In a custody battle? Who gets the children and when?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: I am presently in a custody battle with my wife for care and control of my children. She said in her affidavit two things that i need clarified in an official e-mail from your institution. they are : 1) That a man needs permission from his first wife before taking a second wife. 2) That when the female child is baling (mature) about 8 or 9 years that there is no Islamic law that says she has to stay with her father.

1st July 2015.

To Whom it may Concern,

Respected Sir/Madam,

With respect to the questions asked, we submit the following answers:

  1. According to the teachings of the Holy Quran and that of the Prophet Muhammad (Upon whom be peace), there is no requirement for a man to seek permission from his first wife before taking a second wife. In this regard, the Holy Quran states ‘Marry women of your choice, two or three, or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then (marry) only one.’ (Surah An Nisa (Chapter 4, Verse 3 – The Holy Quran). In this verse, no condition has been placed upon the husband that he must seek permission before marrying a second, or third or fourth wife. Instead, a condition mentioned in the verse is that a husband must be just and fair with his wives. If he cannot do that, then he must only take one wife.
  2. According to the Islamic law, a mother is entitled to the custody of a male child until seven years of age and a female child until she reaches the age of puberty. After this specified age, the father is the only guardian who looks after the welfare of his children. (See Shariah-The Islamic Law by Professor Abdur Rahman I. Doi, Pg. 215 Taha Publishers Ltd. London 1984.)

And Allah Knows Best.

Qadhi Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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