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New Muslim: Long-Term Partner Won’t Convert – What To Do?

13 July, 2022
Q I am a recent convert to Islam and so very overjoyed and humbled with Allah's will to reveal His truth to me. I am in the beginning stages of my walk as a Muslim and am trying to learn all I can about walking in God's Obedience. I am thinking of my current relationship and need guidance. I have read the Qur'an and I believe Allah has revealed the answer to me in one of His verses but I want to make sure I am understanding it correctly so I would like to ask an Imam or scholar and I pray Allah will not be upset with me continuing to search for the answer to my dilemma. I am a woman in my thirties. I have been in a relationship with a man for 11 years, we are not married but have been living together for 11 years . We have 2 children together and I am currently pregnant with our third child. I was raised in a catholic home and converted to another sect of Christianity when I was in my 20's. My partner has never really believed in God. His belief in God is wishy washy. At one point he believes in God but states its hard for him to believe and at another time he outright says he does not believe in God and even mocks me for worshipping Allah, sometimes even when the kids are in our presence. He does however allow me to take our children to church every Sunday and encourages the children to behave in church and attend with me so his disposition in religion and in God is confusing. Although we have been together for 11 years we had just recently started seriously talking about getting married but due to his bad habits and anger issues I have hesitated to marry him. Now that I am a recent Muslim convert I want to abide my Allah's laws and I wish to get married but I am not sure if I should marry him. As you can see I am in a very difficult situation because I am with child, our third child, but I am committing sin by not marrying the father of my children. We can easily go and get married tomorrow (he wants to get married now) but I am afraid to get married to a man who has no faith in Allah. I do not want to corrupt my children in any way, I want them to be raised Muslim and I do not want a man of no faith to interfere with that. I don't know if I should leave and move out as soon as possible or just get married and see how things develop in the future with a lot of prayer. All these years I was willing to work out the issues we have had in our relationship with his bad habits but now I can not risk damaging my relationship with God and my afterlife AND the afterlife of my children!I can not do that. I know Allah guides all and I trust in Him but I sometimes become desperate because I feel I am blind to the answer. Thank you for your time, May God please direct your attention to my dilemma if it is His will. Thank you, God's servant


Salam Dear Sister,

Many congratulations on becoming Muslim.

It is a sign of His great love towards you that out of all the people on the face of the earth, He has chosen you to be Muslim.


You are right that you are now taking the first steps along the right path and you must be patient with yourself.

You cannot expect to know everything about Islam or to act perfectly as a Muslim right from the very start. It takes time.

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In fact, it is very easy to declare Shahadah, but it takes a lifetime to really become fully Muslim.

Since these are early days, you need to be very careful about who you are seeking advice from. Even with the best of intentions, people may be telling you things that are wrong.

A good rule of thumb at this early stage is to take things slowly if you are at all unsure. Allah Almighty has called you to be Muslim and He will not let you down.

As regards your question, may Allah Almighty reward you abundantly for wanting to do the right thing and for seeking advice on how you might best act as a Muslim should act.

As an adult you are endowed with reason and, as such, you have to make your own decisions about how you will live your life.

On Judgment Day there will be no-one to answer on your behalf as to why you chose to do this or that. Similarly, seeking advice from others does not absolve you from making decisions. It is good that your disposition is truly to do what Allah wants.

It isn’t possible for someone who doesn’t know your situation to advise you to do this or that, even if such a course were advisable in the first place. The best thing we can do is to say what Islam requires of us, then the decision is yours.

It seems, however, that you have already come to some sort of conclusions.

Two Facets

From the Islamic point of view, there are two major factors in this situation.

The first is that as a Muslim woman you cannot live in partnership with a man who is not your husband.

In Islam, physical intimacy between a man and a woman takes place within the context of marriage. To be intimate with a man who is not your husband would be outside the bounds of what Islam considers best for you.

The second consideration is that if you decide to marry, the man you marry must be Muslim. Islam teaches us that a Muslim woman must marry a Muslim man.

In the case of your partner for the last eleven years, if you decided to get married, he would need to become Muslim.

These are the Islamic requirements for the situation. It is for you to weigh up your situation in the light of these requirements.

In addition, though, it seems that you have lots of other things to consider. Without advising that you act in a particular way, it is important to take into account these additional factors.

Complex Reality

It may be that in accepting Islam it is time for you to make a clean break and to walk away from this relationship
and look for someone else to marry and help with the bringing up of your children.

You do need to take into account your children. Your partner is the father of your children. If, for example, you don’t marry, what are the implications for custody of the children?

After Conversion, How Will the Relation With My Partner Be

Also, if you were to marry your partner, would he be the best person, as head of the family, to help you all to live as good Muslims?

On the positive side, it could be that if he accepted Islam and you both decided to marry, this could mark a new direction in your relationship.

Stranger things have happened. It is not impossible that your partner could change and become a new man.

So, you have some hard decisions to make.

Your decisions must be rooted in prayer, bearing in mind the requirements of Islam for a Muslim woman. In accepting Islam, you trusted that Allah Almighty would be with you to help you along the way.

Inshallah, with a similar trust in His Mercy, He will help you to make the right decision.

I hope this answers your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam’s archive)
About Idris Tawfiq
Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant.He became a Muslim around 15 years ago.For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom.Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest.He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness.May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.