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?

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?

The Prophet Muhammad was 90% Single

wives7A muslim man described himself as “75% single”. This of course is an arrogant joke, based on the fact that a muslim man might claim that he as a right to marry four wives, so if he is only married to one wife he is 75% single.

Is it funny?

When the prophet Muhammad was married to Khadija RA – do you think he would have said he was 90% single (or there abouts, since the prophet was married to a whole bunch of women)? Do you think he would have appreciated being described as 90% single when he was in a monogamous marriage? Do you think he would have considered it respectful and considerate towards his wife Khadija?

How can a muslim man who claims to be religious joke in a way that disrespects Khadija RA, Muhammad and islamic marriage?

The only answer I can come up with is: Because he doesn’t bother about islam, the prophet or the mother of the believers. Nor obviously about respecting and caring for his wife. He only cares about his “godgiven” right as a male to hoard and hurt women.

My Husband has Married in Secret! Q&A

400px-Young_Saudi_Arabian_woman_in_AbhaSalaams Sisters,

I am an American revert, I live in Saudi with my husband. We got married 8 years ago, it took quite some time and effort I can tell you to get our marriage approved! The Kingdom really is a stickler for rules, in every way. We met while my husband was working in the US and I fell madly in love with him, took the Shahada and accepted that we’d one day move to Saudi for good. My husband is a devoted husband and father and a good Muslim in every way. I have trusted him with my life. And not just as a saying but for real, since for a woman to move to Saudi is to put her life in the hands of her husband.

It took some getting used to, I can tell you. I still prefer just to stay in my house since the culture here is stifling. I have a few friends who are also American reverts married to Saudis, but that’s about it. I’m not at ease here, not even with my husband’s family who expect me to wear a niqab even at their house because of my husband’s brothers.

Maybe this isolation is the reason why everybody else knew my husband had married a second wife before I did. He still travels a lot because of his work, and when he finally told me he had a second wife, he had already been married to her for almost six months.

So for six months I’ve been sharing my husband with another woman, without knowing it. The reason he told me is she’s trying to become pregnant so she wants him to start spending half the time (nights) with her so that can happen asap. Obviously she had agreed to give up her time for a while, until he told me about her and now she has put a stop to that. So suddenly my life is a turmoil, a tornado of pain, tears and fear.

I found this blog, and just love it. The way you stick up for women! Right now I’m in so much pain I don’t know how to get through the day, and the nights are even worse. And he just expects me to come to terms with it. He says he’s sorry, and he says he loves me and doesn’t want me to hurt. And I keep saying: Then how could you do this to me? Why did you do this to us? But he doesn’t have any answers.

He says he will not divorce me, and he will not allow me to leave the Kingdom. And he won’t get a chauffeur for me so I’m basically a prisoner here, in this country in my home in my marriage.

And right now, my husband is off trying to make another woman pregnant.

Please, sisters. Help me. Give me some strength, or at least some company.

How do I survive this?

Submissive Husbands Make Polygamy Work

1013483_354648064665525_279483948_nI often get the question how I manage to keep two husbands happy.

The answer is I don’t. They work hard to keep me happy. 🙂

That’s what’s really brilliant about polygamy, it keeps the spouses on their toes, eager to please me, since they know they are competing for my affection. They also know that it’s harder for them to leave me, than it is for me to leave one of them since they would be all alone but I still have a happy marriage going should I choose to leave one husband for the other.

So, my husbands have learned that they must be submissive. This is what a day llooks like for a submissive husband:

WAKE UP

A submissive husband wakes up before his family, to get ready for the day ahead. He’ll get dressed first so his wife wakes up to an attractive, well-groomed husband who is calm and in control. He’ll then make sure the house is tidy and pack bags and lunches for his children and his wife

A submissive husband will prepare breakfast for his family so as they wake up they can eat a healthy and delicious meal to start the day.

At no time does he seem disorganised, rushed, or lose his temper.

His wife’s clothes for the day are washed, ironed and hung up ready for her. After breakfast, just before she leaves for work, he leaves her with a kiss and a smile, telling her to have a great day.

MORNING

Once his wife leaves for work and the children are at school a submissive husband will use his morning to run errands vital to the smooth running of the family. He’ll drop off and pick up dry cleaning, grocery shop, attend to his own needs like keeping fit for his wife and have everything done by lunch time.

A submissive husband should never grocery shop while his wife is at home with the children. He’ll make sure all errands are completed while she is at work so that when she gets home they spend that time together. Shee doesn’t need to help him with any errands or with any of the cooking and cleaning, unless she wants to. He runs the house smoothly and efficiently, leaving their time together as peaceful and as harmonious as possible.

AFTERNOON

After a quick lunch a submissive husband will spend the afternoon tidying the house and preparing for his family to return. The cleaning is done and dinner is started. If he does any work from home or charity work he will get that done in the afternoon as well.

EARLY EVENING

Once his children return home they are given snacks and do homework. All of the children’s activities and homework are completed by the time the submissive husband’s wife comes home so she can relax after a long day.

When his wife arrives home she walks into a clean house, receives a warm welcome from her husband who is happy to see her and spends some time relaxing while he finishes up dinner. During dinner a submissive husband will attend to all of his family’s needs and after dinner will clean up so his wife can spend quality time with their children.

EVENING

A submissive husband will organise for the children to go to bed each evening. His wife may wish to read them a bedtime story but he will dress them for bed, supervise baths and the brushing of teeth and ultimately tuck them in. The rest of the evening is spent with his wife. That time is spent talking, discussing issues and not fighting. The real skill of being a submissive husband is ensuring all communication with his wife is as happy and as calm as possible.

Disagreements are quickly deflated by him, not necessarily through giving in to his wife’s point of view but by being willing to do what makes her happy. He chooses to prioritise her happiness over his own and does this willingly, with no expectation from her.

BEDTIME

Sex is an experience of love and is shared as often as his wife desires. He is happy to have sex as often as she likes and will always do his best to make it an amazing experience. He should have completed a couple of massage courses, and offer to give her a full body rub whenever she pleases. Sex with a submissive husband is pretty awesome and because their relationship is harmonious, his pleasure is just as important as hers.

Each evening ends in a happy and fulfilled state with a kiss and an “I love you”.

So, you see – having multiple husbands is no problem! Quite the opposite 🙂

(Based on an original, giving actual advice to women in polygyny!!!)

Why Allah Allowed Polygamy for Women

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.

In the Quran, Allah limits men’s right to polygamy. It says a man can only marry plural women if he: a. is sole caretaker of several orphans b. can be 100% sure that he will never ever be unjust to one of his wives, c. can provide for all of his wives.

Women however are given free access to be polygamous in the Quran. There are no moral obligations on them, nor are they limited in how many men they are allowed to marry.

The Quran allows women to marry as many men as they like.

The only requirement is that she give herself entirely to every man she marries, so she becomes what is described as what his right hand possesses. This of course is the same requirement that is part of a christian marriage vow: “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish”.

Women are better at communicating than men. Women have the physical ability to be intimate with as many men as they choose on any given day. Women are better at forming emotional bonds and building relationships. Women are better at staying cool and keeping their anger and frustration in check. All these are probably reasons why Allah has permitted polygamy without limits for women.

The fact that islamic tradition has chosen to falsely overlook this clear permission to women to be polygamous is only proof of religion’s patriarchal tradition. It does however have nothing to do with the permission that has been expressly granted:

And also prohibited to you are married women except those your right hands possess. This is the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are all others beyond these.  An Nisa 4:24

Polygamy Prison

S%C3%A9pulcre_Arc-en-Barrois_111008_12Hello

I am sorry if I tell a long story but I think I must explain some to make my point. I am English but of Pakistani descent. I got married to my cousin when I was only 18, it was a marriage my parents decided but it was not forced I was really happy to marry somebody I knew and felt safe with and I was happy to have a family within my own. We had a good marriage I thought and two children and we moved to another city but my husband still allowed me to work and visit my family and I was happy in all. But then my husband started to act different. He came late from work and sometimes called and had strange reasons for staying away and he also was distant and moody. I thought maybe it was trouble at work and that he had to work harder and so tried to be supportive and not ask and nag. But then one day he told me he had married another woman. At first he did not want to tell me much he just said he did not want to answer any questions but bit by bit I understood that he had always married me most for family even though he was happy with me but he had wanted more to fall in love and he had done so with this other woman. I can’t tell you how this felt to me. Maybe we had not been falling in love but I had felt love was in our marriage and he said yes but not the love he wanted. We tried so many times to understand each other but he was guilty and angry and I was angry and so sad and we just never made an end of it and I just came more and more to hate him and he stayed more and more with the other wife and I was happy for him to stay away. But he would not divorce me he said he would never shame our family so and would not divorce me. He would also not give me Khul. I read here and many places that people say women can get khul but khul is only possible if the husband says yes. My husband would not accept mahr back and khul. So I applied for faskh. That is divorce against my husband’s will. I went to the Muslim Arbitration Council. It was three years ago. I am still not divorced. I have been to five mediations and my husband refutes valid ground for faskh and I have been given different tasks of making my husband happy with me to make our marriage work, to pray certain special duaas, to meet with counsellors and so on. I have been told I am not allowed to leave my husband’s house until faskh has been granted. I have been twice in talks about khul but my husband refuses. Now I am still married to him and the council has aksed me to enter more proof of physical abuse, of not being maintained or of my husband having deserted me or being unable in intimacy. Otherwise I can not get faskh. So I am still here in this prison marriage with my polygamy husband who is saying this is a lesson to me that polygamy is allowed and I have nothing. I would ask this blog to caution all women that they must make sure in written in nikah contract that they are allowed talaq if the husband is polygamus and also that the wife has a right to have delegated talaq.

In the UK it doesn’t matter that women can divorce, because they will not get an Islamic divorce. Please help me get this told. Please. Thanks.

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.