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I Sacrificed a Lot for Him, Yet He’s Marrying a Second Wife

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 29, 2019

Question

My husband has decided to remarry for no apparent reason after 9 years of marriage. His reason is that his mother wants a Pakistani daughter in law. I am not happy about it and have sacrificed a lot in this 9 years including losing my previous marital home and my children not talking to me because of him.

We both have children from our first marriages. He has been in Pakistan for 3 months now and has been rejected twice. He said there is someone who is awaiting his answer. I don't know whether to believe him or not.

Will I be doing wrong in finding him one myself or shall I let him get on with it in the hope he doesn't find one? We were both married the sharia way. Will he be allowed to call a wife over from Pakistan?

Counselor

Answer


I Sacrificed a Lot for Him, Yet He’s Marrying a Second Wife

In this counseling answer:

•While it is permissible, it is not the “right” of any Muslim man to simply choose to marry more than one woman. Rather, it entails a great deal of responsibility.

•With regards to the Shari’ah, it is also your choice whether or not you wish to remain married to him if he ever does marry another woman.

•I also recommend sitting down and having a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband about what his decision means, how it affects you, and how it will affect your futures.

•The lack of a legally registered marriage on your part means that he may be able to legally marry another woman and bring her over as a legal spouse.

•As Muslims, the best way to ensure that we are able to successfully overcome the tests in our lives is by building our relationship with Allah both in times of ease and in times of hardship.


As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

Thank you for reaching out to us here at AboutIslam.net!

It is unfortunately an all-too-common practice for some Muslim men to decide to take on a second wife (or to look for one) after several years in monogamy. The reasons behind this decision can vary; for some, it is a solely personal choice, and for others, like your husband, it is in some ways influenced by family and cultural pressures.

Polygamy is a very serious matter in Islam, and not to be taken lightly. While it is permissible, it is not the “right” of any Muslim man to simply choose to marry more than one woman. Rather, it entails a great deal of responsibility; the Qur’an and Sunnah repeat several warnings about the seriousness of the issue and the obligation for Muslim men to deal with their wives with justice.

{And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].} (Qur’an 4:3)

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has two wives and favours one of them over the other, will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides leaning.”

karim serageldin & naaila clay

Undoubtedly, you are going through a very difficult time right now. It certainly isn’t easy, even in the best of circumstances, to hear that your husband is seeking another wife. It is even harder when you have given so much to your marriage already and have made so many sacrifices. I admire the way that you have handled the situation so far – may Allah increase you in strength and patience!

Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with you hoping that he doesn’t find that second wife after all! It’s a perfectly natural feeling to have, for which you are not to be blamed. If you prefer to take on a proactive role and seek a potential second wife yourself, that is also permissible – however, it is also a huge emotional challenge. It is not something that I would recommend unless you are genuinely certain that your emotional well-being will not be negatively impacted by doing so.

Sadly, there are many women who think that by taking on the role of “matchmaking” for their husbands, they can somehow control the outcome or even influence it in their own favors. This usually ends up backfiring.

Marriage is a serious thing to get involved in – whether your own marriage, or someone else’s. To take on the role of matchmaker for your own husband is even more serious, since another woman’s life and marriage will be directly influenced by your involvement. This, in turn, often leads to future complications in polygamous marriages.

With regards to the Shari’ah, it is also your choice whether or not you wish to remain married to him if he ever does marry another woman. If you do choose to stay with him, then know that he is obligated to treat you both with justice, and not to favor one over the other, or to deal with either of you in an oppressive manner that violates your Islamic rights.

Although you may have already done so, I also recommend sitting down and having a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband about what his decision means, how it affects you, and how it will affect your futures. It may be helpful to seek the assistance of a professional marriage counselor while having these discussions.


Check out this counseling video


As for whether he will be able to bring over a second wife from Pakistan to the UK, that really depends on the immigration system in your country and whether or not your marriage to him is legally registered. Unfortunately, the lack of a legally registered marriage on your part means that he may be able to legally marry another woman and bring her over as a legal spouse.

While I do not have any definitive answers to offer you, I do recommend that you take this time to ask yourself some serious questions about your marriage, your own spiritual and emotional well-being, and your vision for your future.

What do you want for yourself long-term? Are you able to accept that your husband may remarry, either now or at some point in the future; and are you willing to continue a relationship with him based on that eventuality? What support systems do you have (family or friends) who can help you navigate the many challenges that you are already facing, and which you may face in a future of polygamy?

Most importantly, reflect upon your relationship with Allah. In times of ease, many of us take our connection with Allah for granted, or do not put in as much effort; when times of difficulty strike, we find ourselves floundering. As Muslims, the best way to ensure that we are able to successfully overcome the tests in our lives is by building our relationship with Allah both in times of ease and in times of hardship.

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) spoke powerful words of advice that we should always keep in mind:

“Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. If you ask, ask of God. If you need help, seek it from God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so. And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so. The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’

 

In the Qur’an, Allah tells us:

 

{We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But give good news to those who are steadfast. Those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’ These will be given blessings and mercy from their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.(Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

 

In this time of difficulty, the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to turn to Allah in love and in trust, knowing that He is the Controller of all things. Ask Him for patience and strength, for your marriage to be protected from all harm, and to give you the skills that you need to do what is best for you in this world and in the Hereafter.

May Allah protect you and grant you a blessed, happy future,

Ameen!

 




About Zainab bint Younus

Zainab bint Younus is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyaat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become a part of a new generation of powerful Muslim women. She blogs at http://www.thesalafifeminist.blogspot.com

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