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Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam?

Posted by: "Mohammad Usman" usmankkkk

Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:41 pm



<http://www.ilovezak images/misconcep tions.jpg>



Dr. Zakir Naik


http://www.islamawa Polygamy/ why.html


* Only QURAN Says to 'Marry Only One': "Qur'an is the only

religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase

'marry only one'. There is no other religion or religious book that

instructs men to have only one wife."

* POLYGAMY Practice More Among Hindus than Muslims: The report of

the 'Committee of The Status of Woman in Islam', published in 1975

mentions [Page Nos 66-67] that the percentage of polygamous marriages

between the year 1951-1961 was; 5.06 among the Hindus while only 4.31%

among the Muslims.






Why is a man allowed to marry more than one wife in Islam? Or why is

polygamy allowed in Islam?




1. Definition of Polygamy: Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby

one person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One

is polygyny where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is

polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited

polygyny is permitted and polyandry is completely prohibited. Now coming

to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than one



2. Qur'an is the only religious scripture in the world that says 'marry

only one': Qur'an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth,

that contains the phrase 'marry only one'. There is no other religious

book that instructs men to have only one wife. In none of the religious

scriptures like the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta or the

Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to

these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later,

that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of

wives to one.


Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had

multiple wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one

wife. Krishna had several wives. In earlier times, Christian men were

permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no

restriction on the number of wives. It was only a couple of centuries

ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.


Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had

2 wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny

continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah. (960 A.D to 1030 A.D) issued

an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim

countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, when an Act of

the chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one



3. Hindus are more polygamous than Muslims: The report of the 'Committee

of The Status of Woman in Islam', published in 1975 mentions on page

numbers 66,67 that the percentage of polygamous marriages between the

year 1951 -1961 was 5.06 among the Hindus and only 4.31 among the



According to Indian law only Muslim men are permitted to have more than

one wife. It is illegal for any non-Muslim in India to have more than

one wife. Despite it being illegal, Hindus have more multiple wives as

compared to the Muslim. One can imagine what would have been the

percentage of polygamous marriages among the Hindus if the Indian

government had made it legal for them. Earlier, there was no restriction

even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives allowed. It was

only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it became

illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the

Indian Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and

not the Hindu scriptures. Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to

have more than one wife.


4. Qur'an permits limited polygyny: As mentioned earlier, Qur'an is the

only religious book on the face of the earth that says 'marry only one'.

The context of this phrase is the following verse from Surah Nisa of the

Glorious Qur'an: 'Marry woman of your choice in twos' threes' or fours'

but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly, (with them),

then only one' [Al-Qur'an 4:3]


Before the Qur'an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny

and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper

limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or

four women, only on the condition that he deals with them justly. In the

same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says: 'It is very difficult to be

just and fair between women'. [Al-Qur'an (4:129)]


Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under

the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to marry more

than one wife.


Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do's and Dont's.


(i) 'Farz' i.e compulsory


(ii) 'Mustahab' i.e recommended or encouraged


(iii) 'Mubah' i.e permissible


(iv) 'Makruh' i.e 'not recommended' or discouraged


(v) 'Haram' i.e prohibited or forbidden


Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It

cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a

better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.


5. Average life span of females is more than that of males: By nature

males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. During

paediatric age however, in childhood itself a female child has more

immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the germs and

diseases better than the male child. For this reason, there are more

deaths among males as compared to the females during paediatric age.


During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women. More men

die due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of

females is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more

widows in the world than widowers.


6. India has more male population than female due to female foeticide

and infanticide: India is one of the few countries, along with the other

neighbouring countries, in which the female population is less than the

male population. The reason lies in the high rate of female infanticide

in India, and the fact that more than one million female foetuses are

aborted every year in this country, after they are identified as

females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more

females as compared to males.


7. World female population is more than male population: In the USA,

women outnumber men by 7.8 million. New York alone has one million more

females as compared to the number of males, and of the male population

of New York one-third are gays i.e sodomites. The USA as a whole has

more than twenty-five million gays. This means that these people do not

wish to marry women. Great Britain has four million more females as

compared to males. Germany has five million more females as compared to

males. Russia has nine million more females than males. God alone knows

how many million more females there are in the whole world as compared

to males.


8. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not

practical: Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still

be more than thirty million more females in USA who would not be able to

get husbands (considering that America has twenty five million gays).

There would be more than four million females in Great Britain 5 million

females in Germany and nine million females in Russia alone who would

not be able to find a husband.


Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in

USA, or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in

USA. The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries

a man who already has a wife or becomes public property. There is no

other option. I have posed this question to hundreds of non-Muslims and

all opted for the first. However a few smart people before accepting,

said they would prefer their sisters to remain virgins. Biologically, it

is not possible for an average man or a woman to remain celibate

throughout life. It may be possible in exceptional cases of one in ten

thousand. In the vast majority, the person either gets married or

performs illicit sex or indulges in other sexual perversions. Sex

hormones are released in the adult body every day. That is the reason

why Islam has prohibited monasticism.


In Western society it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or

multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a

disgraceful, unprotected life. The same society, however, cannot accept

a man having more than one wife, in which women retain their honourable,

dignified position in society and lead a protected life.


Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to

marry a married man or to become public property. Islam prefers giving

women the honourable position by permitting the first option and

disallowing the second. There are several other reasons, why Islam has

permitted limited polygyny, but it is mainly to protect the modesty of





Why is Polygamy allowed in Islam


Dr. Zakir Naik


http://www.ilovezak misconceptions/ a02.htm

<http://www.islamawa Polygamy/ why.html>


If a man is allowed to have more than one wife, then why does Islam

prohibit a woman from having more than one husband?


A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing

Muslim men to have more than one spouse while denying the same 'right'

to women.


Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic

society is justice and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal,

but with different capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and

women are different, physiologically and psychologically. Their roles

and responsibilities are different. Men and women are equal in Islam,

but not identical.


Surah Nisa' Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with who

you can not marry and it is further mentions in Surah Nisa' Chapter 4

verse 24 "Also (prohibited are) women already married"


The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited

in Islam:


1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of

such marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the

mother can easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than

one husband, only the mother of the children born of such marriages will

be identified and not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to

the identification of both parents, mother and father. Psychologists

tell us that children who do not know their parents, especially their

father undergo severe mental trauma and disturbances. Often they have an

unhappy childhood. It is for this reason that the children of

prostitutes do not have a healthy childhood. If a child born of such

wedlock is admitted in school, and when the mother is asked the name of

the father, she would have to give two or more names! I am aware that

recent advances in science have made it possible for both the mother and

father to be identified with the help of genetic testing. Thus this

point which was applicable for the past may not be applicable for the



2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.


3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a

husband despite having several wives. A woman, in a similar position,

having several husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties

as a wife. A woman undergoes several psychological and behavioral

changes due to different phases of the menstrual cycle.


4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual

partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or

sexually transmitted diseases which can also be transmitted back to her

husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the

case in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having

extra-marital sex.


The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are

probably many more reasons why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has

prohibited polyandry.


With Kind Regards


Mohammad Usman




The sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad <http://muhammad. net/>

(peace be upon him) 'Acquiring (religious) knowledge in company for an

hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.'


< Al-Tirmidhi; Narrated: Abdullah ibn Abbas (r) >

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