Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- You are allowed to remarry your first wife as long it was the first time you had divorced her.
2- Before doing that, you should sit down and list all of the potential issues that may arise and write down practical steps you are willing to resolve them. You also need to have a free and frank discussion with your wife and see how you can mutually commit yourselves to make it work.
In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Remarrying First Wife
If I understand you correctly, you divorced your wife once, and after more than a year, you married a second wife and divorced her too. If this is correct, you are allowed to remarry your first wife as long it was the first time you had divorced her; as such, it was a one-time event. In that case, you are allowed to remarry her.
However, before doing that, I would advise you both sit down and list all of the potential issues that may arise and write down practical steps you are willing to resolve them. You also need to have a free and frank discussion with her and see how you can mutually commit yourselves to make it work.
A Muslim, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us, should not be stung twice from the same hole. (Al-Bukhari)
So, sit down, list the potential challenges, come up with solutions, and then make a firm commitment to resolve all issues amicably. The answer should be based on a win-win method and not the ‘standard’ way: I win, and she lose kind of approach.
Prophet’s Approach to Solve Problems
We should learn from the Prophetic method of resolving disputes. When the Quraysh were disputing on who should get the honor of lifting the Blackstone to place it in the right spot, and they were on the verge of drawing swords. Luckily, however, the sanity prevailed when someone suggested that they seek the first person entering the Haram to arbitrate.
When they saw the Prophet coming, they unanimously chose him because he was truthful. The Prophet settled the dispute to the satisfaction of all the concerned parties: His method was each clan should choose a person to represent it. And the Blackstone should be placed in a cloth, and then each of the representatives should lift it, and then he would place it in the spot. They embraced the formula wholeheartedly as it was a win-win solution. Thus it gave all of the contending parties the satisfaction that they all won.
That is the only satisfactory way to resolve the disputes – including those between husband and wife unless it is a clear case of haram and halal. In the last case, Allah’s order takes precedence over all other subjective opinions.
I would also urge both of you to get the book Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Ekram Beshir & Mohamed Rida Beshir.
Study it and try to apply the lessons while always praying to Allah for guidance and never stop supplicating:
Rabbanaa hab lanaa min azwaajinaa wa dhurriyyaathinaa qurratha ‘ayunin wa ij’alnaa lil muthaqeena imaaman
(Our Lord, give us joy and comfort in our spouses and children and make us role models for the God-fearing people.)
Almighty Allah knows best.