Sunday, 24 January 2010

..lessons from polygamy..in the eyes of pakmat..

..polygamy has taught me a lot of things, of course..

..mostly about the general structure of women, ..their resoluteness in seeking justice for whatever perceived wrong that they thought they suffered..their softness, that hides a pliancy of steel.. their toughness hidden by their tears..and  their ability  to say what they do not mean..which caught this old man flatfooted quite a number of times, for taking them too literally..

..it also taught me that it is a rare kind of man, indeed, that can handle more than one wife simultaneously..irregardless of who you are..ulamaks or lay men..for it does not really matter what hadith or surah that you utter, there is always a counter..just ask Sisters-in-Islam..they have a whole array of arguments against polygamy..for if the pots and pans doth fly, a hadith spewing bard still gets it on the forehead..

..it also taught me about friendship..how fleeting it is.. to find one that walks in when other leave is nigh impossible..

.. I married my second wife in 1988 at the ripe age of 43..I gained another wife..but I lost all of my friends...like a leper-sufferer, I was ostracized..by friends and foes alike..as I said, cats snarled and dogs barked..and birds dropped its droppings on me...friends that I thought  I could depend upon as a rallying point were not there..even my shooting buddies left me..I was hung up, high and dry...it was then that I understood the meaning of the word pariah..

..and I get obscene phone calls..

..an uncle called..
'Hi, pakmat, what's this I heard about you?'
'What?'
'You took another wife?'
'Yes.'
'What's wrong with you?'
'Nothing'
'Then, why?'
'Must there be something wrong before I can take another wife?'
Silence.. sheesh...

..but most of all, it taught me how fragile are the children caught in a polygamous marriage..young or old enough, age does not matter...they suffered..they became collateral damage..but parents are too often engrossed with each other's fire-fight to care...for, yes, it is, indeed, a fight..for supremacy..for the upper hand..quarters seldom asked..even if asked, not given..unfairly to the children, they are asked to take sides..when they are of both sides..

..and it taught me about me..humbling as it is, it taught me of my inadequacies...as a man..as a husband..it brought out and laid bare all of my deficiencies as a father, in the eyes of my children..and worst of all, it taught me of my inadequacies as a Muslim...

..for I realized that polygamy is but one of God's test..of your iman...


26 comments:

Kama said...

Oh dear... words fail me...

rizal hashim said...

Yes, like Kak Putri, I'm speechless...

pakmat said...

Dear Lady Kama and LC...pakmat does not intend to shock and awe..:)..just telling you guys how it was with me..as a reminder against the pitfalls..but it can be done as it has been done - with courtesy and harmony..but somehow, it eludes me..guess I am not make out for it..cheers..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

PakMat dear,
And I thought having three fiances is a BIG problem....meow meow meow... Will definitely appoint you as my counsellor.
To err is human.... right? What's more important is the lessons learnt. To dwell too much in the past is also not healthy for it only brings heartache and migraine. purrrr....meow!

yushida03 said...

the basic is, Islam allows polygamy to solve problem(s), if it creates problem(s), then something is wrong somewhere (not necessarily the husband)

~ Theory only. Hopefully don't have to go practical..

anneaziz said...

Salam Pakmat,

I guess no matter what is said, there's no stopping time and tide..and a man who wants to marry again.

But your story, told as it was, should serve to remind those who may think that polygamy may be entered into without strength of body and soul and iman

I thought men always got the better end of the deal...but here's food for thought.

With every hak comes with it tanggungjawab.

Take care

pakmat said...

..my dear feline friend..but sometimes we men go headlong into an error..think that it is an erogenous zone..not realising that it is erroneous..:) and 3 at a time?..will drive this old man bonkers..and no migraine, lady..just using the past to catapult into the future..

yus03..susahnya kita kekadang get into polygamy without the basics..like pakmat did..luckily, I lived to lick the wounds..:)

my dear anne..agreed wholeheartedly..it is for the strong..not neccessarily brawn, but of soul and iman..but a certain amount of agility helps..:)

bangkai said...

If I were as articulate as you,I, too, would have penned don these exact words - the thoughts of a man who walked the same path as you.

Thank you, Pakmat. Thank you for finding the words that have so long eluded me.

Anonymous said...

Pak
Kalau nanti bila dah tua, sakit dan melarat anak tinggal tepi jalan jangan marah... Masuk suratkhabar pun tak guna.....

Kiah

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Wow (jaws dropped), Pakmat & Bangkai, both of u r ‘Ho Yeh’(Veli good) as the Cantonese says. There r something in life, u only do once & never ever want to go near it, not even with the proverbial 10 foot long pole, ever again..hehehe.

I remember one time; an old unker got 2 wives & a concubine all living under one roof, that unker is so blardy good to have them keep him company by playing mahjong & everything for that matter together. His son (my classmate, son of first wife), told me all of them including the step siblings get along fine. If u had seen acclaimed Chinese movie ‘Raise the Red Lantern’, that’s exactly what that unker does.

Cheers, while I’ll go to ponderland & put myself in your shoes, eeee frightening tots leh..hehehe.

Tommy

Kama said...

I have to return, Pak Mat. Whatever the case, I admire you for your absolute honesty in addressing the issue. Not many men would readily admit the way you do. Having said that, I wish you all the very best in your 'balancing act'.. for want of a better term, Pak Mat.. hehehe.. You are one spunky fella, Pak Mat!

NanaDJ said...

Salaam Pak Mat,
A timely reminder for those who are choosing 'to rush in where angels fear to tread'. Having said that you may have your reasons for the path you have taken (a brave one I must say, one that is full of 'duri and ranjau'). Nevertheless you have made your bed...and I wish you all the best.
Whatever it is, you have come out in the open unlike some whose family only know of the existence of the 'other family or families' during the funeral - leaving the first family torn between grieving and feeling outraged at the deceased.
I have watched in amazement how a certain (retired) Dato coped with having all the four wives with him at a dinner and then going on the floor to waltz with one, cha cha with another, joget with the next wife and then went on to rumba with the last one. And he went on like that all night long. I was totally amazed but I must admit he was one of the sweetest and most charming men I have ever met. A lady can't help but fall for such a charmer!

sot said...

An Ustaz living nearby having two wives, provide him headache as both wives not going along well with each other. Another Ustaz having three wives, two in Malaysia and one in Indonesia but he manage it well. And a third case, both woman are a friends of my wife, and both are a wife of the same husband, but both live happy ever after like sisters, go to class at the mosque together, shopping at Mydin together, and both came to my open house with their kids together in a car. So I guess we need to see polygamy on a case by case basis. As it is allowed in Islam for the 'special' one. Jazakallah.

pakmat said...

dear mbangkai..1st reaction: et tu, bangkai?..now pakmat speechless..2nd reaction: me? articulate?..no, beg to disagree..it is more on the glib side..honed out of necessity..you have to think fast and talk just as fast, lest you are cornered..agility of mind and body helps..:) articulation is with you, sir...you flatter an old man..

salam kiah anon..sebab itu pakmat nyatakan anak-anak mesti diutamakan..sesiapa saja yg ingin mengamalkan poligami hendaklah dahulu memperhitungkan anak-anak..and take active damage control actions..whatever it takes..

hi tommny..easy on the jaws..and yes, i've seen Raise the Red Lantern..but at my age, there's not much lantern that I can raise now..
but thank you for the thought, anyway..

salam lady kama..I take it as a compliment, lady..and coming from you, rare..:) cheers..

salam nanadj..I guess that's where I fall short..I'm not the charmer that I thought I was..but I tried to be sweet..and truthful..only sometimes, truth does not really matter..more like p.ramlee's 'hidup susah, mati pun susah.." but, as you say, I've made my bed..only sometimes it is more pins and needles..:) but having a wry sense of humour helps greatly..

pakmat said...

..thank you, sot..pakmat's sentiment,exactly..but we can set the general rule..but whatever it is..polygamy is something that has to be thought out carefully..one would do well to think..and think again before taking the plunge..thank you for your comment..

Anonymous said...

I know...you just wish that you just could turn back the clock and that you just couldn't do it...not even a tick.

Patricia said...

Hello~happy new year............................................................

mekyam said...

aslmkm! kat sini rupaynya rumah pakmat.

baru baca dua tiga entries and i'm enchanted. i'm with matb, you have a way with words, sir. probably better than with wives, eh? ;D

ernynora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pakmat said...

..yes, anon, pakmat cannot turned back the clock..not even a tick..and pakmat awaits journey's end..

..happy new year, pat..looks like its gonna be a long year...:) cheers..

wkmsalam, mekyam..am a bit flustered today..pakmat not used to so many dignitaries visiting..as they say, mekyam, a man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds..but I used to think that I have a way with the girls..:)guess I was wrong..

mekyam said...

a way with the girls? you betcha, pakmat! you were a smoothie [i got that from poring over your older entries.. hehehe!].

it's when they become wives, words alone cannot placate them, betul tak? they just become more demanding. :D

pakmat said...

..aw, now you flatter an old man.:)..but things do have a way of going out of control when you are holding the reins..and after a while, girls tend to be implacable as they became wives..:) and don't you believe everything that I blogged about..hehe..

Justiffa said...

Polygamy scares the hell out of me bcos although its a realistic solution to society's problems, its very nature seductively beckons the heart of every warm-blooded male. whether they act on it or not is another matter but the justifications are endless.

But like you said pakmat its also the ultimate test of iman, not only on the men but their spouse(s), children & family as well. we just dont know if each of us in our respective capacity, when tested, will act the way we should.. thats the scary part.

May the Lord lead us to the path of the righteous pakmat :)

pakmat said...

..I know, Justi..many a times I tried to put on the other shoe..and tried to think like a woman does..and I am not sure I can handle it myself..for men marry for the wrong reasons..God, in His Greatness, has allowed a tiny escape hatch..and we rushed even tho the boat is not yet sinking..polygamy should be intended as charity..not with love or lust..just my humble opinion, lady..

mamadou said...

Assalamu'alaikum Pak Mat

Benar tu Pak Mat. Saya umur begini pun belum benar mengerti soal perempuan; penghargaan, perasaan, keinginan dll

pakmat said...

..salam, mamadou..pakmat welcoms you..peace..for from afar you came..and pakmat honours you for you bring honour to pakmat..
..dan tuan umur begitu tidak setua pakmat..apa pun, bukan kita untuk faham..hanya untuk menyayangi saja..