What Is the Ruling on Divorce If the Husband Apostatizes?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am a Muslim revert, married, with a baby of 3 months. When I met my husband, he was not Muslim, and I told him I could not marry a non-Muslim. He researched Islam and converted. We even wrote a 10-page marriage contract, emphasizing that our marriage is based on the Sunna. After adverse incidents with Muslims, he struggled with Islam: leaving his homeland, being unemployed, his education not being accredited, and I got pregnant. It has been a hard struggle, but now he is telling me that he doesn’t identify as a Muslim, hates Islam, and will kill himself if I raise our son as a Muslim. What is the ruling regarding divorce – do we have to divorce formally? How will ‘idda work?

Answer

The answer to your question is in the following link: Husband Leaving Islam

In short, this is a challenging situation. Once your husband denounces his Islam, your waiting period will be in effect immediately. Try taking the following steps:

  • Pray the Prayer of Need, asking Allah to help him with his doubts and your marital situation.
  • Find reliable local scholars to answer any of his religious questions and consult about your marriage’s legal situation.
  • If your local scholar tells you you are automatically already divorced, he must move out.

As for raising your son as a Muslim, you must raise him as a Muslim, and no one can deter you from that. Go about the matter gently and with wisdom, but don’t ever consider raising him outside the fold of Islam. His father’s threat to commit suicide is a control tactic and probably not even true. Don’t let this threat prevent your son from Paradise.

May Allah help you through this and bless your family with every good.

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the situation’s specifics.

[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.