Of Apostasy On Marriage Before And After Consummation: He
Used To Miss Some Prayers...
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
If a person apostatises from Islam -- Allah
forbid -- and then comes back to Islam before the end
of the ‘iddah period and without anyone knowing about
this matter, does his wife become permissible for him
without renewing the marriage contract? Does this
count as one divorce (talaaq)? If he had not
consummated the marriage with his wife and he
apostatised -- Allah forbid - - does his wife become
irrevocably divorced from him straight away regardless
of whether he comes back to Islam?.
Praise be to Allaah.
If the husband does or says something that implies
apostasy from Islam, such as reviling Allah (may He be
exalted) or reviling His Messenger (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) or denying something that
is well known to be a basic matter of Islam -- if that
happens before consummating the marriage, then the
marriage is annulled straight away.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If
one of the spouses apostatises before consummation of
the marriage, the marriage is annulled according to
most scholars. But it was narrated from Dawood that
(marriage) is not annulled by apostasy, because the
basic principle is that the marriage remains as it is.
But Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives"
[al-Mumtahanah 60:10] and "send them [believing women]
not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful
(wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers
lawful (husbands) for them" [al-Mumtahanah 60:10]. The
difference in religion means that intimacy is not
permissible, which inevitably means annulling the
marriage, as is also the case if a woman becomes
Muslim whilst married to a kaafir.
End quote from al-Mughni, 7/133
It apostasy occurs after consummation, should they be
separated immediately or should separation be delayed
until the end of the ‘iddah?
There is a difference of opinion among the fuqaha'
The view of the Shafaa‘is, and the correct view
according to the Hanbalis, is that if he comes back to
Islam before his wife's ‘iddah ends, then the marriage
remains as is. If the ‘iddah ends before he comes back
to Islam, then separation takes place and he cannot go
back to his wife except with a new marriage contract.
The view of the Hanafis and Maalikis is that apostasy
means that they must be separated immediately, even if
that is after consummation of the marriage. See: al-Mughni,
7/133; al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 22/198; al-Insaaf,
8/216; Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 5/121; Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj,
7/328; al-Fataawa al-Hindiyyah, 1/339; Haashiyat al-Dasooqi,
Some of the scholars say that if he repents after the
‘iddah ends, he may go back to his wife if she agrees
to that and she has not married someone else.
See: Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,
p. 279, as well as the answer to question no. 21690.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him)
said: To sum up, one of three scenarios must apply in
the case of the husband who gives up prayer:
(i) If that happens before the marriage contract is
done, the marriage is not valid and the wife does not
become permissible thereby.
(ii) If that happens after the marriage contract is
done and before the marriage is consummated or the
couple spends time alone together, which would make
the ‘iddah obligatory, the marriage is annulled as
soon as he gives up prayer.
(iii) If that happens after the marriage was
consummated or the couple spent time alone together,
which would make the ‘iddah obligatory, it depends on
whether the ‘iddah has ended or not. If he repents and
begins to pray before the end of the ‘iddah, then she
is still his wife, but if he does not do that, then
when the ‘iddah ends, the marriage is annulled from
the time he apostatised -- Allah forbid. In that case,
if he comes back to Islam, (according to some
scholars) he may take her back if he wants or
(according to other scholars) he may not. There is a
difference of opinion among the scholars concerning
this issue. End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb.
The annulment that takes place because of apostasy is
not regarded as being talaaq (divorce) according to
the majority of fuqaha'.
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (7/34): If one of
them apostatises before the marriage is consummated,
then the marriage is annulled immediately and neither
of them can inherit from the other.
If that occurred after the marriage has been
consummated, the Shaafa‘is say -- and this is also
narrated in one report by the Hanbalis -- they should
be separated until the end of the ‘iddah. If he comes
back to Islam before the ‘iddah ends, then the
marriage remains valid, but if he does not come back
to Islam, the marriage is annulled with no divorce (talaaq)
Abu Haneefah and Abu Yoosuf said -- and it is also
narrated in one report by the Hanbalis -- that the
apostasy of one of the spouses annuls the marriage
immediately, and that does not count as a talaaq
divorce, whether it occurs before consummation or
The Maalikis said, and this is also the view of
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah: If one of the spouses
apostatises, the marriage is annulled with an
irrevocable divorce (talaaq). End quote.
And Allah knows best.
He used to miss some prayers – does
he have to renew the marriage contract?
We live in a society where prayer is neglected
to a large extent. I grew up praying, praise be to
Allaah, but I did not care sometimes if I prayed Zuhr
on time or I made it up with ‘Asr, for example. I also
missed some prayers at some points in my life, as did
my wife. After we got married, this continued for a
while, then we decided to repent to Allaah and now,
praise be to Allaah, we offer all the prayers
regularly on time. What is worrying me and making me
feel that this deed is not rewarded is the view of
some scholars, such as Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on them) that
the one who does not pray out of laziness or
carelessness is a kaafir and apostate, and they quoted
evidence for that from the Qur'aan and Sunnah, even
though there are scholars such as Shaykh al-Albaani
(may Allaah have mercy on him) who say that it is a
lesser form of kufr. Even though I feel that this is
the right opinion, I am afraid that I may be wrong,
and I want to follow the view of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
so that I can put an end to doubt, but this involves
several things, some of which I can do and some I
cannot. They are:
1 – My wife and I doing ghusl for entering Islam and
uttering the Shahaadatayn. This is something we can
2 – We need to renew the marriage contract, because it
is regarded as invalid. My question is: how can we do
this? Do we need the wife's wali (guardian) and two
witnesses? How can I tell my wife's father about this
and bring witnesses? This would be very difficult for
my wife's father and he may reject this idea or remain
angry about it for the rest of his life, so I can
never renew the marriage contract and the problem will
get worse and worse. Also I cannot be certain that the
witnesses always prayed regularly from the time they
reached puberty until now. If I follow the view of
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him), will
I be regarded as falling short? Do I have to make up
the missed prayers even though I do not know how many
they are, or can I offer more Sunnah and naafil
prayers? How should I make them up? Can I pray ‘Asr
for today, for example, then pray Fajr, Zuhr and ‘Asr
for the past days, or should I offer every obligatory
prayer that I missed at the time of that prayer?
Please advise me, may Allaah reward you with good,
because I am very confused and it is almost killing
me. I do not want my good deeds to go to waste and I
do not want to die a kaafir, Allaah forbid.
Praise be to Allaah.
The difference of opinion among the scholars
concerning the ruling on one who does not pray out of
laziness is justifiable. But what is indicated by the
sound evidence is that he is a kaafir. For more
information on the evidence please see question no.
If the one who does not pray repents and prays, then
he has come back to Islam and he does not need to
repeat the Shahaadatayn.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on
him) said: As for the one who does not pray sometimes
and does not make them up and does not intend to make
them up, or he misses some of the obligatory parts of
the prayer and does not make them up or intend to make
them up, many of our companions ruled that he becomes
a kaafir thereby… Then when he prays again he becomes
a believer, as is indicated by the words of the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
"Whoever misses ‘Asr prayer deliberately, his good
deeds will be lost." And he (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever misses a prayer
deliberately is no longer under the protection of
Allaah." End quote.
He also said: If he prays after stopping praying, he
comes back to Islam from apostasy, and his prayer is
valid, unlike the one who was originally a kaafir,
whose prayer is not valid until after he says the
Shahaadatayn, because the kufr of the former is due to
failing to do something, and if he does it he comes
back to Islam. In the case where a person's kufr
results from rejecting (some of the obligations of
Islam), if he then accepts and affirms the obligation,
then he rejoins Islam.
If it is said that in cases other than this, the
apostate's return to Islam is not valid unless he
utters the Shahaadatayn, no matter what form his
apostasy took, the answer is that it is because he
denied something, so he must speak words of
affirmation, starting with the Shahaadatayn, which
implies accepting everything else. But in this case
(the one who does not pray), he accepts that it is
obligatory, so all he needs to do is to do it in order
to rejoin Islam. End quote.
Based on this, your saying "thus I am still a kaafir
and Allaah will not accept any deed from me" is
incorrect, rather your having repented to Allaah and
your performing the prayers mean that you are no
longer a kaafir, and the one who repents from sin is
like one who did not sin at all.
You do not have to renew your marriage contract,
unless it was done when one or both of you was not
praying, in which case you have to renew it.
But if the prayers were missed after you got married,
you do not have to renew the marriage contract,
because if one of the spouses apostatizes then returns
to Islam during the ‘iddah period, then the original
marriage contract is still valid and they do not need
to repeat the contract. Some scholars are even of the
view that the original contract is still valid even if
he comes back to Islam after the end of the ‘iddah, so
long as they both agree to come back. This is the
correct view. For more information on that please see
question no. 21690.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him)
was asked: What is the ruling on a married woman
staying with a husband who does not pray and he has
children from her?
If a woman is married to a man who does not pray in
congregation or at home, then the marriage is not
valid, because the one who does not pray is a kaafir,
as is indicated by the Holy Qur'aan and the Sunnah and
the views of the Sahaabah. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Shaqeeq
said: The companions of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not regard the
omission of any deed to be kufr except prayer.
It is not permissible for a kaafir to marry a Muslim
woman because Allaah says (interpretation of the
"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"
If he stops praying after getting married, then the
marriage contract is annulled, unless he repents and
comes back to Islam. Some of the scholars limited that
to the end of the ‘iddah; once the ‘iddah ends then it
is not permissible for him to go back to her if he
becomes Muslim, except with a new marriage contract.
The woman has to separate from him and not allow him
to be intimate with her unless he repents and starts
to pray, even if she has children from him, because in
this case the father does not have custody of the
children." End quote from Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam, p.
This applies if he has stopped praying altogether. But
if he misses some of the prayers, then some of the
scholars do not regard him as having become a kaafir
thereby. This is the view of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn
Taymiyah and Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on
him). And some of the scholars say that the one who
misses a single obligatory prayer deliberately until
the time for it and the time for a prayer to which it
may be joined is over, becomes a kaafir thereby, such
as if he delays Zuhr until the sun sets. But if this
person who has missed an obligatory prayer starts to
pray again before the ‘iddah is over, he comes back to
Islam and his marriage continues.
Your question does not suggest that either of you
stopped praying for a long time that would include the
‘iddah period, rather at the most you did not pray
sometimes, then you went back to praying. This means
that the marriage contract is still valid, as stated
It seems to us from your question that you do not have
to renew the marriage contract.
Firstly, because when you did not pray, you did not
stop praying altogether, rather you missed some
prayers, and this does not constitute kufr according
to many scholars, unless one stops praying altogether.
Secondly: This missing some prayers – even if we
assume that it is kufr – was for a short time during
which the ‘iddah could not have ended, and going back
to prayer before the ‘iddah ends does not invalidate
the marriage contract and it remains valid as it was
before missing prayers.
If a person stops praying then repents from that, he
does not have to make up the prayers that he missed,
according to the more correct view, but he should do a
lot of naafil acts of worship and good deeds, because
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents,
believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in
worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and
then remains constant in doing them (till his death)"
For more information on that, please see the answer to
question no. 91411.
We ask Allaah to guide us and you.
And Allaah knows best.