Unfair as thy fate might seem

Through the distress of circumstances seen

Comes hope, the mistress that does not deem

And faith, the wife that shall redeem

Polygamy in the premises of the choices unkindled

When a man fears his decisions

Leaving himself wrinkled

What does it take to convene

Had his fear blinded the present unseen

Had his arrogance become so keen.

Explanation

This poem takes an interesting twist on polygamy, personifying hope and faith to be the partners of a man buried in deep distress. The man is a believer, yet does not embrace the characteristics of a believer. Through these difficult circumstances, he questions his fate, claiming it to be unfair.

This is not enjoining in patience and defying Allah’s divine decree. He begins to rely on hope, which I call a mistress, because it does not bring perpetual relief. Depending solely on hope can lead to nowhere and even possible abandonment of Islam. I call faith, the wife, because it is in faith where true hope emerges through tawakkul. This is a concept of ‘ibadah, where tawheed uluhiyah is highlighted, the attribute of tawheed that has to do with singling out Allah for worship only, and relying on Him only.

I do not mean to condemn hope, because it does bring healing. I rather suggest polygamy, where the man can embrace both hope and faith, which brings him relief, patience, and increases his eman substantially. But, he is afraid to ‘engage in polygamy’, and rather separate hope and faith, because of his fear of the wrong outcome (instead of Allah) and the arrogance that leads him to be convinced that whatever step he takes is the right one. In this way, this poem is about polygamy. But if we go beyond the surface, it is about fulfillment, whether one is single, married or divorced.

As Allah says in Surah Talaq, verses two to three, “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”

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One Response to "The Polygamy Game"

  1. MashaAllah, wow. Upon first read, I was a little lost, but given the explanation, I really like what you’ve constructed here. Hope and Faith are interesting things to portray as spouses, but I think they fit here as they’re depended upon and support is drawn from them. I think using the word “polygamy” evokes a lot of different connotations (it’s a word that immediately sparks controversy or conversation), but funnily enough, the poem, I feel, simplifies the word to its base — being able to have or confide in more than one thing (in this case, faith and hope). Again, MashaAllah tabarakallah.