Please could you kindly advise me as I am in a dilemma of what to do and where to turn?
I have two children and am married but separated from my wife for quite a while now and I am in love with another woman. Although I do not love my wife, she does not want me to divorce her, yet I wish to marry another woman.
I really do not know what to do, where to turn and how to go about doing the right thing. Where do I stand in Shariah and what can I do? Can I remarry without divorce?
Please help me with your guidance and advice as soon as possible please, and advice me as to my situation especially if my wife does not permit me to marry. I am also concerned about the children as I love them dearly. I do not wish to cause her harm or pain but unfortunately these matters are always painful.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Having read your letter, the following are the steps you need to take:
To begin with, you must stop all informal interaction with this other woman whom (according to what you say) you love. Extra-marital affairs and relationships are totally unlawful in Islam and a grave sin. If you have had any unlawful relationship with her, then you must repent to Allah Almighty and seek His forgiveness.
Secondly, try and work out your marriage with your wife. Divorce is regarded as the worst of all the permissible things, thus it should be avoided as much as possible, and should only be used as a last resort. Especially, when you have children involved, thus you don’t want your children to suffer the consequences of your failed marriage.
However, if you see no light at the end of the tunnel and all attempts in saving the marriage are unsuccessful, then it is permissible to divorce your wife. However, you mention that your wife does not want you to divorce her, thus you should abstain from divorcing her, for the time being at least.
Thirdly, in principle, it is permissible to marry a second wife without divorcing the first. It is also permissible to marry without the consent and permission of the first wife. However, you should not do so before really thinking long and hard about it, and discussing the matter with a scholar of piety and knowledge.
There are great responsibilities upon the husband when he has two wives, and failure to fulfil them results in falling into a grave sin. You need to financially be in a position to keep both of them in your marriage and also treat them both justly and equally.
Therefore, in conclusion, stop all informal interaction with this other woman. Thereafter, strive to save your marriage and re-build that bond and love you once had with your wife. And, if you really wish to marry the other woman, you may do so with or without divorcing your wife, but don’t take this step without discussing it with some local scholar whose piety and wisdom you trust. If you can convince your wife in giving you permission to marry a second woman, and that you assure her to treat her justly with full love and respect, then that may be ideal.
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK