I present to you my thoughts regarding polygamy in Islam, the permissibility of having four wives.
Why can’t you share your husband?
Allah(swt) says in the Holy Quran :
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]. (Surah Nisa :3)
The thought of sharing a husband is impossible for many muslim women. But fact is fact, Allah(swt) has allowed polygamy and made it halal. And also, a man doesn’t need a permission from his wife to get another wife. It is his right. But many women, cannot accept it, digest it, including me.
I am very possesive and jealous about my husband, but I am a muslim too. And muslim means submitting to Allah’s will. If Allah has ordained it, I must accept it wholeheartedly. My love for Allah should be more than my love for my husband. Only then, can I completely accept this rule. If there is a commandment that goes against my desires, then I must look deep within myself, strengthen my faith to correct my self. Allah makes no mistakes. He is perfect. His commandments are perfect. If I am not able to see the wisdom behind it, then its my fault.
Not liking this rule means I like my husband more than my Allah. (Nauzubillah).
Update : So I was wrong about this: check this. It’s clear in Islam that a Muslim man or woman should love Allah and His Messenger the most, more than his family, more than his spouse, more than his kids and more than his own self and desires. If we fail to do so, our iman is severly lacking and we need to correct it.
Narated By Anas : The Prophet said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”
►Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 014.
So, being a jealous, possesive, obsessive wife that I am, I was finding it difficult to digest this command. I wanted Allah(swt) to grant me hikmah, to open my eyes and to really understand the benefits of polygyny. I wanted to submit fully to this order. I wanted to understand the wisdom behind it.
Of Course, there are valid reasons like there are more women than men, and we have to be kind and generous to let our husbands support widows and divorcees. But I wanted to think on a more personal level.
This retrospection led me to a few thoughts. First and foremost, don’t we all just love our mothers? Isn’t she the most deserving of our love, respect and kindness both according to islam and other religions as well? Everybody agrees, that mothers are the most deserving of our love and care.
But are we not “sharing” our mothers?? In childhood we were jealous, and some of us are jealous of our siblings even as adults. But its a law of the world, and we share our mothers with our brothers and sisters. Our mothers have to divide their time, attention and love between all of our siblings. But that doesn’t reduce her love for us or our love for her. Ofcourse, there are conflicts sometimes, but we all accept it and cannot change it.
So, my question to myself, if I am sharing my mother, than why can’t I share my husband? Is my husband dearer to me than my mother?
The fruit of this sharing is wonderful love between siblings, more relations and big family. If we were selfish and would say we only want to be single kids, we would be without the love of siblings and be deprived of loving relations like that of neices, nephews, sisters in law and brothers in law.
Likewise, we share our fathers too. Among other things, He divides his money to spend equally on each child.
We share our siblings too. No matter how much we love one particular brother or sister, it is not in our hands to have them all by ourself. We have to share our older sister with our younger sister. We share our grand mothers, our grand fathers, our uncles and our aunts. We don’t demand exclusive rights from them. They don’t belong only to us. I can’t ask my favourite uncle to be uncle only to me and not to anyone else. Likewise, we share our friends too. This is the law of universe. When we are sharing all our relations than why do we vehemently oppose the sharing of a husband?
Is it only because of intimacy? Because we do share all other things with other relations, like love, care, time, money and attention. The only thing different in this relationship is physical love. And that’s what most women cannot even imagine sharing. Myself included.
So, this led me to another thought. One of the best scholars of Islam and beloved of Messenger(SAWS), Ayesha(RAA) had to share her husband with other wives. And she had to share the best man ever born on the face of this earth with other women.
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained the perfection except Mary, the daughter of `Imran and Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh. And the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. an Arabic dish) to other meals.” (bukhari)
Why should it hurt our pride and prestige if it didn’t hurt her? Women are jealous beings, its natural, even the wives of prophet showed instances of jealously. But, a Muslim is the one who curbs her strongest whims and accepts Allah’s decrees.
If one of the best women of this world had to share her husband, then why should we be ashamed, disgraced or hurt when our husbands take other wives.
There is goodness in halal, whether we accept it or not. Whether we know it yet or not. Many scientific studies keep propping up about benefits of various sunnah. There are benefits to polygamy as well. May Allah open our eyes and strengthen our heart too.
Do not oppose Allah’s teachings. Do not reject them. If you have trouble following it, accept your own shortcoming. There is nothing wrong with Islam, what needs correction is our imaan.
Allah(swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Baqarah: 216)