Praise be to Allaah.
We advise you to adhere to Islam and adhere to its obligatory
duties such as prayer, zakaah and fasting, and to be an example to your wife
so that perhaps Allaah will guide her at your hands and you will achieve
much good thereby.
Your anxieties and fears about your children growing up as
non-Muslims – if they are born from this woman – reflects a commendable
concern on your part for your religion and the religion of your children.
Undoubtedly this good attitude is a good thing. In order to find peace of
mind you need to make a great deal of du’aa’ and ask Allaah to protect your
religious commitment and that of your children. You have to pray istikhaarah
as prescribed in Islam, and ask Allaah to guide you and help you to make the
right decision as far as your religious commitment is concerned, and choose
whether to stay with her and have children with her, or to leave her and
marry a committed Muslim woman with whom you will feel confident – by
Allaah’s leave – about your children. Be certain that whoever gives up
something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something
better than it, as is proven in the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him). You can make the most of your wife’s being
so attached to you to explain to her that if there is a conflict between
your love for her and the soundness of your religious commitment, then the
soundness of your religious commitment has to take priority. Perhaps this
will motivate her to enter the true religion of Allaah – Islam.
You should note that you cannot force her to enter Islam
without conviction, because entering the religion of Islam by force will not
benefit her, as Ibn Katheer mentioned (1/211).
See also The effects of marriage to kitaabi women (i.e.,
Jewish and Christian women), question no.
If your circumstances are conducive to your raising your
children as Muslims and protecting them from religious and moral deviation,
and your wife and her family will not be able to influence them in those
areas, then there is nothing wrong with trying to have children with your
wife, even if she remains a Christian, because having children is also the
wife’s right, and that may help her to learn about Islam and look into it as
she has promised to do.
You should try to move to a Muslim country where you will be
able to give your children a sound upbringing, whether you stay with this
wife or marry someone else, because staying in the kaafir lands is not
permissible except in cases of necessity or where it serves the interests of
the Muslims – such as staying there to call people to Allaah, or to study
and acquire knowledge that the Muslims need but is not available in their
countries – so long as one is able to practise Islam openly and call others
to Islam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “I disavow any Muslim who stays among the mushrikeen.” Narrated
by Abu Dawood, 2645; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
For more information on this issue please see question no.
In the event of a divorce, then the wife is entitled to the
delayed mahr (dowry), if applicable. With regard to accommodation and
maintenance, that depends on the type of divorce:
If a man has given his wife one revocable talaaq (divorce),
then she is entitled to accommodation and maintenance during the ‘iddah; she
may also inherit from him and he from her (if either of them dies) during
this period, because they are still married. The evidence that a woman
divorced by a revocable talaaq is entitled to accommodation is the verse in
which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their
‘Iddah (prescribed periods) and count (accurately) their ‘Iddah (periods).
And fear Allaah your Lord (O Muslims). And turn them not out of their
(husband’s) homes nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are
guilty of some open illegal sexual intercourse. And those are the set limits
of Allaah. And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allaah, then indeed
he has wronged himself. You (the one who divorces his wife) know not it may
be that Allaah will afterward bring some new thing to pass (i.e. to return
her back to you if that was the first or second divorce)”
If she does not go back to him until after the ‘iddah has
ended, then she can only go back to him with a new marriage contract.
If a man divorces his wife with an irrevocable talaaq, then
she is not entitled to accommodation and maintenance during the ‘iddah,
unless she is pregnant.
Irrevocable divorce is of two types:
The “lesser” type, which is
divorce before the marriage has been consummated, and the divorce in return
for some compensation or payment.
The “greater” type, which is
the third of three talaaqs.
The evidence that a woman who has been divorced by an
irrevocable talaaq is not entitled to maintenance or accommodation is the
report narrated by Muslim (1480) from al-Sha’bi who said: I entered upon
Faatimah bint Qays and asked her about the ruling of the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). She said that her husband
divorced her irrevocably and she referred the matter to the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to judge with regard
to accommodation and maintenance. She said: He did not grant me
accommodation or maintenance, and he told me to observe my ‘iddah in the
house of Ibn Umm Maktoom.
According to another report also narrated by Muslim she said:
I mentioned that to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) and he said: “You are not entitled to any maintenance or
accommodation.” According to a version narrated by Abu Dawood: “You are not
entitled to any maintenance unless you are pregnant.”
And Allaah knows best.