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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  1. There are other options and interpretations from dufferent mujtahids. I suggest that your friend also looks into Ayatullah Sanai, Ayatullah Fadhlulah, and Ayatullah Nasir Makareem.
    Just a few questions that come to my mind :
    1. Does Allah force us to worship Him? Would Allah want to tear apart a famy? What happened to love and mercy, kindness and forgiveness. It’s time we stop living in the medieval ages and go back to the purity of Islam, instead of these man made injunctions as was stipulated in the answer above. Peace

  2. There are other options and interpretations from different mujtahids. I suggest that your friend also looks into Ayatullah Sanai, Ayatullah Fadhlulah, and Ayatullah Nasir Makareem.
    Just a few questions and comments that come to mind :
    Does Allah force us to worship Him? Of course not, we are given free will and worship God as a choice. Would Allah want to tear apart a family? Do you really think Allah would be happy with breaking the hearts of the innocent children? I do not believe that the All-Merciful Loving Lord would condone breaking up a family because a member is having doubts or questions about Him. What happened to love and mercy, kindness and forgiveness. It’s time we stop living in the medieval ages of ignorance and understand the purity of Islam, instead of these man made injunctions as was stipulated in the answer. Peace

  3. ?Who is divorce?Maybe Allah still exercise him.Be patient,move hisbad actions as long as nowtime until acknolige appologize hissins.Back to true away.

  4. Sheykh Hamid Waqar is much more knowledgeable and experienced than me. But from my simple mind, I think he should keep trying to make her believe in Islam. Breaking up so easily doesn’t seem like a good option to me. If she actually lover her husband then she will believe in his belief. May Allah give her heedayah, ameen!

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