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POLYGAMY IN Islam pdf download

polygamy in islam
  • Book Title:
 Polygamy In Islam
  • Book Author:
Bilal Philips
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Polygamy in Islam – Book Sample


Marriage has been ordained by Allah (?I¼;) as the correct and legal way to produce children and replenish the earth. The family is the basic unit of an Islamic nation or society. Allah has made the desire for mates and offspring instinctual for mankind and animals. Life on earth continues through children and children are the products of marriage. Nevertheless, marriage in Islam cannot be viewed merely as means for uniting the male body with a female body and producing offspring, nor was marriage instituted just for purposes of satisfying natural desires or quenching passions. Its goals are much deeper in meaning than those obvious physical realities. Allah, the Most High, illuminates this fact in Chapter ar-Room of the Qur’an:

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might live in tranquility [li-taskunoo} with them and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts]; Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Qur’an 30: 21)

tranquility (Sakan) – POLYGAMY IN ISLAM

This tranquility (Sakan) is not simply what one may feel after satisfying sexual impulses but it is the serenity which follows a psychological need which has been fulfilled. Every individual is aware of having felt a lack or sense of loss within himself/herself which needed completion, a weakness which needed strengthening or loneliness which could only be removed by someone truly committed to him/her.

The calm or emotional rest which one feels as a result of having fulfilled these needs can be termed tranquility (Sakan). Thus marriage in Islam is more than just a means of obtaining legal sex; it is an extremely important institution which safeguards the rights of men, women, and children while satisfying the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of the family members.

The Prophet (?) illustrated the importance of marriage by saying, “When a servant of Allah marries, he has completed half of his religious obligations and he must fear Allah in order to complete the second half.”((Collected by al-Bayhaqi (James Robson, Mishkat al-Masabih1, Eng. Trans., Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, 1975, vol. I. p. 660) and authenticated as hasan by Shaykh al-Albani in Sahib al-Jami’ as-sagh’ir, vol. I, Pp. 136-7, hadith no. 430.))

Marriage superior to transient relationships

Undoubtedly, marriages built on principles of love, honour, respect and mutual caring are far superior to temporary relationships with a variety of partners. Such marriages stabilize society by protecting its primary unit, the family. What would eventually happen to a society which forgets sanctioned  relationships and allows base desires to rule.

What of the women and children left in a dishonourable state without respect and support? Such a society would be lower than the society of animals which are at least governed by instincts which cause them to protect and provide for their young and their mates.

Consequently, Islam has placed great stress on the divinely ordained institution of marriage in order to protect society. In fact, the Prophet ( ??) branded those opposed to marriage as being heretics and said,

“Marriage is a part of my Sunnah ( divinely guided way of life). Whoever is displeased with my Sunnah is not from among us. “(( Reported by Anas and collected by Bukhari [Muhammad Mul)sin Khan, Sa?1J1 al-Bukhari, (Arabic-Eng. Trans.), Riyadh: M aktabah ar-Riyadh al­I:Iadeethah, 1981, vol. 7, Pp. 1-2, hadith no. I] and Muslim [‘Abdul Hameed Siddeeqi, Saf11f1 Muslim, (Eng. Trans.), Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, 1987, vol. 2, Pp. 703-4, hadith no. 3236]))

Since non-marital sex is forbidden in Islam, marriage protects individuals against immorality by providing outlets for natural urges as well as providing physical and emotional security for both partners.

Rights of marriage partners


Just as individual members of society are entitled to certain rights and are subsequently responsible for fulfilling certain obligations within society, family members are entitled to certain rights and obliged to fulfill certain obligations within the family structure.

The Prophet (i’1:) outlined the general hierarchy of responsibility in society in the following state1nent narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet said,

“Verily, every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you is responsible for his flock. The Amir is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a shepherd over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them. A woman is a guardian over her household and shall be questioned as to how she managed the household and brought up the children. A slave is guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Verily, every one of you is a shepherd and every one shall be questioned in regard to his flock. “((Collected by Bukhari, (Arabic-Eng.), vol. 3, p. 438, hadith no. 730 and Muslim, (Eng. Trans.). vol. 3, p. I 017, hadith no. 3396.))

Marriage and partnership

Thus marriage could be considered a partnership in which the principle parties have been assigned different but complementary roles consisting of rights and corresponding responsibilities. In order for family life to flow smoothly, each partner must fulfill his/her part of the partnership. Neither has the right to demand if their responsibilities are not fulfilled. Allah has given general guidelines concerning the role of each partner in the following Qur’anic statement:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the former more than the latter and because they [the former} support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in their husbands ‘ absence what Allah would have them guard … ” (Qur’an 4: 34)

The greater responsibility of males – POLYGAMY IN ISLAM

In spite of the fact that both parties should be kind toward each other, the right of the husband over his wife is greater than his wife’s right over him according to the completion of the previous verse:

” … But men have a degree over them. And Allah is exalted in power.” (Qur’an 2: 228)

Emotional make-up which is ideally suited for child rearing but generally unsuited for ultimate authority, she may wrongly disobey or contradict her husband. Under the influence of her monthly cycles, she may be contrary or high strung and thus make bad decisions or and among mankind.

He has made man the dominant member of the pair. There need be no contention on this point as Allah has had the last word on the subject. However, if we look at the animal kingdom, we must confess that a like division also exists among its members. Nor are we aware of any country whether primitive or modem which has more than one reigning head in a position to make ultimate decisions.

Every kingdom has a chief and Allah in His All-Encompassing wisdom and absolute knowledge of human nature has chosen man for that role. This choice does not detract from the uniqueness of the \\ ·oman ‘s role nor does it belittle her in the least.

We are well aware of the fact that some women are more intelligent, are more capa-ble of ruling and have a greater degree of talent than some men. We are witnesses to female heads of state, but these represent exceptions and not the norm which Allah addresses. Dn fact, there is an authentic Hadith in which the Prophet (.??) sn:ated that,

“If mankind had been ordered to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, women would have been ordered to prostrate before their husbands.” ((Narrated by Abu Hurayrah and collected by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Sunan Abi Dmvud, (Eng. Trans.), vol. 2, p. 574, hadith no. 21 35, and Ibn Majah and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani in Saf11)1 Swum at-Tirmidhi, vol. 1, p. 340, hadith no. 926. Sec also Mishkat al-Ma,yabifi, (Eng. Trans.), vol. 1, p. 691))

Presence of hierarchy in males and female’s roles – POLYGAMY IN ISLAM

This is clear indication of the hierarchy which exists in respect to the roles of males and females and the importance of that hierarchy to the basic unit of human society, the family. In order to reinforce these roles, Allah made the male inheritance portion greater than that of the female. There is no doubt that a man’s familial and communal obligations are greater than most woman’s obligations in these spheres.

It is his duty to support his immediate family and weak kinfolk. In addition to these familial responsibilities, men must be prepared to defend and enlarge the borders of Islam even to the point of bearing aims. Women, under normal circumstances, are exempted from these and other similar obligations.

The existing situation in the West, where many women have been obliged to compete with men for work while raising families, is an exception when looked at on a global scale and an aberration when looked at historically. Hence today’s situation cannot be used to argue that a woman’s obligations are equal and exceed those of a man’s.

In fact recent scientific research has uncovered a wealth of physical differences between men and women all of which affect the performance of males and females in society((Jo Durden-Smith and Diane De Simone, “Is There a Superior Sex”, Reader :5 Digesr, 1982.)).

The wife’s duties – POLYGAMY IN ISLAM

The Prophet ( ?:) has instructed women concerning their duties toward their husbands. In Islam it is not permissible for women to fast in their husbands’ presence without seeking permission for the fast. 17 Nor is it permissible for her to allow anyone in his house without his permission or to spend his money or use his wealth without his consent.

If a wife appropriates his money, she must return half of the 1noney to him. 18 A husband also has the right to order his wife to fulfill her religious duties like bathing after childbirth (after she has stopped bleeding), after menstruation and after intercourse, as prayer is an obligatory duty upon her and prayer is not possible without purity.

In addition to ordering her in regard to her religious duties, he can compel her in respect to his right to sex. The Prophet (}2’S) forbade women from refusing to have sex with their husbands. It has been narrated that the Prophet (?) said,

“If a woman refuses her husband’s bed and he passes the night in anger, the angels curse her until morning.” ((Collected by Bukhari, (Arabic-Eng.), vol. 7, p. 94, hadith no. 123. Narrated by Abu Hurayrah and collected by Bukhari, Muslim, (Eng. Trans.), vol. 2, p. 732, hadith no. 3368 and Abu Dawiid, Sunan Abi Dmvid, (Eng. Trans.), vol. 2, p. 574,))

Woman who refuses her husband sex


This is of course in reference to a woman who unjustly refuses her husband sex in order to control him or make him do certain things for her which are not duties. Such actions upset the natural balance of marriage and put the man who refuses her sexual blackmail under unnecessary emotional pressure which destroys the concept of sakan (emotional rest), a fundamental principle of marriage, as was previously pointed out.

Naturally, a woman deprived of her rights and left with no other option is not included in the meaning of this Hadith. Additionally, a woman is not permitted to leave her husband’s house in order to visit her relatives or friends without his permission, because obedience to one’s husband is obligatory while visiting relatives and neighbors is not obligatory, but recommended; and it is not permitted in Islamic law to leave that which is obligatory for that which is recommended.


However, it must be noted that man has been ordered to live with his wives on a footing of kindness and equity and it would not be equitable to forbid her from seeing her parents, relatives and close friends without a valid reason. On the other hand, women cannot be restricted from going to the ‘Eid prayers, since Allah has ordered them to do so. Nor can they be prohibited from going to the mosque even though it is not an obligation on them to do so. Nevertheless, it has been narrated that,

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