In Islam a man can marry more than once and equality is exaggerated amongst the wives but can a man love more than one wife, most people say he cannot love more than one woman. Please explain how you should deal with this matter if a man has 2 wives but does not love them equally.
After doing Istikhara and you have a positive feeling or a negative feeling. Does this indicate whether you should go ahead or not.
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh
1) It is true that equality between ones wives is compulsory according to the teaching of the Quran. However, since love is related to the inclination of the heart — and that is beyond ones control – the Shariah does not impose upon a person to be equal in love among his wives.
في الدر المختار: ( يجب ) وظاهر الآية أنه فرض نهر ( أن يعدل ) أي أن لا يجور ( فيه ) أي في القسم بالتسوية في البيتوتة ( وفي الملبوس والمأكول ) والصحبة ( لا في المجامعة ) كالمحبة إلخ ؛ وقال ابن عابدين رحمه الله: أما المحبة فهي ميل القلب وهو لا يملك ( رد المحتار: ج 4 ص 376 ط دار المعرفة )
Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:
وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ
“You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire” (Quran 4:129)
The justice mentioned in the verse above refers to love. Ibn Abi Shayba and Ibn Jareer relate on the authority of Abu Mulaika that the verse was revealed concerning Aisha (Radiyallaahu anha), as Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) loved her more than his other wives. Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmizi and others relate on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallaahu anha): “Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to distribute (things, nights etc.) equally and evenly between his wives. Then he would say ‘O Allah this is my distribution in what I have control over; therefore, do not reprimand me concerning what You have control over and I do not.’” By ‘what You have control over’ Rasulullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) meant love and the inclination of the heart that is beyond ones control. (Roohul Ma’aani vol. 3 pg. 157 pub. Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah)
2) After doing Iskihaara, you may act upon what your heart is inclined to or you may act upon something else due to consideration of other factors. Istikhaara means to seek khair (good) from Allah Ta’ala i.e. through Istikhaara a person asks Allah Ta’ala to guide him to that which is good for him and to keep him away from that which is not good for him. Therefore, whatever a person does after doing istikhaara will be good for him by the will of Allah Ta’ala.
(Ahsanul Fataawa: vol. 3 pg. 478-479 pub. Saeed)
And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Ml. Faizal Riza
Correspondence Iftā Student, Australia
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā, Madrasah In῾āmiyyah