When a husband has decided that he will exercise his right and engage in polygamy (in Islam), should his first wife help him select a second wife? I have read material in which people have recommended that a first wife participate in the decision making process of selecting a second wife for her husband.
Regarding me, I think I should not be privy to participate in the selection. First of all, I am not the person that would be marrying the woman. My husband is the one that has to be attracted to her. He is the one that will have to live with her, love her, and have sexual relations with her, have intimate conversations with her, and spend his wealth on her, and more.
I contemplated the reasons that a first wife would want to be part of the selection process, and whether there is a valid reason for her participation, in Islam. Does it really matter whether the first wife likes the potential second wife or not? What does the first wife’s likes and dislikes regarding the potential second wife really have to do with her husband liking the woman? Does the first wife have to do any of the above mentioned acts with the second wife?
A first wife’s need for involvement in selecting her husband’s second wife could serve a primary purpose that I could see; it would be control. She could prolong the process by not being able to agree on a suitable person. She could select someone that her husband entirely does not want, and wouldn’t be happy with. She could attempt to sabotage the marriage to someone her husband does have a sincere interest in and desire to marry. I know this for a fact; I wanted to meet my husband Alex’s prospective second wife so I could attempt to influence the relationship in some negative way.
I see a benefit in a current wife not getting involved in the selection. If the marriage to the second wife is not successful, the husband cannot look to the first wife to blame if he doesn’t like the new wife. After all, it was his decision.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about mutual consultation. I believe firmly that a husband should consult his first wife about his decision to engage in polygamy and if he is “kind” give her some time to adjust to the decision before he rushes off into it.
I think a husband should introduce his first wife to the potential second wife, as well, so first wife and potential second wife could communicate if they choose to do so. But I think the selection process as to whom he marries should be entirely the husband’s decision. There is nothing wrong if a husband requests his first wife’s assistance, but to say it should be a right of a first wife, I beg to differ.
What do you think the benefits would be for a first wife assisting her husband in choosing his second wife?
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