Monday, March 17, 2008

Maybe it's all just Shirk?

66:1 O PROPHET! Why dost thou, out of a desire to please [one or another of] thy wives, impose [on thyself] a prohibition of something that God has made lawful to thee? [1] But God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace:

9:24 Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.

When we get these tests we are forced to return to the Quran and see what Allah said and then think seriously. In the first Ayat the Prophet is chastised against making something halaal into something that is Haram for the pleasure of his wives. I have made polygamy haram on myself for the satisfaction of my spouse. Many men do it I mean it is not obligatory but you really can't promise either you can only agree that such and such things will happen if it does happen. So I will check but I would think that the promise in and of itself would be haram, which would leave whether or not the husband does this or not entirely up to his own HEART in the first place.

Then in the second Ayat we get a stern warning from Allah in Surah At Tauba that if anything on this planet that your heart can be attached to is more dearer to you than Allah then you will be chastised in that thing. The person who loves their Father to death may have some calamity happen to their father or their father may do something that is so horrible to them it leave lasting effects. Your children are the apple of your eyes but if you do not look at them as an Amana from Allah no doubt they will cause you much heartache. If your money that you hold so dearly for the sustenance of each and everything around you and it brings you so much happiness Allah can flip it and it bring you nothing but misery and despair regardless of if you have a ton of it or never enough.

Finally your spouse that you adore and that can do no wrong in your eyes they have the capacity to completely and utterly devastate you with their actions. They can cheat on you, beat you, lie, steal or even go into polygamy all because you failed to put them in their proper place in reference to Allah Subhannahu Wa Ta'ala.

So many times we fail to see the beauty of this Deen because we allow ourselves to come so wrapped up in each other and the gifts that Allah subhannahu wa ta'ala has bestowed upon us. We stay in bad marriages for years because we have raised that spouse up to the status of a deity or that marriage. So Allah strikes it down so that you will repent and put things in their proper place. You can either be patient and learn the lesson or you can throw a tantrum and add fifty more lessons to the one that you were supposed to learn in the first place.

Allah gave me my wife and she is very beautiful, but He gave her to me to help me in my Deen. I had a responsibility to lead her in Deen and we had an obligation to grow in Deen, but we got complacent and so problems rolled in. Verily Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change that which they have within themselves. Alhamdulillah Rabil A'lameen.

I Submit Allah, I submit.

Qul inni Salati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi Rabil A'lameen. Say verily my prayer, my Sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah Lord of all of the worlds.


  1. You haven't made polygny HARAAM on yourself. It is not haraam to have a no-polygyny agreement within a marriage. Allah says that whatever a husband and wife agree to between themselves, it is ok as long as it does not go against Islam. Many wives agree to work and contribute to their family. Is the wife who agrees to give up her rights making it haraam to have rights? No. Because it is between the husband and the wife. A woman working is the most accepted thing in our ummah pertaining to marital rights that are given up.

    Think of it is the same as giving up polygyny. Both things are halaal. Actually, the husband's protection and maintenance of his wife is a command. A woman generally is happy to support her husband and family in this manner so they can be happy together, inshaAllah. Why then is it so hard for a man to give up having more than one wife to keep his family happy together? If he so desires, of course. If the right of polygyny is a bigger need than the exisiting wife and family's happiness inshaAllah, then it is his right and no sin on him if he goes about it strictly Islamically, but yet Islam encourages love and kindness. It is not haraam to go into polygyny knowing it hurts a wife, but it is incompassionate and sometimes unkind.

    You are right that spouses and children are worldly tests that are not to be held closer than Allah, but Allah made us to have love for one another, to care for one another. It is complicated to balance it all, but if polygyny is being used as a merely a pleasure for a man, as opposed to a social necessity, it defeats the purpose. In my observations and personal experience, it is more widely a thing of pleasure than a social necessity, because ALL of the brothers I know who have entered polygyny cannot afford a second wife, and can barely afford their first family, and do not know how to be fair about loving the wives. Allah says that if you cannot be fair as He requires in polygyny, then marry only one. So, there the social "necessity" is just for men and women to be lawful for one another to sleep with, not for the sisters to have the protection and maintenance we have been given rights of from a husband.

    A brother has his right to up to 4 wives, and as much as we want to, no sister has the right to refuse him that right. But things need to be clear and straight up. It is unfair for a woman to spend years, or months, with a man who she falls in love with, only to have to realize that he desires other women. To go from feeling loved and special to just being a woman to have sex with is very traumatizing. It does not mean we have weak iman. I think that men who know they want polygyny should never allow themselves to give an impression to his wife that she means to world to him and all that stuff that all women want to feel. It should be clear from the beginning that the marriage will be based on rights, rights, rights. And this is quite halal, and there can still be a manageable level of love between them. That way a sister can know exactly what she is facing inshaAllah (in terms of her husbands desires, because only Allah knows what will happen in the future), and whether or not she wants to go that route. And many times, I am sure that a sister marrying a brother doesn't start out loving him, if the marriage is entered after a proper islamic "courtship," so wouldn't it be easier for a sister to agree to a marriage with a man with the knowledge he wants polygyny than to get married, be all lovey-dovey and fuzzy inside for him, and then be slapped with another wife?

    Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts, and I know much of it cannot be achieved at this stage once a marriage already exists the way yours does. However, if you always seek Allah's counsel, both you and your wife, Allah will inshaAllah guide you to the best choices for your iman. That is one thing that I and all of us are guilty of - not seeking Allah's counsel enough, so even if we do a little bit, it may not be enough and the naaf's can still influence our hearts more.

  2. Brother - you do not have to approve my last comment to be published on your blog, by the way. It was super-long, and it'll be totally ok if it is not published.

  3. I am at a point in my life where I am desperately trying to reconcile my faith and that means shunning any traces of shirk and an unruly Nafs. My wife is no more danger today of polygamy than she was the day we got married, or should I say more importantly if she were to divorce me and never marry again. We all have ways that our minds think and I have to be able to think of this in a certain way in order for it to work for me. Meaning that yes Polygamy is halaal however it is something that I choose not to do because the effects cause more harm than good. I have to look at this like this, because if I look at it as I am forbidding on myself something that Allah has allowed then I am going to have conflict. I need to be able to just look at everything and weigh the good and bad and not the halaal or haraam of a thing. I need to be able to say that I am not putting my wife on a plane with Allah by obeying her wishes, but rather look at it and want the beauty of our marriage more than my nafs desire for sensual pleasure. I would think that this would mean more to her and more to me in the end of it all. I just have to put it in terms that work with my mind. I think that my wife will appreciate that more than if I put a rule on it and say that I don't want to break that rule, but just so you know that that rule is the only thing that is keeping me from this. Do you understand what I am saying?

  4. Salaams,
    I am sorry to hear that things have not been going well for you. I will continue to keep you and your family in my dua'a and insha'Allah things will improve. Stay strong and firm in your deen and understanding of your wife.

  5. Are you justifying the thoughts of irresponsible(in relation to your spouse) behavior?

    Have you ever considered that instead of just a high libido (quite rare actually), you may actually be addicted to sex? If it causes you so many problems, perhaps you can seek therapy.


  6. chill out sisters... seriously.

    Akhi, this coming from a woman who is in agreement with polygyny. I fell in love with my husband in only a way that Allah can produce. We did not know each other at first but were married in a traditional, islamic way. I would love to be my husbands one and only but because of my love for him I agreed to allow him to marry again. Out of his love for me, he agreed not to do this until we both were prepared for it emotionally and financially. Meaning that there were no problems between us and we both were ready to support one another through it. When you love someone, you support them in what they want to do, even if he thought that not being with me was best for him, I would not want to be the cause of his pain.

    Unfortunately, us woman veiw our men in a sense of ownership. You are mine! We do not value the works that our men do in maintenance and kind treatment, we want blood. Denying our men polygyny is more than not sharing the marital bed, it's saying I want you to immortalize in my own mind that I am your everything, there will be no challenge to my beauty, intelligence, skills or rank in this marriage, you only have eyes for me.

    It is the man's nature to be polygynous. It is a challenge for him to juggle the responsibilities of more than one household, more than one relationship. Kinda like being a CEO. If you are good at business, why only own one. Or a gardener, he tills his soil and plants the seed and admires his yield, why plant only one variety? Does the love of roses diminish ones love of daisies?

    Love is a two-way street and lovers must meet somewhere in the middle.

  7. It is a man's right to have more than one wife, HOWEVER, it is a woman's right to not wish to be in that situation. I put directly in my marriage contract that if my husband wanted a second wife that I then had the right to a khula. Now,if both parties are honest and upfront about the situation in the beginning, then I see that as not a problem. However, that is NOT the way it happens the majority of the time. I mean good grief, just look at the blogs. Just because a husband wants a second wife does not mean that we as the woman have to suck it up and go along with it if that is not what we want for our life. We have a right to fufillment just like the man does!

  8. The last commenter has said something that ALL willing polygyny participants (who are female) have said to me - we don't own a man! Who said we think we own a man? I'm tired of that line!If a sister is ok in polygyny, it's up to her. And I know for me, I didn't DENY my husband the right to be in poly. I just CHOSE not to be hurt in that manner. For some women it is manageable, for others it is not - and each marriage is different. What's wrong with a woman who chooses to divorce instead of be stung over and over when her husband leaves their family alone? Maybe your husband can be fair the way Allah prescribed. Many men cannot and DO not, and Allah warned to only take one wife in that case. Because your situation is manageable, and your husband was kind in his manner in going about deciding to enter polygyny, please do not think that the rest of us sisters who chose against poly are ungrateful because there are plenty of brothers who are NOT like your husband.

    Lastly, love is a two-way street, like you said, and meeting in the middle doesn't mean suffering.

    So - no offense - I think sisters with your opinion should chill and stop trying to make sisters like me feel guilty for natural feelings.

    Asalaam alaikum

  9. Wow,mumina...beautifully said,masha'allah!

  10. I love my hubby very much and would not stand in his way of marrying another but I choose for myself not to be a participant.We all make choices and this is mine.

  11. Maybe I am addicted to sex, but I'm faithful. Fiercely faithful. If given a choice to have both I would have both, but if that choice is not afforded to me then I am thankful and pleased with what I have. Being away from my wife exacerbates the situation. I have 98 days left before I come home which is really not that bad considering. I am looking forward to coming home. I think about it a lot less when I can gaze into my wife's eyes. When I can that is all that I want to do. I love her to the point of obsession. She is my world and I love her with all that I am.

    Being addicted to sex though doesn't make things easy so maybe I will seek therapy. Who knows.

  12. As-Salaam 'Alaikum Brother Muhammad Saadiq,

    Such a condition on yourself is not Shirk as polygamy is permissible and not mandatory. Hence, you are not making forbidden what Allah has made lawful, you are choosing for various reasons to abstain from what he has made lawful. That would be similar to choosing for various reasons not to drink orange juice. It is permissible, however, for various reasons you give it up personally, while not forbidding it for others. Still it is best to refrain from polygamy if you see benefit in doing that, without attaching any promises and similar things to it. The situation might arise where you would have to take more than one wife. Allah knows best.