I carefully thought about what “just” and “fair” in a polygamous marriage is. In doing so, I concluded a man cannot be “just” and “fair” between his wives when he is polygamous. Why? It is because Allah swt (Great and Glorious is He) says a man can’t. It, however, does not mean that polygamy is not permissible or is unacceptable. Polygamy is permissible and is acceptable. It appears some wives expect way too much from their husbands when it comes to the husbands being “just” and “fair”. Some wives expect the impossible from them.
The man may wish to act “just” and “fair”, but finds he cannot. Allah swt tells us that men canNOT be “just” and “fair” between women no matter how much they may want to, but Allah tells them not to turn away from one woman altogether. What does it mean? We know Allah swt controls the heart. The man will love one woman more than the other. In loving one more than the other he will incline towards one more than the other. One wife will probably see her husband loves his other wife more than her. He may show it. It may manifest itself. It goes back to the saying, what Allah wants revealed, no one can conceal and what Allah wants concealed, no one can reveal.
Some wives apparently are expecting too much from their husbands. If a husband displays more love for one wife over the other, should he take a beating for it? He didn’t put that love in his heart for the one over the other. Some will say, yes, it is true, but he doesn’t have to express it so that the other woman feels badly. Well, maybe he can’t help but express it. He is being himself. He is who he is. One should not expect a man to walk about as though walking on egg shells all the times so not to hurt a wife’s feelings. He will be himself.
I have read (not in the Holy Quran) that Aishah (one of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wives) was his favorite wife. Others noticed it. They observed it. It was clear. It was not hidden.
I think we all need to re-evaluate our thoughts on what “just” and “fair” in a polygamous marriage are, and base our conclusion on what Allah swt says in the Holy Quran (the word of God). Allah swt clearly lets us know a man cannot be “just” and “fair” as between women, but there are women who want to make their husbands do the impossible.
Allah swt in the Holy Quran says:
“Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practice self-restraint, Allah is Oft-Forgiving , Most Merciful”.
Quran: Surah 4, ayah 129
In the preceding ayat, Allah swt says:
If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves: and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practice self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”
Quran: Surah 4, ayah 128.
Then there is the later ayah in which Allah says:
“But if they disagree (and must part), Allah will provide abundance for all from His All-Reaching bounty: for Allah is He that careth for all and is Wise.”
Quran: Surah 4, ayah 130
There may come a time when a woman will have to find what she can accept and what she cannot accept when her husband favors another wife over her. We see from the ayat above that she has recourse.
In earlier threads, we also discussed “fair” and “just” treatment of wives. For those who would like to refresh their memories, the links to the threads are as follows:
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