I have a problem with my marriage. I converted to Islam 12 years ago, before I met and married my husband. I am his second wife. The problem is that my husband has a habit of getting married in secret (to a third wife) without informing any of his relatives or me and the first wife. He likes to keep the third wife secret because usually she is not muslim. He might stay with this woman for a year or two until they split up and then in time he will find someone else. Since I have been with him he has had 3 other woman. I find out that he is with someone when he starts not coming home at night or he travels abroad without telling anyone. He just disapears for 1 or 2 weeks without informing his family. Dispite this he will deny to everyone that he is with another woman. I get so depressed cause I never know whem my husband is gonna stay the night in my house and I know his first wife feels like I do too. I have seen some scholars say that this kind of secret marriage is halal but how can it be when the husband has to lie so much and the wives end up being so deppressed. Don,t woman have the right to know how many wives their husbands have. When my husband only has me and his first wife he is so nice and equal and we are so happy but things change when he gets married in secret again. Please note that he never has documents for the marriages. Please can you help me with this. I need to know if what he is doing is wrong. I know that there are many other woman in my situation because scholars have said these marriages are halal so now lots of men are doing it. But it just encourages men to lie and be unfair and women feel depressed and it really damages the family unit. I have 6 small kids and it has affected us all.
Praise be to Allaah.
The husband is not obliged to tell his wives that he is going
to get married, but if he does get married he is obliged to tell them,
because not telling them may make them suspect that he is having illicit
relationships, and because they have the right to ask him to be just in
dividing his time. When she knows that he has taken another wife, she will
understand that the new wife has the same rights as the wives he married
The husband has to fear Allaah and treat his wives equally.
The justice that is required between all his wives has to do with
maintenance, accommodation and staying overnight.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said:
The sharing that is required has to do with spending the
night. So you have to divide your time between them. The same applies to
maintenance, accommodation and clothing. It is essential to be fair in these
matters, by giving each of them sufficient accommodation, food, drink and
clothing. You must also divide your time fairly among your wives. This is
the justice that is enjoined by Allaah in the verse (interpretation of the
“…then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three,
or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with
them), then only one …”
al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan
(5/question no. 384)
For more information please see the answer to question no.
Men must fear Allaah with regard to women, and they must
remember that people trust them because of their outward religious
commitment and adherence to the Sunnah. When one of them asks for a woman,
she is given to him on the basis of his outward righteousness and religious
commitment. So let him beware of taking advantage of these outward Islamic
practices to toy with people’s honour by taking their daughters then giving
them back when he has fulfilled their desires. Let him beware lest he
becomes the cause of some of them apostatizing or becoming sick or following
a path of deviation. We do not think that any of these men would agree to
anyone doing that to his daughter or sister, so how can he agree to that
being done to other people’s daughters?
Let him beware of exploiting people’s weakness and need by
offering money and tempting her family with it. This is contrary to chivalry
and good morals. We do not think that these people would be able to do the
same with the daughters of prominent figures or the daughters of their
paternal uncles or other relatives. If the marriage was legitimate then it
did not work out and he divorced her, we would not denounce their actions,
but if the marriage is for the purpose of satisfying desires, with the aim
of changing her after a while, this is a kind of fooling around which is not
approved of in Islam; it is a mut’ah marriage or virtually mut’ah marriage.
Hence you will not find these people looking for women who are religiously
committed, rather they will marry a woman for her beauty even if she is has
not completed her ‘iddah, or even if she is well known for her immoral ways,
then he will fulfil his desire with her in a hotel for three days and this
playboy will not pay any attention to her religious commitment or honour,
and she will never be his permanent wife or the mother of his children, so
There follows a fatwa issued by the scholars of the Standing
Committee responding to such actions and explaining the ruling on such
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: It has
become common among young men to travel abroad to get married with the
intention of getting divorced, and this marriage is the purpose for which
they travel, based on a fatwa that deals with this issue, but many people
misunderstand the fatwa. What is the ruling on this?
Getting married with the intention of divorce is a temporary
marriage, and a temporary marriage is an invalid marriage, because it is
mut’ah, and mut’ah is haraam by consensus. Valid marriage is where a man
gets married with the intention of keeping his wife and staying with her if
she proves to be a good wife and he gets along with her, otherwise he may
divorce her. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “either you
retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness” [al-Baqarah
And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send
blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah
There are scholars who issued fatwas allowing that to people
studying or working in western countries who feared that they may commit
haraam actions, so such a person may get married even if he has the
intention of getting divorced. But Allaah may decree that they have children
and he may grow attached to them and their mother. Allaah may decree that
they get along well so the marriage lasts. The fatwa is not aimed at those
who travel with the purpose of getting married. The fatwa is not aimed at
those who go for two nights to a poor land and take the virginity of one or
more females. If a person cannot control himself during a two-day trip –
some of which is for da’wah and charity work – then it is haraam for him to
travel at all. Let the wise scholar look at the implications of what he says
in his fatwas and what he does, and the effects that that will have on
Islam, for Islam is not distorted by its enemies so much as it is distorted
by the deeds and attitudes of its own followers.
The Muslim to whom Allaah grants one wife or more should
praise Allaah and be grateful to Him. He must pay attention to them and his
children, so that he will give them a proper Islamic upbringing and
education. He should not show ingratitude for this blessing by leaving his
wives and children with no guidance and education, looking for fleeting
pleasures that do not lead to the establishment of a family or happiness,
let alone leading to him wronging himself, his wives and his children.
There is no reason why he should not get married in the
proper manner, because Islam allows him to marry four wives, but he should
also remember that Islam encourages marrying religiously-committed women,
because she will be his honour, the mother of his children, the protector of
his household and wealth, and the one who will raise his children. It is not
befitting for a Muslim to forget the aims and rulings of marriage and go
looking to satisfy his desire here and there, then have the audacity to
attribute his actions to Islam!
This husband should look at the effects of his actions – he
is lying, not giving his wives their rights, not treating them and the one
whom he marries fairly. He should also examine his motives in choosing the
wife whom he intends to divorce. If he makes a good choice then he should
look at the impact he will leave behind on her and her family. He should
remember that he is a Muslim who represents Islam and Islamic rulings and
morals, especially if the matter has to do with trust based on his
appearance or his outwardly seeming to be righteous, for he will be the
cause of people no longer trusting others like him, even if it does not lead
to something worse than that.
We have heard of the bad effects of marrying with the
intention of divorce, which makes the Muslim feel certain that even if the
scholars say that it is permissible in some cases, they should disallow it
or at least stop saying that it is permissible. Some of these wives have had
their honour impugned after they were married to men who appeared outwardly
to be righteous, but when they had satisfied their desires in a hotel in her
country, they gave her the second part of the mahr or a little bit of money
and sent her back to her family, divorced. In some cases, the family trusted
this “outwardly righteous man” and gave their daughter – and their honour –
to him without any official marriage contract, trusting that he would do the
proper contract in his own country. Then he fulfilled his desire with her
and sent her back to her family as a previously-married woman after taking
her as a virgin. Now look at the situation of the family: how can they face
their neighbours and relatives? What will they say to them? Has honour
become like a car to be rented then given back at the end of the stipulated
period? Do these people not fear that Allaah will punish them with regard to
their daughters and sisters?
When some of these women find out that their time with this
husband is up, they plead with the husband not to divorce them and to take
them to his home land – as he made them believe – as his servant or as a
servant for his wives and children. They say that if they go back they will
be faced with mistreatment from their relatives and neighbours, which may
end with their being killed. But this “outwardly righteous man” refuses
these requests and pays no attention to her weeping and pleas.
One woman found that her time was up and her husband divorced
her, so she called her brother to take her to her family, and all she could
do was tell people that he had died in a car accident, so as to protect her
honour from being impugned. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek and in
Whom we put our trust.
And Allaah knows best.