At the time, polygamy was the norm in Arab tribal society, and marrying widows and divorcées was a noble thing to do.
The parallel drawn between gay marriage and polygamy has been made before.
This must have made things even worse back when polygamy was permitted in China, until 1949.
1590s, from Late Latin polygamia, from Late Greek polygamia "polygamy," from polygamos "often married," from polys "many" + gamos "marriage" (see gamete). Not etymologically restricted to marriage of one man and multiple women (technically polygyny), but often used as if it were. Related: Polygamist.
The practice of having several wives or husbands at the same time. (Compare monogamy.)