June 21, 2019
For years, U.K.-based Umm Abdullah al-Hasanat and her husband Abu Abdullah Hasanat projected the image of a pious Muslim couple. Both are also Instagram influencers — Umm Abdullah has over 500,000 followers while her husband Hasanat has over 800,000 followers. But over the past few weeks, a photo that revealed that their marriage was polygamous — a controversial topic among Muslims — has led to a flurry of allegations of fraud and abuse.
The couple usually posts photos of themselves together in playful and affectionate poses. They’re not shy about displaying their love publicly. In many short videos, Hasanat recites the Quran to his wife, and she looks back adoringly. They preach about marriage and Islam and share photos of their two young children. They also sell products like Yemeni honey and operate a ruqyah business — the exorcism of jinn possession. The couple’s strange dichotomy of normalcy and otherworldliness kept people watching.
But on June 11, 2019, Umm Abdullah posted a picture of her husband with Sister Sarrah on Instagram. Sister Sarrah had appeared in her Instagram before, but as a friend and colleague in ruqyah. In the photo, Umm Abdullah revealed that Sister Sarrah is actually Hasanat’s second wife. She followed the post with a photo of the three together. “The truth is we will never know which one’ [sic] the favourite wife is because he says the same thing to both of us 🤔,” she captioned.