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Abu Dhabi: A Saudi husband was surprised by a message he received on his phone, that a court hearing had been scheduled regarding a khula (divorce) suit filed by his wife, although there had been no signs of troubled marriage.

Khula is a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam, by returning the dower (mahr) or something else that she received.

When confronted his partner, he discovered that she had done so because he married another woman, but what added to his shock was that she had known about this since the beginning of his marriage to her co-wife.

In Islam, polygamy is allowed, but is not mandatory, as a remedial measure for specific circumstances that may arise occasionally. There still needs to be a sense of justice. If a man wants to marry more than one wife, he must ensure that he will treat all his wives fairly. He should not love nor favour one more than the other. If this isn’t possible, a man should stick to one wife, according to Islam.

On the set date, each of them appointed a lawyer, and the spouses attended the hearing, which was held remotely, next to each other in the living room, after the wife made coffee.

Yasser Al Haramleh, lawyer and co-founder of Mashar Advocates and Legal Consultants, revealed that the husband felt such a shock that he believed in his heart that the message was a mistake, as there was no disagreement between him and his wife. Rather, harmony was the dominant feature of their relationship. However, he later got another message from the court, including the details of the hearing and the statements of the plaintiff.

“His shock increased after it was confirmed that the plaintiff was indeed his wife, who, in her lawsuit, was demanding a divorce from her husband. This called him to confront his wife, and ask her why she demanded khula. The wife surprised him that the reason was his marriage to another woman, and she put forward two options: to divorce her or the co-wife,” Al Haramleh said.

Al Haramleh said the couple had been married for more than 10 years, and they had four children, and it was not a secret to the wife that her husband had married another woman. Rather, she was aware of this since the beginning of his marriage with her co-wife.

He added the wife decided not to confront him, but preferred to put her husband before the fait accompli, by surprising him with this lawsuit.

The husband said he married another woman because God blessed him and his sources of income increased, and he was able to marry and be fair between the two wives.

The case ended by mutual consent and reconciliation between the spouses, as the husband presented an amount of money to his first wife in exchange for the case to be withdrawn, the lawyer said.