Ghairah in Polygamy

If I were to order anybody to do sudjud to another I would order husbands to prostrate before their wife, because of her immense rights over them.

If I were to order anybody to do sudjud to another I would order husbands to prostrate before their wife, because of her immense rights over them.

Mark was very upset with me yesterday. He came and asked me for a fishing rod of his, one my children and I gave him for his birthday many years ago. I told him I had lent it to Graham and he had taken it to the Chilterns. Mark exploded. He was furious, screaming things like I have given Graham everything else, couldn’t I at least let him keep gifts from his children. I apologized. I can understand his anger. But still, he has to accept that we are living polygamy. I can’t keep my two lives completely separate. He must learn to keep his jealousy in check.

A kind of Ghairah is unique to men whose wives are married to more than one husband. This kind of Ghairah takes the form of jealousy in a man, of a degree of resentment towards other men who are also married to his wife. A man is naturally disposed to this kind of Ghairah, and as long as he does not go too far with that Ghairah, his wife should be patient with him and advise him with gentle words. Muslim men must remember that An Nisa 4:24 clearly gives a woman the right to marry as many men as she chooses, as long as she gives herself to them to be what their right hands possess. Men must accept this and understand that women have been granted this privilege because they are physically and mentally able to keep many husbands, and govern them justly.

15 thoughts on “Ghairah in Polygamy

  1. Sorry to say Fiona but in this post you sound to me exactly as a Muslim husband who forces his wife into polygamy and whenever there’s any scenario where wife is hurt or angry, he instead of taking a look at his actions from emotional perspective just opts for the easiest & fastest way to sort it all out that is blame everything on her jealousy & expect her to cope up with her emotions even if there’s some genuine reason that provoked her feelings and lead to emotional outburst.

    This time what appears to be jealousy on his part, to me it appears insensitivity on your part..

    Reason behind this you only said very well Fiona ‘WE ARE LIVING POLYGAMY. I CANNOT KEEP MY TWO LIVES COMPLETELY SEPARATE”. To me it means since you are living polygamy, both your lives will naturally affect each other. So whatever you do for one spouse to make him feel good and secure about himself & his marriage, itself becomes the cause for other to feel bad, all actions for him are bad some are just worse…

    This time you apologized also exactly like any Muslim husband who might be sorry not because he thinks & realizes his action was wrong, has been careless with wife’s feelings & in future would try to be a little more sensitive, no but he just apologizes because wife is hurt and still thinks he hasn’t anything wrong all problems are caused due to jealousy..

    Like Muslims husbands sometimes feel guilty in their first marriages after they remarry, not because they think what they have done is wrong and how that has destroyed his wife instead just because wife is hurt although in their mind she should be able to tame her jealousy & all fault lies with her…

    May be now you too like any Muslim husband expect Mark to fully accept polygamy and deal with his emotions associated with it, now that its been years into polygamy for you all..


    I know your story fully so we can skip the betrayal part..

  2. You are right. I was frustrated and felt angry and guilty. The second part of this post is a rewrite of a text Mark showed me when he became polygamous. That’s why I put it in. I wanted to throw it back at him. My bad. You’re right.

  3. Hello Successful, nice to see you again 🙂 I was pretty much thinking like you as well, after I read the post. Although again it can be used to show the men tit for tat, as in what would happen if women took the same position as many men do regarding polygyny, and if the men actually tried to practise the Golden Rule, which many of them are intentionally or unintentionally unaware of.

    As we know Fiona has been scarred heavily by the double betrayal caused by both her long-term husband and a religion that she respected, where even ordinary everyday people may suddenly turn into something else by feeding into their insecurities or illicit wants by the help of culture and religion. Including using one-sided reasoning and putting on rose lenses for certain matters. And how men and women are “different” in several ways.

    On top of that Mark is most likely still not completely accepting of the damage he and people like him have done to others. So yeah, it’s not really surprising that Fiona is having a payback time for Mark at this, and may likely to do so for a long time. Also living polygamy is indeed difficult, even for one who tries to be honest and just, since it is living dual or more lives, so some mixture of frustration and guilt is also present and may be inevitable from time to time.

  4. Hey Mariam!
    Thanks for taking the time out to read my post and sharing your views with us..

    Yes, I know Fiona’s story completely & undoubtedly agree with everything you said, I actually just shared my feelings with Fiona regarding this particular incident without taking into consideration their past or the future but only the present..

    please accept my sincere apology for offending you.. My words usually are just echoes of what my heart feels, mind rarely gets an opportunity to interfere.:P

    well you know me & that I am here to learn, I really understood a lot about relations, people’s mentality, especially a lot about emotions and for that I am really thankful to you and all the lovely ladies here I ever got any chance to learn from..

    Lately I try to stay away from blog because when I read I am unable to distinguish between feeling compassion and feeling empathy.. I even now find polygamy and everything related to it very very painful.

    Now come on I know & trust you enough that you’ll forgive me!!

  5. One thing I’ve always had mixed feelings about is that Fiona, you are still not willing to forgive Mark. Even after taking a second husband yourself, even after becoming Mark’s only wife again, and several other ways you may have enjoyed an advantage over him, you are still finding motivation and opportunities to punish him again and again.

    Putting religion aside, it seems contradictory for someone who is compassionate and humanistic to hold a grudge this actively, for so long. I don’t see what it ultimately accomplishes in your family, or in your personal ability to find and maintain peace of mind/heart. It seems immature and reactive, though at times you’ve certainly taken the higher road on other aspects. Why not just let it go, finally? The past can never be changed, but a lot has changed for you since then. Why hang on to it like you have?

    I also tend to agree that it was a misplacement to give Graham something of Mark’s without permission, even temporarily. It’s really hard to tout oneself as fair and just as a polyandrist, and then do something so obviously flawed and unthoughtful. If hypocrisy is banned, it should be banned unilaterally.

  6. I saw it for what it was right out of the gate.
    Of course Fiona sounded like a Muslim husband living polygyny and trying to appease the jealous wife. She was making a very, very valid point with what she said in her rewrite of what Mark had given her. Basically telling Mark, “it’s all well and good until it becomes YOU, eh?”
    I wish I’d had the guts and/or inclination to do what you’ve done, Fiona. M definitely could have used that nice dose of humility. Instead, I’m slowly selling off all the crap he left with me to store for him. If one of the guys who buys some of his hunting stuff ends up not only liking his duck decoys but his ex-wife, so much the better.
    Not really. My tastes have become extremely selective of late and there isn’t a man I’ve seen yet who can fill the bill. I created a few in my fictional works, though LOL
    Seriously though? I’ll never “settle” again.

  7. There was absolutely nothing to forgive. You were right and I was wrong, and I am grateful to have friends who are honest with me.

  8. You’re right. And most of the time, I manage to let go. But the hurt is too deep to ever really go away. A thought to give you pause: what kind of souls-scars do you think the women have who could not like me get their half a life back and become equal in polygamy? How many women are out there with mental time-bombs due to islamic polygyny? And children…

  9. Nor should you. An it is so disgusting the way islam and especially salafis tell women that they must, or end up in hell.

  10. @Successful,

    I enjoy reading your posts very much, so you do not need to censor your words in any way. I just gave another perspective that’s all.


    Although sometimes I wonder too why Fiona doesn’t forgive Mark and move on, but then yet again what Mark did, was not just to Fiona, but to the entire gender. Mark is like a symbol for her I think of what Muslim men do and have done to their wives, including their children, over the centuries, over a millennia. And fooled women too into accepting subjugation in various ways. Fiona knows she has been lucky, at least in her own way, living in a country like Britain where she can claim her rights, have supportive people for her, and has been brought up to believe in equal rights. But women who do not have this luxury, she knows very well the hell they are undergoing. She gets regular letters as such too. So yeah. I think if Mark was more honest about the ordeal he put her through, and more supportive for women rights, she could have been more forgiving I guess. But then also Fiona says she manages to let go most of the time.

  11. Hey, I totally understand not forgiving. You think I’ve forgiven M? You think when his little #2 honeycakes was in the rear-view that everything was roses between us? HELL.NO. That’s when it all came crashing down. That’s when I fully realized how much I’d changed as a result of what he did, and how much of our marriage was damaged as a result. Forgive him? Never. I won’t. And I don’t have to. I’m working on indifference toward him now, and I’m getting there. The loathing has abated somewhat, at least, though it does come around the corner now and then and smack me in the face. Complete with flashbacks and acting out crazily from triggers. Eventually, hopefully the hatred will disappear completely one day, and the baggage that has come with it will get tossed in the garbage.

    I’m pretty convinced it’s akin to PTSD.

  12. I agree 100% it’s PTSD. You don’t need to go through something earth shattering to get PTSD. Even teasing in elementary school can leave PTSD for some. Funny thing, before this was brought up by Unchained I was going to make a mention of that, in response to Fiona’s mention of ‘soul-scars’.

    And really that’s just the thing. So many things in life can leave soul scarring. Reading this blog and even Ana’s blog, and what’s the main undercurrent of theme? Escaping pain. Avoiding pain. Managing pain. (fill in the blank with word that separates one from) pain. The human race at any given time is always trying to put space between them and what they see as a source of something painful.

    The thing is, that only works when we have a choice about it. Many times in polygamy, the wives don’t get a choice. They are put in pain by their husband, and the only choice (should they feel it is an option to excercise- for various reasons many don’t) is to get out of polygamy. But even in that case, that’s not escaping the pain. That’s not undoing what already scarred them. There’s your PTSD to stay.

    I am saying all this to make the point that, no one wants to walk around carrying pain. No one wants to live in a world of PTSD chaos and torture. So my view is that when we hold grudges, refuse to forgive, continue to bathe in the wrongs done against us and plan our repayments of them…that only perpetuates staying in the pain. That only strengthen the grips of the PTSD. Who really wants that?

  13. I agree practising forgiveness is a form of self-therapy, so one’s own self benefits too. For me reading Fiona’s blog has helped me a lot. Personally I think the institution of polygamy in Islam, whether it is from the Quran, or the Hadith, or both, is a completely culturally set-up one. That too the fact that only polygyny has been made clear on. Today’s civilized and western influenced world is facing the backlashes of such culture-influenced ideas within religion. And although throughout the centuries most likely, people had expressed confusion on such matters and could only partly realize them through, now, thanks to advancement of civilization and the Internet people are able to be more expressive on these matters, bring their effects and perhaps even their roots into public notice.

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