Polygamy and Affection to All

30 Jun 2024 Ref-No#: 6102

Please what is the ruling on displaying affection in the present of one wife & not in the presence of the other?

Answer

Wa‘alaykum as-salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

In Islamic ethics and jurisprudence, displaying affection, whether physical or verbal, must adhere to the principles of fairness and equity among one’s spouses. The Qur’ān underscores the importance of treating wives with justice: “And if you fear that you cannot be equitable to orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]” (Qur’ān, 4:3). This verse highlights the obligation to treat all wives with equal emotional regard, not just in material provisions.

The Prophet (ṣallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) exemplified the importance of treating multiple wives equally in terms of love, attention, and affection. Neglecting or showing differential affection openly to one wife over another risks fostering feelings of inequality, jealousy, and emotional distress among spouses, undermining marital harmony and well-being.

Therefore, in line with Islamic teachings, husbands are urged to display affection in a balanced and fair manner towards all their wives. This approach respects each wife’s emotional needs, ensuring that no one feels marginalized or unfairly treated. Such equitable treatment fosters a harmonious marital environment grounded in justice, compassion, and mutual respect.

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