بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Q: What is the ruling concerning polygyny in Islam?
Sheikh Ubayd Al Jaabiri: All praises are strictly for Allah, Lord of the existence, and may Allah’s commendations (in lofty gatherings) and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family, and all of his companions.
Now then, undoubtedly it is obligatory upon every male and female Muslim to be pleased with Allah and His Messenger’s judgement. Allah the Exalted says:
وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانْتهوا
“And whatsoever the messenger gives you take it, and whatsoever he forbids abstain from it.” [Al-Hashr: 7]
And The Exalted says:
وما كان لمؤمن و لا مؤمنةٍ إذا قضى الله و رسوله أمرًا أن يكون لهم الخيرة من أمرهم
“It is not for a believer male and female to have a choice, if Allah and His messenger have decided a matter…” [Al-Ahzaab: 36]
And other than that from the explicitly suggestive verses that indicate that it is compulsory for every male and female Muslim the being pleased with whatsoever Allah and His Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- have decided, and to hold the belief that it is good. In that manner the sunnah has brought forth, from the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa sallam-, the inciting of the male and female Muslims to being pleased with whatsoever Muhammad has brought forth, regardless if the judgement is contain within a revealed (sent down by Allah from above the seven heavens) noble verse or within the Prophet’s sunnah. From the widely spread sunnah is that which the two scholars compiled on the authority of Anas, from the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa sallam where he said, “3 things if gathered within one finds the sweetness of faith; that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anyone besides them…”
The meaning is that you put whatsoever pleases Allah and His Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- before the statements of anyone, as is in the authentic narration, “Whoever is pleased with Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion, and Muhammad as his messenger has savored the taste of faith.” Thus his statement “And Muhammad as his messenger” this necessitates that one believes in all of what Muhammad -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- brought forth, that it is from Allah, and that it is the truth in which there is no doubt therein.
And what is better than what Ash-Shaafi’ee stated, “I believe in Allah, what has come from Allah, upon Allah’s intent. I believe in Allah’s Messenger, whatever has come from Allah’s Messenger, upon his -sallahu alayhi wa sallam- intent. Indeed the Islamic knowledge based specialist unanimously agree on what we have mentioned, hence it is determined. So undoubtedly polygyny is the foundation (of marriage in Islam), it is explicit within the distinguished revelation. Allah the Exalted says:
فانْكحوا ما طاب لكم من النساء مثنى و ثلاثى و رباع فإن خفتم ألاَّ تعدلوا فواحدةً
“So marry whatever you have a liking for from the women, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you cannot be just then (marry) one…” [An-Nisaa: 3]
The one who examines this valuable verse, made clear to him are two things:
First: That the foundation is polygyny as Allah began with it and encouraged it. Whoever speaks with it being obligatory, then his speech has a bases for consideration because the fundamental ruling regarding a command is obligation.
Second: Contentment with one (wife) for he who fears for himself the absence of justice (between multiple wives).
Translated by Najeeb Al Anjelesi
Source: التقرير المؤكد بالإجابة على ثلاثين سؤالاً في التعدد