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Marrying second wife when financially unstable

Question:

Is there any daleel which says a man shouldn't take more wives if his financial condition doesn't support him? Answer: ِﺑ ْﺴ ِﻢ ا ِﷲ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ْﺣﻤ ِﻦ اﻟ ﱠﺮ ِﺣْﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

There is a scholarly consensus regarding the obligation of the husband spending upon his wife (Qamoosul Fiqh: v. 5, p. 204 [Zamzam]) In Islam, a husband is financially responsible for his wife with respect to three things: food, clothing, and shelter (Raddul Muhtar: v. 5, p. 278 [Darul ‘Aalam Al-Kutub]). The proof for this can be found in the Quran and Hadith-- Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ says, “...It is obligatory for the one to whom the child belongs (the father) to provide them (the mothers) food and clothing with fairness…” (Surah Al-Baqarah: v. 233) In another verse Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ says, “Provide for them (the divorced women) accommodation where you live in accordance with your capacity…” (Surah Al-Talaq: v. 6) It is mentioned in a hadith where the Prophet said, “It is obligatory for you to provide them food and clothing with fairness.” (Sahih Muslim: Hadith 1218) We can deduce from the abovementioned evidence that the husband is obliged to fulfill the basic needs of his wife; if he fails to do so, it would be considered injustice. Allah ﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰ says, “...But if you fear that you will not be just, then (keep to) one woman or that which your right hand possesses.

That will be closer to avoiding injustice.” (Surah Al-Nisaa: v. 3) Thus, if a man fears he will not be able to fulfill his wife’s rights, it would be prohibited for him to marry regardless whether she is the first, second, third, or fourth wife (Khushgawar Izdiwaji Zindagi Key Rahnuma Usool: p. 409 [Maktaba Umar Farooq]; Islami Shaadi: p. 37 [Tawseef Publications). The Prophet ﷺ said, “When a man has two wives and is not just between them, he will come on the Day of Judgement with one side drooping.” (Tirmizi: Hadith 1141)

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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