Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I married a Christian man after he converted to Islam. We have children now. My husband went to the US, and after 6 months of his return, he announced that he has converted back to Christianity. I have tried persuading him but to no avail. Should I continue my marriage or leave him?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Dear sister, I am so sorry to hear of this heartbreaking situation.
Please know that you have been automatically divorced from your husband upon his apostasy. He has up until the end of your iddah period to come back to Islam and be your husband again, otherwise your divorce from him his final.
Please refer to Section m.74 from The Reliance of The Traveller.
m 7.4 If any of the following occurs before intercourse has taken place, then the marriage is immediately annulled:
(1) one of a couple who are idolaters becomes a Muslim;
(2) one of a Zoroastrian couple becomes Muslim;
(3) the wife of a Jew or Christian becomes a Muslim;
(4) both husband and wife leave Islam;
(5) or one of them does.
But when one of the above things happens after intercourse, then a waiting period (def: n9) must intervene before the marriage is annuled. If both husband and wife (A: are, or) become Muslim before the waiting period finishes, then their marriage continues. And if not, then the marriage is considered to have been over since the change of religion first took place.
Please do everything in your power to protect your children’s Islam. Stay connected to them as much as you can, and positively influence them through your love.
They will still need to see their father, but if they are still young, then I do not recommend leaving them alone with him. Please stay with your children when they visit him, as much as possible.
Please reach out to your family and close friends to help you through this time of great loss and change. Work out a plan for how you can move forward financially, emotionally, and so on.
Give yourself the time to grieve the loss of your marriage. Your sadness will pass, as impossible as that may feel right now.
I pray that Allah will recompense you for your loss, and bless you with so much more in this life and the next.
Please write back if you need further clarification.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.