Relation between First and Second Wife
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
regarding my sister i would like to ask your opinion/answer/recommendation in the light of Quran and Sunna.
I know Allah has given permission to men to have 4 wives BUT One fine day my sister's husband comes home and break the news that he is married for the second time. it is so much shocking and upsetting news for her how to deal with the situation if the husband can't afford to keep both the wifes separately, is it must for the first wife to stay together as she doesnot want divorce. she doesnot want to stay with the other wife. she has no complain over her husband but the problem is the other woman. it is but natural that there will be jealously and other unpleasant things......... my sister doesnot want to talk or meet the other woman is it sin, her husband is forcing her to do and he says both should go out with him at the same time.
all these years my sister was alone with her husband her relationship with her husband is very good. all of sudden this new woman comes in their life so it is very difficult for her to adjust and compromise. she doesnot have any kids. she is all the time depressed. we feel very sorry for her. she is in india and all her brothers and sisters are away from her.
please guide her. She is God fearing person and very sweet. i llok forward an answer from you in detail. how to convince my sister.
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Relation between First and Second Wife
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Subhanah has indeed given permission to a believing man to marry upto four women at any one item, with a strict condition that the husband must be equal and do justice between his wives.
Q-1: if the husband can't afford to keep both the wifes separately, is it must for the first wife to stay together as she doesnot want divorce.
If the husband can afford to keep his wives in different houses, then he must keep them separate. But if a husband does not have the resources to keep his wives in different houses, he must absolutely try his best to provide absolute privacy to each of his wives by housing them separately in different apartments. But under no circumstances should the husband try and house both his wives under the same roof. The Messenger of Allah (saws) himself had a maximum of nine wives at one time, and he (saws) always housed them separately.
Q-2: my sister doesnot want to talk or meet the other woman is it sin, her husband is forcing her to do and he says both should go out with him at the same time.
There is absolutely no sin upon the first or second wife if they do not want to meet or talk to each other; the husband must understand the sensibilities and not try to force something which is against the nature of the individual. But if the two wives wish to meet and have cordial relationships with each other, there is no harm.
Q-3: she doesnot have any kids. she is all the time depressed. we feel very sorry for her. she is in india and all her brothers and sisters are away from her. please guide her. She is God fearing person and very sweet. i llok forward an answer from you in detail. how to convince my sister.
It is naturally and obviously never easy initially on the first wife when her husband exercises his option of a second marriage. But a God-fearing woman must realize that this option and permission has been granted to the believing man, from the One Who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, Who Knows Perfectly well the nature of each of His creation.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 36:It does not behove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an option in that matter of theirs. For whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into manifest error.
She should also realize that her husband could have divorced her, and taken on a new wife; but he took the nobler path and kept both his wives. She should also realize that in as much as it is difficult for the first wife to accept this situation, it is also not easy as one thinks on the second wife; because she knows very well that the husband and the first wife have spent the best years of their life with one another, and understand, respect, and cherish each other extremely well. The first wife never has to compete for a place in her husbands heart, for her place is already reserved; it is the second wife who will constantly have to compete and come up to the mark of the first wife in the marriage.
In most cases, where a truly God-Fearing believer chooses the option of marrying again, it is always the first wife, whim whom he has spent the best years of his life, that is his dearest. Even the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself always loved and cherished his first wife, Hadrat Khadijah (r.a.), the most, even after her death; so much so that Hadrat Aisha (r.a.) would say that she never felt jealous of any other of his wives, except Hadrat Khadijah (r.a.), who had died before the Messenger of Allah (saws) married Hadrat Aisha (r.a.).
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.164 Narrated by Aisha
I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (saws) as much as I did of Khadija (although) she died before he married me; for I often heard him (saws) mentioning her, and Allah had told him to give her the good tidings that she would have a palace of Qasab (i.e. pipes of precious stones and pearls in Paradise), and whenever he (saws) slaughtered a sheep, he would send her (Khadijahs) women-friends a good share of it.
Her best option is that she should accept her situation, and understand well that her husband has neither betrayed her, nor has he transgressed the boundaries of Allah Subhanah in opting to marry a second time. If she is absolutely unable to accept her situation, she is well within her rights to seek a divorce from her husband, and there will be no sin upon her.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,