1 – Plural marriage helps to increase the numbers of the ummah
(nation, Muslim community).
It is known that the numbers can only be increased through marriage, and the number of offspring gained through plural marriage will be greater than that achieved through marriage to one wife.
Wise people know that increasing the number of offspring will strengthen the ummah and increase the number of workers in it, which will raise its economic standard – if the leaders run the affairs of state well and make use of its resources in a proper manner. Ignore the claims of those who say that increasing the numbers of human beings poses a danger to the earth’s resources which are insufficient, for Allaah the Most Wise Who has prescribed plural marriage has guaranteed to provide provision for His slaves and has created on earth what is more than sufficient for them. Whatever shortfall exists is due to the injustice of administrations, governments and individuals, and due to bad management. Look at China, for example, the greatest nation on earth as far as number of inhabitants is concerned, and it is regarded as one of the strongest nations in the world, and other nations would think twice before upsetting China; it is also one of the great industrialized nations. Who would dare think of attacking China, I wonder? And why?
2 – Statistics show that the number of women is greater than the number of men;
if each man were to marry just one woman, this would mean that some women would be left without a husband, which would have a harmful effect on her and on society:
The harmful effect is that she would never find a husband to take care of her interests, to give her a place to live, to spend on her, to protect her from haraam desires, and to give her children to bring her joy. This may lead to deviance and going astray, except for those on whom Allaah has mercy.
With regard to the harmful effects on society, it is well known that this woman who is left without a husband may deviate from the straight path and follow the ways of promiscuity, so she may fall into the swamp of adultery and prostitution – may Allaah keep us safe and sound – which leads to the spread of immorality and the emergence of fatal diseases such as AIDS and other contagious diseases for which there is no cure. It also leads to family breakdown and the birth of children whose identity is unknown, and who do not know who their fathers are.
Those children do not find anyone to show compassion towards them or any mature man to raise them properly. When they go out into the world and find out the truth, that they are illegitimate, that is reflected in their behaviour, and they become exposed to deviance and going astray. They may even bear grudges against society, and who knows? They may become the means of their country’s destruction, leaders of deviant gangs, as is the case in many nations in the world.
3 – Men are exposed to incidents that may end their lives, for they work in dangerous professions.
They are the soldiers who fight in battle, and more men may die than women. This is one of the things that raise the percentage of husbandless women, and the only solution to this problem is plural marriage.
4 – There are some men who may have strong physical desires, for whom one wife is not enough.
If the door is closed to such a man and he is told, you are not allowed more than one wife, this will cause great hardship to him, and his desire may find outlets in forbidden ways.
In addition to that, a woman menstruates each month, and when she gives birth, she bleeds for forty days (this post-partum bleeding is called nifaas in Arabic), at which time a man cannot have intercourse with his wife, because intercourse at the time of menstruation or nifaas is forbidden, and the harm that it causes has been proven medically. So plural marriage is permitted when one is able to be fair and just.
5 – Plural marriage does not exist only in the Islamic religion, rather it was known among the previous nations.
Some of the Prophets were married to more than one woman. The Prophet of Allaah Sulaymaan (Solomon) had ninety wives. At the time of the Prophet S.A.W (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), there were some men who became Muslims who had eight or five wives. The Prophet S.A.W(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to keep four wives and to divorce the rest.
6 – A wife may be barren, or she may not meet her husband’s needs, or he may be unable to have intercourse with her because she is sick.
A husband may long to have children, which is a legitimate desire, and he may want to have a sex life within marriage, which is something permissible, and the only way is to marry another wife. It is only fair for the wife to agree to remain his wife and to allow him to marry another.
7 – A woman may be one of the man’s relatives and have no one to look after her,
and she is unmarried or a widow whose husband has died, and the man may think that the best thing to do for her is to include her in his household as a wife along with his first wife, so that he will both keep her chaste and spend on her. This is better for her than leaving her alone and being content only to spend on her.
8 – There are other shar’i interests that call for plural marriages,
such as strengthening the bonds between families, or strengthening the bonds between a leader and some of his people or group, and he may think that one of the ways of achieving this aim is to become related to them through marriage, even if that is through plural marriage.