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What Are The Conditions for Polygamy?



Reply Date

Mar 07, 2017


Verse 3 in Chapter 4 (Quran 4:3) mentions the circumstances under which polygamy is allowed. To my understanding, this Sura allows a man caring for orphans more than one wife to help in that lofty task, but only if he can be fair to all wives. If not, he is restricted to one wife. Are caring for orphans and fairness both essential conditions for polygamous marriage? Please advise. I recently received a marriage proposal from a married man and would very much appreciate your professional, so to speak, opinion. Just to be clear, there is nothing haram going on between this man and myself. He is Egyptian/Muslim and has a sujood mark from regular prayer. I'm not Egyptian nor am I formally Muslim, but am close to Islam. His wife, from what he has told me is a good woman, a niqabi who is very much a home body and has little interest in life outside the home and very close family. They have one little girl. He says his wife would be happy and accepting of a second marriage --which I find hard to believe! As a good Muslima she would perhaps agree on an intellectual level, but no woman would be happy in her heart that her husband wants a second wife. (Quite frankly, I couldn't imagine my wedding night with him, knowing this woman would be in tears ... I'd send him off to her!) He has very much wanted to disclose his proposal to me to his wife but I've insisted he does not do so until I figure out whether it's halal and one that I can therefore accept. It did cross my mind that perhaps he wants a divorce but is simply too afraid to ask outright, so speaking about a second wife to his current wife might be an easy solution as she may seek a divorce herself....not nice! He is both a professional diver on the Red Sea and a TV broadcast engineer, and is definitely well set up in two dream jobs. I have the impression he may miss sharing his underwater world in a couple. I'm very independent and also professionally very well set up (though he doesn't know that!) love the water, strong swimmer, diving etc. We met on a 3-day Red Sea dive excursion. He proposed after saying Asr prayer at the bow of the boat. I'd been sitting there staring out to sea unaware of his prayers and had been saying Al-Fatiha, which I like very much. And then boom. He asked me. I dressed reasonably, covered up in a galabia. I'd not made any kind of advances to him. There had been a very jovial, family atmosphere on the boat -- nothing inappropriate by any stretch of the imagination. If he were single, he's the kind of decent nature, loving man from whom I'd very much welcome a marriage proposal & have a feeling I'd accept. But the way it is, I have my doubts especially since to my mind An Nisa 4:3 requires both orphans and fairness as prerequisites to multiple wives. Please advise, and a grand Thank You in advance!



About Dr. Mohsen Haredy

Dr. Mohsen Haredy: Former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait

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