Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
I know a married couple who has been separated for some time now, and are no longer treating each other as husband and wife. The separated wife came to know that the separated husband is dating another woman. Is this allowed in Islam? Does this constitute as polygamy in Canada?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting us with your question.
To answer your question, if there has been a marriage breakdown and the couple are separated with no sense of marital relationship and reconciliation, they should obtain a religious and also legal divorce.
As far as dating is concerned, from an islamic point of view, it depends on what one means by dating. Islamicaly, one is permitted to pursue another partner while following all islamic protocols such as no body-contact and or intercourse. (See: Qur’ān 2:235)
I am informed by several Canadian lawyers, once a married couple has separated; dating, intercourse and getting engaged with another partner is legal and would not be considered polygamy or a polyamorous relationship, from a Canadian legal point of view.
Canadian family law lawyer, John-Paul E Boyd, writes, “A separated married person can see other people, date other people, have children with other people and live with other people.” (jpboyd.com)
For legal perspectives, it is advisable you seek consultation from an appropriate lawyer.
And Allāh Knows Best