Converting a Non-Muslim Wife to Islam: Necessary?
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Converting a Non-Muslim Wife to Islam: Necessary?



Reply Date

Feb 04, 2019


Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. If a Muslim man marries a non-Muslim woman, is there a specific time restriction to make her convert or doesn't she have to convert her at all? Jazakum Allahu khayran.



Converting a Non-Muslim Wife to Islam

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- A Muslim man is permitted to marry a chaste woman from among the People of the Book, i.e. Christians or Jews.

2- Before marriage, there should be mutual agreement between prospective spouses regarding that children should be brought up as Muslims and regarding who should take care of them in case of divorce.

3- A Muslim man marrying a Christian or Jewish woman is required to set a good example for her and be an ideal model of a good Muslim who should always be good towards his wife.

4- He should never force her to convert to Islam even if she chooses to remain a non-Muslim. But he can invite her to Islam using wisdom and good admonition.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti, Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University, states:

He does not have to convert her to Islam, but he should try to invite her to join Islam through wisdom and beautiful preaching and by setting a good example for her to follow.

He doesn’t have to force her to embrace Islam, since no compulsion is allowed in religion. But he should use wisdom without pressure or intimidation.

If she converts to Islam, then she has chosen the best way for herself and for him as well. She would be adopting the religion of truth, and he would get the reward promised in the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “If you were to guide one person to the way of Allah, it would be better for you than the world and whatever is in it.”

But if she insists on remaining a Christian or a Jewess, then she has the right to keep her faith, and as the Qur’an states, he is to convey the message and it is up to Allah to judge the people.

Having said that, they should both agree on how he will be raising his children, and inform her that he wants his children to grow up as Muslims.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti

Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University

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