The truth about Polygamy in Islam.

18323689118473l.jpgOh well, this post was inspired by someone who’ve been asking me, ‘will you practice polygamy?’, and secondly, in the event of the local artist who facing hard times in their live.

My answer = If I can be responsible to my wive(s) : yes , if can’t be responsible : will not. After my answer, I further my explanation because public nowadays have a different understanding towards polygamy thus the women tend to be sensitive with this issue. It’s stated in Al-Quran that

“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 (a captive) that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. ” – An Nisa 4:3

I didn’t dare to go against it so if I can’t be responsible towards many responsibility that is becoming a husband of two,three, four wives, I surely reserve my seat in Hell for not following the teachings of Islam.

But apart from my answer that i want to share, i want to share what the truth behind Polygamy in Islam that I learn. I learn this at Islamic Information & Services. In the end of this article,I hope the readers will understand and know the truth.

#1 – Islam is not the introducer of Polygamy Concept.

One general misconception. Public often thinks that ‘Since Islam, Polygamy exsited’. Before Islam came, it was known widely that polygamy before it is unlimited. A man is free to marry as many women as he want. Look at the Rome Empire, Chinese Dynasty, and old Arabians before islam. They have many wives. Other religion also promotes it and there’s no restriction inside their holy book. The proof is

“He (Solomon) had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray” – 1 Kings 11:3

“In Jerusalem David took more wives and became the father of more sons and daughters” – 1 Chronicles 14:3

“Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters” – 2 Chronicles 11:21

and in Hindu Book = King Dasharat have three wives and Krishna have 16,108 wives. ( Charudeva Shastri Felicitation Volume, p. 449 )

When Islam came, it restructure to polygamy. Muslims man can only marry up until 4 women as stated above. It is stated in Al-Quran in An-Nisa 4:3 . You maybe wondering why Non-Muslim male didn’t practice polygamy. From what I learn, it is their scholars who limit it themselves to just one. In India, 1954, there’s an Enactment that states it is a crime if a Hindu man marry more than 1.

#2 – Modern Western Law

All religion doesn’t prohibit polygamy until their scholars/law enforcer creates a new rule, ‘ A man cannot marry more than 1 ‘. It’s not from their holy book. In islam,it was clearly stated inside An-Nisa. Quick view, An-Nisa is a chapter just for women that explain women rights in Islam. Back to the track, Polygamy in Islam is much-much better than modern western law that enforce that man can only marry a women. This Western Law only protects men and not women. here’s why I said like that.

  1. A man can ONLY marry a women. And that women have their rights.
  2. A man however, eventhough he’s married, he can have his ‘extra women’.
  3. And this ‘extra women’, doesn’t have any rights. She can’t ask this man to marry her. If there’s an unwanted child coming in, that child doesn’t have any rights.
  4. And this man can simply leave the extra women. He doesn’t need to be responsible. Nothing this women can do.

Now turn the tables, the same 4 points, in Islamic Law

  1. A man can marry a women. And that women have their rights.
  2. A man however, eventhough he’s married, he can marry another girl, 2 or three.. provided and it’s a must to him that he’ll be strictly responsible to all wives and treat all of them, equally.
  3. And all this wives have their rights. Each have to deserve the same. If the 1st wives has a car, the second wives also has to have it. It the first wives live in rich lifestyle, the second wife should deserve that also. If a men spend 3 nights at his 1st wives’ house, he also need to spend 3 nights at his 2nd wives’ house. An enough food and cloth to the wives and their children must be provided strictly equally.  All have to be divided equally and responsibly.
  4. And this man cannot simply neglect even one of his wives. If the man did that, the wives have the rights in Islamic Jurisdiction ( Mahkamah Syariah )

Which one is much safer? to become the extra women that doesn’t have any rights? or have a complete rights? To be an extra women that doesn’t have any law that protecting you, or be a legal and officially a wife that is protected by Islamic law?

#3 – Wow so many benefits, but why I see only bad things in Polygamy in Islam?

firstly, if you want to know the religion, you shall refer to the holy books, and not the people. That is the complete truth. Secondly, you have to admit that you want to read a story that is full of thrill and sensation. The bad story always have that sensation. A human choose what they want to to perceive, to see and to read. Period. In paper, there’s a lot of divorce-story rather than polygamy story. I bet if I were to have accident ( don’t la >_< ) the paper will say it loudly ‘Al-Quran for PSP intenvor died in accident’ rather than good news ‘Ikhwan Nazri survived in accident’, how’s that for a spin of analogy ?  But i really see the people who practice polygamy are living in harmony with his two wives under the same roof, so your conclusion of ‘I only see bad things in Islamic Poligamy are ‘busted’! ( if only mythbuster can do a comparison test of Polygamy concept in all religion :p )

#4 – Nature Law

Generally, it is known that Women are more than Man. Because

  1. Man have shorter life expectancy.
  2. Many man in the prison
  3. Man died in battlefield, leaving more women behind
  4. So very very many women left without a husband
  5. reference/statistic here

And then, take it this way. In one situation that is small village, there’s a 5 man, and 5 girl. Equally the same

  1. 2 man are a true man. Another 1 suddenly have been imprisoned for their crime.
  2. and another 2 men are homosexual.
  3. So the girls can choose. Okay 1 girl really love the guy in prison. that’s left 4 girls
  4. Quickly this 2 men and 2 women, married. and they live a happy life but..
  5. Swiftly, another 2 single girls have been secretly have a relationship with these 2 husbands. Again, these girls doesn’t have any rights.
  6. Which one is the most respectful? Be a public property or be a lawfully legal wife?

#5 – For Guys who want to do this, Polygamy.

There’s no such thing as man having more wife is more far better than a man with only a wife.You say you want to practice what the Prophet has been doin it ( sunnah ) but then, treating wife harshly and unequally and threaten them is not part of it. If you still can’t be responsible towards your first wife, you still dare to add more responsibility with the second? let’s see the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W saying below ( hadith )

“Barangsiapa mempunyai dua orang isteri lalu ia condong bersama-sama dengan salah seorang di antara keduanya ke atas yang lain (tidak berlaku adil), maka ia datang pada hari qiamat sedangkan salah satu bahunya jatuh” – Sahih Sunan Ibnu Majah 1603-1969, Al-Misykat 3236


So polygamy in islam is not for enjoyment, not to fulfill your desire, but it comes with a tonnes of responsibility. You’re only adding responsibility by practicing polygamy and then, it’s a liability. Just see how many man fail to their wives? and still dare to polygamy? it’s like a liability that will make u suffer in hereafter if you didn’t manage it well. If you can’t manage a polygamy, then don’t ever flirt and treat another girl the same treatment you give to your wife. I blame and i disgust those who practice polygamy and treat their wife unequally and didn’t follow the Islamic law, for them has abuse the chance given by Allah and if they don’t repent, if they don’t came back to the truth and practice the supposedly Polygamy in Islamic law, their place surely in Hell for not following what the Al-Quran has been stated. As for women, if your husband ask your permission, congrats them that they honor you and asking your permission rather than secretly keeping someone behind as what the western civilization promotes. A Venus Talk with them will be more appropriate. You have to tell your husband that they’re dealing with a lot of responsibilty.

With the end of this article, I hope you have corrected your Misconception about Polygamy in Islam :) Apologies if in any way of my writings i hurted and offended your feelings for I didn’t intent to but to reveal you the whole concept of Polygamy in Islam. Allah knows best.

And for article in Bahasa Malaysia, click here for Episode 1, and here for Episode 2.

Lastly, try to think how if all the cases of broken-hearted wife, turmoil in family relationship because of the extra women, can be solved in Islamic Perspective.

//disclaimer : I’m not an ustaz so don’t see me as role model whatever. I may act like a jerk other days so see me as a human who also do mistakes. See me as a person who like to share what he know and learn for I believe The Prophet Muhammad says that the most useful human is the human that made him/her useful to others :)

Nov 2008

4 Responses to : The truth about Polygamy in Islam.

  1. ericamouse says:

    wow. u really did ur homework. =) but Alhamdulillah. there are still men like you in Msia. hehe. polygamy or monogamy, in the end, it\’s fated. yes, only Allah knows the best.

  2. ikhwan nazri says:

    ericamouse – uih jgn la ckp camtu segan gile huehuehue rgbrgbrgb

  3. Eazy says:

    I agree with the point that most people sees polygamy as a privilege whereas the real reason behind its implementation is for men who are able and willing to shoulder more responsibility. Anyway, the wordings under the \’Poligami\’ magazine\’s heading would be misleading if the person reading doesn\’t know the difference between Bahasa Malaysia & Bahasa Indonesia. LOL.

  4. ikhwan nazri says:

    eazy – ya u right. i shall put a remarks there.. kebutuhan == kebenaran right??

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