Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
A married man wants to marry me. His first marriage was arranged by his parents, he has a young son, and his parents would disapprove because I am African and he is Indian. What do I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.
Dear sister, I am very concerned for you.
Please speak to your parents, and seek their counsel. I would imagine that they would be very unhappy to hear about you being a secret second wife.
You need to accept that the man you love is bound by very strong cultural beliefs, none of which work in your favour.
Parents who resort to emotional blackmail, control tactics and so on to manipulate the lives of their children often do so out of fear. Please accept that this is the reality of his parents, and it is unlikely to change.
If you marry this man, then this will be the pain into which you marry. You will deal with the repercussions for the rest of your married life.
The man you want to marry already has a wife, a son, and he wishes to marry you knowing that it would devastate his parents. What does that tell you about his level of commitment to honouring his parents, his wife, and being a good example to his child?
It is easy for him to be kind and protective to you now, while you are courting. The truth of his character lies in how he will treat you when you are married, far away, and without the support and blessing of your family and in-laws.
Love is not enough for a marriage to succeed. When registration reopens, please enrol and complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
In the meantime, I encourage you to listen to podcasts such as Content of Character and The Rawha. Nourish your troubled heart with dhikr, recitation of the Qur’an, and daily istighfar and salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace).
Dear sister, although the final decision is yours, I strongly advise you against getting married to this man.
The fatwa of major Arab and Indo-Pak scholars is that it is generally wrong and unwise in our times to marry a second wife, without consulting wise and knowledgeable scholars (even though it is in itself permitted), because of the harm and mess that inevitably results:
a) the harm to the first wife;
b) the troubles with the second wife when the first is upset;
c) the harm of not giving both their legal, emotional, and material rights;
d) the harm to family relations;
e) and, also vitally, the harm to one’s children…
Marrying another woman is not just a question of providing for both…
Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times and watch what Allah unfolds for you. If Allah makes marriage easy for you, then that is your positive sign. If He continues to pile hardship upon hardship on your journey to marrying this man, then please, dear sister, heed this negative sign.
Wake up in the last third of the night, even if it’s 15 minutes before the entry of Fajr, and perform the Prayer of Need.
I pray that Allah grants you the courage and wisdom to choose wisely.
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Can a Husband Marry a Second Wife Without His First Wife’s Permission?
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.