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Scholars have given various reasons to explain the wisdom behind polygyny, some of which have been mentioned here:
1. Acquiring offspring: There are hadiths which show that the Prophet (SM) was proud of his Ummah for having many children.
2. Women outnumbering men:8
Abu Moosa al-AslTari reports that the Prophet (SM) said: It will come to pass9 that a single man may have forty women as his dependants, as there will be many women and few men.10
3. Men are different in nature from women: This is in terms of their physical make-up, where men remain reproductive until seventy years of age or more, whereas most women become unable to bear children after the age of fifty. Hence, a man may still want to father children even after his first wife can no longer conceive.
4. The illness of a wife: In a situation in which the wife is terminally or chronically ill, the husband has two choices, either to bring a cowife into the family or to divorce his sick wife. Since divorce often leads to great social and financial difficulty for the woman and her children, we believe that polygamy is a better option for all concerned.
5. Infertility: Sometimes, the wife is sterile but the husband desires to have children, and here too, the best option is a second marriage.
6. Continuous travelling: Some men are always travelling or are forced to live away from their wives (in foreign countries), and they may have children from the first wife, but are unable to satisfy their desires while away from her for so long. For such men, it is better and more chaste to marry another woman, than to become involved in illicit relationships.11
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