What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; will the marriage contract of a non-Muslim couple remain intact if either one of them accepts Islam? If the husband accepts Islam and the wife remains a non-Muslim, does the husband have to leave her?
Questioner: A sister from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
If both the husband and the wife accept Islam, then their previous marriage contract remains intact. There is no need to remarry. If only the husband accepts Islam, then he must present Islam to his wife. If she becomes a Muslim, she will remain his wife and if she does not, the Qadi (Islamic judge) shall separate them. Similarly, if the wife becomes a Muslim first, she must present Islam to her husband. If the husband accepts Islam before three menstrual cycles, the marriage contract remains intact. Otherwise, after the passing of three menstrual cycles, a woman may marry whomsoever she wishes to marry. It is mentioned in al-Mukhtasar of al-Quduri:
وَإِذَا أَسْلَمَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ وَزَوْجُهَا كَافِرٌ عَرَضَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَاضِي الْإِسْلَامَ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمَ فَهِيَ امْرَأَتُهُ وَإِنْ أَبَى فَرَّقَ بَيْنَهُمَاوَإِنْ أَسْلَمَ الزَّوْجُ وَتَحْتَهُ مَجُوسِيَّةٌ عَرَضَ عَلَيْهَا الْإِسْلَامَ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمَتْ فَهِيَ امْرَأَتُهُ وَإِنْ أَبَتْ فَرَّقَ الْقَاضِي بَيْنَهُمَا
Translation: “If the wife becomes Muslim and her husband is a disbeliever, then Islam must be presented to him. If he accepts it, she will remain his wife. If he rejects it, then the Qadi must separate them. If the husband accepts Islam and the wife is a magian, then Islam must be presented to her. If she accepts it, she will remain his wife and if she does not, the Qadi must separate them.” [Mukhtasar al-Quduri, pg. 589]
A similar ruling is mentioned in Bahar-e Shari’at: “If only the husband accepts Islam, then Islam must be presented to his wife. If she accepts it, then fine, else they must be separated. Similarly, if the wife becomes a Muslim first, then Islam must be presented to her husband. If he becomes a Muslim before the occurrence of three menstrual cycles, their marriage contract will remain intact. Otherwise, after the completion of three menstrual cycles, she may wish to marry whomsoever she wishes to, nobody can dissuade her from doing so.” [Bahar-e Shari’at, vol. 2, part 7, pg. 32]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0430] If one from a non-Muslim couple becomes Muslim, is their nikah valid?