Jealous over her Co-Wife
Fatwa No: 384448

Question

i got married to a second wife recently and my first wife had trouble accepting it and she said that although she would stay she'd never be happy for us. it was calm for a year and 3 month but now she's acting crazy. on my day with her, i told her that my second wife was pregnant. she got angry and said why are you telling me this just rub it in my face that you love her more than me. i was shocked and left to calm her down. now my second wife and i have 4 children, 2 less than my first wife's six children. sometimes, my second wife and i have to work and my first wife's children are at school and it is hard for us to find a babysitter. yesterday we left our children in front of her door and told her to watch them in a kind way. we came back at the same time to find them standing outside of her doorstep and discovered that she had never let them in to begin with. i concealed my anger and consoled my second wife and on my day with her, i scolded her for her behavior. she was very angry with me and screamed at me for what she called being disrespectful and arrogant towards her and threatened to cut my other wife's face with glass is she brought her kids to her door. she said the only way she'd let them in is if we each paid her 15K, bc that's how much her former job paid her. i think she's being unnecessarily bitter. what should i do?

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 obvious and not surprising for a woman to be jealous over her co-wife. Hence, the husband should be wise in his statements and actions, so he should avoid anything that can be misunderstood by his wife and which will provoke her feelings, especially what is not needed, such as you informing your first wife that your second wife has become pregnant.

There is no reason for saying it and no benefit. Therefore, the reaction of your first wife is not surprising.

Since your first wife is jealous to this extent, it is not expected that she will receive your children from your second wife in her home, and she is not Islamically obliged to do so. Therefore, if there is no institution that may take care of your children, then let your second wife stay at home and take care of her own children. If your first wife agrees to take care of them in return for a fee, then this is acceptable and it should be according to an agreement between both of you.

Nonetheless, your first wife has no right to scream at you. Such a behavior is considered a rebellion and disobedience from her and she is sinful for it. Also, it is not permissible for her to harm your second wife with any kind of harm, otherwise she would be unjust.

In any case, we emphasize what we have already stated that you should be wise in dealing with your wives and be patient with their conduct resulting from jealousy.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 233902.

Allah knows best.

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