Recently, one of my friends informed me that her ex-husband was getting remarried. My first thought was that he was already married. Didn’t he just post pictures of himself and his wife on social media? Before I could even ask, she blurted, “I wonder what sister he fooled this time.”
He was on his third marriage within a five year span.
A “serial husband” is one who takes on a wife and divorces her shortly after only to repeat the cycle again. It is not uncommon for these men to jump from marriage to marriage while never taking accountability for their failures and mishaps along the way. As a result of this erratic behavior a trail of broken families and shattered women are left behind. Some of these women remarry. The patient men who skillfully piece these sisters and families back together are some of the backbones in our community. Dealing with a spouse who has been through a traumatic divorce requires open communication and understanding topped off with love.
Some Muslims treat marriage as though it’s glorified dating. In Islam, spouses have rights over one another and any sort of mistreatment can have dire consequences both emotionally as well as spiritually. A partner is not disposable based on your needs and desires. Any marriage you go into, regardless of how long you’ve known the person, is a long-term commitment.
A marriage has to be based on more than the fear of committing fornication. Any action motivated by fear usually has negative outcomes. A sound and healthy relationship is based on many things and if sex is the only motivating force behind solidifying a union then that is a serious problem. Most people would agree that sex is not the only thing that keeps a marriage alive and thriving. It is a combination of love, understanding and sincere commitment that have kept some of the most successful marriages intact.
Any person who is seriously searching for a spouse must strategically research all marriage inquiries. It is imperative to question the man who has been married multiple times, especially if it is within a short period of time. Imams and those involved in conducting marriages need to offer support and proper counseling to those getting married. Until we admit the fact that there are some men, including our Muslim brothers, who find satisfaction in “conquering” women we will continue to have this problem. Once these women have been conquered they are simply thrown to the side and men are onto the next woman. These issues do exist within Muslim communities all across the U.S. Now is the time to stop turning a blind eye and properly address this sickening cycle of marriage malpractice.
One might argue that it is the job of a Muslim to hide the faults of a fellow believer. Hold up, wait a minute…
As Muslims we don’t hide each others faults at the expense of another, especially an innocent bystander. It doesn’t quite work like that. With something as serious as a life long commitment it’s imperative that those involved be informed of the others track record. If you purchased a vehicle wouldn’t you want to know how many accidents it had been in? What the MPG mileage was? Would it be reliable on long road trips? What would your response be if the owner held valuable information from you pertaining to the vehicle? Though this might seem like a juvenile comparison it holds a lot of weight. If marriages were treated in the same manner perhaps our divorce rates wouldn’t be so high.
People of virtue and love need to stand together in solidarity against men with ill intentions. Women, in particular converts, need to ensure that they have Wali’s (gaurdians) who are properly doing their jobs while they search for husbands. Being a “good” brother involves more than attending congregational Friday prayers. Not only one, but several people need to be able to vouch on his behalf. Women need to collectively have each others back. Women must warn each other of men who misuse and abuse the rights of marriage. As women if we don’t do this for one another who else will?
Ihssan Tahir is a twenty something self-proclaimed “SistaQueen” living in Chicago. She is a registered nurse and specializes in emergency and trauma medicine. In her spare time she enjoys writing and practicing the violin. You can follow her candid blog about her husband hunting endeavors and relationship tidbits at http://muslimnlove.com/.