Can a man be married to more than one woman at the same time and whenever he pleases?
The straightforward answer is no.
The Quran presents only one very specific situation in which a man may have more than one wife, but even then, God advises that it is better to be married to just one wife at any one time.
Before we present the Quranic view on this matter, it must be said that Muslims today have badly corrupted God’s law in the Quran as they allow men to marry up to four wives at will, while acting totally oblivious to the conditions set by God for this concession. They justify this by making ridiculous excuses such as their claim that men have a much higher sex drive than women, thus God accommodated men accordingly!
To make such outrageous claims is devious enough, but they also support their claims with various notorious fabricated hadith which do nothing but slur the image of the righteous and totally devoted prophet of God. One such hadith states:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268:
Narrated by Qatada
Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to have sexual intercourse with all his wives one after the other during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven).
If we examine the Quranic evidence we find the concession given in the following verse:
“And if you fear that you may not be just to the orphans, then you may marry whom you please of the women: two, and three, and four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then only one, or what your right hand possesses. This is best that you do not face financial hardship.” 4:3
What is immediately noticeable from the above words is that the word “if” (inn in Arabic) at the beginning of the verse is a conditional word. What follows after the word “if” is thus a condition that must be met in order for what comes after it to be possible.
This means that if a man is not supporting any orphans nor being entrusted to protect the possessions of orphans, then it is not lawful for him to marry more than one wife. If a man is supporting orphans or acting as a guardian to them, then taking a second wife for the purpose of looking after the orphans and giving them a mother figure would be allowed.
In verse 4:2 God speaks of orphans, protecting their money, and warning against consuming their money unjustly. God is speaking to the men who are entrusted with the protection of orphans and their money. If a man fears that he cannot perform the duty as a guardian to the orphans and their money on his own, and in a just manner, then he is permitted to marry the woman of his choice to bring a motherly figure who would support the man in the raising of the orphans. God allows 2, 3 and 4 (depending on the number of orphans the man is taking care of).
It must be stated here that this concession is allowed purely for the benefit of the orphans and not to allow men a varied sexual life (as those hypocrites claim)!
We also note the very important words in 4:3:
“If you fear you will not be fair, then only one, or what you right hand possesses.”
These words must be read in conjunction with the following Quranic words:
“You will not be able to treat all women equally even if you wish to do so.” 4:129
If we combine the content of 4:3 and 4:129 it becomes obvious that God is very clearly discouraging more than one wife. God only allows this action under very strict conditions and even when these conditions are satisfied, God still advises no more than one.