Please help me

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I will do my best to describe my situation so that things may be made clear to you.


I live in a country in the caribbean and married a sister in Canada in April of this year. She has two daughters(16 and 5) The older daughter lives with her ex husband and the younger lives with her. There was an issue with custody and mantainence of the child and thus the case went to the non muslim courts of that country. My wife was given full custody of the child with conditions that the father has regular access to visit and and spend time with the daughter and that the mother cannot change residence without his consent. I was unaware of this issue of custody before we got married and we tried for me to emigrate to her country but that process was long and ardious and very expense the easier alternative was her coming to live with me where I could have easily provided for her.


When I married her I had a very good job and the dowry was agreed to be paid in 3 years and a few days after marrying one of the local imaams advised me that my income was haram and I need to leave that job which i did in the first week of May. Thus in that time I have not fulflilled her right of maintaince because of my lack of employment and the difficulty because of converting my currency into CAD. In Shaban she waived her right of maintaince until i could afford to and or she came to live with me. Because even Though i was not working it is easy to find food like fish and vegetables to feed ones family and accommodation with my family’s property.


In Shawwal I got a job and at the same time i came to understand that one of my wife’s friend was looking for a husband so we attempted to arrange for her to marry a brother of mine which was not successful. Because of information i learnt about the sister through my wife and the brother, I asked him since they were not going to get married if i could marry her instead because i admired her deen and her seeking knowledge of and that she has never been married. He said no problem. Thus I contacted her wakeel in order to begin discussions concerning marrying the sister. 


After intially speaking to the wakeel i discussed with my wife the issue of me marrying the sister. She was not pleased with the idea and said she was concerned about me not being fair because of my financial status and that it doesn’t make sense i marrying a sister from her country. I assured her that Allah swt is Ar-Razzaq and that Inshaallah with my job and other jobs that I had lined up I could support them both if they were in my country. She expressed her disassatisfaction and begged me to divorce her because she felt she would not be happy in a situation whereby she has to share her husband. I asked her to reconsider this and she told me either I divorce or she will leave Islam. So i pronounced one divorce in late Shawwal or early Dhul Qadda and her menses was due in a couple of weeks. As well as a few days after i lost almost all of my job prospects except one.


On the 12th of Dhul Qadda I married the sister and her dowry was a certain amount of cash and five volumes(sahih bukari, muslim, tafsirof ibn kathir, fatawa islamiyya and seerah of the prophets) to be delivered one volume per year. I paid the cash amount of the dowry to her. Though I had not paid any amount to my first wife’s dowry. Neither has the second marriage been consummated but the first has been.


Now today when my first wife’s Iddah is almost finished(a week i think) I find myself wanting her back and missing her. But she has said she will not be with me unless I divorce her friend(my second wife) and we have discussed terms for me to pay her dowry but we have not finalised and agreed on the terms of payment. I do not want to command her to come back and she wont be happy because I do not want to hurt my second wife by leaving her. I feel as if I will be being unfair and at the same time I do not want a circumstance of being married and neither party can fulfill each others rights. Because at this moment I am not fulfilling either of my wife’s rights of maintaince and they cant fulfill my rights either. Honestly, I do not see myself being able to support then financially in canada from my country but I can at this moment support one comfortably in my home, probably the two but things will be difficult for us all financially.


So I do not know what to do and I feel as if I have caused so much trouble for these two women and myself. I just to want to fair and just and at the same time get that in return. Please help me deal with this mess i have created.



Muhtaram / Muhtaramah


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.

Once a person enters into the contract of nikah, then certain rights and responsibilities comes between both spouses. The husband’s responsibility to the wife is that he should provide food, clothing and shelter etc… If a person has no financial income to sustain himself or his family, then he should not get married. You should adopt patience and wait until you can afford to bear the responsibilities of marriage.

You state in your query that you have given your first wife talaaq (Divorce) and her dowry has not yet been paid. Though your first wife is out of your nikah, you will not be absolved of this debt until it is paid.

It is permissible to marry one or more wives. However, situations and conditions should also be taken into consideration. Allah Ta’aala says in the Holy Qur’aan :

“ And you fear that you will be unjust then one wife is sufficient

(chapter 4, surah 92, verse 3)

Our advice to you is, do not haste in getting married to your first wife. Perhaps you might put yourself in another dilemma. ie by taking your first wife back she might force you to give your second wife talaaq. Together with that try and find a steady job that will be able to support yourself and your wife.

Read your five times daily salaah as Allah Ta’aala has promised us sustenance through this, and engage yourself in excessive dua.


And Allah knows best


Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

  • The Sharée ruling herein given is specifically based on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • The Darul Ifta bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer. The Darul Ifta being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of the Darul Ifta.