Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu my dear sister in Islam,
First of all, your mother has no right to marry you off to a person forcefully. It is forbidden in Islam to marry off someone against their will, mother or not!
Secondly, polygamy is completely lawful in Islam; there is no sin in it – unless it is done in a wrong way. For example, when the man cannot afford one wife let alone a second (or third or fourth), or he already has four wives.
However, there is a problem with secrecy about it. The marriage ceremony, without which there is no marriage, is, by definition, a public announcement. That is why it is required to have at least two witnesses in addition to the person who performs the religious ceremony. The witnesses are members of the community who can tell the other members of the community that the two are married so that their relationship is not viewed as unlawful.
So, I would be more worried about his requirement for secrecy than the issue of the polygamy, although polygamy in this day and age rarely works when done in societies/cultures which are not accustomed to polygamy. Also, the cost of living is so great these days in most parts of the Western world (at least) that most men cannot afford two or more wives. In addition, how can you be sure that “a few years” will ever end? Can you be sure that anything will be different in a few years that will make it okay to disclose what is not okay to disclose now?
Also, it is very important NOT to project onto people who have taught us our religion unique, special characteristics that have nothing to do with them. Allah (swt) makes Muslims. People do not make Muslims. One sister told me that the person whom gave her Shahada turned out to be an adulterer. She was, of course, devastated! She had glorified him because of the wonderful, beautiful role he had played in her life. In addition, the person who taught her about Islam became an apostate later in his life. We have to distinguish the message from the messenger. I know it is hard because we love the person because we love what they said and how they helped us.
Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I am being hardhearted to tell you that you can find another man, if you decide to. But you have to know that this man is not the source of you getting closer to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is the source for that! This man was only the medium Allah (swt) chose to guide you to Him (swt).
Also, think about the potential repercussion: this man’s wife may hate and do harmful things to you because you brought her pain. There is a reason why he wants you to keep it secret, and this is probably because he knows she won’t be able to handle it. Most likely, that is not going to change in a few years. Also, their children may grow up to hate you too because you caused their mother pain.
Now that you are more religious, I personally think that you might do better to find a different brother, one who is also religious and does not already have a wife and three children. Marry someone with whom you can build a life together, without secrecy and fear of being discovered. Have your own family and life, above board, In Sha’ Allah.
May Allah (swt) guide you and make it easy for you, Amen.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.