Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, May 24, 1999



salaam alaykom,

I need some advice and don't know who to ask. Maybe you can help. I am a Palestinian from Lebanon, married to a wonderful woman, with six children, alhamdulillah. I left Iraq two years ago because the circumstances of life there had become extremely difficult. My family lives in a refugee camp outside Beirut. There was no work for me there, and I could no longer support them.

I came to the United States illegally with the intention of finding a way to attain citizenship or residency status, and bringing my family here. I am now working and earning a decent income. But the only method I can figure out to accomplish this is to marry an American woman.

Let me make it clear that I love my wife more than anyone in the world. She and I have a long history together. She has been with me through thick and thin. I feel that her destiny and mine are roped together, and nothing can come between us. If I marry a second wife to get residency, there is no way she can be equal in my heart to my first wife. I will be good to my second wife, I will support her, and if the relationship is good, alhamdulillah, I will keep her. But if it's not so good, then perhaps a few years down the line when I have my papers, I will divorce her. Of course I cannot tell her the real reason behind the marriage, since no woman would accept this.

Is this really so bad? I will marry her in good faith, with the intention of keeping her and supporting her. I'm really in a desperate position, I feel there is no other solution. If I go back to Lebanon, I will be consigning myself and my family to a life of poverty and misery. Or I could stay here and work, and be separated from my family for many years, until the children don't even remember me. The alternative, to marry an American woman, seems harmless by comparison. What do you think?

-Desperate in L.A.



Dear Desperate in L.A.,

I can sympathize with your feelings of desperation. I'm sure being away from your wife and children is very difficult. However, you must find another way to bring them here.

In Islam, temporary marriages are forbidden. This is based on sound hadith (traditions of the Prophet, pbuh). Also, U.S. Immigration laws would consider this illegal. There are Arab and Islamic groups that could perhaps assist you in finding a legal way to bring your family here (see the links below). I would suggest you pursue their help.

In the meantime, may Allah strengthen you and assist you in bringing your family here soon.


LIST OF MUSLIM RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS: This page, courtesy of the MSA, lists dozens of organizations which may be able to help you. Contact them and explain your situation.


Immigration & Notary Services 1811 W. Katella Avenue, Suite 211, Anaheim, CA 92804 (714) 491-0748 Fax: (714) 352-6787 Muslim Matrimonials