A man must have good communication and language skills
I REFER to the article on polygamy (New Sunday Times, March 26). It is time the authorities elevated the status of polygamous marriages to be consonant with the teaching of the Quran and the customs practised by the Prophet.
Thus the main quality a man who wishes to marry more than one wife should have is good language and communication skills, so that he can evaluate his needs and that of his prospective bride.
It is always necessary for a man to support a woman and her children financially in Islam.
Thus if a Muslim man courts a woman without first having financial resources, he is bound to put himself in trouble.
Perhaps the Islamic injunction that renders men responsible for the upkeep of women is just an incentive for men to work hard and build wealth.
Nevertheless, religion is not stagnant and should move with the times to be widely received.
We know that women are educated and independent, capable of earning income for themselves and therefore do not need a man’s money.
This does not mean that a man is entitled to take a woman’s money if she earns more than him.
Men are physically stronger than women. They also have more mental strength.
We can see that women have to work harder and longer to get in the same position as men, and therefore money earned by women is more valuable, which is one reason why they would not want to part with it easily.
It is important for men never to take advantage of the edge that they have over women. Men should never talk unfavourably about women, and those who have more than one wife should not criticise any of them in front of others.
Men who diminish, stereotype or describe women in an unfavourable manner are bound to suffer a similar hurt by their fellow men.
It is not necessary for a man to spend the same amount of time with every one of his wives, because each will have different needs.
The good communicator will understand those needs and ensure that he fulfills them. One of the wives may require more time, another more money, another more intellectual conversation, and another more loving words and tender care.
If a man thinks that all women are the same and can be satisfied in the same manner, he is bound to find himself in one or more unhappy marriages.
A man who looks for a woman to take care of him should be rich. For him to think that she will take care of him out of love is naive and not an Islamic concept.
There is much love in care-giving, but taking care of a person also has a practical aspect that cannot be ignored, and which often requires a good amount of money.
The Muslim marriage is not solely based on love. In Islam, marriage is a business transaction where both parties are dealt with fairly and will remain fully satisfied with the results of the transaction, hopefully for life.
My reason for writing this letter is that every true Muslim knows that Islam is the religion of mankind, and if properly presented, polygamy is that aspect of Islam that will win over the most converts, especially from the West.
It is said that “men will be men”. Polygamy satisfies the intrinsic need of many a man, but this cannot come with the diminishing, downgrading and stereotyping of women.
There is also the matter of age. As a man gets older, he should remember that he will be treated as he has treated others, including the women in his life.
MARISA DEMORI, Putrajaya