Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Is it permissible for to marry a man who has an extremely good character, was raised as a Muslim but at one point did not believe in God?

Now he believes in God but he struggles to admit that revelation is Divine.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you clarity and ease in your crucial life decision.

Marriage

A good question to ask yourself when considering a prospective husband is this: Am I willing to accept him as he is, right now?

In marriage, what you see is what you get. Your family loves you and wants you to be happy, but there is no guarantee that this man will become more religious after marriage.

Validity

Your marriage contract is only valid to a Muslim man, even if he is sinful by not practising. If he is not Muslim, then your marriage contract would be invalid.

If he is Muslim, then the bigger issue here is whether or not you are willing to be married to someone with so many doubts about foundational issues of the deen. Marriage is more than just having a husband. What kind of father do you want for your unborn children? Choose wisely, not just for your sake, but for theirs.

Consultation

Please bring him to a reliable local scholar to help him clarify his doubts as well as help you both decide what to do. A successful Islamic marriage takes more than just good character. By choosing a husband who is not on the same religious page as you, you may be sowing the seeds for future heartache.

Marriage is a lifelong journey with many challenging decisions, and we make our decisions based on our values. The more shared religious values you have, the easier it will be to work as a team. Without a bedrock of common religious values, you may find yourself unable to agree on critical points e.g. establishing prayer at home, saving up to go to Hajj, which school to send your children too, observing halal food and income etc.

Character and Religion

The Messenger of Allah said: “When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care) of one of you, then marry to him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil in the land and abounding discord.” [Tirmidhi]

I strongly recommend that you give him some time in order to test his commitment and sincerity to the deen. Yes, having good character is a wonderful thing, but the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) called us to marry people who have both good character as well as deen. There is a reason behind this. Good character alone is insufficient to drive a marriage forward in a way which pleases Allah.

Practical Steps

1) Please perform the Prayer of Guidance (Istikhara) to help guide you to what is most pleasing to Allah. There is no need to look for a dream, but rather, watch how things unfold. If Allah facilitates your path towards marriage to this man, then that is a sign for you. However, if He throws obstacles in your path, then that is a sign for you.

2) Please pray the Prayer of Need and ask Allah for ease and whatever else you need.

3) Please encourage him to study more about Islam to clarify his doubts. There are many useful courses for him to explore on SeekersHub Global, once registration re-opens. A introductory course such as Being Muslim: A Clear Introduction to Islam will help him better understand Islam. It would be extremely beneficial for both of you to complete this course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. Through these courses, you will both have access to knowledgable scholars who can answer both of your questions.

I pray that Allah grants you both what is best in both worlds, and brings you both closer to Him.

Please refer to the following links:

Marriage in Islam: A Reader

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)