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What should be the right thing to be done in this case.

Q:

Assalamu alaikum. I am asking on behalf of a male colleague. This brother got married to a woman he met at a language class. Before getting married, that woman had told the brother that she was going to marry another guy who is a citizen of France; and this marriage would be just a contract marriage (no physical intimacy involved). She was bound to do it as she was suffering from dementia and the treatment is only in France. My colleague agreed and married her. However, things didn’t go well between them and they started having fights. Till then the girl didn’t go for that contract marriage. After a fight the brother stopped contacting with his wife and the girl eventually got married to fill up the contract with that other guy from France. Now  after a while my colleague decided to divorce her because he felt this couldn’t go on. His wife will not be returning to him or they won’t be able to start a family until she goes to France and gets a Permanent Residency. So it is long process. This brother is a practicing Muslim and now he wants a solution. He says that , knowing everything he had married her, now if he divorces her she might hold him accountable. Also he loves her very much and wants to stay with her. So his concerns are what he should do. Can you please give an answer so that the right thing can be done?

A:

Wa Alaykumussalam

Thank you for your query.

I will answer according to the scenario I understand.

First of all, if that girl is already married to another man, then it is incorrect for a woman to marry two men at the same time. As I understood, she had gotten married to the other person also and there was a contract between her and your friend as well. There should be divorce and after that the girl should observe her Iddah and then only she can re-marry someone else.

But if there was no contract between her and your friend, then it has been a haraam relationship between them since they were non-mahram to each other. And if they had not read Nikah according to the Islamic Shariah, they were not husband and wife, hence, there is no word for separation. Meaning, if your friend and the lady had not been husband and wife, then the woman can get married to another man and doesn’t require divorce.

But, as it appears from your writing and first scenario, she had married your friend and later went to marry the French passport holder without getting divorce from the first husband. This is incorrect. If she really wanted to marry the other person then she must get divorce from her first husband or take Khul’ and after observing the Iddah, she is able to marry the other person otherwise having relationship with the second person is haram while still being a wife of the first husband.

On the other side, a marriage contract is invalid if the contract and Nikah has not been recited properly. We don’t know about her case if she has really recited Nikah with the first man or was it just a paper marriage (which has no Islamic value). If there was an Islamic Marriage formula recited then there cannot be any sort of intimacy or relation between the second husband unless the woman gets divorce from the first one.

If your friend and the lady had come to a conclusion that they cannot live together and both should separate and no other way out, then your friend can divorce her.
Even though divorce is not recommended unless required, but since your friend finds no other solution to it, the only thing that will remain is to divorce her. But, having any relation including intercourse with the other man while having the first husband is problematic for the woman while still being in the Nikah of the first husband.

I would recommend your friend to first sort their marriage contract. whether it was recited according to the shariah or not. If yes, they are still men and wife with each other and any relation with the second man is haram.
However, if the marriage contract was just a civil marriage then the relation with your friend is haram and she is someone else’s wife at the moment. A woman cannot have two husbands at the same time.

Allaho A’alam

May Allah(swt) grant you success

Wassalam,

Syed Haider