Marriage without the first wife’s consent and doing Nikah with the same wife twice

Fatwa ID: 01270

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

I have a friend who a man wants to take as his second wife because he loves her and is physically involved with her. He does not want to hurt the first wife and plans to keep both separately and happy. He can afford both wives but not disclose it to his 1st wife to avoid hurt and pain. Is this ok? He is good guy, and will support both families, but is afraid that disclosing will cause hurt. The 2nd knows about the 1st but the 1st will not know about the 2nd. Please reply, she is desperate for an answer. My 2nd question is for avoiding sin they can secret nikha? And when the girl's family agree they can nikha again before the family? Means Two times nikha with the same person is "jaiz"

Answer:

Bismillah

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

The issue that one man could have more than one wife was something that was considered permissible by all religions of the world even before the advent of Islam.  This custom prevailed in Arabia, India, Iran, Egypt, and Babylon and among people elsewhere.

During the early period of Islam this custom continued without being limited.  As a result men initially took too many wives to satisfy their greed.  Later, they could not do justice to all of them and their wives lived like prisoners.  It was the Holy Quran that stopped this great injustice prevailing in the human society at large.  The Holy Quran restricted the plurality of wives by declaring that keeping more than four in marriage is unlawful.  Furthermore, to treat any of them unfairly will also be unlawful.  (Maariful Quran p.301 & p.302 v.2)

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the Holy Quran has said:

‘Then marry the women you like, in two’s, in three’s and in four’s.  But if you fear that you will not maintain equality, then (keep to) one women, or a bond woman you own.  It will be closer to your not doing injustice.’   (Surah Nisaa v.3)

Saaiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “A man who has two wives and he does not deal justly with them will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement with half his body paralysed.”   (Sunan Tirmizi)

With regards to your question, it is not necessary for the husband to seek permission from the first wife for his second marriage to be considered valid and correct.  However, it is preferable to consult her regarding the issue to avoid upsetting her.   (Raddul Muhtar p.138 v.4)

Firstly it should be borne in mind that to conduct the marriage in secret is against the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Saaidah Aaisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said, “Publicize the marriage. Do it in a mosque and play the duff.”   (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh p.272)

To publicize a marriage means that it should be performed in public among relatives and friends.   And a noble way of declaring the marriage is to do it in the mosque after the Jumma prayer where everyone can witness it.  (Mazaahirul Haqq p.49 v.4)

For marriage to be valid the condition is that there should be at least two male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses who are required to listen to the words of proposal (Ijab) and acceptance (qabul) clearly. (Hidayah p.306 v.2)

With regards to your question as long as the first nikah was done in the presence of two male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses who heard the words of proposal (Ijab) and acceptance (qabul) clearly, the nikah will be done. The second nikah which is going to be done will be considered as repeating the process again. There is nothing wrong in doing that according to the Sharia, but will be preferable to avoid.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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