New Muslim with Children: Is Marriage Possible?

30 June, 2017
Q As-salam alaykum, I am new to Islam, but already believe in marriage being a special thing. To share my devotion to Allah with a Muslim wife, and have children with her is so important to me. Insha'Allah that will happen if I live my life correctly and do good deeds for the Creator. I have 2 children from a previous, non-married, atheist relationship. This is already proving to be a massive stumbling block in meeting Muslim women. What can I do but tell the truth about it? I'm an honest man. Please help me. Any help and advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Shukran.


Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for your question and your desire to learn and follow the right path in all matters of your life.

We are very grateful to Allah Almighty for guiding you. What a major gift it is, alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah). We also ask Him (SWT) to facilitate matters for you and help you lead a pure, healthy life full of goodness, righteousness, and a strong connection with your Creator.

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With regards to your situation, it is definitely commendable to seek marriage, especially seeking a righteous wife that will aid you in all matters of deen and dunya (religion and life), provide you with companionship, help you raise children that could be of benefit to others and share with you the journey of spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth until you go back to your Creator.

Of course, in Islam, relationships outside of marriage are not allowed given how unfair they are to everyone involved, especially children. The deprivation of rights and deprivation of full attention and commitment is not fair or just to human beings.

Those innocent children deserve to have a healthy household with loving committed parents who acknowledge them fully and commit to their upbringing and growth on all levels.

It is only justice to the children, the woman, and the man to carry on matters like marriage in a way that doesn’t lead to deprivation of anyone’s rights, or damage to anyone’s emotional, spiritual, physical, and legal rights.

Having said that, this issue already happened in your past, and alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) that you are trying now to lead a life of fairness and justice to yourself and everyone around you.

Now, we have a few points to consider:

  • Have you tried explaining Islam to the lady you were involved with? If you communicated the principles of the religion clearly to her, she may accepted Islam if Allah guides her, then you can marry her. You can also help your children adequately and teach them about Islam and raise them in the best manners.

If you have tried that already and learned that it is not possible at all. Then, we can say the following:

  • Marriage is rizq (sustenance, provision) from Allah (SWT). Just like your conversion and guidance is rizq from Him, marriage also is rizq. As you rightfully mentioned, Allah (SWT) the All Knowing, All Wise, Continuously Merciful is most knowing of your needs and will definitely help you in the most perfect manner and at the most perfect time. Trust that.
  • We advise you to continue to make dua’ (supplication) to Allah (SWT) to facilitate marriage for you. In a hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said that: “Supplication is the essence of worship” (At-Tirmidhi). We learn from the Qur’an as well this dua’ and beautiful words:

{And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace. Abiding eternally therein. Good is the settlement and residence.} (Quran 25:74-76)

So, be patient and make dua’ and trust Allah’s Wisdom and Timing.

  • Rest assured that matters of the believers are all khair (good), even if some patience and some struggle were required. Eventually, Allah (SWT) wants ease and goodness for His created beings and- so long as their hearts are sincere and connected with Him- He will lead them to all that is good and pure in this life and the next. Remember this hadith of the Messenger (peace be upon him):

How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” (Muslim)

  • We understand and acknowledge that Allah (SWT) will not question the person about sins that happened in the past before sincere repentance. Many of the sahaba (companions of the Prophet) also experienced this situation. Please read a detailed answer here to know conditions of repentance. So, if Allah (SWT) will forgive, who are we not to forgive? If He (SWT) will conceal past mistakes, who are we to reveal them? A righteous wife will in fact know that and this should not be a barrier. The only barrier is if you owe people something or you have rights towards others that need to be fulfilled.

The main concern and remaining component of your question really is what rights do your children have on you? Please explain your situation to our Ask the Scholar service for the answer.

We finally also advise you to communicate with the imam in your masjid and/or the scholar/expert/brothers in your community who can help you learn how to deal fairly with the previous relationship and children, as well as, find a sister willing to consider marriage.

There most definitely are a lot of them out there. Just patience, dua’ and taking the necessary means will make this happen. And it will happen in the best time that the Most Knowing (SWT) has decreed.

I hope this helps address your concern.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity. Find more info in the following links:

How to Get Married – 1: Know Your Self

How to Get Married: Parents in Marriage Decisions – Part 2

How to Get Married: Finding Someone – Part 3

How to Get Married: What To Look For in a Potential Spouse – Part 4