Children Have Two Parents in Polygamy Too.

flatThere was a muslim woman in the US, when she married she had a clause in her nikah-contract saying that if her husband were to choose to be polygamous, which she was ok with, she would be the one to decide on living arrangements for the family within the financial frame her husband set and provided she was fair.

So when her husband announced he was getting married again, the first wife was told how much money she could spend and set about arranging housing for them all.

The day before her husband’s second nikah, the first wife met up with her husband and the wife to be. She took them to a big, beautiful house and told them this was the family home. The husband would live there, together with the children, and the wives would take turns in the house, each having a master bedroom of her own to share with the husband. The wives got a small flat each to live in on their days alone. The first wife let the second wife have first pick from two small flats.

The husband couldn’t find fault with the arrangement since it was all fair, and done according to the clause in the nikah-contract.

The first wife explained that her intent was to make sure all her husband’s children would grow up as brothers and sisters in a family, and with full access to two parental figures – half the time mom and dad, half the time dad and tia. She didn’t want the children to grow up without their half-siblings and she didn’t want the children to spend half their childhood with a de facto single parent.

This arrangement also meant that the husband could never escape from his responsibilities as a father. He had to take full responsibility every day, all day, for all his children. The mothers got to know and love each other’s children.

The husband was somewhat taken aback by it all. In stead of going off on honeymoon with his new wife, the newlyweds got to move into a house full of children while the first wife went to a spa. And the husband never gets time off, while each wife can spend every three days doing what she wants, studying, resting, going to museums or to the cinema…

I think this is a good example of how we must learn to think differently, to question old ideas about gender and how things are done. Muslim men might claim a right to polygyny, but they have no right whatsoever to be absent, half time dads.

130 thoughts on “Children Have Two Parents in Polygamy Too.

  1. //I group religious conversion as a lifestyle choice, no different than going paleo, or vegan for example.//

    I wish people took it more that way, and certain religions didn’t end up going into competition on which one is better than whom, and threaten punishment in the invisible arena of Afterlife, where there is no real evidence for it, as a fear tactic to prevent it’s followers from leaving that religion, or indirectly forcing others to join it. Or contain spiteful comments about other religions to form a sense of disgust towards them within the followers, whether those religions deserve it or not, or contain the biggest objectionable label, on being the “only right path”.

  2. If I understand correctly, “revert” means that the Message of Islam was given to all, and that everyone is in truth a Muslim, but that not everyone practices. Those that don’t practice are Unbelievers, and will go to Hellfire, while Believers will go to Jennah. Those that revert have returned to the truth.

    I’d like to address Mariam’s comment about Christian behavior, since you, Mariam, have listened in a very even tempered way to the things said here about Islam.

    Christianity developed as a small heterodoxical sect within Judaism. It promoted the idea that all people, of which the vast majority were disenfranchised, were equal in God’s eyes, and had the same access to God’s Mercy. It exposed the corruption of Rabbinic power. It recognized secular corruption, but took it more as a fact of life to be tolerated (Give to Caesar etc…)

    It thus developed the way many alternative movements do; kept out of the mainstream, and becoming a religion as a result. (That is my own personal interpretation; alternative movements become religions in compensation for being ostracized.) The Gospel was spread by person to person communication. Spreading “The Good News” as it is sometimes known, is still the core behavior among Christians. Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics, who stick to their own, are the least active, and modern American Protestant fundamentalists are the most active.

    The motivation behind this evangelizing, is the idea that one person cannot really be Saved, unless the whole world is Saved. So, to put it in the vernacular, you have a lot of Christians going around the world telling everyone else they should be Christian, and acting like they are doing you a favor by telling you this. There is a lot that can be said psychologically about the Christian need to evangelize. It is, IMO, one of 2 core defects in Christianity.

    I feel as Fiona does about the Roman Catholic church, very tied into my roots in the Anglican church. But I have come to the conclusion that while Christianity made some truly stunning contributions, it is a basically a cult of personality. I do not believe that Christ was the Son of God any more than everyone is, and I don’t believe that Mohammed was the last Prophet. When I talk about Islam, it comes out with some venom because of the issues we are talking about. But what I don’t usually express, because it is not quite what this blog is about, is the combination of rage at charismatic duplicity, and the fear of letting go that I have about Christianity. (if this doesn’t exist, then what does?)

    Sorry for the length.

  3. I agree Weina is definitely a second or subsequent wife.

    A big issue I have with some of the ladies on this blog is how you make all religious people seem idiotic and brainwashed. It has been scientifically proven that believing in a higher power can be good for physical, mental and emotional health. Please stop being so condescending…it’s offensive. And pompous attitude and superiority complex of those who believe in nothing/science/themselves is just as bad as that of the overly religious. Not to mention I believe these brainwashed people deserve compassion and empathy rather than finger pointing and insults. Anything else makes you just as bad or worse than those you condemn. All people make mistakes and bend rules to fit their will. It is a human thing, not a religious thing.

  4. Thank you for your comment Dale. Looks like Islam gained it’s idea about proselytization from Christianity, but modified in it’s own way. There are a number of concepts borrowed from Christianity, and Judaism too, but modified and re-written to suit a new religion.

  5. I sometimes feel that in certain parts of the world people are just not used to the fact that something like a religious believe can really be put into question. Until the 18th century and the age of enlightenment with philosophers like John Locke or Kant it was also not possible to ask such questions in Europe as the church held too much power. A similar “revolution” is still missing in the history of islam and I think that maybe this is what makes such a big cultural difference…

    “Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men [ ] gladly remain immature for life. For the same reasons, it is all too easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so convenient to be immature! If I have a book to have understanding in
    place of me, a spiritual adviser to have a conscience for me, a doctor to judge
    my diet for me, and so on, I need not make any efforts at all.” (Immanuel Kant 30th September, 1784)

  6. I believe religion is up to every individual, what to believe and how to live. I do however claim that no religion can ever justify breaking the laws of natural rights. All people are equal and must be equal before the law and awarded equal opportunities in society. People may believe what they will, but they may never force their beliefs on anybody else, and when a society claims some people have rights other people do not, or that some people have rights over other people based on ethnicity, gender or religion, that society must be challenged and condemned.

  7. I think most people on this blog do have an attachment to a higher being / spiritual force / a “god”. But just can’t reconcile religious doctrine that gives some power over others.

    I don’t mean to mock people for holding a religious belief, but I think people should be held accountable for their behaviour towards others based on what their religion allows. The behaviour stems from the doctrine.

  8. Good food for thought, everyone!

    I’m one of the few who doesn’t hold a belief in a higher power – meaning, a single deity. I believe in natural laws of the universe, the Higher Self, and the law of karma (that it is one of the universe’s natural laws).

    I too do not mean to mock anyone for holding a religious belief, but when they come up in here and start spouting off religious teachings to justify injustice or else speak as though we all are supposed to be followers of a particular religion and coming up short in their view, I won’t hesitate to call it crap. Unlike Robin, Fiona has created a place where everyone can speak freely, regardless of religious beliefs or the lack thereof. (Robin claims to offer such a venue, but I think it’s clear the theme of 411 is all-Islam, all the time).

    I also believe that most all of us, either directly or indirectly, have been touched by Islam in some way – either by birth, conversion, marrying into the religion, or being from a part of the world where Islam is part of the culture, even if on the periphery. So it’s not as though those of us who aren’t Muslim or any religion at all don’t know what we’re talking about to some degree.

  9. I like lifeisgood and Unchained comments on this. Looks like a number of us have a similar mindset on these matters.

  10. Mariam ❤

    Did you guys see Robin's latest tirade? Marie and Ruqayyah dared to question her about her beliefs regarding the whole "orphans" thing and she lay the smackdown hard on them. Pretty soon she's going to be talking to just Ummof4 and Gail – who for whatever reason is still hanging on there.

  11. I just read Unchained and that’s the whole point I mentioned earlier about the strange interpretation of the polygamy ayat. Alice also commented about it. Im pleased the women at 411 challenged her about it, they are correct .

  12. Unchained, she really shows her limitations in that thread about reject polygamy is disbelief! The very valid points those women made just went right over her head, she had no idea how ridiculous her explanatiin was. She absolutely said if a man fears being equal with orphans then he must remain monogamous! She didnt even realise how wrong she got it. When Naim the wali bestess reads it, and scolds her she will back track and say it didnt come out how she meant it…

  13. I don’t know Robin from boo, and the few times I’ve followed everyone’s links back to her blog, I’ve found it hard to sift through. Given everything I’ve seen (those few times) and read from everyone’s comments here, I have to wonder.

    Maybe Robin has some health issues? Some of the “Robin reactions” everyone speaks of smacks of possible mental health problems that could be resolved with a combination of verbal and drug therapy. And if that’s the case, then maybe not all of what she’s doing is entirely deliberate.

  14. ..”could be resolved with a combination of verbal and drug therapy. ” That’s pretty funny Catamin. That’s about how I feel about religion in general these days.

    There is a certain % of the readers here who started out following Ana’s blog, had a bad experience, and ended up here. Hence, the animosity.

    But yes, I do think she has some health issues, according to her own cryptic words. But I think her main health issue these days springs from not doing anything and using religion to fill in the void.

  15. Religion is in and of itself a drug. I myself am an agnostic. I believe in God, just not religion because I’ve seen first hand how people twist it to use as a weapon and a tether. I tried to go to church when I was a kid, but when they started bribing us with candy to keep attending, then offering prizes for every person we brought into the church, I realized I didn’t like the message they were sending. Not to mention the harassment that would follow a “sick Sunday”, for months even. “Are you coming to church next week?”

    There was a lot more than those two things, however my experiences don’t even come close to what happens with extreme Islam. I do empathize with everyone caught in traps not of their own making. It’s no fun when people with authority use that authority to bludgeon others into toeing imaginary lines of morality.

  16. Catadmin, you summed it up nicely “I believe in God, just not religion”. I think that’s why people start exploring different religions, looking for answers. Some settle for what they believe is the most believable, others keep searching (like our dear Mariam) and a person can get very confused, disappointed, depressed even when no religion seems to stand up to critical analysis.

    I laughed at the harrassment bit 🙂 It can go on for years! I had a message recently from someone I barely knew and havent seen for 3yrs telling me how much they miss me….then asking when I’ll visit the mosque again 🙂

  17. Hey girls,

    Well, I did my revisions on the “pitch” and chapter 1 of my work in progress over at Wattpad. I also changed the name to “Catch the Fallen Star” to make it more, well, Harlequin-y. LOL…It’ll always be “Faces” to me, though.

    The deadline is 9/21 5pm Eastern US time. Glad I got in under the wire, so I can focus on other things for a short time. I…um….might have met someone…..definitely not a Muslim man this time 🙂

    He’s quite a bit younger than me (13 years!?), which is…well, a source of insecurity for me, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. Anyway, we have a date to go hang out at his place this evening. I’m SO nervous…we did have a coffee date already after work (we work at the same place, same hours, just totally different parts of the building).

    Wish me luck. I feel like a 16 year old girl right now.

  18. Wow, Unchained, glad to know you are being open to new possibilities! I wish for the best for you whatever may happen, and I hope you have fun! 🙂

  19. Let us know it goes Kim. I know you’ve been out of that marriage for awhile, but still, one of the things I’ve realized is that healing happens not by ruminating over every stupid misstep I took, but by putting 2 small pieces together each day, and allowing myself to experience pride and happiness. Wherever this relationship goes, it can be something that contributes to that process, if you choose.

  20. Well you’ve certainly got a lot going on. I really believe good, positive vibes attract more positive things. Maybe a dose of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Congratulations on your writing and I hope you have a wonderful date. Go you! Go everyone on the blog, to having happiness, loving and being loved and enjoying our time on earth, after……life is good 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. 3 dates later, I’m utterly gone. Oh, it’s so scary, but so exhilarating at the same time. We talk via text as well as at work (but keeping things very hush-hush there). The date at his house consisted of getting introduced to his 2 dogs (who love me LOL) and him cooking me dinner (!!!)

    “D” has this way of breaking through a lot of my defenses where I feel like I can tell him anything without fear of judgment. We share a lot of the same interests and religious views. Besides being drop dead gorgeous (IMO) he’s got this quiet calming effect on me. I have a lot less difficulty telling him how I feel than I normally would with anyone else.

    Yep….I’m gone. Trying not to be, but…well….the heart has a mind of its own.

  22. Strangely, it can be difficult to enter a healthy relationship when one has been in an unhealthy one. After the polygyny shock, I found it difficult to fall in love with somebody who treated me as an absolute equal. I kept looking for the booby trap…

  23. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like he’s going to say I’m not what he wants. Or, of course, that he’ll cheat. Even though he’s been burned that way too. When I text him and get either no response or not the one I was sort of hoping for, I’m crushed. It’s ridiculous!

  24. I hate it! I’m way too old for catching feelings like this 😛 And all the insecurity crap. But then he says or does something that makes me go….awwwww ❤ Ugh. Life was simpler when I hated men.

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