Question 6: Some women come to the office (of Da`wah (call to Allaah)) seeking Islaam, while they are still married to non-Muslims. It is known that the marriage of a Muslim woman to a Kaafir (disbeliever) husband is prohibited. Should these women be informed of this before or after pronouncing the Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith)? Especially that this ruling may lead to their hesitation in embracing Islaam or backing away from it depending on when they are informed of this. What is the opinion of Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) on someone who says that a woman should not be informed of this until she becomes deeply attached to Islaam, claiming that staying with a non-Muslim is Haraam (prohibited), but her apostatizing from Islaam or rejecting it is Kufr (disbelief), thus in this case, the greater evil is to be warded off by a lesser one represented in the staying of a Muslim woman with her kaafir husband to ward off her apostasy or rejection of Islaam. I hope that your Eminence would clarify the Shar`ee (Islaamically lawful) ruling in this case.
Answer: If a woman embraces Islam while her husband is a Kaafir, it becomes impermissible for her to stay married to him, due to the Saying of Allaah (Exalted be He): …then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them.... read more here.