Married with two wives, and gifting the wife who bore a child

Reference: Fataawa Mu’aasirah – Pages 83-84;
Liqaa.aat al-Baab al-Maftooh – No.1361

Question: A man has two wives, and according to our custom, the wife who gives birth to a child is to be given a gift, once her postpartum bleeding ceases. So is he [Islaamically] required to give both his wives a gift [each] when one of them gives birth, or is he only required to give a gift to the one who gave birth?

Response: In principle, he is not required to give anything to the other [wife] who did not give birth. Just as the other wife who did not give birth, when she does so, then he is to give her a gift, without giving a gift to the other one.

And [the principle is one of] maintaining justice and equality between the two in giving.

This means, when he gives the first one who gave birth a hundred [riyals, (for example)], then he is [also required] to give the other a hundred [riyals] when she gives birth.

And he is not required to give [any gift] to her before she gives birth.

However, if he fears some problems [may arise], then I am of the opinion that if he gave both of them [a gift each] everytime one of them gives birth – in order to prevent any problems, then that is better, and is considered from the aspect of [maintaining] harmony.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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