Marriage Dilemma In Our Communities

By A.K. Umar

Some spouses simply find it difficult to comprehend and process the fact that husbands are enjoying the privilege of having multiple spouses. It’s not about being bias but the fact is that some husbands are naturally womanizers and are unable to be faithful to their wives. Thus, instead of having an extramarital affair or having mistress (es), why not simply accept the other woman being brought into the family and make peace with each other. If due jealousy or any other reason a particular woman thinks she can’t deal with the situation, there is always an option to either accept the status quo or part ways when all attempts made to salvage the marriage did not yield any positive result.

Recent happenings in some Islamic communities are contrary to Islamic teachings and values and one would have never in their wildest dreams expected from an Islamic community. On Monday 28/01/20 reported the case of a woman convicted of culpable homicide for stabbing her late husband multiple times in the chest who was sentenced to death by hanging by a Nigerian court. published an article today 29/01/20 about a jealous wife who purportedly set herself ablaze due to “extreme jealousy”. The deceased simply named Rabi couldn’t come to terms with her husband’s decision to marry a second wife. Ironically, this incident transpired in the Nothern part of Nigeria dwelled by majority Hausa speakers. Polygamy is rather common practice in a predominantly Hausa speaking community; thus, the last thing one would have thought of is to see a married woman taking her own life or that of her partner just because the husband decides to introduce a “co-wife” into the nuclear family and she disagrees with his decision.


Islamically, husbands are allowed to add second, third and fourth wives as long as they are capable of providing sustenance and treat them equitably. Allah (S.W.A) made it clear in the Holy Qur-an Chp.4 Surah An-Nisa, Verse 3:
“وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا

And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course”.

If a wife finds herself in a situation where she has to decide between being in a polygamous relationship or being a divorcee, setting herself ablaze is a senseless solution as that would obviously not prevent the determined husband from changing his decision. To other women in a similar situation; you did not happen to be living under the same roof with a man by magic. The two of you are husband and wife because you mutually agreed to be together and of course Allah’s decree. Having said that, if you can’t stand the heat, rather causing harm to yourself, husband or even your husband’s would-be-wife, seek some counseling from your family members or a local imam. Committing is suicide or homicide is not the best option and let’s all SAY NO TO wives causing harm to themselves or others just because they are adamantly opposed to their husband’s decision to marry a second wife.

Source: Kadiri Umar