The Issue of Polygamy
A person once said that he did not understand certain teachings of Islam. When I asked him to give an example, he mentioned polygamy. There is a lot of misunderstanding about Islam with respect to polygamy: people think Islam is a religion of the past and not fit for the modern society. I replied that there are two kinds of rule: general law and exceptional law. Polygamy is not a general rule of Islam. It is meant to be applied at the time of emergency. According to Islam, in usual situations, monogamy is the rule. But in times of crisis, for example war, many men die and women become surplus. When women become more in number than men, polygamy is allowed for a temporary period. This is to prevent sexual anarchy. In every society, nature maintains an equilibrium between the number of men and women. The concept of polygamy is thus not a general rule.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan