As to the often-raised question:
Why did Allah permit the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) more than four wives while limiting the number to four for the rest of the Muslim men (Qur’aan 4: 3)?
This matter is from the particularities that Allah gave him. In contrast, there are certain rulings that are allowed for the general Muslims but not permitted for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), like taking charity.
Furthermore, many things pertaining to rulings and/or miracles were made particular to Prophets and Messengers before. Of all the Prophets and Messengers, five were distinguished the most (Noah, Abraham. Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them all), and Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was further distinguished as the leader of all.
There is no doubt that there are great and noble wisdoms for such particularizations. We are not commanded, however, to search and find them, especially if such search arises from objection to the decree of Allah or due to certain doubts concerning it. This often comes from deviants and/or enemies of Islam. Nothing of this of course occurs from the believers.
The position of the Muslims regarding the wisdoms behind matters of Islam should be as follows:
- If they see any clear wisdom(s) relevant to these matters, then they take by it and thank Allah for that, and if not
- then they ask the people of knowledge, and
- in case there is no apparent wisdom reached at by the people of knowledge, then they say: “Allah Knows Best,” and they should not resort to any speculation lest they end up forging lies against Allah.
Source: Wedding to Four and Lawfully More – Dr Saleh As-Saleh rahimahullah