I am married to a non-believer. Things were ok until we had children. He strongly objects that I raise the kids (12 and 13 years) as Muslims. But I insisted as I see it as my obligation as a Muslim mother, to raise my offspring in accordance with Islamic teaching. Now arguments and fights between me and my husband occur daily.
It has gotten to the point where he said he's lost his feelings from me and wants a divorce. On one hand, I am proud when I see our kids have become believers, do their daily prayers, fast in Ramadan and read the Quran, on the other hand, I have been haunted by self-doubt: is this the right thing for me to do? Does Allah want me to raise my kids in Islam but therefore sacrifice my marriage? My heart sinks and cries thinking that I might be the doing sin for hurting my husband.
I pray every day to Allah for an answer and it would certainly help me to hear your point of view. Thank you in advance.
As-salamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakahtuh,
To give you a purely Islamic answer, it is not permitted for a Muslim woman to marry a non-muslim man in the first place for the very reasons that you are experiencing. I knew those words will be of little comfort right now and possibly you were already aware of this anyway.
However, dwelling on this in responding to your query will not be of any benefit to how you are feeling, as well as being out of my remit as a counselor rather than a scholar. Regarding the legal matters concerning your marriage, I would urge you to seek advice from a scholar.
Once you come to know the correct way forward Islamically, this will in sha Allah ease your emotional burden in the confidence that you are doing what is best for you and your children as well as being the not pleasing path to Allah.
Alhamdulillah, despite your husband’s objections your children seem to be following the correct path and maintaining their obligations in line with their natural inclination towards Islam. Alhamdulillah, this is a good start and will make things easy for you as you move forward..
This aside, there are other things to consider also regarding how to make the process as smooth as possible whether it is that you stay together or get a divorce. If you stay together, there will need to be open communication between the 2 of you for the sake of your children. It is important that they are raised as Muslims, but understand that if you stay with your husband this will be an ongoing challenge for you both if he continues to object to it and will be something that will require some serious thought and discussion on as he is the father and will have certain rights over them too.
Maybe a compromise could be made where they get their Islamic education from the local madrassa. However, this route will come at a cost that could potentially compromise both yours and your children’s Deen. which you need to consider very carefully.
If you choose to divorce then you can continue raising them in the way of Islam that you are without worrying about upsetting their father. However, you must be compassionate to what they are going through in the divorce process and don’t allow this to be the thing that will cause them to dislike Islam’s t thing that caused their parents to divorce. Make sure to get plenty of support for yourself during this time also to ease any emotional and practical difficulties you may face along the way.
Take time to consider your various options and the consequences of the same. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of choosing each path and what will be most pleasing to Allah.
Whichever choice you make, continue to pray for your husband that he will see the light of Islam and love it the way you do. Also, pray istikhara that Allah will guide you to do what is best.
May Allah reward your concern for children and protecting their Deen. May He guide you to do what is best for all and most pleasing to Him.