Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, December 25, 2000


Assalamu Alaikum Bilqis,

I found your page very interesting.

I have a question and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

I am corresponding with a brother who wants to have a second wife and who is a convert. He is an African-American. He is married to his first wife legally according the laws of the United States of America. As we all know that the laws there do not allow men to practice polygamy, the only solution that he suggested to get me there where he lives was to get the marriage license from the present wife to obtain a citizenship for me to the States (in other words, to divorce his first wife only in the eyes of the law, and marry me legally).

We have been corresponding for the last seven months and this is the only way for us to be together. My question is, is it correct what this brother suggested that he will do (Insha'Allah)? Also I am confused because he does not even have any idea so far whether his present wife will give it up for the sake of me and to please him. I can't forget him him or give up this whole issue. We have seen each others pictures and we call each other evry week. I think we both have become very close without our knowledge, only by talking to each other over the phone. He is very serious about this. But sometimes I feel that he is ignoring me. When I reach him while he is at home he does not sound the same way as when I call him at the office. It is like he is having two faces. When I call him at office he sounds great and talks to me freely but not while at home. Tell me what to do, before I go mad???

Jazak Allah Khairan!!

- Miss Disappointed


Dear "Miss Disappointed",

I think you know the answer to your question! If you are already experiencing disappointment and uncertainty about this situation from a distance, it is likely to only get worse. This is not the way to approach marriage in Islam. You should have a guardian (walee) to protect your interests and safety, you should know about this brother's character (i.e. whether he is an upright and practising Muslim) and some idea of what kind of husband he is to his first wife. You should also know about his ability to financially maintain more than one household, and whether he has knowledge of the Islamic guidelines for a polygamous marriage as well as making yourself aware of Islamic Law on this subject.

I must say that from your letter I get a bad feeling about this situation. A situation that is based on lies and untruths can only end badly. You mentioned that when you speak with him at home he seems uneasy. This could mean many things. Perhaps his first wife is unaware of his plans, or perhaps she is against his plans for another wife; either way you should know the true nature of the situation before you become involved so that you can make an informed decision. I would strongly discourage you from doing something illegal in order to get married because you could possibly end up at the mercy of the American legal system.

You didn't say much about your current living situation, but going into an unstable situation such as this doesn't seem like a good solution for any other problems you might be having. I would suggest you go about seeking a Muslim husband in the proper way. Get a guardian and strive to find a brother you know more about and can meet. There are many Muslim brothers seeking a wife, so this is not the only brother you can develop feelings for and marry, I am sure. When going into a marriage you should feel good about the prospects for a long and happy marriage and not disappointed and uneasy as you now feel. Don't accept less than what Allah (saw) has given you a right to. And Allah knows best!

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials