Question:

[1] Sometimes people do have some marriage in the past and they end up having a divorce. Now when the same people try to go out to find another spouse for themselves they hide the fact that they were married to someone in their past. Is this allowed to hide earlier marital relationships that could not continue so that one can get a better wife ? Is this haram ? Because some one may view it as a hidden defect which if they get tp know later can this annuul the marriage ?

[2] Also the same happens with engagements . People who were engaged to some one earlier and their engagement could not materialize to a marriage end up hiding the fact they were engaged earlier while looking for potential spouses. Again is this allowed ? Or is it haram ? Hoow would one categorize these two acts in terms of Makruh / haram / Mubah etc.

Answer:

All praise is due to Allah.

Jazakumallahu khairan for your question.

The scholars state that it is forbidden (haram) to lie and conceal facts about one’s self from a potential spouse if they are asked about them. If this is done by either party, and the other party decides to go ahead with the marriage because if it, it could be grounds for an annulment later on. Muslims are required to be honest in their dealings.

Shaikh Ibn Jibreen says:

“The man is not obliged to tell his wife or her family that he is already married (or was married) if they do not ask him, but that is not usually concealed. Marriage cannot be done except after a period of researching and asking on the part of both spouses, to ensure that they are suited to one another. But it is not permissible to conceal anything. If one party lies and on the basis of that the other party decides to go ahead with the marriage, then the latter is given the choice. If he says that he is not married and he is lying, then she is allowed to have the marriage annulled. If they say that she is a virgin and that is not the case, then he has the choice of going ahead with the marriage or of leaving her.”

The exception to this rule is if one is asked about one’s past for which one has made full Tawbah. In this case, it is not obligatory to expose what Allah has concealed.

May Allah grant us from our spouses and offspring the coolness of our eyes, and make us foremost examples for the righteous.

And Allah knows best.