And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphangirls, 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. (An-Nisa 4:3)
Being in polygyny these past few years has been a learning process, an overall a beneficial experience for me, al hamdulillah. It is one of the many rights that our husbands have in this religion and a Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (salla lahu alaihi wa sallam) that many brothers will choose to practice.
I have come to learn about the beauty of my husband having more than one wife. And from it I have witnessed a strong Muslim man, one who fears Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Someone who is not afraid of practicing what has been made lawful for him instead of falling victim to the haraam as many men can easily do in today’s world. Someone who is not hesitant to face the challenges in dealing with more than one woman as we women can be a test for our men, masha Allah.
Al hamdulillah, I must say that it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Just as anything else, it takes time getting used to being without your husband every single day of the week as it once used to be. Somehow I thought that being first would mean more heartache and loneliness, but I came to realize that this may not be so. I reflected back on our past together and I am grateful to Allah that I had my time with him alone. I got to know my husband all on my own, his likes and his dislikes. I appreciated the time we spent together studying Islam, travelling, playing with our baby, subhan Allah we even worked together! Then I thought about how his new wife would feel. Maybe full of anxiety, being with someone who is almost like a stranger. Someone she has to learn, figure out his food preferences, sleep patterns and so on. Someone who would perhaps feel more vulnerable than me.
In my eyes, I had a very unique situation. My co-wife and I were truly the best of companions. We literally spent a great amount of time in each others presence even living in our own dwellings. We shared our nights, our food, our books, our joys, our sorrows, and of course our husband. Most importantly we shared all of this seeking the pleasure of Allah Azza wa jal. We experienced true sisterhood and our husband was often proud to see that he had two wives who really loved each other and got along all of the time.
In my co-wife, I saw a beautiful sister, someone who reminded me of Allah almost always. I learned a lot from her from watching her, sometimes she didn’t even know that she was teaching me something unless I openly asked her for the naseehah. Even though she was older than me, she respected me just as I respected her. We valued the bond that we shared. We spent the Eids together spending the nights over each other’s houses, praying, studying, cooking, eating, sleeping, helping our children, helping our husband you name it, we could and would work together masha Allah. I cherished our friendship. I really loved her for the sake of Allah. We made each other laugh and cry we held on to the rope of Allah as tight as we could at times and when one was slipping the other would lend out her hand for support so that she could again get that good grasp of that rope.
Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury. And Allâh is Rich (Free of all wants) and He is Most-Forbearing. (Al-Baqarah 2:263)
This ayah reminds me of the genuine kindness that we displayed toward each other solely for Allah. And the saying of how kindness affects all things which is so true. All three of us were companions to one another. This was something to be grateful for as many situations don’t always run so smoothly. I felt that we started out as tiny little seeds of a plant that just kept growing and thriving under the light of Allah. Then our husband became the foundation or the roots of the plant and we women were the stems with leaves who were standing up firmly, healthy & green. Growing bigger every day with just enough water & sunlight. Our relationships only got better by the mercy of Allah as the time passed us by. It was a favor from Allah that I could not deny and to this day I’m glad I didn’t.
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allâh and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allâh orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allâh is Ever Most High, Most Great. (An-Nisa 4:34)
Many times you may hear that a brother’s first wife wants a divorce after hearing that he has taken a second wife a’oothu billah this is their right. Let the men be the ones to go out there and do what is permissible for them to do in this deen. Is there really a need for a khula or talaq which has no valid reasoning? Does it have to be the weaker vessels going out there and having multiple sit-downs in search for Mr. Right when we may already have had him right there in front of our faces and Allah knows best? Can’t we just try to trust our Lord a little more and stay in the marriage that was successful up until the utterance of taking another wife was overheard? What happened to loving the man who works hard to keep us comfortable & happy at home? Doesn’t he deserve to be happy, too? Doesn’t she? Don’t we owe it to Allah, our husbands, our co-wives and ourselves to at least try? Isn’t it marriage that completes half of our religion?
I will end with this last note by saying to all of my Salafisisters that polygyny can only make you stronger in deen, closer to Allah in remembering Him often, and more pleasing to Him and your husbands. It can be a very beautiful thing that can & will work insha Allah with lots of patience and supplication not to mention seeking more refuge from the whispers of the Shaytaan. It’s up to you to try to do your part in the experiment/test. Either you truly study it through trial and error until you get it right and pass OR you put minimal effort in it and fail, finding out that trying a little harder may have been the one thing that was going to advance you to the next grade level, Subhan Allah. The road can get rocky at times, no doubt there will be things that will be done straight from our desires, but insha Allah you will go back to the remembrance of Allah and learn from your mistakes. You will call on Him to forgive you for your wrongdoings openly and secretly, intentionally and unintentionally. Insha Allah you will return to focusing on your relationship with the Creator and not the one with the creation. And ultimately, you will be left with the thought of obtaining Jannah by easily accepting what Allah has written for you.