TEST OF POLYGYNY - Assudaisiy.com

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©Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

If your wife takes marrying another wife lightly with you, just thank Allāh and reciprocate with goodness because such kind of women are rare in our world today. Some men make the mistake of thinking their women already understand the Sunnah, including polygyny. It is one thing to know a Sunnah, it is one thing to understand it, then to accept it and be pleased with it is something else entirely. The truth is many women know and understand that polygyny is a Sunnah, but they neither want to accept nor be pleased with it. Polygyny is indeed a great test upon women just like any other test in life. So, when this test appears, it is only those who accept it and try to be patient upon it that would pass the test. Anytime a case of this nature arises, my mother who had experienced it before would say:

Eniti o ba gba kadara yi o gba kodoro (whoever doesn't accept destiny will accept the consequences of rejecting same)

A man consulted me on Monday regarding his first wife. He told me many things about her that are positive. Among other things, he said "she is the best among women. She doesn't disobey me. She does everything that pleases me and I am always pleased with her from the bottom of my heart". He said "just like all human beings, she is not perfect. But her negative sides are bearable". As if this is not enough, he said " I recently discussed my intention to marry a second wife with her and she accepted". In fact, her subsequent actions shows that she did not just accept it, she was pleased with it", he said.

The man told me how the first wife even followed him to the house of the new bride to seek her hand in marriage. He said the second wife is from the same area they reside. He said he was so happy when the mother of the second wife called and told him his first wife is a good woman. The woman told him it is not all women that can do what the lady is doing. She said she used to greet them well despite the fact that their daughter is her co-wife.

This case is rare in our society, but they exist. There are women who facilitate the marriage of their husbands with another woman knowing fully well that they are capable. Sincerely, one of the ways (if not the greatest way) to measure who a good woman is, is when she is tested with polygyny. If a woman remains the same good woman she used to be after being tried with polygyny, then she is truly a good woman. If you want to see a woman's true colour, just attempt to marry another wife upon her.

The best way to solve many problems associated with polygyny in our society is to embrace it and practice it according to Sunnah. Men who want to practise polygyny must be strategic in the way they present it to their wives, otherwise, it may not work on time. Recently, a brother wanted to marry a second wife. But one of the reasons why it failed was that the brother was not strategic enough in this regard. There is need to meet with experts and highly experienced brothers to learn communication strategies.

Our women who are tested with it should accept it and rely on Allāh. It is high time some women stop thinking that men who promote polygyny are wicked or unnecessarily insensitive of the plight of women. Like I do say, polygyny has come to stay as a very important Sunnah in our society. It is something that every Muslim woman should begin to think about and consider normal. If not for the economic situation of our country, many men would have been married to multiple women. Why is it that it is when a woman becomes a divorcee or widow that she begins to understand the wisdom behind polygyny? Many of those who used to attack polygyny when they were monogamous are now into polygyny or looking forward to be in it because they have no other choice than to embrace it. Even women are from polygynous homes are rejecting it. This insincerity needs to stop. Women should try to be true friends of their fellow women.

The fear of many women is who is coming? What mindset is she coming with? Would she not harm her and her kids? Would the husband still be the same person he has always known? Sincerely, a hitherto good wife can be frustrated to misbehave if she is provoked by a co-wife or her husband or both. She can go crazy if she is treated unjustly. It is easy to blame people until you are in their shoes. It is easy to say a man or woman in a polygynous home is bad until you find yourself in their shoes. However, all the fears on polygyny can be allayed if all parties involved are ready to conduct themselves according to Qur'ān and Sunnah. The best thing is to treat a woman who accept her husband to marry another wife with mercy. As a husband, don't use a new wife to torment the existing wife or wives, and don't be unjust in your general dispositions. You can pacify a preceding wife with anything you like, but this must not affect your sense of justice, equity and good conscience.

Many men and women see polygyny as a favour upon men. This notion is very common and it is very wrong. If we examine polygyny from the shar'iah point of view very well, it will be clear to us that it is also a test upon men, if not even a greater test. On the part of men, polygyny requires high degree of diligence and commitment. Apart from sexual and financial capacity, it requires knowledge, mental strength, patience and endurance. Just as polygyny can be a way of seeking aljannah, it can be a smooth channel to hell fire if care is not taken. Polygyny should not just be viewed from the angle of having multiple women to sleep with. Some women would even say: what does he want again? "I give him everything, including good sex". But this is not how to view this issue if we sincerely know what it stands for.

All enjoyments relating to sexual fantasies would be forgotten with a squeeze in the grave. Sex and other worldly enjoyments are mere illusion. Even when we are very sick and we are alive, how much of sex do we think about? There are many people in the hospitals with serious or terminal illness, do they even think about sex at all? Therefore, it is not sensible if what quickly comes to our minds by the mere mentioning of polygyny is sex. Polygyny is far beyond that. It is a religious exercise that involves many things.

Just like monogamy and other religious obligations, polygyny is an amānah (trust) upon men who practices it. Many men who feel they are not capable are running away from it, it is not their fault. They know themselves. If you believe you are capable of shouldering this amānah, then be prepared for the consequences if you breach the trust you have voluntarily accepted to keep. A lot of things are happening. Many men are unjust in their dispositions. Many wives are seriously misbehaving in this regard.  Many men have left their wives in the Hand of Allāh on this account. Some women too have also left their men in the Court of Allāh due to pains they have considered to be irreparable.

Allāh says:

إِنَّا عَرَضۡنَا ٱلۡأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ ٰ⁠تِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱلۡجِبَالِ فَأَبَیۡنَ أَن یَحۡمِلۡنَهَا وَأَشۡفَقۡنَ مِنۡهَا وَحَمَلَهَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ ظَلُومࣰا جَهُولࣰا)

Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. [Surah Al-Ahzab 72]

May Allāh guide us aright.


  1. Abdulrasaq Abdulmajeed Opeyemi (Abu Yassaar)8 September 2021 at 18:20

    Mashaa Allaah
    BaarakalLahu fiik...
    BaarakalLahu fiik shaykh

  2. Thanks for the exposition on polygyny. Like you said it is not meant for ALL but for those who can bear the Amanah. But sincerely during the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW), it was meant for ALL except those few who are not courageous.

    If polygyny was an error for the Prophets, the Sahabas and great religious leaders, then we are declaring war against the words of Allah(SWT).
    Who doesn‟t know that our Prophet Dawood (AS) had
    more than one hundred (100) wives and his son, Prophet Suleiman (AS) had more than
    six hundred (600) wives. Was it mere confidence that most of Prophets of Allah and majority of the Sahabas had more than one wife?

    Polygyny was and is still the only antidote for major evils spreading like wild fire in the society. It is also good to assist widows, divorcees, single ladies and to check men's desires and vulgarity.


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