Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My wife and I married as Christians, and we
have several children. I converted to Islam . She just filed for divorce primarily because she is opposed to Islam. I don’t want to divorce her, but that
makes no difference to the government. Where can I find detailed
guidance on my responsibilities under Islam and Ihsan during and after
this process, as well as what effect a secular divorce has on the
status of my marriage?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question. May Allah bring ease and subtleness in all your affairs, Amin.

Your marriage with your Christian wife – provided it was considered valid according to the dictates of Christianity – remains valid after your conversion to Islam [1]. The divorce she applied for at a secular court will have no bearing on the validity of the nikah according to Islamic Law.

Further, it is unclear whether (1) your wife wishes to move out; (2) she wants you to move out; or (3) she’s willing to continue living with you. In cases one and two, it would be best not to engage in any type of conflict, and to fulfill her wishes, while not severing ties altogether. In case three, Islamically, you may continue living with her as she is still considered your wife. In all cases, it is incumbent that you show her kindness, compassion, and understanding. Your actions and interaction with her may be key in calling her to Islam and its beauty.

May Allah guide you in your actions and sayings. May He guide your wife to Islam and bless you both with happiness and contentment, Amin.

[1] This would only be the case – when strictly following the Shafi’i school – if your wife is an Israelite or her family embraced Christianity prior to the council of Nicea in 325. However, according to other schools, the above is not a requirement.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

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