Earlier today, I listened to not one, but two stories about men having second wives. The stories came from women, so of course they had their slant on it, but, as I imagine it would be the case for most Muslim men here in Malaysia, they’re somewhat alright with it. The women that told me those stories even theorised that the number of men taking second wives have been on the rise.
Of course, a lot of those men legitimise having more than one spouse at a time with this verse from the Quran:
“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].”
– An-Nisa’ [4:3]
My own personal stance on the matter is that I am not for polygamy for myself. It’s not that I am doubting the Quranic decree or anything. I just doubt my own ability to be just between my spouses. Indeed, I don’t even know if I’ll be capable of keeping one wife happy, let alone several.
I’ve heard the view of some women on the matter, and for the most part, they are never happy about it, not it coming from other people’s husbands, let alone their own. Should I have the assumption that my future-wife will hold different views from them on this matter? I highly doubt it. Most women who are in a polygamous relationship seem to barely tolerate it, rather than embrace it.
I can’t imagine putting my future wife through that. We’ll have enough troubles of our own, enough things to fight about without having to worry about another woman in the mix. Some men have it in themselves to put their wives through that. I just don’t.
Again, my main reason for not being a proponent of polygamy is that I am not confident that I will be equal and fair towards my spouses. Even the Quran says that:
“And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.”
– An-Nisa’ [4:129]
I’m really just happy to have even one person, a partner to go through the ups and downs of life with man. And I hope that she’ll be happy to have me.