Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Vietnamese girl in love with Iraqi man with two wives

Vietnamese women hard at work sorting shells in a marketplace

Vietnamese women hard at work sorting shells in a marketplace


I'm a Vietnamese girl, 26 years old. I have no religion. 6 years ago, I met an Iraqi man here in Vietnam, and fell in love with him. He is Muslim.

I understand he 's married. He has 2 wives and 4 children in Iraq. He says he is very happily married , however wants to marry to me as the 3rd wife. He suppose that he can have 4 wives.

If I accept to be considered as his 3rd wife, he will take me to his country home and I live with his family together.

Many people tell me not to accept and forget him. I tried but I could not. However, i'm afraid of my future what will happen to me if I accept. At my bottom heart, I love him very much and want to be his 3rd wife. But I fear his other wives ' jealousy. Will I able to live in a Muslim polygamous family?

Please help me. Give me advice. I cannot live without him.

- Phuong (vivi)

Wael's Answer:

Dear Phuong,

I would like to say yes you should go, because I am a Muslim and I believe that Islam is the true religion for all humanity, and going to Iraq would expose you to Muslim culture and maybe guide you to Islam.

But I cannot say that in good conscience because I think it will be very, very difficult if you go. You will not know the language. You will be in a completely different culture. You will be separated from your family and all your friends. And since he has two other wives, you will not see him as much as you would like and probably you will be very lonely.

Also, as you said, who knows how you will be treated by his other wives? Maybe they will resent you, or maybe they will see you as a stranger or a foreigner.

Last but not least, Iraq is a dangerous country these days.

So it's my opinion that you should not go, and you should end your relationship with this man.

You say you cannot live without him, but - and I'm sorry to be blunt - that's just one of those nonsense things that people say. Will you stop breathing without him? Will your heart stop beating? No, the truth is that you can live just fine without him. I realize that you have known him for six years, so you will miss him, and you will experience some heartache when you separate from him, but the pain will diminish with time.

You will find that Muslim men are usually very good and honest men. I know there are many Vietnamese Muslims. Perhaps you should investigate that and find yourself a nice Vietnamese Muslim man.

And Allah knows best.

If any readers have some additional advice for this questioner, I invite you to post your comments below.

(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray.

Best regards,

- Wael Abdelgawad Marriage Advice Muslim Matrimonial Service

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15 Responses »

  1. Dear As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    I'd like to thank you for your replying. It 's extremly difficult for me to leave my country and follow a foreign man to live as the 3rd wife in his country. I 'm feeling that your advices show care and sincerity to me. Before I have thought muslim men were alway ready to do anything as long as following to the command of Allah. Yet now I know you will give advices which is based on justice. And when i read some article in your website, i see there are some conflict existing between religion and reality, ethic and illogicalty. And some women suffering pains face polygyny such as the commands of Allah.

    In my country, the belief of Allah is very strange as theory of religion are not popular and religion don't allow to expand. So we live and act upon justice, human rights and Marxism. Sometime, we have the belief just due to support in need.

    Would you mind to let me understand your personal information as i could not recognize if you're male or female through your name. what country are you in? i don't know Islam very much. And i'd like to learn about your attitude of Islam. I think it's different from fundamentalist.

    I'm a girl who is learning about it. I wonder the complete belief of Allah of many Muslim and find that there are many unfair ideas in Islam theory. I'm very sorry when i express my own opinon and bump against your Islam. But through you, I find out that Muslim men are very good, honest and kind- hearted.

    I wishs that Islam and Muslims will find ways to live more happy in future.


    Phuong- your friend.

    • Dear Phuong, I don't know whether you resolved your problem or not! But nowadays I need your help regarding quite same context. I am married, Indian citizens, I falling in love with a Vietnamese girls. Please guide me and help me out.


  2. As far as i think , this cannot be love ..
    Love is only for One , One Partner and 1 wife.
    The way , he said he can marry four is not just. We are allowed to marry only if we give all of them equal rights , respect and hapiness but i doubt that his 2 wifes are aware of his love..story..

  3. Hey Chi Phuong..

    Em ten la XXXX. o ben nguoi ngoai..

    I would like to answer your question ***Between religion and reality, ethic and illogicalty.?? There is big hug between vietnamese and iraqi..

    U think he is rich that is why?? O ngoai iraqi rat la ngheo hon nguoi cua vietnam cua chung minh..
    E xin loi khong muon noi nhieu.. U should think more before go there.. At the moment there is war over there

    I really dont understand why you would married to a man already had 2 wives..
    **Like Shah said.. Love is only for one partner..

    E chao Chi

  4. Dear Phuong,

    I am a girl, and Muslim, a converted one. Islam is fair to everybody- I mean the religion given to us by God, and not the ideeas or traditions people tend to say about it. Marrying more wives has severe conditions. It's not just like "I like this one, and that one...and oh, oh, that one is also nice".
    I'm not to old or didn't go tru too many things, but that love you are talking about is a little bit of our egoism and lust. Don't be angry with me, because I said this- I am just analizing myself.
    A good marriage should be based on beliefs. A Muslim marriage for sure. That means, if you want to marry a believing Muslim man, you will see that he wants to marry you for the sake of Allah, and not something else. He wants to make you happy, to please you in every way, because he knows God is looking over us in every minute, and He will bless him if he behaves well with you and punish him, if he is unjust with you.
    In a good Muslim marriage, you both should be standing firm on your feet, feel confortable in your beliefs, and then have this "contract", find a pair, a true mate for yourselfe, to be with you in everything.
    I can't even imagine myself as a second wife. I didn't grow up in a culture like that, and I am too egoistic to leave my husband to another woman. And this is because my faith is not strong enough. I heard about a story when there was a believing woman, who found 3 other wives for her husband, so she can serve Allah better. She had to occupy her husband, so she could pray more, meditate more, and so on.
    Islam is fair-but only to the people, who are clever as well.
    Don't run into something you are not prepared to do, and blame Islam for you see, there are women, who can do this, and there are others, like me, who can't. This is why Islam is fair-it gives you the option to make your own decision as you feel it is best for you.
    Study about Islam, about God. Just start to think about how we started living on Earth, and about all the creation. If you feel you are looking for something, start to read and listen to the Quran, and God willing, you will find your answer.
    I pray to God to help you, guide you in your decisions, and show you the right path, as to all of us as well. amin

    God bless you,

  5. A union between a man and woman is one. I mean that is what a union is. Imagine you met a man who's eyes and heart is 100% devoted to you. A man who leads a house is a man who has learnt to serve and share with his wife the emotion, pain, happiness, everything that a man should share that makes a marriage healthy. How would you feel knowing that this mans heart is divided. Don't go and trust me on this. Also remember a house divided cannot stand!

  6. Hi Phuong
    Wow what a big decision and from reading what you have written you seem like a very positive person 😀 There a really old saying my parents use to say when I was young... You have 2 eyes, two hands, 2 feet and 2 ears the reason why you don't have two hearts is because you have to find special other one! I'm also Viet but was raised in Perth so my life views are different from others, but I do believe if you love someone you give all the love you can to that someone and not divide it with others. Religion should not be reasons or excuses on why it's okay to share. I have nothing against what Tazmeen belief are but everyone is entitle to their opinion.

    I read what you wrote again and again and it really confuse with the part where you wrote "He says he is very happily married , however wants to marry to me as the 3rd wife. He suppose that he can have 4 wives." does that sound to you like a "Happily Married Man" or a man that truly believes that it's okay to marry more wives because he religion said he can????

    This guy you met may be a great guy but what you truly want is someone who Loves you for who you are and what you believe in, One day I would like to meet someone where when I wake up they are the first thing I see next to me and when I close my eyes before I go to sleep. I don't think taking turns doing just that with his other wives is going be a great feeling.

    Also like someone mentioned before Iraq right now is a unstable place and living a life there away from family and friends also.... I hope you decide carefully and not rush because you're afraid you might grow old alone, your still only 26 and still young and who knows what the future lies ahead. Just be happy and smile cause Happiness comes from within and the rest is up to you!

  7. Hello Dear vivi phuong,
    Only one thing i want to know....What if after marring you he marries another girl after few years?
    Honestly, I know only one thing and that is, WE CAN NOT LOVE TWO PERSONS AT THE SAME TIME... IF WE DO, THAT IS NOT LOVE BUT LUST. If he is happily married as you said in your post than why he want to marry again? Do you think he can give equal love to all of his wifes?
    I will suggest you to find a good man in your country,marry him and live happily after that. As far as this Iraqi man is concerned...take him as a good friend. I know it can be hard in the biggning but slowly slowly you will overcome from those hard days.

    Take care!

  8. Hi dear phuong,
    I am anne, I live in the philippines, i am also as the same situation you are in to!
    I am young, but I am mature than those person of my age, I am only 21. I am a beauty queen from my country also a Model, I finished my Bachelors degree and have a good job right now.. so as to say, I almost got good things in my life. I have admirers but i dont have any interest to them. Then I met a guy, he's a Muslim, he is happily married and have 2 wonderful kids. I already knew that from the very beggining but i still continue to communicate with him until such time i realized i am already inlove with him, and him to me. he is almost double of my age, and married, but i dont know why I still fell inlove with him despite of that circumstance. I always ask my self why, but I end up having nothing. I cant answer it, I also ask this guy, if he's happy with his marriage, how come he's inlove with me, then he said some things are not meant to explain, they are just felt by the heart. I read about Islam because of him, and he ask me if I want to marry him because he wants to marry me. I have talk to his wife, and she's MAD at me. Although they're both Muslim and must understand it, she still dont agree with the idea of the guy marrying me. I know what she feel, that she's just left out. But that's not true. The guy always tell me that he loves his wife, as much as he loves me. I am young, I have plenty of choices, but I cant seem to leave him and their family. Just thinking of that makes me crazy. I cry every night because I dont know what to do. The girl is trying to discourage me and she always makes me feel that I am not welcome to their family. I know your situation and how hard it is to decide. Until now I still dont have any decision, that's why I end up reading your article because I am browsing the internet and looking for some readings that might help me decide.

    I feel for you so much! If ever you decide on it please let me know so you can teach me what to do.

    Take care!

    • Jinkinita - Islam permits a man to marry up to four women at any one time. But that does not mean he take advantage of this It has many conditions attached to make it permissible and halaal.

      Allah The Most Merciful did not allow men to take more than one wife just to satisfy their whims and desires. There is much more logic and reasoning behind it.

      One of the reasons for taking another wife are not because the man happens to 'fall in love; with another woman.

      If he has fallen in love with you while already married and has also proposed to you; then he has been putting himself in a haraam situation to have even got there. Why was he talking to you with such intimacy while married to another woman?

      Why are you expecting his wife to welcome you with open arms? Why should she?

      If this man 'falls in love' and takes you as a 2nd wife, he can also 'fall in love' again and want to take a 3rd wife.

      Would you be ok with that?

  9. I am not so sure if what will be my reaction then if he decides to have a third wife, as far as Im concern I love him even if he's married and have two kids. I'm so lucky that he's a Muslim and he can marry me if we want, because if not then our relationship is not permissable by the law or even by the church. Chances are we will end up having an affair only and I will become just a mistress.
    I always ask my self, how come I fell inlove with him knowing he's already married. No one believes me that it's even possible, but I am so sure of my self that I accept his family as I accept him. although sometimes it hurts a bit whenever he tells me he's with his wife and they will sleep together, but I should accept it right? when I met him he's already married, and his wife and kids are already a part of his life. I dont know If I will be interested to him if I met him single. Even when we talk to each other, we talk about his family and Im happy to hear those things from him, I feel that he disclose his private life with me. He is a responsible person and he takes good care of his family and make sure everything about them specially the kids are on the right track. I am born and raised as Catholic by my parents, but I am open minded person so I accepted the idea of being a second wife. But his first wife do not accept it even if she's a converted Muslim for several years now.
    I do not realy expect her to accept me and embrace the idea with open arms, but Im atleast expecting she would give it a try because she already knew from the beggining that the situation might take place because of their religion. I know what she feels, I may not even understand it carefully in details but i am a woman too so I can somehow feel her thoughts about this matter. I have talk to her, and even if she degraded me and insulted me, for the first time in my life I wasnt able to fight for myself because I want to understand her reaction and her condition. I tried to befriend her, but she's doing everything to prevent the situation to happen. she is sending me messages using his husbands number pretending to be him, and telling me that he dont love me and I am just a fling. but ofcourse, i know the guy very well and I know how he type messages so I can tell it's her. The next day I asked the guy if he is the one who send the message and he doesnt have any idea about it so I'm right. I didnt get mad about it because I am realy trying to understand her.
    I dont know what to do now, I've been reading blogs about polygamy and how they live their lives together. It's a big step in my life, and i will sacrifice a lot, My Reputation as a Model, My title as a Beauty queen (i might be dethroned) and my job as well as my own families reaction and feelings because they dont have any idea about Islam. we are born Roman Catholic.

    *(can I ask about Haraam?)

  10. Jinkinita - have you actually read what you have written? You said:

    "I do not realy expect her to accept me and embrace the idea with open arms, but Im atleast expecting she would give it a try because she already knew from the beggining that the situation might take place because of their religion"

    Are you suggesting that every Muslim woman when getting married, takes on the acceptance that she may possibly become a 2nd wife? That is not so Jinkinita - at all.

    Sorry if this offends you, but to me it seems that you and this man are both taking wrong advantage of the Islamic laws of Polygamy. You do not understand them and are taking them out of context to suit yourselves. The Prophet Muhammed(saw) had 11 wives (I think it was 11). But he did not marry any of them to fulfil his whims and desires. He made a calculated decision to accept the first proposal from Khadija (as) based on her honesty, loyalty and good nature and subsequently married his other wives (peace be upon them all) for specific reasons.

    Polygamy has been around since the beginning of time and men have been taking advantage of women due to this, but with the coming of Islam, polygamy was regulated thus protecting the rights of women. This is further explained below:

    The information below is taken from:

    Islam did not invent polygamy; Islam only made polygamy more humane, instituting equal rights for all wives. And even so, Muslim women are not forced to accept this and may put a condition against it in their marriage contract.

    Read more:

    The Qur'an says what means:

    "Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one". (An-Nisaa' 3:3)

    Polygamy in Islam is not recommended; it is only permitted under certain guidelines. Permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is, rather, associated with compassion toward widows and orphans.

    Before the Qur'an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygamy, and many men had more than four wives. Islam put an upper limit of four wives, permitting a man to marry more than once, only on the condition that he deal justly with all of them. Yet the same verse points out:

    "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women" (Al-Nisaa' 3:129)

    Therefore polygamy is not a rule but an exception.

    Here are some of the reasons for which Muhammad(saw) married:

    1. To pass on Islam to the next generations as a practical legacy
    Prophet Muhammad is the only prophet without any privacy, and with a meticulously preserved tradition in speech and actions in all minute details of his public and private life. Preserved in the sharp minds of his wives and his Companions, those narrations comprise the "daily life manual" for Muslims to follow until the end of time. The fact that Islam was spread on the shoulders of women and preserved in their hearts is a great honor to the females of this Ummah. The books of authentic Hadith attribute more than 3,000 narrations and Prophetic traditions to his wives alone.

    2. To cement the relations of the budding nation
    In a tribal society, it was customary to seal treaties through marrying into tribes. Muhammad's closest Companions later became the four caliphs who led Islam at the critical stage after his death. Two of them were the fathers of his wives `A'ishah (daughter of Abu Bakr) and Hafsa (daughter of `Umar); the other two married his daughters (`Uthman married Ruqayyah and Zainab in succession, and `Ali married Fatimah).

    3. To teach Muslims compassion with women
    He taught them to be compassionate not just to the young and beautiful maidens, but more so to the weak and destitute widows, divorcees, orphans, and elderly women. Islam teaches that women are to be respected, protected, and cared for by their men folk. They're not to be cast out to face a harsh life alone while able men around them just pity them and do nothing to help, or worse, use their weakness to take them as mistresses!

    4. To offer a practical role model to Muslims until the end of time
    Although many believing women often approached Muhammad offering him themselves in marriage, he politely turned down their offers. Most of his wives after the death of Khadijah were old, devoid of beauty, and previously married, except `A'ishah, who was the only young virgin. He married from other nations and religions; some were the daughters of his worst enemies, and his marriage to one woman won all her people into Islam. Regardless of his neutral feelings towards many of them, he was a model example of equal justice and kindness to them all, and he would never discriminate among them.

    Read more:


    Back to you and this man. How did you both get to know each other? This man admits that he is happily married, so then why did he take his marriage so flippantly and decide to start conversing with you? Can his behaviour then be considered as flirtatious?

    I'm sure it is possible to be attracted to someone else after marriage, but is it not right to then avoid further contact to prevent deeper feelings from developing? The laws of polygamy are not there for a man and woman to be able to submit to their carnal desires because they are unable to discipline themselves. Allah is much much more just than that!!

    You say:

    " far as Im concern I love him even if he's married and have two kids. I'm so lucky that he's a Muslim and he can marry me if we want, because if not then our relationship is not permissable by the law or even by the church. Chances are we will end up having an affair only and I will become just a mistress."

    If you want to love this man - do so. But if you choose to allow yourself to become his mistress, that is no-one's fault but your own. You seem to care only about your feelings for this man and not about this other woman. 'Haraam' means 'forbidden' and the relationship you have with this man is forbidden. Have you not tried to keep yourself away from this man?

    It may be that you end up marrying this man - but you should keep in mind that this man will be held to account in the Hereafter as he has to treat both his wives completely equally. And you both need to question yourselves about the 'wrongs' you are indulging in but making them seem so trivial. You are having a relationship with a married a man. And this man has been cheating on his wife with you. These are major sins in Islam.

    Jinkinita - I can only advise you to take a step back and read into Islam and try to understand the real logic behind polygamy. Islam protects women's rights, it does not favour men over women - it treats us equally. But the way you and this man are using this law of polygamy is very much to satisfy your own desires and it is taking the wisdom and logic away from it. He is portraying Islam as a male chauvenistic religion and you are happy with this at the moment because it is going in your favour. If he decides to take another wife after you, I am sure it will push you to think more deeply about the conditions attached to polygamy - they go far beyond the surface of 'falling in love'.

    If he was sincerely looking to marry you to bring you towards the religion of Islam that would be a different matter. But I think he has taken the whole concept of polygamy extremely wrong.

  11. Dear Phuong

    Em cung la mot nguoi Muslim, nhung ma em khong muon chi cuoi anh ta, em biet la chi dang yeu nhung ma tai vi Iraq dang co chien tranh, em quyen chi dung nen.

    I'm a vietnamese Muslim, But I don't want you to marry him. I know that you are in love, but you need to understand more about Islam if you are going to marry him. You need to find out more about his way of life and culture. Further more Irag is in war right now...I will pray for you sister. I hope you make the right choice. I hope you all the best.

    Hoang Long

  12. Olá a todos.
    Sou brasielira, 42 anos, divorciada e sem filhos, Entrei na net para entender mais sobre o islâ e muçulmanos e acabei me deparando com mulheres com histórias parecidas.
    Como sabem o Brasil é de povo loivre e muito liberal, mas poligamia aqui é crime,
    Conheci um iraqueano e ele logo mentiu que não era casado e nem tinha filhos. Para nanorar com ele tive que pedir em casamento e ele me pergutou quanto custaria e por que periodo.. pensei que ele brincava e acabei entrando na brincadeira.
    Depois de algum tempo vi que este homem não saia de site de namoro e marcava encontros com muitas mulheres, o questionei e ele me disse que muçulmano era muito viril e tinha que ter 4 esposas, eu era uma delas, ja que fiz a pergunta diante de Allan... eu perguntei se ele tinha mais esposas ele me contou a verdade ( se é verdade mesmo).. que tinha duas esposas e tres filhos no iraque ( ele mora a 5 anos no Brasil)... depois me disse que era casado somente com a primeira e que a outra era só contrato... fiquei muito triste, me senti enganada. Agora ele me disse que sou só amante pois ele trará suas duas esposas para o Brasil em breve. O que me deixa triste é que fui tratada como uma diversão e ele colocou allah como gozação ( e olha que ele tem todos os calos nas pernas de tanto rezar )... ele me perguntou se eu aceitaria esta condição... eu disse que nunca aceitaria... ele ao mesmo tempo que diz que quer cuidar de mim ele não me procura... não liga... não fala mais nada sobre sua vida... mente muito... mas diz que quer continuar a me ver como amante.... ele já foi deletado de minha vida hoje.. não quero mais ser usada em nome de uma luxúria.. e mesmo que ele me amasse jamais aceitaria dividir.. porque não me dividiria também. Respeito todas as religiões .. mas ver seus segdores usar e deturpar ensinamentos sagrdos é vergonhoso... depois ele me disse que para namorar comigo eu tive que fazer a pergunta para que ele não traisse suas esposas... do jeito que ele fica na net acho que ele está doente... tem problemas mentais e usa sua crença e os principios para sassiar uma necessidade fisiológica.... hj vejo que fui vitima... e o pior é que se fosse tão importante para ele este ritual de perguntar... falar valor.. e período que iria durar o acordo ele teria honrado com o pagamento ( foi simbólico ).. mas ele desconversa quando cobro o 1 dólar... então fico a pensar.. ele não honrou com sua palavra.. sua postura... e suas atribuições como muçulmano.. só quis se divertir com mulher brasileira e colocar seus casamentos e filhos e religião como uma pre´desculpa para se afastar.
    fico triste em saber que há pessoas que se dizem muçulmanas pensarem e agirem assim.. mas hj estou feliz por ter acontecido isso, pois Deus me afastou de algo que poderia se tornar um grande problema.

    (Editor's note: rough software translation:)

    Olá to all. I am brasielira, 42 years, divorced and without children, I entered in net to understand more on islâ and Muslen and finished coming across itself with women with similar histories. As they know Brazil is of very liberal people loivre and, but polygamy is crime here, I knew a iraqueano and it soon it lay that he was not married and nor had children. To nanorar with it I had that to ask for in marriage and it pergutou me to it how much would cost and why period. I thought that it played and I finished entering in the trick. After some time vi that this man skirt of site of namoro and did not mark meeting with many women questioned, it and said it me that Muslim he was very virile and he had that to have 4 wives, I age one of them, since I made the question of Allan ahead… I asked if it had more wives it counted the truth to me (if it is same truth). that it had two wives and three children in Iraq (it deferred payment the 5 years in Brazil)… later me said that he was only married with the first one and that to another age alone contract… I was very sad, felt me deceived. Now said it me that I am alone loving therefore it will soon bring its two wives for Brazil. He leaves what me sad is that I was treated as a diversion and it placed allah as gozação (and it looks at that it has all the calluses in the legs of in such a way praying)… it asked to me if I would accept this condition… I I said that never I would accept… it at the same time that he says that it wants to take care of of me does not look for… does not bind to me… very does not say more nothing on its life… mind… but he says that wants to continue to see me as loving…. it already was deletado of my life today. I do not want more used being on behalf of a luxury. same e that never kneads it me would accept to divide. because it would also not divide me. Respect all the religions. but to see its segdores to use and to deturpar sagrdos teachings is shameful… later said me to it that to namorar with me I had that to make the question so that it did not traisse its wives… of the skill that it is in net I find that it is sick… has mental problems and uses its belief and the principles to sassiar a physiological necessity…. hj I see that I was victim… and worse it is that if this ritual was so important for it to ask… to say value. e period that would go to last the agreement it would have honored with the payment (he was symbolic). but it breaks off conversation when I charge the 1 dollar… then I am to think. it did not honor with its word. its position… and its attributions as Muslim. it only wanted to have fun themselves with Brazilian woman and to place its marriages and children and religion as one pre´desculpa to move away itself. I am sad in knowing that it has people that Muslen say themselves to think and to act thus. but hj I am happy for having happened this, therefore God moved away to me from something that could become a great problem. abraços Bia

    • Beatriz, thanks for writing. Please log in and write your question as a separate post, and we can advise you on your situation Insha'Allah.

      Wael Editor

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