Polygyny in Islam

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Under Islamic marital jurisprudence, Muslim men are allowed to practice polygyny, that is, they can have more than one wife at the same time, up to a total of four. Polyandry, the practice of a woman having more than one husband, by contrast, is not permitted.

Polygyny for Muslims, in practice and in law, differs greatly throughout the Islamic world, where polygynous marriages constitute 41–53% of all marriages. In some Muslim countries, polygyny is relatively common, while in others, it is rare or non-existent. Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia and Turkey, for example, are predominantly Muslim countries that have not adopted Islamic law for marital regulations, where polygyny is not legal.


  • The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: When a man has two wives and he is inclined to one of them, he will come on the Day of resurrection with a side hanging down.

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