Salam alaikum, can a husband, who marries a second wife in secret, lie to his first wife and say he has not married a second wife, when she asks him the direct question? I am a convert married for 20 yrs in Europe with 6 children. My husband and I built a flat and a granny flat on his fathers property in N. Afriica with joint money with the intention of moving there with the children (in fact, we already lived there for 3 years and only came back to settle a court case in Europe, whick is now ended). He signed a contract recently with me, saying that if he remarries, our flat will remain for me and the children. I heard from my sister in law, that he married and is putting the second wife in our flat. Now I dont feel safe to return to his country with the children as I dont have a flat in my name, my marriage is not registered there, so there are no laws to protect me and the even bigger insecurity of having a husband who is not telling me his plans. I dont know what my possibilities are as a muslim woman to 1. not travel back to his country with the children, if he asks me to ( he could eventually say e.g. that the second wife is temporarily in our flat, until he rebuilds the granny flat for her - in this case I don`t trust him any more because of his lying to me) 2. divorce, if he broke the contract and carries on lying and/or travelling back and forth as he pleases, without keeping the haq of time spent with each wife (eg. 4months here, then 4 months there). Please advise me, dear brothers in Islam, may Allah reward you. 2
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
We ask Allaah to reward you with the best reward for your keenness to ask the people of knowledge, to know the rulings of Islam.
We advise you do not bother much about the marriage of your husband since he might be truthful in his claim that he did not marry another woman. If he did in fact marry another woman, then you should remind yourself that Allaah is The One Who made this lawful for him. A man is not Islamically obliged to inform his wife about his second marriage. Probably, he did not inform you not to hurt your feelings.
However, it is obligatory on your husband to be just between his wives if he has married a second wife; it is obligatory on him to bear both your expenses and provide you with clothing, and accommodation equally.
If he fails to fulfill your rights then you have the right to ask divorce. Nevertheless, a woman should not resort to divorce unless she compares between the advantages of divorce and the advantages of being patient and continuing her marital life with her husband, especially if she has children from him. Many women rushed to divorce and then regretted it later. See Fataawa 90663, 82988 and 84184.
Moreover, you have to obey your husband if he asks you to come back to his country. You are not allowed to reject his request unless you had conditioned on him when conducting the marriage contract that you will stay in your country, then he is obliged to fulfill this condition. If you choose to stay in your country, then Islamically, he has the right to take the children with him to his country.
It is the right of a wife on her husband to provide her with a separate accommodation even if it is a rented one. She is not obliged to live with her co-wife in the same accommodation.
As regards the condition between you and your husband that if he marries another wife then the flat will be for you and your children; this is a conditional gift, and the scholars, may Allaah have mercy upon them, have clearly mentioned that a conditional gift is not effective, as a gift can not be conditioned. On the other hand, if you have really participated in building the flat with your husband, then as a principal you deserve your share unless you have waived your right in the flat at the time you participated in building it and he has fully obtained it after that. In this case, you can not take it back unless the gift was for a certain purpose which was not fulfilled.Allaah Knows best.