As- Salam ‘Alaikum,
Thank you for seeking our advice. First of all, you have to decide what the right thing is for you do to. He is a married man with a daughter, and his wife seems to be really upset about his idea of marrying you. Can you accept to be the cause of his divorce with his wife, if, in fact, his wife asks for divorce? He says he would leave his current wife to be with you, but is there any guarantee that he wouldn’t do the same thing to you one day – leaving you for someone else? Sometimes, it can be hard to think clearly and rationally when the emotions are so strong, but you have to remember that the smallest misstep in this situation could ruin you, him and his marriage.
Secondly, I can understand your parents’ concern about this man; he has another nationality and is married. Obviously, your parents would prefer marrying you off to someone who is single and making sure he marries you for pure reasons. You don’t know what this man is really up to since you only know him for 6 months.
As you mentioned, you have been through many unsuccessful relationships before, then why would you put yourself in a complicated situation again? I advise you to make du’aa’, purify your intentions and give plenty of time to think this over. Write down the pros and cons of this potential marriage on a piece of paper, if it helps.
Thirdly, his first wife’s approval is not a condition for plural marriage, and it is not obligatory for the husband to have the approval of his wife if he wants to marry a second wife. But it is of good manners and kind treatment to approach the issue in such a way in order to reduce the pain which women naturally feel in such cases. By smiling at her, greeting her warmly, speaking nicely to her and spending money on her according to his means, he may gain her approval. This indicates that he can marry you even if his current wife does not approve it, but he still should ask her to show her good manners and gain her approval as it can hurt her feelings if he does not do that.
If a husband takes a second wife, he has to treat his wives equally as much as possible. If he does not treat them equally, then he is exposing himself to a stern warning, for it has narrated by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said:
“Whoever has two wives and inclines more towards one of them than the other, will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning.” (Narrated by al-Nisaa’i, ‘Ushrat al-Nisaa’, 3881; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaa’i, no. 3682)
If he does not respect his current wife’s feelings, then how can you be sure that he will respect yours when you are married to him? Do not rush into this marriage as there are too many indications that it will likely to be a very uncomfortable situation for you, his wife, and especially his daughter. Finding a man who is not married may be a better choice. And Allah knows best.
We wish you all the best. May Allah lead you on the right path, Ameen.
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