Friend's sister is "marrying" a non-Muslim
Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I am asking this question on behalf of a friend. She comes from a family where her mother is a convert, her father a pious Muslim, and she and her siblings were raised in an Islamic environment. Her older sister was previously married to a very difficult man, and she has children from that first marriage. She finally got the strength to leave him, but now, after having considered a number of Muslim men who each turned out to be poor choices for marriage, she has decided to marry a non-Muslim. He is a good man, seems to be morally upright, and treats her much better than the Muslim men have. My friend knows that this is not acceptable religiously and is concerned not only about her sister and the future of her sisters’ children, but is also worried about how she herself should deal with the situation. Should she keep her distance altogether (thereby somewhat cutting off relations with her sister, which of course she does not think is right to do), or be nice to the guy because he is nice and also because setting a good example will be good da'wah, or just maintain a relationship with her sister while trying to “ignore” the presence of the “husband”? And if this marriage lasts in the present condition (with him not converting, etc.), should she allow her own children to interact with this “family”?
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Given the sensitivity of the situation, it is best if this matter is taken up with a leading member of the community.
I can only give you some general advice:
- Just because some Muslim men are bad husbands doesn't mean that all of them are. This is not an excuse to give up on Muslim men.
- Marriage to a non-Muslim man remains impermissible, despite the sister's harsh experiences with Muslim men.
- Shunning the man is not a good idea. The sin is hers not his. Therefore, he is deserving of kind treatment, which is the best da'wah.
- She needs to let her sister know that this situation is unlawful, and, therefore, very displeasing to Allah. If she really wants baraka in her marriage, then she'll ask this man to take shahada.
- She should not cut her sister off. However, she should also maintain some distance because continuing things "business as usual" may convey the impression that she endorses the situation.
- It is probably best not to allow her children to stay in her sister's home until the situation becomes lawful.
And Allah knows best.
MMVIII © Qibla.
All rights reserved
No part of this article may be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of the copyright holder. For permission, please submit a request at our Helpdesk.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Knowledge is only through study." While some knowledge can be gained from reading or casually listening to lectures, the best means to gain knowledge is through finding a qualified teacher and then setting up a systematic program of learning. Picking up a book or reading an article and trying to figure things out on our own is no substitute for learning from someone who has a direct link to our living tradition.
Through joining an online class at Qibla, you can benefit from convenient, online courses that will give you access to reliable scholars and our popular curriculum learning tracks. Knowledge gained in these courses will both build your iman and assist you in putting into practice what you learn. Don't give yourself less than you deserve, register today.
- Why you'll love our courses
- How Qibla courses work (video)
- What our students say
- Our current available courses