She Married An American Man Who
Announced His Islam, Then He Stopped Praying And
Denied That Allah Created The Heavens. What Should She
Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I am a Muslim from a Gulf state and am
married to an American man. He declared his Islam when
we married, but now he does not pray and he does not
want to talk about anything that has to do with Islam.
I have four children and I have taught them a little,
but he does not care about anything and he has
committed zina. He tells me that I do not mean
anything to him at all and he no longer comes close to
me. I teach my children the Qur'aan and how to pray,
but they asked me: Why do we pray and our father does
not pray? One day we sat with my daughter's husband
and my husband, and I found out that my husband does
not believe that Allah is the one who created the
heavens and the earth. I am very afraid to take the
decision to divorce because I do not work. My family
said to me: You are the one who made this choice, so
live your life and decide what is best for you. I have
tried a great deal to advise my husband, but he
refuses to respond. I have been trying for a year. I
know that you will say to me: Why have you decided
now? Because I am very worried about the anger of my
Lord. I hope you can help me. I weep night and day. I
want guidance and the pleasure of my Lord. Please help
Praise be to Allaah.
We ask Allah to make things easy for you and to give
you a way out of hardship and relief from distress.
It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to remain
married to a kaafir, because Allah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"O you who believe! When believing women come to you
as emigrants, examine them; Allaah knows best as to
their Faith, 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"
Although the scholars differed as to whether the one
who does not pray is a kaafir or not, they did not
differ as to whether the one who denies that Allah
created the heavens and the earth is a kaafir.
If a Muslim apostatises, his marriage to his Muslim
wife is rendered null and void. If he comes back to
Islam, then their marriage is reinstated, but if her
‘iddah ends and he is still insisting on apostasy,
then she is now in charge of her own affairs and may
marry someone else if she wishes. Based on that, if
your husband persists in his ways, then the marriage
between you is annulled according to sharee'ah and you
are no longer his wife.
You have to strive to get out of this marriage by
whatever means, either by talaaq or khula' or
Beware of making the children a barrier between you
and leaving this man.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah
have mercy on him) said:
Many women -- Allah forbid -- are prevented by the
presence of children from seeking annulment of
marriage. This is a serious matter. It should be said:
Annul the marriage; it is not permissible you to stay
with this kaafir who does not pray. Your children will
never leave you so long as their father is like this.
He has no guardianship over them, because the kaafir
can have guardianship over a believer. "And never will
Allaah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph)
over the believers" [al-Nisa' 4:141]. So you and your
children cannot be separated. As for this husband,
there is nothing good in him. You should forsake this
kaafir husband and it is haraam to let him be intimate
with you; this is a great evil. End quote.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti' ‘ala Zaad al-Mustaqni', 12/250
We advise you to take your case to the Islamic centres
in your country and to the Muslims, and ask them for
help. They know better than us how to deal with this
problem, as they are present in that country.
We criticise your family's attitude towards you. We
understand from your question that you chose this
husband and chose to live with him without your
family's approval. This was a great mistake on your
part, and you have paid the price for that, but that
does not mean that your family should abandon you.
Keep getting in touch with them and ask good and wise
people among your relatives to mediate between you and
them so that they will help you and stand beside you
during this difficult time.
You should understand that what is happening to you
now is the result of previous mistakes, among the
greatest of which were getting married and travelling
without your family's approval, then choosing to
reside in a kaafir state rather than living in a
This is the price for living in that doomed land.
You have to try to leave that country without delay,
and go back to your family and your country; take the
children with you and bring them up in Islam, teach
them to memorise the Book of Allah, instead of them
seeing the bad example that prevents them from
following the true path.
Hence it is right that you should weep night and day
for how you have ended up. But weeping does not
achieve any benefit. So hasten to do something and
strive to change this situation, by annulling the
marriage contract and not letting him be intimate with
you, and by returning to your family and your country.
We ask Allah to make things easy for you and to
protect your religious commitment and to make your
And Allah knows best.