A recent news report I read tells of a Kuwaiti women finding out that her husband has taken a second wife without informing anyone of that decision. A secret kept for over 8 months is exposed by pure chance when the woman telephoned a local hotel for ordering pre dawn meals Suhoor as it is the holy month of Ramadan. She requested the hotel to ensure early delivery and the hotel employee asked her for telephone number for verifying the address and to avoid confusions and she promptly gave her husband’s mobile number. This number was already registered in hotel’s system with the address and the hotel employee started reciting the address against this number and the woman realized that this was a different address and not that of her home so she jotted it down after giving the correct address for delivery.
This Kuwaiti first wife later went to the address and rang the bell of the flat and she found that the door was opened by an expatriate woman (non Kuwaiti). She then asked the expat woman the name of the flat owner and when she got her answer her worst fears were confirmed that her husband had married again without discussing about this with her or any other relatives. The expatriate woman stated that she was legally married to the man after meeting him 8 months back in a shopping mall. In a fit of anger she assaulted the expatriate woman verbally as well as physical and the neighbors had already called the cops. Both women we taken to the police station and the husband was summoned to the police station to resolve the issue. The report does not mention what happened thereafter and it is left to the readers’ imagination.You can read the original news report here
This incident made me look up Google to check that if a Muslim man has the right to marry again without informing the first wife as they practice polygamy and this is what I found
Islam permits man to have more than a wife but it stipulates that certain conditions are to be met in this regard, “If a man is able to take a second wife, physically and financially, and he can treat both wives in a just manner, and he wants to, then he is allowed to do so according to Islam. Allah says, “Then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four.” (An-Nisa’: 3)
But it is not obligatory for the husband to have the consent of his first wife, if he wants to take a second wife. However it is considered it is good manners and kindness to deal with first wife in such a manner that it will minimize her hurt feelings due to husband’s action. So it’s incumbent on the husband to be kind to his wife, discuss the matter with her in a gentle and pleasant manner, and this should be coupled with spending whatever money may be necessary in order to gain her acceptance of the situation.”
I hope all is well that Kuwaiti man who was unfortunate to have been caught by his first wife in an unusual way.