Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
If a woman is married and she desires to be her husband’s most beloved wife in Paradise, then if her husband takes another wife in this world and the second wife also desires to be the most love to her husband in Paradise, then it means that the husband’s decision to take another wife has deprived one of his wives of her desire and bliss in Paradise. The women agreed they are at risk of not being his most beloved wife in Paradise.
What would be the case if both desired to be his favorite wife? Would they both be equally loved? If not, then would that mean that polygamy in this world may deprive women of the bliss they desire in the next world? I know there is no sadness in Paradise, but the basic principle is that all men get what they desire, but women don’t.
Thank you for your question.
Marrying More than Once
Umm Salama, may Allah be pleased with her, was asking the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) a series of questions about Paradise, and this is the last part of the hadith:
She then asked, “If a woman of this world married two, three, or four husbands (one after the other) in this world, then dies and enters Jannah with them, who will be her husband?” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), answered, “O Umm Salama, (may Allah be well pleased with her), she will be allowed to choose between them so that she will choose the one with the best character. She will say to Allah, ‘O Allah, this husband displayed the best character to me in the world, so marry him to me.’” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) further added, “O Umm Salama, good character has gained (for him) the excellence of this world and the hereafter.” [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur‘an al-‘Azim quoting Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir]
Agreeing to polygamy will have absolutely no bearing on a woman’s happiness in the next world. Her only task is to display good character and exercise patience and hope for Allah’s reward. You say that a woman won’t be sad there, yet that is all you seem to understand about Paradise; there is much more to it, and no one can say for certain what a woman will and will not get.
No One Single
A woman can be the most beloved of her husband in Paradise if that is what she wants, as Allah has a plan for each woman to have what she wants. We must not try to fully comprehend the scope of Paradise now, for that is impossible.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayra said: “Abu al-Qasim (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘And there will be no one in Paradise who is unmarried.’” [Muslim] This even applies to those who never married in this world.
Allah Most High, says in the Quran: “We are your supporters in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. There you will have whatever your souls desire, and there you will have whatever you ask for:” [Quran, 41:31]
And “Golden trays and cups will be passed around to them. There will be whatever the souls desire, and the eyes delight in. And you will be there forever.” [Quran, 43:71]
Perhaps you can just marry a jinn in Paradise, and not worry about mankind at all:
Can I Have a Jinn Spouse In Paradise?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.