Q 1: Allah states in Surah Al-Nisa',
And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls 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 slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Allah spoke the Truth. Based on this Ayah, some people claim that (Part No. 18; Page No. 263) according to one Madh-hab (School of Jurisprudence) a Muslim is allowed to marry nine wives at the same time. I heard someone who pretends to have knowledge saying that it is permissible for a man to marry nine wives at the same time.
The Ayah in which Allah states,
...then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four
means that a man is permitted to marry one, two, three or four wives. The phrase
...two or three, or four
indicates that he may have this number of wives at the same time.
According to Ijma` (consensus of scholars), a Muslim man is not to marry more than four women. Permissibility to marry more than four wives was a special exception for the Prophet. The following proof affirms that marrying more than four wives is Haram (prohibited) and impermissible.
In his Sunan,
Abu Dawud narrated
on the authority of
Qays ibn Al-Harith who said,
When I embraced Islam, I had eight wives. I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and informed him about that matter, then he (peace be upon him) ordered me to choose only four of them.
Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) narrated
Ghaylan ibn Salamah had ten wives in wedlock at the same time who embraced Islam with him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered him to keep four of them and divorce the rest.
In his explanation of impermissibility for a man to marry more than four wives at the same time,
Ibn Kathir (Part No. 18; Page No. 264) (may Allah be merciful to him) used the Hadith of
Ghaylan as a proof. Had it been allowed for men to marry more than four women at the same time, the Prophet would have allowed Ghaylan to keep more than four of his wives since they all embraced Islam with him. When the Prophet commanded him to keep only four of them and divorce the rest, this indicated that men are not allowed to keep more than four wives at a time under any circumstances. If this was the case concerning those who already had more than four wives upon embracing Islam, then this ruling applies even more so to marrying more than four. Allah (Glorified be He) knows best. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!