THE altruism of some Saudi women in encouraging their husbands to take one or more wives for different reasons has beggared belief. Society in general thinks such things are impossible to happen.
However, such an incident took place in 1981 in a village in Al-Ahsa when a woman encouraged her husband to have a second wife. She was extremely happy to welcome home her husband’s young bride.
Relatives who participated in the wedding wondered what went wrong with the woman who willingly shared her husband’s love with another woman.
Polygamy is quite common among the villagers of Al-Ahsa but they could not believe women taking the initiative and encouraging their husbands to get married again.
Some women in society considered this as suicidal.
This “crazy” woman believed that her husband who was very strong and healthy deserved another wife, Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported.
The woman did not give any other reason for taking her incendiary decision.
Two years into that marriage, the woman agreed with her co-wife to find a third bride for their husband.
Villagers were jealous of the lucky husband as his peers found it hard to convince their wives of their need for a second marriage while this man was given brand new brides in golden plates.
One of the woman’s relatives said she had been possessed by the jinn. She was cured of a persistent body pain she had always been complaining about after husband’s second marriage. “Soon after the marriage, her body pain totally disappeared, and there is no scientific explanation for this,” the relative said.
She said the fear of jinn forced the woman to accept a co-wife without hesitation and she did not disclose this fact to the bride’s family when she proposed her on behalf of her husband. She simply assured the family of her husband’s good character and other qualities, the woman added.
Others suspected the man of using black magic on his wife to make her take the initiative of finding him new brides.
But the woman, according to the newspaper, defended her husband and rejected all such theories. And her relatives backed her up.
Ten years later, Maasouma Mohammed made headlines when she forced her husband to marry her childhood friend who remained a spinster. Maasouma had been quite unhappy about the situation of her friend, who had no one to fall back on.
“She surprised her friends and relatives by insisting that her husband marry her childhood friend,” Al-Hayat said.
In another village in Al-Ahsa, a similar incident took place recently.
A woman who was highly disappointed at not having children even after 16 years of marriage requested her husband to take another wife to satisfy their desire to have a child. He was hesitant initially and resisted the proposal.
He finally gave way following persistent pressure from his wife and decided to marry another woman to the surprise of everyone in the village.
His new wife got pregnant two months after the marriage and the first wife was so happy. But the bigger surprise was when the first wife also became pregnant a few months later.
“The second marriage helped resolve the infertility problem,” the paper said.
Elderly village women used to give the same advice to their female relatives who fail to conceive long after their marriage, and in some cases the advice proved useful.