Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Muslim girl married to an atheist

faith, beautiful sky, sun in sky

Asalam everyone,

I am a 23 year old female who has been married for over a year. When I first married my husband he was a Muslim. He knows a lot about islam, he can read the Quran and use to pray 5 times a day. It is sad to say that he has now converted to atheisim, he still holds high moral values that are exactly like Islam but he does not pray nor fast. He has agreed to raise our kids with Islamic values (I have no kids yet and am not pregnant). He is very strict and would like me to wear a scarf (which I don't right now) and be covered by islamic rules.. the only thing is he doesn't believe there is a God.

He was a Muslim when I first married him, but now he is not. I don't know what to do now, I feel very much confused.

I really don't want to divorce him because both families will be greatly upset and I like him  (he has told no one that he is atheist and wants to keep it that way, he feels that just I (his wife) has the right to know.

Does Islam teach us to be accepting of others? and if so isn't this the ultimate test to be accepting of everyone...

I have read that it is a sin to marry a non muslim but I married him while he was muslim. I know need some advice as to what to do and how I can manage this in an Islamic way.

I feel so lost.


- confusedlife2010

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13 Responses »

  1. Dear Sister,

    I am sorry for the situation you are in. You love your husband and married him while he was a Muslim, so his rejecting his belief in Allah must be quite a shock for you. Of course you love him as you have spent years with him, however if he rejects the existence of Allah(swt) then he is not Muslim and if he is not Muslim, then he is haraam for you and you must leave him immediately (this is my understanding).

    Allah Almighty says, “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al Mushrikun (atheists) till they believe (in Allah Alone)” (Al-Baqarah: 221)

    I do feel however that your husband is extremely confused about some matters - i.e. he wants to live according to Islamic morals and wants you to observe hijaab but yet rejects The Law Maker.

    1) The solution to this issue may not be what you are hoping for, so I think firstly you must prepare yourself that whatever decision you make must be based on what Allah and the Prophet(saw) have made lawful and unlawful. The above ayah is clear evidence that a Muslim woman cannot marry a non Muslim man. Whatever decision you make after this, may have to be a sacrifice on your part.

    2) Secondly, have a very open talk with your husband about how you feel and about what Islam says. Tell him that if he does not believe in Allah, you can no longer live with him as his wife. If this fact remains the same that he does not believe in Allah, I would advise you to separate from him. If in fact you are confident that he does believe in Allah but is just confused, I would advise you to encourage him to renew his faith by verbally reciting Shahaadah 'I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammed (saw) is His final messenger'. Also see a qualified Imaam about whether your nikah is still valid or not.


    With regards to your question: "Does Islam teach us to be accepting of others? and if so isn't this the ultimate test to be accepting of everyone..." Islam teaches us to accept everything that is within Islam. It teaches us to be tolerant to people of different beliefs but it does not tell us to incorporate these non-Islamic beliefs into our personal lives. Islam is clear on this matter. It is not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non Muslim man. You do not want to hear this, but it is the truth. It is now up to you to either accept the truth or to reject it. You can either give into you nafs and emotions, or reject it based on what Allah has made lawful and unlawful for you.

    Allah promises that after every difficulty there is ease. May Allah make this easy for you. I pray I have not given you any wrong advice and hope someone else will write in to either correct or affirm what I have written. Allah knows best, so please also consult with someone who is qualified in studying/learning Allah's laws as soon as possible.

    Best Wishes,

    SisterZ Editor

  2. Assalamu Aleikum,

    I agree with Sister Z that as a Muslim , you have to accept all fundaments of the religion and you

    can't put Tawheed aside, which is the belief in God the Almighty and the Islamic principle of


    But I think that in your case, it is not a question of ideology, but an inner conflict or a confusion your

    husband is experiencing. It sounds awkward to me that he wants you to wear hijab( normally atheists

    reject a "traditional" role the female has in religions) and pray, but he doesn't believe in God.

    Maybe he's suppressing an emotional shock or a terrible childhood experience. Did he ever have

    severe problems ? Did he ever face dilemmas?

    He may be suppressing or stifling these issues and shows them in a "denial of God".

    Try to find out if he has problems at work, he seems to be frustrated or desperate. Very often, men

    show their fears or anxieties in aggression or strange behaviour. Women have the habit to talk about

    everything, either with their best friends, their mates, their families. Men often suffer from devastating

    depresssions and we even don't notice it. It could even be subconsciously, he may not even notice.

    Try to make a sensitive approach, address this issue in a sensitive way. If these efforts are fruit-

    less, you could consult an Imam, a therapist, just to sort out what the reasons could be.

    I definitely believe this is of psychological nature, because he denies one particular aspect of the

    faith, not the faith as a whole. He is neither a Mushrik nor a non-Muslim, there is something different

    about the whole thing. It has something to do with his relationship to God as an individual.

    I hope I didn't say anything inappropriate, may Allah solve your problem and your husband's problem,

    insha allah.


  3. I agree with both SisterZ and Jannah. SisterZ's point about tolerance is exactly right. Being tolerant and accepting of people with different beliefs does not mean that we compromise our religion on a personal level.

    I was going to say that this situation is quite shocking, and I have frankly never heard of a Muslim suddenly denying the existence of Allah. It sounds bizarre to me.

    But sister Jannah brought up an excellent point. Maybe there is some trauma from his past that has just surfaced. Or maybe he is clinically depressed or deeply stressed in some way and it is manifesting itself in this manner. I'm very glad that Jannah brought this up because it did not occur to me and I think she is on to something.

    What SisterZ said is correct. Someone who leaves Islam is an apostate, and under such conditions the marriage is dissolved and is no longer valid.

    But before separating, please investigate the reasons for your husband's change of faith. Ascertain whether or not he is under some stress or strain, and whether his mind is sound.

    If his mind is clear, and he is truly set on this course of disbelief in God, then your marriage is no longer valid and you must separate from him. Allah says concerning the Muslim women who left their homes and families in Makkah and migrated to Madinah for the cause of Allah:

    “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” (Quran 60:10)

    Shaykh Uthaymeen, one of the great scholars of hadith, wrote:

    "It is not permissible for a Muslim man to be married to a woman who is a kaafir and an apostate from Islam (or vice versa). If this apostasy occurs after marriage, then the marriage contract is annulled, but if she comes back to Islam before the ‘iddah ends, then she is his wife, otherwise she becomes divorced from him." - Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (13/question no. 644)

    Wael Editor

  4. Allah Almighty says, “And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al Mushrikun (atheists) till they believe (in Allah Alone)” (Al-Baqarah: 221)

    This was meant for fathers and mothers to know not to approve of their daughters marrying al mushrikun, but your case is a little different.

    Al Mushrikun:
    A polytheist; literally, "one who falsely associates (something) with God," considering it to be likewise divine. It is most often used in the Qur’ān to refer to the Meccans and other Arabs who refused to accept the monotheistic vision of Islam.

    I'm not sure being an atheist, due to a disbelief in the supernatural, is grounds alone for being al mushrikun, but even if it is, the above seems to apply to fathers and mothers not women who are already married to men who support her religious belief.

    • Assalamu alaikom,

      Br. Wael posted an ayat that covers this topic:

      "O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them, Allah 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. But give (the disbelievers) that (amount of money) which they have spent [as their Mahr] to them. And there will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their Mahr to them. Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives, and ask for (the return of) that which you have spent (as Mahr) and let them (the disbelievers) ask back for that which they have spent. That is the Judgement of Allah. He judges between you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." -- Surat al Mumtahina 10

      From this it is clear that it is NEVER halal for a Muslim woman or man to be married to a disbeliever.

  5. hi i am ali raza from lahore. i have read this all. i think you u should convice ur husband. if he doesn't understand you should give him divorce.but 1st try to convince him. your husband should listen zakir naik lectures. he is a good debater. if your husband doesn't understand then tell him to debate with zakir naik. i swear of god he cant do this. you should ivorce your husband. this is my opinion to you.

  6. Assalamu alaikum,
    Im not commenting here but just to say that Im in a similar situation as CONFUSELIFE2010. My husband converted to Islam in 1978 in mosque in a country where I studied. In 1980 He proposed for a marriage to me which I accepted. In 1986, we got married but he had to say his Shahadah again in fron of an Iman in my country for a certificaion. We have lved in my country, a Muslim one, since then. We've had 4 children from the marriage. We never discussed Islam although he never practices Islam. I had been taught in my religious school that so long as there is even the size of aevegrain of sand of faith in Islam, a Muslim will be forgiven by Allah almighty if he eventually repents. I had been hoping for him to do that and eventually practices Islam since my blood fsmily, whom we visit quite often, are devout Muslims and he is surrounded by Muslim colleagues. I myself did not practice Islam fully, I fast and prayed now and again. But since 2006, the year my mother died, I was beginning to see the light, I practice Islamic deeds more often, I even went for Umrah to Mecca. This year in the month of Ramadhan, a 19 year old son of mine died. My faith is getting stronger so that I could ask for Allah's blessing and forgiveness for my self, my dead son and my family. The sad thing is only I realize that my Muslim convert husband has become skeptical about Islam, the existence of Allah, Resurrection Day, the truthfulnessof Quran, hell and heaven, life after death. This obviously shocked me because I had been hopeful that one day he will repent and practice Islam but the opposite. I told him that if he is skeptical about Islam , he can't be married to me so I don't sleep with him anymore. He told me he is the same man he was 22 years ago. It seems that he became skeptical 3 years after our marriage which I did nt know of. I know that is very silly and ignorant of me not to know my husband's belief but my faith and hope for him to have faith and belief in Islam and to practice Islam eventually are genuine. My question is IS MY HUSBAND AN APOSTATE by being skeptical. He has said things like these -1> "heaven or hell is the state of your mind when you are about to die." -2>" Quraan was written in about 400 years, surely some words of man is included in it". These examples frightened me and make me feel more distant from him. I have consulted a knowlegeabe Ustaz that teaches Usulluddin in my college. He said, if a man has a doubt about Islam, he is not a Muslim and his marriage to a Muslim woman is automatically anulled. I told my husband about this, he told me "DO not to listen to a third party but to your own senses", "forget the Law that seperate and ruins a family". " You are crazy to leave your family". By the way, my children have not been brought up in a 100% muslim way because he does not want me to INDOCTRINATE them, my husband says that the children choose their religion in their adulthood. I do make my children fast, cover their aurat, not the headscalf yet, and teach them basic ayat Al-fatihah and Surah Al Ikhlas. I did Solat Al Istikharah twice but I do not know the sign to look for, except one morning I felt happy to leave my husband. I do feel sad because of my kids (aged 14, 18 and 22) because if my husband goes back to his non Islamic country, the children will go with them because they are holding my husband's nationality and they want to work and study there. Please help and give me guidance. I only need to know if A PERSON HAS REPEATEDLY AND LOUDLY AND CLEARLY QUESTIONS AND IS IN DOUBT ABOUT ISLAM OR ANY RELIGION IS A MURTAD OR APOSTATE. If he is, then I would not feel guilty in leaving him for the sake of my faith. for I know that this is already my fate? Is it?

    • I think that you should probably post your own question separately, otherwise your specific concerns might not be addressed.

  7. I dont understand why do all people advised her to divorce her husband?? realistic man......women generally face problem which comes from their personnel relationship or extra marital affair etc....but though this case is different but you should not leave your husband only for his belief....after all he loves you ...and hope he will always love you....he is not a criminal not a murderer not a rapist not a terrorist, he respect other, obeys all moral values....above all comment tried to says that this person finally become a just live him...shame on all these people....if we always consider non-believer sinful person then Muslim should not accept anything from non there any science or technology provided by Muslim??? if a believer suffers illness...then dont he go to doctor?? then ask doctor is it believer or non believer who invented these medicine?? when ever Muslim ride on train,plane,motorcar..just ask yourself who was the inventor??.....all people commented here Quran says this Quran says that.....what about humanity....what it says?? dear sister it is my request to not leave your husband...if really something is wrong about it... Allah of course consider you can not find love in the cost of religion or money.......listen your own words this is the matter of your personnel life...

    • Astaghferullah! How can you give this woman such horrible advice? What you are suggesting is evil and haram brother. You claim that it is enough that he is not a criminal, murderer, rapist nor terrorist, but this is simply not the case. Allah SWT and His messenger made it very clear what kind of union is acceptable for a Muslim woman, and that's with a Muslim man. Allah subhana wa ta'ala also made it very clear that when He and His Messenger sall Allahu 'alaihi wa salaam decide a matter then it is not up to us to have an opinion on the matter, we are to say, 'We submit' because they know best.

      The fact that you place the laws of humanity on a higher level than the laws of Allah Azza wa Jal is very disturbing. This is kufr of the greatest form, shirk, and I suggest that you fear Allah subhana wa ta'ala and the Last Day and repent of your error. The Qur'an speaks of people like this, people who make decisions just to make themselves and others feel better, at the cost of their faith:

      "As for those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah's Covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them, nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment. [Surat al-'Imran 77]

      This woman's husband can respect all the people in the world and obey the laws of humanity but if he denies his Rabb then he is one of the losers on Day of Judgment, and if she remains married to him after Allah Azza wa Jal has given clear instruction on this matter, then she will have to answer to Him on the Day of Judgment.

      Arif, if you are a true believer who loves other Muslims as you love yourself then you want what's beneficial to them in this world AND in the Hereafter. You should not advice a sister to follow her nafs and remain in a haram union.

      • As-salamu alaykum sister Khadija. You came charging onto our website, dispensing excellent advice ma-sha-Allah. I'm glad to have you here and I hope you will continue to contribute and remain a regular participant in our website.

        Wael Editor

      • thanks for your lets leave it for this sister.....

  8. Assalamu'alaikum,
    Bismillah...i have somewhat similar problem...difference is my husband was born a muslim but was never taught the basic love of Islam and Allah azza wa Jalla. In the beginning he was considerably somewhat involved in the islamic deeds...pray Eid or even fast for a day or 2 or okaying the kids to go to saturday school (we have 3, 11 10 and 6) but after he lost his job and staying home to take care the kids his atheism is more and more orally expressed and he refused to be involved in anything "islamic" and now that its been about 6 years I started hijab, he said I've changed and outside influences has pulled us apart...His word: either I go his way or he goes his way on his own. Am I to leave everything I know and go back to be blind again just to save my marriage?

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