Women, Polygamy and Islam

It has been considered for years that Islam does not give equal rights to men and women, and consider women only subject of comfort for males. This opinion has been delivered time and time again by renowned women activists but their basis of arguments being only the alleged facts. Their main argument is against the permission given towards polygamy in Islam. But many scholars who have gone through the pain in studying what Islam actually says have different opinion. They agree, in general, that Islam’s approach to polygamy is most balanced and rational and is based on the moral, psychological and physiological demands of men and women (The Independent 13).

It should be remembered that taking more than one wife is only permissible, not ordained by the Quran – as some ‘progressive’ activist would like to believe. The Quranic verse that allows polygamy should be read in the context it was revealed. The Verse says, “And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two, three and four, but if you fear that you may not do justice to them, then (marry) only one” (4: 3). This verse was revealed after the battle of Uhud. In that battle, many Muslim men died and as such a great social problem for the protection of widows and orphans arose, necessitating an institutionalized polygamy for a convenient solution of the problem.

Some of the eminent Western scholars who actually studied Islam, quite blatantly criticized the Western and other self proclaimed writers for venting their opinion as facts. In her book The Life and Teachings of Muhammed, Dr. Annie Besant, the renowned English leader of Theosophical Movement, says: ” There is pretended monogamy in the West, but in reality, there is polygamy without responsibility; the mistress is cast off when the man is weary of her … the first lover has no responsibility for her future, and she is a hundred times worst off then the sheltered wife in a polygamous home. “When we see thousands of miserable women who crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in the Western mouth to reproach Islam for polygamy. It is better for woman, happier for woman, more respectable for woman to live in polygamy, united to one man, only with a legitimate child in her arms and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced and then cast out into the streets perhaps with illegitimate child outside the rule of law, uncared, unsheltered, to become victim of any passer-by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood despised by all. “You can find others,” continues Annie Besant, “stating that religion Islam is evil because it sanctions a limited polygamy. But you do not hear as a rule the criticism … that monogamy with a blended mass of prostitution was a hypocrisy and more degrading than a limited polygamy. “… it must be remembered that the law of Islam in relation to women was until lately, when parts of it was imitated initiated in England, the most just law, as far as women are concerned, to be found in the world. Dealing with property, …rights of succession,… cases of divorce, it was far beyond the law of the West, in the respect which was paid to the rights of women. Those things are forgotten while people are hypnotized by the words monogamy and polygamy and do not look at what lies behind it in the West – the frightful degradation of women…”

Divorce in Islam

The next point of confrontation regarding women is the issue of divorce. It is a well accepted thought that Islam allows the husband to get rid of his wife on his free will, any time he likes by uttering a particular word three times repeatedly. This idea is totally baseless and has got nothing to do with Islam is quite clear when one takes the pain of studying it. first of all, the marriage in Islam is a social contract, and it can be dissolved if it proves, in any way, injurious or incompatible to the wife or to the husband. The wife has been given as much right to obtain the divorce as the husband. But the process of divorce has been set with a time limit of three months, so that a major decision like this is not taken in a moment of anger, and then both of them reproaches it after their anger vents out. This has been clearly instructed in the Holy Quran, but made unnecessarily confused by some elite class to suite their own purpose. On the Timing of divorce: ” O Prophet! if ye do divorce woman, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately) their prescribed periods: And fear Allah, your Lord: And turn them not out of your houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of open lewdness ” (LXV: 1). On waiting periods for divorced women: ” Divorced woman must wait three monthly courses. And it is not lawful for them to hide what Allah has created in their wombs, if they sincerely believe in Allah and the last day…” (2:228) Thus a clear three months period is mandatory before the final pronouncement is to be given. Each pronouncement of Talaq has to be made with a month’s increment between it, so that their is chance that the couple repents and decide to continue their life together. After all, the prophet’s saying goes ‘Divorce is most disliked by Allah among all permissible things.’ As women have got full rights to decide on to their separations, they also have full rights to chose partners in marriage, which is against what the ‘learned’ class would like to believe. No marriage in Islam is valid unless the bride and the bride-groom give their verbal consents regarding their marriage.

Status of Women in Islam

The status given to the women by Islam is another point of conflict as most of the “literate lots” would very much like to believe that women in Islam are still unliberated. However, it would be pointless to defend Islam by saying that Islam did give Women full equality in all respect to men (as some scholars defending Islam tried to do), as in reality, Islam does recognize the fact that women and men have their differences on the basis of their physical and physiological aspects, which is clearly stated in the Holy Quran in the following verses: “… Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Ofcourse, men are a degree above them in status, and above all is Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise” (2: 228). “Men are in charge of women because Allah has made the one superior to the other and because men spend their wealth on women” (4: 34).

Thus, in Islam, men and women have absolute equality in stature, but with a complete difference in labor. Being subjected to the responsibility of taking care of the house-holds, is considered somewhat degrading nowadays, forwarding the possible idea that Islam has kept women away from nation building. But if we are to consider Napoleon’s saying that ‘Give me a good mother; I will give you a good nation’, then we can see that in reality nation building starts at home, and failure to learn correct guidance at home would lead the generations to degrade, without even being concerned over it. In fact the Islamic concept of household is that it is the smallest unit in the greater organization of the Nation as a whole. The home is a little kingdom where authority is exercised by both husband and wife.

Source: http://members.tripod.com/islamiczone/women.htm

Polygamy Between Islam and the West

Question:   My question is in regards to having multiple wives. I’ve been told several times by non-muslims that this is immoral and unfair to the women. I tried to explain to them that the women are treated equally and that it is a Western perception that this is an immoral act, but they didn’t seem to understand. Can you help me to explain myself more eloquently the next time the question arises?
Answer:  Salam,

Thank you very much for your important question.
Allah Almighty is the creator of all the human beings. He knows what is good and what is bad for them. He also knows their particular needs. He says what means:
*{Does He not know, Who created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware.}* (Al-Mulk 67:14)

Allah Almighty also says what means:

*{And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice [between them], then [marry] only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.}* (An-Nisaa’ 4:3)

It is important to note that polygamy is only allowed and not urged to be done.
When the West talks about polygamy in Islam, they refer to it as something weird and should not be valid in the human’s nature. However, polygamy was known from the very first day of existence of mankind on Earth. Neither, Jewish nor Christians forbid polygamy. On the contrary, the prophets of the Jews and Christians were known as polygamous. For example, King Sulayman (Solomon) is said to have had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Dawud (David) had ninety-nine and Ya`qub (Jacob) had four. Christianity, as well didn’t forbid polygamy at all, as there is no single word banning polygamy in their scripts.How would polygamy in Islam be unfair to women? Islam, as mentioned above, didn’t urge men to become polygamous, it only allowed it for certain purposes. Justice among wives is a clear restricted condition on the Muslim man who wants to marry another wife. That is clearly stated in the verse mentioned above (An-Nisaa’ 4:3). Whereas the West which is arrogantly refusing polygamy has different types of it, some of them are dangerous either psychologically or even physically for the society as a whole.
Types of polygamy known in the West:
Actually there are three kinds of polygamy practiced in Western societies:


  • Serial polygamy, that is, marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce and so on any number of times.
  • A man married to one woman but having and supporting one or more mistresses.
  • An unmarried man having a number of mistresses.

Islam condones but discourages the first and forbids the other two.

Do you really think brother Tarek that polygamy is unjust to women in Islam? Or is it the real inequality to talk about the three previously listed kinds?
In her book The Life and Teachings of Muhammed, Dr. Annie Besant says:
“There is pretended monogamy in the West, but in reality, there is polygamy without responsibility; the mistress is cast off when the man is weary of her … the first lover has no responsibility for her future, and she is a hundred times worst off then the sheltered wife in a polygamous home.”

“When we see thousands of miserable women who crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in the Western mouth to reproach Islam for polygamy. It is better for woman, happier for woman, more respectable for woman to live in polygamy, united to one man, only with a legitimate child in her arms and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced and then cast out into the streets, perhaps with illegitimate child outside the rule of law, uncared, unsheltered, to become victim of any passer-by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood, despised by all.”

Thank you again for your question and please keep in touch.




Source: http://www.islamonline.net

Polygamy the Quranic Way

Posted in http://www.islamonline.net


Polygamy the Quranic Way






As-Salamu alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah! Regarding four marriages, there’s the verse that allows it. Then another verse advises us to marry one in case we fear that we won’t be able to establish justice. But then there’s another verse about which I am confused which says that we will never be able to establish justice between women and that we should not incline to one of them too much (4:129). Depending on the second verse, doesn’t the third verse prevent more than one marriage? Jazakum Allah Khayran.





Name of Counselor

Ahmad Sa`d


Salam, dear questioner.


Thanks for the question that reflects your deep research and reflection.


Well, in order to understand anything, we are always supposed to look deeply into the context in which it has happened. The same applies to the Quranic verses which, if ever read outside their contexts, will lead to meanings other than what is alluded to in them.


Coming to the issue of polygamy, it is well-known that Islam has allowed polygamy to solve certain problems which, if such a solution is not available, will be very rampant in the society.


Some of these problems may include fulfilling people’s desire to have children. For instance, if a man is married to a lady and it is later proved that she is infertile and he longs to have children, Islam allows him to take a second wife and still have the first one within the bond of marriage, take care of her and protect her.


Some people may say, why is the woman not given the same privilege? The answer is, she is actually given the ability to get married to another person after seeking divorce from her barren husband, who, in case he refuses to give her divorce, can be taken to court and she can obtain a divorce there.


As is known, if a woman is barren and her husband intends to take a second wife, the first wife is still entitled to full protection and fair treatment. Her being barren has nothing to do with the way she is treated because this is not something under her control.


Many other situations would encourage polygamy as a solution for many life problems and a legal framework for relations between men and women in the society.


With this in mind, we can understand that Almighty Allah has permitted man to marry more than one woman in case there is a need for this. Yet, with everything in this word, a full package of desirable and undesirable things come.


Of course, some women may like it and others may dislike it and therefore, for those who are unhappy with it, they were given the option of going for divorce.


Likewise, some men may just practice it unaware of its conditions. To these, the Quran highlights the fact that it has to be done with full justice.


Since human beings are subject to errors and tend to swerve from the balance, the Quran firstly advised a man to stick to one wife as long as there is no need for a second wife, and this is the original rule.


Yet, when people are driven by need or necessity to try the other way, I mean  having more than one wife, then new concerns will arise. One main concern is the issue of establishing justice between the wives which had to be addressed by the Quran as well.


These two things as you have stated are addressed in the same verse so as to leave no place for external tampering and put the person in light of the matter from the very onset.


The full verse reads what means:


*{… then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one.}* (An-Nisaa: 4: 3)


As clear from the verse, the Quran considers people’s needs sometimes to have more than one wife, yet, considers at the same time each wife’s welfare and right to be dealt with justly.


A person may say to himself, ‘well, I will establish full justice between my wives and try to cater for the welfare of both of them to the best of my ability, yet, there is something I cannot control which is love and emotions.’


This will put such a person in a bit of embarrassment and dilemma. Since the Quran solves the whole problem along with all its aspects, expected and unexpected scenarios, it has given later on an answer to this query.


We read in verse number 129 of the same Surah what gives the meaning of:


*{And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination, so that you leave her as it were in suspense; and if you effect a reconciliation and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.}* (An-Nisaa’ 4:129)


The verse does not mean that men who have a need to have a second wife should abstain from doing so or should be discouraged to do so.


Rather, it removes the hardship which they may feel when they do justice to the best of their abilities but still find their feelings and their love inclining a bit more towards one of them, something which is totally uncontrollable.


As Imam Al-Fakhr Ar-Razi comments on the verse in his well-known work Mafatih Al-Ghayb (The Keys to the Unseen);


“The verse means, you will not be able to incline equally or have equal amount of feeling for both of them as this is not under your control and since, it is not under your control, you are not required to do it.


This means that you are not forbidden from feeling more inclination towards one over the other as this is something you cannot control, but you are not allowed to show any unequal treatment in actions or words.


Al-Shafi (one of the Islamic scholars) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to treat his wives equally and then say: “O Allah, this is what I can control and you know about what I cannot control.” The Quran justifies this further and tells people that failing to provide just treatment in words and deeds and care will leave the woman in suspense, I mean as if she is in an in between state neither fully married nor unmarried.” (www.altafsir.com)


Therefore, the verse does not discourage second marriage or prevent it. Rather, it tries to regulate it and remove some kind of hardship which comes with the package to make people feel as naturally human as possible.


It gives a message that can be summarized as follows: Do justice between your wives to the best of your abilities, care for them equally. Yet, if love overwhelms you towards one of them and it is out of your hand, do not worry as this is something you cannot control as long as you do treat them equally.


I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.




Useful Links:


Polygamy: Norm or Exception?


One Eve For Adam, So Why Polygamy?


Apostasy, Polygamy, and Adultery


Polygamy Between Fairness and Hypocrisy


Questioning Polygamy


About Divorce and Polygamy


Polygamy Between Islam and the West


The Messenger of Peace… A Man of Polygamy?!


Polygamy and Polyandry

Polygamy in Christianity and Islam





A line of demarcation has to be drawn between instituting a principle and misusing it. In as far as the role of legislation in rectifying our society and remedying its ailments is concerned‑ in terms of an imperative need to mete out justice by a polygamist ‑ let researchers be primarily occupied with adjusting the yardstick, as well as the manifestations, of justice if they so desire. Any attempt at undermining and deriding polygamy in principle is doomed as being of no avail. I can even rightfully claim that contemptuously regarding polygamy has been an immediate fallout of a sort of new Crusade against Muslim nations. 


Several social classes now do regard polygamy as something evil, while they consider adultery and fornication insignificant entertainment! The problem has come to relate to understanding and acknowledging the entire religion.


Against such a background, to attempt restricting polygamy is to repulsively attempt to soil the entire society in the name of law and at the expense of Islam.


Many a prophet and good worshipping man had more than one wife and the practice was not believed to impinge upon his piety or fearing Allah. Books of the Old Testament stand witness thereof.


Islam does not regard abstaining from marriage a sort of worshipping, as monks do, nor does it consider keeping four wives a sin, as Christianity is falsely claimed to have branded. (As we have seen before, none of the four gospels forbids polygamy: the author Hamdi Shafeek).


To sin is really to give a free rein to sexual desire, or to inhibit it, letting it trickle down as underground water trickles down under the desert.[1][4]


[1] “Stolen Moments”, a book by Anees Mansour, Daru‑shruk edition. 

[2] “History and Goals of Orientalism”, published by “Al‑Nahda” bookshop.

[3] “Al‑Musfirnoun” newspaper of 6 June 1997.

[4] Fiqh AI‑Sira”, (Understanding the Prophet’s Biography), by Sheikh 




In spite of all those reasons pleaded as warranting polygamy, Islam has adamantly forbidden that polygamy be intended for giving vent to some men’s sexual lust and a slant for physical pleasure and domination. 



A gain should correspondingly be met by a loss; easier access to sensual pleasure should be ensued by burdening duties. 



Hence, when embarking upon polygamy justice has to be assuredly and safeguardedly meted out. If a husband fears doing injustice to himself, children or wives, polygamy is thus forbidden. A polygamist should be able to provide for the necessary expenses. If the lawgiver, in which case it is Allah who has given out Shari’aa, regards inability to provide for expenses as an excuse not to marry an even one lady, such inability would rather prohibit a man to marry more than one.



The lawgiver enjoins fasting on unmarried youth so long as they cannot marry , thus ordering a man whom is unable even to have one wife and be sexually abstinent. Allah thus says in the surah of “Al‑Nour” (Light), “Let those who do not find the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves sexually abstinent until Allah gives them means out of His grace”. 



What about a man who has only one wife? He would rather be patient and had better be sexually abstinent; the more wives a husband keeps, the more children he is likely to have. Islam enjoins father to deal with children on an equal footing in terms of upbringing, education, honoring and loving as well as means of living however divergent their mothers may be. A father with many children should then be cautious enough not to be capricious when handling his children born to diverse mothers; as a husband a man should imperatively administer justice to his wives. 



However, if a heart inclination is too stubborn to be controlled, every husband can fully observe the rules and guidelines in question, rightfully weigh his behavior and to fear Allah in whatever Allah has made him guardian of in terms of a wide spectrum of deeds and circumstances.



These are the broader confines of justice as attached by Allah to polygamy. He who can fully fulfill such limits may get married to two, three or even four wives; otherwise, he has to suffice himself with only one wife, in response to what Allah says:, “If you fear injustice, then keep only one wife”. 



I have seen some journalists objecting to polygamy as licensed by Islam and wondering if a man is empowered to have as many as four wives, why is a woman not allowed to have as many husbands as four?



Having thoroughly looked at those wondering journalists, I have found them out mostly lewd, cuckolds or pimps. To my own much surprise, they are leading a life bristling with adultery, aversing most to create a chaste family. 


To answer this invalid question, I have to clearly state that the ultimate goal of sexual relationship is to create a family and rear children in a climate of clean custody. This cannot ever be achieved in a home where a lot of people frequent, and fight to grab, a woman whose prospective offspring cannot be identified as having descended from any of them. In addition, a woman’s sexual role is that of a receiver, rather than a doer of the action, of the one being led and carried, rather than of the leader, carrier. One can visualize a locomotive pulling four carriages, rather than a carriage pulling four locomotives. Men are disposed by nature to maintain and sustain women, and to dismiss this fact as allegedly untrue is colliding with the natural course of things. 



When some of the commons, verily unfortunately, unheed these confines attached to polygamy and go keeping as many wives as four without realizing the sense of justice they are enjoined to administer ‑ but rather to answer the call of lust ‑ only gross slanting and inequality will be the result. 



Although a man cannot even provide for himself, he is in pursuit of another marriage; whereas he is unable to be in charge of only one wife, he goes seeking another. A polygamist may not be dealing equally, rather capriciously, with his children in terms of education and portioning out wealth; he may take another wife only to desert the first one and leave her as if hanging in the air. 



Conversely, although a man may be wealthy enough to marry four women at one and the same time and to provide for whomever children they beget him, he leads a life of sexual begging ad rolling in the bosoms of trollops. 



Does forbidding polygamy cure a nation’s evils as such? No. To forbid what is permitted is not anything that will be a dilemma in the eye of Islamic legislation. However, if religion had remained silent about its position on polygamy, we would, rather, have made our say on it by clarifying that it is permitted to preserve public interest as above explained. 


to be continued…



Late Sheikh Muhammad el‑Ghazali giving his Opinion:


Steady urban and economic laws inevitably govern life, whether they be known in which case they will be cautioned against ‑ or unwittingly handled, with their impact, still, spontaneously unfolding itself.


 It is social circumstances, which govern how many women an individual man should have a relation with. To overlook such social circumstances is to resist fait accompli to no avail, as the ratio of men to women can either be equal on both sides or tilting in favor of one side against the other.



 If the men‑to‑women ratio is equal or when men do outnumber women, polygamy has to spontaneously fall out of practice, with every man contenting himself with the woman coercively portioned out to him.



 If women do outnumber men, only one course of action has to be opted for out of the three following options: 



(1)   to judge that some women be deprived for life of having their sexual needs met;



(2)   to permit keeping mistresses, with adultery acknowledged as thus legitimate;



(3)   or to allow polygamy. 



A woman is widely believed even before a man ‑ to desist from either deprivation or a disobediently sinful bed. With the situation as such, she has to share another wife’s husband, from whom her would‑be children will have a lineal descent, resulting in polygamy ‑ as stipulated by Islam ‑ being inevitably acknowledged. 



Moreover, men do diverge widely in term of sexual desire: some men are so healthy, strong in erotica sentiments and leading a luxurious life while other men are not. To deal on a par with both a sexually‑rigid man from his earlier periods of adolescence and another who is so sexually energetic that he can be easily excited is a matter which widely misses the mark of justice. 



Are gluttons not allowed to have more amounts of food than allowed for people with less appetite? So, why not sexual‑wise? It is the same token working here. 



There is another wise reason for allowing polygamy: a wife may be so feeble, diseased, infertile or old‑aged that she cannot any longer satisfy her husband’s sexual needs, so why should she be so helplessly let down to be victimized by these excuses? 



Good company has to be retained by a husband, who is then fully empowered to bring in another wife, or other wives, who can fully perform a wife’s role. 



to be continued…



Dr. Nadia Hashem goes on to expound her viewpoint by saying that a husband has perfect right to marry another wife, or other wives, whether his first wife consents or not. This is because it is a husband who is in command of a marriage contract; in a capacity as such, he is empowered to dispose at will, on condition that a wife has not attached, when writing out the marriage certificate, a condition that her husband should not take another wife, or other wives, in addition to her.


Dr. Nadia Hashem further clarifies that women in Muslim societies do not acknowledge polygamy any more: whether they be educated or not, wealthy or poor, urban or rural, as well as religious or not. Corrupt common practices ‑ deeply sending out roots ‑ religious un-enlightenment, dominating Western precepts are gravely implicated for Muslim women’s rejection of polygamy. Our society unduly upholds a common practice of turning down polygamy as inequality being done to first wives. However, Shari’aa stresses as corrupt and invalid any practice which runs on a collision course with religion. Having only scarce knowledge of religion sends a woman averting from polygamy. If she had been an utterly Muslim woman, she would have assuredly realized that she cannot, nor does she have any right to, head off a second, third or even fourth marriage by her husband, so long as her husband fulfills her own rights. Unfortunately, women’s education, domination of secular precepts and the so‑termed emancipation of women have all been seriously fallaciously instilling ‑ throughout long decades ‑ into women’s minds that polygamy holds women in low esteem.[1][3]

 to be continued…


Dr. Fathiyya Al‑Nabarawi, a professor at Al‑Azhar University Faculty of Islamic Studies, says, “A Muslim woman rejects or hates polygamy only when she is ill‑educated and weak in faith. During the prophet’s, peace be upon him, era, Muslim women did not object to polygamy, although women are naturally known to be averse to polygamy; even the prophet’s, peace be upon him, wives were known to be jealous of each other.


However, the situation stabilized and society acknowledged polygamy as licensed by religion which has been sent down from Allah. A woman cannot object to polygamy as long as her husband is so financially secure that he can provide for her and his children by her; she can not object either, so long as her husband will assuredly mete out justice to, and protect, her and his children by her as against the new wife.


Is not it better that such a marriage be permitted and made public, or should men be denied access to such a marriage while granted unrestricted access to the then imperative course of action involving sin? A polygamist husband should then be held in high esteem on the grounds that he is a Muslim typically fearful of Allah.


Nevertheless, I find fault with a lot of men who, having got a second wife, keep a second marriage secret although they have got legally married. They obviously feel awkward to make this marriage public because children are brought up to regard a second wife as a catastrophe, with media fallaciously striking the same note and imported Western patterns of thought rife”.


Dr. Fathiyya Nabarawi goes on to say further, “I have known some colleagues who have, from the very beginning, accepted being second wives. However, since marriages were consummated, they have been attempting to grab husbands only for themselves and to send them abandoning their first wives ‑ one of those wives has even requested her husband to divorce his first wife. Is that logical? Does such a behavior stand to reason?


Our society has been undergoing a multitude of blurry, fallacious precepts which make themselves most manifest in terms of an issue like polygamy, but they do exist ‑ though to a lesser degree ‑ in a lot more areas of our lives”.


Another woman professor of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Dr. Nadia Hashem, airs her viewpoint as follows, ” In terms of Shari’aa, what does the verse (Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four) exactly mean? Does the verse signal general and absolute permissiveness, or rather, permissiveness qualified by certain curbs attached by Shari’aa?


Whereas some jurists have said that the verse signals absolute permissiveness, regardless of necessity or not, some other jurists have interpreted the verse as signaling only qualified permissiveness.


However, I advocate the latter team of jurists who believe the verse as. having permitted polygamy only qualifiedly.


Of the reasons I deem warranting taking a second wife, or more, are an ill or infertile wife, a husband who is so excessively potent that he fails to content himself with only one wife, or simply females outnumbering males in society.


There are estimated thirteen million unmarried girls ‑at, or well above, the age of marriage ‑ in Egypt, with girls above thirty years of age accounting for four millions girls.


In my own opinion, a necessity arises for polygamy against a background as such: if we do not resort to polygamy under these circumstances, a half of society’s girls will remain bachelor girls unable to be sexually abstinent”.


to be continued…



The late Grand Sheikh of Al‑Azhar, Sheikh Mahmoud Shaltout, called on young gentlemen, so capable, to marry more than one woman.


During the era when Sheikh Shaltout was the Grand Sheikh of Al‑Azhar, nubile female’s threefold outnumbered males who were capable of getting married.


Therefore, Sheikh Shaltout deemed that every such young‑man should aptly marry three girls in a bid to stem, once and for all, the problem of having so many bachelor girls. Consequently, the Sheikh’s righteous comments sparked off a huge furore at the time, with Western‑minded people having agitatingly attacked the revered scholar. Nevertheless, he ventured out the storm like a firm mountain, never bowing to it as others are doing these days!!


Asked by a world TV station announcer about what he thought about polygamy, veteran Egyptian writer Anees Mansour said, “If I am in favor of a person’s right to give birth to as many children as he wishes, it does not matter then whether they be born to the same mother or not ‑ it is up to the father to freely decide”. In reply to another question by the same announcer whether he remains committed to trite, worn‑out principles, rather than keeping abreast of a rapidly‑changing world which does not any longer back a multitude of children as generated by polygamy (referring, of course, to the non‑Muslim world), Mansour said, “You have said that you are making your question personally, and this is my personal opinion. More candidly speaking, I am grateful to the lack of birth control for my presence, as I am the ninth among eleven children. I am not in favor of contenting oneself with only one wife, as I was born to the second wife of my father who kept two wives at a time. And I support freedom of choice”.[1][1]


 Dr. Ahmed Shalaby, a professor of civilization and Islamic history at the Cairo University Arabic‑Language Faculty, says, “Orientalists have agitatedly been making an outcry that polygamy ‑ as licensed by Islam ‑ is not acceptable. However, why should we use them as our yardstick?! It is exactly the West, which permitted mistresses, with million illegitimate children ensuing.


Undoubtedly, polygamy is more sublime and chaste than having concubines. A mistress has no access to rights, nor does her children. Polygamy is more largely to women’s advantage, rather than to their detriment.”[2][2]     They even can forestall polygamy if they commonly consent that none of them should marry a married man. Nevertheless, they so do to satisfy a need, instead of remaining bachelor girls”.


to be continued…




Is Polygamy the Norm of Marriage in Islam?

Question:   Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Is polygamy the basic ruling and norm of marriage in Islam? Many Muslims are keen to have more than one wife believing that this is the basis and the norm. Is this Islamically correct?

Jazakum Allahu khayran.



Answer:   Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Brother, we really appreciate your forwarding this question to us, and we commend your keenness on getting yourself well-acquainted with the teachings of Islam. May Allah help us all keep firm on the right path, amen!

As far as Islamic Shari`ah is concerned, there is nothing in the sources of Shari`ah to the effect that the norm or the basic ruling of marriage in Islam is polygamy or taking only one wife. The ruling of marriage in either forms depends on the circumstances surrounding that marriage. Polygamy may be obligatory for a certain person and may be haram (Arabic for: prohibited) for another.

In his response to your question, eminent Muslim scholar and renowned da`iyah Sheikh `Abdel-Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef states, It is not Islamically correct to say that the basic ruling or norm of marriage in Islam is polygamy or sticking to having one wife. There is nothing in the sources of Shari`ah to the effect that any of the two is the norm or the basic ruling and the other is not that. Had the basic ruling been polygamy, Almighty Allah would have created women more than the double of men in all ages and places in order for each man to be able to marry two or more women. That is because Almighty Allah did not order His creation to do the impossible. Almighty Allah always commands people to do what is possible.

So, what some Muslims may believe with regard to this issue is wrong. Furthermore, Muslim scholars are of the opinion that marriage whether in the form of polygamy or having one wife is subject to all the five Shari`ah rulings: wajib (obligatory), mandub (commendable), mubah (permissible), makruh (reprehensible), or muharram (prohibited). The ruling differs based on the circumstances surrounding the case in question.


Allah Almighty knows best.


Source: www.islamonline.net