Maybe, as a people, we are not ready to deal with the blessings, benefits and challenges of Polygyny. The further our generations get away from the advent of Islam and the life of our teacher, Muhammad (saw), the weaker and more watered down we become with our faith and understanding or even forbearance. We are far from the best generation or in other terms we do not even sum up to a pimple on the behinds of our illustrious predecessors (Allah be pleased with them).
I am saying this to say that, we as muslims have a high mortality rate as far as marriage goes as it is. Sisters don’t know how to be wives and brothers don’t know how to be husbands. And of course the children are the ones who suffer. So how can we factor Polygyny into this abyss of ignorance and failure? How do we expect it to turn out successfully when we can’t handle what is already on our plates. My finger isn’t pointing at the brothers or the sisters. Rather my arms are outstretched, encompassing all of us in an embrace that allows the canopy of guilt to fall upon everyone of us simultaneously, collectively. The statics of divorce due to failed polygynous marriages makes the head swim. The first wife leaves because of the second or the second because of the first or both previously mentioned wives leave because of the third and sometimes the man leaves everybody because he can’t cope with the drama that comes from three women sharing one man. Certain things have to be in place in order for Polygyny to be successful:
1. Fear of Allah- This commodity kills many of the ills that come in to play because it is deadly against wayward desires, injustice and the ever present desire to manipulate situations to one’s own benefit, which could in turn inspire ill feelings for all involved parties.
2. Knowledge of the rights and Responsibilities Polygyny Entails- This prevents false impressions, erroneous expectations and gives everyone an even playing field upon which to tread.
3. Correct Understanding of Marriage in General- see item #2.
4. Patience- Safety mechanism in case items 1-3 are not presence or become disabled.
5. General Desire for Good Towards All Involved Parties- This along with item #4 strengthen the possibilities for success if items #1-3 are weak or shaky in constitution.
There is no fail-safe recipe for success and marriage cannot be viewed as a fly-by-night endeavor. Meaning, marriage must be viewed as a long-term situation. This goes for monogamy and polygyny. No one wants to go through the emotional turmoil and upheaval that is the norm only to have the marriage dissolve after 4 measly weeks. Or two weeks. Or two days or two hours even. Wa Billahi Tawfeeq.