Q&A First Wife’s Rights Concerning STD:s in Polygamy

Alexander_Caldcleugh_-_Peruvian_MuslimahAssalamu alaikum

My husband is about to get married to a second wife. I have agreed and we have drawn up rules about schedule, housing, money and so on. I can not say I am happy about this but due to some circumstances I have agreed to polygamy. The woman my husband will marry is the daughter of a businesspartner and it will be very beneficial to my husband and I also believe my husband is much attracted to her from how he talks of her. My father has made sure the terms will be just and fair. But we all agreed on having our health checked before marriage. My husband and I both have a clean bill of health but it turns out this woman he intends to marry has HPV of the kind that can give cervical cancer. She is a virgin but when checked her mother has it too, and must have infected her daughter.

My father and I now demand my husband not marry this woman. My husband refuses as says there is no shariah rule that says we can make polygamy haram on him. He has even had an imam come to my family and say we can not give conditions because it is not the sunnah.

My father is now demanding I ask for khula. I don’t want it. I want to live with my husband and our child and all of this to go away. But my husband is adamant he will marry this woman and have unprotected sex with her.

What should I do? What can I say to my husband to soften his heart?

I thnak you if you could help me please.

23 thoughts on “Q&A First Wife’s Rights Concerning STD:s in Polygamy

  1. W A S

    Sister, why do you post your question here in this place for kufars?

    “Marry women of your choice” – it is obvious your husband can choose who he wants to marry, up to three wives beside you. It does not say that you and your father can decide who he marries. Who knows if the test is right? Who knows if she is healthy? If Allah has decided her for your husband then she will marry him InshaAllah. You should not worry but trust Allah. You can not demand your husband not to be intimate with his wife, would you really want to steal a right from her? Would you like that sin to be on you? I think maybe you are full of excuses because you don’t want to share your husband and you don’t want your sister in faith to have what you have. Allah knows what is in our hearts sister!

  2. “He has even had an imam come to my family and say we can not give conditions because it is not the sunnah.”

    WTH?? You can DIE from cervical cancer. You can DIE from extractive surgery when your uterus will be removed. Please protect your life.

    Khadija, Islam teaches one must not willingly harm or alter the body God has created. One does not die from a tattoo. The needle just scratches and ink penetrates. Minor infection risks. So what about knowlingly inserting a dangerous virus into one’s body? A virus that destroys the ability to have children? How about that as a way of altering one’s body against God’s plan?

  3. Sister Khadija, I know my husband’s right and even if it has caused me great sorrow I consented to marriage again but I wanted to know if there is any hadith or surat that gives a wife rights when it comes to protecting health or the like. I do not want to commit a sin against my husband or my sister in Islam but I know now what can come from this virus and is there no halal way to protect myself except for khula which I do not want?

  4. Praise be to Allah SWT

    Sister, you should tell your husband that all Muslims have been ordered to avoid the people who have contagious deseases. “Flee from the leper as you would flee from a lion” This marriage would bring harm to you, so it is haram. Your husband should be your protector and just knowing he might put you in such danger should make him remember he is your protector and guardian.

    Your husband should be a garment to you, protecting you from harm.

    Sister, you can read more here and show your husband: http://islamqa.info/en/46517

    جزاك الله خيرا

  5. The wicked thing here is HPV will not harm your husband. He will be carrier of the virus, but not be affected by it. You on the other hand can die a painful death from cancer through the virus he will give you.

    I actually like what the Sheikh in the link provided by Sheikh Ali Ben wrote. “There is nothing to compare to good health” – and, paraphrasing, how come you are so blinded by emotions to want to stay with someone exposing you to disease? Why risk good health for this man’s selfishness? Why love a man who would rather have you die than not marry a woman he desires? What kind of man is that who wishes to expose you to a virus that will not harm himself? Would he go ahead if the woman had HIV? Would he risk his own life? No, he risks “just” yours.

    I feel sorry for the man in the posted fatwa; he made one mistake long ago, and seems to be a good man now. Still, according to the sheikh he is not a suitable husband for a healthy woman. If this man is not a suitable husband according to the sheikh, how does your husband deserve you as a wife? Why are you romantic about someone who clearly does not care about your life?

  6. Sheikh Ariben

    Jazak Allah, praise be to Him thznk you for your help. I showed the fatwa to my husband but he says it is a ruling for women and so it does not apply to men since rulings are different from wife and husband. My husband say also that his intended second wife is not ill and there is no proof that she will be so the fatwa does not apply.

    Sister Chris. Thank you. My husband says he will never harm me but the virus does not prove that the other woman will get or give me cancer. he said that if she had HIV then she would be sick and he would not marry her but this is not a disease so it is no harm. My parents have tried to talk to him about how this virus causes cancer but he just says we must trust Allah. Now he is very angry with me and say I balktalk his other woman by writing on the internet and I am just jealous woman.

  7. Dear Kira,

    I completely agree with Chris it is also a mystery to me how you can stay with a man who would risk your health for his own selfish pleasures…

    There is a vaccine for certain types of the HPV virus. Maybe you can check with your Doctor if the type she has is covered by it.

    @Khadija: I don’t agree with your statement if you write something like this “If Allah has decided her for your husband then she will marry him” That would imply that we as humans have not a free will. But that would render everything meaningless:
    “If there were no free choice for man, the whole concept of man’s religious accountability would be unjust. The oppressive tyrant would deserve no blame and the just would merit no praise, because responsibility has meaning only within the sphere of what is possible and attainable for man. ”

    In addition “Thus, although Allah Subhanah Knows exactly who will marry whom in His Perfect and Absolute Knowledge of everything in existence; man is under no compulsion. He has to use his intelligence and power of reasoning and choose the partner that is most suitable for him for his life in this world and the Hereafter. ”

    There may be some things in life which are fate like if you are born with a disability or something. But I don’t think it’s Allah who decides who we marry – it’s our choice.

    I think maybe you are full of excuses because you don’t have the courage to take your life into your own hands…

  8. Having contracted HPV from my ex-husband’s 2nd, this post makes me sick. Get rid of him, Kira. As soon as possible. Another thing – they may claim she’s a virgin, but there’s no way to know if they’re telling the truth. She may well not be.

    You don’t want to go through the hell of coming up positive for HPV and all the extra testing that goes along with it. Dysplasia (the pre-cancer condition) is no fun. And it can sneak up on you without any symptoms whatsoever. So by the time your dear husband gives you “permission” to see a doctor – IF he allows it at all – it may have progressed to cancer. DO NOT DO THIS. Get out of the marriage. Fast. While you’re hopefully still HPV-free. There’s no cure for this.

  9. Dear Kira,

    I am very relieved you have a father who is supporting you through this. You have been amazingly fair with your husband and his wanting a second wife.

    Khadija, you ask why Kira came here for advice. I think it was probably to avoid close-minded, judgemental answers like yours 🙂

    Kira, your husband is not thinking clearly because he has been thinking about marriage to her and his excitement has thrown out his reasoning. I imagine rejecting her now would also cause problems with his business partner. He is being very selfish, as Chris said he will be fine, but you are at risk.

    You have a child. I wouldn’t risk anything that might make me so sick it could take me away from my child. You may find a better husband is out there for you.

    In your situation I wouldn’t accept polygamy with this woman. If that means divorce, then I think I would prefer that. Every time you are intimate with your husband you will be wondering if this is the time he infects you with her.

  10. @ Kira Your husband is absolutely ignorant about HIV/AIDS. HIV is *very* similar to HPV in that it is a dormant virus that, when becoming “active”, triggers dangerous disease including cancer. HIV is nothing, a test comes out positive and people are not yet sick – when it breaks out into AIDS, it is the disease. HPV just like HIV gives a positive test and people are not technically sick, but carrier of the virus. Actually, in contrast to HPV HIV can be kept even more easily in check today when discovered early. People who take the right anti-retroviral drugs can have the virus dormant for decades. They might die a natural death without ever having AIDS. So in fact, research and medication on HIV is *better* today than for HPV. That is because pharmaceuticals have researched so much about it since the 1980s. Perversely put, your chances of living a long happy life might be better with HIV provided you can afford the best drugs. This should tell you how much your dear husband is willing to put you in danger!

    A lovely Arab friend of mine who I told this story actually choked a little on her tears and said for her culture and maybe yours your father is the dearest man she can imagine. Even good men are often blinded by patriarchal culture, but yours firmly puts your own well-being first. In a culture where divorce might be considered a shame, he pushed for divorce to keep you SAFE. She said I should please tell you to make sure to kiss your father’s hand tonight. He is all the guardian you could wish for, in contrast to your sickly selfish husband. She wants to make dua for your father to lead a long and healthy life, so moved she was by him and his behaviour. Hopefully, you will be able to see your father is the one man that will keep you safe. A job this husband should do and lacks terribly at! You would be better off returning to your father, who dearly loves you and puts your wellbeing above everything, above what people might say. You will find a man who deserves you!

  11. Also Kira, by saying he would not put you in danger your husbaind is downright lying. By bringing the woman intimately into your family, he puts you in grave danger of infection, pain, infertility, vitally indicated surgery (surgery without which you would risk dying), and death.

    What can be called a “husband” who does this? Because he desires the other woman?

  12. Assalamu alaikum

    So my husband has been very angry with me for resisting his marriage to the infected woman. He tells me it is only my jeaously and greedyness for wanting him and our protperty to myself that is the issue. He told me I am close to nushuz and so he stopped speaking to me the evening before yesterday. When I realized all day yesterday he would not speak to me my heart exploded with feeling it is all so wrong. I accepted polygamy, I accepted my husbands rights but I did not want him to murder me with virus from another woman and now he says I am nushuz and he thinks I will change if he stops speaking to me? No, now today I know my father is right and I have called him and said he can go to the court with a demand for Khula for me. I have not told my husband, my father will tell him when he has submitted the forms for Khula. And anyway my husband doesn’t speak to me….

  13. Your husband is trying to manipulate you to accept the marriage. He is diverting attention away from her disease by pretending the issue is your jealousy. Good on you for seeing through his games. He is being a bully.

    You and your father accepted polygamy, so your husband cannot claim you are being jealous and greedy. I think, deep down, your husband knows your are right, but he is looking for excuses to go ahead with the marriage.

    Your husband is not protecting you, but thankfully your father is. Stay strong Kira knowing you have done nothing wrong. Your husband will be losing a good wife.

  14. Good for you Kira! I am proud to see you listening to your instincts and standing up against your husband’s tyranny. If you don’t mind me saying, and I know he is your husband and all and we are unknown strangers here, but I still want to say that sons of bitches like him need lessons from women to put them in their place.

  15. Sending people to Coventry was part of the bully arsenal when I went to school. In islam, I have understood that it is part of the rules of engagement – that you can punish somebody by not speaking to them fro three days. Well, if Kiras father serves her husband Khula papers, maybe the husband will start talking again…

  16. I have to say Kira that I am very proud of you and your father. I wish you the best and I hope that you stay strong in the face of your husband because what he is doing is haram and terrible. I promise you there are Muslim men who can be better fathers to your child and better protectors of you, sister.

  17. I was thinking along with the khula papers, a small statue of a hand showing the middle finger might also be handed to him.

  18. I’m so so SO happy to hear this, Kira. I know how hard this is, but please continue to listen to your dad, and make sure you put yourself (and thus, your child) first. You agreed to polygamy – you did NOT agree to take a potentially fatal disease on along with it. You’re doing the right thing. Congratulations, and welcome to the rest of your life, sister ❤

  19. I have been reading a Buddhist website, and came across the following portion on marriage. Kira could take a look at this too:

    “In a true love relationship, one should not ask how much one can get, but how much one can give. If people develop only their carnal or selfish love towards each other, that type of love cannot last long.

    When beauty, complexion and youth start to fade away, a husband who considers only the physical aspects of love may think of acquiring another young one. That type of love is animal love or lust. If a man really develops love as an expression of human concern for another being, he will not lay emphasis only on the external beauty and physical attractiveness of his partner. The beauty and attractiveness of his partner should be in his heart and mind, not in what he sees. Likewise, the wife who follows Buddhist teachings will never neglect her husband even though he has become old, poor or sick.”

    Kira’s husband clearly became so engrossed in his animalistic lustful desires that in the process he fell within the animal line himself, and started showing it in his behaviors too.

    Thing I like about Buddhist teachings is it’s spiritual humanistic outlook, rather than following a god who dictates rules and the people follow them whether they make sense or not, which is pretty much how the Abrahamic religions operate. There is still a level of dogma and falsehood present too in religions like Buddhism, since at the end all messengers and prophets are people, and they have their own level of perception from what they receive intuitively, or how they interpret a certain message. Certain teachings fall within a time and culture context too, and hence need to interpreted in a modern context or left in their place.

  20. I like the quote, Mariam! I actually get the feeling Kira is still young, too. Married with a small child, I’d guess, and I’d also guess she married young.

  21. Thank you Chris 🙂 By the way seeing this part in the quote:

    “If a man really develops love as an expression of human concern for another being…”

    In Kira’s husband’s case, this type of expression of love is totally absent apparently. His mind is clouded by what he can get, and it looks like he has mostly only experienced carnal or selfish love when it comes to romantic relationships. I feel such people are the ones who intentionally take advantage of the box-of-rules mindset present in certain religions. It’s still unbelievable reading about him how much a person can stoop to become an animal and feel very little about it.

  22. Oh yes, definitely. Many men in traditional conservative societies don’t love at all in the common sense of the word. They get an “appropriate” wife, who they might at best care about, but rarely love. Bizarrely, they are oftentimes head over heels into people before their marriage or as “sidesteps”. Excited by adventures, who they could never consider marrying in their society.

  23. I agree with you Chris. It is a sorry state for the people in such conservative societies. For many of them their main means of getting a more fulfilling version of love is either by doing so while hiding from society due to their various restrictions and taboos, or giving up on it and trying not to think about it, and hoping destiny would work their dreams out. I feel despite their criticism of the Westerners on their more liberal level of choices when it comes to romantic relationships, they are also secretly envious of it.

    I personally appreciate a level of freedom when it comes to romantic relationships. My main fears regarding their drawbacks are on getting heartbroken repeatedly, having emotional barriers as a result, not getting the kind of long-lasting commitment (such as in the form of marriage) from their partner on time hence peacefully settling down, feeling have to give up the goods too soon, and so forth. Parents and elders in particular need to caution their kids in this regard. I don’t see anything prudish about this, but most definitely essential for the health and well-being of the normal sensitive human being, particularly women, who need more protection in this regard in my opinion.

    Also I feel if more diverse choices were taught and explained as part of being a spiritual person, there would be lesser number of people falling into religions without scrutinizing their total package before joining. Or can make more informed choices on what path to choose within those religions.

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