Discover the Reality of: {And you will never be able to be equal}

Discover the Reality of: {And you will never be able to be equal}
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Some people may think that there is a contradiction between the two noble verses in which Allah The Almighty says (what means):

·        {And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four.} [Quran 4:3] and
·        {And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].} [Quran 4:129]
 
We say that as long as these texts come from one source, it cannot be imagined that there could be a contradiction between them.
 
Those who oppose polygyny give ‘evidence’ of its impermissibility with this verse: {And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].} [Quran 4:129] They conclude that the verse states the inability to be fair and equal, and thus, it becomes impermissible. This is a refutable malicious allegation. The Quranic verses do not contradict each other so that something would be permissible in one verse and impermissible in another. The Quran enjoins man to treat his wives fairly. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the 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} [Quran 4:3] The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “If a man has two wives and he favors one of them, he will come on the Day of Judgment with a slanting side.”  
 
There is no contradiction between the obligatory fairness and the negation of its possibility of being fulfilled in the verse in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].} [Quran 4:129]
 
This is because the required equality is in terms of expenditure, residence, and night stay. This is the apparent and attainable equality. It does not mean equality in terms of love and sexual intercourse because no man is able to achieve this. Muhammad ibn Seereen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “I asked ‘Abeedah about the meaning of this verse. He said, ‘Fairness with regard to love and sexual intercourse.’” Abu Bakr ibn Al-‘Arabi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “He (‘Abeedah) spoke the truth because this (equality in love) is not possible because his heart is between two Fingers[1] of Allah which He disposes as He wills. Similarly, it is not possible to achieve this equality in sexual intercourse because the husband may be ready to have it with one of his wives and not the other. As long as he does not do so deliberately, he is not faulted for something that he cannot do. Accordingly, there is no obligation upon him in this regard.”
 
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), would treat his wives fairly, saying: “O Allah, this is my division concerning what I possess, so do not blame me concerning what You possess and I do not.” He meant here the love and inclination of the heart. There is no equality conditioned in this regard. This meaning is expressed in the verse in which Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].} [Quran 4:129]
 
According to Abu Daawood and others  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them this means that one cannot be fair in terms of the heart’s inclination as man cannot control his heart.
 
All of us know that the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), who was the fairest person and the mentor of humanity, would love ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, more than others because the heart is between two Fingers[2] of the Fingers of the Most Merciful. When he was asked about the dearest person to him, he replied: “‘Aa’ishah.” When the questioner asked who was the dearest man, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), replied: “Her father (Abu Bakr).”
 
Although the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), knew that he loved ‘Aaishah, may Allah be pleased with her more, he would be fair with all his wives in giving, financial maintenance and night stay. He would draw lots among his wives before his travel and battles to choose which of them would travel with him. This is the fairness within one’s ability.
 
To sum up, the noble verse (what means): {And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so].} [Quran 4:129] means that it is impossible to love all wives equally. Nonetheless, the husband should not incline completely towards one wife leaving the other wife hanging, without divorce. Rather, he should be kind to her to regain her amiability.
 
The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), had the same understanding of this verse; therefore, he would be fair with all his wives and say: “O Allah, this is my division concerning what I possess, so do not blame me concerning what You possess and I do not posses.” He meant here his heart’s inclination to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, more than to his other wives.


[1]We believe in and affirm the Attributes of Allah that occur in the Quran and authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), without distorting their wordings or meanings, nor denying, nor asking how, nor drawing resemblance between Allah and any of His creation. 
[2]  We believe in and affirm the Attributes of Allah that occur in the Quran and authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), without distorting their wordings or meanings, nor denying, nor asking how, nor drawing resemblance between Allah and any of His creation.

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