No One Told me: Reflections on the 'P' Word

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By Pure Matrimony -

No one told me that I would feel like I’m losing my faith.

But then what did we have in the first place if this is a part of faith?

No one told me tests would actually hurt. But Allah says, “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, ‘When is the help of Allah?’” (Qur’an, 2:214)

No one told me I would dislike something halal. Allah says, “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.” (2: 216)

No one told me that I would be forced to cry to Allah and face my fears. Allah says, “Seek help through patience and prayer; and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive”(2:45)

No one told me that my husband doesn’t need my approval and that he doesn’t belong to me, but to this we say “Verily we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.”

Maybe no one told you that you would analyze everything about your looks and search for your flaws, looking for justification. But the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].” [Muslim]

No one told us that we would be so territorial. But I say there is wisdom it this emotion. “And if it were not for Allah checking [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted.” (2:251)

No one told me that instead of incurring sins every time I verbally abuse my husband, I could choose to use my tongue to earn reward by reciting Quran. And that by doing so, I would ease the turmoil in my heart for “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

No one told me that because of my selfishness and intense jealousy, my faith would plunge so low that I would no longer look forward to Jannah (because I still would not have him to myself). But then, am I striving for Jannah to be told, “O reassured soul, return to your Lord well-pleased and pleasing to Him” (89:27-28) or to be with my husband? And have I forgotten that Allah will remove all resentment (7:43) and sorrow (35:34) from me?

No one told me that I would have to fight my nafs, the part of me that refuses to see any benefit (even though I know there is) and refuses to ask Allah to make this easy (even though I know He will)… the part of me that does not want this no matter what! But to this, I quote Dhul-Nun who said, “Don’t argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.”

No one told me that to love for your sister what you love for yourself would apply to my husband.

No one told me I could be healthy, attractive, and child-bearing and he would still do it.

No one told me that it could actually be okay.

Or maybe they did, but I didn’t know it could apply to me.

WE’VE heard plenty of “polygyny gone wrong” stories. They seem to travel like wildfire while the good stories are few and far between, as if they are exceptions and not the norm. We do this to warn each other but we end up being terrified.

Before you wonder where the part of the article addressing the husband or the other woman is, it isn’t here; because you can only work on you.

What about me? a first wife might think. They have it good, while I’m the one suffering.

I’m not going to discuss the benefits to society or the reasons why he did it and I’m not going to tell you how you should treat them. Again, because this is about you.

But let’s take a deep breath and consider what makes this so difficult for us.

Maybe it’s arrogance. Maybe being the only wife makes us feel privileged, blessed, and safe.

Allah says,

“And as for man, when his Lord tries him and is generous to him and favors him, he says, ‘My Lord has honored me.’ But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, ‘My Lord has humiliated me.’” (89:15-16)

Subhanallah. This is what happens with our husbands. Everything is good and there’s this “I want to be in Jannah with you” love, but when he mentions the “p” word, it’s like we lose our composure and we feel embarrassed and ashamed.

I’ve had sisters tell me that they wouldn’t mind being in polygyny, BUT they had to be the first wife. Why? If we really practiced it the way Allah commanded, we wouldn’t have this notion of “place value” and there would be no visible difference between the wives.

Ask yourself if you would let your daughter be a second or third wife. If your answer is no, ask yourself, “Why?” Do we feel like she’ll be missing out on something? Do we think she deserves more? Does the second, third, or fourth wife have the stigma of being a “home wrecker”?

Allah tests us with good and bad. If you think, “Oh no, not polygyny. I could deal with any other test besides that”, well that’s the point when Allah tests us. He tests each of us with what we need in order to be better believers.

One of these days we will be faced with a choice. We can choose to continue having an adult tantrum when our ideas of our lives bump heads with Allah’s plan or we can free ourselves from this battle by simply submitting (I know…there’s that word again).

“Has not the time come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth?” (57:16)

You have the choice of staying in a rut or picking yourself up to attain a higher level of you. No one said it would be easy. You CAN be that warm, down to earth sister who doesn’t cringe at the “p” word. I’m not saying you have to be. If you’re perfectly fine and comfortable in your rut, then so be it. I’m just saying you have that choice.

And when you make that choice, perhaps you won’t be able to say, “No one told me.”


Source: Andrea Umm Abdullah,

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