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Naa Ashorkor writes: True stories of Islamic polygamous marriages

Naa Ashorkor

Naa Ashorkor

I have always been curious about polygamous marriages, especially Muslim marriages where you go knowing that it’s potentially polygamous.

Last Tuesday night on Just Usan all-girls interactive show on Asaase 99.5 Accra, I had a conversation with four young Muslim wives. Three of them were first and only wives, the fourth was a second and last wife.

Let’s call them Ladies A & Lady B. Now I didn’t speak to a cleric because I wanted to understand the thoughts and fears of the young ladies themselves.

We know what the Quran says; “Allah Almighty has made polygamy permissible, but any man who marries more than one woman must love them all EQUALLY. If he cannot deal justly with them, he must marry just one”.

Here are five things I learnt from my guests and callers:

1. Can a man love 4 women equally? I asked this question many times. What does equally in love mean? Is it equality in responsibilities and obligations towards the wives or equality in terms of emotional love, affection, intimacy and sex? Ladies A didn’t think that it was possible to offer equal emotional love. Lady B did not care, it seemed to me that she felt that her hubby had more love for her than any other. Also, she was perfectly okay with the possibility of other wives joining the family in future.

2. There’s a silent prayer young Muslim brides pray as first wives; that their dear husbands would not heed this holy permission. They accept that Islam allows it, but they would be hurt if their men ‘obeyed’.

3. Lady B upholds polygamy. She lives in a separate house and spends time with hubby according to schedule. She is neither friends nor friendly with the first wife and doesn’t think it’s necessary. I asked her if in accordance with the Quran, her dear hubby loves them equally – Let’s just say she declined to answer.

4. Ladies A believe that the new wives usually come in with the mindset of coming to “collect” the man from the older wives. They are usually a threat to other wives. The wives usually respect each other but do not like or love each other. It’s usually best to keep them in different homes.

5. Ladies A and B agreed on one thing, that polygamy has benefits. Apparently, men have strong urges that sometimes one women cannot satisfy due to menstruations, pregnancy related restrictions and menopause, therefore having other wives helps curb the temptation of adultery. I asked if women did not have similar urges when their husbands are away with other wives, what do women do? I think this is a good place to stop.

Time to go on air, catch the next episode of JUST US next Tuesday at 7pm, we’re discussing cosmetic surgeries and today’s woman. 99.5 is the dial.
Naa Ashorkor

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