Category: Psychological and Social
Fatwa#: 39281
Asked Country: United States

Answered Date: Nov 04,2017

Title: Husband wants a second wife

Question

I have been married to my husband for 9 years and have 3 children from him. Most of our lives we have lived in below poverty level. We have been relying only on governmet assistants for the last 3 years. He doesn't work (age 38) really but helps his brother's business overseas from time to time but we don't receive any money unless we really need it. He doesnt seem to be activly looking for a job. After giving birth to his third child he jokingly made comments about how a second wife would be a great help for me and my chores(he barely helps around the house). By one month of age he started talking to girls on match making websites, over phone, and messengers. By 2 months of age he found a convert who is 20 years older than him and booked a ticket to come see him here. She is independant and paid everything herself. He did not tell her that we are together instead she thinks that we are seperated but still legally married. He wants to ease her into the idea of being a co-wife. he tells me lets just try polygyny and if it doesn't work there is solutions to fix it(like divorce).

 

I guess my question is

1. Can he marry a second wife when he has no job? He thinking that getting a second wife could solve some of our problems. He keeps bring up the hadith that goes something like this: A man came to the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allah upon him) and complained about being poor, so the Prophet told him to get married. Then the man came back again with the same complaint, so the Prophet again told him to get married. The man came back a third time, and still the Prophet told him to get married. After the fourth time, the man got married to a woman then they started a business or something with the wives working, so the man became rich.

 

2. Is he wrong for hiding my marriage from her? Would I be wrong to tell her myself? She lives far away and i'm not sure what his plans are about this marriage.

 

JAK

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

According to Shariah, it is compulsory upon the husband to maintain his wife and children. He must make an effort to earn his income. If he does not do so, and he does not maintain his dependants to the best of his ability, he is guilty of negligence in maintaining his wife and children. That negligence is an act of sin.

If your husband cannot maintain you and your children, you have a right to come out of his marriage, let aside him marrying another woman. Furthermore, your husband has committed sin by contacting the woman. He has also deceived her by not divulging the truth to her. You have a responsibility to stop your husband from sin and also to save the woman from becoming a victim of deception. You should inform her of the reality of the situation and caution her of your husband’s attitude. You should also consider discussing your husbands attitude with some senior family members and request them to advise your husband.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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