Definition: Polygyny: The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time.
This is a much needed admonition to the muslimaat upon the sunnah, and may Allaah grant both men and women the akhlaaq (manners) to deal with such situations.
Shaykh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) says:
“Of course, I believe that that is not allowed for (the woman) (to come between her husband and polygyny) because of two reasons:
The first (reason) is that she is hindering (her husband) from the path of Allaah.
And the other (reason) is that she is opposing the command of her husband.
Because you know…that the obedience of a woman to her husband is obligatory the way the matter is with regard to the obedience of an individual from the individual members of a nation toward the Muslim ruler, with an obedience which I don’t say is blind but rather a complete obedience, except what is made an exception in the islamic legislation, which is (obeying someone) in disobedience to Allaah.
And from this results Islamically legislated rulings which (state) that if the Muslim ruler commands that which is fundamentally allowed, this command becomes obligatory for the one who is commanded with it to carry it out, because it is the command of the ruler. Exactly likewise is the command with respect to the husband with his wife.
So, if the husband commands his wife with some command while that command is allowed in the foundation of the islamic legislation and while the woman is able to carry it out, then it is obligatory upon her to obey him. And if she does not obey him, then she has disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger [sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam].
Does He Have To Tell His Second Wife That He Is Married?
QUESTION: I married a foreign woman after she became Muslim in a shar‘i marriage in accordance with the laws of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and I concealed from her the fact that I was married before. Is my marriage legitimate or do I have to tell her that I am married and that she is the second wife? Please note that I concealed this matter from her because the country in which we live does not allow plural marriage.
ANSWER: Praise be to Allaah.
It is not obligatory for the husband to tell the second wife that he is already married and this does not affect the validity of his marriage to her. So long as the marriage contract fulfilled the necessary requirements and conditions, then it is valid.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) was asked:
Is it essential for the marriage to be valid that a man should inform the woman he wants to marry that he is married to another one, if he is not asked about that? Are there any consequences if he denies it if he is asked?
The man is not obliged to tell the woman or her family that he is married if they do not ask him, but that cannot usually be hidden because marriage is not usually done except after a period of enquiring and asking about each of the two partners and verifying that they are suitable. But it is not permissible to conceal any facts, and if either party tells a lie and the other party acts on the basis of it, then there is the option of cancelling it. If he says that he is not married and is lying about that, then the woman has the option of annulling the marriage. If they say that she was a virgin when she is not, then he has the option of going ahead with the marriage or cancelling it.