My view on polygamy (or to be specific, polygyny), as a Muslim.
If my husband had the means to, and he wishes to have a second wife, I’d welcome her into the family with open arms.
Note: As stated in the title, whatever is expressed in this post is my own opinion, based on my own situation. Every couple is different and I may or may not take the same stance towards, say, a 60-year old man wanting to take a 20-year old lady as a second wife. I am also not forcing any of you dear readers to adopt my opinion. Lastly, I am not oppressed and my husband did not force me into taking this stance. When I expressed this opinion, he was just as surprised as you probably are right now.
We must always keep in mind that our purpose for marriage (or for any other action, for that matter) is to get closer to Allah SWT. My husband may not be an ustaz (religious teacher) and he may have his own flaws, but he is a wonderful man. (Through the will of Allah) he has made me a better Muslimah and changed me so much for the better, even in the short time I’ve known him. If he can do the same for another sister then Alhamdulillah.
The most common argument against polygamy is that “I love him, so I won’t share him with other women. He belongs to me.” But at the end of the day, do our husbands really belong to us? Is their life and death in our hands? No, they belong to Allah. We all do. Who am I to go against something that Allah has stated is permissible?
With that being said, let’s remind ourselves that one of the responsibilities of the wife is to manage the finances of her husband. As such, if he doesn’t have the financial means to support another wife, then it is our duty to advise accordingly.
Even if he wants to go ahead with his decision, support him. He is carrying out an act of worship, a sunnah. Continue helping him manage his finances – at the end of the day, rezeki is in Allah’s hands.
Technically speaking, he does not need the permission of his wife to marry another. However, I believe that if one’s intention of getting a second wife is solely for the intention of pleasing Allah, then he will have no issue consulting his first wife on his decision. That is perhaps the best indicator that his intentions are pure. In fact, he would probably ask his wife’s help in choosing a suitable partner. I believe the best of marriages is one in which there are no secrets and every decision is talked through together, just like how the Prophet ﷺ consulted his wives for his decisions.
What irks me about this issue is that men who want to get a second wife are automatically seen as lecherous or lustful. They say “these men may only pretend to have pure intentions, but in truth he will neglect his first wife.” Who are we to judge one’s intentions? Even if it is an older man getting a younger wife – who are we to judge what is in his heart? Make du’a for him instead. Even if the polygamous marriage ends up to be a trial for the first wife, it may be that through this trial she remains patient and is granted Paradise.
When we make du’a for marriage, we pray that the marriage brings us closer to Allah SWT. This doesn’t mean that the marriage is without trials. This doesn’t mean that the marriage will last forever. What is best for us, Allah knows, but we know not.
It is a sad state of society. We look down on polygamy, we look down on young marriages, we look down on divorcees. But zina is seen as normal.