Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, August 28, 2000


My Dear Bilqis,

I am soooooooo confused and depressed in my life right now. I am with man who is Muslim. To my shock and despair I find out after 9 years that he is married and did not enlighten me to that fact. I am not a Muslim, but Muslim or not it is a very dishonest thing to do. It baffles me how he got away with not telling his wife also.

My question is this, he says we are already married and that I am to him his second wife. I asked him, do we need not then to get married? And his response was that his parents and wife would not allow it so he cannot have a ceremony at my request, but we are already married, IS THIS TRUE OR NOT????

- Confused



Dear Confused,

You have every right to be upset about your situation for several reasons. If this man is a Muslim he should be telling you the truth, especially about something as important as marriage. Also, there are specific requirements for an Islamic marriage and whether you are a Muslim or not, if he is a Muslim he must have an Islamic ceremony. Also, he can only marry either a Christian or a Jew (i.e. a woman of the "People of the Book"), a woman whose religion is also monotheistic.

The primary requirements of an Islamic marriage are:

  1. Mutual agreement by the bride and the groom.
  2. Two adult sane witnesses.
  3. Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately or deferred, or a combination of both.

The secondary requirements of an Islamic marriage:

  1. Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride.
  2. Written marriage contract signed by the bride and the groom and witnessed by two sane adults.
  3. Qadi (Muslim judge) or Ma'zoon (a responsible Muslim person) officiating the marriage ceremony.
  4. Khutba-tun-Nikah (sermon) to solemnize the marriage.

This and more information can be found here at For example, in the Articles and Essays section see Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony by M. Mazhar Husseini.

If the above requirements have not been fulfilled, a marriage does not exist. Based upon your brief description, it would seem that he has been misrepresenting the situation to you. If he wants you to be his second wife then he must still fulfill these requirements. Truth is a very important part of being a Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said that a Muslim cannot be a liar. Truth and falsehood cannot coexist.

I hope you can resolve this matter soon and within Islamic guidelines. May your example of Islam improve and illustrate to you Islam in its true form. I would encourage you to begin to read as much as you can on the religion of Islam. You can begin here at and other good websites such as IslamiCity with the abundance of information provided for you.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials