In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, Bestower of Mercy,
Instructions for Men regarding plural marriage from Sheikh Saalih As-Suhaymee -may Allah preserve him- [Source below] :
Question: May Allah give you good, the questioner says: He is married to two women -maa shaa’Allah- however the problem -oh our Sheikh- is that when the first wife found out I married she declared war against me (i.e. she became ferociously angry). And I do not want to divorce my new wife so what should I do?
Answer: Firstly, may Allah reward you with good because you have revived a sunnah that (many) people have begun to forsake. But with that I’d like to advise you and your likes; those who are interested or want to practise polygyny and implement this sunnah:
First: That you must be prepared from all angles. Physically, mentally, spiritually, housing, [TN: knowledgable about it] and so forth. Because in these times the affair has within it some difficulty. In the beginning our fathers used to house them (i.e. his wives) in one house. I can remember my stepmothers -may Allah have mercy upon them-, we used to all be in one room and I was a small boy. Na’am, one room, we didn’t have (in the house) except one room. Then it went to two rooms and one bathroom and kitchen. And when he passed away -may Allah have mercy upon him- they all shared one kitchen.
The point behind this -oh brothers- is that it is upon the Muslim Man to exert himself when selecting a wife before everything else. Whether it is the first, second, third or fourth. Exerting himself when selecting a wife.
Secondly: He must possess the ability to be just and be able to handle that which occurs (i.e. in plural marriage) because it isn’t an easy affair. I mean, I don’t want to make the Muslims leave it off, no, however it will be easy for whomever Allah makes it easy for and who takes the proper and legislated steps that will bring (the success) about. Also, some brothers have a particular method that they use and it harms them (in actuality) and places a strain on their marriage and it is: Marrying without the first wife knowing. Yes, you may have the ability to conceal the contract process and keep it hidden from the first wife fearing that there will be some dispute or the like, but when it is finished then (what?). Straighten your affairs and reveal your marriage. (Note: Of course that is with using hikmah).
Thirdly: Utilize the beneficial avenues with the first wife by letting her know of her nobility and status and about your high esteem for her and your love for her. If you enter a house be aware of mentioning the affairs that go on in the other house. Make yourself as though you only live in the house that you are in and be just! For indeed being just is very very important and essential. Put your affairs in order, be equitable, be kind to them, speak to them politely and with generosity. Go to the first wife who became extremely upset (with you) and proclaim the salaam to her. Be compassionate with her, give her gifts, approach her with gracious and warm words, inform her that your love for her did not change in the least and so forth.
So be diligent and use some of her family members who will assist you in this affair after Allah ‘azza wa jall, those who are upright from amongst them. Have them intervene and counsel her and steer her in the right way and be just. The most important thing is that you be just. Seek the assistance of Allah ‘azza wa jall and beware of surrendering to her bequest by divorcing the second wife. And if the situation doesn’t lighten up then seperate their housing and have each one in their own dwelling place so that there will be no way for any confrontation or such.
Thereafter exert yourself by full application of the Shar’ (to the best of your ability) and rejoice inshaa’Allah and you can probably run into me in the office and i’ll give you specific instructions inshaa’Allah tomorrow or the next day. See me in the office and i’ll give you meticulous instructions for this subject matter inshaa’Allah. Jazaakallah khayr.
Translator: Abu Fouzaan Qaasim