Saturday, October 27, 2007


This is not unique to Islam. Remaining a virgin until you are married is still practiced by many in the western world. Having grown up in a society that looked at me as 'a loser' for not having had intimate relations with a man, I was very surprised to come to a Muslim country and find that this was apparently a good thing.

What people have to remember is that this is not a punishment for women. It applies to both men and women, despite many men thinking the contrary. If marriage was the only avenue for relations then sexually transmitted diseases would not have spread, young girls wouldn't be left alone to take care of babies they fell pregnant with in one night stands and the father wanted nothing to do with ultimately decreasing the proportion of single mothers, abortion rates would all but be gone and men could not escape the obligations they have to their children. It would also decrease adultery as husbands (and wives for that matter nowdays) would not have avenues out of the home to cheat unless they went with someone elses husband/wife. This was put down by Allah (S.W.T.) in order to prevent the aforementioned things happening.

In addition, there is nothing more beautiful than knowing that your husband/wife is the only one who has seen you and knows you in this vulnerable position. I went to school with many girls who shared a bed with a boy to only have their name slashed around the school yard days later as either a 'slut' or as 'bad.' And this made him look like a king. When a man has relations with a girl he is considered a champion but she is considered a 'slut.' By allowing men to enjoy this with us, we are giving them so much power. And the men most women give it too don't deserve it.

This is why we should keep our body precious. Be a diamond. Don't be cubic zirconium. This applies to ALL aspects of relations, not only the breaking of the hymenn which many seem to be confused about today. Sex is sex whether it is taken from the back or front. In actual fact anal sex is never permitted, even once married, so it definately is bad when one is not married. This is a great hypocrisy I have seen today with girls who look down at non virgins when they have the back door open every night for their boyfriends. Sadly, these women believe that they are doing the right thing because they are remaining virgins. The reality is that they are giving men even more power over them by accepting to do something with the sole purpose of pleasing him. If one is happy to go to such lengths to please a boyfriend, wouldn't they prefer to go to further lengths (and remain untouched) to please their husband/father of their children?

Ultimately, sex is something best shared when married. It is safe when there is a contract joining two people and Allah has blessed the union. Allah knows what is best and has written it for us. We can see that pre marital sex has damaging consequences but continue to do it out of often pressure to maintain a relationship or keep a partner happy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

POLYGAMY - a.k.a. A man having more than one wife?!?

"Marry such as you please, of other women by twos, threes and fours; but if you apprehend that you shall not be able to deal justly with them then marry only one." (Qur'an 4:3)

'You must be joking me!'

'Why does a man get to have four wives?!'

'That's so disrespectful to his wife.'

'That's not fair!'

Let me tell you, all of the above things went through my head. Don't assume for a second that I was submissive in the beginning to this new religion I was learning about. Quite the contrary. At practically every point I placed an argument. As I said, I am an educated person and what educated people do best is challenge information provided to them.

I will begin by saying that polygamy is not for everyone. Some men will never have the interest or wish to do so. Some men do. We do have the same thing in Western culture though. However we refer to it as divorce and remarriage. And this was one of my key points of interest.

Polygamy and culture at the time of Islamic origin

When Islam first came about as the final word from God (S.W.T.), it was in a time where polygamy was widespread. Men would take as many wives as they chose and treat them however they chose. There was little to no rulings over this and men were free to make their own choices whereas women were required to do as they were told. So, essentially, when these words from Allah (S.W.T.) came down, they were of a relief to the women of the time who were given more rights. At the time, it was seen as putting a 'cap' on the number of marriages. Not only a cap but a cap with provisions. The major provision was the you could not just continue to take wives and leave the others as left overs. They would all be treated equally and well and if a man was not able to do this then he was not allowed to take more than one. When a man divorces a wife for another woman, she hears 'I don't love you or care about you anymore, I care about this woman.' But polygamy allows the wife to never feel the pain of those words. She will either way , whether divorced or remaining in the marriage hear 'I care about this woman,' but this softens the blow.

Polygamy and culture today

When I was only young (7 years old), my parents divorced. My mother, who had married as a beautiful 21 year old girl, was now in her late thirties, had the body of a child birthing woman, was aged and now bitter for being traded in for someone younger. She had never worked before as she had a husband who insisted that he would be the bread bringer and was broken hearted as she had always seen marriage as forever and now marriage was 'until something better comes along.'
This story, despite feminism, is still very common today. Many women want to stay home exclusively with their children and be taken care of financially by their husbands in return. This is far from a bad thing. In fact I used to be a woman who objected strongly to such a 'subservient' life until one thing happened... I had children. It was then I realised that missing these beautiful moments in life was irreplaceable. Who cares about work for a few years? Let him get the money and take care of us, I said! I have done enough giving birth and raising children that I deserve it! And i'm not being subservient, I'm being the best mother I can be for my children because at the end of the day I don't care if the feminist woman laughs at me being at home because at least there is a warm home for me to be in.

But in my culture an attitude like that is considered, nowadays, as being naive and not preparing yourself for the future. And that is sad that children grow up with minders instead of their mummy because mummy has to make sure she's secure if daddy ever leaves her.

Let me get back to the example of my mother. My mothers' personal ad would have read as follows:

Lonely divorcee, almost forty, never worked a day in my life, two young children, bitter from a sour divorce and angry towards all men.

This firecracker that I have just explained doesn't sound too appealing to either a prospective husband or an employer. But, my mother was now required to fend for herself while my father and his new wife went on with their successful lives. She competed against 17/18 year old school leavers for entry level positions so she could afford to pay the rent. My mother is now a fifty year old woman, close to retirement age with no assets having lived pay check to pay check to pay rent, who is extremely lonely and still bitter about my father leaving her in this position.

Now, had my father been Muslim this story would have been very different. Yes, he still would have remarried. However, he wouldn't have given up his obligation to my mother. He made a choice to marry my mother, he is a man, he can't just run away when things don't suit him anymore. My mother would still have had a home provided to her. She would still have been able to take care of her children. She would not be worried about where she will end up in ten years. Even though my father would have been with someone else, he still would have been there for her more than he has while divorced so she at least wouldn't have been lonely. She would have had the opportunity to make her own choice to go back to work and do it to gain some independence, not merely to survive. She could have been happy, not miserable.

As I said, this isn't for everyone. There are many people who end marriages and both the man and woman move on to happier lives. But, for stories like my mothers, it would have had a happier ending and not wasted the life of such a loving and caring person like my mother.

Polygamy also means that divorced women like my mother may have more chances to get married. The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) married divorced women with the intention of caring for them to ensure someone would. This means that alternatively someone may have married my mother with the sole purpose to give her company and take care of her. Marriage in Islam is a responsibility. A life long responsibility. Childbirth is strenuous on a woman. It's not an easy thing. A man should be grateful to a woman for what she goes through and honour her with a great respect for that. He should thank her for going through this so he has the chance to have children and grandchildren who will in turn care for him. Why does this woman deserve to just be walked away from with nothing after giving him so much? He should take care of her and she has birthed people who will take care of him. So, if anything Polygamy prevents men from finding a new life that appeals to them and entirely leaving the one they had behind.

Polygamy and cost

The number of polygamous marriages is decreasing. This is because Allah (S.W.T.) did say that all should wives should be treated equally and taken care of. In the old days, if a man had a male and female sheep, it was enough for him to feed, house and clothe his wives and children. Today, two sheep wouldn't get you that far. Today, the cost of living is at the maximum and the cost of raising children has been worked out at over one million dollars per child up to their teenage years. Most men can not afford this anymore. So an honest, religious man would not take more than one wife knowing they could not afford them. If he is extremely wealthy, he may still take more wives, but that is so he can support, love and care for these women. Many aristocrats have so much wealth one wife and children would never use it, whereas another woman may be living as a pauper. So this woman will be married and too share in the wealth.

At the end of the day, Islam does not say a man must marry many women. It protects women from being left alone once they have given their best years to a man. It also isn't for every woman. There are many independent Muslim women whose husbands do leave them and they take strength from it and take care of themselves and hold their head high and proud. We have to remember the reality of the world sometimes. We often get so blinded by what we want it to be like that we forget what it really is. The reality is that most women still do give up everything when they get married because they like feeling feminine. We don't want to say that. We want to say that we don't need men at all, and most of us do say that, until one comes along and melts our hearts.

Insha'Allah I have provided you with some insight into the concept of polygamy. Peace and blessing be with Allah.



I would like to share my journey of converting to Islam. As I get further into understanding Islam and take the steps that will inevitably make me a good Muslim, I will post them here to track my journey and Inshallah help any one who is maybe considering converting but doesn't know how, or help people whose family members have converted and they would like to understand more so they can ultimately accept the change. Despite what you may have read in the media, Islam is a beautiful religion. I am highly educated so enjoy to study and learn. It is through this passion that I chose Islam to understand after having heard of it so many times in a negative manner. Once my journey began, I was addicted. I saw a way of life that seemed so real and so obvious. This is where my journey starts...