Abang Tesla received criticism because he took on a second wife while knowing his first wife felt sad about it.
The first time the name Abang Tesla came across the social media timelines, three thoughts came to mind: he could be a fan of Tesla cars, an Elon Musk fanboy, or someone who owned a number of Tesla cars.
If you’re not well-versed with the local online drama or influencer scene (like me), here’s the who, what, when, how and why of all things Abang Tesla.
Who is Abang Tesla?
Abang Tesla’s real name is Mohammad Khaliltizam Yusri and he’s also referred to as Kal.
The 28-year-old man is allegedly a businessman and has a significant TikTok and Instagram following. His videos are mostly focused on cars and motivational topics.
What did he do?
Abang Tesla got into hot waters because he took on another woman as his second wife.
He posted a video of him consoling his first wife hours before marrying the second woman.
The incident was said to have taken place after their Subuh prayers together and 3 hours before the wedding of his second wife.
Abang Tesla married his first wife, Nurmajdina Jamari, five years ago. Utusan wrote that the couple met in high school and fell in love with each other.
He expressed his wishes to marry a 22-year-old woman, Nursyafiqa Mohd Hanafi, after getting to know her for around 6 months.
Abang Tesla got to know Nursyafiqa through Instagram Story when she sent him a song on the social media platform. Since that day, they have been keeping in touch.
They had the nikah ceremony on 18 August this year.
When netizens criticised his actions, Abang Tesla maintained that he got the blessing from both sides of the family and he did it all the “right way.”
He clarified that he informed his first wife about his intentions instead of secretly taking on a second wife.
Despite knowing his first wife was upset, he carried on with the nikah with the second woman and tried to console his first wife after that.
After nikah, I immediately looked for my first wife to make sure she’s not emotional. Polygamy is something given by Allah to fix mistakes. Don’t let other people cause polygamy to be looked down by humans.Abang Tesla
According to Astro Awani, he has prepared a home for his second wife in Johor Bahru and asked for well wishes from the public.
Abang Tesla garnered heavier criticisms when he allegedly quoted an Ustaz saying, “The Ustaz said the first wife is to be cherished, the second wife is to be loved” (Ustaz cakap isteri pertama untuk dihargai, isteri kedua untuk dicintai).
He also apologised to all the men who were facing criticism due to his actions.
Impact of polygamy on Malaysian families
Polygamy in Islam is only permitted for men to take on four wives. However, certain strict conditions must be met by the man before he can legally take on more than one woman as his wife.
There have been various interpretations and opinions about the rights and wrongs of polygamy in modern society.
A study titled “The Impact of Polygamy on the Muslim Family” conducted by Sisters in Islam with academics in several local universities in 2010 found that a majority of first wives suffered negative social impacts after their husbands’ second marriages.
45.6% of first wives were dissatisfied with their polygamous marriages while only 39.3% were satisfied.
Meanwhile, 68% of second wives were satisfied while 18.8% said they were dissatisfied.
Among the wives, the first wife is the most dissatisfied. She experiences the strongest effects as she is able to compare the polygamous marriage with when she was in a monogamous marriage. In many cases, they expressed sadness, a sense of being wronged and betrayal.Researcher Masjaliza Hamzah
The children of first wives also expressed negative emotions towards their fathers marrying again with 60% saying they were disappointed when they discovered their father’s polygamy.
Over time, these children said they felt indifferent towards their father’s polygamous marriage.
Head researcher Professor Dr Norani Othman said during an in-depth interview with these children, the children explained that being indifferent was a way to cope emotionally with disappointment and distress.
Over 90% of children of first and second wives said they would not recommend polygamous marriages based on their experiences.
While polygamy is permitted in the religion, some Muslim countries such as Turkey and Tunisia have restricted or banned polygamy.
Arguments against polygamy typically cite Surah al-Nisa 4:3, which states that a man should only marry one woman if he fears he cannot treat all his wives fairly.
Associate Professor Datin Dr Rashidah Shuib, one of the study’s researchers, said a proper understanding of polygamous families was needed to enable policies to be formulated based on facts and reality, and not based on ideals.