Second wife has right in husband's time
Fatwa No: 343399

Question

Can I ask for a Khul‘ (divorce requested by the wife and in which she returns the bridal gift) if my husband is not giving me time because he is already married an always gives me excuses for his wife's family an kids. He just wants to help me financially, so is that right for him to say that he just wants to help me? He does not want to divorce me. I am alone all the time and whenever I get pregnant, he asks me to abort the child. I have done seven abortions now, so I just want to know if it is forbidden to ask for a divorce. I cannot keep on killing lives, and I am not happy with this. Please help me.

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.

The wife has many rights over her husband, and he is obliged to fulfill them just as she is obliged to fulfill his rights over her. Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.} [Quran 2:228]

The wife's rights over her husband are not confined to financial maintenance only; please refer to fatwas 85308 and 88304 about these rights. One of her rights over him is to treat his wives equally in terms of overnight stay. Please refer to fatwa 322534. Scholars of Fiqh underlined that the husband should spend the daytime with his wife whose turn is due for overnight stay. It is impermissible for him to visit his other wife in the daytime except for a need.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The criterion of the division is the night; the daytime is included in the division as a consequent of the night. However, it is more important for the husband to treat his wives equally in terms of the overnight stay in particular..." If he visits his wife in the daytime in other than her turn without need, he is obliged to make up for that to the other wife. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "If the husband visits any of his wives on the day (turn) of another one and stays with her for a long period of time, he is obliged to make up for that to the one whose day (turn) was due..." Hence, it is not acceptable that your husband uses his other wife and kids as an excuse for not spending time with you.

If there are harms incurred on the woman by staying married to her husband, she has the right to ask for divorce, even if it is in return for a compensation that she pays to him. For more information, please refer to fatwa 131953. The husband should not deny his wife's request in this case. If he does not wish to divorce her, he must eliminate the harm incurred on her and fulfill her rights over him. We are not encouraging you to ask for a divorce; moreover, divorce is not always the best solution. It is better that you try to reach a mutual understanding and seek the mediation of righteous people if needed.

You should know that, according to the most likely correct view of scholars, it is not permissible to abort a pregnancy at any stage unless there is a legitimate reason. The sin is graver if the abortion is done after the soul has been breathed into the fetus. The wife is not obliged to obey her husband in this regard; please refer to fatwa 85558.

If abortion is done without a legitimate reason, it is incumbent to repent to Allah, The Exalted, by both the one who caused the abortion and the one who carried out the procedure. The one who carried it out must also pay Diyah (blood money) if the abortion was done after the fetus took human shape. The Diyah for a fetus is one tenth of the Diyyah of its mother, and the killer is not entitled to inherit any of it. Please refer to fatwa 98739.

Indeed, you have been significantly lax, as your husband commanded you to undergo an abortion repeatedly and you obeyed him. It is unbecoming of a Muslim to do such a neglectful act and be indifferent to a hideous deed that may lead to terrible consequences in the worldly life and the Hereafter.

Allah knows best.

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