Can the Second Marriage be kept a Secret?
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

I am a convert for over a year now, Alhamdulillāh. I am married for nearly 11 months to a married Muslim man with two children from a different country, whose first wife is also from his native country. He has a business in my country where we are sharing a partnership together. My questions are as follow: (1) We were married by an Imam and two Muslim witnesses without any celebration/publicity; Is this marriage considered a valid? (2) Since this marriage is not in the knowledge of his first wife, is it permissible? (3) If his first wife is upset about his second marriage, are both of us considered sinful in the eyes of Allah? I have not told anyone about this as my family members are all non-Muslim, and they may find it difficult to accept the concept of polygamy and will be deeply hurt about this. I wish that you could help me out.


In Islam, all marriages must be declared publicly in the society. The society should know that a man and a woman have decided to live as a husband and wife other wise the couple’s private life may become scandalized. Undeclared or partially declared marriages are totally forbidden in Islam. You must declare your marriage in your family also. True, it might be a means of discomfort for them, but then your social repute and honour are more important. For this very reason, secret liaisons which caste huge shadows of doubts on the type of relationship between a man and a woman are strictly prohibited.

However, for second marriage permission of the first wife is not necessary. Prudence demands that she know this development to avoid future altercations but the disclosure can be deferred to an appropriate time. If she is upset, you and your husband will not be considered sinful since, after all, you are not doing something forbidden.

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