How to Deal with My Non-practicing Revert Husband?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My husband is a convert, and we married with my parents’ blessings. His parents were upset by his conversion. He has never been able to practice the basics of faith and never avoided shirk with his family despite me reminding him. He behaves as a Muslim at home and a non-Muslim in their house. After our child was born, I tried to make sure he practiced, but it was futile. I also had to deal with his drinking, attitude, and lack of a steady job. This caused never-ending arguments and bitterness. He even abandoned my child and me for a few months only to come back being further away from Islam.

Should I apply for a divorce or give him a chance as we live in a different country from his family? He now agrees to be a better husband, not drink and go for a steady job, and let me raise my child as a Muslim. However, he will not practice himself. I have no peace of mind.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are having so much trouble with your husband. It is not suitable for him to abandon you or break his promise to you to practice Islam.

Please look at these links, which wonderfully answer your questions about your situation.
My Husband Is a Convert to Islam but He Has Gone Back to Drinking.
My Husband Does Not Practice. What Do I Do?
Marrying a Convert Man Who is Drifting Away from Islam
How to Deal With a Husband Who Doesn’t Practice?
My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do To Make Him A Better Muslim?

In short, please consider your options carefully.

  • You are married to someone who will not help in making your child a good Muslim.
  • He says he has stopped drinking but seems to have an addiction.
  • He doesn’t avoid shirk. This calls his religion into question, as well as your marriage.
  • He has no steady job and abandoned you and your child. He may repeat this behavior.

You need to come up with a list of positive points and weigh them against the latter list to see what situation you are in.

Please pray the Prayer of Need and Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance to make a decision for yourself and your child.

Keep in mind that you may have more children with him, which doesn’t magically resolve marital problems. If things are bad, having more children around can make it worse.

Otherwise, if you decide to stay, you must consider marriage counseling, better communication, and setting goals and limits together. I pray that Allah strengthens you both in your religion and give your family the best of both worlds.

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation. Jazakum Allah Khayr.

[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.