Women married to polygamous men ask what is just in a polygamous marriage. Basically, they’re referring to what their husbands should give them. Certainly, one wife doesn’t want to get less than the other. Consequently, they begin to put demands on him.
Fair and just is what the husband and the wife agree to. Although we know he should feed, cloth and give her shelter. Most wives expect that of him. The husband should make his intention to honor the agreement. His intent matters. It’s important to realize that there is no hard and fast rule about what the husbands should give the wives. It’s because all that we get is from Allah. So, the wife will only get what Allah has allotted for her. She will get no more and no less.
A wife who joins an existing family shouldn’t expect to get all that the other wife has. When the husband has the financial means to give it and wants to give it that’s all fine and good. He may have the wealth to do it, then good for him and the newbie wife. If he intends to make the newbie’s life better, he’s on the right track. The mere fact that he married the newbie and is contributing when she had no husband before should give her joy.
With regard to maintenance, if she wants to forgo it, she may, as well. Some wives don’t need the man’s wealth. Before the marriage, wives have been known to agree not to receive any financial support from him. It’s alright. Although, it is not wise.
What is just in a polygamous marriage depends on the husband’s ability to give
The husband is not required to give the newbie all that the other wife has accumulated over the years. If what the husband offers the newbie isn’t good enough for her, then she may refuse the marriage. She could go find someone else to marry. Besides, she may find one who can give her what she wants and needs.
Wives will make demands. The husbands will more than likely fulfill the demands based on their ability. There is no solid, etched in stone rule that a husband must abide by. If the husband is going to take another wife, he should make sure the wife whom he has, has all that she needs. She should have what she needs to make her life comfortable before he marries again.
When a husband is polygamous he will soon come to know what is just in a polygamous marriage
He learns by trial and error. He takes account of what his wives need and what he can give them. A husband should give his wives what they need based on his means and their needs.
Wives may demand all that they want. It doesn’t mean that they will get it. To force the issue isn’t always the best thing to do. He could divorce her, as well. Then what would she have? If they divorce, she should get maintenance based on a “reasonable” scale. The husband and the wife would need to negotiate it, as well.
A believing wife sees what is just in a polygamous marriage in a different light. She knows that she will only get what Allah wants her to have. She knows that no one can stop or prevent it. The wife knows her Islam. Allah will give the believer the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter. A husband is not expected to do anything above his means or that places a burden on him.
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