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We face a problem in Islamic centers while calling non-Muslim women to Islam. It is the attachment of these women who want to embrace Islam to their husbands while their husbands do not. It is difficult for them to sacrifice their marriages especially if they have children and their husbands are well mannered, and so their love for their husbands takes precedence. We know that if a woman accepts Islam it is not permissible for her to stay under the guardianship of a non-Muslim man due to the saying of Allah ‘Azza wa Jal: {They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them.} [Al Mumtahinah: 10] So how do we deal with this problem? Is it permissible for us to concentrate on converting them to Islam and leaving off the rest of the issue?
All praise is due to Allah, we asked the noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen this question:
A woman is asking: I would like to embrace Islam but I have a good husband and I do not want to get separated from him, so what should I do?
Answer: She must get separated from him. However is it possible for her to call him to Islam saying: “I want to become Muslim but our marriage contract will be nullified unless you embrace Islam.” If she mentions this to him he may agree to become Muslim.
Question: If she accepts Islam, should she give him Da’wah at home or is she to leave the house?
Answer: If she hopes that he will embrace Islam, then she should stay in his house until her ‘Iddah period expires.
Question: Is she to veil herself from him during the ‘Iddah period or not?
Answer: It is safer that she does not expose herself to him because it is not guaranteed that he will accept Islam.
Question: How about being alone with him?
Answer: She should not even be alone with him.
Question: If telling her this would turn her away from Islam, is it permissible for us to keep the second portion of this answer hidden and say to her: “Embrace Islam first and then we will tell you about the ruling of staying with your husband later.”
Answer: No, and if you did this she may become an apostate, then the problem would be even greater. This is why the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said to ‘Ali when he sent him to khaybar:
“Call them to Islam and inform them of what is obligated upon them from the rights of Allah in regards to it.”
Question: So this woman, if she stays with her husband after she converts to Islam, she is considered to be performing of a Major sin, correct?
Answer: Yes, but is it permissible to keep practicing fornication?
Question: In summary what should we say to her?
Answer: We say: “Accept Islam and know that if you become Muslim and your Husband does not then your marriage contract is nullified.” Finished.
When speaking to women that go through this issue, you should concentrate on the following points while explaining them fully:
> Giving precedence to the love of Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) over everyone else;
> If she is sincere in calling her husband to Islam and in performing Du’a for him, Allah may guide him through her;
> Whoever leaves something for the pleasure of Allah, Allah will replace it with something better than it;
> Allah will not foresake a slave of His that has sacrificed something that they love for His pleasure;
> Also you should strive to solve the likes of these problems. If a woman embraces Islam and gets separated from her husband, then a brother should step forward and present himself in order to marry her and unite her with her children or find someone from amongst the wealthy Muslims to provide for her and her children.
We ask Allah for guidance, success and pertinence, and may the prayers be upon our Prophet Muhammad.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen - Reference: Al Mawsoo’ah: #436 - Category: Women’s Matters - Translator: Nadir Ahmad, Abu Abdul-Waahid

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