Saudi Sheikh Saad bin Turki Al-Khathlan, Chairman of the Fiqh Society, confirmed that whoever wants to marry a second wife is not required to inform his first wife.
Ruling on concealing a second marriage
Al-Khathlan said in a press statement about the fatwa that was circulated on social media, regarding the prohibition of Sharia. Hiding the news of the second marriage from the first wife, this is not true.
The controversy began on social media, after the project submitted by the government in Egypt to the House of Representatives. To discuss the text of the draft law regulating personal status. Which provides for the imposition of a penalty on the husband who marries the second time without informing the first wife.
The law stipulates that the husband acknowledges in the marriage certificate his marital status, and if he is married, he must indicate in the acknowledgment the name of the wife or wives who are in his infancy and their place of residence, and notify them of the new marriage.
Punishment and fine for the husband in this case
The law also imposes a penalty on a husband who marries a second time without notifying the first wife, with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year. And a fine starting from 20 thousand pounds and up to 50 thousand pounds, and the marriage official is punished in the event that he does not comply with notifying the first wife by a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
The law added that the wife has the right to file for divorce due to harm in this case, and the new wife also has the right to request. Divorce as long as the husband did not inform her of his first marriage, but the wife’s right to request a divorce falls after one year of learning about another marriage because it is considered her recognition of her consent to the second marriage of her husband.
Al-Azhar settles the controversy
This law sparked controversy among activists on social media, as some of them believed that the first wife must be notified. Others said that the husband should not ask permission.
In the wake of this controversy, the Religious Committee in the House of Representatives decided to send the project to Al-Azhar to take its opinion on all the new amendments.
Ahmed Karima, professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, said in press statements that the husband’s punishment is if he is not informed. His first wife, by marrying him, violated Islamic law altogether.
He added, “A Muslim has the right to marry more than one wife, and there is nothing in Islamic law that obliges a man to inform his wife of his marriage to another.”
Ahmed Karima confirmed that he would be the first to challenge the law in the Egyptian judiciary. He said: “We will not agree to secularization. Regarding the Muslim family, it is as if you accuse the legislation of oppressing women, and this threatens the Islamic faith.
Al-Azhar Center advises the husband
The Al-Azhar International Center for Electronic Fatwa has previously confirmed that Islam did not make the knowledge of the first wife a condition of the validity of the second marriage.
The center advised the husband to be clear and not to hide his marriage, and to announce it in front of everyone. Because he does not do wrong, and because he is hidden. His marriage may harm the second wife, and there may be hostility among his children. And because it – also – destroys the mutual trust between the spouses, concealing the marriage has many problems and negatives.
The laws of Arab countries in pluralism
It is worth noting that Tunisia is the only Islamic country that prohibits polygamy, and punishes it with imprisonment for one year and a fine.
In Morocco, the husband must prove the possibility of fairness between the first and second wife and justify his desire to remarry with. The possibility of the first wife requesting a divorce and achieving her goal.
In Iraq, the law restricted polygamy by submitting an application to the court in order to ascertain the man’s financial ability. The interest is behind the marriage, unless the second marriage is to a widow, so polygamy is permissible without any restriction in this case.
In Jordan, a man has the right to marry another woman, but the woman must be notified after documenting her husband’s marriage with another, and it applies. The same is true in Qatar.
While the rest of the Gulf countries, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, there is no restriction on polygamy and it is not required that the first wife be informed of this.
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