Name: unknown – India
In Islam it is said that men and women are given equal status and rights. But I do feel that women have not received equal status and rights as that of men. Islam permits polygamy for men. At times of need polygamy permitted. Can it be accepted by women. But sometimes a man has no need to remarry and still he remarries another woman in spite of the unwillingness of his wife, for he is attracted towards the other woman’s beauty. Is this permitted in Islam as the wife might be hurt a lots. I also have seen many women hurt for their husbands remarrying when there is no need. Islam teaches men to be kind, polite towards their wives and also not to hurt them. But does Islam permit men to hurt their wives when it is the case of polygamy. Did Allah create man in a way that he cannot be loyal to his only wife? Please, please answer my question.
May Allah bless you.
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
The relationship between a husband and wife is based on ma`roof or kindness, compassion and mercy. Both husband and wife are supposed to work at pleasing each other and dealing kindly towards each other.
When it comes to the rights of both men and women in Islam, we should believe that Allah SWT is the JUST and the WISE. So He only gives people what is good for them and only demands what is for our interest and common good. The problem is that we sometimes look very selfishly and try to have all the good for ourselves without looking at the society in large.
As for polygamy, it is allowed in Islam. It is to be used for the purposes for which it is permitted and not to be abused at any case. It is true that Allah permits the man to marry four wives, but if we think neutral and try to investigate the benefit of that without thinking of our own interests only, we will find the wisdom and significance of polygamy.
For example, if a wife puts herself in place of a widow who does not have anyone to care or look after her, and think sincerely of a solution to her problem, she will find that she would love to be a second wife than to stay as widow and continue to suffer the problems in raising children and getting the same life as her peers do. So, there is always wisdom behind polygamy.
As for hurting the feelings of the first wife, I am personally of the view that a husband should discuss this issue with his wife and they should both reach a reasonable agreement. If the wife finds herself unable to accept her husband taking another wife, she has every right to demand divorce and get her rights fully and separate in kindness. But if she thinks reasonably and not emotionally and weigh the pros and cons or being divorced and second wife, she could reach a better conclusion to save her family life and husband.
This does not mean the husband is allowed to abuse polygamy. It is only allowed for whoever is able to treat all wives equally and fairly. If he cannot be just and fair it is forbidden to take another wife.
Allah Almighty knows best.