I just had a neighbor leave my house. Her husband has caught this thing that has been going around lately. It appears to be effecting most middle age men, but black men in particular are at a higher risk and prone to be susceptible to it.

My community has had a sudden outbreak. The alarms first went off about a year ago, after one of my neighbor’s husband died shortly after acquiring this. What was horrifying to many was that the wife did not learn until after the death of her husband that he had been vulnerable. What especially concerns many of the women in my community, is that we have a known carrier and transmitter in our midst. He and his family are purposely exposing others to this fitnah. Many families are bearing this calamity (for some – others see it as a blessing and all Muslims should be reminded that whenever the believer is afflicted with anything it is good for them) with patience and perseverance. Unfortunately, for others there have been disastrous results!

I come from a family with high blood pressure and diabetes, so it is not alarming to me when I am told in all of my pregnancies that I have these diseases. All the same, it can be discouraging. So it came as no surprise to me today, when my neighbor came to my house to have a serious talk with me to inform me of her husband’s condition.

I live in a small community. It is actually like a small town or Village. Several thousands of people, but still once something of this proportion occurs, the word gets around – FAST and others try to seek means to protect their families. Allahu Musta’aan.

Not only is this a small community, but it is a working class community (think Detroit and Automobile plant workers) and there are NO rich people here. Most are just making ends meat and others are struggling to keep their heads above the water. This is why when faced with something of this magnitude,  some women will put their trust in Allah.  While others may wonder “how will my family survive? how can my husband properly provide for our family in his condition?” What bothers some is that many of these men have found themselves in such predicaments after their loving wives, who have been very supportive of their meager earnings and stood by their sides for many years bearing many children and sacrificing much – just to find that their husband has had a secret stash/savings to run off to another country, where he has contracted this liability.

What is it you ask? What has swept across this small Saudi community? What has separated husband from wife, mother from child? What is Umm Adam talking about?

I’m talking about black men, with black wives, running off to other Arab countries marrying younger non-black wives making their first darker, older, and outer shaper wife feel inferior! That’s what I’m talking about!

My neighbor who visited me today, came over a month ago to tell me that one of our other neighbor’s husband had just brought back a ‘white Arab’ wife from another country and moved her into their tiny apartment with their five children. After telling me today, that she herself has just found out that her husband married a younger non-black woman 4 months ago and will be bringing her here to live in their house with them in just a few weeks. She then informed me that our neighbor, who she told me about last month, has been sent back to her family in another city with her three month old baby and left behind her other four children after the new wife insisted that they could not live together.

It is so widespread in my community, that if a woman hears that her husband was seen talking to a certain brother then she freaks out. S.B has 3 wives and it is he and his wives family business to be matchmakers. There speciality is polygyny. if a man wants to get his wife in line all he has to do is threaten her that he will go to see S.B. My husband even tried to pull that on me once. I was sick and tired one night and after 9 years of marriage, all of which with exception to the first 4 months I have been sick and tired (mostly child related), he wasn’t in the mood to hear this, so compassion went out the door and he resorted to, “I’m going to see S.B!” See..now I’m not one of those martyr wives who on their death beds are making coffee and tea for their husbands. I actually am one of the stupid wives who actually expect that marriage is a partnership and that on my death bed he will change my soiled sheets. So of course I retorted with, “No need to go see S.B; I know your type, I’ll hook you up! Now can I get some sleep?”

Anyway, S.B caught a bad rap, last year when after taking another one of our neighbors to sign a marriage contract, he was in a fatal car accident. He survived, but the neighbor died. His wife was later informed that she would have to share her inheritance, because he was coming from signing a marriage contract. The women of my community were very disturbed about this, many knew that it was Islamically correct but thought that the new wife who had not yet consummated the marriage should fore-go her rights and give it all to the widow and children.

Since, then it seems like every black man where I live has ran off and taken another wife. That in and of it self is not so bad. What makes it more heartbreaking to these women is that they already have inferior complexes about being black in a society that places so much value on light skin, that it is extremely hurtful and damaging to the self-esteem when their black husbands – who know what it is like to be black here – runs out and purposely marries lighter to raise his self-esteem!