A Message

I’m Mark.

I know what many of you must think of me, and I understand why. I accept it if you consider me a bad muslim, a bad husband even a bad father. Honestly I have tried hard to be the best I can be. But just like most people, I stumble now and again and sometimes I fall.

Right now, parts of my life are a mess. But still I’m kind of happy. My life isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s not bad. Yes, we have issues, yes I have regrets. But I have a lot of good things too.

Right now my main worry is Fiona.

She has been through so much. Polygamy, her brother’s death, the drama of our lives, her extremely demanding work. Now she has become a mother. And recently she went through surgery.

I have asked her to stay away from the blog for a while. It hurts her to stay away, but it hurts her to be here too because she feels great pain every time she reads about other people’s pain. Every time she shares the hurt of somebody else’s polygamy, she relives her own pain.

She has promised me to stay off the blog for a while.

I have promised her to keep it going. Publish your comments and maybe answer a few questions. And sometimes I can pass messages along.

We have agreed to try and keep it like this until Guy Fawkes, a special day for us.

I hope you understand.

I

How Do We “Improve Our Deen”?

ThreeringsWhen women defend polygyny, they often claim that it’s a test meant to improve their and their husbands deen. For men it means more responsibility and that could be claimed to improve a man’s maturity and level of commitment. For women it’s a test of sacrifice. Women must fight their jealousies and insecurities and become generous enough to share their husbands.

So, does it work?

It is obvious from all the comments and e-mail I get that for most women polygyny is destructive, humiliating and excruciatingly painful. The betrayal, hurt and violation of polygyny makes many women doubt their self worth. Many women lose their sense of self and get lost in a void of self doubt and pain. For some women it means losing all religion. For others it means that they must accept misogynist dogmas, that men are superior and have superior rights, in order to survive the pain. Stockholm syndrome is common.

Does any of this increase these women’s deen? Of course not. Not unless you define deen as survival strategies under extreme stress.

What about the men?

Well, according to my experience men get a high out of feeling superior and this can be achieved by polygyny. They feel like macho men having two or more women. They also get a kick out of breaking their first wife, watching her bend to their superior rights. They get an increased sense of divine rights and superiority, combined with some exhilarating s/m ting.

Does this increase their deen? Of course not. No more so than wanking while reading 50 Shades of Grey.

So why do pro-polygynists keep claiming that polygyny is good for your deen, and for the religion of the Ummah?

You tell me.

Reflections of a Muslim Scandinavian gender-equality enthusiast

norfolkfiona:

Well put, and extremely interesting.

Originally posted on Hijab Tales: Unpinned:

IMG_0989.JPG

Growing up in a Scandinavian country, my experience of sexuality, modesty and the concept of hijab are markedly different to even those living in the UK. I say this as is it is common knowledge that globally Scandinavia leads the way when it comes to gender equality. As a child in school it was a mantra that you were conditioned with, and in almost every class one took, it was an underlying truth that directed the way we interacted with opposite sex. I would have to say that personally, I am very grateful for this as I developed a healthy attitude towards my own sexuality and very rarely ever felt that my sex hindered me from certain pursuits or that I had anything to fear from the other boys.

That last point is an important one, as it underlies much of the traditional arguments for female-male interaction in Islamic discourses…

View original 1,067 more words

Polygamy – Is It About Sex?

1013483_354648064665525_279483948_nWomen whose husbands have become polygamous often admit that it’s partly about sex. That men enjoy sexual variety, or that men have higher sexdrive, and hence need more women. Most of the time though, they make it clear that sex only was a sideeffect – their husbands of course had more important things on their minds when they chose to marry more women. They wanted to care for her children, they wanted to complete their deen, live sunnah, or they wanted to do charity by marrying some poor woman. Only bad muslims apparently marry for sex, or lust.

These same women however seem convinced that the reason I married a second husband was all sex. I’m a sexaddict or a sexobject or a sexmaniac. And I wanted to hurt the men I’m married to. Their husbands wanted to be charitable and caring, I wanted sex.

No fool is sadder than he who believes he can fool himself.

So, is it about sex?

Well, I enjoy sex. I enjoy intimacy and the special bond of a physical relationship. And yes, I enjoy variety. I feel good about being able to be woman enough for two men :)

And I didn’t marry a second husband to be charitable. My husband is way to proud to marry a woman who regards him as an object of charity. It’s sad that women believe it’s ok to have their husbands marry women out of charity.

I simply love two men. 

And:

Why would my objectives and motives be different from those of polygamous men?

Polygamy, the Law, the Army and the US

NiqabpureBigamy is illegal in most civilized nations.

Polygamy per se can be viewed differently. If only one marriage is registered and the subsequent marriages are only religious or common law marriages, some nations do not regard polygamy as bigamy, since only one marriage is accepted as legal.

In the US, the law regards religious/common law marriages differently in different states. In some states, like say New Jersey, polygamy is not always illegal since a nikah or a common law marriage is not accepted by law. A second wife hence is not regarded as a wife, she’s just a sideshow.

If however a polygamist in states like New Jersey were a member of the Armed Forces, the situation would be completely different. Such a person, say e.g. an officer in the Armed Services, would be subject to military law. According to the law of the US Armed Forces, not only is bigamy illegal but also the attempt to commit bigamy. Hence, a polygamist who is only religiously married to a second wife, not legally, can still be convicted of attempt. I refer you to the law, you can find it here. As you can see, the law also considers whether the crime committed means that the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Matters to consider here could be e.g. if the crime was committed in public, e.g. described on a blog. If testimony shows that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women, such matters would be considered.

Furthermore, according to martial law, adultery is also a crime. The law says adultery is a crime and must be punished if it can be proven:

  • 1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
  • (2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
  • (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

This means that the punishment would be severe if e.g. facts show that the crime was committed in a disgraceful way, e.g. causing extended pain and suffering or e.g. was directed at the rights of women, while the subordinates of an officer committing the crime were dying in Afghanistan while defending the rights of women. Proof, such as a deleted blog, can easily be obtained by the authorities.

Since polygyny is a crime against humanity and a vile offense against human rights, we who believe in human rights and the law should certainly report all such crimes.

If anybody should know of such a crime, it should be reported to the Armed Forces, primarily, not the police.

If the suspect was in e.g. the National Guard, the correct place to make such a report would be directly to the National Guard, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

Since the governor is the head of the National Guard, one should also report the crime to his office, in the case of New Jersey e.g. here.

A convicted polygamist would lose all pensions and benefits.

Women Have a Very High Status in Islam

9151-beautiful-submissive-woman-prostrate-on-floor-chris-maherWe hear it often.

Women have a very high status in Islam

Western women are oppressed. We have to look good, work, take part in society. But in Islam, women are elevated, respected.

This claim always makes me wonder. “Women have a very high status in Islam.” High in relation to whom? Hermaphrodites?

How is this high status women hold in islam expressed?

* “Were I to command anyone to prostrate to someone I would have commanded the woman to prostrate to her husband.” – in Islam the role of the wife is one of submission to her husband who holds the authority over his family, and this hadith accentuates that. So women are of such high status, they should really be prostrating before their husbands, if it weren’t for the fact that we should only throw ourselves on the ground before god.

And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Men are superior. Women are inferior.

Men are the protectors and heads of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend to support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient to their husbands, and guard in the husband’s absence what Allaah orders them to guard. As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, and  beat them, but if they return to obedience, seek not against them. Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most Great. Women in islam hence are so high in status they must obey their husbands in everything, be governed by their husbands and be beaten by their husbands if they are disobedient.

Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” So women in islam are told they are deficient in intelligence and religion and less than any man. Women in islam are told they are more likely to end up in Hell – because they are inferior. That’s how high in status they are.

“Beware of this world and beware of women, for the first fitnah among the Children of Israel had to do with women. I have not left behind me any fitnah more harmful to men than women.” Women are awrah – shameful. Women are fitnah. That’s how high their status is.

 Women have a very high status in Islam – beneath everybody else.

 

Around and Around We Go

Magnolia_campbellii_flowersIt’s been more difficult to bounce back than I expected.

Bounce back from what?

Well, first of all from my appendicitis. Since surgery was so quick and easy, I thought I’d feel fine in a sec. It’s taken some time though, and I still feel tired. I think I’ll have to go and have a check up. I’m feeling slightly anemic.

Tamsin’s been keeping us up nights too. Stomach aches. :( Poor little pumpkin!

And it’s a bit difficult to reconnect with Mark.

I believe that when he’s with her, he promises things that he can’t keep once he’s back home. I believe she keeps pestering him to bring her back here somehow, and he says he will. Of course, he can’t. And as soon as he’s back in London, she starts badgering him to make good on his promises.

She texts him, e-mails him, tries to call him when he’s forgotten to turn his cell off. I’ve heard him talk to her – sometimes he sounds very angry, sometimes he tries to cajole her. I don’t understand enough Arabic to be able to make out everything he says, but I get the gist. It’s clear to me that he is, maybe not lying to her, but not telling her the entire truth either. And I know he feels guilty about it, about the whole situation.

So Mark is feeling bad. He misses her too I suppose. And he’s ridden by a guilty conscience, both because he’s hurting her and because he’s hurting me.

Sometimes, I just want to sit down and cry. Or run away from it all.

But here I am. Trying to comfort myself, not with chocolate as I’d like to, but with broccoli and cauliflower. :( Even if I’m a bit down, at least I don’t want to be anemic.

7 Things Your Muslim Wife Won’t Tell You

polygamy-femaleI received this post from one of the contributors here who is muslim. I promised to post it, and I’m happy to do so. I’m told it’s the answer to a similar post addressed to women from a muslim relathionship site :)
Ever wish you could read your wife’s mind? Western culture encourages husbands and wives to talk to each other and discuss things.

However, in many Muslim cultures, men are raised to be stoic and tight-lipped. Muslim husbands are very often (not always) reluctant to talk about certain things with their wives. This way of course, they also lose out on understanding their wives

The only thing more difficult to a muslim man than translating thoughts to words and translating feelings to words, is understanding women when they do.
So, a lot of Muslim men and women go through their marriages with very little communication and never really knowing what the other person is thinking.

This quick list is for the Muslim husbands in my audience. This list will give you good idea of some of the things your wife thinks about, and is trying to communicate to you had you only been intelligent, caring and sensitive enough to listen.

1. Above All, She Desires Your Respect

Love or respect, which do you prefer?

Many muslim texts claim that women want to know their husbands love them, and men want to know their wives respect them. This of course is utter bs. Both women and men want to be loved. Loved and appreciated. Both women and men want to be respected. Both love and respect are two way streets. You can’t claim respect from somebody without showing respect. So if you want respect from your wife – show her the amount of respect you’re after for yourself!

It’s important that Muslim men understand the value of respect for women, especially Muslim women. In Islam, men are taught from a young age that they are supposed to be the bread-winners and caretakers of their families. They believe they’re all that and that women must obey them and are one degree beneath them. Being discriminated against like this makes muslim women extra sensitive to lack of respect. So if you want a woman to love you – show her the utmost respect!

You can imagine how frustrating it would be for a woman, who tries her best to care for her family, to be married to a man who doesn’t respect her. She may declare that she loves him, but without his respect, she will quickly fall out of love with him.

This idea is put forward in the Quran where Allah says:
Men are obliged to provide and care for women by the strength Allah has given one more than the other and they must spend from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient to Allah.
Chapter 4, Verse 34

This means men are physically stronger and must work to support their wives and care for them which means love and respect them. If they don’t, women will lose respect for them which will hurt their obedience to Allah who says we must be garments to each other.

2. She Desires Your Loyalty

This goes hand in hand with respect.There’s nothing that will ruin a marriage quicker than the idea that your spouse is not loyal. The idea, that he or she is not going to stick by you. I’m not talking about infidelity. This is what usually comes to mind when people talk about loyalty in a marriage.What I’m talking about is knowing that the person whom you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with is going to be there for you when you really need them.

A muslim website wrote:

Most men won’t admit it, but we do need women. And we do need your support.And it’s very troubling to be married to a woman who may not be around when the going gets tough.If you are constantly threatening divorce or separation or Khula (Islamic divorce initiated by the wife), you can expect your marriage to fizzle out very quickly.

Your husband needs to know that you’re going to be by his side if:

  • He loses his job and the money gets tight.

  • He tries to do something (like start a business or go back to school) but fails at it.

  • His reputation is tarnished or his honor is attacked.

The same goes for women. We need to know that our husband will be by our side, when the going gets tough. He can’t be if he e’g’ is polygynous. So don’t ever contemplate polygyny if you want your wife’s love or respect. Don’t threaten divorce in vain, unless you want your wife to leave you. Your wife needs to know that you’ll be there if she or the kids get the flu, are sad or want to have fun with you. She need to know she and the children are your number one priority, always.

You should be loyal to your wife before everything else except Allah and His Messenger (pbuh).

If you’re loyal to your wife, then rest assured she’ll be loyal to you.

3. She Wants To Have Sex More Often

Let’s get this right out into the open.Some men are taught that women have less craving for sex, but this is a lie. Women desire sex. Women really desire sex.

So when you give her the following excuses:

  • “I’ve got a headache.”
  • “I’m too tired”
  • “Can’t it wait till the weekend? I’m really not in the mood.”

Know that your wife is going to go to sleep a little upset with you, even if she doesn’t show it.And do this often enough, she’s going to start resenting you. And that resentment will build up and may lead to her being unnecessarily mean to you or losing some love.

Women are often taught to be a bit careful about how to ask for sex. In some cultures, wives are taught never to initiate sex. This means you’d be better off asking her often “Do you want me now”? You might find that the answer is yes, a lot more often than you think. In fact, every night when you go to sleep without having asked your wife if she wants you, she might be lying sleepless and unsatisfied and angry with you.

Please keep the following hadith in mind:
When a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond and he (the husband) spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.
Bukhari and Muslim. And please put it in conjuncture with the hadith : You must want for your sister what you want for yourself. As you can see, your obligation to satisfy your wife is unrestricted. She might have excuses like menses – you surely don’t!

Something to think about.

4. She Thinks About Other Men

Okay, first of all, calm down.  Let me explain this.
All women think about other men.

  • It doesn’t mean she’s going to cheat on you.
  • It doesn’t mean she’s thinking about taking a second husband.
  • It doesn’t mean she’s fantasizing about another man, although it’s likely.

It just means that all (straight) women do, at some point in their lives, consider having another man (i.e. husband or male hoori).

You’re better off coming to terms with this and accepting it than having false, purile notions about women.The best way to combat these thoughts are to apply the advice given in the first three secrets:

  • Respect her.
  • Be loyal to her.
  • Give her physical love when she wants it.

Does this mean she’ll never take a second husband if you do these three things? Of course not. But it will raise your value in her mind relative to other men and she’ll be all the more reluctant to look for those three things (respect, loyalty, and sex) elsewhere.

5. She Wants To Make You Happy

  • Why do you think women work so hard ?
  • Why do you think women are willing to leave their jobs and risk starting a business?
  • Why do you think women like buying men gifts?

Because deep down, we really just want to make you happy.

Sometimes we screw it up and forget about the world cup. But we really would prefer to remember because we know it would make you happy.

So when your wife buys you a gift, accept it, rejoice over it, thank her profusely, and use it as often as possible.

  • If she buys you some clothes, wear it.
  • If she buys you a new smartphone, use it.
  • If she buys you a car, drive it.

And don’t be so quick to nag her about the things she doesn’t do right. Because then she’ll start feeling that you don’t respect (there’s that word again) the things she does do for you.

6. If You Nudge Her, She Can Be A Better Muslim

Nobody’s perfect.Perhaps your wife isn’t a Muslim scholar. Perhaps she’s not the best Muslim in the world.You can nudge her to make her better. But you can’t force her.

Do little things to get her to improve her Islam.

  • Work around the house like the Prophet did.
  • Do your equal part of taking care of the children, this means you will discuss ethics and values more often and grow in deen
  • Tell her she is your garment, and show her you mean it.
  • Never talk about your rights as if she doesn’t have exactly the same rights.

This takes deliberate words, a soft touch, and careful action.

The reward that comes is living with a righteous wife. And the reward in the next life for encouraging your husband to the truth.

Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.Chapter 103, Verse 3

7. She Loves You, Even If She Doesn’t Always Show It

I know, this one may be kinda hard to swallow. But it’s true (usually).
Women sometimes clam up. This is probably because you haven’t shown her the respect and love she deserves. She would want you to realize this for yourself, she doesn’t want to have to spell it out to you.

You must humbly ask her to forgive you. Remember that Allah rewards him who makes peace between muslims.

Just because your wife doesn’t treat you in the way (you think) the Prophet’s (pbuh) wives treated him, doesn’t mean your wife doesn’t love you.

It just means she’s human.It is very important that you understand this.

  • If she’s doing her best to take care of you.
  • If she doesn’t abuse you or sleep around.
  • If she sincerely tries to solve your problems and helps you in the best way she can.
  • Then chances are she loves you. A lot.

Now move from in front of the television and come give me a foot massage.

JUST KIDDING!

Polygamy: It Provokes, and Unprovokes

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We had a nice evening, even though the barrier was still there, the awkward silences. Tamsin was with her father, Mark payed her a short visit without me. Most of the time, Graham and Mark get along a lot better when I’m not around. It gave me time to do the dishes and take a shower. I longed to get close to my husband. I know from experience that being close physically often helps in closing a gap between us emotionally.

We snuggled. It was wonderful to be back in his arms, feel his warmth, hear him say he loves me.

Then it stopped. He couldn’t do it. Oh he tried, and tried. Then he told me he had had the same problems with #2. He said she felt like a stranger. They have become strangers to each other and he found himself wondering what the girl was doing in his bed. And then he felt like a real ass. She still loves him apparently. He said finally, the last two days, they reconnected in a way that allowed him to be intimate with her.

And now, that is causing him problems here. Guilt. Shame.

I tried to tell him I understand, that he should just leave it for a while, that it’s ok. He snarled at me, got dressed and left. Didn’t come back until two hours later. Said he was sorry but just didn’t want to talk about it. This has happened before. He has problems compartmentalizing, in his head love, sex, polygamy, cheating – it all gets mixed up.

He’s still asleep.

I’m sitting here wondering about what kind of morning we’ll have.

I do understand. Of course I do. But it’s for him to work out, I can’t help him.

This is another reason why women are more suited for polygamy, I’ll never have to worry about performance.

For men, polygamy provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.

When He Comes Home from His Other “Wife”

800px-Gyrfalcon_(falco_rusticolus)_in_flightMark came home.

I have missed him, and I wanted him back home – with me.

But I still hate it.

I hate the smell, the scent of the soap he uses to cleans himself of her perfume. I hate the silence, the questions that can’t be asked. I hate how he says he wants to go check his e-mail and leaves the room to be able to Skype her to say he’s home and everything’s fine. I hate the earrings he’s brought me, knowing that it means he bought her something of the same value, maybe even the same earrings, as that time with the ruby necklace.

We’ll have dinner. Soon we’ll be able to pretend he hasn’t been away at all.

But tonight when we make love, I’ll be thinking about the fact that he has been inside her body since he was last with me. And I’ll look into his eyes and know that he knows what I’m thinking.