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[Q/A] Living with a Marriage Bandit: I cannot cope!

I’m married to a Muslim to whom I’m losing trust.

We’ve been married for a few years. I knew him prior to marriage and I (we) did repent for that. But he has gone off on two different occasions to acquire a second wife. On both occasions the sisters that he married seemed more out of desire and assuming that things would be different, with marrying a less than knowledgeable individual that lack basic manners and deen.

Even after knowing this at the time of marriage, he consummates then complains that he wants this second wife to have similar manners and deen as I do. My concern is that he has revealed his past (I know that as muslims we should keep these things to ourselves) and he was married several times as a kafir, and cheated on these wives and now it seems that he’s using Islam as a justification for doing this (having multiple wives).

He’s says that he loves me, but I feel that he’s just used to me and my good manners and resourcefulness, but he doesn’t attempt to treat the second spouse the way he treats me. He is very open to tell me things about the second spouse that I don’t want to hear.

Both marriages were seemed to be performed in a very sneaky and questionable manner. I don’t have a enough space to go into the details. He has stated on occasions that he has to have a second wife.

Is it allowed in Islam for a man to marry and divorce as many women as he wants (I know no more than four at one time), but one every few months, even if he’s just marrying another woman for the purpose of having something different temporarily? With the intent of using one of her negative qualities as a reason for divorce? We do not have children.

Am I allowed to request a divorce on the grounds that I cannot continue to cope with these situations and I’m losing the love and desire for my husband?

Read the rest of this entry »

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This story has been narrated to us by a reliable brother. All names have been altered and do not represent the actual people.

Harun, who is now a well recognized “da’ee”, once came to town to do a program many, many years ago, when his reputation as a Salafi marriage bandit was not so well known. It fell upon Khalid, a brother in the area, to sort out a meeting for him to see a certain sister for marriage (for whom Khalid was acting as wali).

At the time, it also happened that there was a new convert in town who was a… stripper. A stripper who had continued … stripping, even after her recent conversion.

Khalid was able to arrange a meeting with the sister Harun had come to see and took him to see her, but Harun wasn’t interested.

When Khalid tried to find out about Harun’s thoughts concerning the sister he had just seen, his reply was, “What’s this I hear about a stripper?”

Awareness Point:

These predators are not seeking to marry pious sisters to uphold the marital ties or create strong families and communities, but merely to serve their own (often deviant) sexual desires. Outwardly they appear to be righteous, but within inner circles their reality is starkly revealed.

So don’t get swept away by the ‘apparent’ nature of someone, especially if they are well known, but take time to check and investigate the matter.


Follow us or Join our Facebook Page!

Assalaamu ‘alaykum

Since the blog is still very much under construction – we’ve now added the options to “Follow” us and receive updates directly to your email, or Join our Facebook page and receive notifications there.

This way, you can follow along with us as we expand and include a larger information base, as well as begin including the stories from these predators insha’Allah!

We’d also like to ask as we work towards improving our blog  :

What would you like to see on here?

What topics are you concerned about? Which issues need the most light?

We’d love to hear from you, so please join in with us in discussing the best way forward.

May Allah reward you all for your support!

 


[Q/A] He marries them, intending to divorce them: A Message to the Marriage Bandits

I have a problem with my marriage.

I converted to Islam 12 years ago, before I met and married my husband. I am his second wife. The problem is that my husband has a habit of getting married in secret (to a third wife) without informing any of his relatives or me and the first wife. He likes to keep the third wife secret because usually she is not muslim. He might stay with this woman for a year or two until they split up and then in time he will find someone else.

Since I have been with him he has had 3 other women. I find out that he is with someone when he starts not coming home at night or he travels abroad without telling anyone. He just disappears for 1 or 2 weeks without informing his family. Despite this, he will deny to everyone that he is with another woman.

I get so depressed because I never know when my husband is going to stay the night in my house and I know his first wife feels like I do too. I have seen some scholars say that this kind of secret marriage is halal but how can it be when the husband has to lie so much and the wives end up being so depressed? Don’t women have the right to know how many wives their husbands have? When my husband only has me and his first wife he is so nice and equal and we are so happy but things change when he gets married in secret again.

Please note that he never has documents for the marriages. Please can you help me with this. I need to know if what he is doing is wrong. I know that there are many other women in my situation because scholars have said these marriages are halal so now lots of men are doing it. But it just encourages men to lie and be unfair, and women feel depressed and it really damages the family unit.

I have 6 small kids and it has affected us all.

Praise be to Allaah.

The husband is not obliged to tell his wives that he is going to get married, but if he does get married he is obliged to tell them, because not telling them may make them suspect that he is having illicit relationships, and because they have the right to ask him to be just in dividing his time. When she knows that he has taken another wife, she will understand that the new wife has the same rights as the wives he married before her.

Secondly:

The husband has to fear Allaah and treat his wives equally. The justice that is required between all his wives has to do with maintenance, accommodation and staying overnight.

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said:

The sharing that is required has to do with spending the night. So you have to divide your time between them. The same applies to maintenance, accommodation and clothing. It is essential to be fair in these matters, by giving each of them sufficient accommodation, food, drink and clothing. You must also divide your time fairly among your wives. This is the justice that is enjoined by Allaah in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“…then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one …”

[al-Nisa’ 4:3] 

al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan (5/question no. 384)

For more information please see the answer to question no. 10091.

Thirdly: 

Men must fear Allaah with regard to women,

…and they must remember that people trust them because of their outward religious commitment and adherence to the Sunnah. When one of them asks for a woman, she is given to him on the basis of his outward righteousness and religious commitment.

So let him beware

… of taking advantage of these outward Islamic practices to toy with people’s honour by taking their daughters then giving them back when he has fulfilled their desires.

Let him beware

… lest he becomes the cause of some of them apostatizing or becoming sick or following a path of deviation.

We do not think that any of these men would agree to anyone doing that to his daughter or sister, so how can he agree to that being done to other people’s daughters? 

Let him beware

… of exploiting people’s weakness and need by offering money and tempting her family with it. This is contrary to chivalry and good morals.

We do not think that these people would be able to do the same with the daughters of prominent figures or the daughters of their paternal uncles or other relatives.

If the marriage was legitimate then it did not work out and he divorced her, we would not denounce their actions, but if the marriage is for the purpose of satisfying desires, with the aim of changing her after a while, this is a kind of fooling around which is not approved of in Islam; it is  a mut’ah marriage or virtually mut’ah marriage.

Hence you will not find these people looking for women who are religiously committed, rather they will marry a woman for her beauty even if she is has not completed her ‘iddah, or even if she is well known for her immoral ways, then he will fulfil his desire with her in a hotel for three days and this playboy will not pay any attention to her religious commitment or honour, and she will never be his permanent wife or the mother of his children, so why worry?

There follows a fatwa issued by the scholars of the Standing Committee responding to such actions and explaining the ruling on such marriages:

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: It has become common among young men to travel abroad to get married with the intention of getting divorced, and this marriage is the purpose for which they travel, based on a fatwa that deals with this issue,  but many people misunderstand the fatwa.  What is the ruling on this?

They replied:

Getting married with the intention of divorce is a temporary marriage, and a temporary marriage is an invalid marriage, because it is mut’ah, and mut’ah is haraam by consensus. Valid marriage is where a man gets married with the intention of keeping his wife and staying with her if she proves to be a good wife and he gets along with her, otherwise he may divorce her. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness” [al-Baqarah 2:229].

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (18/448, 449).

There are scholars who issued fatwas allowing that to people studying or working in western countries who feared that they may commit haraam actions, so such a person may get married even if he has the intention of getting divorced. But Allaah may decree that they have children and he may grow attached to them and their mother. Allaah may decree that they get along well so the marriage lasts.

The fatwa is not aimed at those who travel with the purpose of getting married.

The fatwa is not aimed at those who go for two nights to a poor land and take the virginity of one or more females.

If a person cannot control himself during a two-day trip – some of which is for da’wah and charity work – then it is haraam for him to travel at all.

Let the wise scholar look at the implications of what he says in his fatwas and what he does, and the effects that that will have on Islam, for Islam is not distorted by its enemies so much as it is distorted by the deeds and attitudes of its own followers.

The Muslim to whom Allaah grants one wife or more should praise Allaah and be grateful to Him. He must pay attention to them and his children, so that he will give them a proper Islamic upbringing and education. He should not show ingratitude for this blessing by leaving his wives and children with no guidance and education, looking for fleeting pleasures that do not lead to the establishment of a family or happiness, let alone leading to him wronging himself, his wives and his children.

There is no reason why he should not get married in the proper manner, because Islam allows him to marry four wives, but he should also remember that Islam encourages marrying religiously-committed women, because she will be his honour, the mother of his children, the protector of his household and wealth, and the one who will raise his children. It is not befitting for a Muslim to forget the aims and rulings of marriage and go looking to satisfy his desire here and there, then have the audacity to attribute his actions to Islam!

This husband should look at the effects of his actions – he is lying, not giving his wives their rights, not treating them and the one whom he marries fairly. He should also examine his motives in choosing the wife whom he intends to divorce. If he makes a good choice then he should look at the impact he will leave behind on her and her family. He should remember that he is a Muslim who represents Islam and Islamic rulings and morals, especially if the matter has to do with trust based on his appearance or his outwardly seeming to be righteous, for he will be the cause of people no longer trusting others like him, even if it does not lead to something worse than that.

We have heard of the bad effects of marrying with the intention of divorce, which makes the Muslim feel certain that even if the scholars say that it is permissible in some cases, they should disallow it or at least stop saying that it is permissible.

Some of these wives have had their honour impugned after they were married to men who appeared outwardly to be righteous, but when they had satisfied their desires in a hotel in her country, they gave her the second part of the mahr or a little bit of money and sent her back to her family, divorced.

In some cases, the family trusted this “outwardly righteous man” and gave their daughter – and their honour – to him without any official marriage contract, trusting that he would do the proper contract in his own country. Then he fulfilled his desire with her and sent her back to her family as a previously-married woman after taking her as a virgin.

Now look at the situation of the family: how can they face their neighbours and relatives?

What will they say to them?

Has honour become like a car to be rented then given back at the end of the stipulated period?

Do these people not fear that Allaah will punish them with regard to their daughters and sisters?

When some of these women find out that their time with this husband is up, they plead with the husband not to divorce them and to take them to his home land – as he made them believe – as his servant or as a servant for his wives and children. They say that if they go back they will be faced with mistreatment from their relatives and neighbours, which may end with their being killed. But this “outwardly righteous man” refuses these requests and pays no attention to her weeping and pleas.

One woman found that her time was up and her husband divorced her, so she called her brother to take her to her family, and all she could do was tell people that he had died in a car accident, so as to protect her honour from being impugned.

And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek and in Whom we put our trust.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A*
(*Some text and formatting has been edited, original fatwa can be found here:  Getting married with the intention of divorce and the bad consequences of that )

What can we do?

As more and more people are becoming aware of this problem plaguing our communities, the question continually arises: What can we do?

Well, first of all – help us! Our blog is still in its initial stages, but we hope to keep improving with the help of Allaah, and the aid of our brothers and sisters insha’Allaah.

If you are interested in making a difference and taking action by helping us with our blog, below are a few possible methods how:

1. Get the word out!

Some of the blogs out there right now tackling this issue are full of allegations and accusations, most of which cannot be confirmed (even if they may be true). This goes against our Shar’i duties as Muslims and overrides the need for systems in which to approach the accused, and not just hear from the accusers. We plan to be different. Our goal is to provide an outlet for awareness, whilst keeping in line with the Shar’iah. This unfortunately means that we will not cater towards the ‘naming-and-shaming’ of specific individuals (as we believe this would require a more thorough process of verification), but we will host articles written and directed about these topics,and spread awareness of what happens to the victims of these criminals, from their own stories. It’s time to let the truth out, so that individuals and communities can be aware of this problem (as so many have been ignorant of it for far too long) and then take the necessary steps to prevent it themselves insha’Allaah.

But we need to get the word out! So spread it to your friends, contacts, families, Twitter/Facebook, and especially victims who have suffered from this, and help us put an end to these criminals!

2. Gather resources and submit content!

One of the leading reasons this phenomenon thrives is because of the silence and ignorance surrounding it. We need to get out there: ask our Imaams, our scholars, the knowledgeable brothers and sisters in the communities to speak out about it, address it, collect resources and then create a base to educate those who may be ignorant. And that’s just what we plan to do, bi’ithnillaah.

So if you’ve read or come across an article addressing this topic, or have valuable resources about this issue which you may have collected yourself and you feel would be beneficial to add to the site, please send us an email at : exposingpredators@gmail.com with the subject heading: [Submission].

3. Contact victims and ask them to speak out!

Silence and apathy have allowed this disease to spread amongst our midst. To combat it – we’ve got to create speech and determination. And for this, we need the victims of these criminals to come forward and to tell their story, so that others can know and be aware of what they went through, and take the precautions against it themselves.

And in time, we hope that by this awareness, through noting the similar patterns and methods from these stories, people will be able to recognize these scammers/bandits for what they are more easily, and sisters who find themselves in the same predicament can know that they are not alone, this is not part of Islam, and that they can find help.

So if you know any sisters who have been affected by these Marriage Bandits please encourage them to Share their Story with us. We need to work together to get awareness out, and request anyone who has gone through this to please come forward, even if it’s anonymously. 


Any help you can provide towards this initiative will be greatly appreciated, JazaakumAllaahu khayra!

~~~~

Below are a few other ideas on how you can support and help prevent the occurring of these tragic cases in your own communities.

  • Don’t turn a blind eye.
  • Warn those around you about the tactics of these predators. Prevention is better than cure – help your sisters and female relatives be especially educated about these cases, remind them of the potential pitfalls and approaches by these cults and predators and make them feel comfortable in approaching your or your family with any questions about this topic they might have.
  • Take an active – not passive role. If these predators are in your area, contact and speak to your local Imams – collect your efforts and make them aware of what goes on and urge them to take responsibility and bring these people to account. Don’t expect someone else to start this effort, actively seek to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
  • Gather resources and educate yourself and your community. Bring this topic up to scholars and those with knowledge and encourage them to speak out about these issues. These resources need to be gathered and circulated amongst the Muslim community to help combat ignorance.  People need to be educated on family values, the importance of the family unit, healthy marriages, the view of the Shari’ah and responsibilities. Too often we hear about rights (of husband/wife etc) but too little of responsibilities and individual efforts to stabilize families and the community at large.
  • Look out for vulnerable sisters (especially if you are a sister too). Look out for reverts, young sisters, those without families or a wali, single mums, foreign students/workers etc. If you see suffering revert sisters, refer them to SOLACE; if you see abused sisters, get them in touch with Nour-DV, and generally just keep a kind ear out for the weak amongst the community (obviously this is not a license to pry and get into peoples’ private affairs but you know what I mean).
  • Don’t pressure new reverts in Islam towards marriage!  Revert sisters are often pressured to marry within such a short time of their coming into Islam, and although  some people will say that it’s in her best interests to have a stable family etc, but actually, making a new revert feel that marriage is the next thing on her Islamic to-do list after the Shahadah is often a cause for many problems. She needs time to learn her Deen, learn Islamic principles and learn her rights (and this is not feminism in any way, it’s her protection); then she can be more prepared to avoid these brothers and avoid getting duped.
  • Give a voice to the victims. Don’t be judgmental, and listen to their stories. Furthermore, if you know a sister who has encountered one of these predators and come out of it, allow her to feel comfortable in speaking out about it – if Shar’i conditions cannot be established to confirm proof against the person, at least anonymously – or even through this blog: Share Your Stories 

Communities need to know what’s going on, to increase awareness and also potentially prevent other vulnerable sisters from getting pulled into these same pitfalls. But as long as the victims are shamed into silence and the topic is considered taboo and ignored within our midst, these predators will continue to get away with their crimes and our problems will never be solved.

Please share any other solutions or ideas you might have to help combat this problem in the comments below!