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The Polygamist Fantasy And The Distressing Of Sisters




couple_in_love_1Guest post by AbdelRahman Murphy

One night, during a conference that I went to in the summer, my wife and I had a conversation about the day’s events. One topic in our conversation that came up was the issue of American-Muslims and the struggle of marriage.

Earlier in the day, during his session, one of the lecturers asked for a quick show of hands as to how many people in the audience were married. Being a newly-inducted member into this (seemingly) exclusive group, I raised my hand and took a glance around the room, expecting to see a good number of brothers and sisters with their arms in the air. To my concern, the amount of raised hands in the was less than 20 – out of the 130 people in the room, approximately 110 of them were not married (as a piece of information to help paint the picture, the majority in the room was sisters).

As my wife and I discussed this odd phenomenon of young, practicing, Muslim singles remaining single, I asked the stereotypically male question, “Why are there so many unmarried people here? You would think that with such a large quantity of actively-Muslim Muslims that there would be a high percentage of brothers and sisters that were hitched.”

My wife shrugged, “Not sure, and it’s not like they don’t want to get married, a lot of the sisters I’ve met are looking for a husband.” And then it dawned on me – the proverbial apple had dropped from Isaac’s tree and struck me on the head, pulling to the forefront of my mind, an amazing idea: “Why don’t the brothers and sisters here who are unmarried just marry each other!” It was so simple! I was on my way to becoming the matchmaker of the century, and had already began imagining my acceptance speech as the new president of

“Pfft,” she said.

“Pfft? Is that such a terrible idea? We have two groups of unmarried people here, is it so hard to imagine that there would be some marriage-matches amongst them?”

“It’s possible – if the guys act like men.”

Whoa! Where was this coming from? The brothers I’d met during my time at the conference were, masha Allah, rising stars of dawah in America. The level of knowledge that was to be seen on the Y-chromosome side of the classroom was admirable, and I felt lucky to be a part of the group. Surely, brothers who were actively racing towards gaining knowledge from their teachers had passed the proverbial gate of maturation into manhood!

“Act like men? Huh?”

“The sisters would be interested, if they noticed any guys who would act mature. The main complaint I’m hearing on the girls’ side is that the guys aren’t acting like candidates that the girls would be interested in. For example, today when the shaykh mentioned the phrase “second wife,” the brothers started giggling and high-fiving like…boys! Just watch for the next couple of days and tell me what you think.”

And so the Achilles heel of the situation was revealed; the sisters’ allergic reaction to polygamist tendencies.

I had decided to take my wife up on her suggestion and keep an eye on the personalities of the brothers as a group, particular when any topic of marriage was discussed, monogamist or polygamist.

Surely enough, as the days went on, I noticed precisely what my wife was saying. At any point during the seminar when any word or phrase that had a relation to having one or more than one wife was mentioned, there would be at least a small group of brothers who would make a smart comment, completing their ritualistic statements with some sort of testosterone-filled body gesture, whether it be a fist-pump, a high five, or simply a fist raised in the air (as though on an Olympic medal podium of the 1948 summer games). And then it dawned on me, as did many things in this blessed past year of marriage, the perspective from the “other” side. My wife had shed some light on the situation from the point of view of the sisters, and, as a public service (read: sadaqah jaariyah), I’d like to share some advices in regards to that utopian vision many of you may have.

Be Real

For those of you who are single, a quick math refresher: you have to have one before you can have two! It’s fine if you genuinely and truly want more than one wife in this life (for the right reasons) – some guys do, and are actively looking for it. But realize that you, single brother, haven’t even experienced what marriage is like, yet. You haven’t felt the responsibility of maintaining a wife and a family – it is quite a handful, though the work doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. See if you can handle having one wife first, insha Allah, before you decide that having two is a piece of cake. Who knows, you may find the allure of having multiple wives not so strong when you get married for the first (and probably only) time.

It’s Hurting Your Game

Now, since we’ve established that getting married is a goal for you, brother, maybe taking a look at how these actions of pseudo polygamist rhetoric affect your standing with the sisters could give you some insight into how to fix your problem of involuntary singularity. As this article is bluntly stating, most sisters don’t enjoy the thought of their potential spouse scoping out their wedding for wife numero dos. If you’re serious about carrying out this particular Sunnah for your own personal reasons, then seek out sisters who are predisposed to accepting it as your lifestyle. But if you’re just doing it because the dream excites you or makes you feel “macho,” then drop the gig, because it’s not helping you, and is actually hurting your chances for finding Sr. Right.

Sister Paranoia

Once, while I was at a friend’s house discussing this topic with him, and a certain article came up in conversation. It was one that we had both read that had articulated the idea that wives should realize that part of manhood is the innate desire to want more than one wife, so the wife should be constantly and adequately “re-inventing” herself, so as to distract the husband from wanting more than one wife. To this, the brother’s wife chimed in, “So wait, on top of my family responsibilities and my social and dawah responsibilities, now I’m supposed to worry that when my husband goes out by himself, or even with me, that he’ll be scoping out for another wife? That’s depressing.”

Now, we all may have heard a story or two about how sisters go beyond the bounds of protectiveness and dwell in the lands of suspicion in regards to their husbands. We know that from an Islamic (49:12), as well as a marital, perspective, these unfounded fears are not fair to the men in these relationships. Not only are they not fair, but a lack of trust, from either side of the relationship, is extremely damaging to the marriage in general. However, the (usually sarcastic) referencing of “getting another one” fuels what could’ve been a small spark of waswaas from Shaytan into an inferno of paranoia and worry.

One thing that I’ve learned from taking classes with different teachers on marriage and family life is that a man should never dangle a second wife over the first wife’s head as a threat or motivation to “do better.” This is disturbing and damaging to the psyche of sisters in general, whether they are married and it’s happening to them, or if they are unmarried and worrying about picking a guy because “what’s the point, he’ll probably just be scoping out for number two while we’re cutting the cake at our own wedding.”

Respect The Sunnah

This article is not meant to say that it is weird, or that it is unnatural to want more than one wife. Definitely not – to each his own. Some men have the desire for more than one wife in this life, some don’t. Regardless whether you truly do or don’t, respecting it as a Sunnah comes into play. It’s not something to prance around about, flaunting how you’re going to have each of “the four” specialize in different culinary cuisines (true story). If you’re doing this, it’s because Allah allowed it and the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and some of his companions did it. It is a Sunnah in this regard, and should be treated with the dignity and seriousness of any other Sunnah. By lowering it to some sort of sensory fantasy, you’re lowering it’s dignity for those brothers who actually do plan on supporting more than one family insha Allah.

As A Preemptive Defense

I am a brother who is already married, and I did not write this article with the intention to woo and sister with my compassion into proposing to me. I am simply a guy who noticed a void in the akhlaaq and honor of the Muslims and decided to give it a bit of analysis and honest advice. The tone might’ve been a pinch cynical, but I think it was needed to get the message across. This is something that has been on my mind (as well as a few others, feel free to reveal yourself as a supporter of the cause) for a while, and I thought MuslimMatters would be a mature enough forum to discuss it.



  1. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 1:32 AM

    it might be nice to note that we should follow the law of the land where polygamy is prohibited since it’s not an obligation for us to marry more than one wife…

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      September 28, 2009 at 6:05 AM


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      Danish Hasan

      September 28, 2009 at 6:25 AM

      I try to drive under the speed limit everyday but sometimes i don’t realize it but I’m over by a few.

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        Ahmad AlFarsi

        September 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM

        completely off-topic fiqh question:

        Is it haraam or sinful to drive 47 in 45 mph zone? How about driving 50? 60? 70? :)

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          May 16, 2012 at 1:10 PM

          It  is not haram islamically, but you only drive 47 on a 45 because there is no cop to pull you over. And when they are there and catch you in the act, they fine you.

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            July 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM

            Of course its Haram. They have speed limits to save lives so that you can stop in time rather than hit people at high speed velocity. So who cares if someone catches you in the act. If you kill someone because of your own recklesssness you have murdered someone.

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        July 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        That’s when you lose your license and possibly all your wives.

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      September 28, 2009 at 10:08 AM

      How many times this has been discussed, the law of land is to marry in courts, the law does not prohibit cheating on wife, having multiple girl friends or mistress with no rights. You can marry a second wife in masjid, and give her islamic rights.

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        YASIR AZIM

        September 29, 2009 at 3:29 AM

        Well said Brother Hassan, I agree 110%.

        I’m a single, and looking to get married soon Inshallah. The Sunnah of having two dose cross many times in my mind but unfortunately i forget the math. I need to have one b4 i can think of a second.

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        May 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Of course but since many states such as california give the wife an equal legal share in the husbands assets, is it fair for the second wife to be robbed of that? What about if the husband passes away? Only the legal wife will take her full share and the wife with no legal rights will be left empty handed. Heard many stories of this happening, sad but true.

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      Ahmad AlFarsi

      September 28, 2009 at 10:09 AM

      It is not illegal in America to perform more than one “religious marriage” with the same man. It is illegal to have more than one civil marriage. If a brother wants a 2nd wife, he will not break the law as long as the 2nd wife is not legally a civil marriage.

      For a married man to go before a girl’s wali and 2 witnesses, and do Ijaab and Qabool, thereby making the girl his wife (according to Islam) is NOT illegal in the US, as long as a 2nd set of civil marriage papers are not filed. The only thing to note is that in the US govt’s perspective, the 2nd wife is not viewed as his wife by them… but that is their problem. Of course it creates an issue with trying to get medical benefits, etc, from your company for your 2nd wife.

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        May 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        You did not mention the legal rights of the second wife including a share in the assets the husband might have such as house, car, and bank accounts. If the second wife is not legally recognized then she has no share to the about mentioned assets. This is considered unfairness. Also women have the right to leave a marriage if she does not like the idea of her husband getting married again. Research the story of Fathima RA  and when her husband wanted to marry the daughter of abu  jhal. We as women are to look up to the 4 perfect women in islam.

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      September 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM

      Trying to incriminate someone on polygamy charges will not work in the courts because the law essentially goes against the US and Canadian constitution.
      At some point , someone will challenge the law and have it repealed. It’s a matter of time.

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      September 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM

      How can anyone say “follow the law of the land”, when this particular law is against Islam? US govt has no authority to make something Haram that Allah made Halal.
      And even if you were to look at it from this perspective, they only allow one civil marriage, but they don’t care about Nikahs. If an American can be married to one woman and have another woman as a mistress and this is legal, then it wouldn’t be a problem to have civil marriage with one (or none) and Nikah with both (or all 3 or 4).

      For the record I only plan on marrying one, because I don’t trust myself with anything more.

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      October 3, 2009 at 12:05 AM

      Assalamu alayk ibnmasood,

      Did you know that some of our sheikhs have more than one wife? They are very famous da’yees. You shouldn’t give a fatwa when you’re not qualified. What if I get married to a second woman outside the country and then bring inside the country?

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      abu nuhe

      January 11, 2014 at 8:08 AM

      If you’ve ever driven over the speed limit then you’re a hypocrite. Although Allah SWT has allowed you to drive over the speed limit, you are not obligated to do so; and break the laws of the country.

      Also we shouldn’t get into a fit when our sisters are not allowed to wear the niqab france.

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    September 28, 2009 at 6:02 AM

    Somebody finally gets it!

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    September 28, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    Excellent observation…although I am sure it’s not the over-riding reason sisters reject potential marriage partners.

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      July 19, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      I think it is. Because a lot of sisters like the romantic notion that it will be like Adam (PBUH) and Hawaa. The prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was initially only married to Khadija. He only married one virgin later and the rest of his wives were widows! Widows! Brothers are you pure at heart and willing to marry second or third or fourth wives who are widows to honour and respect them and to financially support them as Allah says you must not marry for lust. You marry to care for and have a genuine relationship with all of them. So if you are really willing to marry sisters not for 4 different cuisines but to marry them to bring them out of poverty or to provide for them and their families from another divorced or deceased husband and can love their children from another man then you are truly a special brother and deserve these wives and their affection. Allah even tells you that if you don’t think you can be fair to all of them then Marry one!!! One!!! Most men forget the ayat doesn’t end at four but it ends at One!!! Allah even says in a different ayat that you cannot be fair to all of them so in the circumstance when you are genuinely wanting to provide for impoverished widows Allah says to spend time with all of them. This is so there is no jealousy and feeling of abandonment. I guess what I’m trying to say yes it is haram for a sister to have more than one husband but if you want to understand why so many sisters dislike the thought of a second wife then put yourself in their shoes and see think how would it feel like if they after marrying you wanted a different husband and started looking for her second husband so she could divorce you. It doesn’t make you feel special and it doesn’t make you feel loved. Jealousy will be there for some women. It doesn’t feel like she is devoted to you it feels like you are just an object, a chattel, a car to be collected. The latter comment is only for those immature brothers who want many wives for the wrong reason. Also I’ve never known anyone to be completely in love with four people equally. When you fall in love with your spouse it is usually one person and you become blind to everyone else. You will always have a favourite its when the love wanes that you start looking elsewhere.

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    Danish Hasan

    September 28, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    To ibnmasood: call it a spiritual wife, or domestic partner, or a civil union (opposite genders).

    On the post:
    …and yet if the problem was the MEN(being immature and whatever else puts off the sisters) then I don’t understand why there are many more unmarried sisters.
    Firstly, Basing this off:

    approximately 110 of them were not married (as a piece of information to help paint the picture, the majority in the room was sisters)

    Secondly, personal observation from what my friends and family tell me and what I’ve seen in Muslim communities in the US.

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      AbdelRahman Murphy

      September 28, 2009 at 6:37 AM

      There are a lot of reasons as to why it seems there are many more unmarried sisters in the US, and my mention of the detail that you’ve mentioned (more sisters in the room than brothers) was nothing more than just a detail.

      But, even in the way you’ve related the two points, it’s still clear why there would be unmarried sisters – marriage has 2 main components, a man and a woman, so if one component isn’t up to par (immature, or whatever else you can write about) then the other component wouldn’t want to marry them, thus leading to a rising number of singles, yeah?

      Anyhow, in response to the comment above as well – this article wasn’t meant to describe this attitude as the main reason why we have such an overwhelming amount of singles Muslims in the US, rather as part of the problem (small or large, however you see it).

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        September 29, 2009 at 12:51 AM

        Seriously, polygamy issues are NOT a prime reason that many women are not married.

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          A brother

          September 29, 2009 at 7:27 AM

          Yeah no kidding. Sisters have themselves to blame most of the time.

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    Yusuf Smith

    September 28, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    A lot of brothers simply don’t realise how much distress polygamy causes women, and use threats of taking a second wife to make their first wives feel uncomfortable. There is also a problem of brothers not keeping their word, and in some cases I suspect that they know that they can’t be held to them, such as with promises made before marriage. I remember one sister whose family had suggested her as a possible wife for me, back in 2000 or thereabouts, but her sister had married a brother who promised to let her continue studying, and then reneged on his promise afterwards. I’ve also known of sisters who were members of a particular Sufi tariqa whose husbands had promised to let them attend gatherings, but then changed their minds.

    I don’t have a problem with polygamy per se, but many sisters say it’s a deal breaker and won’t even consider brothers who won’t rule out polygamy. It is also illegal and the second wife won’t have any legal protection. A couple of weeks ago I was round a brother’s house and he told me he wanted to take a second wife. His first wife agreed to it, he said. “Yes, but why do you want a second wife?” I asked him. I told him it was nothing but fitna, whether or not his first wife agreed. I told him that I would only consider it under two circumstances: where both my career and my first wife’s prevented us both from raising our kids adequately (and even then, we would probably be able to afford home helps if I could afford a second wife), and where the first wife became so badly paralysed that she couldn’t function. I know of a case where this happened (the husband took a girlfriend but didn’t divorce his wife who had a stroke and became “locked in”; they weren’t Muslims), but I also suspect that most disabled sisters feel the same way about sharing their husbands as other women.

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    September 28, 2009 at 7:27 AM


    Our beloved prophet [peace and blessings upon him] didn`t take a second wife when Khadija radhiallahuanha was alive.Respect that sunnah too.:)


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      September 28, 2009 at 11:27 AM

      You have a point there.

      I wouldn’t mind it if MM elaborated on this point in a future article.

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      Abu Yunus

      September 28, 2009 at 2:32 PM

      The Prophet (Sallaahu alayhi wa Sallam) prayed towards Masjid al-Aqsa during the early years of prophethood, now are we to follow that particular sunnah as well? Did you ever pause and think that perhaps the verse for taking more than one wife was revealed yet since the Prophet (Sallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was married to Khadeejah during the Makkan period and most of the ahkaam were revealed in the Madinan period.

      We have to look at what was the last thing that the Prophet (sallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did and died upon and made it an example for his ummah. If you agree that polygyny is a sunnah why are you discouraging it with your words, albeit indirectly. If the brothers can fulfill the conditions for polygyny and have the need for a second wife, let them be. Other acts of worship also have conditions but we don’t emphasize them; however when it comes to polygyny we make sure that we don’t miss any of the conditions and enumerate them neatly. All in all, don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. Didn’t we ever think that our speech might be indicative of “dislike” of a particular aspect of Islam although we may not mention it explicitly. Sisters AND brothers, be very careful.

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        September 28, 2009 at 5:45 PM

        Assalamualykum brother,

        Jazakallahu khairaa for correcting my mistake.


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          October 1, 2009 at 11:40 PM

          With all due respect, I don’t think you made a mistake. Shuyukh have commented that both are Sunnah-polygamy and monogamy. Wallaahu a’lam.
          I agree we should be careful though.

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        September 29, 2009 at 12:55 AM

        I promote polygyny to my brothers and insist that they should marry more than one woman. There are too many women out there that need to be taken care and married.
        Seriously, mature responsible men do get proposals from single women so i HIGHLY DOUBT that women are not choosing men because of their polygamist views. The real reason is if a man is responsible good muslim man.

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        March 10, 2013 at 4:20 AM

        First of all I want to clarify a misconception here. Someone said that monogamy is not a sunnah. But monogamy IS a sunnah. The Prophet (PBUH) was married to only one wife for most of his life. Even in the first 13 years of nabuwwat he remained monogamous, he did not even have relations with a slave woman or marry a second wife despite the fact that he could easily have done either in the society he lived in. But he remained firmly loyal to his wife.

        But someone here claimed that monogamy is not a sunnah, using the analogy of the change in the Qiblah’s direction. Despite the fact that the Qiblah was chanded due to revelation by Allah. And the only revelation revealed for polygamy was to restrict the maximum number of wives a man could have to four and make even that conditional on justice.

        Going by your logic, brother, we should only be doing things the Prophet did in the last few years of his life in Madinah [only 8 years of his blessed life] and forget about the fifteen years of Prophethood before that and the forty years when he was the best person in the whole world.

        However some imams I have talked to say that neither polygamy or monogamy are a Sunnah in their own right. They say that the Prophet [PBUH] specifically said that ‘marriage’ itself is his Sunnah. And since the Prophet practised both monogamy and polygamy then both are included in the sunnah of marriage.

        There were some polygamous Sahaba [eg; Abu Bakr and Umar] and some monogamous ones [Abu Hurairah and Bilal and Salman al Farsi and Hudhafail etc;], some who did not even marry and some who were both polygamous and monogamous with various wives[Uthman and Ali].

        Remember, marrying at least once is recommended as its half your deen. Polygamy is simply optional and comes with justice conditions.

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      Yus from the Nati

      September 28, 2009 at 2:41 PM

      mA. That was deep. Jazakillahukhair.

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    September 28, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    Brother’s wanting 2nd wife is tertiary reason for why so many sisters aren’t married. It is too big of generalization to imply that is one of the main causes.

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      September 29, 2009 at 12:56 AM


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    Calcutta Express

    September 28, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    Assalamu Alaykum,

    I was really digging the part about maturity. I’ve never really had a desire for a second wife so I kind of lost interest at that part. I hope that you expound upon the maturity issue a little further.

    I think an important point to remember is that Allah is Qadir. Even if you do come off a little bit immature, there will be someone amazing for you. Don’t freak out and become boring.

    Someone gave me great advice one time. It doesn’t matter what you do. There will always be someone who doesn’t appreciate what you are doing. Someone who will always have a problem with the way you are. Honestly, if the majority of people unmarried in the room are sisters then it’s still the problem of the sisters.

    Reality is that most eligible sisters who men find attractive and who are of the marrying type are taken up very quickly. Most of the time a sister is unmarried is because of her parents wanting a doctor for their uneducated ambitionless semi-attractive daughter. Either that or they find that the compatibility exists within the lines that were drawn by imperialists 50-100 years ago.

    I personally don’t care to get married to just anyone. She must be driven. She must be a competitor for the kheir and Ajr. Otherwise, I’ve waited 24 years of my life and I don’t care if some overtly “religious” sister thinks I smile/giggle too much.

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      September 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM

      Thats interesting.

      Reality is that most eligible sisters who men find attractive and who are of the marrying type are taken up very quickly. Most of the time a sister is unmarried is because of her parents wanting a doctor for their uneducated ambitionless semi-attractive daughter. Either that or they find that the compatibility exists within the lines that were drawn by imperialists 50-100 years ago.

      More than ever Ive noticed that educated attractive sisters are waiting for a brother that is just as educated or near it. I dont think we all wait for doctors to marry us. I think we wait for a MAN to marry us. Mashallah many sisters are filled with ambition and you know.. being a homemaker is probably one of the most noble professions out there.

      Personally… im a surgeon who happened to marry a doctor.

      Also what Ive noticed is that many families look for such “uneducated ambitious” girls for their educated successful husbands…. Im truly confused…

      Totally agree on the maturity point.

      Excellent read!

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        Calcutta Express

        September 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM

        This is a very broad subject. I’m sure that every variety of male/female exists that isn’t married for one reason or another. Alhumdulillah. Marriage is not a necessity. The only necessity in life is Allah.

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      July 21, 2016 at 6:18 PM

      I must disagree from experience regarding the section where it’s most girl’s problem why they aren’t married and how they have high standards. For one thing several sisters I know had a tough time getting a suiter. One) because the man didn’t like the way they looked, that they were too tall or short, dark etc. That is very disheartening to a sister. What women would appreciate being refused marriage because they don’t look pretty?

      2)For some reason being over 26 years of age is too old. And the man’s parents refuse even though in most cases the man is older.

      3) and the most important one. Sister’s refuse suiters because some men are not practising Muslims, e.g. they don’t pray. And we need people who balance and support in faith firstly as well as providing stability.

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    September 28, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    “It’s not something to prance around about, flaunting how you’re going to have each of “the four” specialize in different culinary cuisines (true story)”

    LOL! :D What were the different culinary cusines?

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    anonny mommy

    September 28, 2009 at 8:49 AM

    Well why don’t the sisters look to older men? The problem is that guys their age are immature. Sisters should be looking for husbands older than them and brothers for sisters younger. That will help with the maturity issue.

    The situation is way more complicated than presented here and the sisters are absolute not blameless as to why they are not married. But I doubt there will ever be an article on that, always bash the brothers…….

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      September 28, 2009 at 9:34 AM

      I don’t think articles are bashing the brothers….Actually I think it’s the opposite.

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      September 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM

      An age difference is definitely not a practical answer and although females might mature a little faster than males that doesn’t default to them having to marry an older male. Many times age difference can create problems of not properly understanding one another and such. At times it doesn’t matter how old a person is, if they don’t make a conscious efforts to change they will always be childish.

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      September 29, 2009 at 9:16 AM

      Some sisters don’t want to have to change 2 sets of diapers. Older doesn’t always mean more mature either.

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    September 28, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Guys who publicly get all high-school-happy on the thoughts of polygamy:

    1) Feel they know everything about marriage but probably aren’t married
    2) Incorrectly believe the sisters will notice their comments and fall in love with them
    3) Don’t realize that in the process they’re pwning their chance of getting married to the sisters that those brothers know are watching them in the first place.

    In other words, little boys, grow up. :)

    Great post, AbdelRahman! Interestingly (and perhaps coincidentally?) you seem to have echoed many of my own sentiments. InshaAllah look forward to more of your writings on MM.

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      September 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM

      My thoughts exactly!! MAshaAllah great article. & very needed.

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      October 27, 2015 at 3:59 PM

      I agree and thank you for this comment!

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    Ibn Masood

    September 28, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    I partially agree and disagree with this article. It has realized the situation from only point of view and because of that it’s conclusion is very weak.

    Disclaimer: I realize that many people will disagree with me below, but please read, think and reply with a calm, cool and collected mind. Think and discuss, don’t just be reactive. InshaAllah we can all learn from each other. And I have made generalizations, so if you are an exception that’s fine.

    For BOTH genders, the culture we live in has a great impact on our way of thinking. As someone who has grown up with 3 women in his family and been on the observing end of many brothers (I prefer to listen, not talk). With regards to this issue specifically and how it is affecting Muslim marriages (because the situation is not so black and white) I will go out and say that both brothers AND sisters act ‘immature’. Usually each gender ends up feeling as if they’re right and the other is wrong, and this is an incorrect approach to take because we’re all susceptible to mistakes.

    1) This is not immaturity, this is the impact of the sexual undertones of the culture we live in on our perceptions of the opposite sex and how they should behave. Simply put brothers think and act this way because of how society sees it. You don’t have to get a job, have a home to live in to get a girlfriend. You can have one even if you’re 14 and live in your parents house. For most brothers, the thought that marriage is a huge responsibility and amaanah never even surfaces to the level that it should.

    And while of course this behaviour is inappropriate, we must simultaneously realize that polygyny has been legislated in our deen for a reason! Allah (swt) is Al-Hakeem, It would not have been permissible if it did not bring about some sort of benefit to the individual, family or society!

    2) Sisters have a similar problem. They are not immune to the effects of NA culture either. A brother who is close to me runs a marriage service in Canada, and he told me that 95% of his female roster is above the age of 25. And most of them are either divorced or widowed. These sisters have no one to look after them and are thus forced to work, and support and live with their parents.

    And then he said to me “Bro… No one wants to marry these sisters!” Guess what. For the vast majority of brothers (I can’t put a number on it but it’s definitely above 99%), they would not marry a divorcee or a widow as their first wife. Nada. (And btw this indicates that brothers (with marriage experience) need to stop being children and consider marrying a divorced sister/widow. Mature, strong women are not scary, and Allah swt is Ar-Razzaq, he will take care of you if you do it for His sake and for the Muslims).

    So who is left to marry these beloved sisters in Islam? The brothers who are either divorced themselves, or the brothers who are already married and have the financial capacity to take on another wife. And I know quite a few brothers who would benefit in their deen from marrying more than one wife. But most sisters don’t let their husbands marry more than one wife, and they’re leaving their fellow sisters in the dust. To me, this is most probably a result of the ‘love story’ culture we have in NA. It is so ingrained in us that we will find that ‘love that we’ve all been waiting for’, that our sisters become selfish.

    In my humble opinion then, specific to this plane of thought that we are upon both genders must realize the problem. Brothers must realize the challenge of marriage and that it is a serious endeavour that requires preparation, planning and thought. And sisters must also realize the benefits that polygyny can bring their husbands, to society and their sisters who are suffering and struggling.

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      Ibn Masood

      September 28, 2009 at 9:36 AM

      Btw I do note that I that I have been a bit harsh in language in my 2nd last paragraph. If had the opportunity to correct myself, I would.

      • Avatar

        Umer Suleman

        September 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM

        msA bro Ibn Masood, sound advice.

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          August 9, 2013 at 1:56 AM

          Instead of changing men to start seeing the value in all women, regardless of whether they are widows or divorcees, we should tell women to stop being so “selfish” as to feel devastated that their beloved life partner has decided to take on an additional wife? Does that sound reasonable to you?

          If you care about women who need and want to marry but cannot because of the stigma surrounding women who are widows/divorcees, perhaps you should do something about the stigma.

          It ruins lives and it ruins these women’s souls. It is a life of tremendous pain, when your ummah has decided you are worthless, damaged goods.

          Perhaps you should remind men that as the Prophet PBUH only married older women and widowed women (Aisha being the sole exception)-THAT is sunnah. If anything, remind them to be careful lest they begin to think they somehow somehow “better” than the Prophet.

          Do that, and then come talk to me about “selfish sisters”.

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      October 12, 2009 at 8:11 PM

      salamualaikum warahmatullah

      Ibn Masood, if you are referring to a guy who lives in Mississauga and runs the marriage service, then yeah I probably know him too.

      I disagree with your statement that 99% of brothers wont want to take a widow or a divorcee as their first wife. I’m in my very late 20s, and the sis I’m considering currently is younger than me, divorced with one child, and this isnt the first time I’ve considered such a woman either – previously I considered another sis who was divorced with two young daughters, and one of those daughters also had mild autism. It didn’t matter to me, I was ready to marry her and take care of her kids as my own.

      They say birds of a feather flock together. The reason why I disagree with your statement is because I know plenty of guys like myself who don’t mind considering divorced or widowed sisters. We are not, and never were, hung up over the whole virginity thing. Instead we look for character and personality matches. Can I make her laugh naturally, and vice versa? Is there a shared sense of humor? Do we have the same interests [and some different ones]? What kind of contributions do we both want to make to society, as well as through our kids, etc. And its extremely important that the guy – which would be me, in this case – gets along very well with babies and kids. Does he help out around the house, unsolicited? etc. I know plenty of guys like these. So for you to say that 99% of guys are like XYZ when in fact they are not, is a bit of a disservice and it just unintentionally perpetuates popular yet unhelpful stereotypes that exist in the community.

      As for these guys who joke about polygamy and whatnot, yeah they are being immature but its not something that’s unexpected. I’ve never seen older guys who are married [or not], with a stable job, educated, settled, deeny, etc actually joke about having more than one wife. The only time they do it is in very dry or sarcastic fashion when making a point about particular segments of Muslim society.

      With all due respect to the author’s experience, Muslim women should NOT be pointing to these immature guys as reasons why its “difficult” to get married; this kind of humor is really transient and in many cases, if you understand the underlying emotional drivers for such humor, then you can stop it cold with a few well-placed retorts. (Whether joking about multiple wives, or speeding in their cars, or other unthoughtful behavior, guys do it mainly just for attention).

      I’ve seen young guys joking about having more than one wife. And without regret, I’ve said to their faces to stop joking about something that they’re not man enough to handle. (i.e. lacking the patience, experience, and maturity.)

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      a sister

      October 17, 2009 at 2:28 AM

      I really enjoyed your comment and must say a few things you mentioned really “hit the spot” dead on…such as sisters being a result of “love story” culture. Your post made me actually think of encouraging my husband to take on a second wife who is either divorced or widowed. Honestly speaking though I don’t think most sisters (myself included) relish the idea that their husband’s can have eyes for someone else let alone want to have marital relations with them. It makes us feel like “what the heck, am I not enough for you….or are you not happy enough with me?” AND in the interest of being HONEST its kind of embarresing (from a sister’s perspective) to announce to the world that “hey my husband took on a second wife” because you know that the other person is probably thinking in their head…” oh I guess she was not enough for him….(sexually)”….I’m just being honest….

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        July 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Salam I do have a question with the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) he did have two wives, but I’m not sure so Astagfirrullah may Allah forgive me if I get it wrong but I am only going by what I read about the Prophets both in the Quran and also on other websites that explain it as well the whole story? Well, one of the websites said that Sara the Prophet Ibrahim’s wife thought that she couldn’t have kids when the angels came to give her news and thought she was barren and old hance why she gave Hagar her maid servant as a wife for children then later besides the Prophet Ibrahim leaving Hagar in the desert with Ismael to set up the old time Mecca and build a city there but the website said it may have been because of Sara’s anguish that she was sharing her husband and Allah had pity on her? Only Allah knows and once again these are not my own created thoughts I am only posting what I read so Astaghfirrullah if they are wrong.

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    September 28, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Ah, the good ol marriage post :)

    Speaking as a sister, I can definitely back your wife up because sisters ARE turned off by immaturity. Look at it from their perspective: this man is going to be the leader of the household, the one who will take care of the family and has a higher status than her parents…..They don’t want to marry a child.

    Polgyny really isn’t the issue but the lack of maturity when it comes to this topic is one of the many reasons for the marriage crisis with Muslim youth.

    Polgyny is always used either as a threat or a joke, so sisters cannot appreciate the ruling and can get very defensive once the topic is even brought up. We must realize that this is something ordained by Allah azza wa jal and as Believers, we accept it even though we may not understand it. Brothers don’t realize how immature and full of it they appear when they flaunt the permission for multiple wives to sisters. I compare it to a sister flaunting the fact that she doesn’t have to pray jama’ah in the masjid or has a break from salah, it looks that stupid!

    Both genders have issues and this marriage thing in North America is quite a disaster for the most part, but inshaAllah communities will be able to overcome these obstacles.

    Allahu ta’ala a’lam.

    • Avatar

      Ibn Masood

      September 28, 2009 at 9:39 AM

      I agree with this 100%. The married brothers I know who have successfully convinced their first wives about a second wife went and had a proper, mature and serious discussion with them to make sure they lay out all their problems, all possible solutions and expectations.

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    Adib Contractor

    September 28, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    Excellent article Murph! Brothers need to stand up and be men already… and stop saying “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” every 5 seconds.

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      September 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM

      someone give this brother a piece of cake…OHHHH!

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    September 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    I’m happily married, and have a 14-month-old baby daughter. With all my current family responsibilities (which already take up all my time), why would I even fantasize about marrying another woman?

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    September 28, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Excellent post AbdelRahman. I think you hit on a lot of great points mash’Allah.

    I also think that brothers need to realize that if they do, in fact, want more than one wife, that they have to be able to treat each the same way. This means physically, emotionally, etc… I had an interesting discussion with a scholar once about multiple wives (not that I’m interested, but the topic came up). He said it is very difficult to do, especially in this country because like someone had mentioned before, you may be married to one woman both Islamically and legally or through the government and she will get proper health benefits, etc… because she is considered your spouse. But any additional wife that you may choose to have will not receive the same type of benefits (from the government) as your first wife does because she cannot be married to you legally (according to the laws of the land).

    Anyways, marriage is a huge responsibility. Brothers should focus on trying to perfect and be able to provide for their wives in the best manner possible before deciding to get numbers 2…3…and maybe even 4…

    I also agree that some guys may be immature and that may be why some sisters aren’t married. But, and I know you didn’t say that this is the main reason why people aren’t getting married, I believe that petty reasons like culture, what profession someone may be, the physical appearance of a woman are playing a bigger role of why people aren’t getting married. We’re too worried about getting a doctor/lawyer for a husband or a “super model” hijabi for a wife and we waste time and time again searching for these things. We need to all become more mature and realize that yes, physical attraction is necessary, but your spouses inner goodness and their deen is what will insh’Allah allow you to enter Jannah…

  18. Avatar

    AbdelRahman Murphy

    September 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    I did not write this article to address every single issue of marriage. The title was pretty clear in stating one issue and I wrote the article intending to discuss the one issue.

    So for those who are saying that you disagree with the article because:

    1. Women are immature too
    2. Women are fickle and can’t decide what they want
    3. Women are being forced by their parents to marry Dr. Sharukh Khan or Br. Brad Pitt
    4. Everyone always bashes on men

    Then you can disagree, that’s fine, but know that you’re disagreeing with an article that I haven’t written.

    The thesis of this article is “polygamy(or polygyny for those super accurate amongst you) is a sunnah, but when abused or joked about it has negative effects.”

    JAK for the productive comments :-)

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      Adib Contractor

      September 28, 2009 at 11:32 AM


      just kidding ;)

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      Ibn Masood

      September 28, 2009 at 12:42 PM

      Gotcha. JazakAllah khair :D

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      Siraaj Muhammad

      September 28, 2009 at 12:42 PM

      So Murphy, “Are you saying joking about polygyny is bad etiquette in public, or even in private? And while we’re talking about jokes, how about fart jokes when we’re on long journeys to Memphis? Can we do that again, or is that out of the question? ;)


      • Avatar


        July 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        I thought it said somewhere in the Sunnah that you can’t laugh at people who fart because everyone farts. I know because I stopped joking after that.

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2009 at 4:29 PM

      “Women are being forced by their parents to marry Dr. Sharukh Khan or Br. Brad Pit”

      LOL. I actually married Dr Sharukh Khan (not his real name, neither first nor last name, but it his profession), although, alhumdulillah, it wasn’t forced, but more instigated by Dr Khan himself and his family.

      I am pedantic, so I will call it polygyny, but if my husband came out with the second wife joke/threat (both of which are sick and not in a good way!), I would begin to have second thoughts on my husband’s loyalty and faithfulness towards me. I would like to think I am an average Muslim woman, and therefore every woman would harbour insecurities if such a sick joke was made to her by her husband. Think of it this way…this is the only man she wants and loves and the one with whom she shares her hopes, desires and sorrows and when that same man tells her even as a joke that he’s thinking of taking up another wife, then imagine how she feels. Rejected, unwanted, low self-esteem (if she doesn’t suffer from it already for whatever reason due to the media), inadequate and depressed.

      To be honest, such jokes and threats, I believe, are probably sinful. And any men who subject their wives to this kind of treatment will be accounted for abuse by Allah, ESPECIALLY if their wives are protecting themselves and being modest and are righteous. So seriously, it’s important to watch what you say to your spouse.

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    Abdul At-Tawwaab

    September 28, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    AsSalaamu Alaikum,
    There needs to be on both sides an intense and extensive study and understanding of Islamic polygny. Such a thing is a great responsibility which is not easy. Marriage itself is not an easy undertaking. Dealing with people other than yourself is not an easy undertaking. Somehow as humans we find ways how to do it. Alhamdulillah, as muslims, we have the Reminder, the Qur’an to instruct us on the matter. We must understand and really internalize that we will be judged and taken in account for our deeds, decisions and intentions. So play with polygny if you want and marry more than one sister and have them all on welfare, kids hating you, worse than that you’ll have to deal with Allah as well. At the same time, sisters, and their families understandably set high standards for marriage, but you have to look and give some brothers a chance. There are good brothers in college abstaining from fornication and adultery though it encompasses because of a knowledge that Allah encompasses it all and is watching which direction they will take. Being poor is something to an extent that cannot be helped,but women and families should recognize a person’s struggles and determination in looking for a husband. The Qur’an says and I’m paraphrasing that Allah will provide for you. At the same time one should also Praise their Lord and tie their camel. So may be having the 20000 dollar wedding is not wise but rather having the small banquet at the masjid where you feed the poor as well as the rich and get the baraka for both as newly weds is a better treatment. and if you are the poorest, take some of that food for yourself. That’s marriage, now mind you , this is coming from a brother intended who is poor spending on a moderately expensive wedding but Allah has made the feat easy for me Alhamdulillah.
    Marriage is on a case by case basis all should cases should be applied to the laws regarding marriage and should be based on condition, that is exactly why men and women should be realistic about their prospects and not settle but be real. Will Smith, albeit handsome and wealthy is not muslim. But pious Amir is working at the walgreens while finishing his pharmacy degree, he wants to marry chaste Mariam to so that he can complete his deen and abide by the laws of Islam. They may start out poor but would you rather he settle for fornication with Judith the hairdresser who persistently stops at the pharmacy register to buy her Reeses to harass the brother with her indency (rather normal in North American society) because she thinks he looks like Mekhi Phifer. And Mariam should she wait forever? Are we doing the best that we can as human beings? When can we depend on Allah? Doesn’t Allah increase and straiten His proven as He wills?
    In regards to polgyny, reality is many brothers and sisters together are immature about the matter. If you can’t take care of one wife, why try two?But as prophecized there are a lack of brothers for sisters in mere numbers. And some sisters have to settle with the non praying rich brother who likes her because He reminds her of Talisa Soto, which makes her feel she should have been wearing niqab all the time. As a brother, I realize the pickings are slim for sisters. I have an extreme distaste for the thought that really really really pious muslim sisters will have to settle for Joe Schmoe from the village ( nothing against him of course unless he’s not a good brother that will treat her like crap). If you are practicing polygny keep your wives happy under Islam and wives don’t be a burden on the brother because while you may be jealous because you have to share, he has to deal with both or all of you and that’s not easy. If his intentions was pure in marriage of his second wife then be happy that you accepted it, you may have played a part in saving one of your sisters from being in an abusive relationship with a fool or saved her from fornication, or adultery or some other indecency, take your pick developed in our modern day society. And Brothers, including myself although I have no intention to enjoin in polygamy, fear Allah and marry for the right reasons and prepare for marriage. Living in the U.S we play till we’re old but life isn’t a game. Don’t play with your life or others lives especially if you’re planning on bringing children into the world. I’m ranting but I have a real problem with our condition as a muslims and as a people. I’m working on myself and community and making constant dua about my condition that of my community especially in terms of marriage All in all be realistic and judge and way properly by the Qur’an. Make istikhara and fear Allah. We will have to answer for this stuff so don’t take it lightly. May Allah be pleased with us and bless us to be of the grateful inshaAllah.

    AsSalaamu Alaikum

    • Avatar


      November 8, 2009 at 10:56 PM

      your reply is good but a little off topic.

  20. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    men nead to be domesticated and house broken

  21. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    I don’t think the “threat” of polygyny is really a threat. I say this half-jokingly, but most guys gain 10-15 pounds after marriage anyway, so it’s not like they’ll be getting proposals left and right from prospective 2nd wives.
    In actuality, because of the high rate of divorce these days, I think it would be more of a concern for the wife that the husband remain with her, instead of marrying in addition to her.

    Regarding immaturity, I blame it on the media and culture these days. I noticed with many guys in our generation, that they have to be constantly entertained. They always have to be laughing, making some sort of Simpsons/Family-Guy type jokes. Because of this attitude, they’ll make jokes that are inappropriate and not befitting of a mature muslim to say.

  22. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    September 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    To this, the brother’s wife chimed in, “So wait, on top of my family responsibilities and my social and dawah responsibilities, now I’m supposed to worry that when my husband goes out by himself, or even with me, that he’ll be scoping out for another wife? That’s depressing.”

    Salaam alaykum Murph,

    Since this sister’s question is in reference to my article, please tell her that my answer is no, she shouldn’t worry about her husband scoping out a second wife, but rather, due to a man’s nature and desire for more women, the wish is generally there, and the purpose of the article (this one) is to provide sisters with tips on how to keep the marriage outstanding from their perspective – from a sisters perspective, I would think always having her husband’s heart focused on her would be of prime importance.

    And of course, if his heart is focused on her, then we know his actions will follow, in kindness, gifts, and other small ways that will make her happy. And, as a happy bi-product, you can be one of those sisters who, when she hears about another marriage class/conference/halaqah on how men can be better husbands, you can say, “Pffft, my man is an amazing husband.” Why? Because behind that great man is what? A great woman, a wise woman, a proactive woman who doesn’t wait for things to happen – she takes control and forges her own path to happiness.


    PS – yeah, once a month maybe a bit much, customize it to your own situation.

  23. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    The article was an enjoyable read. Looking forward to more such articles. The brothers really have no idea about how a woman’s mind works! :)

  24. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Wonderful article.

    I don’t understand the comments that are trying to explain the necessity or hukm for polygyny. I don’t think the author was questioning its validity or purpose.

    I totally agree though that the Sunnah should be respected, and that grunting and high fiving at the thought of more than one wife is DEFINITELY not how the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalaam would have reacted, or any of the sahabas.

    To be fair, it’s likely that boys act more barbaric and immature abt this topic only when they are in the presence of other men. Just as women are more likely to act offended abt the topic when surrounded by other women. It’s just natural and people like to put on a show. We’re all programmed to believe that men are dying to have many women in their life. And also that women are jealous and possessive of their husbands. Is that always the case? No. But when we’re in large groups, it’s definitely the majority opinion.

  25. Yaser Birjas

    Yaser Birjas

    September 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Marriage therapist and Rabbi Gary Neuman in his book about cheating men “The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It” (Which can be translated from an Islamic point of view to: Why Men Play and Start Looking for a Second Wife…) – of course not making cheating equal to marrying a second wife at all- but just to draw an analogy, the author researched more than 25,000 responses of 200 men cheaters and non-cheaters in order to understand the reason why men do what they do.

    The statistics the author provides, assert that its not all about pleasure or pursuing a perfect female shape. The revolutionary discovery -which appeared on Opera, Good Morning America and other leading programs last year- showed that men did so, because they felt emotionally dissatisfied, and the number one reason for that was feeling under appreciated.

    The Messenger of Allah, pointed that out clearly when he said “Yakfurna al-Asheer..” i.e. denying the virtue of their husbands, and that if a man did everything for his wife and then she saw something negative from him she would declare she had never seen a good day in her life with him. Now that it is very depressing for married men, but for singles? I don’t know how much they would know about it, and until they arrive there, they will continue think of it as a humorous topic.

    Not denying that some men would probably be after the pleasure of it, but they are not majority. And even if they choose a young woman for a second wife, they still do it hoping she would appreciate them for their exceptional generosity before anything else. For many men, whether we believe it or not or like it or not, the availability of the wife at home is a show of appreciation, and that’s why the second wife proposal gets mixed up with the idea of lust and desire.

    At the same time I cannot deny the right of marrying a second wife for those who have the right circumstances to do so, and there is no better circumstances than having the support of the first wife. Unfortunately we have inherited the cultural bias against a second wife just like we did against the marriage to a relative, arranged marriage, marrying a convert, marrying cross culture or any other biases. When it comes to marrying a second wife for the virtue of following the sunnah, few people I met in my life who did marry a second wife for that reason and if they claimed so then it only happened by default of marrying a second not by the virtue. So let us keep the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah above this discussion. This one here is only a depiction of a painful reality. I believe the whole issue is no more than a personal choice that results in owning its serious consequences.

    As for the subject of a second wife, if you are single, please wait and leave it for those who are already married to solve it on their own. For now, just mind your own single life until you get married.

    • Avatar

      Abdul At-Tawwaab

      September 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM

      JazakAllahu Khairun.

      • Avatar

        Abdul At-Tawwaab

        September 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

        In reading your comment, I realize that I have spoken out of turn. May Allah forgive me for my rant inshaAllah.

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      Ibn Masood

      September 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

      JazakAllah khair for putting me in my place Sheikh :D

    • ibnabeeomar


      September 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM

      jazakallahu khayr!

    • Amad


      September 29, 2009 at 1:30 AM

      excellent mashallah.

      I do wonder though that the researcher in this case drew upon men who probably have had quite a few relationships… is it possible that as you have more women, the lust (excitement) part actually gets old and replaced by other “deeper” reasons. In other words, does this study totally apply?

  26. Avatar

    Br Ali

    September 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Jzakallah, taken some very useful tips from this article.

  27. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Well written article, MashAllah.

    And Jazakah Allahu Khairan Shaykhanah, Sh Yasir for your insightful advice.

    The issue here was addressing the maturity of males and one such topic certain brothers don’t discuss or refer to in a proper, mature way is that of polygny. Whether we agree with polygamy or not that is a different story (read Sh. Birjas’s comment above) but I think the focus of the article is maturity of some brothers. As a sister, I can relate to the article in the sense that yes sometimes we find many actions and statements of the brothers (done out loud so blantantly in circles of knowledge and more serious atmospheres) immature and that just dismisses the idea of marriage on the spot. Looking at it from the perspective that when we want to look for a spouse someone who will take care of us and our family, someone who we will need their advice, wisdom and feedback, someone who our relationship with affects our hereafter..its a liitle beyond the jokes about a second wife or the silly comments made here and there.

    However, don’t get me wrong I do also believe and find that at times we sisters can be immature in our own manner and with regards to other such topics and by no means am only pointing out the negative manners of the brothers. I am open to reading articles and posts regarding that topic also.

    Sometimes when articles such as these are written, brothers may feel as if such comments are demeaning to their manhood and/or hurting their ego and will automatically respond on the defensive. Yet, we should all be open to criticism because how else are we going to better ourselves and refine our character if we see it as flawless, if we don’t see the problem? The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have it.

    • Avatar

      Calcutta Express

      September 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM


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      A brother

      September 29, 2009 at 7:08 AM

      Give me a break. Immaturity? Be honest now, the reasons sisters remain unmarried are: the brother isn’t tall enough, the brother doesn’t have enough money, the brother isn’t from “back home”, THE BROTHER HAS A BEARD (!!!!!), the brother dresses like a muslim, the brother isn’t cute enough (mashaAllah). Its gotten to the point that I don’t feel sorry in the least for all the unmarried and “looking” sisters because of the pettiness I see coming out of them.

      There are also a lot of feminism issues with women, especially in America. These articles that blast brothers left and right (coming from a brother himself makes this article extra shameful) are embarrassing.

      • Avatar


        September 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM

        Yes immaturity. There are other reasons that just because you are unaware of does not mean they do no exisit. I understand there may be some sisters that do reject on such petty things but lets not generalize, because there are many sisters out there that aren’t married and not because of your reasons. Lets try to be a bit more corteous to each other.

        • Avatar

          A brother

          September 29, 2009 at 12:52 PM

          With all due respect, this farce of an article is one big generalization. Makes me wonder if the writer got a pat on the head from his wife for being a nice boy.

          This talk of “immaturity” is facetious and seems to me to be covering up for something else.

          • Avatar

            AbdelRahman Murphy

            September 29, 2009 at 5:53 PM

            With all due respect, this farce of an article is one big generalization. Makes me wonder if the writer got a pat on the head from his wife for being a nice boy.

            This talk of “immaturity” is facetious and seems to me to be covering up for something else.

            And so begin the personal attacks. Verily, reminders are good for the believers:

            49:11 “Oh you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”

            I’ll pray for your forgiveness for attempting to insult me, insha Allah.

            What’s the deal with everyone turning so super aggressive as soon as they’re behind a monitor and a keyboard? We should comment to people like we would comment to their face after praying Jum’uah with them on Friday, not as if we’re trying to take them out with a verbal 1st round KO. Would it have been enough to say “I disagree with this article a lot?” Yes.

            And FYI, my wife is currently a few hundred miles away right now, so she has not yet patted me on the head, though I’d instead appreciate some of the amazing desserts she can make, masha Allah!

          • Avatar

            A brother

            September 29, 2009 at 9:19 PM

            It won’t let me reply to the brother’s post so I’ll reply to mine.

            Yes, I would tell you man to man, akh. I get fed up with the male-bashing that goes on in society and especially on here.

            It is embarrassing to me as a man to see other men stooping to such a level. Masculinity is slowly being eroded and it is sickening.

            Umar Lee had a post about it on his website and I wholeheartedly agree with it. Imam Suhaib Webb also commented on how the male role models in American society (I’m a whitey as I assume you are as well) went from father knows best to Al Bundy and Homer Simpson.

            So, yeah “I disagree with this article a lot”. If you see brothers acting retarded, why did you not correct it with your hand, face-to-face, like a man instead of writing some expose about how your wife thinks men are immature.

            Do you not see the natural ends to this? Single brothers holding 9-5 jobs, living alone, paying the bills, are labeled immature because they joke around with their friends. Whats next? Guys are “immature” because they prefer their wives not work in a mixed environment (or not at all) and want to step up to be a provider? Come on akh. Stop pandering here.

          • Amad


            September 30, 2009 at 12:54 AM

            I’d ask you to be please be more respectful and less personal in your comments in the future. You can disagree in a mature and respectful way and that is the way we try to run MM. If you cannot, then pls refrain from commenting. As the Prophet said (approx), speak good or remain silent.

          • Avatar

            A brother

            September 30, 2009 at 6:32 AM

            Ad-deen an-naseehah

          • Avatar

            AbdelRahman Murphy

            September 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM

            If you read the article as brother-bashing, akhi, then that was your choice. If you read it with an objective view, you’d see that is was actually meant to advise brothers and empower them beyond the Homer Simpson and Al Bundy behavior that is detrimental for the community at large (joking about the sunnah, emotionally toying with their wives, etc). This behavior is not the behavior of men, rather it is the behavior of boys.

            It’s clear that you’ve had some interesting experiences in your life in regards to women and possibly marriage, and that has formed the lenses with which you view such articles as the one that I’ve written above.

            It’s also clear that you have some issues with what the western world has done with the masculinity of the male image. Masculinity isn’t defined by where you live, it’s defined by the sunnah of the Prophet [saw], and the actions of His companions and the righteous predecessors – because they were the manliest of men. And so, if you see this article, which is simply asking brothers to return to Prophetic character in regards to one characteristic that I noticed at a conference, as an article that bashes males and chips away at the masculinity of Muslim males in the west, then I think you may have bigger issues to worry about.

            And by the way, Imam Suhaib, who you indirectly quote, approved and put this article up on his blog, so I’m sure he has no problem with it. If you want you can e-mail him and ask to see if this “farce” of an article is turning men into 1990’s sitcom and cartoon characters.

            And lastly, I worry about the abrasive tone you carry when you speak to your brothers in Islam. You should really work on that. Al Adab Al Mufrad by Imam Bukhari is great, and Islamic Manners by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah is also a gem. Alas, you can indirectly bash on me (or, if you wanna be even more of a man, mentioning my wife in the bashing) all you want; at the end of the day, it’s my farce of an article on the blog that you’re reading, and you’re the one that keeps coming back to comment on it. I Perhaps you should write an article of your own?

          • Avatar


            September 30, 2009 at 7:09 AM

            ad deen an naseeha… true
            but could you imagine the Prophet (S) ever giving naseeha in a mean way?

            so ad deen an naseeha, but the naseeha is to be also the prophetic way.

      • Avatar


        September 30, 2009 at 5:40 PM

        Maybe I should write a sister bashing article next :)

  28. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    I try to be a good guy. I try to be serious and sober, respectful, a hard worker, dedicated, confident, and serious about the Deen.

    When I hear young Muslim men are “immature”, I find that very disrespectful and hurtful.

    • Avatar

      AbdelRahman Murphy

      September 28, 2009 at 1:03 PM

      There was no blanket statement saying that “young Muslim men are immature.”

      The article was highlighting certain behavior that is prevalent amongst certain groups of young Muslim men, unfortunately amongst aspiring students of knowledge, and was giving advices in regards to those who partake or who know of those who partake in such activities and habits.

      Everyone cool? ;-)

      • Avatar


        September 28, 2009 at 2:13 PM

        I didn’t mean in your article. I meant in general, I hear this kind of language very often. Comments like “If only these men are real men”. Its incredibly demeaning. At one level, you’re at work, genuinely trying to lower the gaze, not cursing, not being silly, not being childish, and then someone says this stuff to you.

        Had it not been for my self-control, I would say “or when women are real women”, but its not allowed to go that way.

    • Avatar

      A brother

      September 29, 2009 at 7:12 AM

      I agree. Feminist rhetoric come from a male is highly embarrassing.

      • Avatar


        September 29, 2009 at 1:31 PM

        I’m actually more comfortable with that, because there are certain pressures that only other men understand and can frame the guidance in a better way. But, calling someone “immature” is just insulting. Saying “You should do this, and refrain from that” is beneficial.

        The topic of gender is controlled by women. This is a backlash because of legitimate concerns of the treatment of women in the Muslim world- which we SHOULD be against. (ie There’s no excuse for acid attacks or domestic violence. Those people should be punished after trial in an Islamic court)

        But, let me give an example of what I’m talking about. Its completely acceptable (and should be) for Muslim women to “demand their rights” from their husbands. No one should disagree with that whatsoever, because it is their right which Allah has given them. But, I dare any male speaker to tell men to “demand their rights” from their wives. See what will happen. If at most, they’ll ask him to curb his language. Having said that, in my marriage life, I’m looking to fulfill my obligations to the T and forget about my own rights- I hope she does the same.

        Another issue is Covering. Don’t get me wrong, no one should ever harm a woman based on how she dresses. But there’s the notion that Women should not have to cover because Men should just not be pigs. This is exactly the kind of disrespectful language I’m talking about. Its not about being a “pig”, they just don’t understand that even that one accidental glance at an attractive lady has a powerful effect on us. If you have an issue with that, take it up with the one who created us. Wearing proper clothing really helps us out.

        I know I’m venting. I’ll stop now.

        • Avatar


          September 29, 2009 at 2:30 PM

          Its not about being a “pig”, they just don’t understand that even that one accidental glance at an attractive lady has a powerful effect on us. If you have an issue with that, take it up with the one who created us.

          Words of wisdom, for those who will listen.


      • Avatar

        ibn Saad

        December 16, 2010 at 6:27 AM

        LOL, well said :)

  29. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    I’m going to re-paste everything you said, but counterpart all the male addresses with female ones. Tell me how it sounds when you see the other side of the spectrum.

    About the issue of maturity: I dont think that the sisters are immature by nature.. they do retarded stuff indeed.. but that is just their nature… and I dont think that this should be held against them.

    Women love attention. Even the woman in her house loves attention. The baby-girl in her infancy loves attention. The child in her childhood craves attention. It is the way our DNA structured, so dont blame us for it.

    Of course the level of immaturity various and its not all accepted. But I dont think that brothers should judge a book by its cover. That is not very smart.

    Brothers, just keep in mind that being mature and funny [I’d like to insert “and hold it back most of the time’ for the ladies] in the same time is difficult .. lol

    Women in general are responsible, mature, and trustworthy. We act like real women when the situation requires us to act like women…. but we are also fun, are playful, and comedians when we want to… this is our package.. take it or leave it… that is your option :)

    Single sisters all over the world…. don’t be boring .. don’t be all serious all the time… be who you are… and stand up for your right to be….. immature every once and a while :)


    Though I know you were joking, and I’m not at all offended by your post, you can see how it might look to some sisters out there. Just fyi. Take it with a grain of salt.

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2009 at 2:03 PM

      sounds awsome, I take sense of humor very seriously, I would have not liked my wife at all if she was not funny and jolly.

  30. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    September 28, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    This is something I actually wanted to ask, but either my question was deleted by a mod or I didn’t click submit properly.

    Is it really fair to expect brothers to adopt this mature attitude towards marriage before they have actually experienced it? The brothers who are always saying that marriage is tough, a responsibility etc, are always the ones that are married. Are married brothers forgetting what they used to be like before marriage, or am I mistaken? I have yet to meet an unmarried brother who has not cracked a marriage joke…

    Don’t get me wrong, it is no doubt good to advise us so we are psychologically prepared beforehand… but is it realistically acceptable for sisters to be expecting brothers to be outrightly mature before they’ve experienced the responsibility of marriage? Because as far as I can see, the attitude change occurs through experience.

    • Avatar

      Siraaj Muhammad

      September 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM

      I think the sisters are just jealous because we tell funnier jokes and we got one over on them with the polygyny thing. So how do they respond?

      “You hurt my feelings, I’m not going to marry you now!”

      That’s male-female communication in nutshell. If they just had better jokes and one over they could hold on the brothers, they’d simply batter us senseless with better jokes when we high-five on the polygyny stuff.

      I think a council of really hilarious sisters need to get together and put some funny material together. The one(s) who did that snagabeardedmozlem blog should be included. Or maybe some sisters could make shura with Baba ‘Ali on better and funnier material.


      • Avatar

        already snagged a bearded mozlem.

        September 28, 2009 at 2:08 PM

        totally agree.

        us sisters should have a counterpart of baba ali.. but just in writing.. no video haha

        and no were not jealous of the boys usually lame jokes but i agree.. we should take things lightly.. sisters can sometimes get too serious but we cant help it…

        but lets all remember, funny lasts longer..

        if it didnt.. i wouldnt have married my husband. (who btw makes terrible jokes)

      • Avatar

        Ibn Masood

        September 28, 2009 at 2:12 PM

        Lol Siraaj that was hilarious

      • Avatar


        September 28, 2009 at 2:27 PM

        – 1

        Only cuz brothers won’t know our sense of humor, since that is something only our Mehrams are allowed an access to…

        so really what are you talking about when u claim that we lack sense of humor? Excuse us for carrying ourselves in public the way Allah swt and his Messenger (pbuh) asked us to.

      • Avatar

        Siraaj Muhammad

        September 28, 2009 at 2:41 PM

        Hidaya, very simple – when a polygyny joke is cracked, there’s really no comeback, just stewing – oh darn, they won again. I’m not saying you ought to get up and be a stand up comedian, but y’know, I have heard sisters read some really inspirational and humorous material in a dignified manner at the conference murphy was referencing, and we laughed at the jokes, and enjoyed the material.

        I’ll give you a +1 anyway.


      • Avatar


        September 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM

        Wow. Telling brothers not to be funny is not at all what we want. But then that’s the whole issue, isn’t it? What Women Want ( not the movie).

        What I was trying to say is to just tone it down. I admit, I laugh at them. But as the brother said, when you hear the same jokes being recycled by the same brothers (for the most part) over a short amount of time, one wonders “Is this it?” Its becoming roadkill, a “been there, done that”.

        But I definitely agree with you and sister “already snagged a bearded mozlem” (LOL) about sisters taking things too seriously. Personally I would die – okay that’s over the top, but life would be dull – if I married a man with no sense of humor. With that being said I don’t want someone to guffaw every time the words “Second” and “wife” are used simultaneously.

      • Avatar


        September 29, 2009 at 11:15 AM

        Haha. Siraaj i used to think that you were a dead-serious chap, but you’ve made two cracking comments in this thread already!

        And in any case, you are 100% right.

      • Avatar


        October 21, 2009 at 9:08 AM

        Don’t make us do it akhi. lol

        Sisters can get a lot if they work for it… :)

        – pun intended.

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2009 at 2:29 PM

      While the lack of maturity w.r.t cracking marriage jokes is overblown, in my opinion, what is more concerning is what another poster commented on – the lack of gravitas and proper bearing amongst all young Muslims these days.

      Whereas the good ‘practicing’ Muslims of yesteryear (our parents’ generation) would have a dignified bearing, our generation cracks jokes all the time, spend their free times making friendly digs at each other, are in a perpetual quest for entertainment, and generally act in what amounts to immature behavior.

      This is true of both the men and the women in my experience. I am guilty of this too, unfortunately.

      • Avatar


        September 28, 2009 at 3:27 PM

        The point was how some brothers joke and poke fun at the polygamy fantasy..I highly doubt the people of the sahaba would high five a brother whenever word of a 2nd or 3rd wife came up…that’s really immature to make such an important and serious matter a joke or something giddy-ful. Out of respect for sisters, in public especially, some brothers need to tone it down jus a notch.. And please dont get me wrong, just because some sisters don’t like joking and laughing about the issue,does not mean we are against it.

        and I agree immaturity & humor do NOT intertwine. there are lots of hilarious brothers out there are sisters..maybe some don’t see that many funny sisters who would roll on the floor and laugh at a polgamy joke because it does concern them and they have to be emotionally ready for it (and they do have haya..come on now). Leave it to the experienced ones to talk.

        • Avatar

          Abu Rumaisa

          September 29, 2009 at 9:46 AM

          the sahabas didn’t have to joke or high-five abt it as the practise was a norm in their times. Bros joke abt it as they very well know that’s the only thing they can do when it’s comes to polygamy… it’s wishful thinking on their behalf & they know it (unless they come from the Khaleej).

        • Avatar


          September 30, 2009 at 11:38 AM

          that’s great, but it’s just a reminder for brothers to do that joking in private where there are no sisters, that’s all. :)

  31. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    About the overall post, I agree (if you didn’t already know). As Br. Murphy said, this is simply one factor affecting the whole single psyche.

    I want to go off on a little rant, so please bear with me. I admit to once being one of those staunchly against polygamy/polygyny. I am in no way denying its legitimacy within Islam, nor looking down on those who take part in it, not at all a’oodhu billaah. It was one of those stereotypical, socially based “over my dead body” answers to a recognized taboo (others include, as Shaykh Yaser mentioned, arranged marriages and cousin-cousin stigma) within American society. How did I get over it? One of my friends, may Allaah reward her, changed my outlook with a single statement: “Would you rather your husband commit zina?” My reaction was O_O . I was shocked to say the least. I, for one, would not want for my husband to fall into haram, na’oodhu billaah, even if it comes to that. Sure I could say “well divorce me then marry her” but is that really an answer? I think not, but Allaah Knows Best.

    W’Allaahu A’lam.

    Jazaak Allaahu khayr for a great read. May Allaah bless you in your marriage and keep you both steadfast on His Path. Ameen thumma ameen.

    • Avatar


      November 9, 2009 at 11:43 AM

      Why do people always assume muslim men are soo weak that they would fall into haram by committing zina if they are not able to marry more than one wife? I mean, a wife not wanting her husband to remarry is not the only reason a man may not be able to engage in polygyny; he may very well know that he would not be able to afford it, he may know he has a problem about fairness, he may not even be able to get another woman to agree to marry him, are all these hindrances enough reason for a woman to worry that her husband may commit zina? even when its not her ‘fault’ that the man has to be with only her? And why would a man who never committed zina before getting married at all start getting tempted to do it just because he could not have more women the halal way?

  32. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    September 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    I’m not sure what the correlation is, but the brothers I have seen who are the most active in doing da’wah with weak/non-practicing Muslims (and the most successful at it too), always have had some of the silliest sense of humor I’ve ever seen. Most Muslims see our crowd as the serious and condescending type, so maybe they’re forced to develop it… Allahu Alam.

    • Avatar

      Adib Contractor

      September 28, 2009 at 3:21 PM

      I know, but you implied that brothers had to sometimes be immature to be funny. Don’t agree with that. I don’t think immaturity is ever funny.

      It’s possible that you’re being a little vague with your semantics too. Perhaps we have to define what immaturity is.

  33. Avatar

    Twinkle Twinkle

    September 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    I completely agree. Many brothers end up being rude and offensive when they try to be funny. This is wrong and unislamic. An example of someone who is REALLY funny (mashAllah) and doesn’t step over the bounds is Nouman Ali Khan. May Allah bless us with his sense of humor :)

  34. Avatar

    Adib Contractor

    September 28, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    As a general response to the issue of polygyny: I believe that in these times, with the situation of the Muslims here in this country, that those who do wish to practice it and have the means, prioritize who they marry. I think men should think of the good of the Ummah when taking something like this into consideration.

    I have heard sooooo many cases of divorcees, widows, many with multiple children, not finding husbands after their first. Many are converts that had to divorce their husbands or were kicked out, or had deadbeat Muslim husbands that were not good to them. So, many of them are in shelters, or on welfare, moving about, staying with friends… could you think of the impact on the children? Recently, a sister here in NJ with 7 children was evicted from her home, and Alhumdulillah Durbah was able to find her a temporary place to live until she could move into a friends place. And she was in this situation because her husband did not provide for them, even though his young son found his wallet stuffed with thousands of dollars!

    So, advice for the brothers who have the means and wish to practice this: Think of the bigger picture. Yes, it is perfectly halal for you, but when you choose, choose wisely and for the good of the society. I think these sisters deserve to be cared for, and no sister should be left alone like this, especially with children. Every sister should have someone to care for her.

    Sure, she may have to give up some rights, but some of the wives of the Prophet even did this. Is it better to have a man in your life, or be alone? I think most of the sisters would agree that the first option is better, with some limited rights.

    Just my opinion, as an Insha’Allah soon-to-be-married brother, who definitely does not have the means to support two families :D But for those who do, I ask you to be men and feel for the Ummah in all your affairs.

    • Avatar

      Ahmad AlFarsi

      September 28, 2009 at 3:52 PM

      Just my opinion, as an Insha’Allah soon-to-be-married brother

      btw akhi, I just heard the news from my wife this wkend. congrats! may Allah put much barakah in your coming marriage, and allow you to exemplify the mature yet humorous husband :) . Amin!

  35. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Alhamdulillah Siraaj’s comment goes to show sisters are still modest :)

    Sisters are funny with each other, and brothers don’t even realize that they’re funny. Perfect.

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2009 at 4:05 PM

      Being funny is one thing, having a good comeback something else. You should hold a sisters only Q & A at IlmFest this weekend w/Baba ‘Ali about how sisters can take brothers down a few notches when they make polygyny jokes. Honestly, I’d welcome the creativity.

      Instead, we have a brother writing in on your behalf, complaining in proxy – I know the sisters can do better than this.

      I actually have a daughter who I’m raising to not take guff like this from guys (good idea for a future parenting article, insha’Allah)


      • Avatar


        September 28, 2009 at 4:14 PM

        Brothers can continue to make their lame polygyny jokes, quite frankly, I could care less and I know most sisters don’t care either.

        The ratio of brothers who make these jokes and those who actually go through with it are about slim to none.

        Maybe the jokes help ease the pain that they’ll never get a second, third or fourth wife.

        • Avatar


          September 28, 2009 at 4:16 PM

          If sisters didn’t care, why the article on how sisters are distressed and upset by it? I thought that was the whole point?


          • Avatar


            September 28, 2009 at 4:28 PM

            don’t care about lame polygyny jokes and concocting a comeback.

          • Avatar


            September 28, 2009 at 4:38 PM

            Oh yeah, I agree they don’t care about making a comeback, that’s why I think they’re so distressed (title of the article) about polygyny jokes.

            I know, I know, empathy, not solutions. +1 to Murphy, -1 to Siraaj


          • Avatar


            September 28, 2009 at 4:44 PM

            You do realize that it was a brother who wrote the article? Now sisters aren’t distressed at the polygamy as much as the immaturity of the brothers.

            And to tell you the truth this isn’t a male vs female comedy showdown, this is a serious topic to be addressed.

            As for humor and maturity, having a sense of humor is part of someone’s personality and in my opinion is a great trait. Being immature isn’t a personailty trait, anybody has the potential for being immature if they cross the boundaries of humor and make obnoxiously silly comments, or laugh too much or you get the picture. Thus it is quite possible and quite encouraged for brothers and sisters to be funny but make the jokes at the right times, right places, with the right people, and with right topics. After all, immaturity is the lack of hikma.

          • Avatar


            September 28, 2009 at 5:11 PM

            jazaaki Allahu khayran Rana :)

            Immaturity is the lack of hikmah.


          • Avatar


            September 28, 2009 at 7:25 PM

            Very nice article, Murphy. I find it amusing, rather than offensive, at how immature the single brothers are about the topic of polygamy (with the fist slams and what not), but I can see how it can be highly annoying to sisters who are single and looking to this pool for a potential life-partner. My advice to these sisters is that they do outgrow it after they get married. Marriage is indeed about growing. I think that post-marriage there is a lot of potential for both husband and wife to mature in their attitudes toward this subject, but in reality the only thing we ever see flaunted in public is comments and high-fives of those single bros =) I think polygamy has an unfortunate taint to sisters b/c of this and it would be nice to hear more mature, longer-married couples (especially women) talk about it about why they might be mellow about it. And I mean really, guys, if you truly have any hope of ever doing it don’t goon out about it when one of the women watching might be your possible future-wife!

            I also found that brother’s comment about the wife reinventing herself *coughs* rather unusual! I guess it works for some women (Madonna?) =) but overall I think rather than reinventing herself a woman just needs to take care of the skin she’s in (and hubby should too) and most men are satisfied with that.

          • Avatar


            October 10, 2010 at 1:44 AM

            to comment on a year old article/comment….I agree, why take these seriously at all? Sisters: 1) thank Allah profusely you’re not married to the dude 2) Remember that Alhamdulillah, you live in Amreeka, he’s not your cousin, and your dad isn’t forcing you to marry him 3) if hes under 40 hes still a shabb, cut him some slack. He still has twenty years left to grow up. :)

            Now when it comes to real funny and not immaturity…which we don’t have a clearcut definition for,but oh welll.)

            We’ve learned that comedians have a great potential (cue john stewart and colbert) in bringing important (always controversial) issues to the surface. You don’t have to be on parliament or senate, 50 years + (or act like it), to garner effective solutions for important (societal and other) issues. Actually books (well at least one book: why right brainers will rule the future ) are finding that people with a sense of humor and other right-brain employed skills are starting to become more of a demand. Its not all about logical, serious, black and white, left-brain thinkers anymore. Its more of a balance between both ways of thinking/acting.

        • Avatar


          September 28, 2009 at 10:22 PM

          “Maybe the jokes help ease the pain that they’ll never get a second, third or fourth wife.”


          best comment

          I agree with above comments that a sense of humour goes 2 ways. If people are joking around I don’t think it necessarily shows immaturity but might just be a way of stress relief or “male bonding”. Sisters should show their own sense of humour in some way as shown by sister Amatullah here.

      • Avatar

        Iesa Galloway

        September 28, 2009 at 10:54 PM

        Siraaj, that is awesome! Insha’Allah I will follow suit with my daughter as well.

        I think that our examples as parents are the most important lessons for our kids… May Allah help us in our actions at home and in public!

        BTW – The article was really an enjoyable read, the brother did a great job.

  36. Avatar

    Calcutta Express

    September 28, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    Everyone is unique in their own way. When we generalize we tend to take away the creativeness that makes us special. Our spouse will probably love us for things others despise us for :)

  37. Avatar

    AlyB - DiscoMaulvi

    September 28, 2009 at 4:18 PM


    Jazak’Allah Khair for a great article (and all of you for great

    I can’t understand how anyone can find time for two women. I can’t seem to find time properly from work, social activities, etc for one! If I married again I would need a 36 hour day (and work twice as much too).


    Check out my blog:
    Catch me on Twitter:

  38. Avatar

    Hassan Suboh

    September 28, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    Call me a stickler, but:

    Polygyny = man having more than one wife at a time

    Polygamy = man or woman having more than one spouse at a time

  39. Avatar

    Ibn Masood

    September 28, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    I don’t see silly humor as a sign of immaturity… some of the brothers who have some very silly humor are some of the most accomplished (deen and dunya) brothers I have ever met. That’s bold for a reason. And as I mentioned earlier up, they are also the same ones who have had the greatest impact on their community that I have ever seen. I know for sure that some of the jokes I crack/laugh at… I would rather lock myself in a cupboard for a week rather then let a sister hear it lol.

    And I wonder what would happen if I quoted some of the quips I’ve heard that some senior shuyukh in Madinah have used (via instructors). Sisters would be confused if they are already finding what was mentioned in the article as immature.

    Methinks this may be a case of sisters not understanding brothers (and vice versa). Sure some brothers do it more than others (and maybe the students of knowledge amongst them should turn it down a bit as per the quotes in Shaykh Abu Zayd’s book on Hilyat-At-Talibul-Ilm) But guaranteed almost every single brother finds a joke about women or food much more hilarious than any woman ever will. It’s just the difference that exists between the genders.

    Therefore, this may be more of an issue of the brothers not necessarily changing their attitudes, but realizing that sisters are sensitive to it and so therefore you wouldn’t enjoy the joke when present with sisters in the same way you would when only with brothers. It’s like making a ‘mushrikin are najis joke’ out loud and laughing loud about it, while in an office meeting at work… you just wouldn’t do it.

    So this seems to come down to the fact that maybe we brothers are not fully realizing the difference between the genders as much as we should, and that some sisters are just much more sensitive than we are.

    Random thoughts… WAllahu Alam.

  40. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Assalama ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

    Masha’Allah, good article. Considering the high divorce rate in the Muslim communities, you’d think spouses/or all folks would be more focused on fixing that one first marriage, or making it prosper a tad bit more. The brothers and sisters discussing/maybe even joking about polygamy may all be single, and haven’t seen the difficulties, hardships, and great responsibilities of marriage.

    For a brother, having to financially cater to your wife, children, etc and then on top of that to deal with all the emotional situations of spouse, it might just change their outlook on this topic.Indeed, its a beautiful sunnah and done accurately and with the right intentions, it surely has its rewards.

    Wa’alaykuma Salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

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    September 28, 2009 at 8:37 PM

    “Immaturity is the lack of hikmah.”- Rana06

    This was seriously gold. I think the point of this article, and someone please tell me if I’m wrong, is that a lot of sisters find a lot of the brothers’ joking/comments to be immature, and the way a lot of brothers react to the whole polygyny topic is just but an example.

    The whole idea is, there are lots of sisters who are completely cool with their husbands/ husbands-to-be marrying a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wife and there are lots of sisters who are not so comfortable. No one is arguing about that, it’s just the idea that sometimes, sisters find it kind of “lame” when brothers keep joking and giggling about the same thing over and over again, and unfortunately, many of these sisters who are unmarried think to themselves, “Is this what Muslim guys really are like?” (And I say this from first hand experience, my own friends have come up to me and said, “I want to get married, but I’m not so sure I’d want to marry a guy who keeps joking all the time about stuff like this.”)

    This is not necessarily because the sisters are not confident about themselves or distressed because they are worried their husbands are going to be scoping out other women, but just because…it gets plain annoying after a while. Imagine a class full of sisters giggling every time a shaykh said, “so and so was a handsome man” or making jokes like “Oh, if I could another guy, I’d want him to be like this and this” (yes I know only polygyny is allowed y’all, JUST giving an example), it would get kiiiiind of annoying and seem somewhat immature and fickle, no?

    Going back to Rana’s comment, as an adult Muslim brother/ sister who is married or who is trying to get married, no one is telling you not to be funny or have a good sense of humor. Nor is this is a competition to see which gender is more humorous. Most sisters love it when their husbands make them laugh and vice versa, whether its through wittiness or silliness. It just comes down to being tactful and using hikmah. A girl (and I’m sure it’s the same with guys) wants her spouse to be funny, but mature.

    At the end of the day, understand that just as a brother doesn’t like hearing his wife talking about husband number 2 if the situation ever arises (ex: “If I could get married again…”), a sister doesn’t quite like hearing her husband talk that way either :)

    Sorry for the rant.

  43. Avatar


    September 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    In defense of my immature brothers. Single sisters just need lower their standards. So brothers, let the polygamist jokes continue!!


    [Yes, I’m married for 1+ years, alhamdulillah and I love my wife]

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    Ibn AbuAisha

    September 29, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum Murph! Masha Allah Awesome article. Yeah, we DESPERATELY need to have the proper Akhlaaq when it comes to such issues. The constant OHHHHHHHHH’s and giggles that we blurt out simply indicate the lack of Fiqh (for lack of a better term) that we brothers have with regards to this particular Sunnah of our Beloved Rasul SalAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. Good Advice. May Allah grant us the Tawfeeq to implement our knowledge. Ameen.

    SubhanAllah, Brothers need to remind themselves (myself included) that part of following the Salaf is also in following their manners – the books of hadeeth show us that the Prophet SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam joked with Jaabir RadiyAllahu Anhu when he heard about his marriage, and how old was Jabir at the time? Some narrations state that Jabir was 15! Yeah, imagine a brother today being mature enough to support a wife at that age! Allahul Musta’aan!

  45. Avatar

    Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

    September 29, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    What a surprise… There are already more than 100 comments.

  46. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    There’s a kid in every man who never dies!
    Some of these comments reminded me of the whole ‘innocent vs. adulthood’ debates. As a sister, I appreciate my husband’s sense of humour and his innocence in our marriage life. I am glad he has that innocence, which is easily lost in this society’s evildoing!

    It’s not about being funny or mature – it’s about being open minded and adjusting as you grow.

    Re: the subject of this post. This is a question for the brothers: If the idea of having a second wife is so enjoyable to you – would you be openminded in marrying a sister who is a) divorced, b) a single-mother, or c) an orphan with no one to look after her?
    Do you even think about them as a possibility of being your second wife or you are thinking of aiming for the young and untouched ones again in your second shot? Shouldn’t they be left for the single ones out there?
    IF my husband could support having a second family, I’d surely encourage him to be a guardian for our sisters who have no one to support them. This really doesn’t make him all ‘giddy’ and silly – but rather pushes him into a contemplating mode, worrying and sad about them whenever the topic is brought up. WaAllahu Musta’an.

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 5:49 AM

      Yes in all seriousness.

  47. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 3:37 AM



    I WOUNDER WHY?????????????????????????

  48. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 6:36 AM

    “Maybe the jokes help ease the pain that they’ll never get a second, third or fourth wife.”

    lol. THIS is gold! A man who jokes about polygyny does so because he has his own insecurities and weaknesses. He knows he will most likely never be married to more than one woman at once. By all means brothers, whatever works for you ;)

    And another point, sisters are NOT distressed about polygyny jokes. Please brothers, don’t big yourselves up! I think the joke says more about you than our reaction does about us. Ever wonder why comedians use humour to hide underlying painful issues? ;)

    Oh and br. Siraaj, I can think of a million and one comebacks to these ‘jokes,’ but my reply would be as lame as the joke itself. I don’t think it’s about sisters not having the right response.

    If my husband joked about polygyny to me, I’d be more concerned that a practicing, almost 28-year-old soon to be father (inshaAllah), thinks this is humorous.

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 7:54 AM

      And another point, sisters are NOT distressed about polygyny jokes.

      Yeah, I agree, and I think the post is simply taking an issue and making it bigger than it really is. I think the post badly misrepresented why sisters at the event under discussion were irritated with brothers – there were many “immature” comments and jokes by brothers not limited to polygyny (and mostly not polygyny), but the post made it seem as though this was such a big deal, and it really wasn’t.

      If my posts have been very tongue-in-cheek, please do forgive me, I believe that our sisters today are above this nonsense. I agree with the general premise that can be derived from the author’s point that one should be sensitive to those around them when making jokes, and understanding if the joke might be offensive, annoying, or distressing to the ones hearing it, but I think the specific issue (polgyny) at the specific event was both mischaracterized (as distressing) as well as overblown (as the sisters were irritated for a whole host of “maturity” issues, some very legitimate). To be fair, there is most likely a great deal of distress caused to married sisters if their husbands threatened them with polygyny.

      I think the author’s wife, if quoted correctly, perhaps sums up my thoughts on this better with two simple words:

      “The sisters would be interested, if they noticed any guys who would act mature. The main complaint I’m hearing on the girls’ side is that the guys aren’t acting like candidates that the girls would be interested in. For example…”

      General problem of maturity pointed out, specific issue then pointed out. And again:

      I think the point of this article, and someone please tell me if I’m wrong, is that a lot of sisters find a lot of the brothers’ joking/comments to be immature, and the way a lot of brothers react to the whole polygyny topic is just but an example.

      I think that should have been the article. Instead, the author concludes:

      And so the Achilles heel of the situation was revealed; the sisters’ allergic reaction to polygamist tendencies.

      And finally, at said event, many of the most immature (I’ll simply define immature in speech as making juvenile comments in a setting not befitting the context) brothers were receiving multiple proposals at the event – I know because I was pulled aside for advice (with one brother til 5am) or happened by brothers figuring out how to deal with the situation on multiple occasions.

      So I don’t even think immature comments from brothers “ruins their game.” It may push away some sisters, but not as asserted. I think it’s a poor motivator – what if a brother is already married and making crude jokes, and high-fiving on polygyny jokes in front of sisters – what’s his motivation?

      Finally, about what sister Amatullah said:

      Brothers can continue to make their lame polygyny jokes, quite frankly, I could care less and I know most sisters don’t care either.

      Completely agree – most sisters don’t really care about these jokes, and it’s really not a big deal.


  49. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    Personally, I don’t find it distressing that a husband makes a polygyny joke. The question is do you, as a woman, have the ability to find it humorous? Of course after marriage I would expect these over-zealous young brothers to refine their neaderthal-like black-slapping into a more mature, witty style that their wives can appreciate as well. After all, a man should be sensitive to his wife. A brother may find that if his wife is not entirely insecure, she has her own good stash of jokes. There’s a whole club of witty married brothers who can mentor the youngsters in this comedic genre.

    For example, “3 Krispy Kreme Donuts for suhoor? That’s not suhoor, that’s suhoor al ain.” That was so golden (Siraaj).

    Or “If hoor al ain really are grapes then the poor guy in the lowest level only gets two grapes but hey, a martyr gets a whole bunch of grapes.” (Liv (can I copyright that, please?) =)

    • Avatar

      AbdelRahman Murphy

      September 29, 2009 at 9:56 AM

      By the way, that conversation wasn’t verbatim, it went something like that.

      Point is, and I think my wife can clarify if she wants, that the main complaint from the sisters’ side (as well as whenever the issue of marriage or polygamy comes up) were two things:

      1. Immaturity – getting over excited and making a scene.
      2. Anxiety – sisters who aren’t married or recently married getting a little anxious about the thought of their husbands wanting more than one.

      The reason that I wrote this article, then, is because in my experience, the majority of sisters (my sisters – their friends, my wife – her friends) that I’ve either interacted with about the subject, or have heard their sentiments on the subject, all agree and point back to two factors in regards to the topic: immaturity of brothers who joke about the subject and anxiety at the thought of their respective husbands expressing interest in the topic.

      A brother may find that if his wife is not entirely insecure

      This may be a follow-up article, and not meaning to call anyone out because I don’t think that this was intentional, but if you even look at the language that brothers (and sisters who are fine with their husbands marrying another wife), it’s borderline condescending.

      Insecurity has negative connotations which include weakness, lack of independence, not confident, shaky, doubting, etc. I don’t think that sisters who feel uncomfortable with jokes about (or the reality of) being a co-wife suffer from insecurity. Rather I think they exhibit natural emotional reactions that women have had for ages, even since the Prophet [saw]. We see this in the episode of Ayesha questioning why the Prophet [saw] would bring up Khadijah [r], calling her an “old woman.” Or when Hafsa made the Prophet [saw] a good meal to eat, and she took a part of it and put it on her face out of jealousy at her cooking ability.

      Would you (general you, not Olivia) reference Ayesha as being someone who is insecure because she exhibited tendencies of jealousy and discomfort when she was reminded that she was a co-wife?

      • Avatar

        Siraaj Muhammad

        September 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM

        but if you even look at the language that brothers (and sisters who are fine with their husbands marrying another wife), it’s borderline condescending.

        Or perhaps a pinch cynical? ;) It’s chicken and egg about which group starts what, but generally speaking, I think conversations and advice on khuluq cuts both ways – whatever side of the discussion you’re on, one should be careful in their language, and I think that’s great advice (which I have improved on, but still have a ways to go on ;)). We ourselves often leave a behavior, practice, or what have you, and we forget when we advise others that we were just there and need more mercy and perhaps less cynicism / condescension in our advice. I wrote about my own failings in khuluq and giving advice here wrt to having manners when teaching / preaching Islam to others.

        Generally speaking, and I’m sorry I’m using this article as a platform, I think the topic of khuluq has become more popular among our younger, aspiring da’ees, but the way the topic of khuluq is delivered needs some khuluq.

        3 Krispy Kreme Donuts for suhoor? That’s not suhoor, that’s suhoor al ‘ayn.

        I won’t expose which brother tweeted that he ate 3 krispy kremes for suhoor, I’ll leave him to do that himself :D


    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 10:18 AM

      All this positive feedback for Siraj, OH I GET IT, you must be his wife ;)

  50. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    1) Immaturity in humor = ok. Immaturity in marriage = not ok.

    2) I think that one of the major problems that most sisters have with polygyny isn’t just that their husband wants a second wife for the purpose of fulfilling a “sunnah.” It’s that they leave out the sunnah of Prophet Muhammed SAWS with regards to marrying divorcees and widows. Instead they usually look for a 2nd wife who is younger with no children.

    3) Another major problem that I think some sisters have is that they fear loss of what they are barely getting(or not getting at ALL) with regards to quality emotional time, provision, and affection.

    4) At some point a brother needs to take responsibility for controlling his own nafs instead of expecting the woman to do it for him. Even if he has 4 wives, there may be some point where all of them are unavailable, uninteresting, or unattractive to him. What is he supposed to do then? Divorce one or all of his wives to find yet another?

    Just my $.02. Allah SWT knows best.

    • Avatar


      September 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM

      Is it really a ‘sunnah’ to marry more then 1? Lot of scholars differ on it being a sunnah and most of them recommend and command to only have one (unless you are from Saudi).

      Also, for 2nd wife fantasy, 95% of married/unmarried men who have fantasies about 2nd wife or other women have it only because of lust. Very few men fantasize on taking divorcee or aged women for them. Traditional Musilm men in the West or East are NOT even just to their first wives so I don’t know why there is a need to address this particular topic at this time. There should be more articles and effort spent on educating men on their responsibilities over their wives first. And not so much on allowing them to fulfill their fantasies under the disguise of ‘sunnah’.

      The problem of so many sisters unmarried also lies with the ‘good’ brothers choose to get married to sisters from back ‘home’. And this phenomena is what causes lot of Western Muslim woman unmarried. So a topic on this needs more important then a topic of 2nd wife.

  51. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    September 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    WRT the topic of polygyny itself, sisters, as sister Amatullah said, virtually none of the men who talk about the topic will ever do so. I’ll share one experience to illustrate. A brother recently came to me and said his wife was cool with him taking a 2nd wife. So I said to him the following:

    1. Will your parents, uncles/aunties, and siblings be cool with it? If not, you’ll have to either tell them, deal with their opposition, and then marry, or you’ll have to do it first, then tell them, and anger them anyway. There’s no way around that.

    2. Are you willing to deal with your first wife’s in-laws?

    3. Are you willing to deal with the fact that most Muslims will ostracize you and your family because they equate it in their minds with adultery?

    4. Are you willing to put in the time and effort to search? Most sisters are not interested, and it’s pretty awkward asking the question. And, you’ll likely be asking her father, not her – you willing to ask a man if he’ll give his daughter to you as a second wife?

    5. Are you willing to deal with the time commitments and financial commitments? Allah provides, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work.

    6. Are you willing to adapt to a completely new person all over again, as you’re still doing now with your current wife?

    7. Are you willing to deal with the potential jealousies of two women, which you didn’t have to earlier? Just because your wife says she’s cool now, doesn’t mean she won’t occasionally not be cool with it.

    8. And most important to most guys, have you considered that at best, the physical relationship will be 1/24th (and most likely not even that much) of your time, the other 23/24ths (~96%) of the time will be managing many of the issues mentioned above among other commitments?

    If you’re ready and willing, and you’ve prayed istikhaarah and feel confident, I told the brother, then go for it. If not, maybe you should re-consider. He looked at me, said he didn’t consider any of that, and said, you know what, “Forget it, I’m happy with one,” right on the spot.


    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 1:03 PM

      Well put akhee…I think the first question should be why do you need(not want) a second wife, “because its Sunnah” is not a valid reason. The prophet(SAWS) did not have multiple wives just cause…
      and if you brothers are desperate for second wives you should all move to South Africa where its OK to marry four wives at the same time

  52. Avatar

    abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    September 29, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    Alhamdolillah alaa kulli haal. Over 130 comments in how many days?

    I think the most useful information from the article is that the women at that conference noticed the men at that conference acting immaturely. (As I recall, at least one shaykh rendered the same opinion.) They did not notice, or at least did not comment openly, on men who were acting maturely.

    There are lots of issues that should be discussed here based on those observations, but polygyny itself is not one of them. Most of the people commenting on that topic will (1) never be in a polygynous relationship wAllaho’Alim and (2) would only enter a polygynous relationship if they would have been willing to enter a monogamous relationship with the same partner.

    The root issues are there in the second factor: what are the qualities that a practicing Muslim woman should look for in a potential husband? What are the qualities that a practicing Muslim man should look for in a potential wife? And what traits (if any) are red herrings, qualities that society (especially kaafir societies) recommends that are a path to unfulfilled expectations?

    A practical step towards true progress for both men and women? Truly seek ihsaan — living as though you perceive Allah watching your actions, or at least living with the consciousness that Allah is watching you. Fear of Allah will improve your behavior on a scorepad that matters even more than your potential spouse’s.

    A second step: The Fiqh of Love. See you in Houston, bi’idhnillah.

  53. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    I think allllll of this discussion here in the comment area is theoretical and thus irrelevant because most of people here are either:
    1. Unmarried
    2. Married but don’t intend to marry a second wife.

    So what is the point in discussing something to death if it cannot even be applied?? If you’re unmarried, then don’t waste your time discussing matters that you can’t possibly understand yet and won’t benefit you in the hereafter. If you are married, then worry about the issue if and when it comes up.

    It can all be summed up in a few sentences like a few people here said:

    The problem stems from the fact that this generation is in constant need of being cool and funny, like it’s a popularity competition. Compare the students of Islamic institutes here who are supposed to be the cream of the crop with those average students overseas who grew up in a different culture. Sorry to say, and I’m saying this as someone who grew up here, you will find overwhelmingly that the students of knowledge overseas act like mature men (and women) and are much more serious in demeanor. And yet outside of the setting of seeking knowledge they are easy-going and have great personalities.

    It’s about muroo’ah (composure). This is the key word in all of this discussion. This is what the religious young people in the west are seriously lacking and need to focus on. BTW: I’m speaking in general as of course there will always be exceptions.

    May Allah help us attain the proper akhlaq. Ameen.

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 2:29 PM

      “It’s about muroo’ah (composure). This is the key word in all of this discussion. This is what the religious young people in the west are seriously lacking and need to focus on. BTW: I’m speaking in general as of course there will always be exceptions.”

      EXACTLY!!! That is the term, muroo’ah…

  54. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM

    Yes, you are right about it coming off as condescending Murphy. And most definitely any woman would be jealous, even ones who are “okay” with it, if it ever happened to them. Ayesha was okay with it, but she was jealous. Any woman would feel insecure to a certain extent within her marriage, wondering how she stacks up to her co-wife (unless they’re some sort of tag-team, which happens).

    However I do think some follow up articles would be interesting. On the one hand you have the condescending, “i’m beyond that” supposedly more wisened and mature married sisters who are “okay” with it who laugh mockingly at the others (to the single/newly wed woman’s perspective) and conversely from the married woman’s perspective you may have single sisters who view them with an attitude that comes off as “that woman must have a passionless marriage/inadequacy to have accepted polygyny” or “she’s abnormal and she’s hiding it” or “she sold-out the female gender so let’s lift our eyebrows at her.” both sides have some tude so maybe we all just need a little more understanding, hm? =)

    By the way, I would tell sisters not to have anxiety about those brothers! As soon as they get married they all make calf-eyes at their one and only wife. =)

  55. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Also, this is a blog, which is meant to be used as a platform for honest and open discussion/debate. I don’t think any one comes to Muslimmatters to seek knowledge (I hope?!?), unless it’s one of the shuyukh’s articles.

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  57. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    I don’t get why men would want to marry more than 1 wife when they know they can’t and won’t treat them equally. I am for polygamy as long as my husband is not the one marrying another woman. I personally can’t handle having my husband every other night.

    Also the men we have today aren’t like those that lived at the time of the prophet (saw).

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM

      Then that’s not being for polygamy.

  58. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Assalaamu’alaikum wa rahmatulllah,

    To begin with, more women remain unmarried because they are unable to find mature, responsible men who are willing to take the role on as the head of the household.

    The primary reason, if any reason, is not because they snicker and laugh when the topic of marrying a second wife comes up. that’s kind of oversimplifying the issue at hand.

    Kudos to Siraaj and his list of questions, because that really puts the issue into perspective, and how serious men are to even take the step. So the question arises, why do guys feel the urge to *even* mention it to others? The fact that guys feel they have “bragging rights” over it is what bothers me. Why joke about it and put women in insecure, vulnerable positions?

    Brothers joking about such a serious topic indicates a larger, more problematic issue–men lacking maturity. I think this quality is a product of this culture, which I don’t think is necessarily bound to North America. Yes, brothers from other countries generally do mature faster simply because of the circumstances they have, and the nature of experiences they go through. However, with this American culture being exported, guys in other countries are catching onto the “coolness” of joking around all the time.

    Of course, I don’t want to generalize. There are exceptions, and may Allah reward those brothers.

    But, for those brothers out there who do want to get married…be aware that sisters, families of sisters who need to get married are observing you, and this immaturity or constant need to joke around implies irresponsibility to them. Whether its right or wrong, or judgemental, it’s there.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think sisters have their own issues to deal with, esp. in the western context. Since this, in my opinion, faulty correlation has been suggested (of women not marrying guys b/c they have polygamy fantasies), I wanted to clarify what women are having a problem with.

  59. Avatar


    September 29, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    As for the multiple wives issue, I really like how Sh. YB put it. For those brothers who are doing it properly, all power to them. May Allah reward them for upholding the sunnah. Unfortunately, that percentage is low.

    So MANY sisters I’ve come across who have co-wives said that what devastated them about their husbands marrying the second one is timing. All marriages hit tough spots, or there are times when husbands and wives might drift apart. For either–husband or wife–to explore other options rather than addressing their marriage problems and making their marriage/family stronger, I think, is not wise. Rather than addressing your problems, you are avoiding them. I don’t know how healthy that is, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his first wife would resent him…naturally.

    I am not a scholar so I cannot say whether it is halal or haram. I’m just trying to put into perspective what women fear. If men do not feel fulfilled, they have that option to “go get another woman who is a better version of them” rather than coming back to them and figuring things out.

    Will a man actually do it? probably not. Women don’t think rationally, they think emotionally, which is why EVEN JOKING ABOUT IT really hurts them and causes severe insecurities to come about.

  60. Avatar

    Nihal Khan

    September 30, 2009 at 7:18 AM

    The article’s point is simply saying keep the brothers jokes with the brothers, don’t re-enact them in front of the sisters! Why would you attack Murphy for saying that? :-/

    I remember at this specific conference [I miss that conference :(] that Murphy is talking about, there were some comments made which would really require a brother to forget he ever had any hayaa’. Brothers need to mature up and not recycling played out jokes at every conference.

    Yes, sisters have their problems and issues as well, but the article is focused on the brothers right now. It’s not going to encompass the whole world’s marriage issues. Murphy isn’t that good yet…or is he? :D

  61. Avatar


    September 30, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Br. Murphy, care to share the average age of the brothers at this conference?

    Siraaj, you mad funny mashaAllah. I didn’t know you were allowed to be both Muslim and humorous in Chicago.

  62. Avatar


    September 30, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    The marriage crisis faced in America and across the globe is deeply saddening.

    All I have to say is, May Allah have mercy on us and help marry those who are single.
    May He remove all obstacles for our single brothers and sisters.
    May He guard them from the Shaytaan who aims to divide them even before they are married.

    Alhamdullilah, I never thought I’d get married until my Duas were finally answered. Make lots and lots of Dua my brothers and sisters. These are crazy crazy times.

  63. Avatar


    September 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Asalamu Alaikum,
    I have been a part of these types of discussions before. The way I view polygamy for Muslims in the US is the following.
    Allah (SWT) orders us in the Quran, if you have more than one wife, you must treat them equally.
    In the US, it is illegal to register more than one Marriage. Therefore, the state registered wife will have more rights than the unregistered one. That is UNequal treatment and therefore contrary to what Allah (SWT) orders us to do.
    The alternative would be not registering any of your marriages with the state, but I don’t know what sister would agree to that, and it will become very very difficult to get fringe benefits from your employer and other agencies.

    I am not a Alim, only a lawyer analyzing both Islamic and US law. My opinion is that in the US it is impossible to treat more than one wife equally, unless they both/all agree to not having any rights.

    • Avatar


      September 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

      Salaam alaykum Ammar,

      Assuming that a man must provide this under Islamic law, a woman is allowed to forego rights if she wishes.


      • Avatar


        September 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM

        Br. Siraaj,
        It is true that a woman can forgo her rights, but if the other does not, then they are not being treated equally. My point is, you cannot treat both equally under Islamic law because one of them will have much more rights than the other, including, inheritance and divorce rights.
        The one registered will have all her US rights along with her islamic rights, while the non-registered one will only have her Islamic rights, which unfortunately, most people abuse for their own gain.

        Great discussion

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          September 30, 2009 at 10:51 PM

          It’s true, the abuse is there, but the husband is not required to ensure the secular legal system provides a woman with these rights – it’s his responsibility to provide what is within his capability.

          If he can provide that much, that’s all that’s required. Keep in mind that the secular courts provide rights over and beyond what is allowed, say in the case of divorce, and the inheritance rights are skewed and wrong in the case of death.
          In each case, a properly practicing Muslim family will have to work out the logistical details within the framework of the secular framework to arrive at what is just and ethical according to Islamic shari’ah – and that’s just for monogamy. Otherwise, we’ll be arguing that since a woman has more rights than she should, we should never marry under a secular system since men are actually LOSING rights given by Allah :D

          the same is true when we add polygyny into the mix. Further work is needed, but what needs to be agreed upon among all parties ahead of time is how and even if rights and responsibilities will be exercised.

          But I agree, there are individuals who don’t fear Allah, and they abuse the secular legal system in their favor, and that’s a risk the second wife takes.


          PS – and by the way, there are individuals who marry one wife in, say America, and another in, say Canada – is it illegal to marry like this because one system provides one set of legal rules and benefits, and another provides yet another set? It’s definitely unequal, though both women have state recognized marriage licenses / contracts.

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      September 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Why would any woman wanna get married and not be registered under the state law? I don’t get it. If I was a sister I wouldn’t want that to happen. Also if you die the one wife that’s registered will get everything you own and the other one will be left without anything. So that means you are not and can’t treat them equally in the US. Also you can get in big trouble with the law having more than 1 wife.

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      October 1, 2009 at 12:59 AM

      Same does not Equal. All the husband has to financially compensate for the unregistered wife in whatever things she didn’t get from the government for being unregistered

  64. Avatar


    September 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Why is polygyny considered a Sunnah (a recommended act one is rewarded for doing)? Shouldn’t the practice of polygyny during the time of the Sahaba be seen in the sociological light of wider cultural practices prevalent all over the world at that time (Thus making it merely permissible)?

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      Ahmad AlFarsi

      September 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM

      I think you are confusing definitions of “sunnah.”

      Sunnah from a fiqh perspective does indeed mean mustahabb, i.e. an act one is rewarded for doing and not punished for abstaining from. There is indeed a difference of opinion amongst the ulama if marrying more than one wife is mustahabb (preferable) or mubah (merely permissible).

      Sunnah from the perspective of the scholars of Usool ulFiqh is any act which the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wa sallam said, did, or tacitly approved of. From this definition of Sunnah, polygyny is doubtlessly a Sunnah.

      Sunnah from the perspective of the muhaddithin is the same as the Usool ulFiqh definition but additionally includes the Prophet’s character and physical descriptions, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

      To make things more (or less) confusing, apply the above definitions to the following statement: “Some Sunnahs are Sunnah for you to do, while some Sunnahs are Fardh upon you to perform, while even other Sunnahs are haraam for you to do (such as marrying more than 4 wives).” :)

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        January 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        Asalaam alaykum,

        I just wanted to quickly point out that polygyny and polygamy are two very different things. Polygyny is where one woman takes multiple husbands. Polygamy is where one husband takes multiple wives. The former is forbidden in Islam, the second is permitted. :)


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    September 30, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    I can’t believe the comments I am reading on this site. I would never marry more than one wife just because I can’t even handle one. Women are handful and we don’t have the patience for them. So let’s not lie to ourselves.

    Any man that says he can handle more than one is lying to himself.

    Many brothers that think they can handle more than one are lying to themselves and are not looking at the bigger picture. Please brothers don’t lie to yourselves.

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      September 30, 2009 at 10:56 PM

      I hope your wife doesn’t read that :D “I’m not taking a second wife because the first is already such a nuisance.” Talk about a backhanded compliment :D


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        September 30, 2009 at 11:12 PM

        Bro she doesn’t come on this website and I hope it stays that way :D.

        1=100 so let’s handle that with care first.

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          October 1, 2009 at 12:16 AM

          The good thing for you is that practically every Muslim guy is named Muhammad, so while your wife is not reading this, every single woman with a “Muhammad” named husband is going to be suspicious, lol!


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      October 1, 2009 at 1:03 AM

      I wonder if women would be more offended by this type of comment about a wife or joking/pursuing a 2nd wife….

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        October 1, 2009 at 9:18 PM

        no kidding! “you equal four, babe, but not in a good way” =)

  66. Avatar


    September 30, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    3 things.

    1. good, easy to understand article – sad to see how many times the author had to restate his point and how many people still argued on after shkh. birjas clarified everything. only hurt egos can account for that.

    2. guys, if you learn anything from this discussion, learn this: only other guys find your ‘silly’ humor ‘funny’, girls find your ‘stupid’ humor ‘immature’. a sense of humor is different than senseless humor. and girls love husbands who have a sense of humor.

    3. it’s true that girls are too dramatic and picky sometimes. but please realize that there’s no dating, so learn how to make a great first impression. (a reputation of goofy won’t take you far with a potential wife or her parents)

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      October 1, 2009 at 8:49 AM

      Brilliant advice.

  67. Avatar


    October 1, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    the reality of the situation is not that the sisters are too picky or too dramatic, its that brothers in our community are too demanding, have no proper education/a stable job & are in no way ambitious, & think they deserve the best of the best. GET REAL. You’ve probably never REALLY talked to a woman who isn’t your mother, sister, or close relative. You have NO idea how the mind of a woman works, yet are so quick to judge us. Were pretty amazing once people get to know us. We not only are far stronger than men, we can handle any situation much better, and in a much calmer, smarter, fashion. If it came down to why women in our communities are not married, its because they are spectacular, religious, educated, well-cultured, and simply amazing, yet the brothers are merely just doing enough to get by..and even that is usually lacking. The sisters are NOT picky, and yes many say they have extremely high expectations, but when you ask a princess to marry a toad, you kind of already know what the answer is (and no, the toad isnt going to turn into a handsome prince).

    I dont mean to call out ALL the brothers in the muslim communities, because there are those few gems lying around that the sisters have to search and search to find, but they are WELL WORTH THE WAIT.

    so don’t give up sisters, and go find your gems! After all, diamonds are a girls best friend (not cubic Zirconias)

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      October 1, 2009 at 8:11 AM

      Just because there are more unmarried women than men doesn’t give us all an excuse to say one gender is too picky or one just sucks. I don’t really like bashing of any gender due to these specific reasons. Yes, there are some great sisters out there and sadly really there might not be enough brothers for her level, but that doesn’t mean we should belittle brothers for what they are doing, or that there are only a ‘few’ lying around. We are not princesses, they are not toads. I don’t see how making ourselves look higher makes better of our situation. I’m just saying that the more this brother bashing continues, the more they’re going to be discouraged to even achieve the greater. How about we do something better and just make du’aa. It’s sad that one doesn’t attribute this imbalance to something like culture (Ex. Some mothers don’t expect the son to be that great but the daughter better live up to standards or she won’t get married). Isn’t that a big factor in why? We can’t just judge and say we’re better in all aspects, because we aren’t. We’re made for each other, and we need to learn how to appreciate the other gender for what they were made for. We also need to find more solutions instead of picking a feminist approach and ditching the problem altogether.

      The imbalance is apparent, but nobody is perfect, and there are not just a few lying around, there’s plenty that some can’t open their minds to. Things like this won’t help, solutions do.

      P.S. Some cubic zirconias shine better than a diamond.

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      October 1, 2009 at 8:23 AM

      Just because there are more unmarried sisters than there are brothers does not mean we should say one gender completely sucks or is too picky. Bashing of each gender isn’t going to help solve this problem at all. Yes a lot of sisters are really great and some brothers have not reached that level, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to do better or that we should just think we shouldn’t expect anything more. We are not princesses, they are not toads. The more we take the feminist approach with this, the more it won’t help us any. I just think the bashing of one gender will just discourage them even more and not help them to effectively achieve the greater. We’re made for each other, we have to learn to see how that fits with one another.

      Why is it that the only factor we see is this and not something like culture for this problem. (Ex. mother not expecting her son to do that great, daughter has to be the best otherwise she won’t get married.) Does not a factor like taht play a huge role in how different the levels of genders are right now? So only attributing this problem to the fact that men are toads or that theyare not better than women, will only give in more to the issue and not to the solution. There aren’t just a few lying around, there are good ones that some people just can’t open their minds up to.

      P.S. Some cubic zirconias shine better than diamonds.

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      October 1, 2009 at 8:56 AM

      Now I know why so many muslim women (past girl’s age) are unmarried, they have very high opinions (wrongly) about themselves, and even arrogant, enjoy your single lives…

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        Abu Rumaisa

        October 1, 2009 at 11:40 AM

        Those who arguing against it from the inheritance point of view, this is where the will comes into place. Prepare a will from a Islamic point of view whether or not one in is a polygamous marriage. IF u think the 1st wife will not give the rightful share to the 2nd wife then I doubt that she will give ur parents the rightful share either.

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        A brother

        October 1, 2009 at 5:43 PM

        Winna winna chicken dinna.

        Oh no, wait. Brother, you are “immature”. (You all can’t see me but I’m rolling my eyes)

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      October 1, 2009 at 9:20 PM

      “it’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” =)

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  71. Avatar

    MM Associates

    October 13, 2009 at 4:40 AM

    Imagine how much nagging four wives would entail! One is enough! Half if it were possible!


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      October 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM

      Well, you do have the option of being single too. Even better than half a wife!

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        November 9, 2009 at 1:29 PM

        The option is there, but hey, they can’t do without women even with all the bashing…

  72. Avatar

    Abdurahman Aadan

    October 13, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    Every muslim woman wants to keep a man all to herself and that idea comes from this land and culture we’re living in. I don’t blame the sisters at all for not wanting to get married to a man who’s planning of having a second wife. Brothers should not follow their desires but instead should take a closer look at the sunnah and follow it as it was done by our beloved prophet(sAw). I would only marry a second wife under certain conditions. 1) if my wife died, 2) if a muslim sister support, 3) if one of my close friend/relative passed away and his wife needs assistance.

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      November 9, 2009 at 1:34 PM

      well said, but why do muslim men believe they need to get married to a woman in need of support or assistance before helping her? would you still be willing to help her if she is widowed/divorced and in need but does not ever want to remarry?

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    October 15, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    There are several reasons why a man one want to marry more than one wife; perhaps its something as low as fulfilling their lustful desires or as high as following the “sunnah” in many ways.

    Personally, a very strong and practical point is that the number of women in almost every part of the world is greater than women, war being a key causing factor. We even know from a hadith from the Messenger of Allah(saw) where he said concerning the signs of the Day of Judgment that for “for every fifty women there will be one man to look after them” (Sahih Bukhari). Even if every men was married, nevertheless every man had four wives, there would still be many single women left unmarried. Then one can add and take account of the many widowed women-single mothers with fatherless orphans. So who shall watch over them once every man is taken by a wife not willing to share?

    There is a saying we learned from Psychology and other medical-related classes, “sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive”. In other words, it only takes less than a nice night for a man to play his role, while it takes a woman about 9 months or so to play hers in producing a child. Without a shadow of a doubt, the male, out of the pair, is the more efficient producer. Should he not use his talent in the most efficient manner?

    Among the things man loves, “wealth, women, and MANY CHILDREN”. Islam even encourages Muslim couples to put their trust in Allah and have many children. A man’s own “cricket team”, the words of our late Shaykh Ahmed Deedat (raheemahullah). Truly for one woman it may be quite burdensome to produce a “cricket team” of kids, for a man its actually relatively quick and satisfying. What’s wrong with a man’s dream of producing a team of huffaz, doctors, engineers — all whom bi ‘iznillah shall grow up to be fine Muslims. Thinking outside the box from the view of a couple to the view of the Muslim community as a whole, the more “huffaz, doctors, engineers” the merrier. Such a dream is more likely to happen through a righteous husband with a team of righteous wives, of course by the will of Allah(swt). Many of the best women of our ummah have shared a husband, and have raised children who have influenced the ummah and the world as we know it.

    With those points being mentioned, coming back to the topic of one man having more than one wife, it seems in the best interests for the Muslim ummah in terms of spreading Islam through having a large progeny, balancing the uneven ratio of the many more single Muslim women as to single Muslim men, preventing corruption in the land, as well as other factors that have and have not been mentioned.

    Of course, with every individual, with every couple, situations may be different. In the grand scheme of things, we should remember that the practice of a man having multiple wives is not to be looked down upon as some of us do, probably due to the influence of the society we live in. In fact, it is something praiseworthy and should be encouraged for those with the capability to do so responsibly.

    I ask Allah to grant us all pious spouses, protect our families from breaking apart, and I ask Allah to grant us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqeen. Ameen.

    Wallahu ta’la Alam
    Wa’aqoolu qoli haza wastaghfirullaha lee kum

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      October 15, 2009 at 1:22 AM

      I REALLY LOVED YOUR above comments.
      Right on the MARK!!!!!!!!

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      October 17, 2009 at 5:30 AM

      Dont plan on raising kids in america?

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    October 17, 2009 at 5:28 AM


    For those brothers who don’t interact with people, did you ever talk to the children of polygamous relationships?
    Especially those who live in America. I have on multiple occasions. The result has been disastrous.

    Recently, I met with a Nigerian family. The four children apostated because of Dads ‘other’ family.

    Also, a daughter of a popular speaker is no longer in deen for dads polygamous ways.

    We can discus the fiqh of things til we’re blue in the face. But what about the practical implications of these actions in our current context?

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      Siraaj Muhammad

      October 17, 2009 at 9:37 AM

      The same happens in monagamous marriages, maybe we should do away with those too :D I know kids who are healthy and well-educated who come from polygamous families.


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      October 17, 2009 at 11:23 AM

      You are implying polygamy leads to broken homes. If that was true, Allah (swt) would have made it haram and Prophet (s) would have not done it himself and discourages others from it. The truth is, Allah (s) permits it and the Prophet (s) did it and it is permissible until end of time. So the problem isn’t polygamy in those families but it something else.

      It is human nature to generalize but you should guard yourself from it.

      May Allah help those families you mentioned.

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      October 18, 2009 at 1:06 PM

      I am a child of a polygynous marraige. Born and raised in the STATES. We are 13 brothers and sisters(just had a sister 1 month ago) and i can MashAllah we are a successfull bunch of children. MASHALLAH. Yes we did have our ups and downs just like all children do in their lives going from childhood to adolescent and than adulthood.
      MashAllah, our father spent TIME with us. QUALITY TIME, teaching us the TAFSEER, QURAN, AND GOING OUT WITH US ON TRIPS AND CAMPING, SWIMMING, ETC.
      He wasn’t perfect but he did try HIS BEST in upholding FAIRNESS between his wives.
      Even though he was a doctor he would spend time with us on his call day in his hospital room.
      YES HE DID HAVE WEAKNESSES, but every husband has weaknesses and strengths. THE POINT IS, just because someone is in a polygynous marraige does not make the children crazy or unhappy. there are other things that can contribute to that result.

      My sisters and brothers are from three different wives and i can say without a doubt MASHALLAH, we are very happy with each other. Mashallah. we don’t have to go to others for social or emotional support. we go to each other. we just had a baby sister(#13) Khadija and we all were so happy with her arrival. Even my mother and who happens to be the first wife.

      if a husband shows responsibility, love, and fairness to the children i think women have more respect for the husband even though they may not agree with most of his opinions BUT as long as he is FAIR and STEADFAST WITH HIS REPONSIBILITIES, the women have GREAT REVERANCE for him.

      and ALGEBRA is a WOMAN (just to let you guys know) I am not a Male.

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      November 9, 2009 at 10:22 PM

      hmm, sounds familiar. my dad’s second marriage also was the sabab for my eldest sister’s conversion to xtianity. my 2 sisters and I almost married non muslims because we thought that was the only way we’d not live a miserable life like our mum. All these not real because of polygyny per say but because we were neglected as kids as dad was busy with his other wife and kids and mum was too miserable to even have the time to raise us properly as muslims., Alhamdulillah, we were all guided back to islam at the university [except my sister]. and Allah blessed us with pious spouses. I know my husband may later decide to remarry but I trust he would not neglect my kids and I because of another woman, he was also raised by his mum alone from infancy as his mum could not get along with her husbands other wives [she was the 3rd], and they were separated but not divorced even before he was born, because men keep their wives in the same house where I came from, and its really sad that many many muslim kids have apostated just because of polygyny and the way it was practised. BTW, I am a nigerian.

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        November 10, 2009 at 1:22 AM

        I know Nigerians very well. Those who apostasize there do so for several other reasons not just polygny alone. For a fact, that country and others in Africa, is afloat with evangelists and born agains using various means to prey on Muslims. Some of them are even Americans who sacrifice the comfortable life in the west to go and guide ‘lost’ Muslims. For one brother there in the university, 5 college girls were turned loose on him to try to get him to leave Islam. Incorrect practices of polygny (wives living together) does not in any way affect the wisdom behind it. There are places the wives do not live together and there are still issues.

        The real issue is where are the Muslims who will make similar sacrifices for which there is definitive reward in the next life? Is it not that we are satisfied with our blogging Islam and me, ma self and I approach to life? Some of us are even weak enough to be scared of going for hajj because of swine flu fears. Whereas in Africa, these evangelical preachers are exposed much more serious infections. But they do not mind to do it in the name of Jesus or Christianity that your sister converted too. Islam is not just blogging online MM or what have you and feeling cool with ourselves by switching to the self praise mode. To know whether we are worthy of any praise as regards our true efforts to go and reach out to fellow Muslims elsewhere and in poorer circumstances than we are in the west, check out the sacrifices of the companions. Not the lives of some modern day don’t wanna rock the boat scholars we seem to more often than not emulate. Quite sad

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          November 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM

          Well, you probably misunderstood what I wrote. I did not mean polygyny was the only reason muslims leave islam, but it is one of the common reasons. Its not just because children get so upset that their dad’s remarried, but the fact is most fathers abandon their first wife and kids either completely or partially after getting married. please note that there are responsible fathers who would still try their best to raise their kids even if they have more than one wives, may Allah reward them. But in the cases I reference, the dad is not present in the kids’ lives, they are raised only by their mum, who is also out most of the time working or selling something to make ends meet. In some cases, like ours, the man comes to visit once in a while to give them school fees and some stipend In many other cases [like my cousins’], they don’t even see him for years. Most of the time the kids are on their own and there is no one to even monitor them. Its just so easy for them to do as they like, having boyfriends and girlfriends, and going with their friends to their churches and fellowships, anything. I know girls who converted to xtianity and their parents did not even know for a long time. We all know how bad the christian evangelism is, but why would a muslim man who knows this still leave his kids to be able to have a life with another woman in another town and then blame his childrens’ apostacy on christians and their evangelism?

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      November 9, 2009 at 10:36 PM

      I am not against people who are williing and able to practice polygyny in a good way, being fair to all, but the story sounds familiar. my dad’s second marriage also was the sabab for my eldest sister’s conversion to xtianity. my 2 sisters and I almost married non muslims because we thought that was the only way we’d not live a miserable life like our mum. All these not real because of polygyny per say but because we were neglected as kids as dad was busy with his other wife and kids and mum was too miserable to even have the time to raise us properly as muslims., Alhamdulillah, we were all guided back to islam at the university [except my sister]. and Allah blessed us with pious spouses. I know my husband may later decide to remarry but I trust he would not neglect my kids and I because of another woman, and insha Allah, I would never be miserable like that to the extent of letting my kids stray because if a man. moreover, my husband has also seen the bad sides of polygyny as he was raised by his mum alone from infancy as his mum could not get along with her husbands other wives [she was the 3rd], and they were separated [but not divorced] even before he was born, because men keep their wives in the same house where I came from, and its really sad that many many muslim kids have apostated just because of polygyny and the way it was practised. BTW, I am a nigerian woman married to a nigerian. I know problems occur in all marriages, but my parents’ was solely caused by polygyny.

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        November 9, 2009 at 10:40 PM

        my post above was in reply to bro/sis farhad

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        April 17, 2011 at 4:10 PM

        sorry to hear that! I’m glad that you guys were guided back to Islam alhumdulilah.. It is definately a severe punishment for men who do not treat their wives equally therefore they should not get excited about taking another wife but should be weary!

  75. Avatar

    muslim sister

    October 17, 2009 at 6:01 AM

    I agree with article that this shouldn’t be taken as a joke.

    The polygamy system has a deep wisdom to it. It is not enforced on all. But it should be culturally neutral. It has a place in a healthy society.

    Yes, we should respect the law of the land, but US allows changes to the law. It is not based on divine law, and so can be changed. If gays can get the right to marry, no doubt polygamy should be allowed.

    I don’t know why we tolerate the absolute forbidden, but become very prudish in terms of the halal.

  76. Avatar

    muslim sister

    October 17, 2009 at 6:08 AM

    By the way, not only men would like to have multiple wives.

    Some women prefer this system of marriage.

    Why are we content to have an epidemic of single moms with no mahrems and sisters in the shelters without opening up the polygamy option?

    I’ve even read articles suggesting scholars should allow muslim women to marry non-muslim men in order to fix the problem of not enough potential mates!

    The conversation about polygamy should be less about lust and more about affording protection, honor, and dignity of marriage to muslim women, and single muslim women with children who are not viable on the marriage market in the strictly monogamy system.

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      April 17, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      Some prefer it but Most do not

  77. Avatar

    manzoor ali

    November 22, 2009 at 3:54 AM

    salamualikum dear friend and sister and brother s
    jazakumullah khir hoo sub ko…
    islaam ko sahe aur haq mano muslmano… aur islam ki izat karo.. warana zalel aur khawar hojao gay…

    manzoor sindh/ from dubai

  78. Avatar


    December 8, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    You made the comment that “the Prophet [saw] and some of his companions did it”. I am sorry to say that the overwhelming majority of the SaHaabah were polygamous, as was just about an any Muslim man who had the resources. Let us not forget about those that their right hands posess. The Muslim sisters are, I think, unconsciously aware of the intrinsic injustice in this part of the Islamic moral code. Unfortunately, for them that are trapped in a religion that will never honor them as truly Persons. They, like all Muslims, should turn to The Only True God, Who is manifest in The Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Before yelling that this is polytheistic, let me explain. God, according to Christianity is One in thre Persons. Stated more simply, there is One WHAT and Three WHOs. By the way, do not look at what so-called Christians do, look at what Christ, the Holy Apostles, and Saints.

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      Siraaj Muhammad

      December 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

      Yes, those who follow the philosophy of hinduism say the same about their own gods – one god, many incarnations, statues are just representations. What’s the difference between you and them in this respect?


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        December 8, 2009 at 4:28 PM

        None of the Hindu gods are historical. They are simply metaphor and allegory. Yasu’3 or ‘Esa or Jesus (Who is The Christ) was a Palestinian Jew who lived in human flesh in the 1st century. The Gospel accounts are the best documented texts of the ancient world. Paleographical reasearch has indicated that that dating for the entire “New Testament” (Al-Ahd Al-Jadeed) can be established before 70 AD. So, that means (even allowing for more liberal dating) that all of the Gospels were written within 70 years of Christ’s life on earth. The volumes of the manuscripts are soooo numerous that the “New Testament” is easily the most reliable document of the ancient world. For comparision, do you know when the first Seerah of Muhammad was compiled, or Hadeeth?

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          Siraaj Muhammad

          December 8, 2009 at 11:56 PM


          You’re arguing a (strange) red herring – whether Jesus was a historical figure or not is irrelevant to my question and point, (especially considering we Muslims also believe in and affirm the life and Prophethood of Jesus) – you claim 3 equals 1, they claim a billion equals 1 – how is one monotheism and the other not? Conceptually, you are the same as they are.

          As for the second discussion on “reliability” of the New Testament, the earliest recorded manuscripts, and as well, the earliest recorded documentation of hadeeth literature after the passing of the Prophet, I would absolutely LOVE to have that discussion with you, but I’m a poor multi-tasker, so one let’s conclude one discussion, and then we can move on to the next.


  79. Avatar


    December 14, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Assalamulaikum warahamatullahi wabarakatuhu,

    I dont mean in any way offense anyone.

    I would like the author and his wife and to step back in time and think about how they acted before they got married? Only then will, will they realize why so many youth act like this.

    Its a shame that we (youth) get critiqued in such a fashion because most of the youth cannot get married because of jahiliyah culture that restricts our choices in getting to righteous Muslimahs regardless of where they are from. But NO it has to be the same country AND WHATS WORSE IS FROM FAMILY!

    When Muslims act like Muslims will this problem of getting married without restrictions only be solved. Until then lets continue worrying about open mixing and wanaoudubillah zina in our community.


  80. Avatar


    December 23, 2009 at 1:01 AM

    Hi there, I’m a Muslim sister from Malaysia. My late father was a polygamist, so I know all about the drawbacks, but in any case, I loved this article. Will share it with my friends… thanks for sharing your thoughts and for writing this!

  81. Avatar


    April 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM


    I think that if a Muslim woman is not marrying because brothers want to have more than one wife then there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe she feels like shes better off not being married then to marry someone who already has a wife or wants more than that. IF that is the case I definately would agree with her!

    • Avatar

      abu nuhe

      January 11, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      If you can remain a virgin for the rest of your life and not commit anything haram then more power to you and you are most welcome to. Assalamualaikum.

      • Avatar

        abu nuhe

        January 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        In retrospect.. i meant if you can guard your chastity

  82. Avatar


    May 4, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    How would that be a cure?

    Have you ever talked to these guys? They’ll just as easily let the first one go and move on to the next.

  83. Avatar

    Zhainajhingdayan Hali

    July 8, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    My former husband is with his second wife now, i believed it was because he felt unappreciated by me….i tried to make it up with him but there were times he was abusive, i would have taken him with his second wife infact i tried to for three years, but i noticed that he is not qualified to avail of such a privilege of marrying two women at the same time, because financially he is not stable and he is not a practicing Muslim, he does not pray 5 times a day, these were one of the reasons that prompted me to seek for divorce.

  84. Avatar


    March 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Sisters, it is true, the prophet(pbuh) practiced polygamy, although we should not forget that he lived in a different time. So, yes, it is sunnah(ONLY when it is done with the right intentions and situation), and both brothers and sisters should respect it. However, let’s please not forget few facts about polygamy. fact 1: prophet(pbuh) did it but he did not invent it. It was precedes all Abrahamic religions. In fact, Islam came to limit polygamy(thus not pro-polygamy), but came to curtail it to protect women’s rights in society.Fact 2: polygamy has become part of the patriarchal culture, and men use it to take advantage of women(in the guise of religion). Now, sisters, stop making big deal out of it and being paranoid about it. Before you marry, tell the brother you do not play the game(that’s only if that is how you feel, some sisters are cool with it…what ever makes you happy as long as it is halal). If he expresses/or acts upon the desire to practice polygamy after you marry him, you have the option to get a divorce and look for a brother who will respect your wishes. Sisters, know your rights in Islam and do not let anyone abuse your rights.

  85. Avatar


    March 5, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Another problem is the Pakistani dramas that depict the first wife as trash when the newer, younger, more beautiful wife enters. Usually, in these dramas, the first wife loses attention and love of the husband.

  86. Avatar


    March 8, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    First of all I want to clarify a misconception here. Someone said that monogamy is not a sunnah. But monogamy IS a sunnah. The Prophet (PBUH) was married to only one wife for most of his life. Even in the first 13 years of nabuwwat he remained monogamous, he did not even have relations woth a slave woman or marry a second wife despite the fact that he could easily have done either in the society he lived in. But he remained firmly loyal to his wife.

    But someone here claimed that monogamy is not a sunnah, using the analogy of the change in the Qiblah’s direction. Despite the fact that the Qiblah was chanded due to revelation by Allah. And the only revelation revealed for polygamy was to restrict the maximum number of wives a man could have to four and make even that conditional on justice.

    As for the Sunnah of polygamy, people often talk about ‘reviving’ this Sunnah. But reviving means bringing back something has been ‘lost’, and polygamy was never lost in the first place. It has always been practised by a significant 1-2% of the global Muslim population.

    And men outnumber women in most countries, especially Muslim, in ALL age groups except in the under 60 age group.
    And women in the West cheat nearly as much as men, so the argument that men need polygamy to satisfy their ‘desires’ is wrong.

    I am not saying that polygamy or practising it is wrong. By all means if you are fair then go ahead.

    BUT it is not compulsory for women. They are allowed to stipulate in their marriage contracts that their husbands will not take a second wife.
    the Prophet’s great grand daughter Sakina bint Husayn stipulated that her husband will not take a second wife (it is reported in Kitaab Al Murffadat).

    And if a woman stipulates such a condition, then the husband is Islamically OBLIGED to abide by the conditions. If he breaches any conditions in the Nikah contract, he sins.

    Even the Prophet’s daughter, Fatima (ra) objected to Ali(ra) marrying again. This is mentioned in a couple of Sahih Bukhari Hadith. Unfortunately some people claim that it was only due to the other woman being the daughter of Abu Jahl. Which is not true.

    The argument many people use against our stance on Fatima(ra)’s incident that her objection was due to her co-wife’s candidature as being the daughter of her father’s worst enemy is grossly misaccurate and makes the Prophet himself look like a hypocrite (Audhubillah).
    A) Because the Prophet was himself married to the daughter of one of his worst enemies at that time, Abu Sufyan.
    B) According to some users here a woman has no right to object to her husband’s second marriage let alone to who he marries so why would Fatima(ra) have the right to speak against this marriage according to the logic of all those people who make the excuse that Fatima(ra) only objected to her husband’s second marriage because of who the woman was. This explanation they give is self-contradictory here as it contradicts their earlier claim.
    C) Islam does not allow discrimination on the basis of lineage. Even if she had been Abu Jahl’s daughter, she was still a Muslimah and thus could not have been discriminated against by the Prophet(SAW) himself.

    Then we have Ibn Hajr’s commentary. He also confirms the fact that Fatima(ra) did not want polygamy for herself.

    Fatima(ra) had higher iman than me and you, yet she did not want polygamy for herself.

  87. Avatar

    Abu Musa'b

    March 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    I think women in the Ummah are more than capable of ‘looking after themselves’. Why should they have to rely on any man? Whether he be monogamous or polygamous.There is no guarantee he won’t turn out negligent or abusive. Its best women get educated and work in respectable and halal jobs. They even have welfare systems in the West for single mothers and I know many divorced Muslim ladies who raise their kids on welfare in the West and they live happily. Many Muslimahs also do not remarry again for the sake of their children. Stepfathera aren’t always ‘tolerant’ of stepchildren.

    We have more pressing issues for now. I think richer men should be helping out their poorer and single brothers get married and fulfil half their deen.

    There are a multitude of young brothers who desperately need to ‘fulfill half their deen’ and fulfill the more pressing sunnah of marriage. Wealthier brothers should help the, out. There are more than enough brothers in most countries for the sisters, what we DO need to encourage is cross-cultural marriage and compromise on the part of BOTH brothers and sisters to give up their unrealistic dreams on marriage.

    Polygamy is permissible, but Allah has recommended monogamy in the Quran where he said:

    (Muhsin Khan
    And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.

    Yusuf Ali
    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.

    And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.

    Dr. Ghali
    And, in case you fear that you will not act equitably towards the orphans, then marry such women as is good to you, two, three, four, (Literally: in twos and threes and fours) then, in case you fear that you will not do justice, then one (only), or what your right hands possess. That (way) is likelier you will not be in want (Or: you will have too many dependents).

    And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.

    Sahih International
    And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].)

    Each translation ends with the words ‘indeed this is nearer to doing justice’ or’this is closer to avoid injustice’ or ‘this is more suitable so that you may not incline to injustice’.

    So Allah is actually telling us that having only one wife decreases the chances of committing injustice. After all the punishment on the day of judgement for being unjust betweenntwo wives is being raised up as half-paralysed.

  88. Avatar


    March 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    It can be understood from the context of this hadîth that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had placed a condition on ‘Alî not to marry any other woman beside Fâtimah. We can deduce this from what the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) said about his other son-in-law (Abu Al-‘As bin Ar-Rabi’, the husband of his daughter Zaynab) keeping his promise not to marry a second wife: “He spoke to me and he was truthful and promised me and fulfilled his promise.”

    Ibn Hajr observes in Fath al-Bârî (7/86):

    The words “He spoke to me and he was truthful” could be that he made a promise on himself not to marry another woman beside Zaynab. And the same was done by ‘Alî. Otherwise, it could be that ‘Alî had forgotten that condition and that is why he proceeded with that engagement to the second woman. Or, it could be that he assumed the condition did not apply to him since he did not pronounce it himself. However, he should nevertheless have respected this condition as something understood, and that is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) blamed him.

    Ibn al-Qayyim writes in Zâd al-Ma`âd (5/117-118):

    If a man agrees to the condition that he will not marry a second wife, he is obliged by that condition. If the man breaks his promise, the woman will be entitled to terminate the marriage contract.

    It is mentioned in the hadîth that what took place is hurting Fâtimah and therefore hurting him. It is known for sure that the Prophet (peace be upon him) let ‘Alî marry his daughter Fâtimah on the condition that he does not hurt her or her father, even if that is not mentioned in the marriage contract. The Prophet (peace be upon him) brought up mention of his other son-in-law to incite ‘Ali to do the same.” The Prophet’s reproach of `Ali was on account of ‘Alî’s heedlessness of this condition.

    And Allah knows best.

    None of the Prophet’s daughters were in polygamy.:
    You see in Islam a woman is allowed to stipulate in her marriage contract that her husband won’t take a second wife.

    So the Prophet’s daughters probably did that as well.

  89. Avatar

    Allah's Slave

    May 5, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Polygamy is not a sunnah.

    The scholars of Fiqh identify the proper Sunnah to be either from the obligatory or recommended categories. Al-Subki defined the Sunnah to be: “The Sunnah in Istlaah (religious context) means: what have been known as obligatory or preferable from the saying of the Prophet” [al-ibhaaj fi sharh al-minhaaj: 1/36]

    This definition is actually an explicit statement to explain the general broad definition of Sunnah that has been adopted by recent scholars; Meaning: Any act of the Prophet, requires a supportive saying from the Prophet to show the virtue of such act so it becomes a Sunnah. This outline that the Salaf and scholars only recognized ceratin acts and sayings of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to be Sunnah in the context of religion that they are preferable for others to act upon.

    There is no recommendary text for multiple marriages, whilst there are several for single people to get married at least once.

    Marrying once is Sunnah since Prophet Muhammad(saw) said if you marry then you have completed half of the deen and if you keep marrying over it doesn’t matter since you already completed half of the deen, it doesn’t add to it

    “When the servant of Allah marries, he has fulfilled half the (responsibilities laid on him by the) faith; so let him be God conscious with respect to the other half”. (Mishkat)

    One can obviously not complete half their deen by marrying over and over again. Half the deen is completed once one marries the first time.

    “And marry those among you who are single and the righteous among your servants, male or female….”
    The Arabic word /’ayama/ is the plural form of /’ayyim/, which originally means a woman who has no husband. Then it
    has also been applied to man who has no wife. Thus, the totality of all unmarried men and women, whether they are virgin or widower or widow, are included in this verse.

    Again there is no such mention of encouragement for polygyny as married men are not included in this verse.

    The question is, does it make the act sunnah? From what I was taught by ulemah, the first wife is deen, the second wife, without intention, is dunya. In other words, the practice, in and of itself, is not sunnah. (This is also in my books by several scholars, those scholars are the most respected scholars of their time.)

    To understand the sunnah aspect better, let’s look at marriage. A man that can marry, but doesn’t, is going against the sunnah, unless he has a valid reason. Each second he’s choosing to delay marriage he’s going against the sunnah. The Prophet ecouraged us to marry, and scolded single people. He’s told men that just enter into adulthood to marry. There are hadiths targeted to young men to marry. It’s because marriage is such an important sunnah. In fact, there is such a rush, that for women, several of them were married off before they were even baalig. (Think Aisha(r) and also Umm Kathuum ibn Ali (r) to Umar (r)). Yet we don’t see this for polygamy, i.e. men aren’t rushed to marry more than one.

    As a side note, I was reading one of my favorit people, Imam Al-haramain Imam Juwaani. He mentioned a hadith that Imam Shafe’i wrote in his book on his 1st mazhab. Imam Sha’fe’i gives isnaad from himself to the Prophet . The Prophet asked a man if he was married. The man said no. The Prophet replied, “Nothing stops you from marriage, except impotence or immorality.” There are just so many hadiths, and it’s hadiths after hadiths against single men. Yet, not one, that I’ve seen, against monogamous men. Doesn’t that strike you as strange, if it’s a sunnah, in and of itself?

    One side note, Muaaz (معاذ) the sahaba, after hearing about marriage said, “Marry me! Marry me! I don’t want to meet Allah a bachlor!” The hadith is in ابن أبي شيبة. I don’t think I ever read any sahaba saying, “I need another wife! I need another wife! I can’t meet Allah a monogamous man!”

    On a related note, the application of the Prophet’s saying: “”Nothing stops you from marriage, except impotence or immorality.” can in no way be linked to polygamy. The Prophet asked “are you married.” When the guy said “no.” There is no way “no” can be interpreted to mean “I only have one wife.” So when the Prophet replied, “nothing stops you from marriage, except impotency or immorality”, impotency would stop a man from gaining a first wife. That can’t be applied to polygamy.

    You can find a similar thing with Ibn Abbas’ Hadith. The guy Ibn Abbas talked to was a single Sahaba when Ibn Abbas mentioned the encouragement of marriage in Islam to him.

    As for the belief that polygyny was practised extensively with the Sahaba is there any Hadith which suggests that most and not just many Sahaba practised it? There was a lot of wars, so there were a lot of widows, and hence, a lot of polygamy. However, what evidence is there that even most of them married more than one? A lot of them had slaves also, but is there evidence that most of them had slaves?

  90. Avatar


    July 24, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    Salam for those who think that sisters are not funny and in response to somewhere above someone mentioned a brother who wanted to wives to have different cusines. He He it would be funny if he married four lousy cooks from different regions. LoL. :)

  91. Avatar

    abu nuhe

    January 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    If you truly believed there is a hereafter and that you might live forever. We wouldn’t be having this discussion. Imagine living forever, or those who believe you are seeing it from worldly short lived life perspective.

    I want my wives to reach a higher level, do you think a woman who does not accept sharing her husband will be on the same level as the one who does for the sake of Allah SWT, just truly having the intention of it. When they reach the highest levels in Jannatul Firdaous InshaAllah they will pull their husband with them. I love my wife dearly, if the call comes and I would have to leave, knowing my wives are together and have each other, no doubt I will still worry about their well being but less and can concentrate on the matter at hand.

    Your pious wives will be the queen of hur; life forever and you’re contented with one of those..? even here you are not; living less than a 100 years withering like a plant. I definitely want the most queens I can get. I also would like to have more children here and I don’t want to burden her too much; although I will be happy she leaves a shuhadah but my selfishness and love for her can bear it for now. As a male having more pious spouses will keep my vitality high also InshaAllah. Assalamualaikum wr wb.

  92. Avatar


    August 31, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This was a fatwa from Darul Uloom Deoband on polygamy some years ago.

    Question: 38097 India

    I am married since last 9 years and have 2 children. During my college days I had one way love on a Muslim girl but she did not accept it then. But today after so many years she is not getting married due to some problem with her hair, she has lost 2-3 inches hairs from front and due to which she is not getting married and now we are again in contact and again I gave her my proposal for marriage and she accepted it and now we are planning to get married, she has no problem of me married, also she knows that I have 2 children and then also she is ready. So please advice me whether it will be good for me to marry second time?

    Answer: 38097 Apr 10,2012

    (Fatwa: 776/655/B=1433)

    According to Shariah, it is lawful to keep two wives at the same time but it is not generally acceptable in Indian custom. Here in India it is like to invite hundreds of problems to keep two wives. Moreover, the husband generally cannot maintain justice and equality between two wives. Hence it is better to have only one wife as the Quran said:

    فان لمَ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَاحِدَةً

    You should discard the idea of second marriage; otherwise you would feel sorry later.

    Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

    Darul Ifta,
    Darul Uloom Deoband

    It is also the position of the Shafii and Hanbali schools of Islamic thought that it is best and also sunnah to restrict oneself to only one wife.

    The reasoning their scholars provided for that is that injustice between two wives is haram, therefore it is better to avoid the risk of committing injustice in polygamy by avoiding polygamy altogether, even if one believes that he can be equitable between two women.

    Here are some of the quotes from classical works of these scholars.

    Ash-Shaafi’i is of the view that it is desirable to confine oneself to marrying only one although it is permissible for him to marry more than one. This is to avoid being unfair by being more inclined to some of them than others, or being unable to financially support them. [al-Hawi al-Kabir 11/417]

    Ash-Shirbeeni from the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence, said in Mughni al-Muhtaj 4/207: “It is a Sunnah not to marry more than one wife if there is no apparent need.” [End of quote]

    Moreover, Al-Maawardi, from the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence, said: “Allaah has permitted a man to marry up to four wives, saying: {…two or three or four…}, but Allaah advised that it is desirable for man to marry only one wife, saying: {…But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one} [al-Hawi al-Kabir 11/417]

    Ibn Qudaamah may Allaah have mercy upon him from the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, said in Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer: [B]“It is more appropriate to marry only one wife. The author of Al-Muharrar [i.e. Abul Barakaat Al-Majd ibn Taymiyyah] said this, based on the saying of Allaah (which means) {…But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one}.” [End of quote from Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer authored by Shams-ud-deen Ibn Qudaamah]

    Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen may Allaah have mercy upon him said: “It is safer to restrict oneself to only one wife. However, if one sees that one wife is not enough for him and he cannot maintain his chastity by having only one wife, then we enjoin him to marry a second, a third, or a fourth, until he feels comfortable, lowers his gaze, and enjoys peace of mind.” [Excerpt from Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti’]

    Imam Ahmed ibn Naqib al Masri said ‘’It is fitter to confine oneself to just one’’ [Umdatu Salik]

    Imam Ghazali said in his kitab al nikah: “It does not call for two wives, [since] plurality may render life miserable and disrupt the affairs of the home.”

    Also 99.99% of polygamous marriages which I have known have been a brutal catastrophe, especially in the West. Men abuse this a lot, thus tarnishing this institution. Many wives and children, especially the first wife are abused in polygamous marriages and many are even abandoned for a second wife.

    This is the case with both practising Muslims -Salafis, who often dump their wives on welfare benefits- and non-practising Muslims-many of whom even have illegitimate relationships with women before marrying them.

  93. Avatar


    September 1, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    In my opinion the main reasons sisters are unmarried (note some of these contradict each other and what that means is some sisters fall into (a) and others into (b) )
    1 – They refuse to marry when they are young, putting off marriage until they become “well-educated professionals”
    2 – When they are young they take proposals for granted. They reject suitors without even a second-thought because of the shape of his nose, the color of his shirt, his height, his education, the shoes he is wearing, the width of his biceps, the length of his beard, etc. When the proposals stop coming in, they blame the brothers for not being open to marrying older woman as per the sunnah. They do not even realize how many good brothers they have already rejected because they rejected them without even giving them a chance over a checklist approach..
    3 – They think too highly of their own qualifications. A sister may obtain a BA or MA in some dead-end field with no prospects, and use it as a weapon to reject many more qualified suitors that chose to excel in non-university fields that they enjoy. These suitors are often intelligent, qualified and well-paid, established and compatible, performing occupations that are needed for effective functioning of our society. Forget non-university fields, someone with a dead-end MA may reject a qualified engineer for only having a bachelors degree.
    4 – They say they are looking for a religious husband but in reality they give lip-service to the criteria of deen (pray and fast when you can? ok moving on…) while focusing on good looks, height, body, wealth, education and profession. They will accept someone less religious that meets such criteria over one more religious that is lacking in some of those areas. They will even reject suitors for following the sunnah (e.g. a sunnah beard)
    5 – They are too influenced by romance as found in the surrounding culture – Hollywood/Bollywood, romantic novels, Disney princess movies and more. The end-result is they have very feminist views and are looking for someone that fits a fairytale description of what a man should be. Their criteria is very specific, narrow and illogical – e.g. must be 25-27 ONLY, 5’10-6’2, ATHLETIC, FUNNY, AND GOOD-LOOKING PRACTICING MUSLIM etc. A sister hitting 30 will feel a brother 40 is “too old” for her.
    6 – Similar to #5, their financial demands after marriage are unrealistic. They want to “travel and travel and tour the world with my husband hand-in-hand enjoying romantic moments together”
    7 – They want a pure virgin man (good thing) yet they refuse to consider brothers that are trying to marry at a young age to protect themselves while they are able to marry but not fully established. Their criteria lends them to preferring the one that enjoyed life and puttitng off marriage while rejecting the one that struggles fisabilillah to protect himself. When they get older they wonder where the good brothers, the good brothers were already rejected and are now already married elsewhere.
    8 – They talk about the sunnahs and sahabas but are unwilling to accept struggles related to marriage, rather they have an entitled princess mentality where they want a guy that is not only young but also well-established. They demand that the husband provide for them at the same level as their father, while refusing to consider men that are in the same age group as their father. They refuse to marry many pious mature Muslim men that are able to marry but may still be studying, etc. and not fully-established yet – the end result being the Muslim men often end-up marrying overseas to protect their deen importing more understanding wives from back home while the girls here complain men are not “qualified” and “mature” enough for them.
    9 – They have ultra-feminist views of marriage and life. They demand to be allowed to work, while demanding that the brother support his family financially 100% because that his responsibility. While they demand that their husband bear the financial burden, they demand that he “contribute equally” with cooking and cleaning after he comes home from work while the wife herself spends the day either watching TV or padding her bank account. Their understanding of equality in reality is that the husband is a slave to the desires of his wife.
    10 – They do not have an appreciation for the domestic role of a wife and mother, and are often missing the level of concern many brothers have of ensuring a full-time parent is available to children in a society where it is increasingly difficult for kids to stay on the straight path. Hence, they are lacking maturity.

    Very few sisters remain unmarried for reasons other than the ones above, due to sincere struggles. To those sisters, remain patient and steadfast and keep making dua. This may be a trial Allah(swt) is putting you through..

  94. Avatar


    September 1, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    This was a fatwa from Darul Uloom Deoband on polygamy some years ago.

    Question: 38097 India

    I am married since last 9 years and have 2 children. During my college days I had one way love on a Muslim girl but she did not accept it then. But today after so many years she is not getting married due to some problem with her hair, she has lost 2-3 inches hairs from front and due to which she is not getting married and now we are again in contact and again I gave her my proposal for marriage and she accepted it and now we are planning to get married, she has no problem of me married, also she knows that I have 2 children and then also she is ready. So please advice me whether it will be good for me to marry second time?

    Answer: 38097 Apr 10,2012

    (Fatwa: 776/655/B=1433)

    According to Shariah, it is lawful to keep two wives at the same time but it is not generally acceptable in Indian custom. Here in India it is like to invite hundreds of problems to keep two wives. Moreover, the husband generally cannot maintain justice and equality between two wives. Hence it is better to have only one wife as the Quran said:

    فان لمَ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَاحِدَةً

    You should discard the idea of second marriage; otherwise you would feel sorry later.

    Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

    Darul Ifta,
    Darul Uloom Deoband

    It is also the position of the Shafii and Hanbali schools of Islamic thought that it is best and also sunnah to restrict oneself to only one wife.

    The reasoning their scholars provided for that is that injustice between two wives is haram, therefore it is better to avoid the risk of committing injustice in polygamy by avoiding polygamy altogether, even if one believes that he can be equitable between two women.

    Here are some of the quotes from classical works of these scholars.

    Ash-Shaafi’i is of the view that it is desirable to confine oneself to marrying only one although it is permissible for him to marry more than one. This is to avoid being unfair by being more inclined to some of them than others, or being unable to financially support them. [al-Hawi al-Kabir 11/417]

    Ash-Shirbeeni from the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence, said in Mughni al-Muhtaj 4/207: “It is a Sunnah not to marry more than one wife if there is no apparent need.” [End of quote]

    Moreover, Al-Maawardi, from the Shaafi’i School of jurisprudence, said: “Allaah has permitted a man to marry up to four wives, saying: {…two or three or four…}, but Allaah advised that it is desirable for man to marry only one wife, saying: {…But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one} [al-Hawi al-Kabir 11/417]

    Ibn Qudaamah may Allaah have mercy upon him from the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, said in Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer: [B]“It is more appropriate to marry only one wife. The author of Al-Muharrar [i.e. Abul Barakaat Al-Majd ibn Taymiyyah] said this, based on the saying of Allaah (which means) {…But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one}.” [End of quote from Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer authored by Shams-ud-deen Ibn Qudaamah]

    Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen may Allaah have mercy upon him said: “It is safer to restrict oneself to only one wife. However, if one sees that one wife is not enough for him and he cannot maintain his chastity by having only one wife, then we enjoin him to marry a second, a third, or a fourth, until he feels comfortable, lowers his gaze, and enjoys peace of mind.” [Excerpt from Ash-Sharh Al-Mumti’]

    Imam Ahmed ibn Naqib al Masri said ‘’It is fitter to confine oneself to just one’’ [Umdatu Salik]

    Imam Ghazali said in his kitab al nikah: “It does not call for two wives, [since] plurality may render life miserable and disrupt the affairs of the home.”

    Also 99.99% of polygamous marriages which I have known have been a brutal catastrophe, especially in the West. Men abuse this a lot, thus tarnishing this institution. Many wives and children, especially the first wife are abused in polygamous marriages and many are even abandoned for a second wife.

    This is the case with both practising Muslims -Salafis, who often dump their wives on welfare benefits- and non-practising Muslims-many of whom even have illegitimate relationships with women before marrying them.

  95. Avatar


    December 2, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    AsSalamu Alaikum!

    Thank you for this Article, it was very informative. I just wanted to add something that I didn’t see mentioned in the article or the comments. I think it’s important to take into consideration what the Quran actually states about marrying more than one wife.
    Allah (swt) gives us clear guidance in the Quran about the number of wives a man can have and in exactly what circumstances. In the time before the Prophet (pbuh) there were no restrictions on the number of wives men had, and the Quran actually restricts men to a number in order to protect women’s rights it seems. Refer to the following ayats:

    “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.”
    — Qur’an, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 3

    “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women (wives), 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 practice self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
    — Qur’an, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), Ayah 129

    It’s clear to me that from ayah 3 that men can marry more than one wife if they’re able to deal with them justly. However, according to ayah 129 men are not ever going to be able to achieve fairness between wives. So it seems like men shouldn’t have more than one wife if Allah (swt) says it’s never going to be possible for men to be fair to them. At the end of the day, Allah (swt) is all-knowing, wise, and most merciful. He knows best.

    Although you could argue it’s Sunnah to marry even more than 4 wives as the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) had. You could also argue it’s Sunnah to marry your first wife until she passes away like the Prophet (pbuh) had with his 20+ year marriage to Khadija (rah). However, Prophets are different than regular believers, because they’re given revelation and countless miracles. In addition, the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) had the best of character and was spiritually cleansed, so who better to treat his wives with justice? Lastly, the Prophet (pbuh) had specific reasons for marrying his wives, and it was Allah (swt), who willed for him to do so.

    May Allah (swt) guide us all on the right path in our decisions in marriage and in all areas of life.

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Loving Muslim Marriages Episode 3: Are Muslim Women Becoming Hypersexual?

Saba Syed (Umm Reem)



Loving Muslim Marriage

Are Muslim women with sexual demands becoming “hyper-sexual,” being negatively influenced by life in a Western, post-sexual revolution society? Allah made both men and women sexual, and the recognition of a Muslim woman’s sexual needs is a part of the religion even if it seems missing from the culture. This segment is a continuation of the previous week’s segment titled, “Do Women Desire Sex?”

To view all videos in this series, as well as an links or articles referenced, please visit

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So You Are The Wali, Now What?

Dr Shadee Elmasry



The way most Muslims (as well as conservative Christians and Jews) live, a man asks for a woman’s hand in marriage from the father.

The father is not just a turnstile who has to say yes. He is a “wali” or protector and guardian of his daughter’s rights. So he will be asking some serious questions that would be awkward if the woman had to ask them.

Furthermore, in the Muslim community today esp. in the West, there are many converts that seek out a wali because they have no male relative who is Muslim. In this post, I share some guidelines aimed at the wali in his new role and stories that are useful.

Being a wali is not an honorary role. You’re not just throwing out the first pitch. You’re actually trying to throw curveballs to see whether the proposal checks out or has issues.

Here are some questions and demands a wali should make:

Background check: Call and meet at least four people that were close to the man who has proposed and interview them. There’s no husn al-zann (good opinion) in marriage. As a potential suitor, you are rejected until you prove yourself, much like an application for employment. These days, most people’s background can be found on their social media, so the wali has to spend time scrolling down. Keep scrolling, read the comments, look at the pictures, click on who’s tagged in those pictures. Get a good idea. You are a private investigator *before* the problem happens, not after. 

Check financials:  You need to see the financials to make sure they are not in some ridiculous debt or have bad credit such that they can’t even rent an apartment or cover basic needs. You want some evidence that he can fulfill the obligation of maintenance.

Check the educational background or skill set: This is a given. If it’s solid, then it can outweigh lack of funds at this moment.

Check medical records: If this is a stranger, the wali needs medical records. There was once a wealthy, handsome young man that was suave and a seemingly amazing prospect who proposed for a girl who was comparatively of average looks and from a family of very modest means. The mother and daughter were head over heels, but the dad had enough common sense to know something was up.

“Why would he come knocking on our door?,” he asked.

So the father demanded medical records. The guy never produced them. When the dad pressed him, the man admitted, he had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and that’s why he couldn’t find anyone else to marry him.

Now note, there are legitimate cases where people have a past when they have made mistakes. This happens to the best of us, and the door for tawbah (repentance) is open. In those cases, there are organizations that match-make for Muslims with STDs. People should act in a responsible manner and not damage the lives of other humans beings.

Lifestyle: It is your job to check if the two parties have agreed on life essentials such as religious beliefs, where to live, how to school kids, etc?

In-laws: Have you at least met the family of the suitor and spent some time with them to make sure there’s nothing alarming?

Engagement: Contrary to popular understanding, there is such a thing as engagement in Islam. It’s an announcement of a future commitment to marriage. Nothing changes between the fiancees, but nobody is allowed to propose anymore. The purpose of engagement is to give time for both parties to get ready. For example, the groom may want to save up some money, or the girl may be finishing up college. Also, it’s easy to put on a face during the get-to-know process, but it’s hard to fake it over an eight or nine-month period. I remember a story where a young woman was engaged, and four months into the engagement they discovered the young man was still getting to know other women. He basically reserved the girl and then went to check for better options. Needless to say, he was dumped on the spot. Engagements are commonly a few months. I think more than a year is too much.

Legal/Civil:  The marriage should be legal/civil in the country where you will settle. If you accept a Shariah marriage but not a civil one, know that you’re asking for legal complications, especially if a child enters the picture. (Ed. Note- we realize that some countries do not allow legal registration of more than one marriage- if that is a consideration please look at all options to protect your ward. There are ways to get insurance that can be set up.)

Mahr: Get 50% of the dowry upfront (or some decent amount) and whatever is scheduled to be paid later should be written and signed. I’ve seen too many cases where a really nice dowry is “promised” but never produced.

The dowry should be commensurate to current standards depending on the man’s job. For example in our area in America 5, 7, or 10k is a common range.

In sum, there are very few things in life that are as bad as misery in marriage. The wali’s job is to eliminate the bad things that could have been avoided. If that means he has to be demanding and hated for a few months, it’s worth the cost.

It’s preventative medicine.

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#Current Affairs

The Duplicity of American Muslim Influencers And The ‘So-called Muslim Ban’

Dr Joseph Kaminski



As we approach the beginning of another painful year of the full enforcement of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (a.k.a. ‘the Muslim ban’) that effectively bars citizens of several Muslim majority countries from entering into the United States, the silence remains deafening. As I expected, most of the world has conveniently forgotten about this policy, which thus far has separated over 3,000 American families from their spouses and other immediate relatives. In June 2019, the Brennan Center of Justice notes that: The ban has also kept at least 1,545 children from their American parents and 3,460 parents from their American sons and daughters. While silence and apathy from the general public on this matter is to be expected— after all, it is not their families who are impacted— what is particularly troubling is the response that is beginning to emerge from some corners of the American Muslim social landscape.

While most Muslims and Muslim groups have been vocal in their condemnation of Presidential Proclamation 9645, other prominent voices have not. Shadi Hamid sought to rationalize the executive order on technical grounds arguing that it was a legally plausible interpretation. Perhaps this is true, but some of the other points made by Hamid are quite questionable. For example, he curiously contends that:

The decision does not turn American Muslims like myself into “second-class citizens,” and to insist that it does will make it impossible for us to claim that we have actually become second-class citizens, if such a thing ever happens.

I don’t know— being forced to choose exile in order to remain with one’s family certainly does sound like being turned into a ‘second-class citizen’ to me. Perhaps the executive order does not turn Muslims like himself, as he notes, into second-class citizens, but it definitely does others, unless it is possible in Hamid’s mind to remain a first-class citizen barred from living with his own spouse and children for completely arbitrary reasons, like me. To be fair to Hamid, in the same article he does comment that the executive order is a morally questionable decision, noting that he is “still deeply uncomfortable with the Supreme Court’s ruling” and that “It contributes to the legitimization and mainstreaming of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

On the other hand, more recently others have shown open disdain for those who are angered about the ‘so-called Muslim ban.’ On June 6th, 2019, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, a Senior Faculty Member at Zaytuna College, Islamic scholar and the founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, rationalized the ban on spurious security grounds. He commented that,

The so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his potential. But, to be fair, a real Muslim ban would mean that no Muslim from any country should be allowed in the US. There are about 50 Muslim majority countries. Trump singled out only 7 of them, most of which are war torn and problem countries. So, it is unfair to claim that he was only motivated by a hatred for Islam and Muslims.

First, despite how redundant and unnecessary this point is to make again, one ought to be reminded that between 1975 and 2015, zero foreigners from the seven nations initially placed on the banned list (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) killed any Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and zero Libyans or Syrians have ever even been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil during that same time period. I do not think these numbers have changed over the last 4 years either. If policy decisions are supposed to be made on sound empirical evidence and data, then there is even less justification for the ban.

Second, Bin Hamid Ali comments that ‘the so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his [Trump’s] potential.’ Whoa… hold on; on edge about his potential? For the millions of people banned from entering the United States and the thousands of Muslim families connected to these millions of people, this ‘potential’ has been more than realized. To reduce the ‘so-called Muslim ban’ to just targeting ‘war torn and problem countries’ is to reduce our family members—our husbands, wives, and children—to (inaccurate) statistics and gross stereotypes. Are spouses from Syria or Yemen seeking to reunite with their legally recognized spouses or children any less deserving to be with their immediate family members because they hail from ‘problem countries’? How can one be concerned with stereotypes while saying something like this? Is this not the exact thing that Abdullah bin Hamid Ali seeks to avoid? Surely the Professor would not invoke such stereotypes to justify the racial profiling of black American citizens. What makes black non-Americans, Arabs, and Iranians any different when it comes to draconian immigration profiling? From a purely Islamic perspective, the answer is absolutely nothing.

More recently, Sherman Jackson, a leading Islamic intellectual figure at the University of Southern California, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, also waded into this discussion. In his essay, he reframed the Muslim ban as a question of identity politics rather than basic human right, pitting Muslim immigrants against what he calls ‘blackamericans’ drawing some incredibly questionable, nativist, and bigoted conclusions. Jackson in a recent blog responding to critiques by Ali al-Arian about his own questionable affiliations with authoritarian Arab regimes comments:

Al-Arian mentions that,

“the Muslim American community seemed united at least in its opposition to the Trump administration.”  He and those who make up this alleged consensus are apparently offended by Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.  But a Blackamerican sister in Chicago once asked me rhetorically why she should support having Muslims come to this country who are only going to treat her like crap.

These are baffling comments to make about ‘Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.’ Jackson creates a strawman by bringing up an anecdotal story that offers a gross generalization that clearly has prejudiced undertones of certain Muslim immigrants. Most interesting, however is how self-defeating Jackson’s invocation of identity politics is considering the fact that a large number of the ‘blackamerican’ Muslims that he is concerned about themselves have relatives from Somalia and other countries impacted by the travel ban. As of 2017, there were just over 52,000 Americans with Somali ancestry in the state of Minnesota alone. Are Somali-Americans only worth our sympathy so long as they do not have Somali spouses? What Jackson and Bin Hamid Ali do not seem to understand is that these Muslim immigrants they speak disparagingly of, by in large, are coming on family unification related visas.

Other people with large online followings have praised the comments offered by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Sherman Jackson. The controversial administrator of the popular The Muslim Skeptic website, Daniel Haqiqatjou, in defense of Jackson’s comments, stated:

This is the first time I have seen a prominent figure downplay the issue. And I think Jackson’s assessment is exactly right: The average American Muslim doesn’t really care about this. There is no evidence to indicate that this policy has had a significant impact on the community as a whole. Travel to the US from those four countries affected by the ban was already extremely difficult in the Obama era.

What Haqiqatjou seems to not realize is that while travel from these countries was difficult, it was not as ‘extremely difficult’ as he erroneously claims it was. The US issued 7,727 visas to Iranian passport holders in 2016 prior to the ban. After the ban in 2018, that number dropped to 1,449. My own wife was issued a B1/B2 Tourist visa to meet my family in 2016 after approximately 40 days of administrative processing which is standard for US visa seekers who hold Iranian passports. On the other hand, she was rejected for the same B1/B2 Tourist visa in 2018 after a grueling 60+ day wait due to Presidential Proclamation 9645. At the behest of the Counselor Officer where we currently live, she was told to just finish the immigration process since this would put her in a better position to receive one of these nearly impossible to get waivers. She had her interview on November 19, 2018, and we are still awaiting the results of whatever these epic, non-transparent ‘extreme vetting’ procedures yield. Somehow despite my wife being perfectly fine to enter in 2016, three years later, we are entering the 10th month of waiting for one of these elusive waivers with no end time in sight, nor any guarantee that things will work out. Tell me how this is pretty much the same as things have always been?

What these commentators seem to not realize is that the United States immigration system is incredibly rigid. One cannot hop on a plane and say they want to immigrate with an empty wallet to start of Kebab shop in Queens. It seems as if many of these people that take umbrage at the prospects of legal immigration believe that the immigration rules of 2019 are the same as they were in 1819. In the end, it is important to once again reiterate that the Muslim immigrants Jackson, Bin Hamid Ali and others are disparaging are those who most likely are the family members of American Muslim citizens; by belittling the spouses and children of American Muslims, these people are belittling American Muslims themselves.

Neo-nationalism, tribalism, and identity politics of this sort are wholly antithetical to the Islamic enterprise. We have now reached the point where people who are considered authority figures within the American Islamic community are promoting nativism and identity politics at the expense of American Muslim families. Instead of trying to rationalize the ‘so-called Muslim Ban’ via appeals to nativist and nationalist rhetoric, influential Muslim leaders and internet influencers need to demonstrate empathy and compassion for the thousands of US Muslim families being torn apart by this indefinite Muslim ban that we all know will never end so long as Donald Trump remains president. In reality, they should be willing to fight tooth-and-nail for American Muslim families. These are the same people who regularly critique the decline of the family unit and the rise of single-parent households. Do they not see the hypocrisy in their positions of not defending those Muslim families that seek to stay together?

If these people are not willing to advocate on behalf of those of us suffering— some of us living in self-imposed exile in third party countries to remain with our spouses and children— the least they can do is to not downplay our suffering or even worse, turn it into a political football (Social Justice Warrior politics vs. traditional ‘real’ Islam). It seems clear that if liberal Muslim activists were not as outspoken on this matter, these more conservative voices would take a different perspective. With the exception of Shadi Hamid, the other aforementioned names have made efforts to constrain themselves firmly to the ‘traditional’ Muslim camp. There is no reason that this issue, which obviously transcends petty partisan Muslim politics, ought to symbolize one’s allegiance to any particular social movement or camp within contemporary Islamic civil society.

If these people want a ‘traditional’ justification for why Muslim families should not be separated, they ought to be reminded that one of al-Ghazali’s 5 essential principles of the Shari’a was related to the protection of lineage/family and honor (ḥifẓ al-nasl). Our spouses are not cannon fodder for such childish partisan politics. We will continue to protect our families and their honor regardless of how hostile the environment may become for us and regardless of who we have to name and shame in the process.

When I got married over a year prior to Donald Trump being elected President, I vowed that only Allah would separate me from my spouse. I intend on keeping that vow regardless of what consequences that decision may have.

Photo courtesy: Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch

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