Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Polygamy In Arabia Before Appearance Of Islam.

While the writer of this essay was reviewing recently the entries of the "Traffic Resources" of  the readership of this website, world wide, one particular entry had asked the following question :

Was there polygamy in Arabia before the Appearance of Islam ?

The answer to the above question is a BIG YES.

In fact, polygamy was very rampant in Arabia before the appearance of Islam. A man could marry as many wives as he could afford to support. It was even socially acceptable, if not normal , for a husband to have as many as 30 wives. Yes, you just have read it correctly : 30 wives. Unreal !  Is not it?

Something Is Worth Remembering :

One of the great achievements of Islam has been the fact that it has reformed the social order or disorder of  Arabia by providing strict instructions to its adherents to limit the number of wives a man can marry is four, with the following tough condition or requirement : If a man cannot treat all four wives equally, ( humanly an impossible task ), such a man must not marry four wives, but only one.

Since it is humanly impossible to treat all four wives in equal fairness and justice, the vast majority of the Muslim men of the Twenty First Century restrict themselves to marrying only one wife.

Recommendation :

To understand more fully the answer to the question, " was there in Arabia polygamy before the appearance of Islam ? ",  it is highly recommended to read the following essay published on this website :

(12)  The Status Of Women In Islam ,dated May 20,2011.

It is number (12) of a series of 14 different topics about Islam.

In order to get topic number (12), just keep clicking at the bottom of the newer essays ,the label which says "Older Post".

Happy Reading.............


  1. It is hard to believe that a husband can be married to 30 wives at the same time!

    Sodium: Perhaps you can help me understand how this could be.

  2. Anonymous,

    In order to help you out,please take your time and read the following TWO topics of the 14 different topics written about Islam on this website:

    * Topic number (1) Arabia Before The Appearance of Islam.
    * Topic number (12) The Status Of Women In Islam.

    After reading those two topics, your understanding may become less difficult. Reasons:

    ~ You may appreciate the fact that Arabia was in tribal warfare in which the victors used to kill all males,including infant males, and used to leave women and infant females alone. Why killing infant males? The answer has to do with " VENGEANCE " which was part of Arab " MUROWAH ". The meaning of " MUROWAH " is fully explained in topic number (1) listed above. It is imperative to understand what " MUROWAH " really means,in order to understand the ancient Arab culture before the appearance of Islam.

    ~ After male infants grew up and became men, they were the ones who were expected to do vengeance for the defeated tribe, against the victorious tribe that killed their ancestors. Hence, killing male infants by the victorious tribe was necessary, in order to avoid future vengeance by the defeated tribe.

    The two foregoing reasons are the tip of the iceberg of other reasons behind a husband having so many wives in ancient Arabia. Some of the many other reasons were political like forming tribal alliances,other reasons had to do with helping the women and their infants who survived the tribal wars.

    In short, as you may see the ratio of number of women to the number of men in ancient Arabia was too many women for fewer men. The above very brief outline should help you,Ananymous.

    At any rate, your comments are appreciated.