Zahraa Al Moussawi Source:

Earlier this month, Emirati psychologist Zahraa Al Moussawi launched a program which aims to help women "accept being second wives." 

You heard that right. 

The program is based on research conducted by Al-Moussawi, who debuted her findings at a mental health conference held in Abu Dhabi, local newspaper Al Emarate Al Yawm wrote

According to Al Moussawi's study, since polygamy is accepted in Sharia and is accepted in most Arab countries, it should be dealt with in a way that limits the "negative consequences" on members of polygamous families. 

The psychologist explained that what a woman experiences when her husband takes a second wife is quite similar to what a child goes through when they become an older sibling. 

"The first wife often experiences jealousy, anger, anxiety, and depression," the study says.

However, instead of empowering women to leave a union if they feel the need to, Al Moussawi's program aims to help them deal with their negative feelings and jealousy in order for them to lead better lives.

The program is split into five counseling sessions, each focused on a specific topic.

They include "understanding the reasons why men choose to take second wives, building self-confidence, getting rid of self-blame, seeking support and ignoring negative comments."

Mixed reactions on social media

Details of the program made the rounds online earlier this week and not everyone is happy about it. 

While a few people thought there was nothing wrong with Al Moussawi's initiative, others called it "regressive" and "unacceptable."

A few people lauded it

"The program is realistic, objective and raises an important issue. This is the role of scientific research, to look at problems in our reality and try to solve them." 

Others weren't having it though

"This is the last thing women need. This is exactly what's leading us to take backward steps instead of moving forward."  

Many resorted to sarcasm...

Some just couldn't even...

"Congratulations, ladies."  

"In the name of superstition and realism, they call on us to accept prejudice"

"Why not launch a program to train men to feel satisfied with one wife?"

Polygamy in Islam is only permissible within a tight frame of conditions

Islam first allowed polygamy for the sake of widows and orphans who had no means of survival.

The only Quranic verse that speaks of polygamy is believed to have been revealed after the Battle of Uhud, which led to the death of many Muslim men who left behind families in need of support.

Islamic law allows men, unlike their female counterparts, to be wed to four spouses at a time. 

However, this is only permissible within a tight frame of conditions. 

Additionally, the Quran also clearly states that a man can only marry more than one woman if he treats her and all his other wives equally.

"But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one," Surat An-Nisaa states. 

The surah then decrees: "You will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive to do so". 

This makes Islam-approved polygamy near impossible to attain, even when conditions for it apply.