How Can I Deal with a Poor Husband Who Wants a Second Wife?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My husband met a potential second wife. We had a discussion about this because he can barely provide for me or my daughter. I’m literally sleeping on a mattress on the ground, and I haven’t bought anything for myself for a year. I had several anxiety attacks. He told me that he wouldn’t do it without my permission. But two weeks later, he says he’s going to do it anyways. He knows he is broke, but he insists.

Also, he keeps chatting with her about life, hobbies, etc. He denied it, and I asked him to block her, but he refused. I advised him and sent him fatwas, but he doesn’t care. I’m at the point where I can’t stand to look at him, and I don’t want him to touch me. What should I do?


Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you beautiful patience and compensate you well for what you are going through.


It’s disheartening for me to hear that your husband is not giving you that which suffices you, and I pray that this turns around. I encourage you to read Surah al-Waqi’a every day after Maghrib, for Ibn Mas’ud reported God’s messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) as saying, “He who recites Sura al-Waqi’a (Quran: 56) every night will never be afflicted by poverty.” Ibn Mas’ud used to order his daughters to recite it every night. [Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman]

See this as a test from Allah and react to it as such.

Get Savvy

I also encourage you to become a savvy housewife who can pick up an income by using her skills in or outside the home. Sometimes, when a man is afflicted with poverty, it is a great charity for a wife to help with his permission, and this can be a relief to all. I also urge you to learn how to budget for your family here in order to increase your savings:

Second Wife

I urge you to deal with your husband with wisdom and patience. It is clear that he doesn’t want to listen and that he plans on using his reliance on Allah to finance this second marriage. Instead, he should have reliance and a practical plan. I advise you to pray the Prayer of Need, to ask Allah for guidance in making him understand that this is wrong on many levels, and at the very least, that he fears God during this process.

Your Job

Although he may very well be making a mistake, you must put in some effort to improve your marriage. Regardless of this other lady, you must show him that your marriage is still worth it and that your happiness can come back. You will both feel at peace, that is the goal. This will take an incredible amount of effort, it will take smiling when you are upset, silence when you want to scream and even participating in the bedroom when you don’t want to. When he sees that your spark is still there, the benefits will be manifold and everlasting and may even overshadow this second marriage.

Please use these resources to start transforming this marriage:
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
The Five Love Languages
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Love, Marriage, and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

Please see these links and show them to him as well:
I am in Love and Want To Make Her My Second Wife
Can a Man Marry a Second Wife If He Cannot Fulfil Her Rights?
How to Deal with My Husband’s Decision to Have a Second Wife?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.