Polygamy: Why is it permitted?
Q458 :Why has polygamy been allowed in Islam? What
is the punishment for illegal contact between a man and a woman?
A458 : Polygamy has been permitted in Islam as a
solution to social problems that may not have any other satisfactory
solution. Take, for example, the case of a woman who has a chronic
illness which makes her unable to satisfy her husband's needs. Rather
than divorce her, her husband is allowed to have a second wife. Other
examples can be given in which marriage with a second wife provides a
better solution to a problem than any other alternative. There is an
important condition for a second or third marriage, namely that the
husband should treat his wives with absolute fairness and equality. If
he feels that he may not be able to do that, then he must not take a
second wife. Punishment for fornication [or intercourse between
unmarried persons] is flogging in public with 100 lashes. Punishment
for adultery [or intercourse between the married persons] is stoning to
death. However, these punishments cannot be enforced unless proof is
obtained either through freely given confession, [which, incidentally,
may be retracted] or through the testimony of four men who testify
under oath to have seen the offense being committed. Otherwise,
punishment is left to Allah to inflict on the day of judgment, or in
this life as He pleases. It is his prerogative to inflict punishment or
to forgive the offender.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )