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re-marry first wife

Last updated: 11th September 2006
Question ID: #2420
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11th September 2006

Assalaamu alaykum mufti saab
i have recently recieved an email from a very close sister who is in urgent need of help for her family ,,,here is the email with the question included
JazakAllahu khayr

Salaam alaikum,

When my husband got married the first time it was the result of typical Pakistani emotional blackmail. for some reason his father really wanted him to marry this one particular girl even though his mom hated her. my husband also did not want to marry her. He felt he wasnt even ready for marriage yet. But his father insisted to the point that he threatened to divorce his mom if he didnt marry this girl. So out of fear for his mom he married the girl, but with alot of anger in his heart. after the wedding things didint go well. his mom hated the girl and would not accept her. there was alot of fighting between the two of them and after only 23 days of marriage my husband left pakistan and went to america on student visa. he had the visa before agreeing to marry the girl and thats why he didnt want to get married at that time especially to that girl. he wanted to study abroad and get a degree first since his time in army was cut short due to problem with his leg. anyway because of all the fighting his father divorced his mother anyway. my husband's heart was completely broken for his mom. his mother and wife were saying the most hateful things about each other and terrible accusations were being made in reference to his wife and his father. all without any proof, evidence, or witnesses.

he was in america not able to see or do anything first hand nor able to come back without leaving university and losing all he had started working for. with all the stress he was pushed to divorce his wife.? shortly after the divorce was entered into public record in pakistan he found out she was expecting a baby from the short time they were together.

then he fell into deep depression and ended up being lured into marriage again by a swedish girl who was visiting the united states. she was jehovah witness and up to no good. they were married also only a short time before she was expecting a child. then once she was expecting she ran back to sweden and filed a divorce against him. turns out she only wanted a baby and he would not be with her except in marriage. once she had baby on the way she left him. its a common mental illness among young western women who are depressed and lonely. they want a child because a child will always love them. they believe no one else ever will. anyway getting back to the point.

at this time he is twice divorced with 2 daughters he cant see. one of them being raised outside of islam. in full hopes of someday having his daughters with him he saught a muslim wife who would accept step daughter and love them as her own. thats when he came in contact with me. i am a revert from usa with 3 children from previous marraige to non muslim man. he promised to give them a good muslim father if only i would be willing also to accept and raise his daughters if he were ever able to have them live with him.

i agreed and we were soon married. now years have passed and our relationship is strong. his first exwife is now over the humiilation of divorce and willing to work with us for the sake of their daugher. She has never remarried and their daughter is 5 years old now. she never told their daugher that they were divorced since its a major social taboo in pakistan. children from non divorced parents beat up on kids who's parents are divorced. even her own cousins from her mother's side mistreat her and tell her she has no father. but her mother has always told her that her father is just out of the country and will return someday. so to tell her now that t hey are divorced would devistate her.

i am considering if its at all legal islamically speaking to allow my husband to remarry his first wife so that his daughter never has to know they were divorced and we can raise all the kids together and she wont have to choose between her father or mother. she shoudl have them both as well as all her brothers and sisters whom up to this point she doesnt even know exist.

so he was first forced to marry her then forced to divorce her and in the chaos an innocent child was brought into the middle of it all.

and now i have been ordered by my mother in law to never offer to let his first wife back into the family regardless of what good it may do for the child. my mother in law, i hate to say it, is very self absorbed and wants to have full control over all her children. she even tells me when i can and cannot speak to? my own husband. and yells at me if he asks me to do something she does not want me to do and i obey him. she says he is supposed to love his mother to the point that he would divorce me if she asked him to .. and she has asked him to divorce me many times but now he stands up to her. she only dislikes me because i am american and a divorcee. she wanted him to take a virgin for a wife even though she knew he was married and divorced 2 times with 2 daughters. does Islam forbids a non virgin to marry a virgin. but she is very much caught up in how she feels rather than what is right.

my husband is willing to go against her and keep us all away from her if neccessary, providing i am still willing and his exwife is also willing to go through with it. we have not yet spoken to her about it because we want to know the legality of the offer before presenting it. also i have to be sure its something i can handle emotionally as plural marriage isnt an easy lifestyle to step into especially for someone coming from the usa.

if you can give us a clear answer as to whether or not it would be legal to take her back into the family please do so as soon as possible. if its legal and i can handle it then we want to make the offer before she decides to confess to their daughter that they are divorced. we dont know how much time we have to make the decisiion.

Jazak Allah,

one confused sister.

May Allah swt reward you and grant u jennah,,Ameen

Ulamaa ID 09
Answer last updated on:
2nd December 2008
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 09
Location: Zambia

Wa 'Alaykum-us-Salaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh.

1) It is not permissible for a man who has divorced his wife three times, to take her back in marriage unless she gets married to another man and also shares a marital relationship with him. This is termed "halaalah". please see:

However if the divorce was issued clearly (sareeh) just once or twice, it will be permissible for the man and woman to re-unite. However a new Nikaah will have to take place.

2) A plural marriage is not easy for the husband nor for the women involved. The woman has to be very strong emotionally to accept it, and the husband too has to be extremely fair in all matters. It is important to take his opinion about his first wife into consideration. If he goes into this solely for the sake of his daughter, it might affect his behaviour with his first wife, and he will be unable to be equal and fair. This of course would only apply if the divorce issued was not "Mughallazhah" (three divorces).

And Allaah knows best.