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. -- Polygyny in Islam, Wikipedia

Among my group of Muslim friends, I'm not aware of any men who have more than one wife, and any women who have a co-wife. Most people seem uninterested in the idea, and the married men I know seem to treasure their wives. I'm not sure how this generalizes to Islam, and the Muslim population.

Question: Is marrying a second wife makruh (disliked) even if the husband can treat his wives equally?

The Wikipedia page has a section Opinions of classical Islamic scholars on polygamy which has a repeated theme that having a second (or multiple) wives is not encouraged. The two sources it provides are an IslamWeb fatwa and a link to PolygamyInIslam.com (which looks like a dead link).

The IslamWeb fatwa argues (a) a man should avoid it to avoid the possibility of being unjust to his wives and thereby sinning, and (b) if the husband really wants a second wife (particularly for reasons of chastity) and can be just to them, then it's fine.

Perhaps the content of the IslamWeb fatwa (or some other fatwa) implies the answer to this question is "yes", but that's not clear to me. Or maybe the answer is more along the lines of "it's nuanced, and doesn't have a simple makruh/not makruh classification in general".

Searching for site:islamqa.org second wife makruh, site:islamweb.net second wife makruh, site:islamqa.info second wife makruh doesn't give any immediate answers, which makes me think it's not considered makruh.

  • i think it is even emphasised that it is not makruh in quran 4:3 quran.com/4:3 .
    – qdinar
    Jan 9, 2017 at 7:08
  • 1
    If the quran allow something than considering it as Makruh is very weird.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 9, 2017 at 12:29
  • The Qur'an permits divorce though, and it's makruh. Jan 12, 2017 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


Islam has allowed polygamy as a solution for social problems and exceptional circumstances under strict conditions. If the conditions are not met, then the man should not marry a second wife.

If there are exceptional circumstances and the conditions are met, than there is no reason to consider, that marrying a second/third or even fourth wife is makruh.

In the following article, the autor states:

.... in normal condition and where there are no exceptional circumstances, Islam prefers monogamy. Islam also limits the resort to polygamy even as a solution for social problems and insists on following with justice, which is difficult to accomplish.

Most Muslim men are aware of the heavy responsibility on their shoulders in a plural marriage and that personal comfort and happiness is more achievable in a single marriage.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .