In this counseling answer:
• It would not be very beneficial for you to involve yourself further with this man until such time as he has figured out what is going on with his current wife.
• I strongly recommend that you wait until he resolves his situation by either divorcing his current wife or reconciling with her.
Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuh,
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To be honest, the situation that you are describing is difficult to really advise on without more detailed information. Unless one person knows the details of the other side – that is, his wife’s side of the story – it is hard to say whether his claims are true or not.
Unfortunately, it is very common for men to lie to other women about their marriages and their current (or ex) wives, in order to deceive these women into marrying them or otherwise having a relationship with them.
If, however, what he says is true, then I advise a great deal of caution. In the best of circumstances, polygamy is difficult. In complicated circumstances, it often results in a great deal of trauma and heartbreak. At worst, the situations devolve into ones of abuse where the woman ends up most hurt and in a position that is difficult to recover from.
It is always advisable to have your wali involved in any discussions related to marriage. It is important to note that you should not be having any communication with this man without the presence of a chaperone.
The Messenger of Allah said:
“No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan will be the third one present.”
He also said,
“No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram with them.”
The role of a wali is to do further investigation into a prospective husband so that no one is blindsided by deception or deceit.
From what has been mentioned, it is clear that it is a very complicated situation and one which the man needs to resolve appropriately. It would not be very beneficial for you to involve yourself further with this man until such time as he has figured out what is going on with his current wife.
Marriage is a serious commitment, in both emotion, time, energy, and more. Polygamy is even more complex and complicated. It is not something to jump into lightly.
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While your intentions may be pure towards him, keep in mind that his own intentions may not be so innocent or altruistic. While one hopes for the best, it is wise to remain cautious.
Rather than rushing into marriage with this man, I strongly recommend that you wait until he resolves his situation by either divorcing his current wife or reconciling with her. Only then should you take any further steps towards considering this man for marriage.
Of course, you should first seek Allah’s guidance by praying Salatul Istikhaarah. The Messenger of Allah said:
“If anyone of you is deliberating about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say:
O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things.
O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me.
And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it).”
You can learn more about the details of how to pray Salatul Istikhaarah here.
May Allah guide you to that which is best for you in this world and the hereafter, and to grant you a pious spouse,
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.