Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Polygamy is as legal as it is controversial.
Much of the contention emanates from the circumstances and not necessarily from the act of polygamy itself.
a) A man can marry more than one wife without the knowledge of either wife.
Each wife believes she is his only wife, until she, shockingly, discovers the existence of more than one “only wife”.
The horrid revelation might occur during the burial of the footballer, when each wife finds another grieving woman and her entourage of mournful children.
At this point, neither woman can skin him alive!
The footballer of a husband is available for a bit-by-bit skin peel – massage-style – if his dribbling skills are unravelled while he is alive.
Appreciation to the internet and connectivity, a woman may discover the stranger who appears on “people you may know” list may not be a stranger to her husband’s matrimonial bed.
b) A man can marry another woman to spite the existing wife.
This is sheer cruelty and deserves no further explanation.
c) A man can induce self-disappearance, only to resurface in another land to warm up to the embrace of another wife.
The other wife (or wives) alerts family, friends, and law enforcement officials in an attempt to locate her “missing” husband, who suddenly finds his way home one day.
A variation of this is a man can embark on frequent and lengthy “business” or “da’wah” trips. One element of the trip that remains undisclosed is his “business” or “da’wah” with another wife!
d) A man can marry another woman, with good intentions, but at some point becomes lax in his fairness towards each wife.
He must reverse his actions and exercise his duty as a loving husband to each wife.
e) A woman, consciously, encourages her husband to take another wife.
Contrary to narrations that make news headlines, especially in the west, a very large number of Muslim women fit this description.
Most of the women, genuinely, wish to assist unmarried women secure a man. The argument is the prevalence of single and needy Muslim women.
The woman who is sincere will continue to engage her husband to communicate her feelings and emotions throughout the polygamous marriage.
A woman who lacks an iota of sincerity will present an air of achievement without acknowledging the natural jealousy.
Jealousy degenerates to heartache and depression. Incidentally, the presence of another wife is a leading cause of depression among Muslim women.
The good news for the majority of caring women is their husband has no intention of committing himself to more than one wife.
To him, one wife is sufficient commitment, if at all.
f) A woman can handcuff self from recognising her hurt feelings and taking steps to alleviate her discomfort and ameliorate her situation.
Divorce is an open door which some Muslim women insist on removing from their list of options. That is their choice.
A woman can initiate divorce proceedings on the basis of her uneasiness in a polygamous relationship.
I am aware of a woman who did just that. Her action is commendable, even though the man is a good friend of mine.
His decision to marry another wife was rightfully his and to his interest. The incumbent wife protected her interest by stepping away from her marriage.
Although her demand for a divorce is praiseworthy, it was a surprise, as 14 years ago I was the lone voice who championed a woman’s right to choose or decline to be part of polygamy.
My position remains the same: I reserve the right to divorce should my husband marry another woman.
An exception clause exists: I am willing to make an exception and be part of a polygamous relationship with that exceptional man.
The final decision is mine and is incontestable.
No human should question me over my refusal to be part of polygamy, so long as polygamy, and marriage in general, remain a choice.
Apparently, my words were well circulated.
Polygamy, as with any marriage contract, is a mutual agreement between consenting parties.
Any form of coercion renders marriage illegal. Polygamy shares that feature.
Any woman uncomfortable with her involvement in a polygamous marriage has the right to end that relationship and pull her life back to normalcy.
The woman who chooses to play the powerless game is perfectly welcomed, provided she accepts her conduct will not affect the legality of polygamy.
Polygamy remains legal until the Day of Judgment.