Monthly Archives: September 2016

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEN IN THE UK?

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Heard a clip clopping coming towards me as I was walking today, assumed it was a woman and in inappropriate footwear so kept my gaze low until got closer and realized it was a brother who gave me salaams…

Bro had a man bun, tight clothing and boots with big enough heels that sounded just like a woman in high heels walking.

The world has just gone so strange and mashed up past few years, what are we going to see next? Brothers in make-up? Going to get their eye lashes curled at the beauticians?

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men, and he said: “Throw them out of your houses.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5885).

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SISTERS MAGAZINE – HOW TO MOVE HOUSE WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SANITY

Veteran mover Safa Ouhib hands out the hints she has picked up over years of packing and picking up boxes.

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From Sisters-Magazine – How to move house without losing your sanity

It started when I was ten years old.

“It’s been well lived in,” was my mother’s euphemistic description of our new house. This was my first move, and at the age of ten I did not fully understand what she meant. I soon found out – together with the meaning of the term ‘elbow grease’!

However, some of our family’s preparations made the move easier. Wrapping all breakables well, for example, ensured that we arrived at our new home with ornaments and china, if not sanity, intact!

My house moving experience broadened after getting married; my husband and I lived in six different flats in the first four years. Moves sometimes coincided with big projects at university and these were stressful times. Through all that moving, I hope I picked up some useful tips along the way to help you make your move as pleasant as possible.

In advance  

1. Take your move as an opportunity to do a big clear out, donating to charity or recycling where appropriate. It’s annoying and a waste of time and energy to pack and move things that you will end up getting rid of when unpacking in your new house – be ruthless! Start this process well in advance as it always seems to take longer than you’d imagined to pack everything up.

2. Know whether things like curtains, carpets, and light fittings are staying or whether you need to bring or buy your own.

3. Cancel phone and internet contracts well in advance if you have them and arrange for new ones to be set up at your new address. Although it’s worth mentioning that it is usually not possible to set up new contracts until you have actually moved. You may be without internet access for some weeks. If you rely on this, especially if you work from home, think about how you will cope and make alternative arrangements.

4. Collect boxes from supermarkets and DIY or electrical shops as they are often willing to let you take ones in various sizes and strengths. Keep stronger ones for heavier items. Usually the boxes have been flattened and you need to reassemble them yourself using strong tape – layer the tape well. I usually do a few layers on the inside and outside of the box – the last thing you want is your possessions falling out the bottom! Wrap all breakables well and mark boxes clearly as FRAGILE.

5. As you pack, number the boxes and keep an inventory of what went into each box. This way, you pack the items that are used the least and work your way up to those you use frequently – and when you unpack, you will know to start with the highest number and work your way down. Keeping an inventory is especially important if you are moving to a different town or country, so that if a box goes missing or gets damaged, you will be able to remember what the contents were.

6. Decide what each room in your new house is going to be used for and which bedrooms people are going to take. This way you can label boxes accordingly. Consider colour-coding the boxes with stickers or markers – using the colour red for all the boxes that contain kitchen goods, for example. In the new house, place a sticker or page with that colour on the door of the room so that the movers will know which boxes should be placed in which room.

7. Have more boxes, markers and tape than you think you will need. Remember to label the sides of the boxes, not just the tops, as it will be difficult to read the label if other boxes are stacked on top of it.

8. If you have older children involve them in the moving process. They can help to pack their clothes and toys for example. It helps to decide beforehand which bedrooms kids are going to take. I remember my mum drawing a little plan of our new house and we decided who would take each bedroom. This definitely avoided squabbles on moving day.

9. Think about the layout of your new house and plan where bulky items like beds and couches will go, bear in mind that things like the washing machine, computer and phone will probably have to go into pre-existing fixtures.

10. Remember to have phone numbers for your gas and electricity supplier so you can inform them of the move and take meter readings on the day you move out so you will not be billed for any fuel you have not used. Also take meter readings when you move to your new home and phone the relevant suppliers with these.

11. It is useful to have a few frozen meals prepared, transfer them to the new house in a cool box and then put them in the freezer.

12. If your new house is unoccupied, try to arrange for yourself and maybe a few family and friends to go there before the moving day and give it a good clean as this can save valuable time on the day.

On the day  
13. Arrange for younger children to be looked after if possible.

14. Older children may like to stay with friends while the contents of your old house is being packed up. They will almost certainly want to be involved in unpacking at the new house so they are less likely to get bored as the day wears on if they have been doing something else in the morning. Assign older children some age appropriate tasks – they could make a start at unpacking their bedroom or do some cleaning if necessary.

15. Accept all the help you can get! If family and friends are helping out with the move, treat everyone to pizza or whatever else you can buy through take-out, rather than attempting to cook a meal that first day.

16. If you are moving in town, instead of packing clothes into suitcases, simply remove them from the cupboards while still on the hangers, wrap them up in sheets and rehang straight into the wardrobes of your new house. Not only does this save time in packing, it causes few creases and saves you on the subsequent ironing.

Aftermath  
17. Be prepared to live out of boxes for a while. Bear in mind that it will take time to get everything the way you want it (if this ever really happens) and it is normal to feel unsettled. Talk to your kids about this too if they are feeling unnerved by the changes.

We made our last move about six weeks before our son was born. When my husband broke the news that we had to leave our flat, to my shame, I cried. However, we’re still here over two years later, alhamdulillah! And, at the end of the day, experiences like moving house, having to let go of possessions, saying goodbye, are all tests which we can choose to embrace insha Allah. They are, after all, only small challenges on our journey to our real home.

Safa Ouhib is an Irish revert who left her native Dublin after getting married, and spent the next few years moving from flat to flat in Edinburgh. She is now settled in Falkirk, Scotland. She hopes her moving days are not behind her though, as hijrah to Algeria is her next dream move. 

EWW, PLEASE – POEM BY SISTER CANDYAPPLE

Don’t look at me, git. I aint gunna do that
Go realise her worth first u selfish prat
U ain’t the victim here please stop whining
While she’s at home busting her guts here u are pining
checking Wutt, like four different chicks at once?
All Married, might I add that u playing ur chance
What kind of a weasel preys on those spoken for
Ur gross, u know that? A predator for sure
Their partners don’t deserve this ur a low life scum
How do u go to sleep at night ur conscience must be numb!

Now u lookin at me as if I’d cave in
Ur sweet words were stretched a bit too thin
I sussed u out the moment u bragged
U thought I’d find u charming but ur words had me gagged
Now a few questions running through my mind
Like what the hell are u doing what u hoping to find?
You have a fine wife at home go take a look
She’s all naturally beautiful down to every cranny n nook

But u fishing out for girls that have filtered selfies?
Perve on their body while they bat at u with their falsies?
Their beauty so deceptive, yup I do imply
Their whole makeup is fake man it takes hours to apply
Your mrs is gorgeous and she’s ur baby’s mother
No comparison to be had u wont find another
Stop looking for her faults it’s a ugly trait
Look at all she does for u, u wreckless ingrate

In fact I dunno what she sees in u, ur a two timing git
U know ur doing wrong, but u refuse to admit it
It ain’t like ur guaranteed years to live
And when u die have u thought what’s gunna give?
Work things out with ur wife it’s the least owe
Drop ur nastiness its gotta go
Ul be held accountabile
Suit urself or be responsible
Don’t look in others what u can find in ur wife
Cause of ur selfish desires you’ve ruined her life
She could have had it better but she’s stuck with u
I guess that’s her challenge she has to live through.

RED HOT PEPPER SOUP

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Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

It’s a little known fact that some Muslim men can actually cook… I don’t count myself in their number but I can dabble a bit and as I’ve even the past shared some other recipes from blogs I thought I’d share this one… my ‘Red Hot Pepper Soup.’

So here goes, it seems like it has a lot of ingredients but it’s really easy and simple to make.

Cooking time:
1.5 hours

Serves:
8 – 10 people easily

Ingredients:

  • Large knob of butter
  • 3 medium sized red onions
  • 5-10 pepper corns, 3-5 cloves whole
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • About 5 or 6 Medium sized mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 4 medium to large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • Good size handful of green beans
  • 2 Peppers
  • 2 tins of mixed beans, or two tins of two different types of beans
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 2 tsp of cracked black pepper
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes, or some other stock cubes if you prefer
  • 1.5l of water

Method:

  1. Place a large cooking pot on the hob, medium heat, add the butter and let it melt being careful not to let it burn.
  2. Chop the red onions small and add to the pot when the butter is melted, stir occasionally, you want to soften them up not brown them or caramelize them.
  3. Chop the garlic roughly and add with the whole black pepper corns and cloves.

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4. Chop / slice the mushrooms and add to the pot. I prefer to slice half so has that mushroomly look my wife likes and so can easily be avoided for the kids bowls, as well as finely chopping the other half so it dissolves in the soup so I can sneakily feed it to the kids without them knowing about it.

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5. Allow the onions, garlic, pepper, cloves and mushrooms have cooked for about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. Stir occasionally and if sticking add a little water to the pot to avoid any burning.

6. Chop the carrots and parsnips, at an angle if you like to make it look nicer when cooked and add to the mix, stir in and allow to cook and soften for further 5 minutes whilst you move onto the next step.

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Check out the handmade spice rack in the background made by my mrs from salvaged wood

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7. Cut up the green beans and peppers, add to the pot along with the tomato puree, salt, chilli flakes, and cracked black pepper. Stir and allow to cook for a few more mins, add water again if necessary to prevent sticking.

7. Add beans and tomato tins along with the juice from the tins, vegetable stock cubes, and 1.5l of water. This doesn’t seem like a lot for a large pot but the fluid from the tins also adds to the volume as well.

8. Cover, bring to a simmer and leave it for about 35-45 minutes. Stir occasionally when needed to avoid any of the beans or other vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pot

40-45 minutes is about right if you want it to be soft but not soft, I tend to cook it for 35 minutes so that when I warm it up to eat for a 2nd meal the vegetables are not going to turn mushy.

9. Finally serve up with whatever bread you prefer. My kids prefer crusty french breads with butter on, but trying to be healthy myself I think it goes better with brown bread, whether shop bought or home made.

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So there it is, a very simple and healthy home made soup, very warming, especially if you substitute the chilli flakes with a little scotch bonnet which I like doing sometimes but my kids complain about it being too hot.

Please feel free to share, like and let me know what you think.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I WAS – POEM BY SISTER CANDYAPPLE

They told me to keep it hush hush
But i cant cause it’s been waiting in ambush
Now I know what I need to do to end this
Locked inside my car im ready to dismiss

Look at my mother and sister crying hysterically
Banging on the doors and windows frantically
Their eyes wild with fear, the kind I too well recognise
Begging me to stop, watching them agonise

I cannot live it’s not the guilt alone
I sought great pleasure in battlefield and war zone
Western hero, the great soldier I was
Seeking great pleasure getting a kick and a buzz

While watching the life suck out of my victim’s eyes
Their family pleading me to stop as each one dies
They were all innocent that we knew so well
But were they humans? We couldn’t tell
They weren’t civilised like we are- so we were told
They didn’t deserve their property; natural resources like oil and gold

Many war crimes committed we proudly boast
We tortured them terribly more than most
It was only after we came back to our lives
We realised with us our victim survives

The blood on my hands I could never shake off
Never felt at peace always uneasy and rough
The docs pescribed some ineffective med
Only sent me over the edge cause now I see the dead

My soldier buddies all committed suicide
I was the only one of them left that hadn’t died
But now I’m sat here in my car as reality blurs
My own mother and sister look like one of the victim’s girls’
Who cried out for their father as I sniggered at them verminously
And shot their father dead in cold blood, mercilessly

Now as I’m about to pull the trigger to my head
I look around me as all my victims are lying dead
And all of their families crying out in agonising pain
As I did to others now fell upon me as I blew out my own brain

ALREADY NOTICING THE DIFFERENCE

orangutan1

Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) saw a man with a huge belly and said: “What is this?” He said, “A blessing from Allah.” He said, “Rather it is a punishment from Allah.”

Manaaqib Ameer al-Mu’mineen, p.200

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

Those who have known me for a while know I occasionally go on a diet regime, it lasts for a short time, somewhere between weeks to months, I lose some weight, I do walk a lot anyway, so I do a little bit more exercise, eat healthily ish but soon enough I slack off and my big fat reserves and and overly large waistline comes back again within a few months or at most a year.

orangutan4
“So I keep eating this green stuff and it makes me healthy right?”

I’m overweight and terrible at dieting and worse at getting around to exercise, it’s not good, and it’s certainly not Islamic to be so badly out of shape but it is what it is and it’s my burden to be dealing with.

The main issue is that this has been my lifestyle for the past two decades since prior to accepting Islam and all the way through my life as a Muslim and not having done any serious exercise for so long means my body needs a lot of work on it. I’ve always until now used this as an excuse to go easy on the hardcore work outs thinking if they are necessary I can always do them later on.

I was always into rugby at school, always relied on my size and natural strength to get me through but I’ve noticed over the years this natural strength has seeped away and in reality given I’m creeping up on 40 that if I don’t turn things around soon I am really asking for a middle age and later of bad health and a likely early death.

orangutan2
“I’m always trying to lose weight, but weight just keeps finding me.”

THINGS ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT

This latest attempt is going to be different, it definitely feels different in my head and Allah willing it will be different. I don’t know, I just feel more determined rather than just going through the usual motions.

I started eating a little more sensibly again just before Eid as I usually do, though I admit to partaking in too much cake and lots of big servings of lovely curries with the family over that time but now I’m back to sensible eating again rather than going back to bad habits and this time I’ve decided to actually listen to the experts on exercise and not go so easy on myself and my overweight, muscle puny body.

The main thing all these fitness people advised me was I need to do more of the sweaty hard stuff, one brother as well as the usual advise on making sure I do cardio also told me I need to do lots of big weights, to help burn the fat, little weights are good for toning but no good for weight loss and quickly getting my health back again.

york-weightsSo my little weights that I used every time I went on a health kick… they’ve had a makeover and now weigh approx 3x as much, gone are the long lightweight reps which seem to take forever to get results, in comes some heavy duty work with the Mr’s weights and brothers I can tell you I am already feeling and seeing the difference after just a week.

It’s only a 15 minute daily workout of tummy crushers, sit-ups and heavy weights and already I’ve lost 4lbs and I can feel my atrophied muscles coming back in a little way, but the results are enough to firm up my commitment to the new healthy gingerbeardman regime, to try to break the bad habits built up over the past 20 years and Insha’Allaah this time actually stick to a healthy lifestyle for good.

So lets see how we go this time. I don’t know why I feel different, but I do, maybe the last fried chicken burger was the one which broke the camels back… to totally mash up that metaphor.

I want to be fit and healthy within two years, tops. Insha’Allaah long before then but a little encouragement wouldn’t hurt so feel free to throw in suggestions along the way, and I’ll keep doing regular updates.

I am hoping keeping it semi-public will help motivate me more for the hard-times when the sugar and fat cravings are making me paw at the door like a junkie going cold turkey (Turkey and cranberry sandwich!), that knowing others who know me, either online or in person and know of my struggle can help keep me on the straight and narrow path to a healthy lifestyle so it will become much harder to chicken out (ummm fried chicken) when it’s no longer just a private battle of the bulge.

Before I go, here is one final Orangutan picture for good measure, it has absolutely nothing to do with me or my health kick other than I googled words around being overweight and ginger and up popped some images of my overweight ape friends here.

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I STOPPED SHAPING MY EYEBROWS WHEN MY HUSBAND DIED

Originally posted by Ruyaya’s Bookshelf blog, http://www.ruqayasbookshelf.com/i-stopped-shaping-my-eyebrows-when-my-husband-died/#.V-eqNWJC-7Y.facebook

colourful-cloth

This piece isn’t really about eyebrows.

When my husband was killed, so many things in my life immediately changed. I had no time to get used to the idea of him being gone. I had no time to really adjust to a new reality. I was thrown, headfirst, into this chaotic and painful hurricane of emotions and events.

At some point a few weeks later, I looked in the mirror and saw that my eyebrows were growing in. Almost instinctively I searched for my tweezers. As I was fumbling around searching for them, I stopped. I don’t know what made me stop, but I did. I looked at myself in the mirror for a second and thought, why am I doing this?

In a hadith that most of us have heard, the Prophet (saw) says, “Allah has cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, the woman who plucks eyebrows and the one who has it done, and the one who files her teeth for the purpose of beauty, altering the creation of Allah.”

I had heard this hadith so many times before, but I could never bring myself to stop shaping my eyebrows. I had thought I’d look too disheveled, too unruly and messy.What’s the big deal, I had always thought, it’s just a little hair.

But in the spur of that moment I decided to stop. That was three years ago. (For those wondering, I still have a moderately presentable face.)

This article isn’t really about eyebrows, though. It’s about submission. Submission to Allah and what He asks of us, and what He commands us to do.

For years I didn’t think it was a big deal to shape my eyebrows. Well, more accurately, I just didn’t think about it at all. Period.

Then this big thing happened to me. I lost someone I love very suddenly and very violently. I saw his face in the morgue, still cut and bloodied from when he fell to the ground. I saw how in the span of just mere moments, I went from being a wife to being a widow, from being happy to wanting to jump out of my own skin because of the pain, from being satisfied with my life to questioning everything, and from having my plans all laid out before me to feeling like I had nothing to look forward to.

And when he vanished from my life instantaneously, I came to understand just how fleeting this existence was. I came to understand how much of reality had gone over my head over the past few years when I cared about things. I came to understand that I could also die in one brief flick of time, before I was ever “ready,” before I had made the sacrifices necessary to be greeted with words of peace by good angels and ascend to a place where I would meet the Most High.

I came to understand that nothing, and I mean literally nothing in this world is worth risking my status in the sight of God.

All I wanted, all I prayed for, all I ever cared about in those months after my husband was taken from me was to attain paradise where no more tears would be shed, and no more heartache to cripple me. That’s all I wanted. Nothing else.

So when I looked at myself in the mirror and raised the tweezers to my face, I couldn’t do it. What possible reason could I have to risk gaining sins for something so trivial ashair? Was a little hair on my face really worth the prospect of Allah’s anger? Absolutely not.

You see, when you experience death, when you hold it in your hands and breathe its coppery blood scent, when you bury your loved ones in the ground, so many things worldly desires fall away.

I started to wonder how many other things I was doing while knowing full well that they were wrong. I started wondering how many other principles I was compromising because submission to God wasn’t my priority in life.

I said this article wasn’t about eyebrows, and it’s not. It’s about submission. It’s about obeying God when He commands us to do something or stay away from something – not because it’s easy, but because He is our Lord and Sustainer.

God knows I have many faults and bad habits and lapses in patience. He knows that I struggle to submit, as we all do, to certain obligations and commands. We’re human.

But are we even trying to submit? Do we even notice that He told us to do something, but we’re openly carrying on, doing the exact opposite? Or have we become so entrenched in our habits that we can’t even differentiate right from wrong anymore?

If we would only submit a true submission, we would fulfill the name that He named us: Muslimeen; those who submit. If we refuse to submit, on the big things and on the little things and on the medium things, are we really from those who submit? It’s an important question.

We could die this very instant. And if we did, would we care about whether our (probably too revealing) outfit was on point? Or would we worry whether or not our submission was on point?

I’m afraid for my daughter growing up in this era of social media where women are competing for likes and followers. They compromise their submission to God in order to maintain their numbers and grow their platform. They compromise everything that’s worth anything just to have a competitive edge.

It doesn’t have to be a popular thing to say, but I will say it anyway: we’ve lost sight of the fact that this world is a test, not a runway. We’ve lost sight of the fact that Allah does not look at our bodies, but He looks at our hearts. If we’d only sacrifice as much for Him as we do for our social media accounts, we’d be completely different.

It’s not just social media personalities, though. It’s all of us, every single one of us. We’ve all had moments where we’ve thought crossing a boundary would make us more successful in this world. Some of us have crossed that boundary over and over, some are standing on the precipice, admiring the grass that’s “greener” over there.

Just ask yourself: is this, whatever “this” is in your life, worth risking my spiritual well-being and status in the sight of God?

“Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you,

Until you visit the graveyards…”

(102: 1-2).

May Allah guide us to truly embody the word Muslim by entering a state of mind where we make the conscious choice to submit to Him in every way, no matter how difficult.

– Ruqaya’s Bookshelf 

POLYGAMY SURVIVAL GUIDE – A CO-WIFE’S EXPERIENCE

Taken from the ‘Pathway to Jannah’ blog – http://pathway2jannah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/polygamy-survival-guide-co-wifes.html

Polygamy is often seen as the end of a happy marriage, but it need not be that at all. Take it from me, I’m a happily married first wife and I’m friend with my co-wife, Masha’ Allah; in fact she’s sitting in the same room while I’m typing this. Polygamy can work if the husband and both or all wives go about it in the right way.

I have heard many horror stories about polygamy gone very wrong, and in all those cases, at least one person in the marriage was not following the Qur’an and Sunnah, usually the husband. Polygamy requires us to adhere to everything that Allah has taught us about marriage, and to follow the example of Muhammad and his wives.

This is the foundation upon which any marriage, monogamous or polygamous, is built, but with polygamy, it’s even more critical. Without this foundation, it isn’t going to succeed. While polygamy is frequently seen as benefiting the husband to the detriment of the wives, the reality is that it’s far more difficult for the husband.

He has to not only fulfill the rights of both wives and support both families financially and emotionally, he has to juggle his time between them, settle any disputes and difficulties that arise, and all the while ensure that he’s being just and fair.

The penalty for him failing to treat his wives equally is being raised up on the day of Judgment with half his body paralyzed.

The Qur’an strongly warns men that if they can’t be just between their wives, they are truly better off with only one. For men that take Islam seriously, polygamy is a huge and weighty responsibility and it’s an arduous task to get it right.

Meanwhile, each wife has no more responsibility than a monogamously married wife, and in some cases (e.g. where the wives choose to share accommodation) they can end up with a lot less responsibility than monogamous wives, as they share the running of the household and help each other out with the children.

Sharing love

One of the biggest fears women have of polygamy comes from a misunderstanding about the nature of love. Love is seen as something finite which has to be shared between people, so if a man takes a second wife, it’s assumed that he must love his first wife less because of it. The truth is that love is infinite and does not need to be shared between people.

Just as when a mother has a second child she still loves her first child as much as ever, when a man takes a second wife he still loves his first wife just as much.

Good Muslim men who choose polygamy do so because they truly want to love and protect two or more women. If he really didn’t love the first, divorcing her then remarrying is a much easier option for him both financially and emotionally than having two wives.

 

Sharing time

What you share in polygamy is your husband’s time. Whether spending less time with your husband is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your outlook. Of course, it’s natural to want to spend plenty of time with people you love, but we also need time for ourselves.

On the days when he’s with his other wife, there is no benefit in sitting around missing him. Instead, treat it as a time for you, and a chance to enjoy things that married women find it hard to make time for.

On your nights with him, you have a husband to share your bed with; on the other nights you get the whole bed to yourself and can snuggle up with a good book and have some “me time”.

Plan your evenings when you’re not with him to do things that you enjoy, so you look forward to your evenings without him as much as your evenings with him.

Co-wife rivalry

Try not to see your co-wife as a rival. Instead, try to focus on strengthening your relationship with your husband. If you don’t feel secure in your relationship, then it’s only natural that you’d see the other wife as a threat. If you are sure of your relationship with your husband, then ask yourself why you feel threatened, and remind yourself of what you have.

If your husband is going to love you and stand by you no matter what, then what can she take from you?

A useful piece of advice I heard from a brother is “the insecurity of the first wife is that the second wife is her replacement and he doesn’t love her any more. The insecurity of the second wife is that the first wife is his first love and he’ll never love her as much as he loves his first.”

This reminds us that the other wife has her own doubts, and to see clearly what we have instead. Look at why your husband loves you and try not to dwell on what he may or may not feel about her.

No love triangles in Islam

Focus on your relationship with your husband as a single entity, disconnected from his other marriage. Islamic polygamy is not a triangular relationship; his marriage with you and his marriage with your co-wife are two separate relationships.

You are not obliged to have anything to do with your co-wife, but if the two of you choose to be friends, then that’s a third and discrete relationship.

This means when you’re with him, the two of you need to act like the other wife doesn’t exist.

Enjoy your time with your husband and do all the same things a monogamous couple would do together.

If you are friends with your co-wife, don’t discuss your husband when you’re together, and spend time with her when he’s not around.


Tackling jealousy

Jealousy is best tackled by focusing on what you have. “Jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own,” (anon). If you feel jealous about anything, ask yourself if it’s over something that you really want, or whether you desire it simply because your co-wife has it.

If it’s the latter, then try to forget about it and remind yourself that you don’t actually want it.

If it’s something you really want, then focus on how you can get it for yourself because you would like it, not because she has it. If it’s the relationship you’re jealous of, concentrate on building your own relationship with your husband as though she’s not in the picture.

If you feel that he loves her more than you, then maybe he isn’t giving you enough attention or affection, and frame this as a problem in your own relationship that you need to talk to him about and resolve, rather than as a problem with your co-wife. These things won’t eliminate jealousy altogether, but they should minimize it.

Remember that even ‘A’isha had times when she was jealous of Muhammad’s other wives, and even broke a plate because of it.

When things go wrong

If your husband is not dividing up his time fairly, or not fulfilling your rights in Islam then he is the guilty party so don’t blame your co-wife for this.

This applies whether it’s something minor or very serious. Speak to him about the problem and tell him how you feel.
If he’s a good husband, he’ll do something to rectify the situation.

If he doesn’t and you’re having significant problems in your marriage because of it, then you need to go about dealing with it in the same way you would if you were monogamously married.

Marriages fail either because one partner is not fulfilling the rights of the other (or worse, abusing the other), or because the two partners are not compatible.

This is the same in monogamy and polygamy. Relationships fail sometimes in spite of one or both partners putting in their best efforts, and that’s why divorce is halal.

Sometimes men try to fix a failing monogamous marriage by taking a second wife – in my opinion this is like trying to put out a fire in the living room by starting another fire in the kitchen.

Other men want all the benefits of polygamy but refuse to accept any of the responsibility and end up treating their wives very badly. There are some situations where staying in a marriage is not in anyone’s best interests. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you do need to know when to call it a day.

An important thing to remember is not to blame polygamy itself for the marriage failure. The failure is due to incompatibility, or one partner systematically failing to fulfill their responsibilities to the other.

Polygamy, when done according to the Qur’an and Sunnah can work and indeed be beneficial to the wives, and it’s my opinion that it doesn’t need to be feared.

We should fear Allah, and be good spouses to each other.

We should remember to show our husbands our appreciation of them and all that they do for us, and they need to do the same for us. This is the key to a happy marriage, whether polygamous or monogamous. Insha Allah, by following the advice above, this happiness can be maintained in a polygamous marriage, despite the specific challenges this type of relationship may bring.