بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Ideal Approach to Inform your Wife
You are getting married
By: Al-Alamah Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdillah Ar-Rajhi
All praises belong to Allah alone. We ask His peace and blessing to forever fall on His final and last Messenger Muhammad. In reality this subject is rarely addressed, so I hope to talk about it in a clear and easy manner, yet I don’t think this topic needs any introduction for the women, spouses or polygnists; so for that reason I am not going to give it a prelude.
This discussion is directed to help those in the community involved in plural marriages. My intention is to raise the awareness among the Muslims; as polgyny is acknowledged from the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of Islamic jurists, so there’s no purpose to mention the texts that establish this practice.
The reason for writing this expose is to address some of the havoc from the first wife after the husband remarries. This includes outbreaks of crying and discontent! I asked some of the women why the all the uproar? You are aware that polgyny is a legislated practice in Islam. Their responses were, “We don’t reject Allah’s Legislation, but it’s the way the husbands go about it, or the way the husbands informs us.”
A large number of men desiring to have a 2nd wife prefer that marriage remains unknown to the first wife, or among the people; and today this is commonly known as a Msyar Marriage.” The husbands choose this way afraid their wives will destroy their homes.
The Sunnah of polygyny is a publicly practiced Sunnah among the men and women paying attention to it, and they have made it easy. There are some women who accept plural marriages with open arms, while few will help their husbands find a 2nd,3rd, or 4th wife acknowledging the fact that it is an order from Allah. On the other hand, there are some who prefer their husbands’ death instead of him remarrying again, and these women are the minority. Moreover ,other women will go as far as to make their husbands promise they won’t take another wife after them, even after their deaths! Strangely enough, some women are aware that their husbands have a mistress, but remain quiet out of fear that he might marry that lady.
A true story:
One person said about polygyny that the woman has the right to be a newlywed bride for five years before her husband looks for another wife, then after that phase he can start to search.
There’s a woman I know and I informed her about my friends’ speech and this is what happened:
I asked her: If Allah allowed you to have more than one husband would you?
She replied: I swear to Allah, if Allah allowed this act for me to practice I wouldn’t wait five years. In fact, from the first year I’d remarry without thinking twice.
I asked her: Can you accept your husband having another wife?
She said: No! I could never accept that, and if my husband took another wife I’d make his life a living hell.
I said: Glory belongs to Allah! This is a contradiction.
She said: No it isn’t. Look, Allah has allowed me to change friends and I did. He has allowed me to change clothes and I do. The Most High has permitted me to exchange a lot things and I have. I am a human-being that gets bored with routine, so If Allah made it permissible to have more than one husband I would get married every year; however I won’t agree to my man marrying another woman.
Following this she said: You should be aware that there are a lot women that if they were allowed to have multi husbands they would.
I said to myself: Where are the men who think like this?
My dear brothers in faith if you want to get married again on your first wife you need to be clever about telling her by means of an appropriate approach. Don’t worry! If it’s done correctly it’s easy, and each one of us knows how to communicate with our spouse.
I will state some of the methods I am aware of that actually took place.
- The man directly tells his wife after or shortly before he gets married again. He does this verbally face to face or via telephone inside or outside the house.
Example: The man tells his wife, baby tomorrow I’m getting married to my second wife, but before he tells her he does something special for his first wife.
- The man informs his wife’s mother so that she can help him remedy the situation.
Example: The husband goes and visits his wife’s mother and brings along with him a nice gift ,and then informs her about the issue.
- The man lets his wife know shortly after he gets married; seeing that the matter is easy for his circumstances.
Example: After the marriage the man tells his friends and close relatives that he’s taken a 2nd wife .Thus he asks them to make dua for him. This approach allows the 1st wife to be the last person to know and this is the most detested way for the women.
- The husband writes a letter to his first wife explaining to her that he got married and now he’s with the co-wife. He leaves her by herself with the news, and maybe something bad will happen as a result of her being left alone.
True story : Um Mu’adh said: I know a honorable brother and I don’t praise anyone over Allah. He slides his wife a letter under the door informing her that he remarried. That night he slept outside with his new bride while the 1st wife nearly went insane. He requested me to go and visit her to calm her down. When I arrived at the house I found her hair disheveled and I was worried that she was going to lose her mind. So what I did was I began to remind her of Allah’s Commands until she calmed down. When her husband returned home she went to his office in their home and ripped up some papers and cut some his clothes. That was a dark night and it could have been worse, if Allah wouldn’t have helped them.
- The man finds a Muslim lady to help him. Explaining to her that a man is about to take on another wife.
Example: He asks her, “What is the best approach to inform the 1st wife that he’s getting married again.” He tells her to bear in mind that he is concerned about his first wife emotions and her well-being. So based on the opinions of the women he’ consulted he’ll find out the best way to inform his wife of his marriage. Those women that were asked will be able to conceptualize the situation. The strange thing is most men and women prefer this way as opposed to others. Nonetheless, there are some women who can never accept their husbands remarrying, so reject their views and opinions.
- The husband brings smalls things in the house as indicators that he’s about to get married.
Example: He purchases some small pamphlets and Cds for her bearing in mind her feelings. All women respond differently to the sensitivity of this topic.
- The husband opens this discussion up with his wife before he looks for co-wife. He mentions things from the Quran and the Sunnah reminding her that Allah has made it permissible. He then informs his wife that he has the intention to remarry one day.
Example: The husband teaches the wife about the wisdom of polgyny. He educates her to know that if she is patient she will be successful in this life and in the next. And if she acts rash and reckless, she could possibly destroy their home and break up their family up for no just reason.
- The husband chooses a close female relative to help him inform his wife about his decision. It’s important to note that the woman he picked has to be respected and loved by his wife.
Example: He contacts his friend whose wife is close with his and asks him to assist, or he contacts someone in the family that has a good relationship with his wife and asks for help.
- The man takes his 1st wife on a vacation and informs her about his choice, or perhaps he takes her to Umrah and tells her while they are making Tawaf that he’s getting married again.
- The husband buys his wife some gifts then tells her about his marriage. Spoiling the 1st wife with gifts will help the times of sadness pass by with ease.
- The husband displays some signs that there is another woman in is his life.
Example: He places something red on his lips and wipes it with his shirt so that his wife can have some doubt about him.
- The husband claims that his new wife was gift to him from a noble brother, so he couldn’t refuse her. And he only tells her this at the beginning, and as time goes on, he informs her of the situation completely in order to maintain the honor of the 2nd
- The husband tells his 1st wife that their co-wife is for business purposes and tells his wife that he is pleased with her. The husband tells the 1st that he isn’t looking to carry any extra burdens and the reason he took on this responsibility was for business purposes in order to get some land or a piece of property.
- The husband prepares a survey about polgyny and gives it to his first wife in order to introduce her to the.
Be mindful brothers that your intention for having a 2nd,3rd, or 4th wife is to have more children, so don’t worry. Be confident that Allah will help you and grant you success. Ask Him for the good of this life and the good in the next. Don’t let poverty or your wife’s emotions stop you. Always remember to be just among your wives.
Don’t make your intention of taking another wife be revenge against your 1st wife ,or a means to earn her respect, or a tool of punishment, with something Allah has made lawful. Moreover, don’t allow your intentions for doing it be a means to get people to say he’s brave and a hero! He’s took a 2nd wife in an era when people don’t do it. Be on alert! Satan tries to destroy your deeds.
Brothers tell your wife that your new marriage won’t have any impact on your relationship and you sustaining her. In fact this new marriage will allow you to be more mindful of her; as she is your first and your capital. Talking to her like this with will help her mind have ease. There are many benefits for the 1st wife when you remarry, but we won’t mention them here.
My Muslim brothers before you decide to marry again you need to study your financial situation and your ability in order to safeguard everyone’s rights.
Some of the issues that run through men’s minds about carrying more than one wife:
A: Are you poor? – Get married and Allah will make you rich.
B: Your wife will leave you if you remarry? – Get married and she will change.
C: Your wife can’t have any children. – Get married
D: Your first wife doesn’t have any faults and doesn’t fall short in giving you your rights. –Get married and seek Allah’s Blessings.
E: You want to revive the Sunnah and increase the size of the Ummah.- Get married
F: It troubles you to see so many spinsters, widows and divorced women and you want to do some good for humanity. – Get married and help solve some of the problems.
G: You want to encourage the bachelors to marry. Get married and you will encourage them
Brother’s be mindful that polgyny breaks the women’s backs , so when she acts up don’t respond to her the way the same way she is acting. It’s possible that she might be acting in a state of hysteria. Don’t be hasty and control yourself. There are some women who threaten their husbands saying things like, “ If you get married again I’ll kill you” , or others who promise to leave them and their children and then return back to their parents’ home. Don’t pay attention to this kind of speech. It’s only words of anger and they will stop. As time goes on you’ll notice her speech will change and her attitude will change once she’s able to think more clearly. This is the sunnah of Allah with His creation. There’s a parable that says: “ All things start off small and grow big, except calamities. They start off big and grow small.”
My Muslim sisters fear Allah! Don’t place road blocks in your husband’s path to polgyny. By doing this he might fall into Allah’s prohibitions while you are unaware.
My sisters in Islam think about your Muslim sisters who are spinsters, divorced and widowed and want a man and some men don’t want them. What should we do with this problem in our society?!
Think about the positive results and outcomes of polgyny
May Allah help us and guide us to what’s right for humanity.
Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle
Doha,Qatar 1437H ©