Obligation of good companionship among spouses

Question 41: My father is sixty five years old and my mother is of the same age. He abuses her verbally, and she leaves the house without his permission. As her children have grown up and gotten married, she has been living with them for five years now. She asks for Talaaq (divorce initiated by a husband), but my father refuses to divorce her, and he does not sustain her. What are the duties on both of them? Bear in mind that both of them are well-off. What is your advice for them? I am their eldest son, and I always advise them to forgive each other. May Allaah guide you to the benefit of Muslims.

Answer: Married couples should live together in kindness and treat each other well. It is not permissible for a husband to abuse his wife verbally, and it is not permissible for her to leave the house without his permission. Each one of them should fear Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) as He should be feared and observe His Boundaries... read more here.

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Giving a wife money since the other wives get money from their relatives

Question 22: My daughter is an employee. She gives her mother some of her salary. I do not need money from her but she gives me more than she gives her mother. My second wife has a son who invests in my money and gives some of his income to his mother.My third wife has young children and does not receive money from anyone. When she asks me for money I give her the same as I give to my other wives because I fear being unjust to them. I intend to give her more than my other wives as they have other sources of income. I depend on the Hadith, which states: “You and your property belong to your father.” Is the money my children give to their mothers considered my property and so I can give an equivalent amount to my third wife? Could you please enlighten me in this regard?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned; that your daughter from the first wife gives some of her salary to her mother and your son from the second wife gives some of his income to his mother, then it is not obligatory for you to give the third wife the same amount as your children give to their mothers... read more here.

Wife dedicating her time to the co-wife

Question 14: My wife makes me angry and we fight a lot. This is why I refuse to share her bed. One day I informed her that I am not satisfied with her actions and she said that she would forgive me for marrying another wife in return for a monthly sum. I agreed and kept supporting her financially. She lives in a separate house with our children and I visit them regularly. If I stay with her, we fight and thus I do not stay there. I live now with my second wife and we have children. Am I to be blamed for this? I want to do justice between them but I can not. Please advise! May Allaah benefit Muslims with your knowledge!

Answer: It is permissible for a woman to give up her night to her co-wife or to her husband as this is her right. It was authentically reported that the mother of believers Sawdah (may Allaah be pleased with her) gave up her (turn) day and night to the mother of believers `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). However, the husband should do justice between them, if the granter changes her mind... read more here.

Is it lawful to agree with the wife to give up her rights?

Question 13: I have two wives. I have been married to the first one for twenty years, and we have four sons and five daughters. I have been married to the second one for three years, and we have one daughter. The last three years have all been miserable, mostly for my first wife. I have tried so hard to treat both my wives fairly and equally, but I am still failing to do it. Because of the problems, I began to hate my first wife, to the extent that I used to force myself to have sexual relations with her. I am still married to her for the sake of our life together and our children. However, I cannot bear what I am going through. In 22/2/1405 A.H., her brother came and we were all sitting together. After an argument, I told her I could not bear to live with her anymore. I did not have the intention of Talaaq (divorce initiated by a husband). Then I told her brother to discuss with her what she wanted. I meant that she could either have Talaaq or stay and live with her children, on the condition that I will not live with her but I will provide for her housing and food from the Nafaqah (obligatory financial support) I send to my children. However, I cannot bear to live with her, and I decided that this was my last night with her. She replied at once that she would not leave her children. I told her that she did not have to leave, but I was not going to stay with her anymore. Now I am thinking, for the sake of the old days, and out of mercy for our children, to let her stay with the children in their separate house, provide her daily sustenance and clothing twice a year, treat her if she becomes ill, and drive her to her family at least twice a month, in addition to any emergencies. All this is in times of ease; whereas in times of hardship, we will share whatever we have, even if it is one loaf of bread. Since that day, I left her. However, we live in the same house, each of us in a different apartment.

My questions are the following:

Firstly, does this contradict Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) and am I a sinner?

Secondly, have I done well, or will I be considered a wrong-doer or wronged for the rest of my life?

Thirdly, is it better for her to stay with her children – if she chooses to – or to have Talaaq?

Fourthly, am I obligated to divide sustenance between my two wives equally, given that my second wife is the one who will care for me?

Answer: If the situation is as you mentioned, and you both agree to these arrangements, this is permissible and does not contradict Sharee`ah. This is not considered Talaaq. However, if you disagree, you should refer the matter to the court... read more here.

Remarrying although first wife is not negligent

Question 12: I have been married for five years now to a righteous man, all praise be to Allaah. We have four children and we lead a happy life, all praise be to Allaah. However, after I had this fourth girl, my husband married another woman at a time when I was really in need of him. He said that he did not marry her out of any negligence on my part, but to maintain the Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) of polygamy and to have many children. I could not bear it. When he married this woman, I did nothing but be patient and seek the reward from Allaah (Exalted be He), while I was torn inside. The whole matter affects my health and the baby’s, although many days have passed and no one but Allaah (Exalted be He) knows how I feel. I wishyou could guide me to the right solution that does not involve me committing a sin. Can I ask him to leave me, despite the four children we have? Should I ask him to leave her while she is pregnant? What is ruling on that? Will I bear a sin for asking him to leave her and will he bear a sin if he leaves her? Note that at one point, I visited her in the Kingdom and asked her to leave him, explaining that I cannot bear it. She told me that my reaction is natural and that after a while, I will get used to it and feel nothing. The exact opposite happened, each day my bitterness and pain increase. What should I do?

Answer: If your husband is as you mentioned a righteous man whose company is good and you have some children, we advise you to be patient and remain with your husband, if you have nothing else against him. You have to be good company for him and help him to fulfill his duties and to save your children from separation and its effects. Beware not to say or do anything that offends him or his wife, and if you do, hasten to apologize. If your husband or his other wife offend you in any way, try to be patient and reproach them in a friendly way. May Allaah guide you all to be good companions to one another and help you build this family and raise your children on the Islaamic morals... read more here.

Objecting to polygamy

Question 11: My mother is afflicted with a disease that left her disabled. As a result, she cannot fulfill her marital duties. My father sought treatment for her inside as well as outside the Kingdom but to no avail, which led him to marry another woman to keep himself chaste. He is a healthy man, all praise be to Allaah. As his sons, we approve of his marriage as long as our mother is still his wife and lives among us. One day, my maternal aunt came to visit and asked to take my mother (her sister) to live with her for a month for the purpose of treatment. After the month, my aunt was informed of my father’s marriage and when we asked her to return my mother since her condition had not changed, she absolutely refused. My maternal aunt and some of my uncles were against my father’s marriage to another woman. When we asked her about the reasons of her disapproval, she said that my father would better commit Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage) and not marry another woman, for then he would be accountable for his sins. Some of my uncles said that if things were the other way round, my mother would not have the right to ask for divorce to marry another man. I would like to note that we brought our mother by force, fearing that my father would divorce her. During the course of the dispute with my aunt and uncles, I raised my hand to slap my aunt but I sought refuge with Allaah (Exalted be He) from Satan and I did not do it, all praise be to Allaah. Now we live happily and contentedly with my mother. One week after the dispute, I went to my aunt to apologize to her and to keep my ties with her but she refused to answer my greeting. Two weeks later, I visited her again and she received me coldly. It is worth mentioning that I live in the city of Baqeeq. My aunt and uncles stopped visiting us in our house except when I take my mother to the other house which is in Al-Ahsaa’. I live with my father and brothers in the same house in Baqeeq, while my aunt and uncles live in Al-Ahsaa’. I have another house near them in Al-Ahsaa’ in which I stay for three days each month. My aunt would come and visit my mother alone and stay for half an hour or more with her before she would leave. As for my uncles who were against my father’s marriage, they have not seen my mother for a whole year now while others visit her every month or two. I want to stress that my aunt does not visit us in our house in Baqeeq and if we do not go to the other house for a while, she does not see her sister all this time. Before, she used to come every two or three weeks to visit us. I hope your Eminence would answer my following questions:

1. As their nephews, what is our stance toward our aunt and uncles? Now, they do not like my father at all, should my brothers and I keep our ties with them or sever them until they solve their problem with our father? To be honest, my father has not asked us to sever our ties with them, on the contrary, he urges me to visit them. However, they do not respect my father and when I visit them, they do not welcome me heartily and lovingly. I have tried to make peace between my aunt and uncles and my father to regain our previous relations but nothing has changed.

2. What is the ruling on marrying four women? When is it permissible for a Muslim to marry four women?

3. What is the punishment for someone who urges or advises others to commit Zinaa in order not to marry another wife, may Allaah save us?

4. What is ruling on my aunt and uncles’ stance in this whole matter? Is their response to my father’s marriage right or wrong?

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, First, you have to keep good ties with your kin – your aunt and uncles – even if they cut you off and do not visit you in return or receive you coldly. You will be rewarded for keeping good ties with them and they will bear the sin of cutting you off... read more here.

Equal division of everything between the wives or with their consent

Question 10: A Muslim is married to two women and he divides everything equally between them but he loves and spends more nights with one of them. What is the ruling on this man having sexual intercourse with his second wife and then going to spend the rest of the night with the other one whom he loves more? Bear in mind that his second wife’s children are noisy and this man needs to get up early to go to work. Is there any sin on him? What if he spends two nights with the wife he prefers and one with the other?

Answer: First, the basic rule is to treat all wives justly, for Allaah (Glorified be He) says: …so do not incline too much (to one of them by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). The emotional inclination is excluded from this order, for it is confirmed that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) used to divide everything between his wives justly and say: O Allaah! This is my division concerning what I possess, so do not blame me concerning what You possess and I do not.... read more here.

Wife losing her share when she gives it up

Question 9: I have a wife who has a psychic problem; she does not fulfill my rights as a husband. I married another wife to serve me and my sons, and I spend days with them equally. However, my first wife along with her sons sleep in one room and leave me to sleep alone in her room; would I be committing a sin if I do not stay with her since she neglects me?

Answer: If the situation is as you mentioned, that you spend days with both your wives equally,but she refuses to sleep with you in her room and leaves you alone there, you are not a sinner... read more here.

Giving a wife money equal to the other wife’s pension

Question 8: A man had two wives; one of them receives 1,000 Riyals as a monthly pension, and the second does not receive anything. Is it permissible for the husband to give the second wife who does not receive a pension an equivalent amount of money to that of the first wife, or less, or is it not permissible? Could you kindly advise? May Allaah reward you.

Answer: It is not permissible for him to do so. This is not fair because the mentioned pension is not from the husband... read more here.

Distributing everything between the wives equally or with their consent

Question 7: I married young, without much awareness and forethought, to a woman, who is sincere and religiously committed, but I am not attracted to her physically. After fifteen years, I found the woman I had been longing for and I married her also. My first wife gave birth to many children, but only four survived (may Allaah protect them) and my second wife gave birth to seven children, all of whom survived (all praise be to Allaah). The two wives live together in one big house and the affection between them is strange, as they treat each other like sisters, because I try hard to be fair to them both in everything I have. Each one sleeps with her children in a separate room and I sleep alone in another room. What concerns me is that I am deeply attracted to the second wife, but I rarely feel any inclination towards the first, no matter how hard I try through fear of Allah, due to her old age and because she does not take care of herself. Please guide me and may Allaah guide you, to save me from fallinginto sin in this matter. May Allaah protect you and extend your lives for Islaam and the Muslims.

Answer: There is no harm in what you have done, if the two of them are happy with that, as Allaah, (Glorified be He) says: So keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him as much as you can It is also reported that `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to divide equally among his wives and be fair, then he would say, “O Allaah! This is my division in that which I own (have control over or the power to do), so do not blame me in that which You own and I do not own (i.e. The inclination of the heart).” read more here.

Cancelling the share of a co-wife beyond the age of child bearing

Question 6: Is it true that if a Muslim has four wives and one of them becomes old, i.e. experiences menopause, he only has to provide for her and not to have sexual intercourse with her?

Answer: He must provide for her housing, clothes and daily needs. As for dedicating a night to her like the rest of his wives, this is to be agreed upon between the two of them. If she accepts to concede her night to another wife, this will be fine, otherwise, he should dedicate a night to her or divorce her if she asks for it… read more here.

Cancelling a co-wife’s share due to her illness

Question 5: I married a second wife while my first wife was ill. I prepared a separate house for each of them. Now, I do not get the same care my second wife gives me in my first wife’s house. Will I be sinful if I stay longer and spend more nights in my second wife’s house, since my first wife is ill and cannot take care of me?

Answer: The basic principle states that justice among wives regarding housing, food, clothing, and spending the night is obligatory. You should fear Allah and be just to them according to your ability. If you want to favor any of them for the reasons you mentioned, you should kindly ask the other’s permission… read more here.

New wife’s right in spending the night with her

Question 4: Someone marries a woman and then travels to another country where he marries another woman and does not visit his first wife for months. Later, when he returns to her, should he compensate her for the months he spent with his second wife or divide his time between them?

Answer: It is a Sunnah (a commendable act) for a man who marries a second wife to spend three days with her, if she has been previously married and seven days if she is a virgin. Afterward, he should divide his time between the two wives equally. If he stays a longer period with any of them, he should spend an equal time with the other when possible, unless one wife gives up that right… read more here.