The Muslim Handmaid’s Tale

Salaam

When I was nine years old, my mother gave me an abaya and a niqab and said they were my token of honor. She said every honorable woman wears them, to let the world know she is protected by Allah. I wore them with pride.

My brothers went to school. My parents kept my sister and me at home, using the permission to home school that many muslims use in my state. My parents told me it was a privilege to be able to stay home and learn only what’s important, my sister and I were hidden pearls, too valuable to be allowed to go to school. I thought it was wonderful to be so precious.

When my brothers came home from school, my sister and I always had to prepare food for them, serve at table, and afterwards we did the dishes and the laundry and brought our brothers tea and cookies. I asked my mother, since my sister and I were more precious than our brothers, how come we had to wait on them and not the other way around. My mother told me that it was another kind of precious. My sister and I were precious as gems for our future husbands and mothers of our future children and being obedient and modest was our value, while our brothers were precious because they were men, leaders and our protectors. My mother told me never to want anything other than what a woman should want, to be pleasing to my husband anda modest and good mother.

When I was 16, my father and mother told me I was to be married. I should be proud because my husband was a scholar, a respected man in the community. He gave me a heavy gold necklace. I felt proud. And I hoped that this would mean new experiences, a new world opening to me. We were married. The women celebrated up stairs, the men downstairs. In the evening, I was taken to my husband’s house. We spent two hours praying. Then, without speaking a word to me, he made me his wife.

My husband is a very religious man. We have no radio, no TV. I’m not allowed to listen to music. We only have religious books, and my husband keeps them in his den, and sometimes gives one to me and tells me what to read. I’m not allowed to leave the house without him or my mother in law. We have talked about it many times, I even asked my father to talk to my husband about letting me go for a short walk on my own, or maybe to the shops. But my husband says no, and my father says I should be grateful really since my husband is so eager to protect me. I had a son a year ago and my life is better now since I have a purpose and something to do with my time.

Half a year ago, my husband told me he was going to marry another wife. It shattered me. I do love my husband, and he and my son is all I’ve got. And since I only see my parents a couple of times a year, and my mother in law once a week when we go shopping, my husband is my only connection with the world. I begged him to allow me to go to the masjid alone, told him the Prophet allowed it, but he answered it is only allowed when the world is completely safe and it is not. So I cant go. So every other week I sit in our apartment alone with my son. I can see the neighbors through the window but I can’t talk to them. I have nobody to talk to, days go by without my using my voice. I don’t want to call my parents or my sister, I’d break down and cry and I don’t want that. I wait until they call, and then I just tell them everything is fine.

My husband only sleeps with me those nights when he believes I could become pregnant. The rest of the time, he tells me he is fasting and can’t be intimate. I guess he gets what he wants from the other wife.

So here I am, a prisoner in my own home, in the middle of America. I live in a country that is free, but my religion has made me a prisoner. A couple of nights ago my sister called me. She is married too, and her life is very similar to mine although her husband is only talking about polygamy, he hasn’t actually taken another wife yet. My sister had seen this series on TV, called a Handmaid’s Tale. She said it was about christianity, but she said she felt it was about us. It was a story about how women were taught they had to obey their male owners and dress in modest clothes like nuns and perform ceremonies to have children with men who had wives and concubines. Women weren’t allowed to go outside without being watched, and they weren’t allowed to read. And it was all made to seem like they were respected and protected.

This is us. We are the muslim handmaids.

My sister said the handmaid in the story had said that “They shouldn’t have made us wear a uniform if they hadn’t wanted us to form an army”.

I put on my abaya and my niqab and wait for my mother in law to come and fetch me to go grocery shopping. My husband won’t be home to use me for another three days, he is making babies with another woman in the name of our religion.

“They shouldn’t have made us wear a uniform if they hadn’t wanted us to form an army”.

 

Polygamy and Blasphemy

Islamic advocates of polygyny fail to understand why westerners not only dislike polygyny, but oftentimes hate it. They fail to understand that to a westerner, polygyny is blasphemy, of the worst kind.

To christians, marriage is a sacrament, a holy act. A husband and a wife become one flesh when entering into the holy state of matrimony. Christians believe it is a sacred covenant and the marriage ceremony is a sacred ceremony and assembly before God. As the church is the bride of Jesus, the woman becomes the bride of the husband. It is a holy and sacred union before God. To Catholics, it is eternal, inextricable.

Until the 1960’s, a couple who were divorced would be shunned by society and regarded as social lepers. The Catholic church does still not accept divorce, it simply does not exist since marriage is sacred.

Thus, westerners with a view on marriage based on christian tradition oftentimes feel a slight contempt towards islamic marriage. A contractual agreement on cohabitation and financial issues that is easily dissolved by simply uttering the words “I divorce you” is far from the sacred matrimony of the christian church. So many westerners don’t really regard islamic marriages as marriages at all, simply as contractual co-habitation under rules that make women slaves to their husbands, not least sexually.

Polygyny in itself is a horrible slight to the christian concept of holy matrimony. To defile the sacred union between husband and wife, the exclusive and holy wedlock, is blasphemy to christians and westerners with beliefs based on christianity. Islamic polygyny is blasphemy.

Islamic advocates of polygyny often wonder why people who are against islamic polygyny bother about the choices muslims make. Why not simply let muslims practice polygyny should they choose to? Even in the West where it is a crime? Why bother reading blogs and islamic web-sites about polygyny, why write hateful posts?

The answer is simple: because islamic polygyny to a democratic westerner or a christian is blasphemy of the worst kind. To practice islamic polygyny in the West is like painting a picture of the prophet Muhammad on a quran, carrying it into a mosque simply to ostentatiously piss on it. Repeatedly.

Would the islamic ummah of the world keep silent if westerners started making piles of pictures of the prophet and qurans in the streets only to piss on them? So why be surprised if democratic and equal westerners won’t keep silent when muslims piss on holy matrimony?

Letter: Dying while Polygamous

My father introduced my mother to polygyny the way so many men do, by having her find out from another relative that dad had married again, a woman 15 years younger than my mother. I was ten years old when mum found out. That morning, before she found out, was the last time ever I saw my mum happy. The last time ever I saw her laugh.

She did what so many women do, she wept and raged. She wailed in the night when she thought we were asleep. My father just kept repeating that it was his right, that she had to come to terms with it, that she would destroy their marriage and family if she didn’t accept it. My mum tried to find help from the Quran, from the Masjid, from scholars. They all told her that my father had been wrong the times he had lied about his doings, but that he had been right in taking another wife, in doing it without informing her.

My mother chose the path of doing nothing. Just allowing her heart to go cold and her life to turn into a void, a nothingness. She stopped hugging us, stopped allowing anybody near her, stopped talking about anything but chores at hand. She just gave up on life.

Two years ago, my father was diagnozed with cancer. He had surgery, but the cancer had spread. Now, he’s receiving palliative care. He’s bedridden, and uses diapers. He’s in constant pain, and gets his nourishment through a tube. They say he may have another six months to live..

We all live in Norway. Dad doesn’t have to stay in a hospital, because he can get all the care he needs at home. It’s his urgent wish to die at home. Problem is, where is that? My siblings and I don’t know what to do now. We keep arguing about taking sides, about how to help. My dad has asked us to plead with mum. I won’t do it. I could write pages about the pain he’s caused us, about all the times he’s forced his “rights” on us. And about how much I still love him.

My mother says this is the punishment dad gets for polygyny. She has had people over from the masjid telling dad that he is not allowed to stop giving each wife her time unless the wives agree. And they don’t. Mother says she will never give up her nights, and she says he must go to his other wife during her nights because the other wife is obligated to care for him. The scholars agree. So my father has to be taken by ambulance from one wife to another. The doctors say this might kill him, and it is causing him excruciating pain. The health care system also refuses to pay for the constant transports so it’s very expensive. They have all tried to talk to mum, tried to make her show some mercy. They keep telling her that having a right doesn’t mean that claiming that right is the right thing to do. We should be merciful. Mum just keeps saying that this is exactly what Allah swt wants to prove, and that is why he is giving this punishment to my father.

 

So here we are, in a merciless dance around love and hate, rights and mercy. And I am completely lost.

Second in Polygamy

Heart-beatSo, today is Husband Swap day. We have a three day schedule, with a few adjustments made for special days like birthdays, and vacations. Usually it works just fine, it’s become normal.

This morning, I left Mark to go fetch a mirror I had had repaired, and after that I was going to Graham in the Chilterns. But just as I was leaving the shop in Slough, Mark called me and asked if I could stop by in St Albans and pick up a bag of books from a co-worker of his. I said fine, So, I texted Graham that I would be late because I needed to do Mark this favour and that was that. I thought.

When I came to the Chilterns, there was nobody there. No Tamsin, no Graham. And when I tried calling him, no answer. I called Mark and my children, they hadn’t heard anything either. I was so worried! Then, I got a text from Graham.

“Gone to the airport. Tickets for Dublin. Going alone, since you would have made us miss the flight. Tamsin’s with mom.”

I called him, over and over. And then I got another text:

“Please stop calling. I don’t want to talk to you right now. I’m going on my own, need to be alone. I want to come first in my own life for a couple of days, since I’ll obviously always come second in yours. Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.”

So, there you are.

Surprises are a bad idea in polygamy. Not keeping the schedule is a bad idea. Taking each other for granted is a bad idea.

I really don’t know what to do know. Maybe I’ll just go back to London.

Polygamy, and the Nature of Man and Woman

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.

Over and over again, we hear from muslims that the fact that there are different rights and responsibilities for men and women in islam is based on the differences between the sexes. I won’t even go into the warped logics behind such a statement, but I would like to touch upon the idiocy of some of the arguments that come to light.

I will use this post from a mufti as an example:

 

The religion of Islām is a practical religion that also considers nature in directing laws and obligations. Polyandry is impractical for a woman and will place unbearable burden upon her. Thus, the prohibition of polyandry for a woman is based on care and compassion for her.

How will a woman fulfill the marital demands of more than one man, his intimacy needs, his temperament, and various other challenges? When a woman with one husband experiences so many challenges, imagine the burden with more than one husband.

What will a woman in such a relationship do when she is pregnant with one man’s child? How will the child’s lineage stay secure? Consider the emotions, jealousy, etc. she will have to undergo from the other husbands.

It is clear from the above that Allah Ta’ālā’s ruling of prohibiting females to have more than one husband reflects the hikmat and wisdom of Allah and His compassion for women.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

AbdulMannan Nizami

Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, IL, USA

The religion of Islām is a practical religion that also considers nature in directing laws and obligations. Polyandry is impractical for a woman and will place unbearable burden upon her. Thus, the prohibition of polyandry for a woman is based on care and compassion for her.

If it were a woman’s nature to obey her husband, give up on half her inheritance, live polygyny, give up work, hide her face etc. she would do so without any rule forcing her! It is only when something is unnatural that we need a law and force to make it happen.

And in what way is polyandry impractical? As a matter of fact, it is highly practical! A woman gets the incomes of two males to support her children, it could solve the issue of over-population, the children of the family get two males to look up to and be protected by, and the woman gets to enjoy variety and the pleasure of two or more husbands.

How will a woman fulfill the marital demands of more than one man, his intimacy needs, his temperament, and various other challenges? When a woman with one husband experiences so many challenges, imagine the burden with more than one husband.

First of all, a woman is able to have sex as many times as she likes in a day. The same is not true for a man. So women are biologically much better suited to please several partners than men are. Men are simply inept and bound to fall short when it comes to polygamy and sex. Or how could a man fulfill the marital demands of two, or four, women who all need sex on the same day?? Nope. Men are incapable of this. Women are made for it. And this temperament issue – aren’t you contradicting your own creed? I thought this whole gender-discrimination thing was built on the claim that women are temperamental, men are rational? So of course, it is much easier for a temperamental and emotional woman to keep two or more rational and reasonable men happy, than for a rational man to keep two or more emotional and temperamental women happy! Anybody can understand that, you silly sod. As for challenges, muslims tend to defend their misogyny stating that the gender preference is because of the many challenges and the responsibility that men have to face. Now, you suddenly claim that it’s women who face challenges. So, what way do you want to go?? And as I just said, the challenges are evidently much greater for polygamous men than for polygamous women.

What will a woman in such a relationship do when she is pregnant with one man’s child? How will the child’s lineage stay secure? Consider the emotions, jealousy, etc. she will have to undergo from the other husbands.

Actually, it was perfect. I had two men supporting our family while I was pregnant. Two men who could support each other through my pregnancy. Two men who could help each other. One man who could take care of the house and keep working while the other staid at home with me once my baby was born. So – what’s the problem as you see it?? The lineage is no problem, easy peasy. DNA. The test takes 2 minutes. (One of my husbands can’t father a child any more, so for us it didn’t even take 2 minutes to work out). Any child could teach you how to take the test. Problem solved!

As for emotions and jealousy – again…YOU are the people claiming that women are emotional, men are rational. If that were true, of course men wouldn’t be jealous and emotional about sharing their wife. As it is, you guys are full of BS, and men are just as emotional. But the thing is, women are much better at empathy. We can handle emotional spouses much better than men can. So again, women are much better suited at being polygamous than men are!

It is clear from the above that Allah Ta’ālā’s ruling of prohibiting females to have more than one husband reflects the hikmat and wisdom of Allah and His compassion for women.

No. It is clear from the above that the ruling that says females should not be allowed to be polygamous is misogynistic bullshit. And if you read the quran, you’ll find that Allah actually allows polyandry. Only misogynist men have interpreted the sura their way and contradicted Allah. And come up with crap like the BS above to excuse this crime against humanity.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Well, better than muslim scholars anyway.

AbdulMannan Nizami

Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, IL, USA

You do know that polygyny is illegal in the US, bro?

How Do I Get Rid of My Husband’s Second Wife? Q&A

S%C3%A9pulcre_Arc-en-Barrois_111008_12Every day, women come here looking for the answer to the question: “How do I get rid of my husband’s second wife”. My stats show me that this is one of the most common search-phrases people use to find this blog.

How do I get rid of my husband’s second wife?

Well, there’s really only one answer to that question:

By getting rid of your husband.

As a muslim, you can’t force your husband to divorce his other wife or wives. There is no legal way for you to make that happen, nor any religious way. You might try to coerce him into divorcing her, by making his life a living hell if he doesn’t, but since Islam always has a mechanism for protecting the right of men, of course there are ahadith and fatwas saying that it is a great sin to try and make your husband divorce his other wife/wives. So if you really are a muslim, that is not a way out.

There are women out there who try to make their husbands divorce the second wives by being the perfect wives. Women degrade themselves and beautify themselves, keep a perfect house, offer their husbands lots of exciting sex in order to make their husbands see that they don’t need any other woman. Well ladies, this is the most stupid thing you can do!! It simply proves to your husbands that polygyny is great, and that by being polygynous they can keep their wives on their toes, serving them and competing for their favour. Please, please don’t stoop to that!! It will only make your husbands go out and tell other men how great polygyny is, setting other poor women up to become victims too.

You could of course murder your husband’s second wife, but only if you’re ready to go to prison for life, or possibly be executed depending on where you live. 😉

No, honestly, the only way to get rid of his second wife is by getting rid of him. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds. But there it is. If you get rid of him, she won’t ever be a part of your life again unless you want her to. She will become completely irrelevant. When he decides to marry a third wife, she will be the one to take the pain – it will have nothing to do with you. And as you get rid of him, you won’t only get rid of his second wife. You’ll also get rid of a dirty two-timing piece of shit who cares more about his dick than about your life and your marriage and your children. You’ll also get rid of the risk of getting STD:s from his other women, and you’ll get rid of spending half of the rest of your life alone as a single parent, a single woman, a woman alone in a home for the elderly.

Asking for divorce also happens to be an islamically permissible way to free yourself from  him and eternal pain and misery. (You do know of course, that if you don’t divorce him, you’ll have to share him with her for all eternity. even if you get into Paradise as a true muslim…?)

By getting rid of him, and her, you’ll open a door for love, for respect and honesty from a full time husband, a full time father.

So for goodness sake, get rid of your husband’s second wife. And now you know how.

“She Should Have Married Both!”

My daughter was staying over with me in London with a couple of friends the other night. They were talking about a TV show called “Bachelorette”. Obviously a young woman starts dating something like 15 men, and in each show somebody is eliminated and in the end she must choose between the final two. By that time of course, after dating and intimacy over a period of time, they all have strong feelings for each other.

My daughter and her friends were talking about a season finale. The girl was apparently deeply in love with both remaining men, and both men came to her to propose. She ended up dissing a man she had made love to, and confessed to being in love with. My daughter and her friends were all “Oh she should have kept Nick, he was much cuter and nicer, or she should have kept both. Yeah, she should have married both!!”

I’ve been browsing the net, and realize most people out there talking about this show seem to agree. They say, she should have kept both guys. And they say it because they saw that she was very much in love with both men, and they with her. I’ve even found women on a muslim web forum who say it!! And they do so intuitively, because of the romance and the love. Of course, they aren’t serious. But subconsciously, they recognize that it is not disgusting when a woman loves two men, is intimate with more than one man. No – it’s all in the packaging!

I know many friends of mine who have said the same about Love Actually, that Keira Knightley should have married both men. Because it’s so romantic….. It’s all in the packaging! It’s amazing really how islam manages to package polygyny as good, caring, moral and allowed while at the same time make polyandry out to be disgusting. And people buy into that, just like they buy into the newest fashion, or for that matter just like they bought into jews being untermensch during WWII.

I had a look at season 11 of The Bachelorette. It was fascinating. The thing that struck me the most is how the men there sound and act exactly like wives in polygamy. All the insecurities, the jealousy, the fighting over who is the favourite, while all the while having to force themselves to accept the situation with a smile, or else they’re out. So fascinating!! And perfect proof that everything muslim scholars try to deceive people into believing about the differences between men and women and our reactions to polygamy is an utter and blatant lie!!

Gee, I had no idea reality TV can be so enlightening!

 

The True State of Polygamy

imagesAs you probably know, my second husband Graham had a stroke a while back.

It has been scary, hurtful and it has opened our eyes to the value of life, just as it would have had our marriage been monogamous. But some of the issues we’ve had have been specific to polygamy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that one of my husbands could die, while I’m with the other husband. How would I feel if Graham had died from the stroke, while I had been off having a romantic night out with Mark, or making love to Mark? What would have happened if Graham had been all alone and unable to get help? What if he had been brain damaged, and the doctors had told me that if he had received help in time he would have been ok, but since he didn’t he’ll be living his life unable to communicate, eat or move…How would I live with that on my conscience?

I have realized that I can never be a half time wife to two husbands, I must be a full time wife to two husbands. There is no emergency I can decline attending to, there is no request I can turn down, there is no moment of sadness, loneliness or fear in my spouse that is not my responsibility to alleviate.

I have realized that had both my husbands had young children, I would have had to give up on polygamy. It would have been a 48 hours a day job, just to be a full time mother. No way could I have been a full time wife also. Any man who opts for polygamy with children in both his families does this knowing that he is forfeiting fatherhood and husbandhood in order to be polygamous. He chooses polygamy over his wives and children. Any spouse of such a man must be aware that this is his choice. Polygamy is more important to him than you are, than your children are.

It’s also been agonizing to see that my love for the other husband is still so painful to both my husbands. I think they’ve both lulled themselves into a calm life of make belief, where they both disregard my life with the other husband and my love for him. Like, each husband believes I have a love marriage with him, and a marriage of duty with the other. Ok, I can see how they build that scenario in their minds and hearts. But it keeps all the pain and hurt alive and raw, since all make belief  Potemkin villages are torn down and the truth comes out whenever life has me show my love openly.

You know, in one way or another, I believe the only way to survive when your spouse is polygamous is by building some kind of make belief around the whole situation. You make yourself believe you are the favourite. Or you make yourself believe that your spouse is just off to work when she/he is actually with another spouse. Or you make yourself believe this is what god wants. You make yourself believe you’ll be rewarded somehow if you can only make it through the day.

Polygamy is a matrix. It’s the Truman show.

 

Polygamy Hatred

1013483_354648064665525_279483948_nI get a lot of people who come here only to condemn my lifestyle, to tell me I’m going to hell and that my poor deluded muslim husband will join me there (obviously most of these people hate the fact that Mark has accepted my being polygamous while they don’t really care about Graham). One woman wrote me a whole load of e-mails telling me I’m tempting muslim women to be disobedient against the word of god, and their husbands which seems to be the same thing, and that I have fallen into the arms of Satan. After a long exchange we realized we both live in London. So, I offered to meet her. After a while she accepted. Last night we met at a coffee bar and talked. I was a bit nervous, I must admit.

She was a woman in her mid forties, Asian, and she wore a hijab. She seemed to be just as nervous as I was. We had a very interesting talk. She started out telling me that polygyny is difficult enough without people like me tempting women to question the word of Allah. She told me I made polygyny worse on women, not better. And she told me that she was worried that my muslim husband would end up in hell because he accepts being a cuckold.

I told her, my blog is about empowering women. It’s about letting women know that there are other ways to live your life, to survive polygamy, and to interpret the word of god. My husband has actually accepted that the quran allows polyandry. We have met other muslims who have too, after reading this blog. I told her this is about more than polygamy, it’s about human rights, about the right to be loved equally.

She asked me why I hated polygyny. I asked her why she hated polyandry. She answered: because it is disgusting and horrible and immoral and makes me sick to the stomach. I said that that’s exactly why I hate polygyny. What is inherently evil to you is inherently good to me and vice versa. Maybe we must just accept that somebody not agreeing with you doesn’t automatically make them evil, or stupid. We sat staring at each other. Finally she said: Ok, yes I see. I see what you mean.

So we talked. For a long, long time. And when we parted, she said that she could actually respect me and my choices. She could see that there are actually a lot of advantages to making muslim men aware of the power of women, and the fact that women can manage polygamy too. She giggled.

Polygamy is Not a Threesome

ThreeringsEach marriage is separate and unique.

I am my husbands’ wife. They are both, separately, married to me. My husbands are not polygamous, they both have monogamous marriages with me.

I try never to take anything with me from one marriage to the other. It’s difficult.

If I have had a conflict with one husband, it’s difficult to completely shut the door on it, and the bad temper, when I go to the other husband. If I’m worried about one husband, it’s difficult to hide it from the other.

Mark is having problems right now with the concern and worry I feel over Graham, what with the stroke and the depression and everything. And Graham is hurting over how our intimate life together has been disrupted by the stroke, and by his medicines. He’s jealous, and it adds to the depression.

Suddenly, I feel the urge to have my husbands talk this out together. Find the way back to seeing each other as friends, not as rivals. But they don’t want that.

They both say polygamy is my problem. I’m polygamous, they’re not.