Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Why can’t a woman have more than one husband?

polygamy

Polygamy.

The saying is that a man can have 4 wives (if he treats them the same).

but then why can't a woman have more than 1 husband??

reason??

Fifi


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43 Responses »

  1. ASSALAMALAIKUM
    WHEN YOU CONCIEVE WHOSE CHILD-WILL IT BE IF THE HUSBANDS ARE MORE THAN ONE....

    WHO WILL BE YR CARETAKER IF IT IS MORE THAN ONE HUSBAND.........

    IF MORE THAN ONE MAN HAS SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH A WOMEN THE DISEASES LIKE AIDS AND STD WILL OCCOR.....

    THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS BEHIND THIS SUBJECT...... WHICH ALLAH WITH HIS HIKMAH HAS ORDAINED FOR US.......
    REGARDS

    • Sorry ur third point is weak coz even a husband transfer these diseases by sleeping with all the 4 wives #jstsaying#

  2. Assalamualaikum,

    If anyone were to ask me this, my reply would have been that the reason is with Allah, because it is He Who Made this rule. If we do not understand why, we just bow our heads and accept/obey.

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • I have reread your posts and I understand your stance in relation to the use of logic and its use in Shariah and Sunnah. I never literally meant that ''everything'' is logical in Islam, but since the truth of this deen depends on reason as evidence for it being the true faith it becomes of utmost significance to ensure that certain concepts like this are properly explained and not left to blind faith, particularly if the application of such a concept can be damaging or felt unreasonable, which is particularly evident in polygamy in Islam as only men are allowed to practise it and the same extension does not apply to women. People use ideas like this to challenge the truth behind Allah's deen itself. [Astaghfirullah].

      But this is an issue that needs justification because it has both positive and negative impacts and an outsider to Islam would judge this religion to be unjust and thus incorrect [naudhubillah].

      So this is why a reason is needed for polygamy and its present practice. Just saying Allah knows best [which he does] does not convice anyone of the truth of Islam.

      I work with several people who struggle with their Imaan and I know some apostasy cases due to issues like these. And I doubt running away from the issue by saying''only allah knows why'' would have ever prevented them from choosing such an accursed path.

  3. Assalam'alaykum,

    Seriously, let me ask you the same question fifi, Why can't a woman have more than one husband ? With all your knowledge, intelligence, power, commonsense etc, can you ponder over your question and find few reasons or you cannot ?

  4. Actually Abu, the reason why is for two reasons.
    First, when this law was made, and even now in underdeveloped countries, genetics testing, a very expensive testing method to determine the biological parents did not exist. Therefore, if a woman had more than one husband, and children by those men, there was/ is no way to tell who exactly the father might be. Which of the four husbands is which child's father? What if the fathers look similar, etc? How do you tell? The biggest problem here isn't necessarily that the child would be with an undetermined father, but that over generations of this, there would be absolutely no way to track a person's lineage.

    The second reason, is that if the man is to be the head of the household, then the head should be a person who can allow for all three of the books of god to be practiced. As you know, a woman can be any of these three religions, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, and still be acceptable for marriage. Therefore in theory, a household could potentially have wives of 3 religions living under the guidance of one man. This man must be Muslim, as Islam recognizes all three, but views on Christianity and Judaism don't necessarily recognize Islam. So to keep homeostasis (balance) in the house, one leader should be in the house, as a house can not be pulled in two different directions by multiple leaders (or men), and that leader who's responsibility to be guide, protector, father and husband should be Muslim.

    Abu, I respect you as a brother, but as an Editor I'd expect you to know such important answers as this. Id be lying if I said I didn't raise an eyebrow, or wasn't disappointed by your response. As a born Muslim, you should know that every single thing Allah asks of us has a very solid and sensible reason. This is the beauty of our Islam , that we don't talk like the Christians when asked about the fundamentals of our religion. When asking a Christian how they know they are immune to the perils of the afterlife, they give your reply - "Verilly, this is what we believe, so bow your head and have faith, it is not our religion, but your arrogance to ask for reasoning that is flawed!"

    Best regards,
    Sister Stacy

    • Sister Stacy,

      Thank you for the response and I too believe that Allah has a reason for the rules He expects us to follow. And although we may not understand His rules at some point in our life, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try or that we should give up on it.

      When I was in my early twenties, there were many things I didn't understand about Islam, but though I followed them, they bothered me internally and it was a struggle inside to justify why I was doing it. I can appreciate that we just have to follow what Allah tells us to do, as brother Abu said, but I do not think that Islam is without wisdom that is unreachable by humans. The quest should never be abandoned. The very things that I did struggle with, I now have a better understanding just from being older and going through life's experiences. It could be the poster has had limited life experience or maybe doesn't understand the nature of men or women all that much.

      Also, Allah gives so many examples and parables in the Quran--I see that as a way to tell us humans to pay attention and think about what is in the Quran and think deeply. I would imagine that those revert to Islam do so because the see logic and reasoning and a solution to the problems of society in Islam.

      And for this question, I do not think we can't try to understand--thank you for the points you mentioned sister Stacy.

  5. Sister Stacy,

    Thnak you for the comment. But I have enothing to do with what the Christians or Jews believe. What I said meant when we do not understand, we just accept, even without reason, Islam is not dependent on human reason. All that Allah Has Ruled can not be without reason, but His Wisdom is beyond our understanding. So we need not necessarily understand everything. And here, I am not just referring to this post but every matter in Deen.

    Just like Ali Radiyallahu Anhu said:

    If the deen was based on logic, then it would make more sense to wipe the bottom of the khuff (leather slippers) rather than the top (when making wudhu), but I saw the Messenger of Allah wiping the top of them [Abu Dawud, Daarimi]

    And "bowing the head" need not be Christian, because Allah Says that we should hear and obey.

    Allah Said:

    2:285
    آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
    The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."

    This is the fundamental knowledge of Islam, sister; as understood by the Sahaabah and their followers. If I still am wrong, please correct me with the Aayaat from the Quran and Ahaadeeth from the Sunan. I would accept if I find myself in the wrong, in sha Allah.

    And again, this is a general comment, not having to do with the subject of this post. Your two reasons maybe correct, but not in my limited knowledge. Allah Knows Best if this is the only reason or He Had another reason, we just hear and we obey.

    Jazakillahu Khair

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • MashaAllah, nice reply

    • No Brother I disagree with this point. Everything is logical in Islam. This is not Christianity where one believes in ''faith and mysteries'' over logic and reason.

      I disagree with your analogy. That wasa ritual of worship which does not need justification, whereas polygamy is a part of Sharia and is a practise that has social impacts that can be both positive or negative. Which non-Muslims can use to judge our faith with before entering it.

      Sister Stacy is right.

      • Brother, history is repeating. "Logic" does not define Islam. And this should be undesrtood by every Muslim who thinks it does. One should read the books of Aqeedah. The reason elites like Imam Ahmad were tortured in prison were just becausr of this. He did not agree with the Mu'tazila who followed logic and said Quran was a creation and not Allah's Word.

        So brother, and anyone else who holds this view, please do not say anything until you are sure about it, lest you should include yourself among the msguided people of desires - the Mu'tazila.

        And when we say something about the Sharee'ah, we should br accompanied by the Quran and the Sunnah, as they are meant to be, as understood by the Sahaabah, otherwise, we may have no light.

        An example from the books of Aqeedah:

        ‘Umar b. Al-Khatt âb – Allâh be pleased with him – said:

        Verily, the followers of opinion are the enemies of the Sunan (the teachings of Allâh’s Messenger as passed down in hadith): they were unable to preserve them and their meanings escaped them, and when asked [questions] they were too embarrassed to say ‘We don’t know,’ so they opposed the Sunan with their opinions.

        Ibn Abî Zamanîn, Us ûl Al- Sunnah article 8; Al-Lâlakâ`î, Sharh Us ûl I’tiqâd Ahl Al- Sunnah article 201 et al.

        Abu Abdul Bari
        IslamicAnswers.com

        • Hmm...but I do not understand what you mean by the incident about Imam Ammed Hanbali being flogged as that was about the issue of whether the Quran was created or uncreated. It had nothing to do with logic. I see that you follow the Hanbali shool of thought, therefore you do not recognise the vitality of logic when it comes to theological matters.

          Hanafi madhab Uses reason, logic, opinion (ray), analogy (qiyas), and preference (istihsan) in the formulation of laws

          Brother I think this is about to turn into a Hanafi/Shafi'i vs Hanvbali debate as the Hanbali school of thought places greater emphasis on Hadith whereas the Hanafis support the role of logic.
          Hanafi madhab Uses reason, logic, opinion (ray), analogy (qiyas), and preference (istihsan) in the formulation of laws

          The Hanafis were given the title “ahl ‘l-ra’i”, the people of opinion and conjecture, and this title was often used with a sense of sarcasm by some of the other schools for they often sought to bring in logic and reason in determining the Law. Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy on him) was called “al-Qayyas” (an ism mubalaghah form), meaning “one who constantly and exceedingly uses analogical reasoning.” What these same people overlooked, of course, is that Abu Hanifah and his students were concerned primarily with the nass (text) as foundational evidence, and logic as a secondary and supplemental source at best. The authority of the nass was always paramount, and when rulings deviated from the nass, another nass had to exist along with clear and logical reasoning to allow for such movement away from the hukm (mandated Law).

          So you see logic does have a role to play as Islam is the truthful religion and the truth always has logical and reasonable evidence to support it. Not blind faith. Why would people be interested in learning about Islam if they saw that its laws had no logical basis.

          The exclusion of logic is the same principle that the Christians use to justify the concept of trinity and other such things that don't make any sense.
          If logic was excluded in favour of blind faith then many Catholics should not have reverted to Islam. Instead they should have stayed put and put their trust in the 'mysteries' of their faith.

          • Talha,

            :) Logic has a part to play, but sometimes we understand and sometimes we don't. The fitnah of Mu'tazila about creation of Quran involved denial that Allah can speak, based on logic. Quran is Allah's Word and His Attribute, whoever says it is a creation is a Kaafir according to all Aimmah of the Salaf.

            The mention of Imam Abu Haneefah Rahimahullah was not required here. He was from Ahlus Sunnah and if he had mistakes, they are between him and Allah. We take what is correct as per the Quran and Sunnah and may Allah have mercy on the Imam. Those who claim to follow him are responsible for their own deeds and he is free from their actions.

            Shaikh Abdul Azeez Aal ash Shaikh, in reply to Pope's statement that Islam defies logic, said:

            This is incorrect, a lie, Allaah the glorified informed us of the religion of Islaam saying:
            {Indeed, therein is a reminder for those who have hearts or give ear while they are heedful.}

            Islaam came in accordance to man's natural disposition. Sound intelligence is in accordance to the correct natural disposition of mankind and cannot contradict authentic scripture. The Islaamic legislation came with what the correct natural disposition of mankind and intelligence affirms, not with anything that contradicts reason.

            This is what I mean: not against the logic, but the "correct natural disposition". Islam is not dependant on logic, but Allah Created it natural, which people reject based on their logic. But the reason Allah Created us with, sent Islam with, is in His Wisdom, which we may or may not understand. We do not weigh Islamic laws on logic but accept it.

            May Allah Give us the correct understanding and May He Guide us to as Sirat al Mustaqeem. Aameen.

            Abu Abdul Bari
            IslamicAnswers.com Editor

        • Assalam alaikum Br. Abu,

          After following much of this debate, it seems the debate is "Is there a logical reason for polygamy for men and not for women?" I have seen reasons on this website provided before for why polygamy is allowed for men. It seems that the arguments are continuing, in a way, because you said we should "accept/obey." I completely understand that without any doubt. So then why, were reasons given for polygamy before--and couldn't we just give them and let the reader/questioner come to an understanding or not on their own? Is it that no explanation for this is provided? I understand we are to obey Allah, but He also gave us so many examples in the Quran and provided explanation for many things--and of course, not all things can be proven, some are just a part of faith--but is polygamy one of those things that is just only only part of faith with no explanation? Is there any tafseer on this matter?

          And you made du'a below for us to get understanding from Allah. The definition of understanding is " To perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of; grasp." - so how do we come to do that in any matter in Islam? Isn't it by studying and readying and asking and gaining knowledge?

          I do find it a little ironic that you are using logic to say that logic is not needed, lol. I can accept the answer that you give, but would it be ok to say, that part of accepting this answer is fighting with ourself inside? The question of polygamy is a highly popular question both by Muslims and non-Muslims--so asking about it isn't a surprise.

          JazakAllah.

          • The issue seems to be only about the role of logic in Islam.

            Some members here deny the role of logic to justify Islamic tenets.

            Well, when the Quraish used to come to the Prophet [PBUH] and would question him about Islam for instance they would ask him why God would not show them a miracle or appear himself or send down angels as messengers instead of real-fleshed men and other questions such as about resurrection and then in response Allah would send down Quranic Ayahs in reply to the Quraish and he would use logic to rebut the arguments of the Quraish.

            Allah certainly did not say that he did what he wanted and all humans should accept because he is God, he used logic to send the message to the Quraysh so they would believe Islam.

            Even where Allah commands the believeing women to veil themselves in the Quran he gave them a reason. To not get molested by men.

            And when the Prophet [PBUH] tells the believing men to grow beards. He gave a reason for that too. To differentiate Muslims from members of other faiths.

            Any one coud question Islam on the basis of human values if one was to say 'accept because Allah says so''.

            True that not everything needs logic like how many rakahs doo we pray? why fast for a month and not two month? This is why Allah asks us to not ask too many questions that are plain silly.

            But on issues like polygamy and Jihad that have social, emotional and physical impacts justification is needed because one can easily perceive them to be unjust and cause one to doubt that Islam is the true religion[Astaghfirullah].

            And when it comes to polygamy...[I posted this in my reply to br. Muhammad1982 earlier].

            'Things like seeing Allah or proving his existence is a theological issue unlike polygamy. I just discussed this issue on my Yahoo Account with a Christian preacher and I brought this up as a point and he replied to me that it is a part of Hindu religion that widows can not remarry or even wear jewellery for the rest of their life [I apoloise if this comparison with polygamy offends anyone, I don't mean to downgrade polygamy here, but thats how an outsider to Islam will see it] and a Hindu could similarly reply that their ''Gods' know best why it is a part of their religion and that Hindus have to follow their God blindly.

            So you see things like this do need justification. Otherwise any one could call Islam a 'cruel' and barbaric religion [Astaghfirullah] for allowing an emotionally gruelling practise that stems from lust.'

  6. Assalamualaikum,
    I am only 14, so my knowledge isn't as expanse as those on this site. Do not take my full word on this, for this is how I understand it. In the time of the prophet (SWS) the wives with children generally stayed at home to take care of the children. This means that if the wife has children with both men then she will have children from both, how will she watch both kids? How will she be able to keep the peace between to men when Allah (SWT) has made women emotional? Insha'Allah my small paragraph will help a little.

  7. Abu, I think your arguments were passionate and sounded very noble for the cause of your belief in your creator but I completely disagree with your original piece of advice. We as Muslims are encouraged time and time again to seek answers, and challenge the logic of Islam in the Qur'an. Over and over again, Allah does not demand blind servitude, but scientific thinking and a search for any way to disprove God's words to us, which of course we've found regarding our holy Qur'an, we can not. This is how we know in not only our hearts, but our minds of the truth of Islam.
    Also, this is a site where people seek tangible answers to their questions. The sister clearly asked a very common question nd wanted a clear, consise answer to put the question to rest, not be told by someone to simply "bow your head and believe". This kind of advice can only be given when the question is regarding something determined out of our realm of existence, decided by Allah SWT in a level we will never have access to understanding to. I.E. : "why did my father die in a car crash", "why was my child stillborn", etc. Tell me, how does your answer help her? This is a clear law of Allah, and every law he sent to us has a clear reason. We are envouraged to ask, and as a Mod. of his site and a born Muslim, you should answer accordingly, or wait for domeone who can. Anything less can leave this poor girl feeling injusticed by our creators clear laws, especially one so commonly questioned and at the center of marital stresses for tens of thousands of Muslims worldwide. (Polygamy)

    Salam,
    S.S.

    • Sorry if this sounded a bit snippy... I reread it and it didn't come off very nice, but those are my views, but thanks for your kind advice also bro. Abu. Smh sometimes people don't know how stuff sounds until they see it in totality... And I'm on my phone so that doesn't help. :S

      All the best
      S.S.

    • Sister,

      Instead of saying what we think is correct, we should stick to the Quran and the Sunnah.

      You said: "We as Muslims are encouraged time and time again to seek answers, and challenge the logic of Islam in the Qur'an"

      This is incorrect and this may lead to Kufr gradually. We are in no position to challenge Allah's Word. Those are your views but I just thought I should reply because this is dangerous. Alhamdulillah, I believe what I said and it is the belief of the Sahaabah and those who followed them.

      And sister, "why did my father die in a crach?" etc. have nothing to do with this. And even there, we do not "challenge" Allah's Word.

      You misunderstood "bow your head and obey without questioning". This is to do with what is not in control of the Human Beings, this is to do with what Allah Has Ruled and Has left no room for us to change. If someone's father dies, that is Qadr and not a Rule of Allah. I won't say anything more because it will be beyond the scope of this post.

      And this is a Naseehah (advise) and not a debate, sister :)

      Abu Abdul Bari
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  8. Salaams,

    I think knowing the answers and being able to accept the answers are two different things. Many sisters ask why Allah allows men to marry more than one wife, and even though we can give detailed reasons for this...it's still hard for many women to accept. Some women have a hard time accepting to wear hijab even with reasons, some men have a hard time not depending on their wive's income, even if the reasons of his sole maintenance of her are given.

    Perhaps these issues that are difficult to submit to indicate the sickness in our hearts and nafs. Perhaps, at the end of the day, the bottom line is strictly submission as Editor Abu said. Stacy you are right that having explanations for things strengthens iman and makes submission easier, but it's still a choice one has to make in the end-even in spite of severe discomfort at times.

    -Amy
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  9. I don't know why my previous comment was blocked by the moderator. I spent some timetyping it.

    @Asker
    On Males Practising polygamy:

    Polygamy is not a unique part of Islam. It was a part of human society that Islam restricted.

    There is an example in our Prophet(SAW)'s sirah. Even though he lived in a society where polygamy was common, he instead chose to live a strictly monogamous lifestyle for most of his life despite his wife being 15 years older than him. That itself proves monogamy as being closer to the essence of Islam's teachings as Islam encouraged simplicity, love and modesty.

    Sister, Ithink those men and boys who want polygamy for fun are misguided. They resemble in their views the lustful Arabs of the Jahilliyah era, who saw having more women and wives as a symbol of power and manliness. Our Prophet(SAW) despised that sort of society, which is why he pursued a monogamous lifestyle and interestingly that was his most successful and loving marriage, a feat that none of his polygamous marriages completed.

    And the Prophet(SAW) is our example. Not the Arabs of back then or even the Arabs of today who are closer in habits to their Jahilliyah era compatriots.

    There is after all a reason why Allah restricted the maximum number of wives to four and even made that dependant on being 'fair' which was a landmark revolution from ancient societies' practise of unlimited polygamy [''polygyny'' to be precise]. In the Shaafi'i Madhab that I follow it is better to be limited to one wife

    Furthermore Muslim men are probably the most truly monogamous men in the world. Westerners are not monogamous. They have mistresses and most cheat. Muslims nether cheat [mostly] and very few have more than one wife. So that makes us the most truly monogamous group on the planet.

    Its just the four wives rule that perplexes people. It makes others think that we are polygamous by faith because Islam supposedly 'allows' polygamy, when in fact it was a restriction from the previous manners of most human societies.

    What was actually a restriction in the context of an ancient world where unrestricted polygamy was practised by the wealthy in nearly all societies is now so 'strange' in the modern world, as most civilizations have moved on and left it behind, that some people havebeen deceived into thinking it is an 'Islamic' practise as it is no longer practised by other civilizations and our scriptures are the only texts that 'allow' polygyny in a way.

    Sister, If you are worried about this, then stipulate a condition in your Nikah contract that your husband won't marry again. It is as simple as that. Islam allows for the stipulation of this condition, even the Prophet(PBUH)'s great granddaughter Sakina bint Hussein stipulated this condition.

    This is a message to all sisters. If this issue bothers you, just make it a part of your Nikah contract. IThis would make polygamy haram foryour husband. If your husband marries again later on he would be sinning and doing something haram and you would have the right to dissolve the Nikah contract. This way your husband will think twice beforemarrying again.

    My request to moderator: Please let this messageto theasker gothrough.

    • Your response was very interesting especially about how having four wives just perplexes people and they don't see it differently.

      Whenever the topic of religion comes up at work, often they talk about polygamy. They always ask why are your men allowed four wives? I find it very difficult to answer at times, and saying that it is Allah's commandment and we have to accept it, though it is true, isn't what I say.

      I have said that it isn't that Islam encourages polygamy, but it is telling men that you cannot play with women. You can't marry and have gfs on the side. If you want a relationship with a woman you have to be responsible for her and the children you have with her. In a non-Muslim society, I explained, you are allowed unlimited women with no responsibility or obligation towards her especially in the case she becomes pregnant, and that is LEGAL! Whereas in Islam, you are allowed no more than 4 and you have to be financially responsible for all of them--and in non-Muslim countries, they make this illegal! No one was able to argue with that and the response was "I never saw it that way."

      • Sister, to comprehend this issue we must overcome our belief that polygamy is unique to Islam. It's not.
        All societies used to accept the practice. It was so deeply rooted in the society's psyche that even questioning its existence would seem humorous to a person in that time. It was their way of life. Just as using air conditioners is a part of our lifestyle, so was polygamy back then.
        Islam recognizes women's needs to. Women have a needof feeling loved and secure with a husband. Polygamy disturbs this, so women are allowed to stipulate no polygamy clauses in their marriage contracts. I would recommend all Muslim women who do not like polygamy to make use of this God-given right.

        And sister, just a word of advice. Please do not ever again use that 'mistresses on the side' argument in your discussions with non-muslims. Because nowadays women cheat as much as men and have a similar number of numerous partners and you would be lost for words if a non-Muslim told you this,

        How I explain polygamy to others who ask is that it was a normal part of wealthy human existence in olden times. Islam just restricted it and limited the maximum number of wives to four, made polygamy subject to fairness on the part of the husband and further recommended one (I think the Hanbali madhab has another opinion, but the Shaafi school of thought that O follow indicates that it is better to be limited to one wife).
        And further Islam was the first to give women a choice of refusing or accepting polygyny for themselves.

        • I find your explaination on polygamy fascinating brother, an unsual angle I've not heard before. Since your knowledge on the subject seems vast I would like to pose a question - I am no authority on Islamic epistemology - but as a loose association to your theory: is it not also due to the realities of what I like to call the ''transition phase'' from the pre-islamic era and practice to the Islamic way of life - in that tribal warfare and bloodshed was rife in pre-islam which left many women without men (be it father, husband, brother, etc.) to care for them and since women were not encouraged towards seeking education or self-sustenance, polygamy was necessary to ensure the continued care of these women.
          And thus with the advent of Islam was this concept (polygamy) supported to ensure the rights and welfare of such women?

          Apologies - I am aware that I digress from the original question...

          • Yes certainly. In fact the very context in which those verses talking about polygyny were in the aftermath of the battle Uhud in which numerous widows were left and guardians were abusing the rights of the orphans so Allah suggested they take other women as wives only if they could be fair. During that opportunity not only did Allah allow the nourishment of widows and orphans, but he used that as a chance to restrict polygamy. If polygamy was such a good thing as some make it out to be then Allah would not have restricted the maximum number of wives a man could have and nor would he have recommended marrying one.

            I know that the Quran is universal and theoretically a Muslim man is still allowed to marry again but the issue is very similar to the issue of slavery. Islam came with an attitude to restrict slavery. Even beore the first revelation Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) was buying and freeing slaves, even raising one like his son. This was in accordance with the natural fitrah of kindness that Islam came to encourage. Islam's aim was to abolish slavery in the end but gradually by encouraging believers to set them free and giving slaves their rights and restricting the sources of slaves to war prisoners who were left after prisoner exchanges. And kind treatment was emphasised.

            Technically speaking Muslims are allowed to have slaves, Muslim men are allowed conjugal rights over their female slaves and the Prophet(PBUH) had slaves himself. And the Sahabah and first few generations of Muslims also kept slaves.

            It won't take long for someone to declare that slavery must be a sunnah of the Prophet and Sahabah because they did it and the Quran allowed it and therefore according to those who hold such an opinion slavery would be a good thing just because Allah allowed it!

            But these people would have lost the plot. Islam came to restrict such inhuman practises. It channeled the institution for good purposes, thus making an allowance for the practice to continue. But the essence of Islamic teachings would remain within the parameters of kindness, compassion and generosity and so since slavery was by nature inhuman and demeaning Islam always intended for this practise to dissipate, by encouraging believers to set slaves free.

            The issue of polygamy seems very similar. Like slavery, it was not exactly an enjoyable practise for many of its participants (the wives and even the children) so Allah restricted it, recommended one and gave women the option of no polygamy clauses being inserted into their Nikah contracts which the husband would have to abide by.

            If we take a look at the Prophet (PBUH)'s lifestyle, we see that his first preference was for monogamy and for freeing slaves-as both of these things are in accordance with a compassionate lifestyle.

            Take a look at how the Prophet used to live in Mecca. While everyone would bury daughters alive, fornicate, and abuse slaves the Prophet (PBUH) was busy freeing slaves, treating them as his children and remaining devoted to just one woman. All this is the essence of Islam. Allah says we have anexample in our Prophet (PBUH), and when we see this beautiful examle we see the ideal of the kind human spirit.

            The polygamy and slavery present in the Islamic state in Madina was rooted in solving social problems leftover from the times of the Pagans in Arabia who had instituted the world's worst lifestle into Arab culture.

            Both of the above practises continued in the Muslims as Muslims were so used to both. Polygamy was a part of their culture that Islam restricted and so was slavery.

            But the essence of Islam remained the same. For this one just needs to take a brief look at the Prophet (PBUH) 's lifestyle. He remained in a monogamous marriage with an older wife and freed the slaves, because both were acts of kindness.

            If a man comes up to me and says he wants to marry again, I would say by all means go ahead. Just do not link up your actions with Islam because Islam was the one to restrict it, not introduce it.

            Similarly Muslim women have their own rights. Islam was the first religion to give women a choice to accept or decline polygamy for herself.

    • Brother Talha,

      So if a women stipulates no second marriage in her marriage contract and then the husband goes and marrys a second wife what happens then. Has he committed a sin. Is he going to be punished? Can the sister divorce him? Can she keep the mahr as he broke the marriage contract?

      Can a women put anything on the nikah contract, such as if her husband commits adultry or does not provide for her she can divorce him AND keep the mahr? Because it is his fault the marriage broke down.

      The are many men who mistreat the wife and then do not divorce them because they do not want her to keep the mahr so they torment her untill she can take no more and she demands khula. Then he gets his money back and gets off scott free!! While she gets nothing for her troubles!

      • Sister yes if the husband goes ahead and marries another woman despite such a stipulation at the time of the marriage then he would be sinning and would be a transgressor in the eyes of Allah and Shariah because the Prophet [PBUH] said that the Muslim is bound by his promises.

        And if the man fails to fulfill the stipulations, including stipulations that have nothing to do with polygamy, then yes the woman has the right to have the marriage dissolved. The same is true vice versa as men can stipulate their own conditions too.

        Men, theoretically speaking, have the right [if you agree with the usage of this term] to polygamy and moving their wife to wherever they want. But if the woman stipulates against this then it is binding on him to never use his rights. A man whose wife had stipulated that she won't be moved from her parents' house once came to the Caliph Umar [ra] and asked if he could move his wife away and Umar [ra] told him he MUST abide by the stipulation his wife had made.

        There also exists a copy of the Nikah of the Prophet [PBUH]'s great grand daughter-Sakina Bint Husayn[ra]-who made a number of stipulations in her marriage, including one that specifically forbade her husband from remarrying.

  10. Asalamu Alaikum,

    "Islam is all about RIGHTS - Everyone has their rights in Islam, even children have rights"

    "If a woman marries more than one husband at a time, how would the child get their rights of inheritence? What about their rights amongst other children from different fathers - but the same mother?"

    "If a woman can choose from any man, even the ones who are married, but a man can only choose from the unmarried women - who has the most choices?"

    Ma Salama

    • Islam surely isn't all about rights. It involves using your common sense in relation to your individual context.
      And only fair men are allowed to marry again, and since there aren't many such men, women really do not have variety. Men can marry from Ahl al Kitab, but women can't.

      • Islam is about rights. And only fair men are allowed to marry again, and since there aren't many such men, women really do not have variety? whats that suppose to mean?

        vast majority of non-muslim men, drink, party, sleep around etc, would a practicing muslim women wanna get married to them? what if she wanna practice her religion more in depth? is it really possible to do it with a non-muslim? is this the variety you talkin about?

        the rights you get from a muslim husband is far greater than what you get from a non-muslim.

        anyway the fact is, men and women who are believers in Allah, can only marry other believers in Allah. This is according to Allah's Speech (Quran) to all of us.

        the most important, is because Allah Subhannah wa Ta'ala has said so. And it is not up to us to even worry about the "WHY" when we have a very clear commandment from Allah telling us to do something or not to do something. The best reference from the Quran is in chapter 4, surah An-Nisaa', verse 65.

        my time is short, wrote in a rush.

        ma salama

  11. fifi,

    its difficult in itself to find A reasonable man, let alone 4 .

    even for man Allah has given them permission to marry 4 BUT only if they can do justice between them and then Allah further said that if you cannot than stick to one ( i think it really means that likelyhood is that you will not be able to do justice) but to save them from comitting zina atleast there is a halal way.

    • Friend,

      I do not know why people always put the arguement that

      'but to save them from comitting zina atleast there is a halal way'

      But this same point can be made for women too. There are women who desire more then one men but they do not have any halal means to save them from zina. They will just have to contend themselves with one husband and control their nafs!

      So this statement cannot be put forward as the desire for more then one partner is in the nature of both men AND women.

      • i agree sumaira

      • Not to mention that this argument is poor as it does not take into consideration the vast majority of men who could not possibly afford a second wife.
        It is only possible for the rich and according to this reasoning the adultery of a poor man would be justified [Astaghfirullah al azzeem] since he would have no second wife to fulfill his desire with.

  12. More than one husband??? Haha pleeeeze one is enough to deal with lol,thank u very much

  13. So I wrote a comment, with no inappropriate content, and it gets removed.

    I'm deeply disappointed in the action to remove my words as a free human being just because you didn't like what I had to say. God bless the west, home of a government that at least makes a weak attempt to uphold free speech.

    • Stacy, there is no problem with disagreement if correct proofs are provided from Quran and Sunnah.

      But when an Imam of Ahlus Sunnah is refuted with no evidence, it is not correct. This is why I deleted your comment. Additionally, a new subject "Islam and Science" was being raised, having nothing to do with this post and the discussion. Moderating the posts and the comments is my job. This is no nation, but a website giving "Islamic Advise". Sorry! :)

      Abu Abdul Bari
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

      • I do not recall Stacy refuting any imam. If anything, you were the one who implied in one post that Imam Abu Hanifah was 'mistaken' (well thats how I interpreted your words, please correct me if my inference was wrong), or correct me if I am feeling wrong, but do people here consider Imam Hanbal to be the only Imam with the "most correct opinion", above Imam Abu Hanifah and all the others? Because thats the feeling I got from here on this website. I remember that the user Ali Youssuf on another page was even openly criticizing the Hanafi madhab and I don't recall you stopping him. (Maybe you did, I can't remember).

        And can I ask you a question. If logic or 'natural disposition' does have a role to play, how would you expect a person in Dawah to explain a concept so sophisticated as polygamy to a non-Muslim, -who already obviously knows that most Muslim men are perfectly capable of being monogamous and controlling their desires and also sees polygamy as being an act of lust that is not availalble to women with high levels of desire.

        Would that non-Muslim person take Islam seriously if he saw a concept that would make no sense to most humans?

        Yes sometimes logic does have no role to play, for instance in the example you mentioned about wiping over the fron of the feet.

        But it does in an institution that can have impacts on others and resembles what most would see as a 'dirty' thing. We Sunnis often criticize the Shiiites for their practise of Mutah-despite the Prophet's implicit prohibition of it- and some of us insult the practise on the basis that it resembles prostitution. Similarly non-Muslims would also see the resemblance between polygamy and the affairs that Western men have and would see us as a 'dirty' religion and would not be interested in researching Islam anymore. This is why in a case like this the presence of a reason for such a practise's justification is very necessary.

        Ironically, in the analogy I used on Mutah you can see that even when it was allowed for Muslims it had a reason behind it. And there was a reason for its prohibition too.

        Because a practise that feels 'immoral' and involving of human lust and impacts on others needs some logical justification for a non-Muslim to achieve a proper understanding of Islam.

        • Assalam O Alaikum brother Talha,
          First and foremost I am not for or against polygamy and certainly don’t think it falls in the same category as slave for “obvious logical” reasons.

          First and foremost I will post a video here hoping that it will end this humbali, Shafi’, Hanafi, maliki divide in Ummah because it contains the message of very early scholars who Muslim follow today iA.

          (Sorry, I don't have translation/subtitles for this video in English; hoping you understand Hindi/Urdu).

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la11oTUlchI

          Islam for sure is logical religion but it says several times in Quran that humans cannot see the wisdom in some of Allah’s commandments because their knowledge/wisdom/logic and understanding has limits. So, just because something doesn’t make sense to a group of Muslim/non-Muslims (small or large) doesn’t mean it is not valid. When Quran was revealed, a lot of things didn’t make sense to Quraish of that time because they saw their father/forefathers and so on for generations indulging in same practices which were haram as per Islam but; they did make sense and make sense till this day to many hence we see a lot of non-Muslim accepting Islam.

          I agree with you that polygamy is abused and the reason most men involve in this practice are purely based on lust and off course not to mention they don’t follow the proper guidelines of approaching women for marriage; going behind their first wives back and committing sins, cheating and what not. Does that mean it should be abolished completely because it’s abused or we should take measures to stop men taking advantage of women when following polygamy? Why don’t we do the same for other evil and vice resulting from institutions which were supposed to benefit humanity; for instance should we shut down banks because current crisis upon us because of greediness of very few working in banking sector (instead we see them getting bonuses every year lol).Same could be said about many other things; what you have to say on that?
          A lot of things were common place in Pre-Islamic Arabia but Islam uprooted them because they were not beneficial to humanity or was against the teachings of Islam. Holy Prophet (PBUH) didn’t make adjustments for the society who found lot things in Islam lacking sense for non-Muslims of that time. Talking of non-Muslims; so it is noble to have affairs left/right and centre but not take that woman as wife because it doesn’t make sense? Why are then a lot of Western women entering Islam; way more than men if this practice of polygamy is so nonsensical? Do you have answer to that bro?

          Young girls used to be buried by their own fathers, yet Islam didn’t promote that. It was common practice to have concubines other than countless wives yet Islam came to not only to stop that but to limit the number to four and giving women the right to say no to polygamy if they don’t wish to be a part of such arrangement. You are Muslim, if a non-Muslim walked up to you and asked you where is your Allah? I want to see him to believe in Islam and take shahadah; so you are going to say that you can’t show him. Dawah is a whole different topic bro so let’s leave that out for now. We can’t see intelligence but it does exist; we can’t see current/electricity but it does exist and benefit the humanity. So what is the logical explanation of these things; if we can’t see them then should we accept that there is such a thing as intelligence/electricity/light/darkness/love/compassion etc etc.

          Islam didn’t come to please people of the time or of a particular society; rather it emphasised on human beings to do research.

          You obviously don’t take the growing number of single/divorce/separated/widowed women in consideration. Women who have no maintainer/protector and are forced to take up the jobs which are considered immoral and disrespectful in society. You obviously don’t take into consideration of growing number of female reverts as well who are left on their own and are often cut off of their families as well as their close friends. If you want to find out the justification for polygamy in today’s society than please read about it. Lets’ look at this topic objectively rather than being in an emotional state of mind.

          P.S; I personally don’t endorse polygamy rather I think that women should be educated and told not to depend on any man and certainly not be brainwashed into believing that women’s worth is only if she is married otherwise she’s just useless or less deserving.

          Muhammad1982,
          Editor, IslamicAnswers.com

          • Sorry brother but polygamy is not a commandment in Islam. It is not like praying or fasting which is a commandment and does not need logic. But for a practise like polygamy, there has to be some reason because it has social impacts and there is no reason why a non-muslim would enter Islam without understanding this practise that has so many impacts.

            Things like seeing Allah or proving his existence is a theological issue unlike polygamy. I just discussed this issue on my Yahoo Account with a Christian preacher and I brought this up as a point and he replied to me that it is a part of Hindu religion that widows can not remarry or even wear jewellery for the rest of their life [I apoloise if this comparison with polygamy offends anyone, I don't mean to downgrade polygamy here, but thats how an outsider to Islam will see it] and a Hindu could similarly reply that their ''Gods' know best why it is a part of their religion and that Hindus have to follow their God blindly.

            So you see things like this do need justification. Otherwise any one could call Islam a 'cruel' and barbaric religion [Astaghfirullah] for allowing an emotionally gruelling practise that stems from lust.

            And I by no means intended to bring up this Hanafi-Shafi'i issue but I just felt like I needed to when Abu Abdul Bari said Abu Hanifah made some 'mistakes'[ yes he was human but I see that he didn't apply the same thing on Imam Hanbal]. I apologise to Abu Abdul Bari if I misinterpreted him by any chance.
            _____________________________________________________________
            ''I agree with you that polygamy is abused and the reason most men involve in this practice are purely based on lust and off course not to mention they don’t follow the proper guidelines of approaching women for marriage; going behind their first wives back and committing sins, cheating and what not. Does that mean it should be abolished completely because it’s abused or we should take measures to stop men taking advantage of women when following polygamy? Why don’t we do the same for other evil and vice resulting from institutions which were supposed to benefit humanity; for instance should we shut down banks because current crisis upon us because of greediness of very few working in banking sector (instead we see them getting bonuses every year lol).Same could be said about many other things; what you have to say on that?''
            _____________________________________________________________
            Brother I don't recall asking polygamy to be bannded due to its abuse.

            I was only offering an alternative explanation as to why polygamy is accepted in Islam. But I find many of your later points to be grossly misaccurate.

            You said :

            ''Talking of non-Muslims; so it is noble to have affairs left/right and centre but not take that woman as wife because it doesn’t make sense? Why are then a lot of Western women entering Islam; way more than men if this practice of polygamy is so nonsensical? Do you have answer to that bro?''
            _______________________________________________
            I think using the wife is better than mistress argument is flawed. A good man would not even think of a mistress anyway and most men don't even have the need of another wife. Adultery stems from the sickness of the human mind and weak control over nafs, not the disability to be content with one woman.

            As for non-Muslim women entering Islam I have noticed a lot of generalisation. Many think that reverts are very accepting of polygyny. I used to think that misconception to be true until I talked to many reverts and they told me that polygamy was the only thing they were struggling with. So I told them what I wrote above.

            You also said:

            ''You obviously don’t take the growing number of single/divorce/separated/widowed women in consideration. Women who have no maintainer/protector and are forced to take up the jobs which are considered immoral and disrespectful in society. You obviously don’t take into consideration of growing number of female reverts as well who are left on their own and are often cut off of their families as well as their close friends. If you want to find out the justification for polygamy in today’s society than please read about it. Lets’ look at this topic objectively rather than being in an emotional state of mind''

            _______________________________________________________________

            There are just as many brothers in need of marriage in today's society. In fact there are many divorced brothers too, many of them who were not responsible for their divorce. In fact in most countries the population of men is already greater than women. The only reason women outnumber men in some countries is because there are more women in the over 50 and 60 age groups. And there aren't many old widows out looking for a husband.

            There are also places like Aceh in Indonesia, the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia where there is a desperate shortage of suitable women.For example in Saudi Arabia the male to female ratio is 112:100. If you take into accunt that there are more women in the older age categories the male to female ratio will increase.

            Add all those wealthy Saudis who marry 3 or 4 women. That leaves even less women for men to choose from.

            Such a gender imbalance is also present in North Africa and many Gulf countries.

            Why don't wealthier men help their poorer brothers get married? Instead of marrying more themselves. Of course they won't be sinning by engaging in plural marriage, but what sems to be a better recourse when there are so many men in need of marriage.

            Do tell me please, does this gender imbalance justify women taking numerous husbands? Of course not.

            And why can't we expect Muslim society to change its views on Muslim women working when many men expect Muslim women to accept polygamy?

            And I find it totally unreasonable that society can not be changed in relation to how it perceives working women. If polygamy-a solution which most women dislike-can be suggested as a solution, why shouldn't society and in particular the Muslim community accept working women?

            I am sorry brother, but myself being from a divorced family, I do believe that female employment should be encouraged so that women don't have to recourse to any man. It may have been different in the times long gone before, but now women are able to work.

            I know from personal experience that had it not been for social pressure and stigmatization many women would not even opt for remarriage and many divorced women care only for the upbringing of their children. I don't mean to generalise here but this is what I have seen from personal experience with divorced female relatives.

            And this is where we agree

            ''P.S; I personally don’t endorse polygamy rather I think that women should be educated and told not to depend on any man and certainly not be brainwashed into believing that women’s worth is only if she is married otherwise she’s just useless or less deserving''

  14. stacy why is it that your advice is always either rude or conflicts with others advice.maybe you should read twise before you post your comments. Brother abu didn't say anything wrong you mis interpreted his first comment

  15. Wa Alaikum as Salam Saba,

    Read my comments again, I never said logic was absent. Let me explain with an example:

    The Qadariyyah believe that Allah Created us but not our deeds, we are totally responsible for the deeds without Allah's Will, and we do deeds against His Will.
    The Jabariyyah say that Allah Created us and the Qadr. He Is responsible for what we do and we have no choice but to do, and our goods or bad deeds are only because of Him.

    Both these views are deviant as the salaf have explained. The correct view is that Allah Created us and gave us choices in many occasions, but without "tawfeeq" we can not do good, while we are responsible for the choices we make. It is like asking a person to lift both his legs while standing. He can lift only one leg but not the second.

    In the same way, dua calls for Allah's tawfeeq and not logic. And logic is not something that is a daleel for deen but it is inferior. We have no need of logic but we can use it in limited manner because Allah's wisdom is much beyond what we can comprehend. If we base Allah's Word on Human logic, what will be more ironic than that?

    The scholars warn us of the people who precede logic over deen of Allah. Surprizingly, they (logical thinkers) either use no reference from the Quran and the Sunnah or they use them when they think they should, as they want them to mean.

    You can read the statement of Ali Radiyallahu Anhu saying deen is not dependent on logic and the saying of Umar Radiyallahu Anhu about people using logic to explain the Sunnah. You can read that it my earlier comments.

    The danger of preceding logic over deen was evident when someone said we should challenge and disprove the Quran with our understanding, May Allah Protect us from trying such ignorant thing. This is the result of following the manhaj of the Mu'tazila and the 'Aqlaniyyah.

    Whoever still wants to believe that logic precedes deen, I have nothing to say. I can only pray that Allah Gives them tawfeeq. I dislike debates because they have a win and a lose and have no direction and no good ending as long as a person does not obey Allah as He should be obeyed.

    Anyone who disagrees and has no correct reference from the Quran and the Sunnah need not reply further because it is of no use.

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  16. As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    Whenever we are commanded something by Allah and His Messenger, whether it is a commandment to perform an act of 'ibadah, or to abstain from something haram, our first "reason" for doing so must be that we are Muslims, and we hear and obey.

    Brother Abu Abdul Bari has already elucidated this point and quoted from the Quran, and I agree with him fully.

    There are indeed certain points of faith on which one must debate and be convinced. They are:

    1. Do I believe in Allah, the One true God?
    2. Do I believe that Muhammad (sws) was the Messenger of Allah?
    3. Do I believe that the Quran is the word of Allah?

    If one is not sure about these points, then he/she should investigate, study, think, challenge, and learn.

    But if one answers yes to these points, then one must obviously accept the principles and teachings of Islam that follow.

    It's fine to examine the individual teachings of Islam logically and try to understand them, but only after one has accepted the truth of it.

    The first reason, for a Muslim, is always, "Because Allah said so." First you accept that, then you may feel free to look for the logic of the matter, for the sake of knowledge and better understanding.

    When the call went out in Madinah that intoxicants had been forbidden, the Muslims spat out what they had in their mouths, and emptied their vessels in the streets. There was no question, no delay. They didn't say, "First explain to me the logic of this prohibition, because this wine is expensive and I can't throw it out without a good reason, or people will think I am foolish."

    It's true that everything in Islam makes sense, and is for the benefit of human beings, because Islam is a way of life designed by the Most Wise, Allah. However, one person or another may not always see the logic of a certain Islamic point, and may not agree with it. Logic is flawed by nature, and is subjective.

    Some of the commenters here have said, "If we cannot explain the point logically, the non-Muslims will ridicule us, and will not be convinced."

    They will do that anyway. Those who despise Islam will not care if you bring them a million logical proofs.

    Furthermore, I have met many, many Muslim converts, and I never met one who came to Islam because of logic. The ones I know came to Islam because of the power of the Quran, or the clarity of the Shahadah, or the instinctive appeal of Islamic 'ibadah, or the adhaan, or wudu', or a dream, or the character of Muslims they knew. They came to Islam because something in it called to their hearts and resonated emotionally. Not because someone proved some point of fiqh logically.

    Sister Amy's words are worth repeating:

    "Perhaps these issues that are difficult to submit to indicate the sickness in our hearts and nafs. Perhaps, at the end of the day, the bottom line is strictly submission as Editor Abu said. Stacy you are right that having explanations for things strengthens iman and makes submission easier, but it's still a choice one has to make in the end-even in spite of severe discomfort at times."

    Now, with all that said, there are some obvious logical reasons why a woman cannot marry more than one man simultaneously. These are reasons that occur to me off the top of my head. They may be right or wrong. But I think any intelligent person can come up with some reasons of his/her own:

    1. Paternity will be unknown. Even today, DNA tests are available only to a small minority of the world's population. Islam, will places great importance on lineage and family ties, cannot allow such confusion.

    2. It would put non-mahrem men in proximity to female children. In other words, if I'm one of these husbands, and paternity is known, and I know that the girl Jamilah - for example - is mine, how can some other man enter the household and spend time around Jamilah freely (even when I'm not home), especially as she starts to grow up? This situation invites disaster.

    3. Who would be the head of the family? In Islam the husband is considered the head of the family. If you have more than one, it will create a chaotic situation and lack of leadership.

    4. Men are highly territorial and jealous by nature. I have known women who were happy in polygamous marriages, but I cannot imagine a man being happy about someone else having relations with his wife.

    5. Women are the child-bearers. One man married to two women, for example, could impregnate them both at the same time and have a large family. Large families are considered good in Islam because the Messenger of Allah told us to grow his Ummah. However, if a woman married four men, the growth of the family would be limited by comparison.

    Allah knows best. Whatever I have said that is correct, Alhamdulillah; Whatever I have said that is mistaken is my own fault.

    This post is now closed.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor