POLYGAMY: A CHILD SPEAKS By Fatima A.

IT JUST BEATS ME The good, the bad and the ugly have been perceptions of man to the various occurrences that he faces in life, especially when the decisions to be made involve emotions and have equal odds. I am a striving Muslim, a happy child in the comfort of my parents’ home (or at least used to be) with an iman almost as large as life (I love my religion that much). So basically, one could say that my life has been good or better than good until my father decided to indulge in polygamy, then it started to feel ugly, that is, from my perspective. What on earth had mum been thinking, allowing dad to go on about his plans just like that? Didn’t she know what this ‘polygamy thing’ would do to our family? Couldn’t she see that she’d just open-heartedly signed up a lifetime of troubles and worries and distress? Certainly, life will never be the same again. I beg of you, don’t be prejudiced by my statement,I’ve seen and heard stories of polygamous homes that give me the creeps. I mean, I simply dread it... In the days when we were much younger, we saw all those kids from polygamous homes who’d come to school with all the problems in their homes embossed on their faces, one need not ask what the problem was, it was so clear and real, it was like watching a reality TV show; they’d come late to school on ‘‘trouble days’’ (that’s how we termed them), brewing and stewing with anger from incidences that had occurred at home or worse still, continue their fight at the precise point they had left off at home. They were the students’ unsolicited entertainers, we could always tell which kids were being favoured by the father and the ones who weren’t; the disparity in their lunch boxes and school bags or contrast in their uniforms and sandals said it all, I mean justice was a far cry from%20what transpired in these homes and in one manner or another, I saw one polygamous home mirror the other as I grew older. So I hope you’d pardon my bitter repulse for polygamy, I couldn’t help my dread of it. You see, in the past when I used to chat and natter with my friends and we discussed about polygamy, I’d smirk and say “my dad would never dream of it, he loves us too much to even consider such a thought…” but now, he’d made a liar of me and cast me a laughing stock to my friends. I mean, dad had left me no choice… I had to protect my innocent mum and my naïve siblings. You see mum used to come to me to share the good moments and to confide about bad times as well; my younger brother and sister look up to me for support and guidance; even dad scolds me whenever the kids went naughty or he’d report my mum whenever they had a squabble (and he wanted me to pick sides with him); to crown all these, my father’s wife, I mean my step-mum looks at me as I were the commanding officer of the army at a warfront, ridiculous right ‘cos I’m not even capable of hurting a fly (until this point that is)… Don’t get me wrong. I mean how had our warm and loving home become a field for battles, marking territories and drawing enemy lines? Honestly, I haven’t been seeing too many Hollywood war movies or other stuff like that; this is the present status of where I’d once called home. Now, all I see is the choice to run away and never come back home (the raw humiliation can do that to any child) or the choice to stand and fight (my mother never raised me a coward)… Yet, for my deen, I’m left with no choice but to accept this fate of mine. Believe me I’ve searched in the Qur’an, rummaged in the Sunnah, I’ve read all kinds of Islamic literatures and I’ve even questioned knowledgeable scholars but I still fall short of coming up with any reason to disqualify my dad from the practice of polygamy. Now who’s good, who’s bad, and who’s ugly? Yet, some ignorant people have the guts to say “all first-borns are fools”, well here’s a thought for such foolish words… imagine that the weight of the world were on your shoulders and you hadn’t the slightest clue on how to go about lifting it… what kind of fool would that make of you?Yet as I sit here crying and praying for strength, for peace, praying that this were a%20horrible nightmare and I could just wake up from it, I see my dad return home and my mum and siblings rush out to welcome him, hugging and laughing carelessly as if our world wasn’t turned upside down, and I wonder if this affair could get anymore unfair..

Leave a Reply