In the Name of Allah
the Most Kind, the Kindest
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Poly is a prefix meaning many. If you add +gyny to it, it means a man with many wives. If you add +andry to it, it means a woman with many husbands. If you add +amorous to it, it means an individual with many romantic partners. For those raised in monocultures, it can be disquieting and unlawful. Mono is a prefix meaning one. If you add +gamy to it, it means being married to one person at a time.
It’s interesting how our religious sensibilities may find one form more agreeable than another. For instance, a person raised to appreciate or accept polygyny might find polyamorous couples promiscuous, especially if they’re of the same sex! Conversely, a person from India may see nothing wrong with polyandry. Since the revered Draupadi (द्रौपदी), the heroine of the Mahabharata, was the common wife of the five Pandava brothers—Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. Although, it’s an uncommon practice among Indian women. It is still one form of marriage and intimacy, mostly unknown in Western society, much like polygyny. It’s fascinating how cultures that value personal freedom are far more comfortable with illicit affairs and polyamorous relationships than those that emphasize marriage and lawful unions to multiple women or men.
All relationships require work and entail a degree of struggle. The most successful relationships have three qualities: (1) kindness, (2) shared vulnerability and (3) understanding. Estela R. Jebril, CEO/Therapist & Sex Coach, wrote about polygyny for Productive Wisdom’s Special Edition. One of the most important points she made for me was the absence of judgment coupled with a call to introspection about our limiting beliefs. In the 1960s, the Sexual Revolution in America seriously challenged conventional mores. It liberated numerous women and men. Many people explored sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships. What comes up for you, and why when you hear about a type of relationship that doesn’t “do it” for you? Will the world go to hell in a handbag if people practice something objectionable to us that is pleasing to them? Which God do we follow? The one who allows for monogamy, polygyny, or polyandry? Or is it the one that prefers celibacy?
If God is preoccupied with our sex lives, it must be for a higher purpose. What might that be? Polygyny, polyandry, and monogamy are different forms of intimacy. If one is religious, the idea is to protect one’s lineage, family, and society. By channeling desire, one is free to experience the highest form of ecstasy, which is Divine. That said, this supreme state is hard to attain. One glimpses it at the moment of orgasm. When there is no thought of self or other and only bliss, we touch upon the Unity of Being. Most of us want to experience pleasure: The only question is how!
From one needy of your dua,