Abuya is a prominent Islamic leader, yet, among all such leaders Abuya stands distinctively apart from the others. He has been married to 5 women. Since the age of 47, he had had 4 wives altogether at the same time. But since the age of 66, he has been left with only 3 wives.
He married the first wife in 1957, when he was 20 years old.
He married the second wife in 1977, when he was 40 years old.
He married the third wife in 1980, when he was 42 years old.
He married the fourth wife in 1981, when he was 43 years old.
After the separation with the first wife in 1985, Abuya married another wife in 1987 at the age of 49.
With these many wives, he has been granted as many as 34 children.
With the first wife: 12 children
With the second wife: 11 children
With the third wife: No children
With the fourth wife: 8 children
With the fifth wife: 3 children
Abuya has 4 step-children (with the last wife). Until 2006, as many as 17 of his children have got married, 13 of them practicing polygamous marriages. His daughters- and sons-in-laws are Arabic, Indonesian, Thai and Malay in origin. The number of his daughters-and sons-in-laws altogether is 33. His grandchildren number 180. All his children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and grandchildren join him in his struggle. All his children and grandchildren enter his schools. All of them work with Abuya’s congregation. Abuya presently has two small great grandchildren.
Most of his children, whom he himself had educated, are employed. Some work part-time while studying. Four of his sons have become important leaders in his company or congregation. Six of them are lecturers and teachers in his struggle. Five have become entrepreneurs. Three have become composers and four have their own nasyeed groups, namely the Mawaddah group and the Remaja Harapan group. Two others have become the expert percussionists.
Ten of his children and grandchildren are studying overseas, in Jordan and Syria. At the time of writing this book, seven of his children and one grandchild are in Germany to promote their nasyeed group, on a vacation-cum-learning tour of Europe, France and Holland.
Practicing polygamy was not originally Abuya’s ambition. It never crossed his mind to have a big polygamous family. It only came about when Abuya had become the leader of an Islamic congregation. Many male and female followers gave oaths of loyalty in matters of life and death to him.
So in 1978, a strongman of his congregation suggested that Abuya wed a very loyal 22 year old female follower who had expressed acceptance of polygamy. Members of the congregation requested Abuya, as the leader number one, to begin the practice of polygamy. As a result of discussions with Abuya’s first wife, Abuya agreed.
Nonetheless, Abuya was still anxious. It was not his intention. All his wives were not Abuya’s choice but were instead suggested by friends in the congregation, with the agreement of the women concerned. Abuya was left only to accept or not.
It is astonishing that many young, virgin, beautiful and highly educated women were prepared to marry Abuya with the purposes of:
Obtaining direct guidance in faith and Islam.
Living in a family that truly practices Islam as the way of life.
Bearing children from a pious person.
Receiving the blessings of life in the world and the Hereafter.
Although they have to share in all aspects of life in this world, these women treat the risks as small compared with the benefits in the Hereafter to be derived.
It is true that Abuya divorced his first wife. Abuya said, when pronouncing the first talaq (solemn declaration of divorce), he felt as if he was on the threshold of life as he thought about his children. When one of them, representing all his children, told Abuya that they were ashamed by what had taken place, Abuya said, “Your shame is 20%, whereas Abuya is ashamed by 100%.” Several times Abuya had stated his intention to re-marry the first wife, but such efforts were to no avail as his ex-wife refused to change.
But Abuya is very grateful that all his children, daughters- and sons in-law and grandchildren from the divorced wife remain loyal to Abuya. Every one of them joins in Abuya’s struggle, believing strongly in Abuya and supporting Abuya in his action and instruction. They also remain on good terms with their biological mother. They pray for her and entertain her needs on Abuya’s instruction.
At present, Abuya is left with three wives after one of them died in Mecca. She was eventually buried in the same cemetery that housed the bodies of the wives of the Messenger of Allah: the Baqi’ graveyard.
It’s not easy to make the wives as good to each other as siblings are; praying for, cooperating with and protecting one another. It is similarly not easy for children to be very obedient and entertaining to their parents, able to love with and care for one another, to be understanding and have the feeling of togetherness.
Actually when Allah has destined that a leader can perform as such, this shows that the leader has been appointed by Allah for his era. Abuya is the anointed person. He comes in the early century of Hijrah. Muslims should search for, pursue after, swear the bai’ah (oath of loyalty) to and obey him. As foretold by the Messenger of Allah in a hadith:
Meaning: Reported by Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Allah will raise, at the head of each century, such people for this Ummah as will revive its Religion for it.”(Narrated by Abu Daud)
He is the savior of this era. Muslims must seek him in order to gain salvation. It is not enough just to get his knowledge and methods without accepting the person.
Salvation in the world and the Hereafter for a person is when he or she has fulfilled 2 bai’ahs. The first bai’ah is to bear witness to the twin testimonies of faith in Islam. The second bai’ah is to accept and obey the promised leader as appointed by God, thus able to realize and strengthen the first bai’ah.
World leaders without the ability to instill love to Allah and His Messenger into human hearts, and who emphasize the world more than the Hereafter, are not the people whom Allah has commanded to be given obedience. Such leaders are incapable of devoting their lives and deaths purely for the sake of Allah.
Abuya tries very hard so that his big family is given faith, that is to love God, aggrandize the Hereafter and obey the laws of Allah. Towards achieving that, Abuya denies them worldly luxury and wealth. They are trained to live independently without salaried employment. They are educated with knowledge, faith and Islam. They are brought up under the motto: `to live for God’. They are raised to struggle for the development of fardhu ain and fardhu kifayah obligations. Abuya’s family now is like a new ethnicity, a new Malay empire distinguished to become the foundation of the resurgence of Islam on behalf of not only Rufaqa’ but also the whole Malay nation.
The Bani Tamim group is seen as able to lead a Malay revival in the name of Islam. It is supported by other Bani groups initiated by Abuya. May Allah fulfill His promise, “That He will replace a community with another community whose members love Allah and Allah also loves them.”
Abuya becomes a husband and a father who is able to organize his family as such. The family life is full of justice, love and care, responsibility in the name of Allah and His Messenger for the interest of the Hereafter and the world. It is truly a most miraculous achievement.
Hence Abuya succeeds in installing his name in the highest position among the world’s Islamic leaders as a model husband and father. This is the capital supplied by that Allah and His Messenger to the Bani Hasyim and the Quraisy ethnic group, in the end prompting all the ethnic Arabs to submit their leadership to them.
Let us look at the Bani Tamim structure initiated by Abuya.
Bani Tamim consists of Abuya, his three wives and 20 unmarried children altogether. His married children:
Fakhrurrazi with 4 wives and 21 children
Nizamuddin with 4 wives and 23 children
Nasrullah with 4 wives and 23 children
In’amullah with 4 wives and 11 children
Ikramullah with 4 wives and 10 children
Mujahid with 3 wives and 6 children
Usamah with 2 wives and 11 children
Abu Ubaidah with 2 wives and 3 children
Muhammad Abu Bakar with 4 wives and 28 children
Khairel Anuar Ujang with 3 wives and 10 children
Lokman Hakim with 4 wives and 15 children
Hashim Mohamad with 4 wives and 5 children
Other families :
Bani Idrisi (Zulkifli Awang Kecik) with 4 wives and 18 children.
Bani Abu Bakar (Hashim Jaafar) with 4 wives and 20 children.
Bani Yusuf (Dr. Abdurrahman) with 4 wives and 4 children.
Bani Meon (Abu Zarin Taharem) with 4 wives and 29 children.
Bani Abdul Rahman (Rasidi Abdullah) with 4 wives and 20 children.
Bani Siraj (Abdullah Ali) with 3 wives and 17 children.
Bani Jaisi (Zaini Othman) with 2 wives and 8 children.
Bani Ahmad (Ahmad Zahari) with 2 wives and 18 children.
Bani Mat Wali (Zamri Azhar) with 2 wives and 4 children.
Bani Mahmud (Nasarudin) with 2 wives and 6 children.
Bani Adami (Tengku A. Rahman) with 4 wives and 8 children.
Bani Shafie (Taufik Mustofa) with 4 wives and 10 children.
Normally people worry about their provisions when talk about big families. Abuya replies to this complicated problem with the fact of life that his family runs lives like rich people. This is because Abuya began his struggle by utilizing the three basic strengths of faith, brotherhood and mutual understanding and conformity.
Allah and His Messenger like and are proud of big families. Allah will definitely help in this project. There must be an ample allotment by Allah in order to help any individual and congregation to carry out this project of Allah. Allah is the Most Prosperous. All the rich people and banks in the world are owned by Allah. A person is poor because Allah makes him poor. A person is wealthy because Allah makes him rich. In a split second, Allah is able to make a rich man poor or a poor man rich.
Abuya is very close to Allah and really works hard to achieve faith and taqwa. Allah promises to help a person who has attained taqwa. That Abuya and his big family have become rich is a miraculous God-effected event. The money does not come from business. Even the fardhu kifayah business operates with the money given by Allah.
Allah has provided Abuya with a miraculous ‘power’. With such ‘power’, Abuya calls for money, and money comes. Abuya calls for knowledge, and knowledge comes. Whatever Abuya needs, Allah provides for by virtue of the ‘power’ supplied by Him. Muslims should learn about this miraculous strength that Allah has promised for them.