Yes, I want to be the second wife!!!

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Tariq A. Al-Maeena

A FEW weeks ago, a column I wrote titled “Should I take another wife” drew a very moving reply which I am submitting below. It offers another perspective into the multi-wives quandary facing some members of society.

The writer says: “Mr. Al-Maeena’s writing has prompted me to reply. I would have totally agreed with him about 30 years ago when I was twenty. The idea of marrying a married man and having to be part of an extended family of co-wives and children would have been a shocking ultimatum for me. Having been brought up in the UK and not having the practical knowledge about polygamy, it would have been a definite no. But age has mellowed me and has shown me the benefits of plural marriages.

“I have three unmarried young adult children whom I love dearly. Their father has died. My two sons are far away and my daughter is with me. I, too, am considering getting married again. But I am now in my 50’s; I will not be given a second thought, right? No bachelor, in his 50’s would even contemplate marriage with me. So, I am supposed to be extremely patient, and live like a nun until I die! But that’s not for me. Although I live a very lonely life and the evenings pass quietly, I try to put essence and meaning into my life as I have decided that I will be immensely grateful for each day that I am granted life.

“I am no longer beautiful and bright as I used to be but I still have a youthful heart. Color amazes me and I surround myself with flowers and plants. Well, you see, loneliness can kill. I need a companion to talk to, to share a smile with and be there at times of sickness. I don’t want to die alone.

“Am I asking for too much?

“I also want to be there for someone who may need me. I am an educated, truthful, hardworking and a pious Muslimah. I don’t have high expectations. I would forgo a mahr (dowry), but as it is compulsory for the marriage contract, I ask of being taught the Qur’an and Hadith. The ceremony could be at home or in a masjid. My wardrobe is full of clothes- they would last me a lifetime. So, I don't need a bridal gown.

“I have a respectable roof over my head. I am financially independent and self- sufficient. I would not be a burden on anyone.

“I love to cook and prepare dinners and create memorable moments of peace and happiness. A simple meal of vegetables and rice would suffice.

“So, now how do I find someone compatible? Firstly, I ask the guidance of Allah through istikhara (prayers), then as Khadijah, the wife of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), I send a proposal to a man who may accept being my husband. I am bold enough to take this step as I am tired of walking alone for so long. I loved the gesture of Khadijah. She recognized the righteous character of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and did not shy away to take the initiative. As a result, she lived in harmony with the man she chose.

“Now, if I do find myself a husband, my fatherless sons would have someone to look up to, admire and seek the advice of someone more experienced throughout the trials and tribulations of their earthly life; my daughter would have a father who could be at my side when a prospective young man would come and seek her hand in marriage.

“At my age, most men have settled down with wives and children. Perhaps there is a kind and understanding woman out there who would be ready to share her husband with me. A woman with a long-term sickness may recognize that her husband needs another wife for legitimate reasons and would consider selflessly including me into her family. Maybe, we have the same naseeb (luck).

“I would not demand much time, only a few hours a week. I believe in family. I will be an understanding stepmother and treat my stepchildren as my own. Thus, our family will grow bigger. Nowadays schools are closed and being a dedicated teacher would benefit my future stepchildren. We could open a home school. I see my future family, not just consisting of a husband, but of sisters and adorable children. After all, we are one Ummah, one heart, one beat.

“I understand that when I die, I need four men. I will be taken to my final resting place. I have a vision. I wish that when I breathe my last, my sons, my husband (Insha’Allah), a son-in-law or a stepson will be there also. These would be the four shoulders that would carry me to my grave.

“I wanted to share my opinion as there are many women in society who live such lives, either as divorcees or widows and I wanted to project this. Usually, our feelings are not allowed to surface. Generally, men prefer to wed single and young women, but we too exist.

“Finally, recent global research, especially these last few days has indicated that more men are dying of coronavirus than women are. Experts are unable to determine the exact reasons why but many are suggesting that a woman has a stronger immune system than men. Within a time span of three months, many countries hit heavily with the coronavirus have lost more men than women.

“This is extremely alarming and the emergence of this research should also lead us to care more for our men. And if, as research is pointing out, we have stronger immune systems then shouldn’t we, the women, be going out doing the grocery shopping and throwing out the rubbish rather than the men?

“I would be willing to do just that. — Khadijah Al Sabareen

Well, Khadijah, I cannot argue against your perspective and wish you the best of luck.


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