Keeping wife who became pregnant from adultery
Fatwa No: 339610

  • Fatwa Date:16-1-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 18, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Let me go straight to the point. My wife and I moved to a new country. During Ramadan, my wife got to know a guy and started dating him in my absence. She did not tell him that she was married. He introduced her to his family as a friend, and during their dates, they fornicated. She says that he raped her. I do not believe that and think that she had consensual relations with him. She got pregnant, so she made excuses to break our relation and finally left the house and told me that she needed space to sort herself out. After ten days, she married him; this was an illegal marriage because we never got divorced. After three weeks of "marriage", she opened up to me and showed regret of her actions. She asked me to accept her with her pregnancy, and when I asked her about the reason, she told me that she was not happy with him and regretted what she had done and was afraid that in the future, if he found out that she was married before, he would leave her. This marriage and relationship was based on a complete lie, and now she wants to come back to me without even telling anyone and move from that country with me and start a new life. My question is: what is the status of her new marriage and of the marriage with me? If she came back to me, is my marriage still valid, or do I have to marry her anew? Now the big question is: do I have to support her and bring her back in my life as my wife and accept her pregnancy? I fear Allaah and could not kill that life, so I would accept the baby, but I am confused; so please guide me. What does Islam says about all these issues and what should I do; and what should she do? I still love her and want to forgive her and start a new life with her. Please reply promptly. I have only a short period of time to take a decision. May Allaah reward you and shower his Mercy onto the whole Muslim community.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

If your wife committed all the misdeeds that you have described, then she has indeed violated the Islamic Sharia in many ways. She had an illegitimate relationship with another man, she left the marital home without a valid reason, and she married that man while she is still married to you. She thus neglected the rights of Allah, The Exalted, and then the rights of her husband over her. She must sincerely repent to Allah of her sins. Please refer to fatwa 86527 regarding the conditions of repentance. She must fulfill all the conditions of sincere repentance; her regret or asking you to forgive her is not enough.

Her marriage to that man is invalid, without any doubt. One of the religious impediments to marriage is the woman's marriage to another man. Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And [also prohibited to you are all] married women...} [Quran 4:24] This means that it is prohibited to marry a woman who is already married. Hence, her marriage to that man is invalid, and it has no effect on your marriage to her; she is still your wife. If she is truthful in her repentance to Allah and her conduct changed to the better, then keep her and treat her kindly and do not tell anyone what she did. Please refer to fatwa 301411.

It seems that you were rather lax with your wife. So we advice you to be more strict with her and oblige her to observe the hijab and avoid mixing with non-Mahram (alien) men or being alone with one of them as well as similar things that might lead her to temptation. You should also teach her the matters of the religion, nurture belief in Allah in her heart, and be a good example for her in all this.

As for the pregnancy, the basic principle is that the child is attributed to you as long as your wife got pregnant while being married to you. Please refer to fatwa 84301.

Some scholars held that it is permissible for the husband to have intercourse with his wife who had committed Zina (adultery) without first confirming whether she is pregnant from Zina or not. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “...Rather, the reported opinion of Abu Bakr and a group of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, is that the woman who commits Zina is not required to observe an ‘Iddah (waiting period) or wait to find out whether she is pregnant or not, especially if she is married, because the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, 'The child is attributed to the bed (i.e. to the husband).’

Allah knows best.

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