Date : 07-11-2017

Question :

I have two wives and used to accommodate each in a separate house. After I was laid off from work, I couldn`t afford to keep each in a separate house, so I rented one house and gave each a separate room with separate facilities. What is the ruling of Sharia on that?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

In principle, Islam requires the man who has more than one wife to treat his wives equally and fairly. Each should be kept in a separate house, reflecting the social status, the practiced custom and the financial ability of the husband. Therefore, he isn`t allowed to keep them in one accommodation without their previous agreement since it causes harm due to the Ghirah(A feeling of great fury and anger when one`s honor and prestige is injured or challenged). Al-Imam Al-Ansari said, "He should accommodate each in a suitable residence with separate facilities, and even in separate rooms that have separate facilities. Therefore, it is forbidden that he accommodates them in the same residence with the same facilities, even for one night, save with their previous approval so as to prevent disagreement."{Asna Al-Matalib, 3/231}. This view was adopted in article (75) of the Jordanian Civil Status Code where it was stated, "The husband doesn’t have the right to accommodate his two wives in the same residence save with their previous approval."

However, if the husband was in a hard up, then it is permissible that he accommodates his two wives in one house provided that each is given a separate room to go about her daily life conveniently until his financial situation becomes better. Almighty Allah said, "Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what God has given him. God puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, God will soon grant relief."{At-Talaq, 7}.

We recommend the afore individuals to fear Allah and be patient because with hardship comes ease. And Allah knows best.