Polygyny IN Islam (Part I)

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“ASSALAMO ALAIKOM WA RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATUHO” an Islam’s usual greeting which means “May God’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings are upon you”. A person who can hear this greeting is obliged to respond “WA ALAIKOMI SALAAM” means “and peace is with you too”.

In reality, getting married is not that easy but it is a part of life that must be taken seriously. We do believe that wedding is always happy events. So, as long as we open ourselves to others, there will be no end to discovering a whole range of beauty in the relationships that may come our way. Willingness, Experiences of relating with others teach us how to share our lives with others in the relationship called marriage. “Marriage is a life-long commitment whereI become We and the concern of one is not for one’s self but for his or her marriage partner and children that may come from their union”.( Journeying with the Church, p.158-159 ).

            The practice of marriage differs depending on the norms of a certain society. For some, either the husband or the wife is allowed to take more than one partner. This practice is called polygamy. The term polygamy has two types: Polygyny and polyandry. Polygyny is when a man marries many women at the time while polyandry is when a woman takes several men as her husband at the same time.

Only polygyny is permitted in Islam. This practice is clearly shown on the life of Prophet Muhammad. ALLAH’s messenger is named Prophet Muhammad; he is a religious and devoted man to ALLAH. Because of this, many women admired him through of being faithful to ALLAH. Due to having more knowledge about Islam religion that he was spreading he got married to his first wife. Afterwards, he got several wives. This situation is called polygyny. The prophet took more than one wife for reasons pertaining to his duty to deliver the Message to the world. Those particular women were carefully selected, not just haphazardly “acquired” for carnal reasons, as suggested. But this fact doesn’t mean that polygyny was an invention of Islam. Actually during that time it was common for men to have many wives.

In Islam, men are allowed to take four wives, provided that they would be able to support them in terms of emotional and financial needs. The Qur’an states, “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, and then marry one only.” (Qur’an, 4:3).

This paper is entitled Polygyny in Islam. The purpose in writing this paper is to inform; First, the Muslim men and women, young and old about the significant effect of polygyny to the society. Second, to the non-Muslims, that the word polygyny is not an invention of Islam and that polygyny is also present in some other religion. 

Muslim and non-Muslim readers must be  aware on every tradition and culture of the other religion. The awareness being provided by this study might be of great help to the protection of the whole society especially the women. Aside from that, this study also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of taking more than one wife and the reasons why Muslim men take several wives. The researchers gathered information by searching from different kinds of books in the library and from internet source. The information provided in this paper might be of great help to the rampant prejudices among religion, most especially to the Christian community.

.           To the researcher, it gives a significant impact in the upgrading of their knowledge for the improvement of their quality of learning. The scope of this paper includes the definition of polygamy and its types, the history of polygyny, its religious reasons in Islam, its advantages and disadvantages, and the comparative analysis of polygyny in Muslim, Jews, Hindus and Christians.

For future researcher, this study is a response to their inquiry about this topic and serves as an additional input to the field of investigation.

Out of the present day feelings about what is “tasteful” or “distasteful” are something we cannot force on all people everywhere, at all times and under all conditions, unless it is a question of a law coming from God. Polygyny categorically is due to the fact that there are certain conditions which face individuals and societies in different places and at different times, which make the limited practice of polygyny a better solution than either divorce or the hypocritical pretence of morality.


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