What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; what are the conditions if one wishes to marry a second time? From amongst these conditions, is one of them to have intercourse an equal amount of times between the two wives? 

Questioner: Sajid from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

One major condition for a second marriage is عدل [being equal/fair] i.e. whoever has two or three wives, عدل is compulsory upon him.  It is necessary to fulfil the rights of the women in those things in which a person has control.  Clothes to wear; provisions and a place to reside are the rights that must be fulfilled for each wife. For those things in which he no control, he is excused by Shari’ah e.g. having more love for one and less for the other. It is not necessary to be equal in love. Likewise, it is not necessary to be equal in the amount of times he has intercourse. If he has intercourse with one wife once or twice, it is not necessary for him to have intercourse with the other the same amount of times. Rather, he may do it once or more than twice.

عدل is very essential. If one does have the fear of not establishing عدل then he should not marry a second time. Allah the Exalted states:

فَاِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَلَّا تَعْدِلُوۡا فَوَاحِدَۃ

“If you fear that you will not be just, then (marry) one.” [Surah al-Nisā v.3]

The Beloved of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم has stated regarding not establishing عدل  between two wives:

“If he does not do عدل   between the two, then he will come forth on the Day of Judgement with one of his sides leaning.”

[جامع الترمذی”،أبواب النکاح،باب ماجاء فی التسویۃ بین الضرائر،الحدیث:۱۱۴۴،ج۲،ص۳۷۵]

It is mentioned in Dur-Mukhtār:

وَظَاهِرُ الْآيَةِ أَنَّهُ فَرْضٌ أَنْ يَعْدِلَ فِيهِ فِي الْقَسْمِ بِالتَّسْوِيَةِ فِي الْبَيْتُوتَةِ(وَفِي الْمَلْبُوسِ وَالْمَأْكُولِ) وَالصُّحْبَةِ (لَا فِي الْمُجَامَعَةِ) كَالْمَحَبَّةِ بَلْ يُسْتَحَبُّ ای وَالْمُسْتَحَبُّ أَنْ يُسَوِّيَ بَيْنَهُنَّ فِي جَمِيعِ الِاسْتِمْتَاعَاتِ مِنْ الْوَطْءِ وَالْقُبْلَةِ

From the apparent verse, we come to know that duties such as providing a place to reside; clothes to wear; sustenance and company is obligatory and must be carried out equally between all of the wives. But it is not necessary in relation to the amount of times one has intercourse nor with the amount of love he has for each wife. Rather, it is preferable that he is equal in all matters (i.e. intercourse, kissing) with his wives.

[”الدرالمختار”،کتاب النکاح،باب القسم،ج۴،ص۳۷۵]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Dawud Hanif

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0499] What are the conditions if one wishes to marry a 2nd Wife?

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