5 things not to say about polygamous marriage to Muslim women
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It must be admitted that polygyny (the accepted form of polygamy in Islam) is a difficult idea to accept for women with unguarded jealousy for love, wealth, and status.

The idea builds a state of insecurity that creates a psychological and emotional blockade for women to accept or get initiated into it.

This article seeks to highlight some common statements that heighten the barrier for women to embrace the idea of a man living with multiple women as wives.

1. Being polygamous is Sunnah 

Of all the Sunnah reminders muslim men can give to their wives, keeping more than one wife is not a go-to subject for men who relish the peace at home. 

Any talk on the religiosity of being polygamous is often viewed with suspicion and regarded as a subtle cue and desire to marry an additional spouse. 

In the instance of single women, discussing polygamy as a sunnah can be a turnoff, especially when coming from men who struggle to fulfil their marital duties. 

It must be said that there are married men who hide under the banner of “marrying more than one wife is Sunnah” to act irresponsibly and flirt with women without marrying them. 

Over time, women are countering the advocacy of marrying more than one wife with other marriage related sunnah, such as men helping women with house chores and marrying other widowed women.

2. You don’t need the approval of your wife to marry 

While this statement is correct, it is not advisable to say it to a wife or a woman you intend marrying.

Marrying another woman on the blind side of your wife could lead to bitterness fueled by a sense of betrayal which may cause your wife to never accept the new woman behind her husband’s act of betrayal. 

On the other hand, the new wife may not trust her husband knowing well that he could go into another marriage on her blind side.

Generally, men who hold the mantra of “not needing my wife’s consent to marry” come across to many women as self-centered and autocratic individuals who may not care about their well-being should they end up with them.

Men are therefore advised to inform their wives of their “new endeavour” out of courtesy and respect for their homes.

Though open approval may never come, it helps deal with the “where did I go wrong” and “am I not enough for him?” trauma they are likely to suffer from.

3. I want to add you to my wife

Being able to legitimise the process of sexually satisfying and taking care of more than one woman goes to increase the social standing of men in most Muslim societies. 

However, the issue of male chauvinism rears its head, to the chagrin of some women, when they subconsciously describe the process of marrying another woman as an acquisition. 

While bragging about having multiple houses, cars, or any other property could be enchanting, telling a woman you want to “add her” to your wife or wives is less tolerated. 

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For some women, describing the process of convincing a woman to join an already established family as “adding” is condescending. Especially when women cannot “add” husbands religiously and culturally. 

They are disgusted by the idea of being an addition to a collection of wive(s) which to an extent connotes an augmentation to an existing relationship(s).

It would be of immense benefit to a man to emphasise polygamy as the process of having multiple marriages (not wives) where he can legitimise his relationship with women he cares about.

4. I am bringing you a rival

Nobody likes competition. There is a reason why the Hausa language has words with similar roots for jealousy and rivals. Thus, Kiishi and Kishiya, respectively. 

Telling a woman that you have found her a competition (even jokingly) is like telling her to sound the war drum. 

This, in most cases, leads to a lot of manoeuvring, some of which are fatal, to foil any attempt to have the man introduce a new “rival”. 

For women primed to embrace polygamy as a new wife, the idea of being the rival connotes a feeling of a villain who would destabilise a once “peaceful” home.

Men could pitch the idea of having another woman join the family in marriage as having a new collaborator or partner to complement the family unit.

5. Be my second, third, or fourth wife

Having a numerical tag by virtue of marrying a man who is already married can be frustrating for some Muslim women. 

Women in polygamous situations must deal with the stress of being tagged according to the sequence of marriage consummation, such that they are sometimes coerced into fulfilling their marital duties based on the order of marriage. 

The idea of being a first or last wife, for example, is not treasured by many, as it subconsciously has its own connotations depending on the context in which it is being used. 

For instance, while being a first wife might denote seniority, it could, in another context, mean the “old-fashioned” woman or the woman who could not keep her man grounded. 

In the same way, while being the second, third, or last wife could mean a “breath of fresh air” or “current”, it could also imply an “opportunist” or “troublemaker”. 

It is therefore important to deemphasize the numbering of women and put a value on their status as wives with equal rights and responsibilities.


With all said and done, one must ponder the Quranic verse that basically underscores the essence of people coming together in marriage. 

It reads, “And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely these are signs for people who reflect”. Quran, 30:21.

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