Islam allows restricted polygyny with four wives simultaneously hitherto the common unrestricted practices among the Arabs before the appointment of the Messenger of Allah in their midst. Having an unlimited number of wives was not peculiar to the Arab culture alone, many nations in Africa are known to uphold the same practice. However, on the contact with Islam, every Muslim is required not to have more than four wives, simultaneously. The non-Muslim husband of more than four wives would be legally required to reduce the number of his wives to four upon his conversion to Islam. However, in Africa and in Nigeria in particular, some Muslims exceed the stipulated number and seek justification from the verse 20th of Suratu’n- Nisā and tag the practice as wahare and ‘Istibdāl. Other advocates of the practice twist the interpretation of the particular verse (Q4:3) regarding the permissibility of polygyny in support of the said practice. In view of this background, this paper aims to find out if there are correlations between the practice of wahare and ‘Istibdāl and the verse in question. Interviews, observations and review of literature were implored in this study. It was identified that the two different approaches to the practice of wahare /’Istibdāl are not supported by the verse 20th of Suratu’n- Nisā.
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