She Became Muslim But Her Husband Did Not; Is It Allowed For Her Not To Stop Living With Him Because Of His Poor Health And Her Financial Situation?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I have been a Muslimah for the past 6 years,
alhamdulillah. I came to Islam after almost 20 years
of marriage. My son who is 11 years old is also a
Muslim. I am bringing him up under the teachings of
Islam. However, his father is not a Muslim and I know
that according to Shariah Law my marriege was broken
from the moment that I took my shahadah. HIs father
does not practice any religion and he does not want to
learn about Islam. We still live in the same house but
we stopped sharing the same bed for a long time.We
dont have intimacy at all. My son's father is also a
disable due a car accident years back. We share the
same house but I deal with him more as a caregiver. I
think many times about living this house so I could
have more freedom to practice my religion,including
wearing the hijab when I go out with him, but I don't
have the courage to leave him because of his condition
and I also can't support myself. My parents are poor
and I don't have much education and I also worry about
my son. Please send me an advice concerning this
situation and tell me if is a major sin for me not to
go out with a hijab with my husband when he forced me
not to do it. I wear the full hijab all the time when
I am alone, but once I stepped out of the house with
him, he tells me to removed it.
Praise be to Allaah.
We praise Allah for having blessed you with Islam, and
we ask Him to make us and you steadfast in adhering to
His true religion.
If a woman becomes Muslim and her husband refuses to
become Muslim, she is not permissible for him because
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"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"
Al-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The words of Allah, "They are not lawful (wives) for
the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful
(husbands) for them" explain the reason why it is
forbidden to send them back. This indicates that a
believing woman is not permissible for a kaafir and
that if the woman becomes Muslim she must leave her
husband. End quote.
Fath al-Qadeer, 5/301
So it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to remain
married to a kaafir under any circumstances
whatsoever. Rather they should be separated as soon as
she becomes Muslim, then she should wait until her
‘iddah ends. If he becomes Muslim during the ‘iddah,
that they remain married, but if the ‘iddah ends and
he has not become Muslim, she becomes irrevocably
divorced from him and she may marry someone else if
she wishes, or she may wait until he becomes Muslim.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What
is indicated by the ruling of the Prophet (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him) is that the marriage
is suspended. If he becomes Muslim before the end of
her ‘iddah, then she is still his wife, but if her
‘iddah ends, then she may marry whomever she wants, or
if she likes she may wait for him, then if he becomes
Muslim, she is still his wife without any need for a
new marriage contract. End quote.
Zaad al-Ma‘aad, 5/137
As you say that you became Muslim six years ago, you
became irrevocably divorced from him a long time ago.
So you have to leave him immediately and it is not
permissible for you to stay with him under any
circumstances. And you have to seek forgiveness and
repent to Allah, may He be exalted.
It is not permissible for you to serve him and take
care of him when Islam has separated you, especially
since he -- in addition to being a disbeliever --
hates religion and despises hijab and tells you to
take it off. How can you feel that you and your
religious commitment are safe when you are with him?
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked
about a Christian woman who was elderly, as was her
husband. She became Muslim but he did not, and there
was no sexual relationship between them. Is it
permissible for her to stay with him or should the
marriage be annulled?
If a Christian woman becomes Muslim and she is the
wife of a Christian man, the marriage contract is
annulled. Based on that, it is not permissible for her
to stay with him even if they are old and have no
sexual relationship. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 19/16-17
The fact that you are poor and have no work does not
make it permissible to you to stay in the same house
as a non-Muslim man. Think positively of Allah, may He
be exalted, for He is the One Who says (interpretation
of the meaning):
"Allaah will grant after hardship, ease"
Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This is glad tidings to those who are in difficulty,
that Allah will grant them relief from their hardship
and take away their difficulties. End quote.
Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 871
And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him,
He will make a way for him to get out (from every
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never
could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah,
then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will
accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a
measure for all things"
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him)
debated with a Christian scholar until the truth
became clear to him, but he refrained from entering
Islam on the grounds that the Christians venerated him
and he said: I do not know any trade and I have not
memorized any Qur'aan or grammar or fiqh. If I become
Muslim I will go around the marketplaces begging from
people. Who could agree to that? Ibn al-Qayyim said:
That will not happen! How can you think of Allah that
if you give precedence to pleasing Him over your whims
and desires He would humiliate you and make you in
need of others? Even if we assume that that will
befall you, what you have attained of truth and
salvation from the Fire and from the wrath and anger
of Allah will be the most complete compensation for
what you have lost. End quote.
Hidaayat al-Hayaara, p. 119
Your son should treat his father kindly and serve him
and help him as much as he can. That is his father's
right over him, even if he (the father) continues to
follow his present religion. Strive to call him to
Islam, for that will be better for both of you, so
that the family will not be divided. Tell him that
Islam forbids you to stay with him, and that there is
no solution to this problem except his becoming
We ask Allah to guide and help you all.
And Allah knows best.