Married a married man against the will of her father
Fatwa No: 92478

Question

As salamu Alaikum, Am a 32 years tunisian woman, met back in 1999 a Pakistani man who has a british passport and lives in UK, he was older than me by 22 years, married with 2 daughters. He was facing some problems with his wife but not divorced. To go for the divorce, he asked me for a guarantee that I won't leave him if the court procedure takes long, that guarantee was i marry him in the eyes of "Shariaa" and since the tunisian law does not allow polygamy, we had to go to Kenya to get married. At that time i was 25 years old and my father refused I marry him as he was older than me and he is not divorced. Despite this fact, my ex convinced me to get married just on paper. We went ahead and flew to Kenya, where they (his aunt and him) assigned someone as my Guardian (his uncle). All his family knew that my father was against the marriage. After a month of marriage, he started asking for his rights as a husband which I eventually did. After that we lived together for a few months, where I could not cope with his behavior, as he was always thinking of his kids and refused we have children. he refused fasting in Ramadhan, having the excuse of being a smoker, he was complaining about the cold and the place,....and the worse thing, he was pushing me to ask for transfer so that he can be able to see his kids often. all this time, he did not get his divorce. I asked for a divorce. He refused and asked for the dowry to be returned to him. Just to mention, my whole salary was transferred to his bank account, which could be equal to what he spent on me in terms of jewerly.I have applied in the tunisian courts for divorce, and since the marriage was not registered in the tunisian embassy in Kenya, the case was rejected. in the tunisan law, I am not married. Please help me to solve this as I could not get married for the last 3 years and this may lead me to wrong ways. May Allah bless you for yuor help.

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, is His slave and Messenger.

Since this marriage took place without the consent of your guardian as you mentioned in the question, then it is an invalid marriage according to the view of the majority of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them; this is the most preponderant opinion which is supported by evidence. For more in this regard, please refer to Fatwas 82103 and 85057.

Given that this marriage is void, it is forbidden for you to let this man enjoy you, and you are obliged to endeavour to invalidate this marriage contract in an Islamic court if possible. If there is no Islamic court and you are able to achieve this by resorting to a non-Islamic court, then do so (whether in Tunisia or any other country that would do so for you, like Kenya). Then, if you get a divorce from the court and your waiting period expires, it is permissible for you to marry, but you are not allowed to do so before this is attained.

Even though the marriage contract is invalid, its effects should be met, so the woman is entitled for her full dowry if the husband consummated the marriage with her, and the children are to be traced back to their father, and there are other rulings which apply. It is not permissible for a husband to ask his wife to return for him the dowry unless she is asking for Khul' (to ask for divorce in return for compensation.)

There is no doubt that it had become clear to you that you were wrong by marrying without the consent of your guardian, therefore you are obliged to repent and never do this again.

Allaah Knows best.

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