Assalamualaikum! Today’s topic: Does Islam encourage men to marry four wives? Every human goes through a specific phase in life. We start off as babies, grow into toddlers, children, teenagers and finally adults. When we hit that particular age in our life, most hope to have our education behind us, have found a job and look to get settled. That is when we try and find the right person.
Does Islam Encourage Men To Marry Four Wives?
Mr. or Mrs. Right, Our true love, our one and only! We wish to throw a big party, celebrate the uniting of two people in holy matrimony, and swear to be loyal to that one person. This is called monogamy, two people in one exclusive relationship.
But have you heard of one man marrying more than one wife? You have probably heard of some men having up to four or even more wives. Perhaps ridiculous in this time and age, you may think. But, youíve actually heard that Islam allows it? Thatís unacceptable, right?
The Concept of Polygamy and the Prophets Marriages
Well yes and no. Polygamy has come under some hefty fire in recent years and is considered to be unacceptable and even punishable by law in most western societies. So, how can it be considered acceptable in Muslim societies? Polygamy is actually an ancient form of marriage dating back as far as time, and has not been introduced with the onset of Islam.
Research into this subject will show you that even Judaism and Christianity have mentions of this practice in their holy books. In that way, common prophets between the three world religions, such as Solomon, David, and Abraham, are all accepted to have had more than one wife.
In fact, it was Islam that actually restricted and regulated polygamous marriage for the first time in history. Before Islam there was no limit on how many wives a man could have and most wives were treated unfairly. Islam established, most importantly, that polygamy was not for every man. In relation to polygamy, the Quran states, “Then marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four, but if you fear that you may not treat them fairly then [marry only] oneÖî This was not an obligated rule but a permissible act in special circumstances.”
For example, in times of war when women needed protection, or they were widowed or divorced and had nowhere else to go. You have to think that this ruling came at a time when there were no shelters for women and living on their own would have been very dangerous or even impossible.
Conditions of Polygamy In Islam
But Islam restricted and regulated polygamy strongly and limited the number of wives a man could have to four. Islam also stated that all four wives must be treated fairly. If the man was not able to uphold this rule, then he was not allowed to marry more than one.
So letís imagine this for a second. The man in Islam is responsible for the financial security of his wife. This is why he must be able to provide fair and just livelihood to each wife if he wishes to have more than one. He must be able to provide similar houses, spend the equitable amount of money on each wife end the equal amount of time with each wife.
Islamic Scholars Today Do Not Recommend or Encourage Polygamy
Islam even goes so far as to regulate emotional fairness in polygamous marriages. And although emotions are subjective and you have little control over how you feel about someone, you can control your behavior. Therefore, according to Islam, the man is not allowed to show favoritism. Islamic scholars today do not recommend or encourage polygamy.
Instead, the option remains open because of those women that might live in societies where they need to be under the protection of a husband. What do you think? Share your thoughts with comments.
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