Tag Archives: Quran

High Heels – Islamic or Not?

heels-next

Whenever I hear a sister go past in heels it always reminds me of this part of the verse on covering…
 
‘And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment.’

My local Masjid in London was a pub once upon a time

The Imam mentioned today in his Jumuah Khutbah (sermon) that he met a brother last week who said: “I used to come to this building over 20 years ago when it was a pub to drink alcohol and drown away my sorrows. Today I come to the same building to make prayers and prostrate to my Lord”.

‘And Allah guides whom He wills’ [24:46]

~ Shabbir Hassan

Islam Q&A – Riba-Based Student Loans

Assalaamu Alaykum,

It seems strange that this fatwah even has to be posted, but due to the fitnah in the west, and specifically in the UK in regards to the official government run student loan schemes and whether they are permissible or not, I am glad somebody as reputable as Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid and Islam Q&A have been able to address this issue.

This is not to denigrate Sheikh Hatham al Haddad, his followers on Islam21C or anyone else who holds the opposite viewpoint. I said before others are being unfair and unjust towards him and overly harsh in their refutations of his errant opinions but when someone makes a mistake, it is important the truth of the matter is clarified.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Link back to original fatwah on Islam Q&A https://islamqa.info/en/249369

Original Question:

I have a question regarding interest. Firstly I would like to make it known that all my family is Muslim and we currently reside in Western Europe. I currently am a first year University student , in my country there is something called the Maintenance loan , which is a loan that can be taken not for the sake of the tuition fees of the university but to support a student in general while studying. This loan is entirely based on interest and ican be very desirable as it has very low interest rates and must also not be paid back till one finds themselves in a stable job hence maybe 10+years. I myself glory be to Allah have no need to take this loan as I am financially stable and have grants from the university itself. However my father has told me that I should take the full amount of this loan as it has very low interest rates. I have told him I do not need this money however he wants it for his personal gain and business endeavours. I know the great risk of interest and that it is very harmful. My question is what should I do in this scenario, would sin fall onto me?

Praise be to Allah

It is not permissible for you to take this loan, no matter how low the interest rate, because Allah has forbidden contracts that involve riba, whether the riba is great or small, even if it is only one dirham, and He has warned the one who consumes it and the one who pays it of punishment, wrath and curses. So beware lest you be one of them.

“Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “Trading is only like Ribâ (usury),” whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns [to Ribâ (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein.

Allâh will destroy Ribâ (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqât (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allâh likes not the disbelievers, sinners.

Truly those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

O you who believe! Fear Allâh and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers.

And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allâh and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums).

And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.

And fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allâh. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly”

[al-Baqarah 2:275-281].

The Prophet of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who pays it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5962).

It is not permissible for you to obey your father in that, because the rights of Allah and obedience to Him take precedence over the rights of the father and obedience to him. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience if it involves disobedience towards Allah; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.” Narrated by Muslim (1840).

For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 181723 and 96613.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Corrupt Rulers are the Fruit of Our Own Deeds

Are tyrant and corrupt rulers the problem in the Ummah? Although some may say yes, I would say, no, they are not the problem, but they are a symptom. In reality, unjust rulers are a punishment to the Ummah for our negligence and sins.

{Thus We let some of the wrong-doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn.} (6:129)

At-Tartooshi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “I continued hearing the people saying: ‘your deeds are your workers’ (meaning it is your deeds which will rule over you) and as you are (behave), you will have leaders placed over you. Then I found a similar meaning in the Quran: {Thus We let some of the wrong-doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn.}

And it is said, ‘What you reject something in your time, (know that it is) your deeds which corrupted it for you.’

So yes, we may have corrupt and unjust rulers, but they are the fruit of our own deeds.

~ Younus Kathrada

Form vs Function – Unrealistic Body Images of Men in the Modern Media

basmillah

O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?

bodytalk-male-bodybuilder-sTHE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE

Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as  they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?

STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION

This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.

I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped),  a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.

This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.

Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari

Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.

Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3

So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.

AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK

So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.

form-vs-function

I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.

Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.

As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.

As I read more about this  topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.

You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.

Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.

Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.

So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.

My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.

For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Islam Q&A – Does a husband have to be patient with his wife all the time and not divorce her?

We know that the wife of Nuh (as), and the wife of Lut (as) went to jahannam, may Allah protect us from his displeasure, amin. Is this evidence that brothers should patient with their wives all the time, and not divorce them? I have heard that the Messenger of Allah, (pbuh), divorced women. What is the difference between keeping a woman with bad behavior and counseling her, and getting rid of a woman with bad behavior?

Published Date: 2000-10-03 – IslamQ&A – https://islamqa.info/en/10613

Praise be to Allaah.

Undoubtedly the wives of Nooh and Loot (peace be upon them) will enter Hell with those who will enter it, but they did not commit any obvious sin that would imply kufr, otherwise it would not have been permissible for these Prophets to have remained married to kaafir women, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives” [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]

Perhaps the wife of Nooh was concealing kufr, or perhaps, despite the fact that Nooh had been calling people to Allaah for so long, she was influenced by the call of her people when she saw that all of her people were following kufr, so she became doubtful and wondered how he alone could be a believer when all of these people were disbelievers, and they formed the majority of their nation. So her kufr may have been secret. The same applies to the wife of Loot, of whom they said that her only sin was that she told her people about his guests, i.e., she called them to come and commit obscene actions with them. This was her sin, but it is possible that she was also a kaafir in secret. Hence Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):

“… except his wife, she will be of those who remain behind” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:32]

This is a summary of the response given by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, may Allaah preserve him.

It is permissible for a husband to divorce his wife so long as there is a shar’i reason for doing so, such as a lack of religious commitment, a bad attitude, lack of chastity, negligence, etc., even if she is not a kaafir. But if she is a righteous believer, let him keep her, even if he dislikes some of her characteristics, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let not a believing man hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her attributes, he will be pleased with another.” (Narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, 1469).

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to divorce Hafsah, Allaah revealed to him: Go back to Hafsah, for she fasts a lot and prays a lot at night, and she will be your wife in Paradise. Al-Mundhiri said: this was narrated by al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah. ‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood, hadeeth no. 2283.

The husband has to strive to reform his wife and pray to Allaah to reform her. Allaah will reform a wife in whom there is some crookedness, if He wills, as He said concerning His slave Zakariya (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and [We] cured his wife for him…” [al-Anbiya’ 21:90]

Some of the mufassireen (commentators) said that she used to have a sharp tongue, i.e., her speech towards her husband was offensive, so Allaah reformed her.

A man may put up with the difficulty of keeping his wife in order to ward off a greater difficulty, which is that of separating the children and dividing the family. But if the harm caused by staying with one’s wife is greater than the harm caused by separating from her, there is nothing wrong with him divorcing her. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

The Majority is Not a Proof that Something is Correct – Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzan (hafidhahullaah)

sheep-flock

 

From the characteristics of the people of the Days of Ignorance is that they would view the majority as proof that something was true and the minority as proof hat something was false. So according to them, whatever the majority of the people was upon, that was the truth. And whatever the minority was upon, that was not the truth. In their eyes, this was the balance used to determine truth from falsehood.

However, this is wrong, for Allah says: And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

And He says: But most of mankind doesn’t know. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 187]

And He says: And most of them We found to be not true to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed to be evil sinners. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 102]

So the balance is not the majority and the minority. Rather, the balance is the truth. So whoever is upon the truth – even if he is by himself – he is the one who is correct and deserves to be emulated. And if the majority of the people are upon falsehood, then it is obligatory to reject them and not be deceived by them. So consideration is given to the truth. This is why the scholars say: “Truth is not known by way of men, but rather men are known by way of the truth.” So whoever is upon the truth, then he is the one we must follow and emulate.

In Allaah’s stories about the prior nations, He informs us that it is always the minority that is upon the truth, as Allah says: And no one believed with him except for a few. [Surah Hood, ayah 40]

And in a hadeeth in which the nations were presented to the Prophet, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that he saw a prophet who had a small group of followers with him, and a Prophet who had a man or two men following him, and another Prophet who had no one with him. (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

So consideration is not given to which opinion or view has the most followers. Rather, consideration is given to its being either true or false. So whatever is true, even though a minority of the people or no one is upon it – so long as it is the truth – it must be adhered to, for indeed it is salvation. Falsehood is not aided by the fact that it has a majority of people following it – ever. This is a determining measure that the Muslim must always abide by.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Islam began strange and it will return back to being strange as it began.” (Saheeh Muslim)

This will occur at the time when evil, calamities and misguidance increase. So no one will remain upon the truth except for the strange ones amongst the people and those who extract themselves from their tribes (for the sake of their religion). They will become strangers in their society.

The Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent while the whole world was submersed in disbelief and misguidance. And when he called the people, only one or two answered his call. It was only until later on that they grew to be many. The tribe of Quraish, not to mention the whole of the Arabian Peninsula and the whole world, was upon misguidance. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the only one calling the people. So those who followed him were few with respect to the entire world.

So consideration is not given to the majority. Consideration is only given to what is correct and to achieving the truth. Yes, if the majority of the people are upon correctness, then that is good. However, the way of Allaah is that the majority of the people is always upon falsehood.

And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. [Surah Yoosuf, ayah 103]

And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]

* [In his sharh (explanation) of Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s (rahimahullaah) statement: From the greatest of their principles was that they would be deluded by the majority, using that to determine the correctness of a matter. They would also determine the falsehood of something if it was strange and that its adherents were few. So Allaah brought them the opposite of that, clarifying this in many places of the Qur`an.]

Source: Sharh Masaa’il-ul-Jaahiliyyah (pg. 60-62) of Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab (rahimahullaah), via al-Ibaanah.

Post Courtesy: Maher ibn Ahmed

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Zainab bint Younis – 10 Things I Learned from my Ex

10-things-i-learned-from-my-ex

Taken from aboutislam.net website – http://aboutislam.net/family-society/husbands-wives/10-things-learned-ex/

Whether it’s sprung on you suddenly, or it’s been creeping up on you for a while; whether it’s something you needed for yourself or something you never wanted… divorce is a difficult experience to go through. It is a painful process with a deep emotional toll, and for many, it can (understandably) be the source of a great deal of anger and bitterness towards one’s ex-spouse.

However, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that there’s always a silver lining to even the darkest of clouds in our lives.

“How amazing is the affair of the believer! Verily, all his affairs are good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good befalls him, he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him.” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

In the months after my divorce, both celebrating and mourning the end of a chapter of my life, I realized that my marriage and divorce alike were a learning experience. To that end, I offer the following ten things I learned from my ex-husband.

1) I am beautiful. When I first got married, I was both incredibly young and crippling insecure about myself. For the longest time, I had been a tomboy and a late bloomer; by the time I hit my mid-teens, I was already insecure about how I looked.

It took quite a bit of convincing from my then-husband for me to eventually believe that I was, in fact, pretty – and more than that, beautiful. Marriage gave me the freedom to explore aspects of beautification that I had avoided out of awkwardness, and to develop positive self-image. I will always appreciate and be grateful for the fact that my ex was the one who coaxed me out of my shell and made me comfortable with myself.

2) Being flawed doesn’t make you evil. By the time I recognized that my marriage was toxic, I had come to resent my then-husband. Often, I conflated his flaws and faults with him as a person, and had some very unpleasant things to say about him. It was a struggle to realize and remember that he wasn’t evil; he had his own inner demons and baggage that he was wrestling with, and while it didn’t excuse his behavior, it didn’t mean that he was all bad. It just made him painfully human… like me.

3) Just because it isn’t true love, doesn’t mean it isn’t love. I spent a great deal of time conflicted over the nature of my feelings for him. As his wife, wasn’t I supposed to be truly in love with him? How could I think that I loved him, when I knew that I wasn’t going to be spending the rest of my life with him?

While we grow up hearing about how we’ll meet our one true love, nobody really tells you that sometimes, you’ll find yourself loving someone who isn’t your one true love… and that’s okay. Allah has put you in that situation for a reason, and it is very often a blessing. There are many more types and shades of love than we are taught, and it is a blessing to experience them.

4) Unrequited love is painful even for the one who doesn’t love you back. Perhaps one of the worst feelings I ever experienced was knowing that he loved me more than I loved him in return. It was brutal, it was harsh, and it made me feel like the worst person on earth. It’s the unrequited lover who usually gains everyone’s sympathy – the story of Barirah and Mughith is quite apt – but to know that you aren’t the right person for the one who loves you with all his (or her) heart, is an incredibly painful feeling, especially when you do care about them deeply.

5) Remember the good, not just the bad. There’s an infamous hadith that mentions women who become so upset that they forget the good that has happened to them. Having been in a situation where it was tempting – and easy – to overlook the bright spots in favor of brooding on the dark times, I can say that gratefulness to Allah goes a long way in healing painful hurts.

Even in deeply unhappy situations, there can still be moments of small happiness, little joys and pleasant memories; things to think back to and smile about (even if that smile is a little sad). Don’t let the bitterness completely overcome the traces of sweetness left.

6) You don’t stop caring just because you’re divorced. My marriage ended slowly and agonizingly, and my divorce was painful… to be horribly honest, it was probably worse for him than it was for me. Yet although I was elated and relieved to be divorced, I wasn’t able to stop caring for him entirely.

After years of being together, of a relationship that was unique despite its turbulence, it’s impossible to just throw out the feelings of tenderness and compassion and to feel apathetic. Even though we are Islamically non-mahram to each other and will have minimal contact for the rest of our lives, there will always be a part of me that worries about him and hopes that he will be really, truly happy. The heart doesn’t have an on/off switch, so don’t expect it to.

7) Don’t be tempted. Some nights, when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and roll over in search of a warm, comforting body, you’ll realize with a lurch that they aren’t there anymore.

Some days, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about what if… what if you went back and things would change? What if you want to stay in touch with him/her and you’ll find that s/he’s not so bad, after all? Don’t go there. In many cases (I would venture to say most), the person you divorced is going to be the same person they were when you were married. Unless you both actively choose and commit to try again, with marriage counseling and a firm decision to resolve the issues that caused your marriage to end in the first place, don’t be tempted to fantasize about Happily Ever After, with the same person. Instead, trust in Allah that He will give you both what you actually need.

8) Toxic relationships are real. Unfortunately, few of us learn about – or how to identify – toxic relationships in the many lectures and books we’ll devour prior to marriage. However, it is something necessary to learn about, in order to be aware of unhealthy behavioral patterns that may emerge in your marriage, whether it’s coming from you or from your spouse. It doesn’t matter what cultural background you’re from, toxic relationships are real and can become worse – even abusive – if not recognized and dealt with as soon as possible.

Some people conflate sabr (patience) with enduring an unhealthy marriage without striving for resolution or positive change, but the Qur’an describes the marital bond as being one of love, mercy, and compassion. A marriage that lacks these qualities can be detrimental to one’s Imaan (faith), and should not be left to fester.

divorce-heart9) It won’t always end well. Sometimes, even if we really want to have the kind of amicable divorce where everyone conducts themselves with politeness and respect and maybe even friendly cooperation… it’s not so easy for the other party to share that vision – and sometimes, it’s just impossible.

Whether you’re the one who initiated the divorce or the one who received the news of it, the pain and inner torment of it all can be too much to shelve away neatly and go on as though none of it matters. Some of us are able to acknowledge our emotions and move on, and some of us aren’t. It can get nasty, it can get even more painful, but at the end of the day, we have to realize that as much as it would be much more convenient for things to go smoothly between you and your former spouse… it just might never reach the point of being an amicable divorce.

Once again, this is a time to turn to Allah and make du’a for the other person (even if we really, really don’t like them right now) that He ease their pain and yours.

10) Divorce can make you a better person. The struggles – and the good times – that you shared with your ex-spouse all took place for a reason. Allah tests those whom He loves, and divorce is just one of those trials and tribulations in life that we can emerge from as stronger Muslims and better people.

Not only are we given the opportunity to turn to Allah with a broken heart and find healing in the Words of al-Shaafi, the Healer, but we are now equipped with life skills that will help us recognize our own faults and shortcomings. We are also, inshaAllah, better able to understand and empathize with the ex-spouse, which is an excellent reminder of the importance of humbleness and forgiveness (and how hard they both are to truly embody).

Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult, unpleasant life experience and there’s no way to really put a positive spin on it… but there are ways to recognize the blessings that accompany every fitnah in life and to benefit from them, knowing them to be a part of the journey to Jannah, inshaAllah.

{Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you?} (Qur’an 2:214)

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.