This early morning I had to miss my Tai Chi session because of the rain. But I was rather glad, though, because I could turn on the T.V on Aljazeera. "I KNEW THE SHAH" was on and I was watching attentively because I never knew the Shah, really. At the end of the program, before he died he told his biographer not to forget to write that he loved Iran very much but that he had loved badly.
This suddenly made me wonder and think a bit more about the character man in general. He may not be a King, he may not be a President and he may not be a Prime Minister, but men are men. In Islam the man is a leader in his own family. He is like the General in the army, almost. And he may be greater. It is how we define or choose to redefine man in the present context. As for me, I would define a man as the alQuran define a man.
In Islam a man is different from a woman. But before the eyes of God alMighty, they are different but they are equal. Man and woman has different functions and responsibilities but men and women are created to supplement and complement each other.They need each other and no man or woman is an Island by itself. Islam has lifted the status of women and therefore men must adhere to what Allah has ordained upon them faithfully.
I think no body would argue and contest the statements I made above unless we speak from a different ideology. What I would put forward today in my blog is just about the way men love their women. It is not far wrong to say that it is the same as the way leaders of the world "love" their country. Some love their country very much and very well, but some love their country very much but love very badly, just like what was admitted by the late Shah of Iran. There are countries that prosper and the people "live happily ever after". The difference between countries that prosper and those that don't varies according to the 'intensity and sincerity' of the love of their leaders towards the people they govern.
So is the case in a family. Social decadence from time immemorial has always attributed the cause of it to bad governance, from the state to the family level. A Chinese proverb says: " The fish rots starting from the head". Of course if we look into its micro status, there are families that do well, and there families that do not do so well. In fact what is worrying is the fact that many families are falling apart because of poor relationship between husband and wife which lead to poor parenting on their children and perhaps later to their grand children. There are various reasons for this. It may be because of inadequate family finances, pursuit of exceptional career achievements, extended family pressure, professional jealousy, sexual incompatibility and related problems and perhaps many more. Many have resorted to different ways of solving the problems but there are also many that would "just give up" and just go with the flow.
Lately I have been talking to a dear friend who used to be my room mate in our younger days about men for some reasons or other And little did I realize until much later that she was actually just divorced and now she is living with her two daughters who are in their early twenties. I almost "dropped dead" when I knew that because I know her as an angel. How time has changed people.To cut a long winded story short, I concluded that she finally divorced because of sexual incompatibility of some sort. The husband has remarried but the daughters are very disappointed with the situation.
In Islam a man "is allowed" to marry more than one to a maximum of four. This has always become a point of "dissent" between a man and woman, between husbands and wives, between families, and between extended families. There are different interpretations to what is said in the alQuran and in the hadiths. Nobody deny the fact that polygamous marriage is allowed but the point of contention and argument is about the conditions within which this is allowed. Personally I will not argue much on this as I told my friend because a man and a woman, or a husband and a wife will never ever come to an agreement. In most cases a wife would finally "consent" because she may not have a choice. Or perhaps she has a choice but will not risk giving reasons to Allah alMighty in Hereafter that turnout to be unacceptable. So she will just live"cordially" and pretend in public that everything is alright. And I believe strongly that no husband will look at the wife in public or else where how her body language is communicating something else. Her suffering would be drowned in her secret tears. As the years go by she may develop depression and other related complications. But a husband would just conveniently assume that everything is alright.
Husbands would usually give their reasons to polygamy as the next best thing to do following the steps of Prophet Muhammad (saw). The hadiths say that the Prophet (saw) loves , women, perfumery and prayer, (please refer exact text elsewhere). In many cases little do they realize that hadiths cannot be read in isolation. And even after synthesizing all that is said in the alQuran and in the hadiths I strongly believe that a husband must look at the wife in the eyes and honestly ask his very soul whether the decision for polygamy is the best solution to whatever sexual problem that he may have. There is another hadith that many men have overlooked or perhaps would rather choose to ignore is the fact that a man should do their fast to control their sexual and other desire if he cannot afford and is not able to go into a polygamous marriage.
This is a sensitive subject and cannot be satisfactorily discussed in one session in a blog of this nature. My original point was just to say that if an Empire could crumble down because the ruler loves the people dearly but has done so in a manner so badly, I believe that in a polygamous marriage similar thing may happen and regrets can never ever bring back the beautiful old days again. Children's love may slowly wither away (Allah forbids) and there was a case I know that a man who had three wives but was left alone on his final days. Most women would say a home is where the heart is. And in a loving manner sometimes I said to my husband to treasure our home, and do not break a home to live in separate houses that cannot be termed a home for whatever reasons. As my other dear friend said: no problem can be greater than Allah Himself. Hold steadfast to Iman and Taqwa and Allah will be with us always.
This blog is dedicated to my former room mate, a dear friend for nearly 40 years. May Allah show us the right way in marriage, forgive our overzealous attempt to "put things in the right perspective" and may Allah shower us with His wisdom and love and affection and make us feel that when this happens nothing else matters. May Allah shower us with his blessings and forgiveness here and hereafter.Amin.