If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. Qur'an 4:3 "
I recall telling friends, “Maybe when I get older I will consider polygyny. I don’t think I will want someone up under me all of the time.” Then, I met my husband. I did not expect to like him as much as I do. MashaAllah!
For those who knew me, my openness to polygyny was not a secret. I had previously been exposed to it personally, both in a negative and positive light. Unbeknownst to me, this exposure prepared me and provided insight that I could not have developed independently. I learned what to do and what not to do. Some skills imparted to me by my personal circle of Muslimahs and elders would benefit any marriage. However, I also know polygyny has its own set of experiences. Some of which, one cannot prepare for without the help of Allah.
No, I did not plan to be in a polygynous family. I planned, inshaAllah, to marry a man who pleased Allah and could please me. I prayed for the moment for years. I did not pray for him to be unmarried. I left out a key detail! One must be specific with duas! Prior to marriage, my husband informed me of his marital status. He was happily married and had been for 6 years. I appreciated the loving manner in which he described his wife. He never spoke negatively of her. Alhamdulilah. Clearly, this appealed to me. He had experienced polygyny before and did not negate its sensitivities. He explained his role and how important it was. He informed me of his preferences for the relationship between his wives. He had other benefits I found attractive. His existing wife knew of his intent to add on to his family. He made it clear he wanted two wives but would have one family. I knew this required a level of cooperation which I had not planned to do. I informed him I had no intentions of seeking to be her best friend. I had collected good friends and retained them for over 30 years. These relationships could not be replaced. I explained I likely would not go grocery shopping with her. Yet, I would surely be respectful, kind and sisterly.
I had been given the option to speak with her prior to our marriage. I delayed doing so for months. To date, I do not know my reason. I just wasn’t ready it seems. What do you say to a potential co-wife during the first conversation? No script exists for this. A month prior to our nikkah, I requested to talk with her. We chatted on the phone for over an hour. As I made plans to relocate, she assisted me with identifying housing. When I visited the state to secure my relocation, she drove me around. We went to lunch. She took me to her place of business. Five months from the date of the initial introduction to my husband, we married.
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