My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do to Make Him a Better Muslim?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: I have a question regarding prayers and fasting. My husband doesn’t seem to take the five prayers and tarawih seriously. We have sexual relations at night after Isha’ prayer and plan to bathe right after Fajr enters. However, my husband always ends up going back to sleep without praying. What should I do in this case? Similarly, sometimes he will come to bed very late, busying himself on the computer, and wake me up to fulfill his desires. Even though I comply, it annoys me sometimes, especially when he refuses to fulfill my desires when he feels tired. Please advise me on how I can make him a better Muslim.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister ,

Thank you for your questions, which are very important.

Alhamdulillah, at least your husband is observing the Ramadan fast. That is a good starting point.

The question of why he is not praying is disturbing, but you have to handle it with a lot of hikma, or wisdom and tact. Given the overall picture you’ve painted: Missed prayers, late-night chats, music, and so on, I’d say your husband might be spiritually depressed and unhappy about his life and is trying to drown his sadness with these distractions. So you need to get at the core of what’s bothering your husband. Often, staying up late to chat on the internet is just a way of escaping whatever responsibilities or realities one faces. It whiles away the time until the next day.

The insensitivity to your sexual needs is another aspect of this. Instead of your husband being able to connect with you in a sensitive, mutually satisfactory way, he seems like he’s only focusing on his own physical needs.

Again, this is a way to get away from whatever’s bothering him. If he took the time to really be with you, talk, connect, foster intimacy, and pray together, he’d probably have to face whatever’s bothering him.

My advice is to express your concerns out of love, without being judgmental. Tell him to take one day and try to do all of the prayers, spend some real time with you, and cut off the computer. It might take a lot of tries before he does it all and gets it right, but take it one day at a time. I guarantee that he’ll be a lot happier when he wakes up to the life he’s missing. Tell him every hour he spends in front of the computer is an hour he could be living and enjoying life. Tell him that he shouldn’t see prayer as another burden or something else on his long to-do list. Prayer is a release from whatever is dragging him down. Make that one step to Allah, and Allah Ta’ala will come running.

Don’t let precious time pass you by. Who knows if we’ll be given any more time to make things right with the One who has given us everything?

May Allah Ta’ala bring you and your husband into a state of obedience and put baraka in your marriage,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani