May I Marry A Second Wife If My Wife is Barren?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have been married for a couple of years now. It happens that my wife is infertile. Her infertility existed before the marriage and it is probably due to an event that happened when she was a kid, she however told me she was never aware it could possibly make her infertile. I really want to have biological children. 

I have three questions, first, what are the process/conditions of getting married to a second wife, shall my wife give her approval?

Second, can the second wife be located abroad if the country where I currently live in does not allow polygamy?

Third, is infertility considered as a fault that can enable divorce?


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration. Not being able to have children can be a tremendous source of stress and unhappiness for many. I pray that Allah sends you that which is best for you, for he is the Best of Planners. Please see this video to understand this situation more deeply:

Infertility: Why does Allah Not Bless Some With Children?

Here are links for duas for infertility:

Dealing With Infertility

Could You Give Some Supplications to Help Me with My Infertility and My Stress?

Invocations To Bear Children

Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz – Advice on Duas to Read During Pregnancy and Labour

You “could marry” a second wife in order to have children, but you will be dealing with the huge burden of having two wives and not being able to see your children as often as if you only had one wife, let alone the jealousy and other problems that arise. Of course, if you live in a country where polygamy is illegal, it would be even more difficult.

The harm that it would cause to your first wife is immeasurable because it is Allah’s decree to give children or not, it is not her fault at all, yet you would be punishing her. There are many young healthy people who are also unable to have children.

See this link about the first wife’s approval of a second wife:

Can a Husband Marry a Second Wife Without His First Wife’s Permission?

I recommend that you look for another suitable alternative for your happiness and come to peace with what Allah has decreed for you. Consider adopting or fostering a child, or get deeply involved with children in the community, at the mosque, or Islamic schools, or other orphans in the community. 

Help them, devote yourself to charity, establish big brother programs, be part of helping the children of the Ummah, Allah will not abandon you, I promise. May Allah give you every good in 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, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied Fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.