In this counseling answer:
• Going into a marriage truthfully, and with no hidden agendas makes for a successful marriage, in sha’Allah.
• You may wish to consult with your local Masjid or Imam regarding the possibility of meeting such sisters for marriage. There are many sisters from all walks of Islamic life who do embrace polygyny.
• Trust in Allah regarding your desires for polygyny. If it is your desire to truly help Muslim sisters by marrying up to four and providing for them, in sha’ Allah, Allah will make a way.
• If you feel you cannot forgive a future wife if you found out she made a mistake in her past and repented, I kindly suggest that you put off marriage and remain chaste until you are in a place Islamically where you understand that Allah is above all.
As-Salamu Alaykum dear brother,
Thank you for writing to us with your concerns and questions. Alhamdulillah you have a very good career and earn good money. The career path you have chosen as a doctor is a blessed path as it helps many people. You must have a very good, kind and caring heart.
In addition to your hard work towards your career, you are also a virgin and have maintained your chastity and you are pious. May Allah reward you for your efforts and your obedience.
The Desire for More Than One Wife
You wish to have four wives. As you know, it is permissible and is a blessing as you care about the ummah and about the well-being of single Muslims. As you pointed out our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the companions did have more than one wife, thus, it is sunnah for those who can afford to do so.
I am sure that you are familiar with the conditions set forth upon a man who takes more than one wife. It is a very serious and intricate matter. Therefore, I will not go into that.
I will say that it is very kind of you to want your first wife to know of your intentions prior to marriage. You are right’ going into a marriage truthfully, and with no hidden agendas makes for a successful marriage in sha’Allah.
In sha Allah, many Muslim women will respect you for this. As you are a doctor and you have a big heart, perhaps you are thinking of marrying single sisters who are refugees or others who need a husband. You may wish to consult with your local Masjid or Imam regarding the possibility of meeting such sisters for marriage. There are many sisters from all walks of Islamic life who do embrace polygyny.
To Practice Polygyny or Not
You asked if you should get married and practice polygyny as you are financially well-off, and you understand the importance of marriage. Your conflict comes as you wonder if you should refrain from polygyny and remain with only one wife. You are concerned about keeping your future wife happy.
The fear may be that many Muslim women would never accept this is understandable. As women, we have emotions and red lines as well. Some can reach a level wherein their emotions would not be a factor. Others have not reached that level yet and might never be able to. Either way, it is okay to have a choice because polygyny is not a must.
I kindly suggest in sha’Allah that you trust in Allah regarding your desires for polygyny. If it is your desire to truly help Muslim sisters by marrying up to four and providing for them, in sha’ Allah, Allah will make a way.
Again, by being honest with a possible future wife concerning your desires to marry more than one woman, you may be blessed with one who is happy with that idea.
Many sisters support the idea of their husband having more than one wife. Often, Muslim women do grow up in a household where their father has more than one wife. They are used to this type of arrangement in marriage, and to them, it is very natural.
On the other hand, if you do not practice polygyny just to keep your future wife happy, you may be very unhappy with yourself, brother. You may begin to resent your wife feeling she is the one who prohibits you from taking another wife when it was a decision that you would have made.
Please, do follow your heart and marry more than one if this is the path that Allah has put in your heart.
Virginity, Piousness & Sins
You also talked about how you are a virgin alhumdulillah, but you fear that a future wife may have been “shameless” in her past. You discussed your worries and concerns about a future wife letting a strange man touch her or committing haram acts, being in relationships and covering it up. You stated that if this was ever the case and you were to find out, you would divorce her and never forgive her for that sort of thing.
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On the other hand, you stated that you will forgive shirk. I find this to be odd, dear brother, because you are very pious, and you love Allah. It is rather a contradiction to not forgive sins and haram behavior but be forgiving of the greatest sin-shirk. As you know shirk is the only sin that Allah does not forgive. If one dies in the state of shirk, they are not forgiven.
In sha’Allah, I would kindly ask you to look at your views concerning this considering what the Qur’an says about shirk.
I would also kindly ask you to compare the two types of sins. Sins that are forgiven by Allah such as if one were to drink alcohol or if one were to engage in kissing, or if one were to have sex before marriage. Allah says He forgives these sins if one comes to Him in sincere repentance. However, Allah does not forgive shirk as it is one of the most grievous of sins.
Please, do ask yourself: how you can forgive shirk, yet you refuse to forgive other sins that people may have committed in the past and sought repentance for?
As your heart is very big and you care about people, and you’re a very pious brother, I am wondering if your inability to forgive sins involving sexuality (especially a possible future wife), may center around your ego rather than Islamic principles?
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earthful of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”. (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)
You asked us to not advise for forgiveness regarding Allah and His mercy. You stated that you are aware of this, but that you are human and won’t forgive at any cost a Muslim woman who may fall into sin is also human, just as you are. Should she sincerely repent and move forward with her live piously, she will be forgiven by Allah, but not by you. In a case such as this, you may want to ask, “and whose favor should she seek, yours or Allah’s?”
Asking if Future Wife if she is Pure/Remaining Single & Chaste
Asking a potential future wife if she is pure is not a good idea. Not only will she feel insulted, but it may also insult her family. Furthermore, all sins that one has prayed to Allah for forgiveness in sincere repentance, are forgiven and covered by Allah. You do not have the right to come between a woman and her Lord.
This article states “Since Allah has covered a person’s sins, it is not anyone’s business to seek to lift Allah’s cover of confidentiality. Thus, it is unbecoming of anyone to probe into someone’s sinful past. Any future spouse has no right or responsibility to know this private information”.
I would kindly advise dear brother that you do not concern yourself with someone’s past. Instead, focus on the present state of their relationship with Allah, their piousness, their heart, compatibility factors as well as other marriage-related concerns that are permissible for you to know.
If you feel you cannot forgive a future wife if you found out she made a mistake in her past and repented, I kindly suggest that you put off marriage and remain chaste until you are in a place Islamically where you understand that Allah is above all.
Furthermore, you pointed out in your question that you are concerned that a Muslim woman may not want to marry as you desire more than one wife. You correctly pointed out that is it allowed, and it is sunnah. The fact is, that many women know their personal limitations when it comes to this, thus they chose not to enter a marriage that is polygynous.
Some may view this woman as having a deficit as polygyny is permitted by Allah. Mercy and forgiveness are mentioned hundreds of times in the Qur’an. Those such as yourself, who refuse to show mercy and forgive should also recognize their own personal limitations and act accordingly, so they do not harm others.
“. . . And let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 24:22).
Mercy & Forgiveness Cannot Be Omitted in Islam
Brother, as an Islamic site that does follow what the Quran states, we must advise forgiveness. Even though you asked us not to, this is what Allah commands. We cannot in good conscience or as Muslims, advise you not to forgive. It would be going against Allah.
Brother, I kindly advise you to either fully submit to Allah’s commands regarding forgiving others. No one is perfect. That is why we have Allah in his Mercy, to repent to for the things that we do wrong. Yes, we are all human. In sha’Allah, you will come to understand that it is Allah who has the power to judge and condemn, not us.
Perhaps Allah has put this test in front of you, as having four wives will call for an abundance of love, mercy and forgiveness, as you will be responsible for four human beings-and children in sha’Allah.
We wish you the best,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.