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Taking a second wife without informing the first

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: Is it permissible for a husband to get into a second marriage without informing his first wife? Even after the second marriage he lied to his first wife and didn’t let her know two or three years after the second marriage. Now the wife came to know and is in shock since the first marriage was 17 years old and the first wife was also quite young and a mother of four kids. She now wants her husband to divorce the second wife but husband is not willing. The second nikkah was also not announced in both sides.

A: It is permissible for a man to take a second wife without informing his first wife. However, it is compulsory upon him to practice equality between both his wives. (To avoid complications, it is better that he inform his first wife at the time of taking the second wife.)

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تُقْسِطُوا فِي الْيَتَامَىٰ فَانكِحُوا مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ مَثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَعُولُوا ﴿النساء: ٣﴾

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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