Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Converted to Islam but still married to my Christian husband

I am almost 4 yrs separated with my husband.

When I came here to Abu Dhabi, I decided to become Muslim.

mosque and church on the same street

Is marriage to my Christian husband automatically void?

Now that I am muslim, what will happen to my marriage with my Christian husband? Are we automatically divorced because of the ruling on Muslim women not being able to be married to a non-Muslim man?

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35 Responses »

  1. assalamu alaykum dear sister mashlah you have embraced this pure and true religion islam,no your not automatically divorced infact you were never married to him because one is only married if he marries the islamic way the rest are just papers and simple words but when you are a muslim and you get married its a pledge to Allah so i suggest you inform your so called husband that you are muslim and try to give him advice to convert tell him islamically your not lawful to him if he wishes to convert seperate from him and then then let him come and propose islamically then get married islamically THEN YOUR MARRIED FOR REAL 🙂 but if he refuses sis then you have got to be strong divorce him lawfully and make dua and move on with life just remember being a muslim is the best gift.

    • Nadheerah, you need to be careful about the advice you are giving. It's not correct to say, "you were never married to him because one is only married if he marries the Islamic way." That is a very strange statement. Are you saying that all the Christians, Buddhists and Hindus who are married are not really married? That does not make sense and has no basis in Islamic law.

      Wael Editor

  2. ok forgive me sister as you can see my brother has just corrected me.ok so wael what advice would you give this women? because she became muslim,so they are still MARRIED " right" ?

    • im speaking of islam here islamically there is no such thing as a non believer married to a non believer right? let me give you an example of what i meant as people tend to read things and take it in the wrong way,look example islamically there is no such thing as drinking alcohol and saying its halaal right? well christians drink alcohol does that make it halaal for them? coz they are christians NO islam is the final religion weather you like it or not alcohol is just haraam ok weather a jew a christian etc. so non believers being married ? never heard of that.

  3. This is the ruling given by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

    Praise be to Allaah.

    As soon as a woman embraces Islam and her husband refuses to do likewise, the marriage is annulled and it is not permissible for her to live with him. But she should wait out the length of the ‘iddah period. If he embraces Islam, she may go back to him and the previous marriage contract is still counted as valid, but if he does not embrace Islam before the ‘iddah is over, then they are no longer married. If he subsequently embraces Islam and they want to get back together, a new marriage contract must be drawn up. It is not permissible to continue the marriage on the basis of being kind to him.

    Majma’ al-Fiqh al-Islami (Islamic Fiqh Council), p. 43.

    The children should follow the Muslim parent, so try your best to get custody of them. May Allaah help us and help you by His kindness and mercy.

    If you want to know what is iddah, then visit:

  4. Assalamu Aleikum,

    I don't think it's helpful to answer you from a jurisprudential perspective. You have feelings and emotions

    for this man and you share an emotional and physical bonding with him as your husband. It is not

    very sensitive to say things like: The contract is void, file for divorce etc. Maybe you have children and

    they need a mother and a father. If he accepts your conversion and doesn't put obstacles in your way

    in practising the deen, well, that's fine. Sometimes converts approach me and say: Am I still allowed

    to approach my parents,to talk to them or do I have to break off ties with them? No. You have to show

    an akhlagh which is 100 000 times better than your normal akhlagh to make them love Islam and

    convert. Did you know that one of the funniest and coolest Sheikhs of Islam( I'm not sure if he's a

    Sheikh, but definitely cool), Yusuf Estes, used to be a Catholic priest and converted because his

    daughter became Muslim? Akhlagh can change a lot, and even if they don't convert, you're the

    ambassador of Islam and have to be endlessly patient and loving.

    I would me more loving and caring towards my husband than usual, show him the beauty of Islam

    which caters for the spiritual, physical and jurisprudential.

    Be a wonderful wife and maybe he becomes Muslim as well. If he's Catholic, I'm sure there r many

    liberating aspects in Islam he would love.

    I know many marriages in which the wife is Muslim and the husband is not. Depending on religiosity

    and attitude, some of them are very happy marriages.

    At the end of the day, you have to decide what to do. Masha allah the brothers and sisters have

    provided you with the jurisprudential knowledge, but you still have a heart.

    You're not like the rabbit in the battery advertisement who walks and walks and walks and can be switched

    off at any time. You're a human being with feelings and emotions and should be treated like that.

    I wish you good luck, congratulations for embracing Islam.

  5. Assalamu alaikom,

    Sis. Jannah, I'm not sure what you mean by your first sentence. How can it not be helpful to answer from the view of Shari'a? This is divine law not the guidance of man! If this sister wanted secular advice she could have called in to Dr. Laura or sought out a therapist. This is an Islamic website is it not? So it goes without saying that advice would be given in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

    That being said, it's true that she has feelings and emotions like everyone else, but this does not trump the decree of the Most High and His Messenger. Rasulillah sall Allahu 'alaihi wa salaam addressed this himself, when asked about the ruling on theft:

    "By Him in Whose Hand is my life, even if Fatima daughter of Muhammad were to commit theft, I would have cut off her hand." Sahih Muslim 17/4188

    He makes it clear here that there is no room for sentimentality or emotion when it comes to obeying Allah subhana wa ta'ala. She shares an emotional and physical bonding with him as her husband, but it is clearly NOT permissable for her to remain with him beyond the period of 'iddah if he has no intention of accepting Islam. It doesn't matter if he accepts her conversion and doesn't put obstacles to her practicing the deen. It doesn't matter if other marriages of this sort are happy marriages, they are still unlawful unions. The ruling is VERY CLEAR in regard to Muslim women being married to non-Muslim men, as outlined in previous posters' replies.

    As Muslims we should always love our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves and want for them what we want for ourselves inshaAllah. That means that we should be concerned with their Hereafter just as we are concerned with ours. We help them in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.

    The advice that you are giving this sister, though well-intentioned, is actually very harmful advice, because you are encouraging her to follow her own desires instead of obeying Allah SWT and His Messenger. "It is not fitting for a believing man or believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided on a matter, to have any choice in their decision. If anyone disobeys Allah and His messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path." Surat al-Ahzab 36

    If she decides to resume marital life with him without him accepting Islam, the sin will be borne on her. As you said, it's up to her. She has to be the one who decides whether or not she can bear Allah Azza wa Jal's punishment in the Hereafter. May Allah make things easy for her ameen.

    • Salaams Khadija,

      I agree with you 100%. This is one of those occassions where a God fearing Muslimah would have to sacrifice her love for her non Muslim husband (or automatically ex husband now) for the sake of Allah.

      Of course she will be upset, but that does not change the Law of Allah. On becoming Muslim, a woman can and should continue to show love to her non Muslim parents, because that relationship will remain for always and it is halaal. But the husband wife relationship is fragile. If the man does not accept Islam, he becomes haraam for her. It is very clear.

      It is not clear what type of relationship the sister has with this man or whether she even wants to resume one. But I do think she needs to explain her predicament to her husband/ex and should seek guidance from a qualified imaam about how to interact and deal with him during the iddah period.

      SisterZ Editor

  6. Assalam Alaykum,
    what about children? I was in similar situation, I converted to islam and divorced, but court awarded my children to their father. Meanwhile, I married a muslim man, alhamduillah. But my children do not want to live full time with me (they are 13 and 17). They know, if they move in with me, they have to follow my rules, which is the way of Islam. They prefer to be with their father, because he allows for things i would not.
    It is heartbreaking......all I can do is pray and ask Allah to bring them to me and follow Islam one day, Inchaa Allah...

    Inchaa Allah, you will get your children, sister

    • Walaykumsalaam Shenaz,

      InshAllah may your children be guided. I guess all you can do is be a good example of a Muslim to them when they are with you. You have more of a chance to show them the purity of Islam that way, rather than if you had continued living as a confused Muslim with your ex non Muslim husband.

      I am sure it is difficult and frustrating for you, be gentle with them and make dua that Allah softens their hearts towards Islam soon.

      SisterZ Editor

    • Hi Sis,

      I think you can help me please, I converted to Islam and I am married before with christian husband, we separated for almost 6 years. How can I get divorced from him? I already filed annulment in Philippines but I think u r aware with the law in Philippines. It is taking so long. I want to have a new life again and get married in future but how can I get divorce? please help me, I will wait for ur answer.

  7. hi, i am a christian living in dubai married with a christian man but I .....

    (Question deleted by Editor)

    • Kharen,

      Please log in and submit your question as a separate post. Thank you.

      SisterZ Editor

      • I'm fatima converts already in Muslim 1 yrs and I already go in omrah I'm married before but 5trs seprtd I hve lover he want to marry me my question how he marry I don't hve annulment paper in my x Christian husband pls need ur help ..Allah hafiz

        • Salaams,

          If I'm understanding your question correctly, this is a similar situation to the one given by the OP. If you read the responses given here, you can apply it to your sitatuion as well. However it's always adviseable to consult a local scholar for final clarification before proceeding in any direction.


  8. i was converted muslim 2 yrs ago by marrying also a converted to muslim man..i do not kmow anything abt islam ways and i just marry him because of love...and now were planning to go back to christian.. what will happen to our islam marriage?is it still legal?thank you..

    • anna, if you leave Islam, your marriage to your Muslim husband will be immediately void. It will no longer be valid and you will no longer be husband and wife. Before you make such a drastic decision, why don't you study about Islam? You might find it to be a beautiful and true religion.

      Wael Editor

  9. elo fellow people.. i would like to ask something..
    (Question deleted by Editor)

  10. i am a muslim and my husband is christian, and i have a new born baby and we want to process his birth certificate but the hospital they required us to convert my husband in muslim, so please help us what to do and how about our baby, my husband dicide to convert muslim already. please tell us where we will go.

    • rhea,

      I don't if you married your husband without knowledge that you as a Muslim were not allowed to marry a non Muslim, or you knew about it.

      It was wrong on your part to do so. The sexual relations you had were also haraam. Now that you know, repent to Allah and let your husband accept Islam, after he is convinced that it is the only correct religion. You can approach a Masjid and talk to the Shaikh, ask your husband to inform them that he wants to become a Muslim. They will do the rest.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  11. ...

    [Editor's note: Please submit your question as a new post for publication rather than as a comment on an existing post. That way it can be published and answered in turn, inshaAllah.]

  12. hi have a nice day

    i hope you will help me.. Im a christian and im married to islam converted he was christian before and he married to a christian girl before i get married him he was already converted to islam isnt my married to him is valid? and what happen to a girl he married before to a christian??
    hope you help me...
    thank you

    • raygene, if you married him properly, meeting the conditions of marriage in Islamic law, then yes, you are married. As for the woman he was married to previously, did he divorce her? If not, then they are still married as well, which means you are his second wife.

      Wael Editor

      • hi sir thankyou for the answer
        sir but his past wife is now already converted to islam also what happen there married in christian???
        my husband not divorce her becouse we married in islam ?her first wife is when he christian before

        have a nice day

        • sir incase her first wife on her past married in christian that the girl is now islam also what case he file to my husband? and what my husband right todo in court as if did happen.becouse he converted to islam before he marry me?? hope you help me sir

  13. Selam Aleykum-

    It was narrated by ‘Umar bin al-Khattab that if a woman became a Muslim while her husband remained non-Muslim: he ruled, “If she wishes, she may leave him or if she wishes, she may remain with him.” Also, there is an authentic narration from ‘Ali bin Abi Talib: “If the wife of a Jewish or Christian man becomes Muslim, he is entitled to remain her husband, since he has a covenant with the Muslims.” Similar views are authentically-narrated from Ibrahim al-Nakh’i, Imam Sha’bi and Hammad bin Abi Sulayman.

    Today we live in a time of Fitnah and many scholars make judgments rulings not based on islam. During the time of the prophet (pbuh) if one converted in the marriage it was not mandatory the the marriage dissolve.

    Please read about the old caliphates and their rules/laws as they practiced a much clear/true Islam.

    • I had almost completed a long reply to this with several references, and my computer crashed. So I'll summarize and say that the opinion you have given is a minority opinion. And even then these scholars say that she can stay with him only if he does not restrict her practice of Islam, and if there is hope of him converting. If he restricts her practice of Islam, or if there is no hope of him converting, then there is no scholar who says she can remain with him.

      The majority opinion, held by all four madhhabs, is that when the woman converts to Islam and the husband does not, there is an grace period of three months during which he has time to consider converting as well. During the grace period the woman can stay with the husband or she can leave. That is the meaning of the quotations you referenced.

      At the end of this grace period, if he does not convert, the marriage is automatically nullified.

      If you think about the purpose of marriage in Islam, you will see the wisdom behind this. Marriage is of course for love, companionship and procreation. More importantly, however, it is a union of two people striving together for the pleasure of Allah. They raise their children as good Muslims, thus creating the future generation of the Ummah. They support each other on the path of Islam, and encourage each other to strive for Jannah.

      This is not possible with a non-Muslim. In fact, it's usually just the opposite. The non-Muslim partner inevitably slows the Muslim's practice of Islam in many small ways. And because in most cultures the husband dominates the family, he can make it very difficult for the wife to practice Islam fully.

      Wael Editor

      Wael Editor

  14. What if the husband converted to islam and the wife remain christian what's the status of their civil marriage?

  15. I want to convert to islam but I'm legally married to a christian man, we're civil married, can I file a divorce when I get to islam?

    • Islamically, once you convert to Islam there is a grace period after which your marriage to a non-Muslim man is automatically dissolved. As far as your civil marriage, however, I can't answer this without knowing where you are from and what the laws are there. If you are from the Philippines, for example, there is no civil divorce and you will either have to secure an annulment or proceed through the Islamic courts.

      Wael Editor

  16. how about my husband convert to muskim in saudi bit where separate long time but jot divorce or annull...can i get married again coz my husband is a muslim now

  17. Salaam!
    My question is very clear but difficult to solve for me.
    One Catholic / Christian lady is not involved with husband in sexual life since last 4 years. Now she became Muslim Alhamdulillah but she don't want live with Non Muslim Husband anymore.
    Now how can she get marry with another Muslim man if still her husband is not agree to leave her even she is not with him anymore?
    How can she leave / get divorce him?
    Please explain very clear.
    Can she marry muslim man now without getting divorce from christian / catholic husband?
    Can she give him divorce?
    what is best way to get free from christian husband?

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