While the woman is urged to be gladly receptive of the other queen in the palace, the man is admonished not to be engulfed in the thaaniyah’s love at the expense of the uulaa. As it was ab initio, there are conditions attached to bringing in the other woman which many seekers of a thaaniyah – these days – aren’t giving a breath-taking thought.
Do we need the whole world to take in the second queen? No, as such wasn’t required to transit from bachelorhood to hubby-hood. But the basics, the fundamentals: shelter, food, clothing etc. that will mute the woman’s tongue from complaining of the man’s decision are key. Aside being loving to Allah, it is a sign that the first is honoured.
Bringing in the second wife is not a compulsion. You will not be held accountable if not done. But you will, if done improperly. Do it if you have the means. Leave it if you don’t. فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً “…if you fear that you may not be just, hold on to one…” Surat An-Nisa V 3.
The rationale behind polygyny isn’t to subject women to penury. It’s not to suffer them to regrets. It perturbs to see a man in whose apartment there is a tattered mattress (or none, for that matter), no carpet for a good-looking abode etc. thinking of marrying a second wife – under the guise of some self-defined imaan. Allah is Ar-Razzaaq, after all. What a claim! Shouldn’t he relatively better the life of the existing one before going such a direction? Isn’t that an integral part of our imaan? Yet he wants the woman to gladly receive the incoming, whereas he is not doing what defines a man as a responsible being. The man’s nature may never take that, let alone the woman’s.
Where the woman with her children feeds from hand to mouth – sometimes reaching out to family and friends before their stomachs can be given their rights – I have no doubt that the head of such a household isn’t fit to take in a second wife. If feeding one is like a big stone, how will catering for two not be a mountain?
The woman appears shabby on account of the pennilessness of the struggling husband. She wishes she could be elegantly attired as done her friends, but fitting into her man’s condition, she kept enduringly groaning in the hardship, only to be blown up with the news of a thaaniyah solemnized. Food – she doesn’t get. Cloth – the ones she has are rag-like. Shelter – tattered like a hut, or empty like the newborn’s stomach. Such a woman may go gaga except she acts extraordinarily pious like the early mothers.
Your woman is covered. She agrees with the decision to stay at home as a full-house wife. She even home-schools your kids. And she hardly gets three meals per day because you aren’t buoyant. She doesn’t wear fine dresses because you cannot afford them. Your landlord is roaring at you because your rent is due for a renewal. You need no one to tell you that you aren’t capable for polygyny yet. Pray to Allah to provide you with what is needed to take care of your woman. Then the other intention will fall to place.
Laughably, the one who hasn’t paid up his wife’s mahr is thinking of adding up a thaaniyah – a right as basic as that? He marries another one with the promise to pay her later, too. What sort of a head does such a person have? This is unimaginable, honestly!
When we sermonize the perpetrators of the above to take to caution, they label us with weakness of faith. Some even say we get controlled by our wives as though they were witnesses to our signing of a monogamy covenant with them. Whereas the bone of contention is how they go about the act, not the act itself.
Brother, doing a thaaniyah isn’t the only Sunnah of the Prophet. There are lots of other Sunan you aren’t considering. Stop wallowing in the pit of myopia. Be rational. Be reasonable. Be human. Be sunnatic.