Religions absorb foreign elements

Here is a message board for Muslim co-wives (in plural, polygynous marriages) to seek advice. Notice that one woman sounds almost like Apostle Paul in her style and tone.
I believe that various religious traditions subconsciously absorb and internalize elements of the other religions.

When I lived in Brooklyn I was several blocks from “The Orthodox Christian Church of India.” I stood in the back one day while the pastor was pacing back and forth DRESSED EXACTLY LIKE A MUSLIM IMAM and emoting in a loud voice in the Malayamam language. The pews were a sea of women in saris.

Many will recognize the word “polygyny”, which means “having more than one wife”. “Polyandry” means “having more than one husband”. And “pollywannacracker” means you are a parrot who is hungry. (So much for comic relief).

In order to evaluate Islam’s emancipation of women, we should attempt to explore how women feel about polygynous marriage.

Rabindranath Tagore wrote a short story entitled The Girl Between (Madhyabartini), about a childless wife who nags her husband to take a second wife, but lives to regret it.

In India, Hindus were allowed to take a second wife if the first wife did not object.

This will be a sad story about polygyny. We must keep our eyes peeled for a happy story about polygyny.

The name of the husband in the story is Nivaran and his wife’s name is Harasundari.

Nivaran: Not even inadvertently did he ever think, debate, or wonder about the meaning or design of living.

We won’t be able to have any children. You should marry again.

“If only I could give my husband a child as fiar as cream, as soft as butter, as handsome as cupid!”

It occured to her that her husband should marry again. She wondered why wives got so upset at this idea; it would not be at all difficult. Why was it impossible for one who loved her husband to also love a co-wife?

Nivaran was married to a tearful young girl whose name was Shailabala. She was short of stature and wore a nose jewel.

Here at hand was a great curiosity, an enormous mystery. One wants to examine a diamond under many conditions, from many angles, turning it this way and that, and here was a beautiful little human being, a great wonder. This must be touched and caressed, viewed from a distance, from close at hand, sidewise. Sometimes the earrings were tweaked, sometimes the veil was lifted a little. The extend of the new beauties must be ascertained, sometimes with a quick perception lik a flash of lightening, sometimes with a long look as steadfast as the stars.

After breakfast Nivaran had acted as if he were going to the office, but had gone instead to Shailabala’s room. Why this deception? Suddenly someone seemed to open Harasundari’s eyes with a hot poker; in that searing heat her tears evaporated.

Harasundari said to herself, “I am the one who brought her into the house. I am the one who brought them together. Then why does he treat me like this, as if I get in the way of their happiness?

It now seemed to Harasundari that someone had kept hr from knowing the true meaning of existence. her heart felt as if it had always been starved. Her life as a woman had been spent in sheer poverty. She had wasted those precious twenty-seven years in slavery, going to the grocery, worrying about fruits and vegetables, and after-dinner betel nuts and spices. Today, at the midpoint of life, she saw that in the very next romm a little girl had unlocked the store containing the most cherished treasure and by a sudden coup had become the empress. Women are indeed meant to serve, but they are also meant to be queens. In the process of sharing, one woman had become the servant and the other the queen. But the servant had lost her pride and the queen was not happy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: