You may be wondering what the point of polygamy actually is. The possibility of polygamy exists in Islam. Why is it even a possibility?
Polygamy has several reasons and objectives. It is also used to remedy or facilitate social problems. For example, think of divorced women or children who do not have a father figure.
1. Taking care of orphans
It's hard enough not to have a father figure as an orphan. The Muslim man takes on the role of stepfather to assist the orphaned child.
You might then think that there are other solutions for this. They do exist. Think, for example, of an orphanage and various other foundations that take in orphans. Polygamy offers something extra, namely that the child gets a father figure in his or her life.
The man stands in for the missing, deceased, or unavailable father in the orphan's life. In this way, the child can get the love of a father figure and develop better.
2. Support for the widow
Islam uses polygamy to assist the widow. Divorce can weigh a lot. This is a tough situation where the woman receives little emotional support, love or understanding.
She may also have to raise her children herself. That does not always go as desired. A person can only handle a limited amount of pressure and difficulty.
The Muslim man marries the widow to assist her and be a convenience to her. He lifts the burden of financial maintenance, food and clothing. In addition, she gets the love she longs for and avoids being lonely for short or long periods.
3. Practicing the Sunnah
Another purpose of polygamy is that it gives the man the opportunity to practice the Sunnah. He thus follows the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
The Prophet (ﷺ) was married to several women. It used to be a well-known form of marriage. It was known before the coming of the Prophet that people abused the rights of wives.
Allah ordered upon the arrival of the Prophet (ﷺ) that Muslims can marry a maximum of four wives. This is to protect the rights of women.
The practice of polygamy can also be seen among Prophets such as Ibrahim and Ya'qoub. The Muslim man is recommended to follow the tradition because it will increase Iman.
4. Male nature
The nature of a man is different from that of a woman. It is a strange thought for women to have more than one man. They wouldn't want this either.
The nature of the man is to be able to have more than one wife, while at the same time offering them their rights. He can love several women at the same time without losing that for one of them. The capacity for giving love is therefore higher in the man.
Allah knows what the nature of man is, therefore polygamy is not forbidden to practice. It also falls under one of the man's rights to be able to exercise this.
Men are naturally capable of wanting multiple partners, although this is not the case with women. Men can give their wives the same amount of attention, time and love.
It is not the case that men have chosen to be that way. This is how the man is created by Allah. Because of this, it is unjustified to place them in a negative light because of their nature.
5. When men are in small numbers
In the past, wars caused a great reduction in men. This made it impossible for women to marry.
In such a situation, it is beneficial for the woman to enter into a polygamous marriage. Then it is not that she has less chance because every man is taken. Her chance exists as long as the man chooses polygamy.
6. If the woman is infertile
If the man has always wanted children, then he is stuck if his wife is barren. He must then accept not to have children and thus not expand his family tree.
Men who wish to have children can still achieve this with polygamy. For example, the husband does not have to consider divorcing his wife (which happens quite often), because he can marry a second wife.
Of course it is possible to adopt a child, but there are different rules and regulations that the man does not always want to cooperate with.