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Is Polygamy allowed ?

Question: What can justify marrying a second wife? Answer: ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

In Islam, it is permissible for a man to marry up to four wives on the condition that he maintains equality between them. However, marrying more than one wife is something which is permissible, not compulsory. Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ says: ...”then, marry the women you like, in twos, in threes, and in fours. But, if you fear that you will not maintain equity, then (keep to) one woman…” (Surah Nisa: v. 3 [translation from Ma’ariful Quran]). There are many wisdoms behind the permissibilty of polygamy. For example, especially in today’s times when women outnumber men, if polygamy were not allowed, then who would marry all of these women? Who will look after them? By restricting a man to only one wife, that would give rise to fornication, consequently illegimate children, poverty, prostitution, etc. Furthermore, generally men prefer to marry women who are young, attractive, and virgins. Many a time, it becomes difficult for a woman, who was previously married and has children, to marry a single man. Just like men, women are also in need of marriage, hence Islam has provided a solution to this problem by allowing a man to marry a second wife. In conclusion, one should not be influenced by propaganda and those who criticize Islam. Polygamy is something which always existed, however Islam restricted the number of wives to four and taught men how to treat all of them justly. As for a man who is contemplating a second marriage, he should not act haphazardly basing his decision on mere sexual desire.

Rather, he ought to ponder over its pros and cons, ask himself if he could treat all of them equally, and consult the righteous scholars because there are severe consequences for those who do injustice to others.1

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 Ma’ariful Quran: v. 2, p. 301-314 (Maktaba-e-Darul-’Uloom)

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