Polygyny In Islamic Law
Important Points Of Consideration
For The Man:
It should be understood that it is very painful, difficult, and traumatic for women, especially in those societies where polygamy is hardly practiced to accept their husbands taking another wife. The influence of alien culture has so strongly overwhelmed them that there is not only a fear of ruining their marriages but also a chance of them losing their Eemaan. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that this matter be approached correctly and dealt with caution, care and diplomacy.
1. Consider the responsibility which comes along with a second marriage.
2. Reflect whether you are able to fulfil the Shar’i obligations of both wives in a fair and just manner, (ie spending, clothing, staying overnight and other material matters which are within one’s ability to control).
3. Seek religious advice.
4. Seek advice from those already in a polygamous marriage.
5. Be able to adjust your routine and daily schedule.
6. Make all arrangements to ensure all wives receive their rights.
7. Possess a strong emotional state of mind to be able to handle the sensitiveness of all his wives.
8. Never contemplate polygyny as an experimental exercise.
9. Never consider polygyny to spite the first wife.
10. Take note that the permission of polygyny should not be abused.
11. Take into account the feelings and sentiments of the first wife and endeavour to provide every reassurance, support and comfort to her.
12. Be understanding, tolerant, caring and patient towards his first wife who is facing a most tumultuous period in her life that could cause her to have bouts of irrational behaviour from time to time.
13. Consider the impact it will have on his immediate family and what measures he has in place to support them through possible turmoil.
14. Consider discussing your intentions with your current wife to avoid a shocking revelation later. It may be that she will be understanding and amenable to your right to polygyny.
For The Woman Who’s Husband Seeks a Second Marriage:
A husband intending a second marriage could be very challenging for a woman. It could have disastrous consequences however, it is left up to an individual what she wants to make out of it. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) does not burden his slaves with that which they cannot bear.
Depending on the way she responds to her husband’s intentions of a second marriage so will the outcome be. If she responds positively the husband’s second marriage could prove to be for fruitful for her too. We all know the busy and hectic lives women lead. From caring for the husband’s needs to the kids, doing the household chores and her personal needs. A co-wife could prove to help and assist in her having more time for herself and her kids. Also at times the husband could be very demanding. After a long days work (of a woman) for a woman to still give full attention to a demanding husband could also be very difficult causing much frustration. With a co-wife they could equally share the burden.
Below are few ways in which a woman could respond to her husband’s intentions:
1. She becomes very angry, upset and is besides herself with rage, to the point of acting violently against others and herself. She threatens to leave him and abuses the custody of kids. In short she just creates a host of complex problems.
2. She is all the above but does not leave him. Instead, she puts up a fierce resistance turning her home and everybody’s lives into a nightmare.
3. She accepts the situation grudgingly. She may not display her anger but rather gives the impression that all is well. This stored anger then drives her to act maliciously by placing various obstacles in the husband’s life.
4. She is naturally upset, but takes it positively turning to Allaah, asking His assistance. Shaytan will most definitely bombard her with evil thoughts and feelings, trying to sink her into depression. However, by being patient and turning to Allaah, He will most definitely help her.
A golden rule to remember: The hurt will not leave if she resorts to unreasonable behaviour, but will prolong her anguish if not increase it. To overcome the hurt, she will have to place herself in the ward where this takes place; the ward of the patient.