First wife's permission not condition for validity of second marriage
Fatwa No: 350290


Assalaamu alaykum. I have two question and am seeking answers in the light of islam:
1. I am already married and have gotten a second wife abroad without the knowledge of my first wife. My mother knew that I would be doing so. I did my second marriage according to Sharia in the presence of the Wali (legal guardian), two witnesses, and guests, including my second wife's family, friends, and neighbours. My second wife has three children from her previous marriage, which was invalid because her ex-husband was a Christian convert who along the way abondoned the religion (actually, he did not become Muslim by heart at all, and my second wife knew that). Conditions forced her to get a divorce, which was granted by Sharia court. Just a few days after my second marriage, my first wife found out, and I returned to my home country. Naturally, there was hue and cry and I was told that my second marriage is invalid because I did not get permission and because I cannot provide equal rights. I would like to make clear that my second wife knew that it would be difficult for me to come often, but I can take care of the financial rights regularly. Now my second wife is being burdened by her conscience in that she is the cause of hurt and anguish and me being told to leave her. I have been handling the situation here in my home country, but now I have to face the pressure from my second wife. One thing is a fact; I will not divorce anyone. I always prayed to Allaah that if he blesses me with a second marriage, He would then enable me to be just to the best of my ability. I am telling both of them to relax and let Allaah show the way, but they are not letting my brain relax. Is my second marriage valid? And how can I sooth this situation?
2. My second wife is having dreams which she thinks mean that I should divorce her. I tell her that divorce itself is an act which Allaah is not pleased with and that these dreams are from the devil.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

If the situation is as you described, then your second marriage is valid, as the conditions for the validity of the marriage contract are met. The husband is not obliged to seek the permission of his first wife to take a second wife, let alone that her permission would be one of the conditions for the validity of the second marriage. For more information, please refer to fatwas 85948 and 84411.

Justice between the two wives is an obligation according to the husband's ability; however, it is not a condition for the validity of the second marriage. Please refer to fatwa 83629 about the conditions for the validity of marriage.

You are not required to divorce either of your two wives, and they are not entitled to request a divorce except for a valid reason such as plain harm incurred on them or the like of the acceptable reasons for seeking divorce that scholars mentioned. We explained them in fatwa 131953.

Also, religious rulings cannot be based on dreams, so you are not required to divorce your second wife merely on account of the dreams that she had.

We advice you to be patient and wise and to try to give each of your wives her rights, especially with regards to the overnight stay. Scholars underlined that it is incumbent on the husband to observe equality and justice between his two wives in terms of the overnight stay, even if each lives in a different country, except for a valid excuse. Please refer to fatwas 90663 and 131284. The fact that your second wife knew that it is difficult for you to come to her often does not waive her right to the equal overnight stay.

Allah knows best.

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