If a Muslim man is incapable of caring for his first wife and children, the Quran forbids him from marrying another woman: Allahabad High Court.

In the case of, Azizurrahman v. Hamidunnisha @ Sharifunnisha (FIRST APPEAL. No. 700 of 2022) the Allahabad High Court has stated that a Muslim man must abstain from getting married a second time if he is unable to care for his wife and children, underscoring the fact that bigamy is forbidden by the Holy Quran unless a man is capable to treating orphans fairly. All Muslim men are required under the religious law of Sura 4 Ayat 3 of the Quran to treat orphans fairly. After that, they are free to marry up to four women of their choosing, but only one if they are afraid that they won’t be able to treat them fairly. According to the aforementioned command of the Holy Quran, a Muslim man cannot marry another woman if he is unable to care for his wife and children, the Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Rajendra Kumar-IV noted. The Court made this statement while rejecting an appeal filed by a Muslim man who was contesting the family court’s decision to dismiss his lawsuit for the restoration of his first wife’s conjugal rights (respondent).

Facts: It was admittedly the case of the plaintiff-appellant/husband that he got married a second time without telling his first wife (the defendant/respondent). Nevertheless, he wanted to live with both of his wives, and since the first wife refused to live with him and share his consortium with another woman, he filed a plea asking for the restoration of conjugal rights. After listening to both sides, the Family Court rejected the husband’s plea, He filed the instant plea to appeal this order and made a move to the High Court.

Judgement: In dismissing his appeal, the High Court made the particular observation that the plaintiff-actions appellant’s amounted to cruelty to his first wife because he had entered into a second marriage while concealing this information from her. Given the circumstances, the Court additionally concluded that the first wife cannot be forced to join her husband plaintiff appellant in a lawsuit for the restoration of their conjugal rights if she does not choose to do so. According to the defendant-respondent/wife, there would be a violation of her fundamental rights protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution if the plaintiff-appellant/argument husband’s for the grant of a decree of conjugal rights is adopted, the Court stated. Significantly, the Court cited Sura 4 Ayat 3 of the Holy Quran to emphasise that according to Quran, bigamy is not sanctified unless a man can do justice to orphans, who in the present set of facts are the respondent and her children. This was done in light of the fact that the husband had married again while the lifetime of his first marriage, leaving behind children born out of the said marriage. All Muslim men are required to treat orphans fairly in accordance with the Holy Quran’s directive, which was highlighted above. If he can’t treat the orphan fairly, a married Muslim man who still has his wife cannot wed another Muslim woman. The Court stated in dismissing the Husband’s appeal that “a mandate has been issued that in such circumstances a Muslim man needs to avoid himself from performing a second marriage, if he is not capable of fostering his wife and children.”

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