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If a married male wants to do nikah with a 2nd woman, does he have to inform or ask permission from the 1st wife? Will the nikah be valid if the 1st wife is not aware?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

if a married male wants to do nikah with a 2nd woman, does he have to inform or ask permission from the 1st wife? Will the nikah be valid if the 1st wife is not aware?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

In principal it is permissible for a man to have four wives at once, However if one has two wives he must treat both justly.  Allah Ta’ala says in the holy Quran; “Marry women of your choice two two, three three, or four four, but if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (with them) then (take) only one. (04:03)

 Hereunder are some rules regarding justice in a polygamous marriage.

a.   Whatever wealth, jewellery, clothes etc. the husband gives to one wife the other is  also entitled to  that or equal to that in value.

b.  Equality in nights: In a situation of two wives, he will have to spend alternate nights with each wife. It is also compulsory to give each wife equal time at night. If he goes by one at 7:00pm  the other deserves the same.

c.  Intercourse is not necessary in maintaining equality.  However, the husband should be considerate of the wife’s intimate needs. He should not leave her for more than four months without intercourse.

d.  Equality is not wajib when embarking on a journey. The husband can take whichever wife he wishes, it is preferred to cast a lot to take in whose favour the lot was drawn.  In this way there will be no unhappiness or dissatisfaction.

(Bahishti Zewar, Vol.1 Pg. 383-384).                                                                                      

Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said; “He who has two wives and does not treat them equally and justly will come on the day of judgment in such a state wherein one side of  his of  body will be paralyzed”. ( Mishkaat, Vol.2.  Pg. 278 ) 

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Safraz Mohammed,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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