My wife has left Islam, what happens now?

Wedding Rings


I had a quick question for you regarding a friend in a difficult marriage situation. His wife had converted to Islam, but has now rejected it.  My wife has talked to her in depth, and she does not identify herself as a Muslim anymore and is in a state of spiritual confusion.  The legal issues are:
1) Is she considered najis?
2) Can he continue to be intimate with her?
I am not hopeful for this situation, and have advised him have a “plan B” for  him and his kids that does not involve her.
I feel for your friend, may Allah give him patience. In the case when one’s wife leaves Islam, this is what happens: the rules of ‘iddah apply. This means that the two would be in a state of divorce until the ‘iddah finishes. Then, if she returns to Islam before the ‘iddah is over their marriage remains valid and they can continue their life. But, if she does not return to Islam before the ‘iddah finishes the marriage becomes invalid.
She would be considered ritually unclean (najis) if she is not a Muslim or part of the Ahl al-Kitab.
Refer to:
Sayyid Ali Khamenei – Tawhdih al-Masa’il of Imam Khumayni, section on marriage, miscellaneous rulings pertaining to marriage, ruling 2448
Sayyid Ali Sistani – Minhaj al-Salihin, volume 3, Book on Marriage, Issue Six: Disbelief and Incompatibility, ruling 212
Answered by:  Shaykh Hamid Waqar
Source: 14 Publications

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