Conditions for a Man on Marrying More than One Woman in Islam

on Friday, August 9, 2013

Islam allows men to marry more than one woman, if they wish to do so. However, before a man brings home a second wife, he should remember there are certain conditions which apply, certain prerequisites, which need to be there before he can marry for a second time.

Dealing Among All of the Wives, Equally:

Should be able to treat them equally” is the basic and most important condition of all is that any Muslim man who wants to marry more than one woman. He should not be biased towards either of them. What he gives to one of his wives, should be given to the rest of them, too. Quran advises that trying to remain equal with all your wives, is not everyone’s cup of tea, therefore, before marrying another woman, a man should make sure if he will be able to take care of all of them, equally, without any bias.

“…if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that which your right hands possess” (An-Nisa, 4/3).

If he feels that he will not be able to deal justly with more than one woman, then he should remain happy with his first and only wife. A man who does marry for the second or third time, it is natural that he may feel more inclined towards one of his wives more than the rest. However, being so inclined towards one of the wives that you ignore the rest, is not at all permitted in Islam. Quran says:

“Ye are never able to do justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air).” (an-Nisa, 4/129).”

This is the most important condition which a man must follow if he wishes to have a second wife. However the reasons why he may consider marrying another woman, may vary. Islam does not encourage polygamy, but if for some reasons the need arises, it may be followed through. One of the general reasons for marrying more than woman could be related to male and female population ratio. This reason is more valid during wars which result in a large number of men who die, leaving widows and orphans behind. In such a situation, a man is allowed to keep more than one wife, so he can provide shelter to those women and children who have nowhere else to go.

Marrying another woman should only be considered as an option when you have a genuine reason for doing so. Otherwise, it will become very hard for a man to treat all of his wives with the same level of attention, love, care and affection. If you feel that you cannot, it is best that you maintain your marriage with your first wife only and treat her right. This is in your best interest.

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