My View on Polygamy

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 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.

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9 thoughts on “My View on Polygamy

  1. I have friends born in polygamous Islamic families so I have no judgement where that is concerned. My only question is from a health standpoint. Even if all parties are in agreement there is the issue of unprotected sex with more then one partner. Especially considering that children will be conceived, even if both partners are infection free. I’ve seen medical studies (practitioners in the US) discouraging unprotected intercourse with multiple partners. They could be a strong cultural bias there, which is why I am open to reviewing any evidence to the contrary.

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    1. I haven’t given much thought from this standpoint. Thanks! If the studies are true then I suppose it’s important to educate people on the need for protection & regular health screenings. Protection isn’t haram in islam but unfortunately some (especially the older generation of muslims in my country) don’t know that.

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  2. I actually had this thought earlier in the day. Allah picks special people to practice polygamy. And these special people really put their faith to Allah to really map out their lives. Not everyone can handle a polygamy life. It takes time and effort and alot of sacrifices not only frm the husband but the 1st wife too. To really learn to give and take, to share and to love equally. I admire couples who live successful polygamous lives. Communication is important i feel. At the end of the day, if its meant to be, it will be and Allah will definitely show us the way ❤

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    1. In islam, no. Such a relationship would be of little benefit to the ummah (muslim society) in view of the conventional role that husbands are the maintainers and protectors of their wives. Furthermore polyamorous relationships may result in further complications later on once children are involved, e.g. who is the father? Whose surname will the child take? Etc.

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  3. I’m a bit conflicted but I understood your stand. As much as I want to keep my husband to myself and hopefully be with him in Jannah, I am not sure if I can deal with sharing my spouse’s love. I have seen families broken apart due and it really strained family ties between them. It takes a strong man to handle this difficult situation and turn into a healthy family relationship. It is up to the main intention of a man to proceed with polygamy. If it’s solely based on finding wife replacement, I guess it is not right path. If you look at the signs on ends of time, woman would outnumber men, I guess polygamy relationships will be a norm in the future.

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    1. Hmm not sure why wordpress didn’t notify me on your comment.

      And yes, i understand. I think it’s natural and part of a woman’s fitrah to be possessive of her husband or less than willing to share his love. And i don’t think that’s a negative trait! Even Saidatina Aisha RA got jealous of Saidatina Khadijah RA.

      And yes I agree with you in that the intention of the man and his ability to carry such responsibilities are very important. You don’t just marry the person, you are marrying into the person’s family.

      I feel like the end times are here. Even though the male & female population is still relatively equal in numbers, i sense that the ummah has grown weak and many muslim men are living in jahilliyyah. It’s sad that these are the men who usually marry early, whereas the good men are afraid to take even a first wife because they are aware of the immense responsibility to be carried.

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