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I sometimes regret being the second wife. What should I do?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I wish to congratulate you for the great help and teachings we are always receiving here, whether it pertains to new Muslims or getting to know our religion better.

Inshā-Allāh with your help all our concerns in this Dunya will be answered.  My question is:

I am a European who converted to Islām.  Al-Hamdullillāh I went for Umrah this year, but I feel there is no Eid yet for me.

I’ve been married to my husband for the past three years.  I am his second wife.

We live in UAE and his family is in Bahrain.  In the beginning my husband told me that his wife had cancer and he has a few children.  He further told me he will inform his family of the second marriage when the right time comes.

Later on after two years I found out he has ten kids (youngest is about 13 or 14 and the oldest is 30 years of age).

I slowly accepted my destiny and prayed to Allāh that my husband be fair and honest with time.

He promised that he would tell his family but time is passing and no one knows about me.  Not even his own brothers and sisters (his parents have passed away a long time ago. May Allāh grant them Jannah Inshā Allāh).

I am going all this way and have accepted everything.  I love my husband very much.  However I am sacrificing in this Dunya for his kids and wife while I am left in UAE with no body to help me in case I may require something while he is away time to time(Occasionally 4-5 days).

In Eid I have no family to celebrate with and to feel the spirit every Muslim feels. I have reached to a point where patience cannot be the solution anymore.  And by keeping quiet, time will pass but the situation might remain the same.  And I have no one to talk on my behalf like a father, uncle, or brother.  Sometimes I regret being the second wife as I am not treated fairly because he keeps this marriage in secret.  What is to be done from the Shariyah point of view?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We highly appreciate your good words and Duā for us.  Also the good news with regards to your Islām has delighted us.  May Allāh Taālā enable you to practice Dīn with steadfastness.  Amīn.

Our life in this world is a temporary abode in which we are examined by Allāh Taālā.  Each and every individual has a different test.  Some are afflicted by hunger while others are tested by fear. Allāh Taālā says in the Glorious Qurān:

“Do people think that they will be left (at ease) only on their saying, “We believe” and will not be put to test?”(Qurān 29/2)

However when we develop and instill within our hearts the love of Allāh, then passing through the various stages of life becomes very easy.

With regards to your situation, we understand that you are a victim of oppression.  Islām highlights that every human being be treated with utmost justice.  Inequality is not tolerated in Islām, especially in regards to a man having two wives.  Our Noble Messenger Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam has stated:

“Anyone who has two wives and he cannot fulfill their rights equally and justly, shall be raised on the Day of Judgement in a condition that one of his shoulders will be drooping down.” (Mishkāt Al-Masābīh, Hadīth No. 5719: Al-Maktab Al-Islāmī) [1]

Furthermore your husband has lied to you with regards to his children.  We feel that your husband is merely using you.  Hence it is necessary for you to be straight forward with your husband and tell him exactly what you want and how you feel.

Also, get in contact with an experienced individual, perhaps a scholar of the locality and explain to him your situation.  Request him to come speak with your husband.  Have him mediate between yourself and your husband so that you two can come to an agreement.

If all fails and your husband continues to disregard you, then you have to consider seriously.  Islām gives you the right to seek a divorce. [2]  Only if the husband agrees then the divorce will take place.  However if your husband fails to agree, then you may apply for Faskh (annulment) of marriage from your local Ulama body who will consider your marriage based on the rules of Faskh of Nikah.[3]  However before you make such a decision, apply your mind and think ahead as you will be faced with many challenges in view of your personal situation and circumstances.  It is important that you make Istikhārah and consult with ones who you trust.

Nevertheless, continue to make lots of Duā.  The hearts are in Almighty Allāh’s control.  He is the only One who is capable of bettering our situations.  Have conviction that you are being rewarded tremendously by Allāh Taālā for the difficulties you are undergoing.  Many companions of Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam had to undergo many hardships in the initial stages of their Islāmic lives. Allāh Taālā will grant you a life full of happiness and bliss.  We ask Allāh Taālā to better your situation. Amīn. 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Azeem bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 [1]  وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «إِذَا كَانَتْ عِنْدَ الرَّجُلِ امْرَأَتَانِ فَلَمْ يَعْدِلْ بَيْنَهُمَا جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَشِقُّهُ سَاقِطٌ» . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَأَبُو دَاوُدَ وَالنَّسَائِيُّ وَابْنُ مَاجَهْ والدارمي (مشكاة المصابيح, رقم الحديث 3236: المكتب الإسلامي – بيروت)

[2]  اذا تشاق الزوجان, وخافا الا يقوما بما يلزمهما من حقوق الزوجية وموجباتها, جاز الطلاق والخلع في النكاح الصحيح (الاحكام الشرعية في الاحوال الشخصية, ج 2, ص 665: دار السلام)


[3] فتاوي محمودية, ج 19, ص 406: مكتبة محمودية


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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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