I was a Christian and I became Muslim. I got married to a Muslim girl. If I return to my religion (Christian), is my marriage still valid?


1 Answer 1


No it doesn't, because the marriage of a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim man is not lawful:

فلا ترجعوهن الى الكفار لا هن حل لهم ولا هم يحلون لهن

do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them

Quran 60:10

Similarly the marriage of a Muslim man to a non-Muslim woman is not lawful:

ولا تمسكوا بعصم الكوافر

And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women

Quran 60:10

Note: While marriage of men to original Jewish\Christian women is permissible, but an apostate who adopts or returns to Judaism or Christianity is not counted as being from that case. See What evidence is there that a Muslim man can not marry a chaste woman of the book if she is an ex-Muslim?

The same applies to someone who leaves Islam: the marriage will be dissolved, though some opinions in the schools will give the husband a chance to revert to Islam and retain the marriage, till the completion of Iddah:

وإذا ارتد أحد الزوجين عن الإسلام وقعت الفرقة بغير طلاق

If one of the spouses turns away from Islam (becomes apostate) a separation ending marriage occurs without divorce.

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي ; [English Translation]

وإذا ارتد أحد الزوجين انفسخ النكاح بطلاق وقد قيل بغير طلاق

If either one of a married couple leaves Islam, their marriage is invalidated and they automatically become divorced, although another opinion is that the marriage is invalidated but no actual divorce takes place

رسالة ابن أبي زيد ; [English Translation & exposition]

قال الشافعية، والحنابلة والمالكية: لو ارتد الزوجان أو أحدهما قبل الدخول تنجزت الفُرْقة، أي انفسخ النكاح في الحال. وإن كانت الردة بعد الدخول، توقفت الفرقة أو الفسخ على انقضاء العدة، فإن جمعهما الإسلام في العدة، دام النكاح، وإن لم يجمعهما في العدة انفسخ النكاح من وقت الردة

Shafis, Hanbalis and Malikis say: If a wife and husband both or one of them becomes an apostate and the apostasy is before consummation then the Nikah would be Faskh (annuled) and if the apostasy is after consummation then it will remain up-till the Iddah (waiting period) ... if the apostate reverts to Islam before the end of the period then the Nikah would remain valid. If they do not revert to Islam within the period then it will be annulled.

الفقه الإسلامي وأدلته

اتفق الفقهاء على أنه إذا ارتد أحد الزوجين حيل بينهما فلا يقربها بخلوة ولا جماع ولا نحوهما

The jurists are in agreement that if one of the spouses (husband or wife) becomes an apostate then they will be separated and the husband will not be allowed to approach her to be alone with the wife or to have intercourse with her etc.

ثم قال الحنفية: إذا ارتد أحد الزوجين المسلمين بانت منه امرأته مسلمة كانت أو كتابية، دخل بها أو لم يدخل؛ لأن الردة تنافي النكاح ويكون ذلك فسخا عاجلا لا طلاقا ولا يتوقف على قضاء.ثم إن كانت الردة قبل الدخول وكان المرتد هو الزوج فلها نصف المسمى أو المتعة، وإن كانت هي المرتدة فلا شيء لها.وإن كان بعد الدخول فلها المهر كله سواء كان المرتد الزوج أو الزوجة

Further the Hanafis say: If one of the spouses becomes an apostate then the wife will become irrevocably separated, whether she is a Muslim or a Kitabee, whether the marriage has been consummated or not, because apostasy is incompatible with marriage. And this separation will be immediate annulment (faskh), not a divorce and not subject to the judgement of a court.

Then if the apostasy happened before consummation and the apostate is the husband then the wife will get half of what was agreed upon as mahr or in its absence she will get mut'ah. And if the apostate is the wife then she will get nothing. And if the apostasy occurred after consummation then the wife will get full mahr regardless of whether the wife or husband is the apostate.

وقال المالكية في المشهور: إذا ارتد أحد الزوجين المسلمين كان ذلك طلقة بائنة، فإن رجع إلى الإسلام لم ترجع له إلا بعقد جديد، ما لم تقصد المرأة بردتها فسخ النكاح، فلا ينفسخ؛ معاملة لها بنقيض قصدها.وقيل: إن الردة فسخ بغير طلاق

The mashur view of the Malikis is that: If one of the Muslim spouses becomes an apostate then it will be counted as an irrevocable divorce. If they return to Islam then they must perform a new marriage contract, unless it is known that the woman only apostatized to cancel the marriage in which case the marriage will not be annulled so that her intended trick does not succeed. And the second saying within the Maliki madhab is that apostasy leads to annulment without divorce

وقال الشافعية: إذا ارتد أحد الزوجين المسلمين فلا تقع الفرقة بينهما حتى تمضي عدة الزوجة قبل أن يتوب ويرجع إلى الإسلام، فإذا انقضت بانت منه، وبينونتها منه فسخ لا طلاق، وإن عاد إلى الإسلام قبل انقضائها فهي امرأته

The Shafi'is say: If one of the Muslim spouses becomes an apostate then they will not be separated (immediately), unless and until the woman's iddah elapses before the apostate repents and returns to Islam. And if her iddah elapses then she will be irrevocably separated. This separation will be annulment (faskh) not divorce. And if the apostate returns to Islam within her Iddah then she shall remain his wife.

وقال الحنابلة: إذا ارتد أحد الزوجين قبل الدخول انفسخ النكاح فورا وتنصف مهرها إن كان الزوج هو المرتد، وسقط مهرها إن كانت هي المرتدة. ولو كانت الردة بعد الدخول ففي رواية تنجز الفرقة. وفي أخرى تتوقف الفرقة على انقضاء العدة

The Hanbalis say: If one of the spouses apostatizes before the consummation of marriage then the marriage will be immediately annulled (faskh). If the husband apostatizes then the wife will receive half of the mahr. And if the wife apostatizes then the mahr will be cancelled.

If the apostasy occurs after consummation of marriage, then according to one opinion they will be immediately separated, and according to another opinion it will occur after the iddah is over.

Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah

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