Why does Islam permit a man to marry more than one woman, but a woman may only have one husband?
The legal Islamic framework of the Shari’ah is structured to grant a lady continued care and maintenance and includes the man as the provider thereof. A man is permitted to marry a maximum of four women, on provision that he can adequately provide and take care of them. A man’s natural temperament also accommodates the having of more than one wife and generally no physical factors could hinder the affording of rights to all.
A lady undergoes regular and frequent changes in her body and at times, may not be able to have sexual relations with her husband (post natal and menstrual periods). This would be highly detrimental to relationships and rights if more than one husband was allowed. A lady may also have major difficulties in determining who the father is of a particular child if multiple sexual partners prevailed.
As such, Islam prevents this in advance and addresses the natural temperaments of both genders by having overall justice in laws established.
Reference made to “Protection of Women’s Rights under the Shari’ah” by Dr Ibrahim Aliyu, Pg. 193< Back to Questions