The marriage contract of two married non-Muslims who enter Islaam

Question 9: A Christian man accepted Islaam and became a true Muslim, and his wife also accepted Islaam with him. He studied the matters of religion thoroughly, learnt the Qur’aan and mastered it. When the people saw his efforts in Islaam, they took him as an Imaam (the one who leads congregational Prayer). However, they doubt the validity of his leadership, as he has not renewed his marriage contract, having been married with a contract written according to Christian standards. Does Islaam acknowledge the contracts that were written before it?

Answer: If a Kaafir (disbeliever) and his wife accept Islaam, whether Christians or otherwise, they do not have to renew their marriage contract; their former contract is acknowledged... read more here.

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Validity of marriage when the spouses enter Islaam

Question 8: I know a 24-year-old man who was Christian, but Allaah guided him to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, and he embraced Islaam in Egypt. He is an Egyptian and he has now left his parents, his wife, and his 3-year-old child, and traveled abroad in pursuit of a better future. However, he receives letters from his mother and sends her some money, saying that it is a way of maintaining the ties of kinship. Is it permissible for him to be in touch with and support his Christian mother, when he is Muslim? The brother also asks about returning to his wife, if she agrees and she accepts Islaam. If he does, should there be a new marriage contract or is the contractthey first made sufficient? If she refuses to accept Islam, but agrees to live with him, is it permissible for a Muslim man to be married to a Christian woman? What is the consequence on the children, are they Christians or Muslims? He insists that he will marry a Muslim woman if his wife refuses to embrace Islaam. We are trying to convince him to return to his wife for the sake of his child as they have now been separated, without a divorce, for four years. Please advise us and may Allaah guide you and reward you with the best!

Answer: First, A son supporting his disbelieving mother is Waajib (obligatory); he has to be a good companion to her and be dutiful to her and maintain kind relations with her as far as he can. Allaah (Exalted be He) says (what means)... read more here.

A Muslim woman remaining married to a non-Muslim husband

Question 7: Your Eminence, a woman phoned me from Lebanon. She told me that she was a Christian, but that Allaah had opened her heart to Islaam. She belongs to a religious family that is fanatical about its religion. The woman said that if her husband knew about her acceptance of Islaam he would kill her in a terrible way. She has started to give up the symbols of her Christian faith, such as wearing a cross, wearing short dresses, and drinking Khamr (intoxicant). However, there are certain things that she is afraid to give up otherwise she will be killed, such as marital relations with her husband. The woman says that if she is driven out of her house, she will die, because she does not have anyone there that she can turn to after Allaah. All the members of her family and the people in her village hate Islaam with a vengeance. She is married and has three married daughters, who have stopped visiting her at her home, because she has taken her cross off from around her neck; so how much worse it will be if they know about her Islaam. The woman states that it is extremely difficult for her to perform Salaah (Prayer), but she will try to combine two Salaahs in secret when her husband and family are not around. Dear respected Shaykh, how will she observe Sawm (Fasting) in Ramadaan? The woman is suffering greatly and in deep trouble. She has two options, either to remain with them and return to Christianity or to abide by the teachings of Islam in secret, but she still has the problem of the marital relations with her husband; this is the major obstacle as she is afraid of being killed. Please, advise us and may Allaah reward you well. This is an urgent matter. May Allaah protect and guide you and benefit the Muslims through you.

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to remain as the wife of a non-Muslim husband and it is not Halaal (lawful) for her to have marital relations with him. Allaah (Exalted be He) says (what means)... read more here.

A Muslim convert remaining with a non-Muslim husband

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.

Circumcising a Muslim convert

Question 5: What should a Christian man do if he wants to embrace Islaam? There are controversial matters such as the fact that his marriage contract is based on his previous religion’s rulings, he has a number of children and whether he has to be circumcised bearing in mind that he is 35 years old. What are the priority issues he should first be taught?

Answer: First, He has to know and understand the meaning of the Two Testimonies of Faith. He thus has to be taught that Jesus is Allaah’s servant and messenger. Moreover, the six pillars of faith have to be made clear to him as well as the other pillars of Islaam each at its respective time... read more here.

Ruling on a Muslim woman remaining with a non-Muslim husband

Question 4: What is the ruling if a Christian woman whose husband is Christian converts to Islaam and wants to marry a Muslim man? What is the Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) ruling on this?

Answer: If a woman married to a non-Muslim man converts to Islaam, she is prohibited to be his wife and they should be separated. However, the elapse of her `Iddah (waiting period) has to be taken into consideration. If the `Iddah is over before he converts to Islaam, a minor irrevocable divorce will take place as Allaah (Exalted be He) said... read more here.

Is it lawful for a wife who enters Islaam to inform her husband?

Question 3: An Indonesian Christian woman who had come to Berlin, in West Germany, for a special task she is entrusted with by the government of Indonesia, converted to Islaam. The woman belongs to an influential family which has good connections with President Suharto. Moreover, her husband is an official in the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and Security. In Shaa’ Allaah (If Allaah wills), through her conversion to Islaam, being an intellectual and influential woman, she will prove to be useful to Islaam and Muslims. However, the dilemma is that Her husband is a Christian bigot and thus she cannot declare her conversion to Islaam. Until now, no one knows about her conversion except us (7 people only). Nevertheless, she intends to tell her husband and children about her conversion to Islaam in her own way so that she can call them to Islaam. Your Eminence Shaykh, I do not know what to do in this regard knowing that Allaah prohibited that a Muslim woman be married to a non-Muslim man and that such a woman has to leave her husband immediately after her conversion to Islaam. On account of her being a new convert to Islaam, I do not think she can enforce such an Islaamic ruling and I fear that she may go back to disbelief. Furthermore, she does not belong to an ordinary family. Had she belonged to an ordinary family, leaving the husband would have been easy. Therefore, I ask you about the issue and want, if possible, a fatwaa’ from Shaykh Ibn Baaz. May I postpone ordering her to leave her non-Muslim husband until her belief gets stronger? Or, what should I tell her?

Answer: She has to tell her husband about her conversion to Islaam and that she is now prohibited to be his wife until he embraces Islaam. If he embraces Islaam while she is in her `Iddah (waiting period), she will remain his wife without the need to contract marriage anew. However, if he converts to Islam after the `Iddah is over, he may marry her anew through a new marriage contract provided that she shows her consent and all Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) conditions are met... read more here.

Someone entering Islaam while married to women unlawful to marry

Question 2: Here in Sri Lanka some Kaafirs (disbelievers) have accepted Islaam, especially Buddhists, but they stay married according to their former religions. One might be married to his niece and they have children. In such a case, we cannot separate them. What should we do?

Answer: If both spouses accept Islaam together, and they are married in a way that is impermissible in Islaam, they must be separated at once, such as a couple who accepts Islaam while the wife is her husband’s niece... read more here.

Wife embracing Islaam before her husband

Question 1: A Christian woman who is married to a Christian man has embraced Islaam but he has not accepted Islaam yet. They are old now and no longer have sexual intercourse; is it permissible for her to remain with him or should the marriage contract be cancelled? How long should her `Iddah (woman’s prescribed waiting period after divorce or widowhood) be? What is the ruling on the Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom)? Is it permissible for him to take her back if he embraces Islaam?

Answer: If a Christian woman embraces Islaam while married to a Christian man, the marriage contract becomes invalid, and she is to give back the Mahr she received. Allaah (Exalted be He) states: …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. But give them (the disbelievers) that (amount of money) which they have spent [as their Mahr] to them.... read more here.