Taken From The Fatawaa of our Shaykh, Allaama Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Abdul Azeez bin Abdullaah Bin Baaz
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
Question: is having more than one wife something permissible in Islaam or is it the Sunnah?
The Answer: Having more than one wife is the Sunnah if you have ability to do so due to the saying of Allaah The most high:
<<Then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice. >>[Soorah an-Nisa:3]
And also due to the action of the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – he had altogether nine women and Allaah made it a means for theUmmah to have benefited from them.
This is from the distinguished characteristics of the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, as for other than him then it is not allowed to combine more than four.
As for having more than one wife then there are great benefits for men, women and all the Muslim Ummah. Indeed what is achieved/beneficial for everyone, by having more than one wife is lowering ones gaze, protection for the private parts, increase in offspring, that a man can look after the benefits of a large number of women and can defend them from causes of evil and deviances.
As for the one who is incapable of doing this and fears that he will not be just between them, then he should suffice with one due to the saying of Allaah Subhana:
<<But if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one>> [Soorah an-Nisa:3]
May Allaah give all the Muslims that which there is benefit for them and success for them in this world and the Hereafter.
[al-Balaag magazine no.1028]