Question # 10009: Why is it forbidden for a woman to have multiple 
husbands at one time?  


Why are women not allowed to have 3 or 4 husbands but men can have 3 or 4 


Praise be to Allaah. 

This is connected primarily to faith in Allaah. All religions are agreed that 
it is not permissible for a woman to have intercourse with anyone except her 
husband. Among these religions are those which are undoubtedly of heavenly 
origin, such as Islam and the original versions of Judaism and Christianity. 
Belief in Allaah dictates submission to His rulings and laws, for Allaah is 
All-Wise and All-Knowing, He knows what is in the best interests of mankind. So 
we may understand the wisdom behind the ruling of sharee'ah, or we may not be 
able to grasp it.  

With regard to the permissibility of multiple spouses for men and its 
prohibition for women, there are several issues which are obvious to every 
intelligent person. Allaah has made woman like a vessel, but man is not like 
that. If a woman becomes pregnant (when she has had intercourse with a number 
of men at one time), the father can never be known. People's lines of descent 
and lineage will be mixed up, families will be destroyed and children will be 
lost. Women will be burdened with so many children that they will be unable to 
bring them up and spend on their maintenance. Maybe women would find themselves 
forced to sterilize themselves, which would lead to the extinction of the human 
race. Moreover it is medically proven now that one of the major causes of the 
serious diseases which have become widespread, such as AIDS etc., is women 
having intercourse with more than one man, and the mixing of seminal fluids in 
the woman's womb causes these lethal diseases. Hence Allaah has prescribed a 
waiting period ('iddah) for a woman who has been divorced or whose husband has 
died, until enough time has passed for her womb and passages to be cleansed of 
any traces of her former husband, and the monthly period also has a role to 
play in this matter. Perhaps these brief pointers will dispense with the need 
for a lengthy discussion. If the purpose of the question is research for a 
university or other assignment, he may refer to the books which have been 
written on the topic of plural marriage (polygyny) and the wisdom behind it. 
And Allaah is the Source of strength.  

Shaykh Sa'd al-Humayd

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