World Muslim News
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: The Holy Quran says a man can have more than one wife, also Prophet Muhammad had more than one. Does this mean that a man is obligated to have more than one wife?
IMAM: No. We should understand the words of Allah in the Quran where it says one is best if you only knew.
There is no obligation on a man to have more than one wife. In fact we may say that polygamy is a provision that seeks to remedy worse conditions such as the abundance of women without men to care for them, to marry them, to give them a proper home life, caused by heavy losses of the males in war or under conditions where women can't find suitable husbands and there is a lot of temptation from men who would employ them in criminal activities — such as prostitution.
When those conditions are threatening the good life of the society, polygamy is really a healthy remedy for some nations in those situations. But in the United States where one wife is the law, we should respect the law and we should respect the moral thinking of the society in which we live.
Personally, I don't accept polygamy in the United States. I think polygamy in the United States is a conflict that Muslims don't have to have. And we will find that in most Muslim nations, the Muslims are monogamous.
Polygamy is an exception, now. It is not the rule and I doubt if it ever was the rule. I believe polygamy always was the exception — it never was the rule.
Most Muslims have one wife and most Muslim women have one husband. And if the Muslim women can live with one husband in America then I think we should think seriously about staying away from polygamy.