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I married a non-muslim




I am married to a non-Muslim woman. And before I get into how I wish for a Muslim wife right to this day. I must start by saying I was not born Muslim. I took my shahada at the age of 16 and never made it to the second pillar of Islam (salah) due to not surrounding myself with believers. I just didn't have that support system. I studied very hard and forgot more than half of what I learned. 19yrs has passed 10 of which I have been married to a non Muslim woman. I don't know where to begin. The arguments, the on and off separations, the disrespect to God & me, the total misunderstanding. Her family against me. We have three children together. Two girls(8&2) one boy(6) I have recently started to revert back to Islam according to the sunnah and I have been taking my son with me to jumah and teaching him wudu & how to pray as we are learning Al Fatiha together. And so many things that I'd learned before just came flooding back to me. But this only comes after falling to my knees asking Allah for help and guidance from the turmoil that has occurred in my marriage. Just not knowing what to do. Once on my knees I remembered that I am a Muslim man. I have lost my way. But I have long declared "la ilaha illa Allah" But how did I forget in the first place? Shatan is tricky that's how. He made me believe that a person religion didn't matter as long as they was a good person. And this is so far from the truth.  What I didn't know then. That it isn't permissible to marry for beauty. As well as social status and I cannot remember the others. But what I do remember is that marrying because she believes as you believe is permissible. (aka religion) What about my daughters will they wear the hijab even though mommies does not? Shouldn't mommy set that example? Can you imagine my rage from watching some man undress my wife with his eyes because she has left her modesty elsewhere, watching my wife's curves when she bends or moves. I don't want my daughters to be looked at upon this way. I love my children I even love my wife, but if I was practicing Islam like I wish I was 10yrs ago I know things would be for the better.

Now far as my wish for a Muslim wife. I am not going psych myself out to thinking that everything would be perfect, for every marriage has its goods and bads. But I have this vision of making salat in my living room with my whole family (wife and children) I have this vision of my children being home schooled. Being taught by my wife. I have a vision of being able to talk to my wife with out her raising her voice and getting tempered. I have a vision that my wife would share her beauty with her husband and children only. But watch this. The vision I see, for the love of Allah. The woman in the vision is not the woman that I am currently married to. No matter how I try to put her in that light. But look, these things I desire. I would have had from day one had I been strong in my faith.

What I'm considering is divorce. It is very discerning because she believes in one God, but her problem with Islam comes from the whole multi-wife thing. And the wearing of the hijab. Although I have no desire to have another wife (mashallah) this scares her. And far as the hijab. I truly believe that she enjoys dressing like a flusy. I believe she yearns for the attention of strange men. We see eye to eye on nothing. We argue fuss and fight over the stupidest things. That will result in her leaving the house for days, weeks, and this last time 7 months. She is hot tempered with a tongue that sends this 6 foot 250lb man into tears or rage. As my faith and knowledge grows stronger in Islam each day. It becomes evident to me that she is not willing to take the next steps and I fear that I must divorce her and leave her behind.

My question to you Bro. & SIS is if you agree with my rational. What next? Whom should I speak with about such matters. Surly I can not be the only one with this problem.

Shukran in advance

Assalamualaikum brother,
First of all, I am very happy that you saw the truth on your own at the age of 16. And alhamdulillah, Allah has accepted your sincere duwa when you asked Him to guide you back to the deen, and you are now learning to pray and teaching your son to pray. Alhamdulillah. That is why in the beginning of every Jummah, the Imam says, whomsoever Allah guides, none can misguide him, and whomsoever Allah misguides, none can guide him. We ask that may Allah guide your wife, and may He raise all your children as Muslim.
Now about your decision to divorce her, it seems this has nothing to do with her being a non-Muslim, but it has everything to do with arguments, fights, disrespecting each other, etc. A lot of Muslim couples go through the same. But you said you love your wife. So I think what you should first seek is marital counselling. Muslim couples, non-Muslim couples, mixed faith couples, everyone could go through the same kind of low points in relationships. The important thing is to work to mend relations and to seek help - in this case the help of a trained marital counsellor. If you know that your local mosque offers counselling services for couples, try that. If not, then you can go for a professional counsellor.
My request is, dear brother, do not deprive your children of a mother and father and make them grow up in a broken family. The children will never forgive you or their mother if this were to happen.

Secondly, it seems to me that your wife has not learnt or been informed about what Islam really means. She looks at the rituals and obligations - like the hijaab, prayer or the shariah permissibility for second marriage; but it seems she doesn't know what Islam really is - that is Tauheed, to worship the Creator purely and not to put anything between the creator and creation. May be, you should make an appointment with a learned scholar in your local mosque to give her a presentation about the Oneness of God and what the core beliefs of Islam are - with lesser emphasis on the rituals and practices. Remember, there is a Hadith which says that if Allah had revealed the prohibition of alcohol and adultery first, then nobody would have given up alcohol or adultery. But Allah revealed the belief in Tauheed first, and once someone understands and believes in God's oneness, then following Islamic commandments come naturally out of a desire to please the Creator.

I will give you a very interesting experience I had 4 days ago alhamdulillah, this past Wednesday. I met a 28 y.o. african American nurse lady who had e-mailed our mosque saying she is interested to learn about Islam. So she came to the mosque to learn about God and the Islamic faith. I also invited some Muslim sisters to this discussion. I talked to her for 2 hours mainly about Islamic beliefs, Tauheed, Quran, the Prophets, but not much about rituals and obligations. She was really interested. After about 90 minutes she asked me, what is the next step one needs to take to come closer to God. I said the next step is if you believe in the Oneness of God, then declare it. She said she is ready, subhanallah!!! I asked her again, are you sure? She said yes. Then alhamdulillah, she said the shahadah and became Muslim. The point is, (without me or the Muslim sisters who talked to her taking any credit for her conversion, because we know it is Allah who Only guides and not us), if the truth of Islam is presented to a person in a beautiful way, then people are willing to accept. Because Allah says, there is no compulsion in religion SINCE the truth stands out distinctly from falsehood [2:256].

So you may not have hope, but I am saying there is hope. Have someone knowledgable talk to your wife about what Tauheed and oneness of God is. And inshallah, inshallah, Allah will guide her.

Finally, even if your wife does not accept Islam, please teach your young children about Surah Ikhlas and tauheed. Once they know and understand this, inshallah they'll never ever accept any faith other than Islam. Here's a khutbah I gave a year and half back on it, you may listen to it to know what to teach your children inshallah. Miraculous nature of the Oneness of God (khutbah):

One more thing, I hope your wife was not just any non-Muslim but a Christian or Jew when you married her. Because, otherwise, the marriage would be not valid Islamically anyways. Just saying to make sure that the marriage fell within what is halal.

walaikum salaam br uncledodat,

Sad to hear about your story. I know it's very difficult to have two people at very different levels of Islam (or no Islam!) in a marriage. I think maybe you should try working on your marriage right now for the sake of the children. First, the concerns she has about converting. I think you should take your time and educate her about Islam, talk about religion and things and then have her meet some good sisters and go to the Mosque. You have to explain to her that it's her choice and that you're not going to force her about anything including Hijab or anything else. Not sure if you're married Islamically or not, but if not you can add in the Nikah a clause about not getting married again. This may reassure her a bit.

About the whole dressing thing, the #1 reason why girls dress that way, is not because they want male attention or want to cheat or anything. It's because they have low self-esteem and dressing like that gives you a lot of positive attention, male and female believe it or not!  People say you look pretty, they're friendlier to you and so on. She may need more of this positive feedback from you to stop dressing the way she is.

Allah knows best, may Allah help you in your affairs.


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