Married two wives although he is financially incapable of supporting them
Fatwa No: 139731

Question

as salaamu alaikum, my husband, unbenounced to me, married someone who worked with him in our store. we have been married 16 years and have 6 children. For the past two years the business has been doing very poorly and we have been without basic neccessaties, such as heat in the winter, clothes for myself and our children, a stove of any kind to cook on,a house that is not infested with mold... I could go on and on. we also had to resort to accepting food stamps and not to mention medical insurance from the state government. he also owes the i.r.s. over $55,000,and owes my family $22,000. We hardly see my husband because he teaches class in the masjid when he's not at the store he comes home, eats and goes to bed. I feel that he should take that time and educate our family first but I don't complain out of concern for him getting a reward for his good deeds.I did not complain about the aformentioned issues but stayed patient trying not to put burdens on him that i thought he could not handle. this lady worked with him 4 hours a day in our very small store and he even dropped her off at home. this marriage was also done without my knowledge. he came in the house with a tray of food, called me upstairs and told me that this was food from the walimah with the second wife. Now, I am extremely angry that he could have our,his first family in this kind of situation when we weren't living like this ever since we got married,and at the same time support another woman. people in the community respect him and look to him as a leader and don't know the conditions that our family is living in,or the lack of time that he spends with us.i complained to him that this is not fair in my opnion; that he has left our family and household vulnerable and without a strong foundation but he says i am judging him and not being thankful. i am so hurt that I cannot mentally bring myself to have sexual relations with him and i don't want to be sinful. please advise me.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

A husband is not obliged to inform his first wife about his marriage to a second wife, rather, he is obliged to be just between them in staying overnight with them and he should spend on them with reasonable grounds. For more benefit, refer to Fataawa 82068 and 95416.

If a husband refuses to spend on his wife, then she has the right to take the matter to the Muslim judge in order to oblige him to spend on her. Therefore, we advise you to ask your husband to spend on you and on your children from him and to have good marital relationship with you. However, you should fulfill his rights on you among which is obeying him when he calls you to bed unless you have a sound reason to refuse; for more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 96046.

In any case, if you are unable to fulfill his right and have good marital relationship with him, then you may ask him for Khul’; for more benefit in this regard, please refer to Fatwa 89039.

Allaah Knows best.

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