To estrange the wife from her husband in order to marry her is forbidden in Islam. The majority of jurists maintain that the contract of marriage concluded after her divorce from the first husband is valid, but the act is unlawful. The Maliki jurists hold that the contract is null and void.

In this regard, Dr. `Ugail Jasem An-Nashmi, professor of Shari`ah in Kuwait, states the following: This act is known in Shari`ah as takhbib, meaning to estrange a wife from her husband in order to marry her. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) disowned those committing such a sin saying, “He is not one of us who estranges a wife from her husband or the wife of his slave in order to marry her” (Reported by Abu Dawud).

As for the legal ruling on such a marriage, the Maliki jurists maintained—and if I were to adjudge this I would maintain it also— that the second contract is to be repudiated, whether the marriage was consummated or not, and the first husband can have his wife back if they want. If the first husband divorced her later or died, then this person could marry her.

As for the penalty due to this act, it is a discretionally disciplinary punishment fixed by the judge. Here, it could be imprisonment for a certain time; he is not to be released until he repents sincerely.

Besides being a grave sin, this act comes under the major sin of striving after corruption in the land. The society must be purged from such people. Undoubtedly, social education has a great role in this respect, exactly as the serious role of mass media.

Moreover, the eminent scholar Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states the following: It is clearly forbidden to love a married woman because this will occupy her mind and heart, and spoil her marital life. Eventually, this may lead to cheating and perfidy. If not, it will disturb lives, confuse minds, and result in marital discord. Actually, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) disowned those committing such a sin: “He is not one of us who estranges a wife from her husband to marry her” (Reported by Al-Baihaqi in As-Sunan Al-Kubra).

Similarly, it is forbidden for any woman to love a man other than her husband, to occupy her mind with him and turn away from her husband. This may lead to illegal things such as the forbidden gaze, seclusion and touch, and all these acts may in turn lead to what is more dangerous and grave—adultery or even the intention to commit it. If this did not happen, it still could result in confusion, disturbance, stress, and marital discord without any reason or necessity except following one’s lust, which is the worst god that has been worshiped on earth.

The Qur’an relates to us a story about a woman who loved a young man other than her husband. This love led her to many things totally refused by morality and religion. This woman was the wife of the high minister of Egypt and the young man was Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him). She tried all means to seduce him. She openly solicited him and she would not hesitate to cheat her husband if only she had the opportunity. But the chaste Yusuf resisted her ardent desire; thus she engineered his imprisonment and strived to dishonor him and abase him. She said to her compeers of the elite ladies of the city: (This is then he whom you blamed me for. Indeed, I did solicit him, to have him, but he resisted. And if he does not do what I command him, he shall be imprisoned, and he will surely be of the abased) (Yusuf 12: 32).

Actually, this behavior is blameworthy, but this woman may be somewhat excused because it was her husband, not she, who bought Joseph and brought him to the house. Consequently, he was constantly present before her eyes as her slave by custom and law, and he was bestowed with unique charm and handsomeness.