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Husband Wants to Keep His Second Marriage in Secret: I Feel Angry

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 11, 2019

Question

Assalaamu alaykum.

My husband recently informed me that he has secretly been married to a second wife for 4 months.

While he is able to adequately provide for our 2 kids, I know for sure he is not able to provide for another family. He reassured me that the second wife is waiving some of her rights and only expects monthly groceries and other necessities from him.

While his other marriage has been very difficult for me to accept, I am willing to inshaAllah.

But he wants me to keep his second wife secret. This has made me angry and sad, as I feel burdened by his secret and lies. I much prefer just telling them and dealing with the consequence of their disapproval.

Is it within my rights to just reveal the situation to them?

Counselor

Answer


Husband Wants to Keep His Second Marriage in Secret: I Feel Angry

In this counseling answer:

• Islam prohibits secret marriages.

• Lying is also prohibited in Islam.

•Have a serious discussion with your husband. If he insists on getting you to lie for him, then be upfront: that you will not do so, as lying is prohibited in Islam, to begin with. It is absolutely his issue to deal with, and for him to take responsibility for.


Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

I am so sorry to hear about your difficult situation, although mashaAllah, I admire the attitude with which you have approached the entire matter. May Allah reward you for your patience and strength during this time!

While polygamy is permissible in Islam, it is to be undertaken ethically – just as is expected with monogamy. Secret marriages are prohibited in Islam. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alahyi wa sallam) explicitly commanded:

“Announce the marriages!” (Sunan An-Nasai)

Many scholars expressed the seriousness of how wrong secret marriages are. Imam azZuhri said: ‘If someone marries secretly, brings two witnesses but commands them to keep it secret, it would be obligatory to separate the husband and wife’.

One of the reasons that secret marriages are prohibited is in order to prevent the unfair and unjust treatment of wives – whether it be the first wife who does not know about the other marriage or the wife whose marriage is being kept a secret.

Allah says:

{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)

The Messenger of Allah said: 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.(Tirmidhi)


Check out this counseling video:


Having said all of that, with regards to your specific question: no, you are not obliged to lie on your husband’s behalf. As a man who made the conscious decision to take on another wife, he is thusly obligated to take care of all the associated responsibilities – including informing his family and others, such as your family.

I would recommend having a serious discussion with your husband about his responsibility in managing his duties with regards to polygamy. As one of the wives in this situation – and not having been told about it until recently (which is problematic in and of itself) -, it is your rights he should be concerned about upholding rather than you taking on the burden of making things easier for him.

If he insists on getting you to lie for him, then be upfront: that you will not do so, as lying is prohibited in Islam, to begin with. It is absolutely his issue to deal with, and for him to take responsibility for.

May Allah make this situation easy for you and increase you in patience and strength,

Ameen!

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

I Discovered His Secret Marriage Through Facebook

But I Just Can’t Accept Polygamy

Should I Tell Fiancé About My Secret Marriage?

 




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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