Like widows and divorcees, single ladies now find it difficult to get husbands. Plentiful, of course, are men, but only a few, regrettably, are husband-like – some are ‘horse-bands’.

I personally know of ladies who are less than 30 – and years down the line – they are still under the custody of their parents as spinsters. Those who had turned down proposals from married men because of their apathy, dislike or hate for polygyny do not mind to be second or third wives now. Imāms, counsellors can relate well on this.

The situation has pitiably got to a point where single ladies – barring all odds – now directly approach married men, or someone else (a friend, for instance) asked to help do the ‘toasting’ in proxy. This is not happening because those ladies aren’t attractive. In fact, there are some of them whose look and physique can loosen a pair of handcuffs from a criminal. It’s just that such ladies aren’t getting desired suitors to ask their hands in marriage, or that no man is actually coming their way. This, no doubt, is a manifestation of the Prophet’s prophecy centuries ago – that there would come a time a number of women would crave to have just one man for a husband.

Our women shouldn’t get this piece twisted. If Allāh wills that I have a second wife, I will consider a widow or a divorcee. This was a resolve I made years back, and I’m still passionate about it.

But you see, given what we know of the high number of unmarried ladies who have become tired of their irritable stay in their parents’ abodes, considering them for a second wife like widows and divorcees is, in my humble opinion, in order, and men who choose to do so shouldn’t be ‘blackmailed’, nailed or labelled with selfishness. The foundation (or intention) upon which the deed is based is all that matters. And by the way, who to be married to – as first, second, third or fourth wife – is a matter that is decreed by no one but Allāh.

Some of our women claim to prefer widows or divorcees as co-wives. They say it is by this that they get convinced that their husbands are truly sincere with their penchant for polygyny. As much as I personally love widowed and divorced women being given priority of hope, this claim of theirs is just a defence mechanism called rationalization. While some may be sincere with the thought (only Allāh knows the hidden), some are just using that to claim fictitiously that they aren’t against polygyny, whereas they despise it, and will do ‘anything’ to prevent it from happening.

Previously married or single, a second wife is a second wife. Even if the later is married a virgin, that will not last more than one night. Women’s apathy for polygyny seems natural (I stand challenged) such that even if menopausal women are brought in as co-wives, they will still feel hurt, and this is understandable, except for one whose veins runs no scintilla of blood.

What keeps monogamy is the same thing that keeps polygyny. If that phenomenon is present, marriage – mono or poly – will work miraculously – that is notwithstanding the inevitable challenges. Piety! Yes, the fear of Allāh from all parties – the husband first and foremost, and the other wives.

Sanni Kay Yūsuf


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