Second marriage is a permissible act in Islam which saves an individual (a male) from trespassing limits and committing vulgarity. I can afford a second wife, but the Sunni scholars speak against the second marriage. However, no one offers the logic to support the argument except the issue of justice. And I know it well how and when to maintain justice. While this act (second marriage) is permissible and rewarding till today, how can it be deemed evil and Haram?
Marring a second wife is permissible for a man in Islam. In chapter 4, verse 3 of the Noble Quran, Allah Almighty says:
Translation: "And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]." (Al-Quran, 4:3)
In the age of ignorance, it was a custom to have multiple wives. Islam set a limit on the number of wives one can have at a time. However, the permission to marry more than one and up to four women is tied to certain conditions.
Usually women have got a weak and volatile temperament. The first wife deems the second one inferior to her and vice versa. It gives rise to an unending series of domestic quarrels and fights which makes the husband’s life unbearable. That is why, men try to avoid second marriage to the utmost possible extent. It is usually not possible to maintain justice between two wives and inclining more to one wife involves serious repercussions.
Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.A.) quotes the Holy Prophet ﷺ as saying:
“On the day of Judgement, the man who has two wives and inclines more to one (violating justice) will be in such a state that one of his sides shall be static (paralyzed).” (Sunan Ibn Majah and Sahih Ibn Hibban)
On another occasion, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said:
“He shall be dragged in such a state that one of his sides shall be hanging and paralyzed.” (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
In any case, the Noble Quran imposes a condition of “justice” on second marriage. If you cannot maintain justice, and do not fulfil the marital duties physically and financially, you are not entitled to marry two wives as per the Quranic injunctions. And if you cannot provide physical and financial support to evenone wife, do not go for even a single wife.
In case your physical and financial circumstances suggest that you can afford a second wife, visit your area’s Union Council office to learn about the Muslim Family Laws, which may involves taking permission from the first wife, so that you are able to fulfil your religious and legal obligations.