Why does Islam Permit Polygamy? | Polygamy In Islam
Polygamy is a form of marriage wherein a person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. The first type is called polygyny, where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, a limited form of polygyny is permitted, whereas polyandry is completely prohibited.
In contrast to Islam, one will not find a limit for the number of wives in the Jewish Talmūd or the Christian Bible. According to these scriptures, there is no limit to how many women a man may marry. Therefore, polygyny is not something exclusive to Islam but was practiced by early Christians and Jews as well. According to the Talmūd, Abraham had three wives, while King Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny continued in Judaism until Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah issued an edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities continued the practice until as late as 1950, when an act of the chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife, thus prohibiting the practice for all Jews. In the early teachings of Christianity, men were permitted to take as many wives as they wished, since the Bible placed no limit on the number of wives, a man could marry. It was only in recent centuries that the Church limited the number of wives to one.
At a time when men were permitted an unlimited number of wives, Islam limited the number to a maximum of four. Before the Holy Quran was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives. It gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, on the strict condition that he deals with all of them equitably, benevolently and justly.. Read More
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