Q. I married the second time without getting a divorce from the first husband. We fell apart and decided not to see each other anymore, but he didn’t give me a talaq. In half a year I married another man. After that I became unsure whether the second marriage is valid.
So I found my first husband via internet and told him that I married the second time. After that he gave me the talaq.
I don’t know now whether my second marriage is valid and whether my second husband and I need to perform one more nikah.
(Questions published as received)
A. If your first husband did not issue a Talaaq to you, your marriage with him remains intact regardless of how long the separation period may have been. This means that when you had married the “second husband”, you were actually still married to your first husband. Hence, the Nikah with the “second husband” was not valid and you are currently living a life of adultery. You should immediately separate from him, make sincere Taubah for this and beg Allah for forgiveness from the bottom of your heart.
Now that your husband has issued you Talaaq, you should observe the Iddah which will be three complete menstrual cycles if you are not pregnant. If you are pregnant, your Iddah will be till childbirth. Once your Iddah is complete, you may make Nikah to the person who you refer to as a “second husband” if you wish. Without observing the Iddah and performing a new Nikah, it will not be permissible for you to be with him.
And Allah Knows Best
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians