However, men must show that they’re able to support this number of wives.

Women are not permitted to marry more than one man, traditionally because of the difficulty of proving which man fathered which son.

When in doubt, Muslims will often seek instruction from the life of Muhammad.

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There are certain customs that all Muslims are expected to follow, but since Islam is interpreted in many ways across many cultures, it is difficult to make sweeping generalizations.

The vast complexity of Islam is compounded by cultural variations among Muslims.

Every race and ethnicity counts some Muslims among its number, and mosques have been built around the world where they absorb local marriage customs.

Many Muslim scholars take pains to make it clear that local customs often influence the practice of the religion.

In practice, this affects nearly all aspects of how men and women relate to each other in Islam. What often happens is that a young man of marriageable age will be offered to a girl’s guardian as a prospect.

Most of the time, the girl’s consent is sought, and she generally has the right to refuse an unwanted suitor.

Islam is easily the second-largest religion in the world.

Well over one billion people practice some form of the faith, and a majority of the faithful put religion at the heart of how they live their lives.

Learning more about the diverse community of Muslims and the way they’re expected to conduct themselves throughout the marriage process is a good way to better understand this modern religion.

All Muslims belong to a community of believers called the ummah.

Muslim men are permitted to choose wives from among fellow believers or from among other “people of the book”: Christians and Jews. In Islam, men are often permitted to marry multiple women.