What Is the Ruling on Marrying a Non-Muslim?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have gotten legally married to a Non-Muslim. He was ready to do a nikah and ready to learn from me about Islam. He believes in God. But nobody supported us and my family has asked me to move out. So now I have become helpless for I can’t do a nikah on my own. I am living with him and four months pregnant. I tried doing an online nikah, but I couldn’t find any. What should I do to get nikah done? Is it even possible? Who can I approach to get it done? I believe Islam has remedies for all problems even though I created the problems myself. How will I get fix this situation?


Thank you for your honest question. You are indeed in a difficult situation because you don’t have a marriage that is recognized in Islam. This entails several problems for your unborn child as well.

The first step is that your potential spouse becomes Muslim. You can teach him about Islam, he can read books, open up the Qur’an and read it or take a course about Islam. His Islam is a pre-cursor to a valid (Islamic marriage contract) nikah. Please explain to him that if he doesn’t become Muslim, this sinful life together cannot continue.

In the Hanafi school, a woman may marry without a wali, [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar] but it is contrary to the correct view and the view of the majority of the scholars, who stipulate that the guardian (wali) must be present and give his consent in order for the marriage contract to be valid.

I suggest that you go to your father, after your potential spouse converts, and explain to him that you are already pregnant. Then tell him that you need him to be your wali for a valid nikah. Ask him to do this despite his anger and disagreement, for your future and the future of the child.  Tell him that you have no other choice than to continue with this man because you carry his child and want to live together as a Muslim family. Your child deserves to be with his/her parents.

Pray The Prayer Of Need, in the last third of the night. Repent to Allah for your mistakes, make istighfar (asking for His forgiveness), and ask Him to open a way for you to follow the (Islamic law) shari`ah from now on. You may well be surprised at how hearts can change.

If he doesn’t agree, as a last resort, you can go to a mosque and consult a local scholar about what to do. I would not suggest doing one online, it should be done in person. The sooner you do this, the better. May Allah bless you both and facilitate this nikah for you. Also, take a look at the link below.
Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.