Category Archives: Other Authors

Polygamy: Rational or Irrational?

[Here is an interesting article I read from by Umm Reem . SO here it is for you to read…]

This past semester in my Arabic Communication class, our professor divided us into groups and asked us to present our opinion on polygamy. I didn’t want to be a part of that discussion. What was I going to say? Almost everyone else in the class (including the guys) were dismissive of the idea, while I was still forming words in my mind.  The topic was complicated enough to discuss in English, let alone in Arabic!

During my years at the University of Houston, I was one of the most outspoken supporters of polygamy. A few married sisters in the MSA tried to talk “sense” into me, but their efforts were futile; I was known to be a person of my own mind. I clearly remember the day my husband proposed to me, he informed me that he planned to take another wife later and asked if I would be okay with it. I answered, “How can I stop you from something that is allowed in Islam?” I wasn’t yet married, so how was I supposed to know what it felt like to be jealous. It was only after I became a wife that I struggled with the idea of sharing the love of my life with another woman.

My first encounter with polygamy was when my best friend went through a polygamous relationship.  I felt torn. I questioned one of the shayookh about it, and his answer to my skepticism still echoes in my mind; instead of defending or addressing the topic of polygamy, he surprisingly asked me, “Do you believe Allah is Just?” Of course I did (inshaAllah), but why would he question my belief in Allah rather than simply explaining the rationale behind polygamy?

He then supplied me with a battery of “logical” reasons: explanations of wars, genealogy, men’s struggle during wives’ periods/post-partum bleeding, and many more. After years of researching works of scholars, both Eastern and Western, reading various works and publications including the ones written by women supporting polygamy, and examining statistics -Islamic and non-Islamic, I have run out logical reasons that defend polygamy. One-by-one, each has been ruled out as a result of  being cornered either by Muslims or non-Muslims. I can no longer “logically” defend polygamy.

Let’s discuss a few rational explanations:

War Zone: We are no longer in a time where men die more in war than women. The norm of warfare today is the  culture of carpet-bombing, where there is no discrimination among men, women, children, elderly; all in proximity are annihilated.

Genealogy: Yes, it’s a subject that is not totally debatable. Even with the contemporary DNA testing, there is room for error and hence the genealogy of a child can be lost. It makes sense that this is the reason why polyandry is not allowed (perhaps) but the original question ‘why polygamy is allowed?’ remains unanswered.

Periods/Post-Partum Bleeding:  Seriously?! So if a wife is menstruating, there is nothing else she can do to satisfy her husband temporarily for 5-7 days? Even if we accept this as a “valid” factor to justify polygamy, it still doesn’t take into account what happens if a man gets married to a woman whose cycle coincides with that of his first wife? Or what if the wives give birth to children around the same time?

Men have Stronger Sexual Appetite:  I assumed this to be factual for some time and perhaps I might still agree with the fact that, in general, men have a stronger physical desire for women. However, this can vary case-by-case as well. New statistics demonstrate that men and women are not far apart in their sexual appetite. In fact, ovulating women have been found to have increased sexual desire. Other studies suggest women in their 30s also experience an increased sex drive. Since this quality can vary from person-to-person, sexual appetite cannot be used to rationalize polygamy either.

While we may run out of rational justifications for polygamy, the stereotyping against it continues to increase:

One Man for One Woman: I grew up believing there is one man for one woman and vice-versa. Remember, we’re products of our society and culture, and that is not blameworthy. We cannot ostracize “Western” culture for this ideology because it is just as much a product of “Eastern” culture too, if not more. Typically, in Eastern cultures, parents continue to advise their daughters to be patient with their husband and work on the marriage, but as soon as the husband takes another wife, the entire family forces her to return back to her parents’ house and take a stand.

Read the article… by Umm Reem on July 4th, 2011. ]



Someone shared this note with me on Facebook, and I share it with you all!

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

“Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.” Continue reading

How to poison your mother in law.

Moved to:

Manners of talking in the light of the Quran.

Moved to:

Women who suffer by Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Moved to:

Setting the Record Straight: The Miracle of Islamic Science

Moved to:


— Mike Ghouse

Much of the maligning of Islam we see and read in the news papers stems from
the speeches and the management of our Mosques, and it also fuels the talk
show hosts. The best way to fix the problem is straighten out ourselves

The first battle field of change is our institutions. We need to plan long
term and short strategies/ solutions to our issues if we have not already
done it.

In the interest of our community’s long term peaceful un-fearful
co-existence, we may have to take up this topic and discuss it within our
organizations. A national policy would be of greater value. Most of us are
familiar with our problems, and as such I have not explained the background
for each item, you can complete the list with your own situation. Here are a
few solutions to consider.


– We must keep a record of what we say in public forums.
– We must keep records of speeches or scripts to go on the website.
– We must invite all the major media outlets, even if it is a vain
– We must cultivate the habit of having the same speech in public and
private domains.
– We must have a formal system to appraise the values of our
organization to <guest/ Imam speaker>
– We must follow the Islamic tradition of good record keeping – every
thing our prophet has said is recorded.
– We must ask the new Imam speaker to present the scripted outline of
the Khutba prior to speech
– We must ask all our speakers to provide an outline to keep it as a
record and perhaps put it on the website.
– We must trust our speakers, but having a record of the speech is
greater trust we owe it to the Ummah.
– We must advise our speakers to open up the eyes and understand that
they are not speaking to a monolithic group.
– We must advise our speakers to cut down any kind of incitement,
microphone will be turned off for violations.
– We must let them know their boundaries – let it be in a manual, and
every speaker has to follow the guidelines.
– We must advise our speakers to be Women sensitive and guest
sensitive (as non-Muslim guests attend Juma)
– We must acknowledge that no one is above the long term goodwill of
our community.


– A major overhaul needs to be considered in Administration of
Mosques and Islamic Centers.
– Qualifications must be verified by a paid third party CPA for
serious accountability.
– All the financial transactions must be audited by a CPA.
– Women and Youth must be represented on the board.
– Board Voting must be confidential and un-identified to keep the
freedom alive.
– No one should run the Mosque like the Patriarch of the family does –
i.e., no unilateral decisions.
– The Board members must have the experience in management of
professional, civic or community based organization, preference must be
given to those who have served in non-Muslim organizations. We live in a
real World, let’s our actions be based on real world interactions.


– We need to hire a public relations firm on a part time or full
– We need to verify all literature that is put out there.
– We need to *remove* the Hilali Translation of Quran from our
– We need to learn to explain our Deen in more understandable terms,
not the old English.
– We need to make our mosques visitors friendly