Can I Be the Second Wife to an Already Married Man With Children?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I was in a sinful relationship with a young man. My father found out and told us to end this relationship. I obeyed him, and now my father wants me to get married. I couldn’t stop thinking about the young man, so I got back in contact with him, but he is already married. He is willing to take me as a second wife. However his practice of the religion is severe. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.


Dear sister, I urge you to think with your head, and not your heart. The man you were in a relationship with three years ago is now someone else’s husband, and a father to two small children.

Would your father give you his blessing to marry an already married man who was in a sinful relationship with his daughter?

Being a second wife, especially in the West, is a recipe for tremendous pain. You will have no legal rights as a wife, as you will be considered in a de facto relationship.

Over and over again, this scenario repeats itself – a man keeps a secret second wife, he sneaks around to see her, and they have children who must also be kept a secret. The truth comes out only after he passes away, and his second wife and children are denied their rightful share of his inheritance. Everybody gets hurt.

Even if he does tell his first wife about wanting to marry a second wife, that often causes his first wife to leave him, and take their children away. In the very unlikely scenario where she

This is why scholars do not encourage polygamy in the modern world, especially not in the West. Please read this: Can a Husband Marry a Second Wife Without His First Wife’s Permission?


It sounds like the married man you are interested in has very controlling tendencies. What kind of life will you have as a second wife if he does not permit you to work, and expects you to dress in a way you are not ready for?


Dear sister, please start from a fresh slate. Make a sincere repentance to Allah, and make good on it by never contacting that man again. You risk falling into sin with him again, and this time, it will be far worse because he is already married and has children.

When you do think of him, which is inevitable, because heartbreak takes time – please make dua for him, his wife, and his children.

Make dua for Allah to grant you a loving and righteous husband who will honour you, grow with you, and be your helpmate to Jannah. Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, as often as you’re able to. Nourish yourself with remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, and attendance at spiritual gatherings.


Please marry someone who is physically, emotionally, spiritually and economically compatible with you. I pray that your family is able to help you look for someone suitable. If your family struggles to find someone compatible, which is common due to the generation gap, then perhaps it is time

When you are young and in love, it may feel like love is enough to overcome all challenges in marriage. Unfortunately, it is not. Please read this book – Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples.

You could not choose your parents, siblings, uncles or aunties, but within the parameters of Destiny, you can choose your husband. Whoever you marry will determine the trajectory of the rest of your life.

If you give into base desire and choose poorly, then you will pay the price of your own unhappiness, and that of your unborn children.

If you calm yourself, think long-term, and choose wisely, then I pray that you will be rewarded with love, contentment and the blessing of a good father for your children.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.