil, jahil or like you put it, egotistic if they feel natural feelings of jealousy towards the sitution.

  133. Catherine

    April 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM


    great topic for an article, I believe…as it has generated so many responses….so, let’s respect that first, please.
    Like everything in life, in all “humane” actions should prevail the emotional intelligence, because all comes down to intelligence. Who has that is a content human in this life.

    I like to respect intelligence and tradition, so if polygyny is accepted in Islam, let it be. I see no mess in a polygamous marriage if there’s inteligence, respect and good-will in it as well. I just see jealousy and useless concern if inteligence and love don’t exist there…

    To me, polygyny is not a crime, it’s another way of living , like a great oportunity to make people more open-minded and more humanists. Ya, we need to learn how to love more and leave in peace and harmony with each other. Who loves sets free !

  134. Debbie

    April 9, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Ask yourself if you want to share your wife with other men. That is the simple answer. Polygany is regarded as disrespect for women in non-Muslim world, except tribe cultures in Africa.
    What is the point to stay in marriage when you are out of love. Anybody has to have choice to live in a marriage with love. For me, as an Asian, I will file divorce if I fall in love with other man or my husband fall out of love with me, weather he has other women or not.

  135. Catherine

    April 15, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    Dear Umm,

    it’s logical you’re right, as much as I like to help women, but I must admit that many times I don’t understand them,I mean I do, but I don’t wanna make them feel sad. What I’ ve noticed till now, for 30 years, is that men think more profoundly than women, and even if they don’t show it, they feel life deeper.

    Anyway, I will become a second wife this year and as an independent european, I don’t care too much about being second or first, I’m a very open-minded soul, and my muslim fiance gives me much freedom to study and work, as I like, but his muslim wife doesn’t wanna talk to me. I don’t like to force anybody to love me, but at least be polite and respect life. I think it’s compulsory .
    I love him a lot, I want to be her friend too ‘coz I know we can learn a lot from each other, but she’s so quiet and limited….I really don’t know how to approach her. I was just dreaming of a happy family, maybe I dreamed too high.

    I told him that I understand how hard it is for his first wife to accept this situation, but she agreed with his decision and she asked him to divorce many times, he doesn’t want to….so, I don’t wanna be between them, I want them to be happy and I don’t even want to live with them in the same house, I wanna have mine….only that I feel like an escape exit for him. He laughs so much with me and he becomes so sad and serious when he’s with her.
    I really don’t like the situation, but maybe only time will tell.

  136. Umm Bilqis

    April 15, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Assalamu alikum Catherine, I know I’m not the umm you were replying to but what a sticky situation.
    Looks like they need marriage counseling.
    I am sorry if this page or issue has already been discussed, but there is religious guidance available for situations dealing with the plural marriages. Here is an excerpt from Islam Qa.

    The man does not have the right to make his two wives live together in one house without their consent, whether they are young or old, because that causes them harm due to the enmity and jealousy that exists between them, so making them live together provokes arguments and fighting, and each of them can hear sounds when he is intimate with the other, or she can see that. But if they agree to that then it is permissible, because they have that right but they are also allowed to forego it.

    Al-Mughni, 7/229.

    Al-Kaasaani said:

    If the husband wants her (his wife) to live with her co-wife or her in-laws, such as his mother, sister or daughter from another wife, or with his relatives, and she refuses, then he must accommodate her in a separate house, because they may annoy her or harm her if she lives with them. Her refusal is an indication of that annoyance and harm. Also he needs to be able to have intercourse with her and be intimate with her at any time that suits him, and that is not possible if a third person is present.

    Badaa’i al-Sanaa’i’, 4/23.

    • Catherine

      April 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM

      Thank you very much for your explanations, they have clarified many thoughts and concerns that I had.
      Allah bless you !
      Best wishes

      • Catherine

        April 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

        Good news, he gave me up ! He said I don’t stay with him when he’s sick , but his first wife is always there. Of course, she’s in the same country with him, I’m not, I must work, she doesn’t.

  137. sadiya rajah

    May 9, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    slmz, may i please have the source for the Ali ra and second wfe hadith

  138. Sameena

    August 10, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Because they have self-respect Irum, something you lack! Women dont think of themselves as a piece of meat or a service-provider that can be easily replaced by a new one when the man tires of her. Look at the ad for second marriages in muslim countries, most want a girl who is very young often between the ages of 18 and 27. This is disgusting and shameful. That polygyny is alive and well in this day and age is a disgrace. makes me ashamed to call myself a muslim.

    • Catherine

      August 11, 2010 at 12:24 AM

      Salam Sameena !

      First rule of education: never insult the author. Second, don’t be ashamed to be a muslim, believe me christians and hindus are worse. But you’ll realise it when the maturity comes to you, someday soon, i hope. They have mistresses they abandon with children, that’s a shame !!! Not a legal second wife, or third , or fourth , especially if it’s an ancient tradition for many centuries in Islam. Don’t you read the Qu’ran ? I guess not.

      And last, if you don’t like this subject, why do you comment badly on it ? It’s contradictory nature.
      Ma salama .

      • Hanaan

        April 4, 2011 at 10:17 PM

        Salaam Catherine,

        That is just a plain rude response sister! wisen up and have some respect for another muslima please !

  139. yummystuh

    August 24, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    So, You’re a co-wife in a successful, polygamous marriage? Ma ShaAllah! Good for you that you got passed whatever ill wills you stated- or didn’t have any….wonderful!

    Some good points, but I think we need to stop generalizing. And, opinions are based on thoughts, not experience. I don’t think that most women have a problem with Allah’s allowance. I think the problem is with the many immature men in this world today.

    I am the first wife. My husband went overseas and married someone who is 15 years younger than me. Was that necessary? Is this permissable in Islam? Should I just roll over, shut-up and just ‘deal with it’ as you have put it? How do you think I feel? Inadequate, ugly, old, useless?….take your pick. Take them all. He didn’t tell me before he did it and when i asked him if he had done this he lied. He has joked about it and was planning something with a friend on the sly a year ago- so that’s how I knew to ask- Also, I prayed to Allah in desperation seeking answers as we have had our share of trouble- you see, he’s always been looking for something else since we got married. This is based on fact.
    Fact: He is not worthy of a first wife let alone a second. He’s irresponsible.
    Fact: We have 4 children (all girls and the eldest is 20- that’s sick- oh…but maybe they could be the best of friends and go shopping together??)
    Fact: We are more than $120,000 in debt. Is he justified???
    Fact: SHe is overseas. *tisk* *tisk* not spending equal time with both wives. SHe’s pining away for him.
    Fact: His 4 children come first. Were their rights met in the first place? Not.
    Fact: His 4 children are confused. They didn’t have their dad in the first place.
    Fact: I’m the bad one???? Now should I suck it up??
    Fact: He’s not the only one that works. I work as well, but it doesn’t stop there. I also have a business and make as much money as he does, yet i still have to take care of the household while he comes home and sits on his asymptote watching tv. Thanks women’s lib- we got what we asked for and much, much more. Oh….we forgot to ask for respect? Darn. Maybe that’ll come in the next few decades.

    Fact: With all this, I don’t think that I have to accept this and I would rather live without him than live knowing that the needs of his first family are not being met. People fall out of love when needs are not met. It’s not a light switch that can be turned on and off.
    Fact: He doesn’t want to let me go. If i’m not adequate enough (as he has stated), let me go. Be happy and give me the chance of being happy- perhaps with someone else?
    Fact: It burns their butts at the thought of us not being with them. Here, you want your cake? I’ll hand feed you, honey. Yummy?
    Fact: If he was the model man, he would have respected my feelings in the first place and would not have had any problems or dissatifaction with anything. Women are easy to please. Take care of us and our kids and you’ll be in heaven on earth. Even then, if he had wanted to marry again, for whatever reason, I may have been more open to the topic.

    The responibility is on men to act like men first and then pursue a second/third/fourth marriage. Yes, Islam permits it but it is not required. Follow guidelines and don’t break hearts.

    For the gems out there…MaShaAllah. Keep up the great work and may Allah bless you in your lives and in the hereafter. You are so few and far between….

  140. Catherine

    August 25, 2010 at 5:35 AM

    Salam !

    I’m a muslim now and I’m involved in a polygonous relationship, as always. maybe because I love people , regardless their maritual status…before that we are humans, at least most of us….of course every forest has it’s toxical plants, but they’re small in quantity and weak if you look deep.

    There are 3 evils in this world: SHAME, BLAME and REGRET ( not related to God). Stay away from them, and you’ll be better.
    Don’t be ashamed of who you are, don’t blame yourself for the failure of a relation and don’t regret the good or just things you did, if it was good and fair.

    Ma salama

    • alythia

      September 26, 2010 at 5:02 AM

      catherin…SALAMS SISTER! :) i have have read all the comments and now after my prev post even more confused than before! i care deeply for a brother we have known each other for some yrs now , he is married and has been for a very long time mashallah hes a nice brother learned. i fell for him before i knew he was married and i do still want to marry him but i have feelings sometimes that make me say to myself are u crazy ur CHOOSING to be a co wife!!! yes my imaan is stronger than prev times (im a revert) otherwise i would have walked away. im terrible at writing my thoughts down so do have sabah for me :) he didnt tell me he was married for some time after we started speaking i asked why lie and he said he was scared i would not want to be with him he didnt want to lose me, for a yr after he still wanted to marry me i became distant and cold with him so eventually i stopped contact, we started contact a long time after and here we are today…wanting to still b together! i really dont have a prob with being a 2nd wife and most sisters dont understand why that is, i read the quran every day i have bought books on polygomy i am even doing a course on marriage and islamic teachings as i want to be a good muslim and good wife. inshallah, but i just need some help or advise. i dont want to feel this terrible guily for the sister i feel sad to no i am hurting her. he told me she is upset (i asked him how she feels about it all) i feel terrible :( but i still want him.
      i was married in the past for a few years and we divorced he only wanted me and me alone which admittidly was a nice feeling. so why after having the joys of a monogomist relationship then chose a polygomist relationship? i am marrying for the sake of allah and for the love i have for islam. how i feel for him is irrelivant. i dont want to be single anymore i have been alone for 3yrs now and even something as simple as having a cup of tea in the morn with a man is missed, makin salah together etc i need a husband in my life and so far i have found that after all this time this is the only man i seem to care for. we have a spark” a click” i dont see why i cant marry him i just dont want to cause another pain as i no how it feels except at least in islam its not cheating if there married. this for me is the benefit i would rather my husband marry than commit haram and risk taining his imaan with the shaytan

      • Catherine

        September 26, 2010 at 7:38 AM

        My dear sister Alythia,

        thank you for reading my posts, I’m honoured. Life is confusing sometimes so we can learn and grow. We are in this life to learn, about our feelings, the others, the bad and the good so we can grow spiritually.

        You need to decide and order your ideas and feelings better inside of you. It’s simple, life is easy , we complicated it. Important is to know that our heart knows and feels before our brain or reason what we should do. So do what you feel good for you, without thinking too much about it. Thinking a lot can distroy the right choice. Just close your eyes and ask your heart, is it good to do that or that ? If u receive a comfortable feeling .. that’s the right choice for u, if the feedback is uncomfortable in your body then it’s the bad choice. For me this technique works.

        There are 3 evils in this world: Blame, Shame and Regret . Stay Away from Them ! Do what you feel and be corageous, if you love him and respect her, you don’t hurt anyone, don’t worry ! No matter what she or he says, people always complain, it’s part of life, but we are not guilty for them. We can’t stop someone to choose feeling good or bad about a decision, it’s their right to feel how they want, but we have our right to do what we want also. Don’t forget that and don’t let anyone controll u emotionally !

        I’m still friend with the married man that asked me to be his second wife, we still talk everyday, I love him and his wife and children, like normal human beings. I don’t hide that. His wife knows about me, and she is ok with that. We respect each other, and we learn from each other. I try to see what she has different from me and she does the same too. I never stop to cry or be confused if she doesn’t answer a question. I ‘m never rude or disrepectful, so why should I worry ? If I’m wrong I apologyze, if not, I smile and go on being normal, happy and confident.
        You need to discover yourself more, your limits and your talents to have more authority over your person, to believe more in yourself and to know how to impose your personality more in this world, otherwise you’ll never be happy. Don’t let anyone step on you. It’s not fair.

        I love Islam too, but this doesn’t mean I have to forget about my needs or feelings. And men are more emotional than women when they love, coz men are more focused, concentrated then women, they have more time for that…

        Clear your mind and heart please, and make a choice without looking back ! You are smart and good person, but don’t let anyone take advantage of that, because believe me people do that, and they forget about Islam when they do it. If the other wife feels hurt, it’s her choice, her problem, not yours. She is jealouse then, and doesn’t have a big heart like you, my dear. So, you can chose to be with him and bear her complains for the rest of your life OR you can chose to find someone else and try to be happy. But first you should give him an ultimatum, asking him loud and strong: ” ME or her !” and go away. If he is afraid to lose you, he will divorce if not, he doesn’t love you enough and you better find another one. Beware, many men just want to play with emotionally imature women. Be cold and strong, confidence is sexy thing and don’t be afraid to make your choice, people hurt us too, don’t they ? It’s human condition, normal.

        • alythia

          September 26, 2010 at 1:45 PM

          thank you soooo much for taking the time to write to me i can only imagine u must b already busy. but i really appreciate it im a revert alone here in mk so not really anyone to speak to may allah swt guide u and make ur duas come to light.

          i am unsure of one thing though. i cant ask him to choose he has been with the sister since he was a teenager has children and she has always been there for him and i wouldnt want to put him in a position where she may/maynot be single i couldnt do that the guilt would eat me up. i understand what ur saying, i am going to go for it inshallah it will work, at the end of the day u are right i care for him and visa versa if she shows jelousy which is whats happening now i can only presume she may resent me also inshallah she will grow to like me i have no quarms about marryin the brother i just dont like confrontation/bad vibes/arguments etc and i hate to be the cause of one. i am strong in my feelings and imaan which is why i think i dont mind poligomy it makes sense for me, ill not be alone, ill be emotional and all the rest catered for its what i want and i want to marry to not be single for the sake of allah swt, i guess all i can do is make dua for her that she can not feel hurt as i dont want her to feel hurt i really dont. if it doesnt wrk out between the brother and i alhamdulileh life has its path set for me and it will be what it will be but i still have a choice and i choose him. its just difficult if there is a sister involved thats not agreed on the matter. how much socialising will i have to do with her as i dont get the impression she wants to see me right now. i wuld like to b her friend but at the same time i have been thru alot in life and just wanna b happy so if i cannot make peace with her maybe its best i stay away and just marry the brother, we have our days and that is that.

          u have really helped clear things up for me sister thanks so much x

        • alythia

          September 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

          sorry its me again i wanted to ask sister did u choose to go into poligomy or was it something that happened after u were married? i only ask as u seem so strong about the whole thing mashallah its nice to hear makes u not feel so alone in the matter not so out of place for being this accepting.

  141. alythia

    September 26, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    if ii get a response from anyone i would be so grateful, there is a brother i have known for comming up to 5 yrs now he has a wife and has asked me yr after yr to be the 2nd. i have said no up until now, my imaan is stronger and at the end of the day i care for him, i love allah swt and as i have been single for quite a number of yrs and dont want to commit any out of marriage haram i am going to marry inshallah maybe next yr. recently i have been having concerned feelings not for him, not for me but my guilt towards the other sister, they have been together for 10+yrs and here i stroll in wanting to make home with her husband. i dont believe comments regarding losing love with someone, u cannot speak for all muslim men, not all marry because they have fallen out of love with one. at the end of the day marriage is half our deen and im getting older and want children one day inshallah so i will marry for the sake of allah swt and love can come after. i wanted to no if there are any sisters out there that could advise me on how to overcome this guilt? also i sometimes feel sad when sisters tell me “ur the 2nd wife u wont be as loved as the first there bond will be tighter especially if they have children” i wont believe this as i do believe he cares for us both equally i do however want to no that if the other sister is hurting to much is it best i not marry the brother? i cant ber the thought of hurting another muslim.

  142. alythia

    September 26, 2010 at 5:15 AM

    and mashallah to the great and good sisters that work with pologomy may allah reward u, and inshallah we all will have a greater knowledge from this topic, i do know that as a woman (im not speaking for all just a few :) we are emotional and at times more so than men. so they think nothing of getting a 2nd wife if u have alot of love to give than alhamdulileh why not share it with someone that deserves to be loved even if shes not ur 1st wife. i hope inshallah i can overcome this please pardon the pun “womanly feelings” i think if i did it wuld deff make me a better person. i am glad allah has made me so i dont mind polygomy i see no problem. i just care for people greatly and i love my umma so knowing i am hurting another hurts me also. what a great website mashallah and to the sister that first spoke of the topic juzzukalukeh i see the points u wanted to make even if not all saw them i understand what your trying to understand

  143. Catherine

    September 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Sweet Alythia,

    I like your inocent sweetness, never lose that, please, because life can be bitter…Anyway, thanks for the compliments if I understood them well. Yes, I am a strong person, men made me strong, I learned many things from them and we learn every day, whether we know it or not.

    First, i would like to thank brother Umer Siddique for the rational and necessary comment, you are right and thanks for reminding us of the islamic law. But if this world would respect the theory perfectly, we would be robots and we wouldn’t have so many songs, poems and books written about love deceptions, love successes, passion and deceive.

    I like everything to be correct, happy and good, but I found that pretty dificult to find or achieve. Human nature is weak or compassionate…

    Dear Alythia, I’m an independent soul, I like my freedom most times, that’s why I prefered married men till now, because they give me the freedom I want when they go back to their house and I go to mine after sharing our feelings, ideas, worries, cares, etc…things they don’t feel comfortable talking about with their wives, because they don’t match with them, but they realised that only after they married.

    That’s a reason not to marry young, without experience of life , things go wrong and after two people stay in a bad relation just because of THE CHILDREN. Men are very much attached to their kids, their future generation, their seed. For the sake of their children men stay in a bad marriage. Sad but true !
    I didn’t go into a polygamous relation because I wanted, it just happened. And my friend told me he was attracted to me and my mind.

    I’m a person who learns from anyone, no matter if passion exists or not. When I was youger, I cried some nights, but after I saw that he is always there for me, anytime I want, so it’s like a marriage to me. Now I don’t mind he has a first wife or kids. We help each other like we were married, but without a paper.
    I was never married, i wanted to study and have a career first. But almost every week, a man asks me to marry him. I usually tell my married friend about the others, i’m trasparent, and together we analyse if that guy or the other is good for me.

    One secret of life is RESPECT, the rest are details. Respect is a quality of love. I leave somebody alone because i respect them or I listen because I respect, etc. You can do what u want if you respect ! And nobody can blame u of anything, if u respect. It’s simple !

    He is my age, but very wise and he advises me like a father many times, in other moments we play like brother and sister, after like lovers, after like kids,after like friends…after…etc…We have a complex relationship, we meet on many levels. He is an important person in the government, so due to his position he told me he can’t divorce and he loves his children, so I understand and let him be. He knows someday soon i will marry too and maybe he’ll lose me, but it’s life. Happiness doesn’t exist, there are only moments of it and we should live them intensively. Life is short, my sis.

    And love is only divine, only for God and for our kids and parents, the rest is passion, pleasure etc.

    • Hanaan

      April 4, 2011 at 10:24 PM

      Way too much information here sister!

  144. Beera

    January 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM


    This is a wonderfully written article and I think hits the nail on the head when it comes to the mentality of Muslim woman from Pakistan. When I rasied the question of a second wife with my wife she totaly flipped and wnet off on a rant about taking kids away and had I not thought about the kids before thinking about this. I had even said to her that with her permission which I don’t actually need.

    Personally I think it comes down to image within the comunity and what other people will say or how they will be treated. They are surrounded by like minded people who support their point of view and hence it becomes difficult to sit them down and explain as their thoughts are being backed up by those around them.

    • vortex

      January 15, 2011 at 3:17 AM


      Just as you are happy to exercise your right and privilege of being a man in a polygamous situation, your wife is allowed to exercise her rights and remove herself from the disadvantage of being a woman in a polygamous situation. Then you should inform any other woman you marry that you are likely to be a polygamist, so that they know what they’re getting into and if that’s their thing, they’ll accept.

  145. 4 flat tires

    January 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    What all this boils down to is that just because Muslim men are allowed up to 4 wifes, doesn’t mean that they necessarily should. It’s not fard. Not every Muslim man is qualified.

    The needs and rights of the first wife and children must be fulfilled before taking on a second responsibility.

    If two tires of your car are flat, you would fix them before moving on.

    Now, all 4 tires are flat- we’re going nowhere fast.

    I have no doubt that it can work and beautifully no less but sometimes, the privelege is abused.

    I speak from experience and until each and everyone commenting on this ‘discussion’ has that experience, please keep your ‘in theory’ comments to yourself.

  146. Hina

    January 29, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    hey Iram u sounds like a second wife ….r u number 2?

  147. Ameer

    February 10, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    dear brothers and sisters assalam alaikum;

    we should not indulge in discussing and debating what allah swt has made for us hallal and haram.
    we should not put our “personal” feelings into it and state our opinions. there is a fine line when one challenges what allah swt has approved and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) has practiced.
    one can be out of the fold of islam in an instant!!! so be careful about what you say…

  148. UMM

    March 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    as a western women who married a muslim, converted to Islam and has a son I find the whole concept of multiple wives an excuse for men to continue to oppress women and do what they like. Sorry but the whole idea of an external greater being giving the word that this is ok is ridiculous and demonstrates that we have not moved beyond the middle ages. My husband can have a second wife but this wife will most certainly divorce him – we live in the UK and being English I will abide by UK law!!!!!!!!! This article and the attitude of those who support it really make me want to bring my son up in the old pre-christian tradition of this country.

  149. Catherine

    March 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    it seems that personal, selfish and primitive feelings, like jealousy, power and hate are still more used than the respect for a religion and tradition. What a shame !

    And it’s sad to see that even christian who become muslims don’t understand Islam . What a waste ! The christians have a long history of not respected their own religion, what to talk about others. It’s written in the bible that christians should’t eat pork, but they eat it. And where is it written in the bible that men can be gays …but the catholic priests practice homosexualism and pedophilia. Hypocrites !

    Anyway, If it’s written in the Koran that men can have more wives and women have other rights, why can people just respect that…it’s easy !
    ma salama

  150. Hanaan

    April 4, 2011 at 10:10 PM


    This is the worst piece of writing I have read in a long time. All in all a very poorly written piece packed way too much with emotion to be an objective enough piece — this is an amazing topic and deserves a fair hearing. Heavily guarded at times; loaded with bias and not objective enough to weigh up all responses that they found: “I received this tart response.” I wanted to stop reading right there; but I had to read it to provide a comment to it.

    On the issue of second marriages (if she does not mind) — can the writer tell us if she is a second wife? And another thing that the writer missed out on — a man will be judged on his intention and his ability to be totally unbias showing EQUAL LOVE to all his wives which is impossible; and for that very reason the questionning can begin. Can you equally LOVE four women? I doubt it very much. Have it I was a man? I would be too scared of the scale on the Day of Judgement to take on another wife even if I could with all the money in the world! Imagine that, all those wives and what happened to you in the eternal life?

    • Mansoor Ansari

      April 5, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      It’s not abt a man loving all his wives equally but treating them equally. Prophet Muhammed (saw) loved Aisha (ra) the most amongst all his wives but treated all of them equally.

  151. Catherine

    April 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM


    I’m not rude, just real. I ask for respect for a tradition, not more, not less. Equal love is possible, as the SUN SHINES EQUALLY ON EVERYONE EVERYDAY !!!!!!

    Women ! Men think and feel differently ! Please educated yourself in this field if you want to understand men and have peaceful relations with them and nice families.

    There are books and websites on understanding men’s mind. And it’s worth the effort. It’s an interesting subject. And please don’t stop at the level of criticism !
    Go deeper women !
    ma salama

  152. moon4me

    February 17, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I am a first wife!  I have been married for 4 years.  How correct all you say is.  I converted to Islam 5 years ago.  I have fallen in love with a muslim man.  I did marry him with the hope we would live both here in the USA and also in Egypt.  His family didnt approve of me.  I think because I was divorced and he had never married.  So there would be no traditional courtship.  I tried my best to accept what he said, I take his word when he says he needs to be fair and make everyone happy.  I said “OK”.  My only request was  when I return for my visits dont expect me to stay in the same city.  And moving forward I dont want to be part of their life together.  What I dont know wont drive me crazy.  And “NO” I do not want to know the woman his family wanted him to have.  I was handling it well, until she went into my belongings and found my email address and contacted me pretending to be a tour guide in Egypt.  I knew it was her because I hide myself on the net.  I dont have contact with many.  I told my husband right off, I know it is her and he best tell her to leave me be.  He worked nights and would leave his mother and her alone and had no control of the PC.  4 MONTHS she lied to me and tried to play games with me.  Wanting to know about my life and husband.  He finally did catch her and he sent her back to her father.  Of course Dad brought her back not wanting the problem.  I thought it was done.  Ok now I can go back in my pretend world, shop for my next visit for my husband, plan his trip here.  I was making a Honey Do list!  Suddenly out of the blue yesterday morning she contacted me again.  I asked her why she had this need.  Because she wants to know her husbands wife.  What?  Why?  There is no reason for this.  But here is my biggest problem.  I am a thoughtful wife.  I respect him and his .  I study and read on how to be my best for him.  I have told him that I will wait for my new apartment because I have my home here.  And she can take the apartment that was mine to live in by my right.  His response is that he cant stop her from contacting me.  Really!!!!!  She cant respect him enough?  He tells me that why do I have a problem with this if she doesnt.  BECAUSE IT HURTS!!!  I think I cant handle it, Allah knows I have tried.  But to be punished everyday that I was not good enough, That I didnt have the fair chance to make a happy life for him, That because of his marriage there I am still waiting to have his children.  WHY  do I as a first wife not have the right to get a divorce?  I cant live with this anymore.  I have shut my feelings to people near to me off.  When I finish my days work I just go to bed and sleep and search the net for help.  Cant find anyone that understands.  I know his family is important to him.  I know his mother is dear to his heart.  I really feel like I am nothing in the picture anymore. I do know he loves me.  For 3 years we really built a good thing!  I just wish I wouldnt have been so far away!  Maybe I would have had a fair chance! 

  153. Child_of_Adam

    March 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Salaamun alaikum

    Issue aside, article aside I urge all to be protective of their soul and iman in discussion. Even, perhaps especially, when we disagree let us hold fast to the best in etiquette. Let us strive to emulate he who was upon the best character. Whose practice included monogamy and polygamy.

  154. Illawarrior

    May 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Any man who expects polygamy, should also accept polyandry. Anything less is hypocritcal

  155. Woman

    May 6, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    This is absolutely terrible… Doesn’t the fact that your own husband is sharing his dick with another woman disgust you? It is just so wrong!

  156. Woman

    May 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    And the part about the age-old conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law… It is like you cannot distinguish between a wife or a parent… Being a wife is so completely and utterly different from being a protective parent. You cannot merge the idea of those two, completely different, women together! Do you have sex with your mother? No. But you have sex with your wife! It just sounds so wrong to compare a mother with the wife. That is disgusting.

  157. frustratedman

    June 9, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    I was surfing the net to find answers to my question when i came across this articles and posts , I know it is a very old article and posts are years ago! I dont know how to start, I have been married since last 13 years now , and i have a daughter, i dont know how and i am still trying to find out why ? i put myself into a situation and perform another nikkah with a woman who is very needy and had issues like security , her father is a drug addict , her mother died due to cancer and she herself was working, we have performed nikkah alomost a year now , i have been taking care of her needs ( financially ) and we never have a physical relationship, since i have done this act i have been trying to convince my first wife ( whom i love very much ) to let me have a second wife , for the sake of more children , and she is not accepting it, it is getting very difficult for me to keep telling her a lie cause i have never lied specially to her ever before, i dont know how to convince her , how to make it all right i am all frustrated if any one can give me some advice how to convince my wife regarding this… please help me out of it

  158. illawarrior

    July 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    No man, or woman willingly accepts that his/ her partner is having sex with another, however some cultures/ societies/ eras make it more difficult to accept / object than others. Curiously, the issues are almost always in favour of the man. If things we equal …. it would be so much easier to accept. If a man can have 4 wives .. so be it … as long as a woman can also have 4 husbands … there must be equity and fairness,yet there rarely is.

  159. sofi

    July 20, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    This article is very clearly biased and very emotional too. Polygamy is a choice (mubah) not something that every muslim man should indulge in or even be encouraged to indulge in. Polygamy can work FAIRLY under certain situations :1) wife unable to bare children or sick and cant do the rights of her husband 2) state of war were alot of men are killed like the time when the verse of polygamy was revealed 3) when wife is accepting of the idea and does not mind her husband having another wife, this does not include threats , ill treatment from husband if she does not agree with him taking another wife 4)If the husband is a very pious clever man that can treat his wives fairly, divide his time between wives and children and not cause jealousy between them. OTHERWISE polygamy is hurting the family not helping anyone for that matter. Lets face the truth such a man is hard to find that is why most of muslim households are monogamous. A muslim women HAS THE RIGHT TO REJECT polygamy if she sees that does not work for her , for whatever reason that might be, but religious men although they admit that she has that right they do not like the idea thats why alot of muslim women in islamic/arabic countries find it hard to put such a clause in their marriage contract as the sheik will not allow it or look at you like your taking the man’s right. In today’s economy its hard to manage one household let alone 2 or more , its a man’s responsibility to completely provide for his family and from what I see in the west most of the time the 2nd wife is working and helping out which i dont see it as fair. My advice for muslim women is first look for a single muslim man and if you dont find one and all who come for you are married then make sure that you are not just their for sex , his 1st wife is atleast accepting of the idea so you spare yourself a headache, he is financially capable and your not the one paying the rent along with other things, you feel emotionally fulfilled.

  160. amz

    July 29, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    The Holy Prophet had mutiple marriages only because Allah told him to..And he also did it for religious reasons. But nowadays many men use polygamy as an advantage to themselves only.

  161. whatever

    August 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    The real topic isn’t why women refuse to accept their husbands having a second wife. The question is why the husband want a second wife. What are their reasons aside from that it is allowed?

  162. Sincere Muslimah

    August 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I was with this article at first but it quickly changed by what was said here. There are 2 parts that I dont understand from this article. The writer said: “If he has no regards for her feelings, what is the point of being possessive about him? The love is gone anyway. Another lady suggested that if the husband is looking for another partner, it means that she is not the ideal wife for him any longer and hence she should try to find out what is causing him to distance himself by seeking another soul-mate.” If this is the case, then what is the point of being married to her husband at all? This has got to be one of the most lonliest feelings in the world. That seems to me to be psychological and emotional torture to have to be married to someone who doesn’t love and really doesn’t want to be with you.
    Let me be clear, I am probably one of the few muslimas who doesn’t view polygamy as the worst thing in the world and I could personally handle this issue but to say that the husband has emotionally disregarded the first wife and no longer loves her sounds so cold and harsh, how can you ever expect any woman to say “ok then, I am so happy!”? If this is really the case, then why not just divorce the 1st wife totally and let her be and support her financially still? This sounds like the most selfish thing that a man can do is not not love or care for his 1st wife, go out and get another, but then expect the first wife to still have sex with him. I sincerely hope this is not the case why muslim men try to practice polygamy because if so, you will never change the hearts and minds of the muslim woman.

  163. Muslimah12

    June 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    “how this is more of a personal issue and than a religious one’, as put forth by almost everyone who opposes it, I personally believe that one of the major reasons why a man would want to keep two wives is because is ‘out’ of love with the first one and ‘in’ love with someone else.”

    I have various issues with this article and mainly because of the misleading idea that a husband who marries again or who wants to marry again doesn’t love his wife or because their isn’t an emotional attachment in their relationship. This argument not is it only insulting towards first wives in polygamous relationships, but it also feeds into the fear and misunderstanding some women have with regards to polygamy. Some men are very much in love with their wives, but they also have a desire to marry again because they feel as though they will be able to look after another equally. There are many cases in which a man loves his first wife more than is second. It is well known that the Prophet S.A.W loved Aisha the most out of all his wives yet he still married other women after her so therefore your argument really doesn’t work. In addition, the article reminded me of the arrogant view some women have when they are entering polygamous marriages as they think that they are some how better than the first wife and that the husband must somehow not love his other wife. However, these women are then given a rude awakening to reality then they realize that they are not that special nor better than the first wife in their husbands eyes.

    Furthermore, you seem to blame wives on the reason as to why their husbands wants to marry again creating the impression that their must be something wrong with them or their relationship. This article pretty much inflames a woman’s insecurity and makes sisters misunderstand polygamy even more because that is far from reality. Just because a woman’s husband wants to marry again is not a reflection on her as a person or her relationship with her husband nor should a woman in that situation feel threatened that her husband would no longer care about her or lover her. Although a man cannot love all his wives equally, men however are well capable of loving all their wives, but just one more than the other whether it be the first wife or the second. If a man was not able to have an emotional attachment to all of his wives then Polygamy would not have been ordained. Allah knows his creations more than us and there are men who are able to be equal with all of their wives and fulfill all their financial, physical and emotional needs.

    Another major issue I have with the article is this:

    “Of course he should be able to support two wives and be willing to keep equality between them. But that is not for the women to worry about. That is between him and Allāh”.

    This is pretty much shows that you don’t know much about polygamy and the rights of wives in the Sharia. It is indeed something that a wife needs to worry about because according to Islam one of the rights a wife has over his husband is that he treats her equal with he co- wife and therefore it is not a simple case of him “being willing” It is haraam for a husband to marry again if he is not able to be equal with his wives and he does marry and he is not then a wife has he right to divorce and call it a day. There are various hadiths that talk about the punishments of husbands treating one wife better than the other.

    Lastly, polygamy is not an alternative to divorce nor will it ever fix an unhappy marriage because the problems will still be there with the first wife, so whether a man is married to one woman or several he needs to work on all of his marriages. Polygamy has not been prescribed to damage relationships by forsaking the first wife, rather it has been ordained to build relationships by satisfying and keeping chaste all the wives. However with your misguided attempt to make sisters accept polygamy and understand it a bit better you have portrayed polygamy as an oppressive institution for the first wife as she is stripped of her husbands love for her which simply isn’t true.
    In the case where a man does have issues with his wife and marries another so that he can have all his emotional needs fulfilled by the second wife, then what about the first wife? Is it fair that she should be trapped in a loveless marriage whilst her husbands needs are fulfilled by another? What about her need for love and emotional fulfillment? Marriage from an Islamic perspective is based on affection and mercy and every woman whether she is the only wife or one of several should expect to have a healthy and happy marriage with her husband. if a husbands has issues with his first wife and they are not able to sort out their differences then they should call it a day, the only solution to that situation is divorce and not polygamy. Whats the point in being married when the husband doesn’t want to be with his wife and there is no longer any affection between the spouses? For any woman being in a situation where your husband does not care about you and thus trapped in an empty relationship is akin to emotional torture and I don’t see why a woman should stay in that situation, therefore telling sisters that they should except or expect to be treated this way once their husband’s remarry is rather stupid and harsh and you are giving them false information on polygamy because if a woman has a good relationship with her husband and he decides to marry another, then this should not have an impact on the way he treats her nor the feelings he has for her because not all men are fickle and as I have said earlier his love for her should not decrease because of another woman- this is just a myth and not every man is the same. It shows how badly you researched on the issue and it is if you have no true understanding on polygamy unfortunately.

  164. am

    August 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    ‘But even after years of reflection and consideration, I still haven’t been able to put a finger on why the vast majority of Muslim wives cannot stand to even discuss the topic without losing their cool’.

    That’s because you don’t understand women. Period. Therefore you are not in any position to make judegements on women.

  165. Zach

    April 28, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    The problem is that you’re viewing this from a logical standpoint, but women are emotional creatures.

    • Ali

      July 22, 2016 at 7:10 PM

      there is not logic. women’s rights isn’t a joke anymore, and men and women should be treated equally which is something polygamy literally goes against. I am a muslim and I do not agree with this. I treat my wife with respect and I believe her feelings matter and that a man is capable of being committed to one woman. Islam discourages the marriage to another wife unless he has REASON. lets all grow up all the people with multiple wives just cannot keep it in their pants and need to see women the way Allah tells us to which is with respect and as a gift and the one who gives us the greatest gift in life, our children.

  166. Ayna

    June 11, 2015 at 4:17 AM

    Asalamu Aleykum

    I read a lot of articles about this subject but this one is the weirdest.

    I have never liked the idea of the second marriage. Even as a kid, the idea that my father would marry other women brought me to tears and even anger.

    Im now a grown up but I still feel the same emotions as when I was a child. I do understand it more now, why they marry and that Allah made it okay to do so, and Im okay with that. I dont mind other people doing it, but I always feel sad for the women, cause even though you have huge and puur heart it still hurts I know it does even if some tell me it doesnt, of course that it is if you love your husband. If not then nothing will matter.

    But for myself I dont want that, because I am weak and way to emotional, if my husband ever wants to marry another (yes I am married) I will not tell him – dont do it, but I wont stay in that marriage. I would make a lot sins by having anger in my heart and I would be a very sad persone and I dont want my kids to have such a mother, maybe I wouldnt be saying this if my situation was different (if I had not parents or any relatives, if I was sick or poor or couldnt provide for myself) but at this moment thats how I think. These days if you live in Europe or Amerika a women can provide for her family.

    I wish I was different and had no emotions at all so that I could be a better Muslim and a better wife, but what can you do?? Just like men are made to have more desires women are made emotional. Not everyone can control their emotions thats why men marry more than once and a weak and emotional women as myself prever divorce over a broken marriage.

    But I dont get your article and I think its just made to have lots of comments and angry women.


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  169. taznim

    October 5, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    First i wud like to ask the writer of this article a question. is she a second wife??? most probably she is. 2ndly i want to ask the men who claim that 2 nd marriage is mustahab, how much are they careful of performing their waajibaat??? 1st priority for a muslim is to percorm his obligattory acts. mostly i have seen that the men know only one law of islam and that is of 2nd marriage.
    as for the article, what if the husband wants to take a 2 nd wife not because there is anything amiss or lacking in the 1st wife, but just because he wants some fun and newness in his life???

  170. oka

    December 25, 2015 at 2:24 AM

    How can a brave,smart woman with a pure heart bear to be a muslim?
    I was born a muslim but reading this post further convince me to leave this religion ASAP.It’s rotten a