I was introduced to Ansar via a matrimonial service. This kind of paid service is usually run by a group of women with lots of social connections who find out information about the singleton, their family and what they want in an partner. They then match it up to someone else’s bio and introduce them. Things usually start with a text and then a phonecall, sometimes a face to face meeting and if things are good the families meet and a marriage proposal is made. Sounds simple doesn’t it? People can get married within weeks or months of being introduced. The owner of the matrimonial service is usually rewarded with a gift of money.
So, Ansar was a businessman from Pakistan. He’d been in this country for many years and spoke heavily accented English. The picture I’d been sent showed a fair skinned, chubby man with REALLY black hair and an enviable moustache. He was 46 years old and so that hair and moustache was most certainly dyed. He was taller than me and was able to converse with me in English, Urdu and Punjabi. I’m a sucker for a man who I can converse with in Urdu and/or Punjabi. I suppose it’s because I don’t get a chance to do it very often and it is of course the languages of my guilty pleasure; Bollywood films!
We spoke on and off for a few weeks. He didn’t talk much about his family in Pakistan but he openly spoke about his business and life in the uk. Ansar was super keen to get across that he was successful and his future wife would be well cared for.
He wanted to meet but I was unsure, something didn’t sit right with me. Fozia, the lady that introduced us spoke highly of him and encouraged us to meet.
One day whilst I was in Asda, Ansar rang me. I answered and as usual we exchanged pleasantries and what we’d been upto. Whilst telling him something about The Child he let slip that his little girl liked watching cartoons.
What now?! He had a child??
I asked where his little girl was, he answered “Pakistan”
I asked who she lived with, he said “my wife”
“Do you mean ex-wife Ansar?”
“No no my wife” he answered
“You’re married Ansar?”
“Yes but we are not together” he explained
“But you’re married? You’re not divorced?”I squealed
“Come on now, you know what would happen to her if I divorced her. She’s in Pakistan, her life would not be good”
I hung up and switched my phone to silent.
I was stunned. He was married and yet using a matrimonial service to find a wife. He wanted a second wife?
As a Muslim man he is able to practice polygamy and take upto four wives in Islam. As a British Muslim women I was absolutely against polygamy because I will not share a man. I’ll share my sweets, popcorn, hair brush, my favourite lip gloss and I’ll even share my ice cream sundae but I will not share a husband.
He was relentless in ringing me. After three days I answered.
“Are you angry?” He asked
“Yes, I’m angry. I’m not second wife material. You’ve misled me”
He explained “She is in Pakistan. She’s like my child’s maid, I pay her to take care of my daughter. I can’t divorce her, my family wouldn’t allow it.
“Do your family know you’re looking for a second wife?”
“Yes, I have my fathers support to allow a second wife but I’m not allowed to divorce my wife” he explained.
A successful, 46 year old businessman is ‘allowed’ or ‘not allowed’ to do things.
Ansar said “you’d be my main wife. I can give you a good life. I like you. You’re educated and we could be happy”
“I’m not second wife material Ansar. I can’t share a man, it’d drive me insane with jealousy. More than that I couldn’t as a woman steal another woman’s rights”
“You’re not stealing anything. She’s happy. I send her money” says Ansar
“No, thank you. Please don’t ring again”
I hang up. He rings.
I block him. Send an email to Fozia to tell her he’s married and ask if she was aware of this.
Polygamy was practiced by the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) in the beginnings of Islam because at the time their were not enough men for remarriage first divorces and widows. In those times, it was vital for a woman to be ‘protected’ by a man. Either a father, brother or husband. As many Muslim men lost their life in the name of Islam. The Prophet encouraged and practiced polygamy to ensure the safety of women. He was clear that it was vital that all wives were treated equally in every way, psychically, emotionally, financially and sexually.
In the UK or any first world country, there is no need, in my opinion for polygamy. We are fortunate enough to live in a land of law, fairness and justice that provides for everyone.
Besides morally, I could not take another woman’s rights on her husband. Quite frankly I’d rather be single than do that because I know I’d be heartbroken if it happened to me.