The phenomenon of widespread spinsterhood (women remaining without husbands) is caused by a number of things, including the following:
1 – Demanding too high a mahr, and the inability of young men to bear the expenses of marriage.
2 – Girls refusing to marry early on the grounds that they want to complete their education.
3 – Girls refusing to get married to a man who already has a wife.
4 – Difficult conditions imposed by the wife’s family or the husband’s.
The ways to solve this problem are as follows:
1 – The girl’s family should look for a suitable man who can make their daughter happy, and not seek to make excessive demands with regard to the mahr. Rather they should look for a man who is religiously committed and has a good character, who will be able to protect their daughter’s religious commitment and chastity, and make her happy.
2 – Girls should not refuse to get married on the excuse that they want to continue their education, so that they grow old and reach an age where they can find no one to marry them. It is possible to come to an agreement with their husbands that they will continue their education after they get married. That is easy to do, praise be to Allaah.
3 – A girl should not regard a man who proposes marriage to her when he already has a wife as unsuitable for her or unable to make her happy. Many girls refuse to accept a man who is already married, then time passes and they get too old and cannot find anyone to marry them. But Islam and the Sunnah of the Prophet permit a Muslim man to marry up to four women, on the condition that the man treat all his wives fairly.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid