Question: My father has taken another wife. My mother is angry with him, and I am confused between them. From one side and according to my belief, I see that Islam does not permit anything unless there is a benefit in it, and from another side and according to the reality, I have pity on my mother though I do not approve of her anxiety, which may be the reason that led my father to get married to another wife. Would you please guide me with which of these views I should adopt? I hope that you will give me a glance at the subject of polygamy and the problems that result from it. How can Islam, by permitting polygamy, want to solve problems whereas we find more problems in polygamy?
The answer: As you said, Islam does not permit anything unless there are advantages in it, but those advantages are not achieved except by studying the subject in a real and comprehensive way. If getting married to a second, third, or fourth wife is just to satisfy a sexual desire without other humane purposes, it will not achieve the sought after advantages besides the motive, which will languish after the sexual intercourse and will then be replaced by problems that will destroy everything even the pleasure of sex itself.
Islam is very wise in permitting polygamy, but as for the appropriate situations and times to practice it, they will only be realized by the man who has been brought up under the shadow of Islam itself, and the one who does not care for justice (in dealing with his wives) will face many difficulties and be in a critical situation.
The Prophet (S) said, ‘He, who has two wives but does not treat them equally concerning sentiment and financial affairs, will come on the Day of Resurrection handcuffed and bent over, and then he will enter into the Fire.’
Following Islam according to practical conditions definitely solves all psychological and social problems, whether those of individuals or families. But following Islam according to one’s mood and worldly desires takes one to the forbidden division and complicates his problems.
An understanding Muslim woman would be better off submitting to the verdicts of the Sharia to emerge from the trial successfully; otherwise, she will be resurrected with those who deny the Sunna of the Prophet (S) and the verdicts of Islam.
Just as envy is a bad quality that one should drive away from his heart and conducts, so is the jealousy of women. When a wife harms her husband by doing something wrong out of jealousy, she violates the moral and legal limits.
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) explained the above-mentioned tradition by saying, ‘The jealousy of women is envy and envy is the origin of unbelief. When women become jealous, they become angry, and when they become angry, they disbelieve except the faithful ones of them.’
Dear sister, do not live in confusion. For what is this confusion? Your father has chosen his way, and he is a part of you and you are a part of him. Your legal duty is clear. You have to be kind to both of your parents equally and with no difference, but with more help and respect for your mother because she is weaker and more tired as you say.
Give advice to your mother and father whenever you find a suitable opportunity. Tell them that a Muslim is one who submits to the verdicts of Islam and does not obey his desires and his personal opinions instead of obeying Allah.
 Mizan al-Hikma, vol. 4 p.291.
 Nahjol Balagha, short maxims.
 Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.110.