WHY IS POLYGYNY ALLOWED IN ISLAM? By Abdullah Al-junaid ibn Ogungbemi


It is no more something new to encounter Non-Muslims asking question“why is polygyny allowed in Islam”. Is it to promote adultery and fornication?, is it to satisfy the sexual desire of men and many more questions like these. Before going deep in this article, I will like to highlight what polygamy is before moving to polygyny.


What is polygamy?
Polygamy simply means system of marriage where one person will marry more than one spouse. Polygamy is of two kinds,polygyny and polyandry

What is polygyny?
polygyny is a system of marriage where a man marries more than one woman. While polyandry is a system of marriage whereby a woman marries more than one man.

Islam allowed limited polygyny but totally prohibit polyandry, be it limited or not.

Now, going to the initial question, “why is polygyny allowed in Islam”
Islam is a total way of life and Qur’an is a complete manual of life of human beings free of errors, contradictions, anachronisms, as it covers all curriculums of life of human being.

Worthy to note, Quran is the only religious scripture in the world that says “ marry only one no any other book on the surface of earth that put restriction to marrying of wife, whether it is Vedas, Mahabrat, Geeta, Talmud or Bible.

Let us now analysis why Polygyny is allowed in Islam.

Why Is Polygyny Allowed
As I mentioned earlier, Quran is the only religious scripture on the surface if earth that says “marry only one ” . The context of the phrase is the following verse from Surah Nisah from the glorious Quran.
“ marry women of your choice, two ,three or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal with them justly ,then marry only one …”(Al- Qur’an 4:3).

Before Qur’an was revealed, there was no restrictions to the number wife men could have as men had scores of wife. In fact, Prophets of God practiced polygyny. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham AS) who is being regarded as father of faith also marry more than one wife, prophet Sulayman was recorded to have hundred of wives,
“ And He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. “(1 Kings 11:3)

“ 3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, He and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife”. (1 Samuel 27:3)

“ 3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife”.( Genesis 16:3)


Even though, the number of Solomon wives, had exceeded the number of wives allowed in Islam. That’s according to their book (Bible ). If we have this in bible, I will like to ask the pastors, Evangelists, Reverends and most especially fathers, “where in the bible did you see your own monogamy??, where is it stated to have only one wife (me and my wife) in your so called word of God (bible)??


No evidence to back it up. If your religious scripture (Bible) cannot give us concept of marriage in Christianity, despite its importance and how essential it is in life of every human being, then it is not worthy to be regarded as a religious scripture.

Furthermore, men are allowed to marry more than one wife in Islam, if and only if they can deal with them justly. This is a condition attached to polygyny in Islam.

However, it’s naturally impossible for human to deal justly with themselves accurately and efficiently. Only Allah (S.W.T) that can do justice and still maintain it as He is the supreme God and can do whatever He likes.


“ ( 129 ) And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah – then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.”(Al-Quran 4:129)

Therefore, polygyny is not a compulsory rule but it is only permissible and allowed in Islam. Many non-Muslims are under the misconceptions that Muslims men must marry more than one wife.

Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and dont’s
1. Fard I.e. compulsory or obligatory.

2. Mustahab I.e. Recommended or encouraged.

3. Mubah I.e. Permissible or allowed.

4. Makruh I.e. Not recommended or discouraged

5. Haraam I.e. Prohibited or forbidden

Polygyny falls in the middle category, things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim that marry two, three and four wives are better than men with one wife.


-Average life spans of females is more than that of male
By nature, males and females are born approximately in the same ratio. But in earlier times, war was very common which claims the life of men mostly, as men were the mostly the soldiers that will go to battlefield to confront the enemies. So, there were more men killed compared to women. If polygyny have not been made permissible, what will be the fate of the wives whose their husband has been killed during the war, they have partaken patriotically for the safeguard of their land. Polygamy gives solutions to this kind of situations. At any point in time, we would find more widows than the widowers in the world.
“Subhanaka Allahumma Wa Bihamdika;
Ashhadu An Laa Ilah Ila Anta, Astagfiruka Wa Atoobu Ilayk.



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