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|Polygamy and sisters' views|
|10/07/03 at 12:38:50|
I've been thinking about this subject. I have a very good friend who now getting divorced because she was in polygamous marriage and was not being treated fairly. While her husband definitely was to blame, her co-wife (the other wife) caused so many problems for my friend. She rallied much of the woman in the local community around her and even got her adult children involved in harassing my friend. May Allah forgive them all. Anyhow, I am wondering what would you sisters would do if your husband wanted another wife? Why is this issue so difficult for women to deal with? Do you think polygamy can work for us in this day and age?
|Re: Polygamy and sisters' views|
|10/07/03 at 12:51:36|
Hmmm... I have some issues with polygony in the west, there is another Norwegian sister who wrote some things about it, i will see if i can find what she wrote, she alowes me to use it :D
I have 3 objectives against polygamy while living in the west:
1. is that it is although illegal here, and the 2nd wife will get no legal status, and she will be living as a single mother, taking all the benefits from the state, lying and in a way stealing the money we who work pay tax for. Even if we live in Dar ul Kitab, we can not lie, steal or cheat, so that rules out polygamy in a way.
2. Another issue conected to that one, is the fact that the men here marry two women, and then they expect the 2nd woman to live off wellfare as a single mother, and that is not "Treat them justfully and let them have the same" cuz the legally married wife will have much more benefit from the marriage, according to laws of herritance etc if he God forbid dies. She will get the "widow-pension" not the 2nd wife, so due to the laws here they cant be treated equal.
3. What ever happened to islamic brotherhood? There is single practising muslims MashaAllah who never finds a suitable wife just cuz some men wanna marry two or even more. Thats not fair really. The men need to share! I know many brothers who were looking for wifes, and i almost found them women, and then that woman married some guy with already one wife. Thats not fair either. Okay yes she chose it, we cant marry people by force, but later after a time she divorced, cuz it was not all that... It happened more than once. And then she happilly married her single man, who treats her like a queen, alhamdulillah.
when people almost makes it Fard or atleast Sunnah to have more wifes, that makes me a bit mad, cuz it is also not alowed for muslims to cheat and lie even if we live in Dar ul Kitab! And by having 2nd wife, you would be lying to the state!
But that was on polygamy while living in the west. However, in another time and another situation yes, sure, if i was living in a country where its alowed, i can do that. I think. If i had to yes i can. I sound like that slim-guy.... dont remember his name but he appears in the Nutty Professor film... Yes i can, yes i can yes i can...
Maybe its insecurity, maybe its a need to controll, maybe its jalousy, i dont know. But i guess i can do it yes. Cuz its islam and its alowed. And its from Allah. But however, it is NOT fard!
And i basically agree on that one so far. But however, i would not mind it even here in Norway if he decided to take another wife, mostly because it is alowed in islam and we should not let ourself think like Kuffar and dont alow it. Cuz we really do not have a choice. I also found this article online, wich was also helpfull in many ways:
Polygamy: An Examination of Western Influences on the Issue
By Baiyinah Bint Muhammad
The Prophet (saw) told us that we would follow the ways of those before us so much so that if they were to crawl into the hole of a lizard, we would follow. This hadeeth, as explained by the Prophet (saw), refers to the extent to which Muslims will go in following the sunnah of the Jews and Christians. Naturally, this following of the Jews and Christians is at the expense of following the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (saw). Evidence that Muslims have abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) in favor of the sunnah of the Jews and Christians is evident in nearly every aspect of their lives. Even Muslims who think of themselves as following the way of the salaf (pious predecessors) have been unable to escape the influence of the Jews and Christians in this respect, and one of the most apparent proofs of this is Muslims’ view of polygamy.
Polygamy, which in this context refers to a man marrying more than one wife, has been practiced for thousands of years. It was permitted by Allah and thus was practiced by the early prophets and religious people, and proof for this can be found in many historical texts, including today’s version of the Bible. When the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saw), Allah continued to permit men to marry more than one woman, but men were limited to marrying a maximum of four at one time. As is well known, polygamy was a normal practice at the time of the Prophet (saw), who himself practiced polygamy until he died. Even long after the Prophet (saw) died, the practice of polygamy survived and was viewed by Muslim societies as both natural and normal. However, this view of polygamy underwent tremendous change as Muslims began to adopt the culture and beliefs of non-Muslims, namely the West.
The West, although it professes a Christian heritage, has recently become best known for its abandonment of religion in favor of human whims and desires. Consequently, morality has been replaced by immorality and good by evil so much so that the West more often than not confuses the two. What was once considered righteous is now considered sacrilegious and vice versa. Naturally, this has resulted in the most detrimental moral decline witnessed by America. Vices such as homosexuality, fornication, and adultery are flaunted and championed as being natural, praiseworthy, and healthy. Marriage has lost the respect it once had and is now merely a highly decorated, costly production that is done more out of habit than any desire to live honorably with one another. Even after marriage, it is a normal practice for one or both spouses live in adultery, which is a praiseworthy act in America, where the sin is glamorized in music, television, and movies. Much of this came about after women fought for their “liberation” and headed what some refer to as a “sexual revolution.” This movement resulted in the abandonment and demonizing of anything that American women found “oppressive,” which included modest dress, women’s traditional roles, and, of course, polygamy.
Undoubtedly, Muslims have been influenced by the Women’s Liberation Movement where polygamy is concerned, but they are in varying degrees in the effect this has had on their lives. Some Muslims have embraced the movement’s views wholeheartedly and openly reject as “backward” and “oppressive” what Allah has allowed of men marrying up to four women. Fortunately, most Muslims recognize this stance as disbelief, and in wishing to hold on to their religion, they approach the issue of polygamy more moderately. However, remnants of the Western view on polygamy is still evident in most Muslims’ lives.
The most common approach of Muslims when addressing the issue of polygamy is to view plural marriage as the exception and monogamy as the norm. This approach is so prevalent that the statement “one [wife] is best for you” can be found in one of the most widely spread translations of the Qur’an although no such statement or implication can be found in the Arabic Qur’an. What Allah says on the matter can be translated to mean,
“Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if you fear that you will 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” (4:3).
If any “norm” were derived from this verse, it would be that of polygamy. For if I were to say to a person, “Give me 10, 20, or 30 dollars, but if you fear this will be too much for you, then give me only five,” the person will immediately recognize that my preference is, at minimum, 10 dollars. Although all of us would recognize this in the case of the money example, the West has influenced us so greatly that we would conclude that the Qur’anic verse on polygamy is referencing monogamy as the norm.
Another common approach of Muslims to the issue of polygamy is to allow it only under certain strict conditions, although no such conditions existed during the time of the Prophet (saw) or his companions and were not stipulated by any of the earlier Muslims. Among the most popular “conditions” on polygamy is that the second, third, or fourth wife must be widowed, divorced with several children, extremely poor with no prospect of marriage by a single brother, or physically disabled so much so that it is unlikely any single brother would marry her. Other conditions include the stipulation that all single Muslim brothers in the local area must be married before a man can marry another wife. Possibly the most widespread of these conditions is that the “first wife” must give her approval, otherwise it is prohibited for the man to marry another woman. However, none of these conditions are based in Islam but, rather, are offshoots of the Western position that frowns upon the allowance and views polygamy as something that should be avoided.
What further complicates the issue of polygamy where following the Sunnah is concerned is that even for those Muslims who do not believe in such conditions, they are likely to harbor some dislike for it in their hearts, a dislike that is often manifested in their discussions on the topic. In circles of women, it is rare that one finds the subject discussed in a positive light. Rather, when the issue is brought up, one of the first points that sisters are likely to make is that most men do not do it correctly, therefore, it should be avoided. Another point is that most men cannot afford it, therefore, they shouldn’t do it. Whether or not these points have validity is not relevant to the discussion of polygamy because the issue here is the proposed solution and not the existence of a problem. In both cases where a problem was presented, the conclusion was: avoid polygamy. However, this logic would be viewed as absurd when applied to any other aspect of religion. If we take for example reading the Qur’an, it is undeniable that most of us approach this task incorrectly, but who would propose that we abandon it to solve the problem? Furthermore, no one would deny that monogamous marriages have their share of problems, but who would propose that we abandon marriage completely to solve the problem? What this evidences is that the real problem is not polygamy being done incorrectly or men not being able to afford it but that the West’s frowning upon polygamy has infiltrated our hearts and minds so greatly that even when we analyze basic problems in our community, we see no solution except that which the West would propose.
What is most surprising about Western influence in the matter of polygamy is that even when polygamy is practiced by Muslim men and women, those in a polygamous situation may carry with them some of the West’s thinking on the matter. For example, in the West when a married man has a relationship with another woman, it is assumed that his wife is lacking in her ability to please him, that his marriage is an unhappy one, or that his wife has wronged him in some way. The reason for these assumptions is that since the West views monogamy as “normal” and polygamy as “abnormal,” it is necessary that something wrong has occurred in the marriage to “push” the man to having a relationship with someone else. Thus, explanations are sought for the “abnormal” occurrence of a man desiring another woman. However, in Islam, where polygamy is the natural result of how Allah created men, no such “explanation” is needed. Nevertheless, Muslims, particularly women in a polygamous situation, may seek explanations for the polygamy occurring. The “first wife” (along with much of the Muslim community) will likely assume that she is not pleasing her husband, that he is unhappy in the marriage, or that she has wronged him in some way. The “second wife” will likely assume the same and thus believe that she has come in to fix a problem or fill some void. Consequently, she may be confused if her husband takes a “third wife,” or she may feel proud that she has been chosen to solve his marriage “problems”. These views are further complicated because the Muslims in the local community will likely reaffirm that this is the case.
The influence of the West on Muslims’ approach to polygamy is tremendous, and, like all aspects of this religion, Islam’s view on the matter must be reclaimed. Although, admittedly, polygamy is a sensitive topic because of women’s natural jealousy, Muslims cannot relegate the practice to one that must be avoided, done “only when absolutely necessary,” or one that is an exception to the rule. Polygamy, although not obligatory for men or women to partake in, is a part of this religion and is a mercy from Allah that affords women many benefits when practiced properly-by both men and women. The West, a society that is drowning in sin and confusion, cannot possibly serve as a rightful example to Muslims on this issue. Islam offers Muslims the best way of life in all aspects of their affairs on this earth, but this can only be realized when holding firm to both the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Although it is a fact that Muslims in general will following the ways of the Jews and the Christians, the Prophet (saw) also taught us that there will always be a group of Muslims upon the truth. If we wish to be among them, we have to shed whatever remnants of Western influence has entered our lives, especially as it relates to marriage and family-which includes accepting wholeheartedly Islam’s view on polygamy.
Nothing of this is my own thoughts though, but i agree with many of the points. Even to the Norwegian sister who is strongly against the polygony in the west. But yet, we have no choice, do we? :P
|Re: Polygamy and sisters' views|
|10/07/03 at 13:02:57|
|While I do have issues with not being legally recognized, I think it's unfair to say that the second wife ends up on welfare. I know of people who are in polygamous situations and the man provides for both women...|
The fact remains that women outnumber men. In that respect I think polygamy can allow all Muslim women to have a husband. (Esp. in the communities where this a real shortage of men). As we know, according to Hadith, the numbers will increase even more so where women will out number men 10 to 1. I've seen evidence of this already in the country I come from.
I'm all for polygamy but there are certain things which I think are not acceptable:
(1) Marrying another woman because there are "problems" with the first wife
(2) Expecting the second wife to make financial concessions while the first one lives comfortably
(3) Unfairness in time spent, money, and affections being shown
(4) Marrying a second woman [i]solely[/i] because the first one is unable to conceive. Does the second wife become a baby machine?
|Re: Polygamy and sisters' views|
|10/07/03 at 15:54:30|
Samah, a note here is that this was written as it is in Norway. Where the second wife, the moment she got kids, she will automatically be counted as a single mother and then automatically get welfare, even if she was workiing, she would still get a percentage of the welfare money. And she gets double the child-alowance from the state and free daycare. Thats her right, and if you give that right up, they will start questioning you how you survive etc, and some of the money actually just come naturally without that u apply for it.
Even if women outnumbers men on a world scale, the ratio on muslim women and muslim men here in Norway is 1 woman pr every 2,3 men. (official statistic, not reliable when concerning age etc) but we know that muslim women are so low compared to men, since most asylumseekers are single muslim men. And we get around 15000 asylum seekers a year!
And those figures goes good for the rest of Scandinavia atleast, and thats what the Norwegian sister means about the "muslim brotherhood of men" and to not be selfish. ;) However i dont agree to the bone with her points, but some of them yes.
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