Concerned about his feelings and actions toward his second wife
Fatwa No: 88728


I have two wives. I read the book of polygamy by Dr. Bilaal Philips and I found myself I am not doing just to one of my wives. I force my heart and now I see bad end. I wanted to divorce her but I said let me be patient but now things are getting worse. She is not bad. Now she is about to deliver I feel inhuman to act to my wish. I prefer Hereafter than here.


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 is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.


It is an obligation upon the husband to be just to the two wives, and preferring one wife over the other is forbidden. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "When a husband has two wives and does not act justly between them, he will come on the Day of Judgment with one side of his body hanging down." [Abu Daawood, Ahmad, An-Nasaa'ee and others]

Thus the husband must be just to his wives regarding providing food, clothing and the number of nights he sleeps with each of them. There is no harm in loving one wife more than the other, Inshaa' Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of meaning): {You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire. So do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married)…}[4:129]. The meaning is: 'O people! You cannot be just between wives in each and every aspect. Even if you divide the nights between them, then there will still be a variation in love, desire and sexual intercourse;' this is stated by Ibn 'Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him Mujaahid and Al-Hasan Al-Basri may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them and others. [Ibn Katheer]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to love 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her more than the other wives. He used to say: "O Allaah! It is my distribution in what I control (i.e. regarding all aspects which a husband must justly deal in amongst his wives), O Allaah do not punish me for what only You control and I do not control.", meaning the heart, the affection, and the love. [Ahmad and Abu Daawood] The saying of Allaah (interpretation of meaning): {So do not incline too much to one of them}, means that if you lean to one over another in feelings, do not exaggerate in leaning totally to the extent that you leave the other hanging, being not married and not divorced. Then Allaah says (interpretation of meaning): {And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allaah - then indeed, Allaah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.}[4:129], meaning if you amend what you mishandled by being unjust between them, and fear to totally lean to one of them, as you were forbidden to do, then Allaah will forgive you for your being negligent (being unjust in this regard) and will not hold you accountable for it. Based on the above, we advise you to try your best to be just between your two wives regarding spending the night with each of them, providing for them, and having good marital relationships with them, but there is no harm on you, Insha Allaah, if you love one of them more than the other. We do not advise you, however, to divorce your wife whom you are not just with, since you mentioned that she is not bad and she will soon deliver a child, so in this case divorce might be dislikeable. If the husband is undecided about divorce and this wife is willing to renounce some of her rights, such as having him spend the night with her in exchange for keeping her, then keeping her is better than divorcing her. Allaah says (interpretation of meaning): {And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better.}[4:128].

This means that making terms of peace and reconciliation is better than divorce.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa: 84282 and 86739.  

Allaah knows best.

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