Question # 441: Salam! I have been married to a man with a teenage son and wife for almost 4 years now. when we got married the man was on verge of divorce. He promised me that his marriage will not last even if I am not in his life. and that if he and his wife were last two people on earth, they cannot live happily. he married me on promise that I will not need to ask Anything from him be it time or anything else. now after 4 years. I have bear a lot from his first wife, including abuses and rubbish things like she does this and that. and ask her not to do this and that. My husband is man of his words and fears Allah. But I am not happy with him anymore. I love him and respect his decisions. He is dividing time and everything. but I did not marry him to live a life where I get HALF time with him, or have to wait for him on everything. Even after doing my research and knowing everything. My heart and mind are not accepting this division. I cannot share him like this. More so that I am young and I want to live my life to full. I love him, I cherish him. I try my best to be there for him even if it is for his first wife and kid. But I cannot go along with division or sharing, so much so that on worst times I think of committing suicide. and I went against everyone we knew to accept him. I have done my research and there are examples where one wife can forgive her time for other(knowing his first wife is near menopause). But I don’t think she will ever agree to that, she will do the exact opposite in ego. Now she wants to do everything because I do. Kindly guide what could be a solution to my and our situation. I have tried to have a bigger heart here, and do Sabar. But knowing me, him and everything, I know this will not work. I know Islamic point of view and everything. but my heart and mind is not accepting anything. Please guide what should I do?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: A woman’s patience in obeying her husband is one of the means of entering Paradise. Your patience in putting up with the ill-treatment of your husband’s first wife will bring a special reward from Allah as this is regarded as a test and trial for you. You should try to handle the matter with wisdom and kindness, since splitting of a family leads to a great loss. A wise woman should accept whatever Allah decrees for her and should follow the good example of the wives of the Prophet (saws), who were patient and sought reward even though many of them felt jealous. We understand that you love your husband and respect his decisions and moreover, he fears Allah concerning the matter of justice with his wives. This, in itself, is a great Blessing!

If you feel angry for any reason, try controlling your anger. The shaytaan is the enemy of human being as he endeavors to make our life miserable and whispers in order to make us sad; in which case, we should seek refuge in Allah from him. Hence, you should repel bad thoughts and endeavor to preoccupy yourself with what benefits you in your religion and worldly matters, for example, acquiring Islamic knowledge by taking up some online courses, offering salah with khushoo’ on time, occupying yourself in the remembrance of Allah, helping and benefiting others and making du’aa to Allah to keep us steadfast on the straight path. May Allah (swt) make it easy for you. Ameen!

Long Answer: A woman’s patience in obeying her husband is one of the means of entering Paradise, as it says in the hadith narrated by Ibn Hibbaan: “If a woman offers her five daily prayers and fasts her month (i.e., Ramadan) and guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise from whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.’” (This hadith was classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer)

Her patience in putting up with her husband’s [other] wife will bring a special reward over and above that, for several reasons:

  1. Her husband’s [other] wife is regarded as a test and trial for her, and if she bears that with patience she will have the reward for being patient in the face of a trial, as Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning” (Soorah al-Zumar, 39:10)

According to the hadith: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allah will expiate his sins thereby.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim from the hadith of Abu Sa’eed and Abu Hurayrah)

Al-Tirmidhi narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (saws) said: “Trials will continue to befall the believer, man or woman, concerning himself, his child and his wealth, until he meets Allah with no sin on him.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Jaami’)

  1. If a woman accepts that and treats her husband and the other wife well, she will have the reward of al-Muhsineen. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
    • “Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good‑doers) to be lost” (Soorah Yusuf, 12:90)
    • “Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Soorah al-Rahman, 55:60)
    • “And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinoon (good-doers)” (Soorah al-‘Ankaboot, 29:69)
  1. If she feels angry because of that, but she controls her anger – and controlling one’s tongue is part of controlling one’s anger – Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “…who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good‑doers)” (Soorah Aal ‘Imran, 3:134) This reward is in addition to the woman’s reward for obeying her husband under ordinary circumstances.

A wise woman should accept whatever Allah decrees for her… [She] should follow the good example of the wives of the Prophet (saws) and his companions, who were patient and sought reward even though many of them felt jealous. [Therefore,] you have to be patient and content and treat [your husband] well so that you can attain the reward of the patient and the doers of good.

Note that this life is the life of trials and tests, and how quickly it ends. So, [glad tidings] to the one who is patient in obeying Allah in this life until he attains eternal delight in the gardens of Paradise.

[We advise our questioner sister to be patient for the ill-treatment of the co-wife and she should try to handle the matter with wisdom and kindness, since splitting of a family leads to a great loss, especially when we understand that you love your husband and respect his decisions. Moreover, your husband fears Allah and implements His Commands concerning the matter of justice with wives (“dividing time and everything”) as the Prophet (saws) said: “When a husband has two wives and does not act justly between them, he will come the Day of Judgment with a side of his body hanging down” (at-Tirmidhi)]

You should know that the devil is the enemy of [human being] as he endeavors to make [our] life miserable and make [us] live in permanent distress. You should know that [bad] thoughts are just whispers from the devil in order to make [us] sad, so when you have such whispers, you should seek refuge in Allah from the devil; Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah Indeed He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” (Soorah al-A’raf, 7:200)

Hence, you should repel these bad thoughts and endeavor to preoccupy yourself with what benefits you in your religion and worldly matters. Here are some tips that may help benefit you in terms of utilizing your time effectively:

  • Acquiring knowledge by taking up some Islamic courses online.
  • Offering prayer on the proper time and with great concentration.
  • Occupying oneself in the remembrance of Allah.
  • Setting aside specific times for different tasks and abiding strictly to these times.
  • Helping and benefiting others irrespective of whether it is in worldly affairs or religious matters.
  • Being in the service and company of guests, travelers, strangers, scholars, and the pious servants of Allah.
  • Remembering death.
  • Setting aside a certain time daily thinking about all our actions for that day. When we remember any good action, express gratitude to Allah. When we remember any evil action, repent.
  • Making du’aa (supplication) to Allah to keep us steadfast on the straight path.

When it is time for anyone of mankind to die, he will ask for more time to do good deeds, as Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “They will cry out therein, ‘Our Lord, remove us; we will do righteousness – other than what we were doing!” But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember, and the warner had come to you? So, taste [the punishment], for there is not for the wrongdoers any helper.” (Soorah Fatir, 35: 37)

(The above reply is based on the following resources:

  • Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
  • Various answers provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on similar topics)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam