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Offline Reader Questions

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Can a Wife Have More than One Husband?
« on: March 31, 2013, 12:58:50 AM »
Dear Joseph,

Salam to you.

Please - I have a question that I would like to ask. Where does it say in the Quran that a wife cannot have more than one husband?

Thank so much

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Can a Wife Have More than One Husband?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 02:01:33 AM »
May peace be with you.

There are numerous context driven verses in the Quran where such an understanding would be untenable within the only permissible institution of marriage.

For example, in verse 4:24 (not withstanding the exception stated), the Quran explicitly prohibits marriage with women that are already married.

"Also (prohibited are) women already married..." (4:24)

Another example can be noted where the issue of * 'Nashaza' is addressed in the plural for spouses of men (4:34). However, verse 4:128 only speaks about 'a husband' in the singular when the same matter is addressed to a wife underscoring the fact that a women is only expected to have one husband at a time.

* 'Nashaza' (nushuz) - rebelliousness, disloyalty, ill-conduct, ill-treatment

"...and if a wife fears 'nushuz' from her husband (singular)...". [Note: Not husbands] (4:128)

"...and from whom you fear 'nusuz', then advise them... (plural context)" (4:34)

Furthermore, the detailed inheritance laws in the Quran make absolutely no allowance for polyandry (a woman having more than one husband) whereas it does for polygyny (a man having more than one wife).

Therefore, a wife can only have one husband at a time and the concept of polyandry is not permissible or recognised within the scope of Islam.

I hope that helps, God willing.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell