Is it permissible or proper for a man to marry a second time in secret? A guy wants to know if I can conduct the ceremony. He does not want his first wife to know. I am not comfortable with such an arrangement.
Although it is permissible for a person to marry a second time, it is not proper for one to do it in a secret manner.
Marriage is a sacred contract ordained by Allah. It is one which brings about respect and honour for the one who marries. As such the Prophet (S.A) has given an order saying ‘Announce your marriage, do it in the masjid and beat the Daff upon its occurrence’. (Recorded by Imam Tirmizi from the tradition of Aisha (R.A). Imam Tirmizi says it is a good and authentic hadeeth).
In another tradition, it is related that the Prophet (S.A) said, “The difference between Halaal and Haraam (in marriages) is the daff and the voice”. Recorded by Imam Tirmizi from the Hadith of Muhammad bin Hatib, Aisha and Jabir (R.A). Imam Tirmizi says it is a good hadith.
In the above hadith ‘the voice’ refers to the act of announcing one’s marriage and making it known among the people. (Al Iam’aat).
Taking the above teachings of the prophet (S.A) into consideration, it can be clearly seen that secret marriages are totally discouraged in Islam.
One should bear in mind that this type of marriage brings about a tremendous amount of problems to the first wife and children/family (in general) when the husband’s action becomes known.
This also brings about a bad image to the Islamic teachings, since it is viewed as using the Islamic teachings conveniently to satisfy one’s base desires. This also causes the husband to tell excessive lies in order to keep the second marriages a secret.
In short, there are many ill effects in such arrangements along with it being discouraged in Islam.
My opinion to you is that you should not get involved in such secret marriages either as the one who conducts it or as a witness.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.