I could never agree. Never. It would kill me. My hate for polygamy burns a hole in my stomach. I don't know if its culture, I don't know if it years of worrying about being cheated on in the future (before I met my husband with whom I feel complete security alhumdulillah), or if its issues left over from being abandoned by my father, but I so passionately hate it that its difficult for me to even put my thoughts down into coherent sentences on it.
My poor husband, who is my best friend and who I tell everything/complain about everything to, has dealt with my rants on the issue so many times that I think he feels a bit beat up on. I was talking about a blog that I've recently been reading where the woman is a convert whose husband married again without her permission and I was raving that if a man truly sat down and thought about how he would feel if his wife married a second husband and spent every other night in his bed then a lot of men would not marry second wives (assuming they were true to themselves and their wives' feelings.)His exasperated response was, "khalas, I won't marry a second wife!" Enough, enough already!
I know, and I've made abundantly clear to Habibi, that he will never marry a second wife. Or if he does, that he will not continue to have me as the first. I trust him, I know his heart, and I know my rights in Islam. Yes polygamy is a right given by God and I do not dispute that in the least; my husband unequivocably has the right to marry a second wife, and may I dare go as far as to say he has the right to do so without my permission. I, however, reserve the right to not be ok with it, and to seek divorce. God forbid any of this should come to pass, but I'm just speaking the truth (as much as Habibi hates it when I talk like that.) I have let him know, time and time again as you can tell by his response "khalas!," that I'm not ever going to be ok with it.
Now here's where I'm gonna get passionate. Men, especially those who justify themselves into a lather, will say, "Oh! Its Sunnah! I am trying to follow in the austere footsteps of the Prophet pbuh!" But don't take into account that he stayed married to Khadija raa until she died, and then married divorced and widowed converts until receiving a divine revelation to marry a young virgin. You mean you didn't get divine revelation to marry that young virgin, Ahmed? Well, I guess its not sunnah then! You mean your first wife is still alive and healthy? Well, thats DEFINATELY not Sunnah. These type of arguements are weak, if you are looking for a second wife then be honest about your intentions.
Ok, see I may hate polygamy, but I agree that it has a time and a place where it is acceptable and even preferrable. God has reason for EVERYTHING. Lets take Afghanistan for example. This country has been torn apart and DEVASTATED by war, after war, after civil war, after American-led invasion. Their male population has been deeply affected and there are, quite literally, not enough men for all the women. In this situation, especially in a society like Afghanistan where there are no jobs and a society in which women do not work outside the home namely in the rural areas, widowed women with children have very little choice. When its between an unmarried man who may be the same age as her oldest son, or becoming a second wife, polygamy isn't a bad choice its necessary.
I have a couple of friends who are, in fact, co-wives. Their situation is, maybe not ideal, but probably the best solution. I won't get into why, and I must admit that I dislike the husband so much that I would prefer to never have to be in the same room with him ever, but I love both of the wives and am good friends with them. The second marriage caused the first wife copious amounts emotional grief, even though he did have her full consent for it, and I could never in my life be the one to cause someone that much pain.
Thats what really kills me about polygamy. I think, actually, thats my biggest problem with it. Its not my culture, its not my own neuroses (as neurotic as I am,) its ME. I am the sort of person who cannot cause someone else pain. I can't even be mean! Its like a defficiency sometimes, but I can't. And the thought that someone could cause their wife, someone they are supposed to love, THAT much pain. How can you? THATS what gets me, what makes me burn. Allah forgive me if I am wrong, but I just could never agree.
I'm not going to type up all the arguments that every other person has already brought up about the Quran. Its plain and simple, it says "And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course." (4:13)
But, "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between wives, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a wife) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful" (4:129)
You will NOT be equal between wives. Fair and simple. I have never seen a polygamous marriage where the husband was 100% equal between his wives, even if the husband was a good guy. Its not possible. Khalas.
I also wanted to mention, while we are on the topic of polygamy, that I watched Law and Order SVU last night they had an episode about polygamy. And it WASN'T about Muslims! It was, in fact, about Nigerian Christians practising polygamy. It was a really good episode, it did not put polygamy in a bad light (or any worse light than polygamy puts itself in) and it also dealt with female circumcision and it was the Christians doing the circumsizing! I was astounded. SubhanAllah. So between this episode last night, and some other blogs that have brought the issue up today, I decided to talk about polygamy. I hate it, I can't imagine it.
If you had to make that choice, to cause the person you are married to, the person you're supposed to care about and protect, so much emotional pain, would you do it? Could you do it? And would you agree?
I could never agree.