I live in Reunion. My name is Anas Ahmed Lala. I would want to ask you three questions, please. 1) It is not compulsory upon a husband to take his wife’s permission to do a second nikah if this wife had not made the condition he would not marry a second wife until she is in his marriage. That’s true. But has this husband the right of non-informing his wife when he does a second nikah ? Or is it compulsory upon him to inform his first wife that he is doing a second nikah, in order she knows that the part she used to receive from him (i.e. nights and money) will be now divided by two ? The following case is concerned by this question : if the second wife agrees, has the husband the right of not giving her a part of his nights, being thus able to not inform his first wife that he has a second wife ? And has this husband the right of non-informing the second wife that his is already married to another woman ? 2) In the past, when women slaves still existed, imagine a man who has 2 wives (with nikah) and has in his possession 10 women slaves (which are married to no one). Has this man the right of having sexual relations with these 12 women, or is it necessary upon him to chose only 2 slaves with which he’ll have sexual relations, in order he does not have, in the same period, the haqq ul-istimta’ with more that 4 women ? Wa jazakumullâh.
1. In principle, a Muslim male has the right to have upto four wives at a time. A Muslim female ought to know this Shar’ee ruling and she is at liberty to enquire from him whether he is married or not. Therefore, if a female wish to secure herself from entering into a polygamous marriage, she should do so during the marriage contract. If she did not do so, and the husband remarries, it is his unrestricted right to do so.
He does not have to inform his first wife of his second marriage and vice versa. However, he is obliged to maintain equality among his wives. If a wife forfeits her right of time, she may do so. But if she reclaims her right, she is entitled to it.
2. In principle, the person had the right to be intimate with his wives as well as any number of slaves as long as they were not sisters or any two females who cannot be married to one person).
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai