Islaam regulated matrimony in that men are permitted to marry up to four wives provided they treat them fairly and equally. The man must first be financially capable to take another wife, provide different residences and be able to divide his time equally amongst them.
In the western society many men who are married to only one wife usually have extramarital affairs. Thus a survey was published in the USA Today (April 4, 1988; Section D) which asked 4700 mistresses, what would they like their status to be (mistress or second wife). They said,
“I prefer being a second wife rather than the other woman”.
The reasons for this are that they didn’t have any legal rights, nor did they have the financial equality of the legally married wives and it appeared that these men were using them.
Islaam is clearly against extra or premarital affairs (fornication) as this leads to corruption in the society and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Don’t people feel bad when they have children out of wedlock? These children have the right to grow up knowing that they have parents who are responsible enough to have planned to bring them into the world. No one would like to be told that they were an accident.
As for those against polygyny, statistics show that because of wars there are more women in the world than there are men. Other reasons are, most married men engage in extramarital affairs and there is an increase in homosexuality amongst men, thus causing an excess amount of women to men. The Islamic solution of polygyny is the best solution to the seemingly difficult problems that plague our society in our man to woman relationships.