Q: Husband (h) is married to first wife (A). H married second wife (B) in 1988. H becomes ill in 2002, hospitalised and critical. H sent (one) Talaaq Bain by hand to B on account of medical condition, but remains married to A. Reason is pressure brought to him by A to divorce B. H recovers in 3 month period and obtains a ruling that marriage valid. He is remorseful for his conduct and continues with marriage to B. H lives with A, but continues to visit B and maintains her. H gets ill again and dies. A and B sit in iddat. Is B (second wife) entitled to share in inheritance and entitled to maintenance from H (deceased estate)? In the above situation, is the marriage of husband to wife B still valid. If not, please explain why. If the marriage is valid, is wife B entitled to her share of inheritance?
A: If he had divorced wife B with a talaaq-e-baain, then the nikaah had terminated. In the case where talaaq-e-baain is issued, then the nikaah immediately terminates and it is not possible for the husband to revoke the talaaq and take his wife back into his nikaah. However, if the both wish to reunite, then a new nikaah will have to be performed with a separate mahr. Hence, if the husband did not perform a new nikaah with her, then despite him continuing to live with her and support her, she no longer remained his wife and after his demise she will not be entitled to any share in the estate. However, if he performed a new nikaah with her, then she will be entitled to receive a share from the estate according to the stipulated shares of inheritance.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)