let’s get personal
This is a topic that’s very close to my heart and will most likely be the first and last time I share something so personal on my blog.
When I first started thinking about writing a post like this, I didn’t imagine it would turn into this. It was just going to be a generic piece with some general advice that could help the masses. Instead, it’s turned into something more personal, something more defined.
husbands: choosing the right one
This isn’t something I gave much thought to before becoming Muslim. I had already met my husband to be at the time. I didn’t even know what things to consider when looking for a husband in Islam and I didn’t think it concerned be because I’d already found my man. I thought this was enough at the time but there were so many other things I should have considered.
- Are our fundamental views the same?
- Where did we lie on differences in opinions?
- How would be diffuse arguments?
- What did we both REALLY want from the future?
- How would we raise our children?
There are so many things I could list now that would have avoided the situation I’m in. But hindsight is a beautiful thing.
Just because you got along before marriage, it doesn’t mean that you’re right for each other. I made the mistake of getting married at a time where my Islam was still fresh. I still didn’t know where my opinions lay when it came to the above questions. These are all questions I will definitely be asking in the future but for now, it’s a little too late.
Yes your husband is part of your Islam but he should never be such a major part that you’re scared of losing him and not your Lord. Now we get personal.
And then it all went wrong
For me as you can probably tell things went wrong because I didn’t ask the right questions. Long story short, my husband met a women without my knowledge and proposed marriage at a time where our marriage was already rocky.
Now, before I get people hopping on here telling me the fiqh (legal rulings) behind co wives I know it and know it well. But let me ask you this, how would it make you feel? I’ll tell you how it made me feel, it almost made me leave Islam. Due to the way the situation came around, I started to question Allah. I started to question whether this was the right path for me. Why would Allah take my family from me? Should I force myself to accept this knowing that each and every single day my chest would break open with grief?
wrong ATTACHMENTS & second wives
I began to crack. My emotional pain started to become physical. I started to get a panic attacks and chest pains every time his phone rang and I knew it was her. Stabs in the heart every time I thought about the haraam conversations they were having. It made my blood boil but it also made me sick to my stomach.
My sheikh at the time was the person that literally talked me off the edge. In the process, I lost that relationship as well because I just couldn’t let go of my husband. I was given the ultimatum – continue with my husband knowing that the way he was conducting himself was haraam, or break free and come back to Allah. I was pregnant, scared and feeling more lonely than ever. I felt like I’d already put so much work into the relationship that I couldn’t imagine starting from square one.
stand by your man?
I chose to stick by my husband because that’s what I’ve always told myself in my head. That he was my rock, half my deen and no one should come above him. That’s what we’re told isn’t it? Your husband is the leader of your house and you’re the co pilot. When the pilot makes a decision, you go along with it. But I just couldn’t. So the first second wife didn’t happen but it wasn’t the last time it came up. I think in hindsight, maybe if it was done in the right way, I would have been more open to the idea. I wouldn’t have felt like I was being coerced and stabbed in the back. Yes it would have been hard but, the rules are there for a reason.
make your islam about you
Yasmin Mogahead has an excellent chapter in her book, Reclaim Your Heart, about attachments. Her book coming into my life when it did is proof that Allah does not forget a single soul when they beg for His help. She says (and I’m paraphrasing) that when you attach yourself to something in this world it’s temporary it will inevitably break in the end leaving you with pain. If you attach yourself to Allah who is permanent and ever lasting, you can’t go wrong. And that’s where my problem lay. I had the wrong attachment. So I took the time to get to know Allah again, in my marriage, the right way. To strengthen myself before I tried to strengthen anyone else.
I made my Islam about me, and it was the right decision. Now I’m stronger. I’m stronger so if the same situation arises next time I’ll be confident enough to articulate that if that is what Allah wills then let it be so. Let it happen the RIGHT way. Not with secret calls and whatsapp messages with no mahrams involved.
Isn’t this what Islam is all about? Doing things the right way.
For now my husband and I are separated with a view to divorce. I cant ask him to live a lie and vice versa. I pray all the best for him and his future with his new wives when Allah blesses him with them, and I hold no grievances. I am open enough to say I cannot handle the co wife situation, especially after what has happened previously. That kind of relationship can only happen in an open environment of trust, untainted. And that’s not what we have through faults on both sides. I have seen many examples of beautiful polygamous marriages where the men and the women are happy, just like The Salafi Feminst. But if you’re being coerced, can it ever be beautiful without that air of suspicion?
This is just my experiences but I hope for anyone else in this position, this is just another view to consider. There are better women than me out there and I pray Allah makes me like one of those. But for now, this is where life is and I appreciate the lessons Allah is giving me though my hardship.