Polygamy is the practice of marrying several spouses. The term is used by sociologists to describe a guy who is married to multiple wives at the same time.Worldwide, different societies variously encourage, accept or outlaw polygamy. In societies permitting or tolerating polygamy, in majority of cases men have multiple wives.
A Muslim man may have up to four wives at the same time, under reasonable and authorized conditions, according to Islamic marital jurisprudence. Under no circumstances a woman can be in a similar situation – have more than one spouse at the same time.
Based on verse 30:21 of the Quran the ideal relationship is the comfort that a couple finds in each other’s embrace:
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
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The polygyny that is allowed in the Quran is for special situations. There are strict requirements to marry more than one woman, as the man must treat them fairly financially and in terms of support given to each wife. However, Islam advises monogamy for a man if he fears he cannot deal justly with his wives. This is based on verse 4:3 of the Holy Quran which says:
If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans,marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or one that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
One reason cited for polygyny is that it allows a man to give financial protection to multiple women, who might otherwise not have any support (e.g widows). However, it is by permission and not an obligation or recommendation in the Quran that a Muslim male should indulge in polygamy. At the time of the Prophet Mohammad, it was because thousands of Muslim men died in wars, leaving behind dependent women and children. In addition,the property of orphans had to be protected.
Thus seeing the present time it can be understood that Polygamy in Islam is an order that relates to the social problem. It’s allowed to be done by man by a condition that he be able to do them justice and by the spirit for protecting the orphan and widows. The justice in polygamy is not the inner meaning of justice (such as love and affection) but justice on matters that are material and measurable. Polygamy is like the emergency exit in the aircraft, which can’t be opened except when the situation is very serious and approved by the pilot. Not everyone can sit near it because it was not allowed to sit next to the emergency door unless certain people who are able to open it.
Source: Awaz The Voice