Why is a Woman not Allowed to have More than One Husband at a Time? By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

  • 1) A woman’s relation with her children is like earth to its production. However, because of its sameness, production may be divided and shared equally. So, there is no harm in co-ownership over land. But, a woman cannot be shared by a few men because each of them will claim the right of sexual intercourse with her. This is the first cause of trouble and they all may wish to sleep with her at the same time. Further, if all of them have sexual intercourse with her after marrying her and she gives birth to one child then it will not be possible to divide the child and give the share to each father to take away. If, however, she gives birth to many children then there will be some male children and female children, there will be differences in faces and appearances, in nature and character, in strength and courage. This will cause envy in fathers over the possession of the children. No father will be satisfied with one child because of paternal love for all children. He will not be happy on receiving one, as he will be sad on parting with the others. These things will cause many problems and become a bone of contention among so many fathers. In every sense, it will disrupt the management of the family. on the contrary, if there is one man with a number of wives, he will be like a farmer tending a number of fields and he can have children from all those women. This will not create problems and women will not cause mischief because of their sorrow. Women will not cause trouble, fight and disturbance and family affairs will not be mismanaged.
  • 2) According to Islam, a husband is head of the family and the wife is assigned to assist and support him in running the household. And it is also clear from the materialistic point of view that a large number of subordinates are always an element of honor in the world, the head who has many subordinates under him is considered more successful and honorable, as compared to having more heads which is also impractical and undesirable from a worldly perspective. There is no such thing as a multiplicity of heads in the world (the president or prime minister of any country is one).

If any woman has a number of husbands it will be like a single subject who is ruled by a number of presidents and many rulers. We all know that it never happens that way. For a man to have many wives is no defect because man is the Head of the household while his wife assigned to assist and support him. A head can have many Assistants but an Assistant cannot have many heads.

  • 3) Allah has grown a natural sense of modesty in women whereby she hesitates to go before men strangers. When a woman talks to a man she is so ashamed that she lowers her gaze again and again. It is clear, therefore, that apart from immodest, indecent women, who have lost all sense of natural modesty, every other woman observes the veil before men and shows modesty and shyness. The sense of modesty that Allah has grown in their nature proves that they can only have one husband because if they maintain relations with more than one they cannot preserve modesty as may be seen in prostitutes.
  • 4) It is observed that if out of necessity, a man marries many wives then he can look after them. But, a woman will never be able to manage two husbands. Thus, a man may have more than one wife but a woman cannot have more than one husband.
  • 5) Often the total number of women in the world is greater than men. These statistics clearly say that a man may have many wives but not vice versa.
  • 6) The Lord has created man strong and powerful and woman delicate and weak of body So the strong can have many weaklings as his subordinates. It cannot be the other way about.
  • 7) Let us ponder over the natural tendencies. Even if a woman has a hundred husbands in a single pregnancy she can deliver not more than one or two offspring. But, one man can impregnate all his wives no matter how many they may be.
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