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Polygamy: Advices & Q/A's


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#1 ummitaalib

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:03 AM

Entering Into Marriage Wthout The First Wife's Knowledge

 

<QUESTION>

 

I am a 25 year old woman. About 2 years ago I entered into a relationship with a married man on the basis that he did not get on with his wife and that the only reason he could not leave her was because he had a child with her meaning that if he left her she would not let him see his child. Since then he has had a second child with his wife, saying that it was a mistake.

He has persuaded me to be his second wife which deep down I'm not really happy about but I have come to terms with the situation.

 

However, he has told me that my marriage with him must remain a secret from his wife or else she will leave him and take the kids. He has assured me that he and his wife have no relationship and that he is only in the marriage because of the children. I have no way of finding out whether he is telling the truth. I just have to take his word for it.

 

Will it be a sin on me to marry him without his first wife knowing? Will it be a sin on him to marry a second time without telling his first wife on the basis that if she found out then she will leave and not let him see the kids? If we do get married then is our marriage invalid?

 

<ANSWER>

        In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

First and foremost, it is necessary that you stop all kind of informal interaction with this man. It is unlawful and sinful to have an informal relationship with a non-Mahram of the opposite gender; hence you must at once cut off any casual relationship with him.

 

Secondly, it is not a pre-requisite to seek the permission of the first wife in order for a man to marry second time; neither is it necessary for him to inform her. However, what is necessary is that he treats both of his wives in a just and equal manner.

 

Allah Most High says:

 

“If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, three, or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…(Surah al-Nisa, 3)

 

Thus, if one has to treat both of one’s wives equally and justly, then as a result, he will have to inform his first wife of his second marriage, unless the second wife forgoes her rights of equal treatment.

 

What you really need to do is think deep and hard about the situation. It is generally not advisable for men to marry more than once in our times, because of the harm and wrong that inevitably results, unless there is a genuine need.

 

If you are not happy in being his second wife, then you should not marry him, as that will only bring about harm to you in the future. He says not to inform his first wife because she will leave him and take the children with her, so for how much longer will the situation remain like this? Will you not be able to have a proper marital relationship with him? What will happen when you have children with him? These and other such issues are what you really need to think and ponder over.

 

If you are willing and happy to be his second wife, then strictly speaking, your marriage with him would be valid (provided all the necessary ingredients for a valid marriage are met). However, from a practical and moral perspective, you need to be careful, cautious, and mindful of what the consequences of this will be in the future. You will need to discuss the matter with family and friends, especially those who know him closely.

 

And Allah knows best 

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK


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#2 ummitaalib

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

Contemplating On Being A Second Wife?

 

A SECOND WIFE, in fact even a third and a fourth wife, are in exactly the same category as a first wife. The norms of western society, which have been acquired by Muslims, have created in Muslim society similar attitudes of repugnance which westerners display towards a plurality of marriages. In the Qur’aan Majeed and in the Sunnah there is overwhelming evidence for the perfect permissibility of marrying more than one wife. The life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), of the Sahaabah and the great personalities of Islam in all ages are more than adequate evidence for the sanctity of the institution of polygamy in the same way as is the institution of monogamy. In fact, it is an attitude of kufr to hold in contempt polygamy. This attitude is tantamount to criticizing Allah Ta’ala who has made polygamy lawful, and it is an indirect assault on the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Ambiya and the Sahaabah.

 

IMMORALITY

Western society tolerates fornication and illicit associations by husbands and wives. But, a second marriage is unthinkable. Muslims who ape the west suffer from the very same irrational mental disease.

Since the kufr draws filth and falsehood like a magnet draws steel, a compromise with the adultery committed by a husband and even a continued illicit relationship are acceptable to a wife. But never is a second wife tolerable to the first wife. Muslims too have inherited similar emotional stances, attitudes and ideas of the western kuffaar.

Even Muslim wives and Muslims in general frown o¬n a second marriage while wives and many others outrightly reject it. As a last resort to prevent the second marriage, the husband’s continued illicit relationship will be condoned with a blind eye, but not his Nikah which is viewed worse than adultery— Nauthubillaah!

 

OPPOSITION

In view of the strong opposition of society and the wife in particular to a man marrying a second wife, most men who become entangled in illicit relationships, but are overwhelmed by remorse, endeavour to rectify the wrong in a clandestine way. Since they lack the courage to do what is proper, they enter into secret marriages.

Clandestine marriages bring in their wake grave and heartbreaking consequences. Both the man and woman who contemplate such a marriage should reflect seriously and not enter into a union which resembles an illicit relationship.

 

In other words, they should not enact a secret Nikah and conceal the holy bond from the community and the first wife.The opposition, taunts and criticism of society should be ignored. The Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala is of paramount importance, not the emotional eruptions and pleasure of the people. Deficiency of Imaan constrains men who contemplate second marriages to either opt for continuation of the illicit affair for fear of antagonising the first wife and society, or at best, they arrange a secret Nikah.

 

THE SECRET NIKAH

Nikah, it should be understood, is a public institution. The teaching and spirit of Islam emphasise the public announcement of a Nikah. That is why the presence of witnesses is an integral constituent of the marriage ceremony which is not valid without witnesses. The public announcement of Nikah is of such great significance that according to the Maaliki Math-hab, it should be proclaimed and advertised with even the beating of the duff (drum). The Hadith states that the distinguishing feature between Nikah and zina is public announcement. While Nikah is publicly proclaimed and acclaimed, zina is concealed. Now if Nikah too is treated with secrecy, what difference is there between marriage and adultery? It therefore does not behove Muslims to conceal what is above board, pure and halaal. Concealing an illicit association is understandable, but not a halaal union enacted to obliterate the illicit affair. A marriage performed in secret and concealed from public knowledge is in conflict with the teaching and spirit of Islam.

 

NOT FOR LONG

A secret marriage cannot be concealed for too long. Sooner or later the matter comes to the notice of people. Those who are unaware will justifiably believe that an adulterous affair is existing. When ultimately the Nikah becomes known, a storm erupts. If the Nikah was performed in accordance with the demands of the Shariah, the resultant effect would have been infinitely milder than the consequences of a secret marriage becoming public.

 

MISTRESS?

The woman too should understand that she should not submit to the demanding emotions of the married man who is desirous of concealing the contemplated Nikah. It is most dishonourable for a woman to allow herself to be entrapped in such a marriage in which her position will be not much better than that of a mistress. While married, life will continue as if an illicit affair exists between herself and her husband. What pleasure and happiness can an honourable Muslim woman derive from a marriage which she has to conceal, and always duck and dive to save her ‘image’ and the ‘reputation’ of her husband? Over the years numerous such clandestine cases have passed through our office. The results are always miserable and grievous. A woman who accedes to a man’s desire for a clandestine nikah should understand that she will not be treated as a decent wife by her husband. She will live in suspense. She will not be favoured with the rights which a Nikah grants a wife. She will be denied the honour of running a home. The husband will violate most of her rights. She will live in frustration and despondency. Although a wife, wedded to her husband in Allah’s Name, she has to live in darkness and under a cloud of suspicion.

 

NEGLECT

After a lapse of time, the man tires of his secret wife. The glamour must necessarily wear thin. Then the serious problems begin. The woman comes to her senses when it is a bit too late. Never submit to a secret marriage proposal. If a man lacks the courage to publicly proclaim his second marriage, it is a sure sign that he will violate the rights of his second wife. He lacks in the quality of Islamic manhood. He marries her to soothe his conscience. His sole motive is sexual gratification. But a happy marriage is not based solely on this factor.

 

If he refuses to have the Nikah in the Musjid and put you on the pedestal of Islamic wifehood, issue a firm refusal for your own sake. Do not open up the avenue of a miserable life for yourself by acting the part of a mistress under a veneer of marriage.


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#3 ummitaalib

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 01:22 AM

Advice to Males Intending Polygamy

 

It should be understood that it is very painful, difficult, and traumatic for women, especially in those societies where polygamy is hardly practiced to accept their husbands taking another wife. The influence of alien culture has so strongly overwhelmed them that there is not only a fear of ruining their marriages but also a chance of them losing their Imam. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that this matter be approached correctly and dealt with caution, care and diplomacy. Before thinking of a second marriage consider the following:

 

  1. Consider the responsibility which comes along with a second marriage.
  2. Reflect whether you are able to fulfil the Shar’i obligations of both wives in a fair and just manner.
  3. Seek advice from your local Ulama and senior members of his family and community.
  4. Seek advice from those already in a polygamous marriage.
  5. Be able to adjust your routine and daily schedule.
  6. Make all arrangements to ensure all wives receive their rights.
  7. Possess a strong emotional state of mind to be able to handle the sensitiveness of all his wives.
  8. Never contemplate polygyny as an experimental exercise.
  9. Never consider polygyny to spite the first wife.
  10. Take note that the permission of polygyny should not be abused.
  11. Take into account the feelings and sentiments of the first wife and endeavour to provide every reassurance, support and comfort to her.
  12. Be understanding, tolerant, caring and patient towards his first wife who is facing a most tumultuous period in her life that could cause her to have bouts of irrational behaviour from time to time.
  13. Consider the impact it will have on his immediate family and what measures he has in place to support them through possible turmoil.

These are some points which need to be carefully considered before taking a second wife.

 

 

Advice to a Woman who’s Husband Seeks a Second Marriage.

 

A husband intending a second marriage could be very challenging for a woman. It could have disastrous consequences however, it is left up to an individual what she wants to make out of it. Allah Ta’ala does not burden his slaves with that which they cannot bear. Depending on the way she response to her husband’s intentions of a second marriage so will the outcome be. If she response positively the husbands second marriage could prove to be for fruitful for her too. We all know the busy and hectic lives women lead. From caring for the husbands needs to the kids, doing the household chores and her personal needs. A co-wife could prove to help and assist in her having more time for herself and her kids. Also at times the husband could be very demanding. After a long days work (of a woman) for a woman to still give full attention to a demanding husband could also be very difficult causing much frustration. With a co-wife they could equally share the burden.

 

Below are few ways in which a woman could respond to her husband’s intentions:

 

  1. She becomes very angry, upset and is besides herself with rage, to the point of acting violently against others and herself. She threatens to leave him and abuses the custody of kids. In short she just crates a host of complex problems.
  2. She is all the above but does not leave him. Instead, she puts up a fierce resistance turning her home and everybody’s lives into a living hell.
  3. She accepts the situation grudgingly. She may not display her anger but rather gives the impression that all is well. This store anger then drives her to act maliciously by placing various obstacles in the husband’s life.
  4. She is naturally upset, but takes it positively turning to Allah Ta’ala, asking His assistance. She also encourages her husband and co-operates with her co-wife. Shaytan will most definitely bombard her with evil thoughts and feelings sinking her into depression. However, by being patient and turning to Allah Ta’ala, He will most definitely help her.

 

 

A Golden Rule to Remember: The hurt will not leave if she resorts to unreasonable behaviour, but will prolong her anguish if not increase it. To overcome the hurt, she will have to place herself in the ward where this takes place; the ward of the patient.

 

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#4 ummitaalib

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:35 PM

Why is Polygamy not Prohibited in Islam?

 

Question

 

The unbelieving women will ALWAYS have one thing superior to believing women because in this world they had the chance of having a single husband to themselves ( in Christianity and many other religions Polygamy is forbidden). Please comment. 

 

Answer

 

Are you sure it’s forbidden in Christianity?  Sayyiduna Isa Alayhissalam came to reform the religion of the Bani Israeel, and many among the prophets of Bani Israeel had numerous wives. Bible states that Dawood (A.S.) and Suleman (A.S.) had plenty of wives. Sayyiduna Ibrahim (A.S.) had two wives. So your assumption is wrong.

 

For arguments sake if it was forbidden, then is it natural or against nature to restrict man to one woman? Have you never heard of men having affairs? Why do they do that? Man is made polygamous whereas woman is made monogamous. This is the way Almighty Allah made us. 

 

Do you know that, following a 30 years war, in 1650 there was a law in Uk that all men were allowed to marry ten women. The men were admonished to behave honourably, provide for their wives properly and prevent animosity between them. This was due to the lack of men and many women feeling abandoned. In those days adultery was an abhorrent act.

 

So always having one man is no ‘superiority’, you are asking this question under the influence of the environment you are living in. If you can come out of this cuckoo land and think with an open mind, you will realise that having a sawkan (co-wife) and treating her like your real sister or your best friend would make things a lot easier for you. You would have to do half the cooking and half the washing, you will get help from her with your children. When you are on your menses your husband won’t pester you, he will be able to fulfil his desire with your sawkan. The Arabian women were much wiser than our Asian and European women. Of course you have to make some sacrifices, like sometimes you might need him, but he would be with the other wife. But life is all about sacrifices, we have to give and take, so we can’t have everything the way we want it.

 

I read in one article that this Christian lady in Wolverhampton,UK was divorced. She was living on her own. She went for a holiday in the Maldives where she met some Muslim waiter at a restaurant. They became friends, so she took things further and said ‘I want to marry you’. He said I am a Muslim, and I already have a wife. She said I will become a Muslimah and stay as your second wife. He agreed. She came back, sold her house and went to stay with him. 

 

She wrote in the article that even when my husband is with the other wife on the alternate night, I still feel secure. My first husband would come late at night; I would be tossing and turning in my bed, worried to bits about whom he would be sleeping with and what if he brought some disease from her and affected me with it. Also she writes ‘I only have to do half of the cooking and half of the washing.’

 

So this thought of superiority in having one husband is not correct. If a woman has a very good friend and she says to her husband ‘Do Nikah with this friend of mine as well and both live happily, what is wrong with that? This is our religious freedom and abiding by the law of the land, we should be allowed to keep a common law wife.

 

I can’t write much as I have one wife and I am not very experienced in that field. Maybe you might want to ask someone who has two wives and is treating them both in the best possible manner.

 

Just remembered; Sheikh Ahmed Ali of Bradford had two wives. They were of similar age, best friends, lived under one roof and were really happy. 

Recently they had both gone shopping together at Morrison’s. They were crossing the road with shopping bags in their hands. Some maniac came speeding in his sports car. The younger wife rushed forward and managed to survive but the first wife was struck and dragged by the car for a considerable distance and she died in the middle of the road in the lap of her best friend as the ambulance arrived. 

This worldly life is temporary, the real life is that of the hereafter. We should aspire for jannah and seek Allah’s pleasure by submitting ourselves to the instructions and guidance given by the Almighty Allah swt 

Tafseer Raheemi


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#5 ummitaalib

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:35 PM

Informing the First Wife of the Second Marriage
 

Firstly, I’d like to say, may Allah reward Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam for taking the time to serve the Umma by answering questions. I was reading through the site and came across an answer that made me a bit uneasy. I am not a scholar by any means, but the answer seemed strange to me and I’d like to seek clarification.

 

The answer in question is regarding the necessity of telling one’s first wife that one has entered into a second marriage. It is found at the following link:

http://www.darulifta...onID=q-10023695

 

Basically, as I understood it, the Shaykh concluded that a man is under noobligation to inform his first wife that he has indeed married again.

 

With all due respect, that seems absurd to me due to the following reasons:

 

1) One of the conditions of a marriage is the presence of witnesses presumably so that there is no deception involved–so that there is no suspicion, no lies, everything is on the up and up, so to speak. In addition to this requirement, it is sunnah to invite the public to a walimah celebrating the event–again, presumably in part so that knowledge that an actual marriage has taken place and the individuals in question are not fornicating. I don’t know, maybe strictly according to the letter of the law, a man’s first wife is not required to be among the witnesses–but what are we advocating here? That everyone in the community has a right to know that a man has contracted a second marriage but his first wife–who is most affected by his actions– can be kept in the dark? What kind of marriage is that?

 

2) How is the first wife (or second wife) to know whether or not her husband is giving her the necessaries in terms of her rights in a polygamous marriage if she isn’t even aware that she is in one? How does she know if she is being cheated in terms of equal sustenance and/or equal time when she doesn’t even know the second wife exists?

 

3) Realistically, if he doesn’t tell her, at some point he is going to have to account for his time/money away from the house. If he is asked, and he hasn’t been open and forthwith about what he has done elsewhere, he is going to have to lie and deceive to cover his tracks. Clearly, this is haram and creates a seriously undesirable situation.

 

4) Doesn’t the first wife have the right to know, particularly in these days of STDs and so forth; that her husband is having sexual relations with another woman–and to be assured that this other wife has a clean bill of sexual health? Doesn’t she have the right to protect her own health? If she is under the mistaken impression that she is in a monogamous situation, and she in fact is not, and is not having protected sex, doesn’t she have any rights here?

 

5) What about the damage to the level of trust that inevitable discovery will create in the first marriage? Fact is, he won’t be able to hide it forever, and when it does come out, the fact that polygamy is lawful will not negate the first wife’s feelings of having been betrayed and deceived–and those feelings can in fact destroy a marriage.

 

I could go on. There are so many problems with this scenario–it is, in my opinion, very dangerous to give off the impression that this type of behaviour is appropriate Islamically.

Sincerely,

A concerned sister

 

 

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

 

I hope and pray this email finds you in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the hereafter, Jazak Allah khayr for bringing this sensitive issue to my attention. May Allah reward your efforts, Ameen.

 

The points raised by you are, without doubt, extremely important and relevant. I fully agree with your concerns, and I am sure many others would also. I always like constructive criticism, since without it; it is possible for a human being to overlook important aspects. Hence, I once again thank you for your contribution and pray for your success in this world and the hereafter.

 

As far as my answer is concerned, what I merely said is that the marriage of a man to a second wife without his first wife’s knowledge is “technically” valid, in that his relationship with the second wife will not be a relationship of unlawful fornication/adultery (zina). I said:

“If you are willing and happy to be his second wife, then strictly speaking, your marriage with him would be valid (provided all the necessary ingredients for a valid marriage are met).”

 

However, I did not comment on whether this is something a man should do or otherwise. In light of the concerns raised by you, there is no doubt that this kind of behaviour is unreasonable to say the least, and may even be sinful. Indeed, in normal circumstances, a man should inform his first wife of his second marriage, but if he does not, his marriage with the second wife is “technically” valid. I say, “normal circumstances” because a man may be faced with extraordinary circumstances that do not allow him to disclose his second marriage — for a short period of time at least – to his first wife. It would be wrong to make a blanket statement that all men who marry without their first wife’s knowledge are corrupt and sinful. It is best to take each individual case and judge it on its own merit.

 

In other words, there are two separate aspects here: a) Validity, and b) Appropriateness. As far as validity is concerned, the marriage is valid, whilst, in normal circumstances, this is a wrong thing to do (and in some cases even sinful). But, this cannot be made a blanket ruling, since each individual’s situation differs from others.

 

Furthermore, I stated in my answer that even if he fails to disclose his second marriage to his first wife, she will automatically come to know of it, since he will be obliged to treat them equally. My actual words are:

 

“Thus, if one has to treat both of one’s wives equally and justly, then as a result, he will have to inform his first wife of his second marriage, unless the second wife forgoes her rights of equal treatment.”

 

Undeniably, my answer is incomplete, in that I failed to comment on this kind of behaviour of the man. I merely stipulated the Islamic ruling on whether a man’s marriage to a second wife is Islamically valid or not if he were not to inform his first wife of this.

 

The above should be sufficient in answering your concerns, but nevertheless, I would like to briefly address your concerns point-by-point:

 

1) It is, without doubt, a Sunna to publicize one’s marriage as much as possible. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Announce this marriage, and perform it in the Masjid…” (Sunan Tirmidhi and Sunan Ibn Majah)

 

However, the marriage itself is considered “valid” if it is witnessed by two male witnesses (shahidayn), or one male and two female witnesses in addition to the other basic requirements of an Islamic marriage contract being fulfilled, and the couple will not be guilty of involvement in an unlawful illicit relationship. If only two male witnesses were aware of a couple’s marriage and no other person, their marriage is Islamically valid. This is the position of most classical jurists, including the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali Schools. The Walima is also a Sunna and not a pre-requisite for the validity of one’s marriage. (See for the Hanafi School: Radd al-Muhtar 3/21-22, for the Maliki School: Hashiyat al-Dasuqi ala ‘l-Sharh al-Kabir 2/342-343), for the Shafi’i School: Mughni al-Muhtaj Sharh al-Minhaj 3/194, and for the Hanbali School: Kashshaf al-Qina’ 4/60)

 

2) If the husband treats his wives unjustly, then that is a grave sin committed on his part, regardless of whether his wives have knowledge of this or otherwise. In fact, even if he were to disclose his second marriage to his first wife, there is no real way of the wives knowing whether he is treating them equally or unfairly. He may provide one wife with more financial support, without the other one knowing. As such, this, in of itself, is not something that makes his second marriage invalid.

 

3) Lying and deception are, without doubt, two of the major sins and from among the enormities (kaba’ir). But again, they are independent sins, and do not invalidate a man’s second marriage. One has to always ensure not to commit these grave sins, whether one is married, unmarried, involved in polygamy or monogamy.

 

4) Undoubtedly, it is a man’s obligation to ensure that his wife’s sexual health is protected, but this obligation is not restricted to when he has more than one wife. The husband is sinful if he knowingly transmits diseases to his wife regardless of whether, in a polygamous marriage, by means of having sexual relations with another wife, or in a monogamous one, by engaging in illicit sexual relations with another woman.

 

5) This is indeed very true, and as such, I reiterate that in normal circumstances, the husband must inform his wife of his second marriage and be upfront and truthful from the outset. However, if he fails to do so, his second marriage, in of itself, is still valid.

 

And Allah knows best

 

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

 

Source


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#6 ummitaalib

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:36 PM

Proposal from a Shaykh to be his Second Wife & Dealing with Polygamy in Islam
 
Question

I have received a proposal from a religious and learned man asking me to be his second wife. This man is a Shaykh who is locally well-known and respected. I myself have benefited from him immensely. I have been told by the middle person that the Shaykh’s first wife has given her consent for him to marry again. I’ve never been married before. I’m really confused as regards to my situation. My father doesn’t have a problem, but my mum is against the idea. She wants me to marry someone who’s never been married before. I have heard some people talking negatively about the Shaykh because of his wish to marry again. Although, polygamy is permissible in Islam, is it advised, especially when the person concerned is a religious scholar? Please advise.

 

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

 

Unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of things, many Muslims are involved in two kinds of extremes when it comes to polygamy (a man taking on more than one wife. Note, whenever the term “polygamy” is cited in this article it is to be understood in this context). And, like always, the best of ways is the middle way – the path of moderation, insha Allah.

 

The first form of extremism found in some circles is that of taking polygamy extremely lightly. Some men consider taking on a second wife to be a divine right assigned to them by Allah Most High, and hence regardless of the their circumstance and situation, they insist on marrying second or third time without giving due consideration to the extremely difficult condition prescribed by Shariah. There is no doubt polygamy is allowed in Islam but it is not an unrestricted right of a man. There are strict conditions that must be adhered to before a man can take on a second wife.

 

As such, many contemporary scholars have advised against marrying a second time unless a man is genuinely in need of doing so. Having two (or more) wives is surely not easy, given the complications and problems the situation can bring about. Scholars explain that it is generally unwise for a man to take on more than one wife in “our times” without a genuine need, because it results in a) harm to the first wife, b) harm to the second wife when the first wife is upset, c) non-fulfilment of rights, and importantly d) harm to the children involved.

 

As explained in previous answers on this website, it is one of the foremost requirements for a man having more than one wife that he treats all his wives equally and justly. There are grave warnings mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunna for oppressing, mistreating or not being fair with the wives. The Qur’an conditioned the permissibility of marrying more than once with justice and equal treatment.

 

Allah Most High says:

 

“If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…” (Surah al-Nisa, V: 3)

 

As such, it is a grave sin to treat the wives unequally and to fail giving them their rights. Any man who wishes to take on a second wife has to meet the important condition of fair treatment of all his wives. The verse quoted above includes the command to treat wives equally, and anyone who is unable to do so should marry only one woman.

 

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A man who has two wives and he does not deal justly with them will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment with half his body paralysed.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi, no: 1141)

 

Treating wives fairly and equally is easier said than done. Many people think they are capable of treating their wives justly, but the reality on the ground is somewhat different. They start off treating them justly but eventually fall into the major sin of unjust and unfair treatment.

 

Equal treatment includes all social, economical and physical needs. It is very difficult for human beings to be completely fair, a fact which is recognised by the Qur’an:

 

“You are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air)…” (Surah al-Nisa, 129)

 

The above verse alludes to the fact that a man must be fair in his external treatment of his wives. He should spend equal time with all of them; spend out on them equally, etc. However, if his heart is inclined towards one or he has more love for one wife over the other, then that is not blameworthy, for it is beyond his control. But he should not let his extra-love for one wife be known to the other.

 

Muslim men considering polygamy really need to think deep and hard before taking such a huge step. They must realize that marriage is no joke. It brings with it a great deal of responsibility. They must not consider the second marriage akin to an extra-marital affair. It is wrong and sinful for men to destroy the lives of women by marrying them and then failing to give them their due rights. Some men even go to the extent of taking on a second wife with the intention of divorcing her after a short period, without making the second wife aware of this. This sister (the second wife) enters the marriage with the intention and hope of spending the rest of her life with him, but the selfish man has some other agenda and enters the marriage with the intention of short term enjoyment! All of these are real problems faced by people entering polygamous marriages; hence, many contemporary scholars advise against such marriages unless there is a genuine and exceptional need.

 

The Second form of extremist approach to the issue at hand is one of totally rejecting the permissibility of polygamy. Many modernist Muslims and some others cannot tolerate the fact that Islam allows a man to marry a second wife after fulfilling the strict condition of fair treatment. Some consider polygamy to be abrogated, outdated or not suited to our times. Some even go to the extent of considering a man who takes on a second wife to be guilty of a crime akin to adultery. Even “practising” Muslims unfortunately become involved in such absurd judgments.

 

I have come across cases where the local Muslim community went against a pious Muslim man who due to “genuine” reasons had married a second wife with the consent of his first wife. He was degraded and insulted by his community as though he was guilty of a heinous crime. A wife of another Muslim man said, she would rather prefer her husband being involved in a secret unlawful adulterous relationship than taking on a second wife! Others, upon learning that so and so married second time, simply recite La Hawla wa la Quwwata illa billah or other similar statements of scepticism. As such, these Muslims unfortunately ridicule, scorn and look at polygamous marriages with contempt.

 

This no doubt is a serious situation caused due to many factors and reasons. From wanting to appease non-Muslims to simply not being able to understand the wisdom and logic behind polygamy, there are many factors that contribute in a Muslim not accepting this divine injunction of Islam. A Muslim male or female must realize that it is completely permissible for a man to take on a second wife provided he fulfils all the necessary and strict conditions, and that there is much wisdom behind this permissibility. (Some of these wisdoms have been outlined in an earlier article available on this website). As such, considering the permissibility of polygamy an absurd ruling of Islam is indeed very dangerous, and could even lead to disbelief (kufr), as scholars explain.

 

It is stated in the Fatawa collection compiled by the Hanafi jurist of recent times in the Subcontinent, Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Uthmani (Allah have mercy on him):

 

“The permissibility of polygamy is established through the verses of the Qur’an, Sunna and consensus of the Muslim Umma. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) married many widows, as it is known by all. As such, considering polygamy a defect due to the prevalent customs of the world is a major sin and a grave crime. Not practicing polygamy is one thing but considering it wrong is a serious situation wherein one is challenging the pristine teachings of Shariah. There is no question of transgression and impiety (fisq) but rather a fear of disbelief (kufr), because considering a ruling of Shariah (i.e. permissibility of polygamy) to be absurd is an act of disbelief. All the books mention mockery of Shariah-rulings to be disbelief….. It is stated in Shami (aka: Radd al-Muhtar by Imam Ibn Abidin) that if there is evidence of contempt of a Shariah-ruling, one will be guilty of disbelief…” (Fatawa Dar al-Uloom, P: 62, Kitab al-Iman wa al-Aqa’id)

 

In light of this, we need to be extremely careful how we judge polygamy. There is nothing wrong in a sister not wanting to enter a polygamous marriage or not wanting her husband to marry second time, for that is natural and normal. But ridiculing and looking down upon polygamy is extremely serious which may even lead to kufr. May Allah protect us all, Ameen.

 

As Muslims we must realize that we have submitted to the Will and Command of the All-Merciful. Regardless of whether a particular ruling of Shariah pleases us or not, we must bow down to the divinely ordained law of Allah Most High. Islam permits a man to take on a second wife, many Prophets (peace be upon them) entered polygamous marriages, many Companions (Allah be pleased with them) took on more than one wife, many scholars and pious servants of Allah, both past and present, have practiced polygamy. The Qur’an allows it in clear and unambiguous terms, the Sunna is evident on its permissibility and all the Muslims throughout history have never rejected its permissibility, then who are we to consider this ruling of Shariah to be absurd, unjust or blameworthy?

 

I can understand it is a difficult pill for some of our sisters to swallow. But, as explained earlier, there is no sin in a sister refusing to enter a polygamous marriage, since that is her right. She may refuse without disrespecting the ruling of Shariah, for looking down on it is a serious crime.

 

Therefore, the path of moderation in the issue of polygamy lies in between the two forms of extremism propounded above. One must not take polygamy lightly merely to fulfil one’s own desires and whims. It is unwise and generally wrong to take on a second wife without a genuine need. However, polygamy is completely permissible in Islam (provided its conditions are met) and not something that is absurd, illogical or blameworthy. It is a serious crime to look down upon someone who takes on a second wife or condemn him. Criticizing and condemning someone merely for practicing polygamy is in reality being critical of the law of Allah Most High. Yes, if one is neglectful in treating his wives fairly, then he must be reproached and advised accordingly.

 

Keeping all of the above in mind, I will now try and attempt to address your specific situation. The Shaykh or learned scholar who has proposed to you to be his second wife must not be looked down upon or talked about negatively. There are many pious Muslims and Shuyukh, especially in the Arab world, who have taken on more than one wife. They are extremely pious, practising, well-learned and they fulfil the requirements of Shariah. As such, the community must be educated in that the Shaykh has done nothing wrong whatsoever by expressing his desire to marry again. He may have a genuine reason for wanting to take on a second wife, but then again, it is not the business of others to establish whether he has a genuine reason or not. As he is a scholar of Islam, he must be wary of the Shariah requirements for polygamy. You also state that his first wife has given her consent for him to re-marry, hence that makes the situation easier to solve, even though seeking the first wife’s permission, strictly speaking, is not a pre-requisite in order for a man to marry second time, although strongly encouraged.

 

What you need to do is to think deep and hard about the situation. Take advice (istishara) from parents, family members, relatives and others close to you. Ask from those who know the Shaykh and his first wife well, as that may help you in making your decision. Respect the wishes of your parents and take consideration of their counsel. Perform the prayer of guidance (salat al-Istikhara) and seek direction from Allah Most High.

 

If you are unhappy being a man’s second wife or fear unfair treatment from him or his first wife, then you should avoid marrying him, since that will only bring about harm to you in the future. Will you be able to have a gracious relationship with his first wife? Will you be able to have a proper marital relationship with him? What will happen when you have children with him? Is he in a position to financially support and look after two wives? These and other such issues are what you need to really think and ponder over. Don’t enter the marriage merely because he is a learned scholar or Shaykh.

 

If, however, you are happy being a second wife and you have thought over all of the above-mentioned aspects and scenarios, then you may accept the proposal and marry him. With or without his first wife’s consent, your marriage with him will be valid (provided all the necessary ingredients of a valid marriage are met). If you are perfectly happy, your parents give you their blessings, you don’t think you will fall into problems later on and the man has all the qualities of being a good husband, then there is nothing wrong in going ahead and marrying him. It may actually be of benefit to you since you have stated he is a pious and learned individual. If there is no reason of apprehension, then don’t refuse him merely due to what people will say. One is never able to please or satisfy people in this world. Do what is right for you, Insha Allah. However, from a practical perspective, you will need to be careful, cautious, and mindful of the consequences in the future.

 

Please also read the following related article available on this website:

http://www.darulifta...onID=q-15071371

 

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

 

Source


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#7 ummitaalib

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:36 PM

Second marriage and the rights of wives

 

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

 

Question:

I've been married to my husband for 11 years as a second wife we have children together but he only spends 2 hours a day with us, he still lives with his first wife, I have to live off benefits as he says he can't afford us, even though he has good job. His family are against us being together. He keeps promising to move in but nothing ever happens, please give me some advice, insha'Allah.

 

Answer:

 

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is one of the foremost requirements from a man who has more than one wife to treat all his wives equally and justly. There are grave warnings mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah for oppressing, mistreating or not being fair with the wives. The Qur’an conditioned the permissibility of marrying more than one wife with justice and fair treatment.

 

Allah Most High says:

“If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two, three, or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…(Surah al-Nisa, 3).

It is a grave sin to treat the wives unequally. Any man who wishes to take a second wife also has to meet the important condition of fair treatment of all his wives. The verse quoted above includes the command to treat wives equally, and anyone who is unable to do so should marry only one wife.

 

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A man who has two wives and he does not deal justly with them will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment with half his body paralysed.” (Sunan Tirmizi, no. 1141)

Equal treatment includes all social, economical and physical needs. It is very difficult for human beings to be completely fair, a fact which is recognised by the Qur’an:

 

“You are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: but turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air)... (Surah al-Nisa, 129).

The above verse alludes to the fact that, a man must be fair in his external treatment of his wives, in that he should spend equal time with all of them, spend out on them equally, etc. However, if his heart is inclined towards one or he has more love for one wife over the other, then that is not blameworthy, for it is beyond his control.

 

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would treat his wives equally and justly, and then say: “O Allah! This is my distribution according to my capability, thus do not hold me for what you own and I don’t (meaning, what is in your capability and beyond my means).” (Sunan Tirmizi, no. 1140, Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 3133 & Musnad Ahmad).

 

Imam al-Mawsili (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“It is mandatory upon a man to treat his wives equally with regards to spending the night….. A virgin, non-virgin, old, new, freed slave, Muslim and from the people of the book all have equal rights, and must be treated equally….. However, equality and fairness is not necessary with regards to sexual intercourse and love, for the former is based on agility and energy (nashat), whilst the latter (love) is the action of the heart.” (al-Ikhtiyar li ta’lil al-Mukhtar, 3/143).

 

A wife may even relinquish her right of spending the night with her husband and give it to her co-wife. It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) issued a revocable divorce to Sawda bint Zam’a (Allah be pleased with her). She requested the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) to take her back, and that she will allocate her turn (of spending the night) to A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), in order that she may be included among the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) on the day of Judgment, thus the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) fulfilled her wish and took her back. (See: Mishkat al-Masabih, 2/966, no. 3237)

 

If a wife relinquished her right, then she has a right in the future to once again demand equality. Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

 

“If a wife granted her right of companionship with the husband to her co-wife, then this will be valid, and she will have the right to reverse her decision in the future if she so desires.” (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 3/206)

 

Similarly, it will be permissible for the husband to remain more in the company of one wife with the express permission of the other, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) sought the permission of his wives during his illness that led to his demise (maradh al-Mawt) in order that he remain in the house of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her). His wives granted him permission, thus he spent his last days until he passed away in the house of A’isha (Allah be pleased with her). (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4919)

 

As far as travelling is concerned, one may travel with whom one wishes, although it is preferable to draw lots and travel in the company of the one whose name appears. The reason being, that, one may feel more comfortable with one wife than the other whilst travelling, or she may be more suitable in being a travel companion. However, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was to draw lots and travel with the one whose name appeared. (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/206)

 

With regards to your specific question, you must explain to your husband about the necessity of equal and fair treatment, and the warnings of punishment for failing to treat the wives fairly. You have understood from the above explanation as to exactly what rights you have and what he must do. Get him to read this article also and remind him of the hereafter and the reckoning thereof.

 

You mention that, he keeps promising to move in your house although nothing happens, but you must remember that he can not completely move in with you also. He must spend one night with you and the other with his other wife. Both of you must be treated equally in all aspects.

 

Despite all attempts, if he fails to adhere to the injunctions of Shariah, then you may exercise patience, for which there is great reward. However, if the suffering is too much to bear, then you may refer your case to an Islamic council for the dissolution of marriage on grounds of oppression (jawr) and unfair treatment.

 

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK

www.daruliftaa.org


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#8 ummitaalib

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:42 PM

Q/A's and Advices on Polygamy merged. We now have the following topics on Polygamy:

 

Polygamy: Advices & Q/A's (this thread)

 

 

Polygyny: Stories of Co-Wives in the "For the Muslimah" section


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#9 ummitaalib

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:59 PM

Does a man need his first wife's permission to take a second wife
 
Q. Does a man need the permission of the first wife to take a second wife? If he does so without her permission, will the marriage be valid? 
 
 
A. The permission of the first wife is not a condition for the validity of the second Nikah. The Nikah will be valid even though she does not have knowledge of it. 
 
Kindly take note of the following: 
 
In principle, it is permissible for a Muslim male to marry up to four wives according to Shariah on condition that equality is maintained amongst all wives and that their rights be duly fulfilled. If one does not have the capability to fulfil those obligations without causing the least infringement of their rights, then he should keep one wife. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has emphasized on maintaining full justice and equality between wives and has given warnings to those who do otherwise.
 
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has stated in a Hadith, "Anyone who has two wives and he cannot fulfil their rights equally and justly, shall be raised on the Day of Judgment in a condition that one of his shoulders will be drooping down." (Tirmidhi)
 
Another important act the husband should do when considering a second wife is to discuss the issue with his first wife. Although it is not his obligation to inform the first wife, one should discuss the matter beforehand and not keep a second marriage secretive from the first wife, as the second marriage is likely to be exposed to her at some point in time. This will most certainly cause the first wife to become upset. It is extremely important for a husband and wife to have full trust in each other.
 
Therefore, anyone who thinks of having more than one wife should first think about all of those factors and he should also look into himself and figure out realistically whether or not he has the ability to treat them equally and justly.
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Taahir Hansa              
 
Confirmation: 
Mufti Ebrahim Desai 
 
(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh.) 
 
 

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)


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#10 ummitaalib

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 06:32 PM

Husband sharing his nights equally between his wives

 

Q: Can you explain the method of equal distribution of time between wives and does equality of time extend to the day as well or is it restricted to the night? Similarly, could you inform me from what time till what time is it considered night? Does it end at Subah Saadiq or sunrise?

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A: It is compulsory upon the husband to share his nights equally between his wives. The method of equal distribution is left to the discretion of the husband, (for example if he spends three nights with one wife, it is compulsory upon him to spend the next three nights with the other wife. If he wishes to spend two nights with one wife, it is compulsory upon him to spend the same amount of time with the other wife). The night commences from sunset and ends at subh saadiq (dawn). As far as the time during the day is concerned, it is preferable for the husband (though not compulsory) to share his time equally between his wives.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

( ويقيم عند كل واحدة منهن يوما وليلة ) لكن إنما تلزمه التسوية في الليل حتى لو جاء للأولى بعد الغروب وللثانية بعد العشاء فقد ترك القسم ولا يجامعها في غير نوبتها. (الدر المختار 3/207)

ومما يجب على الأزواج للنساء العدل والتسوية بينهن فيما يملكه والبيتوتة عندها للصحبة والمؤانسة لا فيما لا يملك وهو الحب والجماع كذا في فتاوى قاضي خان. (الفتاوى الهندية 1/340)

تنبيه قد علمت أن النهار الشرعي من طلوع الفجر إلى الغروب (رد المحتار 2/377)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)


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