Praise be to Allaah.
We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen:
A woman says, I want to become Muslim, and my husband
is good and I do not want to leave him. What should I do?
“She has to leave him, but is it possible for her to
call him to Islam? She could say, ‘I want to become Muslim, but if I
become Muslim, the marriage will become null and void unless you become
Muslim too.’ Hopefully if she says this to him, he will become Muslim
If she become Muslim, can she stay in the marital home
while she calls him to Islam, or should she leave?
“If she is hopeful that he will become Muslim, she can
stay in the marital home until the end of her ‘iddah (waiting period
following the dissolution of a marriage).”
Can she uncover herself (go without hijab) during the
‘iddah or not?
“To be on the safe side, she should not uncover, because
there is no certainty that he will agree to become Muslim.”
And she should not be alone with him?
“And she should not be alone with him.”
If telling her about this could turn her away from Islam,
is it permissible for us according to sharee’ah to conceal the second
part of the answer from her, so that we could tell her, “Become Muslim
first, then we will tell you about the ruling on staying with your husband”?
“No, if we say this, and then we tell her about the ruling
and she leaves Islam (becomes an apostate), this will make the problem
worse. For this reason the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib,
when he sent him to the people of Khaybar: ‘Call them to Islam and tell
them what they have to do in the way of duties towards Allaah.’”
So now if she continues to live with him after she becomes
Muslim she is guilty of a major sin (kabeerah)?
“Yes that is the case, but she should not persist in
zinaa (unlawful sexual relationship).”
Briefly, how should we answer her?
“Tell her: Become Muslim, and know that if you become
Muslim and your husband does not, the marriage will become null and
When we are talking to women who will be faced
with this issue, we should focus on the following points:
priority to love for Allaah and His Messenger over love for anyone else.
If she is sincere in calling him to Islam
and in praying for him, Allaah may guide him at her hands.
Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will
compensate him or her with something better.
Allaah will never forsake His slave who
gives up something he or she loves for His sake.
When a woman like this becomes Muslim and leaves her
husband, one of the Muslim brothers should come forward to marry her
and take her children into his family, or good-hearted Muslims should
undertake the responsibility of spending in charity on her and her children.
We ask Allaah to guide us and grant us strength and help us to do the
right thing. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.