What Is Considered Cheating on a Spouse, in Islam?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband and I were having issues in our marriage. It came to a point where my husband left. I have recently discovered that he has been speaking to another woman in regards to marriage, and found her to be unsuitable. When I found out about this, I tried to reconcile with him. He became defensive and said that he can have up to four wives. Then he stated that he is not interested in marrying her. Has he cheated on me?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Infidelity

Your husband going behind your back and speaking about marriage to another woman is already a form of emotional infidelity. I pray that Allah heals your heartbreak.

In our modern age, scholars are strongly opposed to polygamy due to the harm caused.

Counselling

It sounds like you and your husband are in need of serious marital counselling. I strongly encourage you to find a culturally-sensitive counsellor and have a mediated discussion about how to save your marriage. Even if your husband does not want to go to counselling, I urge you to go on your own to help you cope with your hardship. Please look after yourself in this time and seek out the support of your family and close friends. Perform The Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah for His help.

Please complete this free course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to help you better understand the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage.

May Allah ease your tribulation, and grant you the best in this dunya and the akhirah.

Please see:

Is Polygamy really Allowed?
Can a Husband Marry a Second Wife Without His First Wife’s Permission?
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam,
[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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.