Some ladies came to Imam Abu Haneefa (RA) and said: “We have an important question to ask if you allow us.”

“Surely,” replied the imam. “Ask!”

They continued: “Islam allows a man to marry four women. Why can’t we marry four men, too?”

The Imam: “Sisters, no decree of Islam is without wisdom. If it doesn’t make sense to people, it is no fault of Islam’s, it is the fault of their intellect and understanding.”

The ladies: “How? Please explain!”

“Surely, I will explain in a short while,” replied the imam.

He gave them a bowl asking them to go to the adjacent room and express a little milk in it. When they returned he said: “Now each lady should separate her own milk.”

Astonished, they began looking at each other. Some of them said: “But this is impossible! The milk is well blended and mixed. How can anyone separate it?”

The Imam said: “You are right. Now tell me, if a woman with four husbands bears a child, how would you tell who the father of the child is?”

Hearing this, the ladies had absolutely nothing to say. They departed without saying a word.

Excerpted from Wit, Wisdom and Humour (Part 1) by Hazrat Moulana Ahmad Muhammad Hathurani (RA)