Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I am the wife of someone who is married to several women. His other wife does not know about our marriage. I am struggling with issues of jealousy.
I am jealous of the physical side that he shares with his first wife.
How do I deal with this?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever has two wives and favors one of them over the other, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides leaning.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
This is a difficult situation. By right, your husband is meant to equally divide all of his resources between you and your co-wife. However, because he has kept you a secret, he is unable to do so without arousing suspicion in his first wife. This is deeply problematic for all of you.
How well do you communicate with your husband? How open is your husband to your influence?
I encourage you to soften your start-up with your husband and express how you feel. Tell him that it hurts you when you are unable to spend more time with him.
Did you know that your husband was going to keep your marriage a secret?
If your husband does not want to tell his first wife about you, then you must ask yourself if you’re willing to continue living like this. If you were to have a child with him, then your child is legitimate and deserving of his father’s love, time and wealth. However, if your husband does not tell his first wife about you, how will he even broach the topic of a child from his second wife?
If things do not change, then I do not see this ending well, for anyone. You, your child, and your unborn children deserve better. You are his wife, not his mistress. The Shari’ah honours you through marriage, even if your husband is currently failing to do so.
I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance as many times as you need to, until you gain clarity. If your husband is willing to be honest with his first wife about you, then that may be a clear sign for you to work on your marriage. If your husband refuses to, then that may be a clear sign for you to end your marriage.
[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.