Sunday, September 4, 2011


Islam did not invent polygamy nor abolish or encourage it.(

Polygamy: According to Islam

Islam did not introduce polygyny but permitted it remedied the ills and abuses around it. The Hindus, Babylonians, Persians, Athenians, Jews and pre-Islamic Arabs recognized no limit to the number of wives a man could marry. Islam limited and restricted it in number; and hedged it with severe restrictions. Nowhere in the Shariah is polygyny condemned or discouraged but neither is it an essential commandment enjoining men to take multiple wives. Coupled with this permission is the emphatic command of justice and equality, financially and physically (i.e. spending equal amount of time with each spouse), if one intends taking another wife. The attitude of husband towards all his wives must be such as to give no occasion to heartburning, jealousy, dissatisfaction, discontent and frustration to any of them. There should be no cruelty, injustice, bias or partiality on the part of the husband. It is expected and seen that complete peace, harmony and tranquillity prevails in the household where the husband faithfully observes the injunctions of Islam regarding the equal status of all the wives in matters of maintenance, and general treatment. Each wife is entitled to have the opportunity of feeling the security of their man and sharing the bonds of love with him as well as enjoying his companionship.

If the husband cannot exercise this equality he is not allowed to marry more than one. Regarding this restriction of number and equal treatment, the Qur'an ordains:

"Marry such as you please, of other women, by twos, threes and fours; but if you apprehend that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then marry one only." (Qur'an, 4:3)

However, since love and emotions are beyond ones control, a man will be excused if he loves one spouse more than another. It is most irrational to demand a person to have equal love for two people. A person has friends but he has his “best friend’, a mother with many kids has “the apple of her eye” and the father has his “blue eyed boy”.(

Advice to Males Intending Polygamy

It should be understood that it is very painful, difficult, and traumatic for women, especially in those societies where polygamy is hardly practiced to accept their husbands taking another wife. The influence of alien culture has so strongly overwhelmed them that there is not only a fear of ruining their marriages but also a chance of them losing their Imam. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that this matter be approached correctly and dealt with caution, care and diplomacy. Before thinking of a second marriage consider the following:

1. Consider the responsibility which comes along with a second marriage.
2. Reflect whether you are able to fulfil the Shar’i obligations of both wives in a fair and just manner.
3. Seek advice from your local Ulama and senior members of his family and community.
4. Seek advice from those already in a polygamous marriage.
5. Be able to adjust your routine and daily schedule.
6. Make all arrangements to ensure all wives receive their rights.
7. Possess a strong emotional state of mind to be able to handle the sensitiveness of all his wives.
8. Never contemplate polygyny as an experimental exercise.
9. Never consider polygyny to spite the first wife.
10. Take note that the permission of polygyny should not be abused.
11. Take into account the feelings and sentiments of the first wife and endeavour to provide every reassurance, support and comfort to her.
12. Be understanding, tolerant, caring and patient towards his first wife who is facing a most tumultuous period in her life that could cause her to have bouts of irrational behaviour from time to time.
13. Consider the impact it will have on his immediate family and what measures he has in place to support them through possible turmoil.

These are some points which need to be carefully considered before taking a second wife.(

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