I am a recent revert to Islam. I was married before I reverted, to a man that is not a Muslim, although he believes in monotheism. What is the Islamic ruling on this?

I do not think Allah would let me marry this man to get a divorce within a year. My husband treats me well. I think the Quran says to practice the law in the land in which you reside. He is my legal husband, does that not make it law to follow the Quran and stay married instead of breaking up a new happy family?

  • Maybe you should try to convince either him or yourself. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 4:10

2 Answers 2


Welcome to Islam, you will soon witness the beauty of the religion, the peace and tranquility it brings to you and please don't be disappointed by the indiscipline among majority of its followers, we're trying, make supplication for us.

Known (Sunni) Shari'a Point of View

I will try to explain the shari'a point of view (links are included in the text but may also refer to other parts) According to the following Verse of Quran:

O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah ; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

[Surat Al-Mumtahana(60:10)]

A woman who converted to islam shouldn't stay (return to her) with a non-muslim Husband. This means she should reject having intercourse with him and they should be divorced after the waiting period. This is the clear Sunni point of view as we find in the Quran a Verse which explains this duration:

O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period, and fear Allah , your Lord. Do not turn them out of their [husbands'] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality. And those are the limits [set by] Allah . And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter.

[Surat At-Talaq(65:1)]

Now during this time you could try to convince your husband to convert to islam with all you can. As the scholars also, say if one of married couple convert to islam and the waiting period passed and the other also became muslim that their former husband/wife is the best to keep, this means their marriage is still acknowledged and they can live together as before as husband and wife. therefore in an islamic country a Judge would either divorce you after the waiting period or confirm your marriage. During the time of the waiting period no muslim man can marry you even if islam is regarding your conversion as a reason for divorce. But afterwards (legally from a shri'a point of view but you must have been divorced) it is possible.

In a long Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari you also find that O'mar ibn al Khatab divorced two of his non-muslim wifes after the revealing of the Verse (60:10).

So far this are the known shari'a point of views which end that a woman would be separated/divorced after her waiting period (3 months) if she converts and her husband didn't. But one must take into account that these rules where made for converts who converted in dar al-islam which nowadays means they converted in a muslim country!

Here are some related Fatwas in Arabic as an Addition:

Dar al-ifta' al-Massriya



Situation for converts in non-muslim countries

For a converted woman who lives in a non muslim country one should take into account her situation and maybe look at some not that popular fatwas about the matter we can find that Sheikh al-Qaradawy quotes that ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziya counted 9 different opinions here just 3 of them revealed in the article:

  1. We can find that 'Omar ibn al Khatab (May Allah be pleased with him) as quoted by ibn al-Qayyim that he gave a former christian woman, which converted but didn't leave her non muslim husband (and homeland?) the choice between leaving her husband or staying beside him, Sheikh al-Qaradawy interprets the narration as even they will stay together as husband in wife with all meanings of the matter (including intercourse!).
  2. An other Narration mentioned by ibn al-Qayyim from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) said that she could stay with him and wait for him to convert but she shouldn't let him make possession of her (having intercourse) this was the favorite opinion of ibn al-Qayyim and ibn Tayymiya.
  3. A 3rd Narration quoted by ibn al-Qayyim from Imam az-Zuhari (May Allah be pleased with him) says that they could stay toghether until a court ( i guess he this means: an islamic court) or a higher authority separates them!

These 3 Opinions are valid as in (60:10) the converted woman left their non-Muslim husbands in Mekka Mekka (ard-al-Kufr) and came to Medina (ard al-Islam) to a Muslim community/country! So if (only) the wife converts and leaves her husband to a Muslim country the situation will change and the former fatwas should be applied!

A point which is stated by Abu al 'ala' al Mawdodi is: That if the Marriage itself is regarded as invalid in islam they would be divorced automatically: For example a woman who married a mahram.

Abu al 'ala' al Mawdodi added that in any case the woman should reject having intercourse with her (non-muslim) Husband and after the waiting period she could choose still to wait for him or to leave him. As from a shri'a point of view her marriage is still valid but considered as made temporary inactive! And he -in case she wants to separate- advises to do a legal divorce!

These statements are based on an article which reports some discussion in the European Council For Fatwa and Research.

Additions and Conclusion

  • I know from a shi'i friend that his sister married a christian (all living in Germany) with a kind of contract. But i don't know the details and the situation here is different and the story seems to be a special case which might not be accepted by scholars as one may conclude from the answers of shi'a brothers on What's the stand of Islam on a Muslim woman marrying a non-believer??

  • According the Sunni point of view nikah al-Muta' is haram because it has a touch of zina and it is considered as abrogated!

Therefore i can only suggest to make your effort to convince your husband to become a Muslim and hope you will succeed.

And Allah knows best!

  • Firstly I appreciate your nice detailed response. Secondly regarding a part of conclusion "a shi'i friend that his sister married a christian with a kind of contract" ; totally according to Shia(& I reckon Sunni), it is not permissible for a woman to get married a christian, hence their marriage is invalid. Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 6:16
  • Unfortunately, many of Muslims (Sunni, Shia) have not complete info. concerning Islam laws, then they do many practices wrongly, then it would be a wrong and negative propaganda... as a result many people assume that the real Islam laws (Sunni,Shia) is like that (in different fields I mean). Thanks again for reminding me to mention such a matter. / a related link about marriage (Shia view): islamquest.net/ar/archive/question/fa885 Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 6:21
  • @SEYYED___ALIالسید____علی thanks for your helpful comments. I edited a part of the answer and maybe this won't be may last edit!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 10:59
  • i doubt that the first fikh decision is correct. because the ayat is about women who run away from their husbands, so they already expressed their disagreement for their marriage. but in case there is no disagreement, this ayat does not apply, and 60:8 looks like applying to that case.
    – qdinar
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 12:49
  • @qdinar I didn't know you were a scholar and more knowledgeable than the quoted authorities.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 14:09
              In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful

@Kathryn, I observe what your feeling is, and as a general rule it would be hard to ignore the current condition. But you ought to pay heed that a Muslim ought to perform the orders of Islam (if s/he intends to be in Jannah as a good Muslim…), and actually reaching success requires endeavor and occasionally observing such the orders even though are not our favorites.

On the other hand, it is not allowed for a woman to get married to a non-Muslim man according to Shia view (and I assume the view of Sunni is like that too). Then it ought to be left.

And eventually let me make it more explicit. You and me as two Muslims chose Islam, since we trusted and trust it. E.g. imagine that there is a glass of drink which is quite tasty, but your father (as a/the person who you trust him) tells you avoid drinking it, since there is some poison in it; As a result, you’ll definitely leave it although it is completely tasty. But why do you leave and forget it? Because you trust your father’s words and you are aware that your father wants the best things for you.

At the moment, your issue can be considered as the example above. It is true that there are some nice and interesting things in this marriage, but there are many negative points that Allah prohibits it 100%.


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