Jun 14, 2012
Can a plural marriage work?
As a Muslim woman from South Africa I am certainly aware of all the pros and cons of a plural marriage. When I was younger and did not know enough I condemned it outright. But I have changed my mind since then. Take statistics into account and you will see that women far outnumber men, and that with adultery, and stealing the affections of another woman’s man, it makes a lot of sense to at least consider it.
Cons of a plural marriage
• Jealousy is number one in this department. Where a plural or polygamous marriage is not understood properly and especially with younger women who will hate one another, it is not going to work and eventually one of the women or both of them are going to leave the marriage.
• Children of these marriages are confused and will be embarrassed by their parents if they are not in agreement with having a father and two mothers in the house. The children might hate one another too, as well as their parents.
• Because polygamy is frowned upon, there is a stigma attached to being part of such an arrangement and the husband will have his hands full with two angry women who are fighting over him.
Pros of a plural marriage
On the other hand, there can be benefit too for the women if they first decide for the right reasons to become a first or second wife and understand the process. Look, men are sexual creatures and they can bed women without falling in love. It is all about the sex, and little about fidelity. So if it is going to happen anyway is it not best to be part of this arrangement which can be very beneficial to you especially if there are children and the women are protected? Think about it. Men can never plead lifelong allegiance, and will cheat anyway if it is easy for them to get away with it. If you take the emotional equation out of it, you can have a lot of benefits, not lose the man, and have financial assistance to raise your kids. You will also have days off where he will be with the other woman, and there are two mothers for the kids.
Polygamy in Islam
God is not in favor of polygamy but because of the nature of man, God allows it. God does not recommend it. So it is not a sin to have more than one wife, IF the man is fair to both women, if the man can afford it, if all the parties agree, and not to exceed four wives. This is surely a better arrangement as more women will be cared for and protected. It is not for everyone, but it is better than adultery.