Injustice between wives in overnight stay
Fatwa No: 355252

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. In Sweden, there are a lot of brothers who are married to several wives, especially in a city called Gothenburg, where, sadly, this type of marriage has almost become like a fashion thing where brothers compete in who can have more wives. This thing is also very common among the brothers who are famous around Sweden , meaning imams, or people very involved in Da‘wah (proselytization). These women are not being fairly treated. For example, the men married to more than one only take care of the first wife financially, which is something they clarify before marrying the second or third wife, and the women agree to this. Also, there is no fairness in how many days they spend with the wifes. They spend much more days and nights with the first wife, and sometimes only one day in the week with the other, or sometimes only one day in the month and so on. So many women married in these types of marriage are complaining and unhappy, but the men do not change. Also, the men are popular between the women because of their status in the community, so many women ask them for marriage, or the men ask themself, but these marriages are not serious marriages; rather, they marry for fun, for short periods of time. It is as if they marry for sex, and not for a serious marriage. What does Islam say about all this? This is starting to become a huge problem, and many sisters talk about it. Please give your opinion.

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is permissible for a man to marry a second, third, and fourth wife if he is able to carry out the rights of marriage, taking into account being just between the wives in regard to spending the night with them, and it is not permissible for him to prefer one wife over other wives by spending more nights with her than with his other wives.

Indeed, there is a severe threat against whoever is not just between his wives. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “When a husband has two wives and does not act justly between them, he will come on the Day of Judgment with a side of his body hanging down (as a form of punishment).” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

However, if a wife renounces some of her rights regarding her husband spending the night with her, or regarding his spending on her, then there is nothing wrong with that. Indeed, the Mother of the Believers Sawdah bint Zam’ah had gifted her day and night to ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her seeking to please the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) by doing so. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

If a wife changed her mind and demanded her right in regard to her husband spending the night with her or spending on her, then she has the right to do so.

Marriage in order to satisfy sexual desires is not forbidden, but it should be noted that the marriage contract is one of the most solemn covenants. So it is not permissible to subject it to abuse. If a man wants to marry, he should consider the consequences, especially if he is an imaam or preacher, as people look up to him as an example.

Allah knows best.

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