Continued from last week
‘Yes I know, but believe me if there is another woman in the picture, I have the choice to stay if I can bear it or to leave if I feel that I can’t. But take it from that I will never harm you in the process, in shaa Allah.’ I pledged.
‘What if I can’t live without you Bint? Surely leaving me will do enough harm to me even without you attacking me with a weapon.’ Tahir protested.
‘No Hubby dearest, from the moment you admit another woman into your life, I know you can live without me. There is no way I can believe a man who loves another woman enough to marry her, when he claims that despite that he cannot live without his first wife. It just doesn’t add up.’ I argued.
‘But Shah Jahan did it. Everyone who lived during his time and up to today knew that Mumtaz was the love of his life. He built the Taj Mahal just to house her tomb when she died. His life effectively ended after her death. History has shown that while the Taj Mahal was being built he neglected all affairs of state and made it his life’s sole mission. Though it took 22 years to build he nevertheless continued to mourn Mumtaz. And he had other wives but no one could take her place in his heart. So it’s possible for someone like me to do the same.’ Tahir declared with a smile.
‘No, I don’t think it’s possible, in this day and age. You see there is something totally unique about the love between Queen Mumtaz and the Muslim Emperor Shah Jahan. They were said to have married as teenagers before he became sultan. After his elevation, he was probably forced by custom to take more wives or concubines, as his new position demanded. That did not mean any of those women had access to his heart. And that was probably why Queen Mumtaz took everything in stride and remained with him to have all those children. She was said to have died giving birth to their 14th child. The sultan was so devastated he decided to build the a special tomb befitting the great love of his life. And so the white marble palace, known as Taj Mahal was built. It remains the greatest tribute to love in human history. It took labourers working day and night (using lighted torches) 22 years to build. And his plan was to built an equally grand edifice, next to it, using black marble to house his own tomb after his death.
But before he could start the black marble palace, his own son overthrew him and took over as emperor. The son reportedly confined him to a room on the main palace whose balcony overlooked theTaj Mahal. Shan Jahan spent the rest of his life sitting on a chair on that balcony mourning his lost love. Do you now know why I told you their story was unique?’ I asked, rhetorically.
‘But ours can be too Bint, given the chance.’ He replied.
‘No, I will never fool myself into believing that any modern man can love his wife the way Mumtaz was loved. So I won’t even raise my hopes, which brings us back to the whole reason for this exercise’ I declared, raising my phone, with the love song I was playing earlier on it’s screen. I came to pledge that I will never, ever physically harm you, in shaa Allah, no matter the extent of provocation. And that I’d rather leave your life than inflict an injury on you. It’s now your turn to accept my pledge.’ I urged, smiling back.
‘Well, my point is that one queen did it so why not my queen?’ He insisted.
‘The other queen did it because her husband never changed. A man who can build the Taj Mahal over her grave must have given her numerous emotional Taj Mahals while she lived. He must have lovingly stood by her through the bearing and rearing of 13 children. He probably never changed in his treatment of her, from the slightly older teenager she married. So how could she care if he took more wives or had a harem of concubines? She was the acclaimed queen of his heart and had no reason to harm him or leave.
However with today’s men, the first thing you see after they marry more wives, is the change. The man you know will suddenly become a chameleon, changing with moods and influence of his new wife. The food he used used to like, he’ll tell you he can’t stand. The colour he couldn’t have you wearing his bride will wear and go scot free. The TV programme he banned from your house will become his favourite because his new wife loves it. How can any woman accept to love a chameleon?’ I asked.
‘Ha ha ha chameleon indeed’ Tahir laughed, stretching himself on the bed while I remained seated on the edge. ‘You don’t really mean all you said, do you Bint? I mean how could you know that all these things happen when you never experienced them?’ He asked.
‘But they happened to my friends and associates who narrated their stories to me. The first one had dambun nama (fried minced meat) as his favourite dish. When he took a bride he swore to high heavens that he never liked the delicacy. It transpired that his bride had told him that eating dambun nama was the easiest to way to rule a man. The second one told his wife he hated red colour and begged her to never wear anything predominantly red. The poor woman had to give up many of her favourite clothes in order to please him. But the first time she saw his new wife, the lady was in bright red clothes and the man did not look a bit disturbed. Then the third one told his wife and kids never to watch Big Brother Africa, as it was immoral. Then he married a BBA addict and the story changed. Though they lived in different houses, out of loyalty to the bride, the man will watch BBA in his house just to keep up to date with his bride.
So can you honestly say that men who change this easily, will not try something so bad as to make their first wives incensed enough to harm them?
So my theory is simple. Today’s men are not like Shan Jahan, they can’t ever be that loving or loyal. But since polygamy is lawful and was our beloved Prophet’s SAW practice, we have learnt to accept it. Yet to every woman who can’t bear it or who couldn’t adjust to her husband-chameleon, the solution is not to attack or kill him. No, the solution is just to walk away and find a life you can handle.
Believe me if all the recent husband killers and attackers had imbibed my philosophy they wouldn’t have done what they did.’ I concluded.
‘Wow, it seems that there is no swaying you Bint. So my own pledge is to always love and respect you and to never become a chameleon even if another woman comes along.’ He said raising his right hand in a mock pledge.
‘That’s fair enough Hubby dearest but we live to see.’ I replied, walking round to my side of the bed.