An article By: Ahmed Hashem
Translated By: Nahid Khalifa
When Allah says in the beginning of Surat al-Nessa (“He Who created all of you from the same soul and created its counterpart”), the most probable way to understand this is that God created us from “Adam” ‘s soul and created “Eve” from that same soul too, it was only Eve and not many women or wives. What we can understand from that is that Polygamy is not the rule when it comes to marriage; it is the exception, because that was not the case for Adam the founder of the modern human race.
The verse, which is used to justify Polygamy, comes as follows «If you fear of not achieving justice with orphans, you can marry two, three or four wives, and if you fear of not being just, you can marry one woman», «Surat al-Nesaa, verse 3». The meaning conveyed in this verse was a solution to ensure orphans safety. Therefore, it was god’s command that came within this framework on the condition that it is not permissible except in the case of fear that an injustice will be inflicted on the orphans. Therefore there are no verses in the Qur’an that permit polygamy, except for situations of necessity, especially in that era after the martyrdom of many Muslims, and the mothers of orphans who became widows, that was a case where polygamy was an option worth to consider. Other than that, a man should marry one wife, because achieving justice is not an easy job.
The gradual order, by which God offered us those rules regarding polygamy, implies that it is a forbidden rather than an accepted practice. The first part of the prementioned verse linked marriage to taking care of orphans, while the second part, denied the possibility of justice, and then comes the verse that asserts the inability to achieve justice at all, which comes as follows «and you cannot achieve justice among women, even if you make sure», «Surat Al-Nesaa, verse 129
The Islamic scholar and master of judges in the first third of the twentieth century Abdul Aziz Fahmi, argues that this verse and the previous ones in this Sura are the evidence of the importance of the virtue of justice when dealing with others. The same meaning was confirmed in the third verse, as if to say to them: If you understand the meaning in the previous verse, do not take away the money of the orphans, it is a great sin, you must rise above your primitive instinct, which is a marriage that is meant to take their money.
Conclusion: God defined marriage in Surat Al-Rum 21: “And from His Signs, that he created soul mates for yourselves, for you to feel peace with them, and to have affection and mercy.” It can be said that polygamous marriage contradicts with what came in the verse, regarding affection and compassion arising between the spouses, in addition to common sense, which was confirmed by the Messenger of Allah prophet Mohammed as stated in Al- Bukhari «3110», and Muslim «2449» when he knew about the engagement of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, and he got angry for the sake of his daughter Fatima. He said: “My daughter is a dear part of myself, what worries her worries me and what hurts her hurts me too”, this means that marrying another wife is considered injustice against the first wife.
As for those who argue that prophet Muhammad married more than one wife, the answer is that it happened before Surat al-Nesaa came and also before all the before mentioned religious rules came into the picture.