Polygyny – problem or solution?

Is polygyny a problem or solution for Muslim women in the West, asks Laura Stuart.

Last week witnessed a “born Muslim” woman Saira Khan making headline news when she shared intimate details of her marital life with viewers on a T.V. show called “Loose Women”. The title of the daytime show is pretty misleading in the case of Ms Khan considering what she revealed but these days, as we all know through the popularity of websites like hdpornvideo xxx site, sex sells and “Frigid Women” would likely not bring in the viewers.

According to the Mirror: “The Loose Women are more than happy to share all the details of their personal lives and it was no different for one panellist” Saira Khan 46, opened up about her marriage to husband Steve Hyde and admitted that she has lost all interest in sex and avoids getting intimate with her other half.

“Speaking frankly on the daytime shows to her other panellists, Saira said she was “deeply embarrassed” that she had lost her sex drive and had even gone so far as giving him permission to sleep with another woman.”

Yikes! Going live to thousands of viewers is not something at all conducive to marital harmony. When asked on L.B.C. radio why she had done this Ms Khan claimed that her comments “just came out” and that you in that situation you forget the cameras are there and you just feel you are sitting chatting with your friends. Quite strange – “call me old fashioned” but I would never dream of discussing such things with friends. It is just not dignified and it breaks the sanctity of the marriage.

Naturally Ms Khan’s husband Steve Hyde said that he was devastated and in my opinion he had every right to be. Perhaps Mr Hyde took the shahadah, I really don’t know, sometimes non Muslims do that to marry just to satisfy the family. Ms Khan describes herself as born into a Muslim family but non-practising. Maybe Mr Hyde did not read up on what his rights are in regards to marriage in Islam. Surely one of the most important studies any Muslim makes before marriage is the study of spousal rights and obligations within marriage and not only that, it is important to study the steps to divorce too, again so that the rights of all are ensured and divorce is not done in a moment of anger or stress.

Ms Khan claimed to be a very lucky woman who has two children and a busy life. But at the age of 46 she claims she has totally lost her libido and avoids sex with her husband, hence her suggestion that he can go to other women. However, what many women do not realise is that the problem of a lack of libido can actually be solved by finding supplements from places like Healthy body Healthy Mind Provestra that are designed to enhance female sexual performance.

Clearly, what Ms Khan is really saying is that she has a job and children but her husband (and his needs) are low on her list? Surely she is saying that the man she claims to love so much, the father to the children and the man of the house comes right down at the bottom of her priorities? Perhaps it would be easier to manage her husband’s eagers with the assistance of adult content from websites similar to watch my gf xxx?

Much discussion took place in the media for days after her revelation and Ms Khan claimed that she had never had such a huge reaction to anything she said previously, in fact she was inundated with calls, e-mails, texts and tweets from women sympathising with her and saying they felt the same. Ms Khan managed with her confession to give millions of women permission to “have a headache” – not just for tonight – but potentially for years! Mr Hyde once he got over the devastation of having his sexless marriage all over the news, said that he wouldn’t dream of sleeping with any other woman as he held his marriage vows very dear.

All very sensational! Personally speaking if I was Saira Khan I would put such an understanding and forgiving man way above my need to have a career in the spotlight, especially if I couldn’t control my tongue. It is my opinion that it is virtually impossible to be a Mother, a wife and have a career whilst giving your best to all three. If Mr Hyde were like many other men he would have fallen into an extra-marital relationship, something all too easy to do in today’s social climate, especially in the work place where it is so easy to get into over familiar relationships with the opposite sex.

Wouldn’t Saira Khan be better to be in a polygynous marriage rather than suggesting that her husband should sleep with other women? How would such a casual sexual relationship have worked did she think about that? Was her husband to visit prostitutes and pay for sex? Was he to seek casual liaisons with women who may have been having other casual relationships too? What about the risks of catching a sexually transmitted disease? What if her husband was to embark on a casual relationship, which then turned serious, and the pair decided they wanted to be together permanently? Would Ms Khan then beg her husband to keep her for the sake of the children, perhaps the other woman would want children too. The potential for chaos and devastation for all parties involved is huge.

Compare this to an Islamic solution, which means her husband could legitimately seek another wife whilst both women have their full rights in Islam – where the existing and future children have all their rights too. Surely then both women could have their dignity and also an element of freedom to pursue their own career should they so desire?

I did call into L.B.C. radio who had a phone in discussion on “open marriage” and suggest to the presenter that polygyny was a much more desirable solution, to which he replied that it was illegal in this country, obviously open marriage isn’t illegal. People did actually call in to relate their open marriage experiences but unsurprisingly they all seemed to have destroyed the marriage rather then saved it.

Polygyny could also be a perfectly workable solution for many of the unmarried females we have in this country, a very sad situation for these girls and for their parents – if only their parents were not so unrelenting in their rejection of it. For various reasons such as putting studies first, simply having a list of requirements for a suitable spouse as long as your arm or the cultural preferences of boys Mothers preferring a bride from back home. Reasons for preferring girls from back home include the girl being more likely to move in with the in-laws and be a willing servant. Unfortunately this practice is leaving British girls with fewer choices, it is a sad fact that many Muslim women in the U.K. are reaching well into their thirties and remaining unmarried. The mere suggestion of polygyny – being a co wife to a good man – is met with absolute horror; yet surely more horrific is to deny a daughter the right to the benefits of a relationship and children?

Finally, my own experience and common sense tell me that the first person you discuss your marital problems with is your spouse, failing that you can go to a person qualified to give you Islamic guidance on your particular issue. Families are not always capable of being objective or of having enough Islamic knowledge; additionally of course parents, sisters etc. are naturally biased. Polygyny can work perfectly well for many people and to be honest who knows about what goes on in your own marriage unless you tell people? Sometimes I hear terrible stories of when a Sister has sought advice and support from her friends or family after she became a co wife and instead of giving her Islamic advice and helping her to remain calm and steadfast the people have told her “you don’t have to put up with this – tell him he will never see his kids again if he doesn’t divorce her”…. Disaster.

May Allah s.w.t. guide us all and give us the common sense on how to deal with life’s problems. One thing is for sure marriage can be full of difficulties but coming through these problems and finding solutions makes a marriage stronger and more enduring Insh’Allah.

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