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In the Name of God بسم الله
GabrielWithoutWings

If I convert, would I have to abandon my wife?

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Interestingly enough, I'm sympathetic with folks on both sides of this argument. With @Aragaia for holding that actual beliefs matter ( it seems the scholar this gentleman asked doesn't consider her a Christian either?) and I also completely sympathize with @Islandsandmirrors @Abu Hadi And @notme that every effort should be made to keep marriages together ( although I would disagree with @Abu Hadi that there is little agreement as to what a " Christian" is. There is quite a bit , just like there is, I assume, quite a bit in deciding what a Muslim is, and I think the early Muslims were  reasonably aware of what a Christian is from my discussions with SG's family. Granted, they're not scholars.) Still, I think these three  completely grasp the giant problem looming for the future of  " western Islam". 

Glad the gentleman got at least one answer.

 

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1 hour ago, Islandsandmirrors said:

@GabrielWithoutWings: converting to Islam is a massive step, so don’t think about divorce. (You don’t have to divorce her, anyway.) 

if you divorce your wife, you’ll be making things extremely difficult for yourself. Take it easy. If you divorce your wife now, things might get so difficult that you may leave Islam altogether. 

Stay married.

Because your marriage is still valid. 

Or maybe he'll decide it's too much trouble to convert. That happens. 

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3 hours ago, Aragaia said:

No way. :mod:

She's right. I've seen it too. I've seen our marjas make exceptions to the rule against a muslima being married to a Christian or even to a non-religious husband, for the sake of preservation of an existing family. 

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@GabrielWithoutWings

Hello, I asked a scholar, Sheikh Usama Abdulghani, for you. 

Quote

[6/17, 5:42 PM] Sheikh Usama: That is the primary rule. That you cannot be married to a woman who is not a person of the book
[6/17, 5:42 PM] Sheikh Usama: There may be an exception according to Ayatullah Khamenei
[6/17, 5:43 PM] Sheikh Usama: You would need to reach out to the office
[6/17, 5:43 PM] Sheikh Usama: He is the only person I have seen with an exception. A woman became a Muslim and the marriage was not immediately nullified
[6/17, 5:44 PM] Sheikh Usama: But so reach out. Otherwise that is the primary ruling

As you can see, he said there may be an exception, so please try to get a second opinion by contacting the office directly. 

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3 hours ago, LeftCoastMom said:

Or maybe he'll decide it's too much trouble to convert. That happens. 

Pretty much this. I'm not abandoning my family, period. If that gets me thrown into hell, so be it. At least I'll be there with my family. 

For those advising to get opinions from other scholars, A. That ruling is from Sistani's office, so I don't know who is more knowledgeable than him and B. I thought you weren't supposed to cherry pick rulings from marja' or maddhabs because it's a sin. At least, that's what I was told. 

I'm not going to convert to a religion knowing that I'd be in a state of perpetual sin. Would you tell a gay convert that it's okay to keep sleeping with the same sex?  If the answer is no, what's the difference?  If I can ignore rulings via common sense or "ease," what ELSE can I use my common sense to override?  

The Sunnis told me this too. I should use my common sense to figure out which maddhab or sheikh or scholar I'm supposed to follow. But once I pick one, I'm not supposed to scholar hop BUT they're all valid and orthodox. 

I wish you and your Sunni brothers luck in trying to spread Islam to the secular west.  Not to mention the fact that Islam demands someone like me (an American who grew up in the South and says "y'all") to abandon a great deal of my culture, but there's the added fact that the orthodox ruling for converts is force your spouse to convert to keep your family together (compulsion). 

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:salam:

If you can get in touch with the office of a Marja' and explain your case (or most likely get a scholar to get in touch), they can actually deem your marriage valid through a very specific way, which I cannot say here publicly. Your best bet would be to go to the office directly or send someone there with your case. Your case is good enough, 10 years of marriage, 3 kids, a house, and the fact that your kids can be brought up as Muslims as well and perhaps even your wife will be later convinced etc. all of these are more than enough to make a good case.

Another way I think the office may be able to help is if we can establish your wife is simply a "skeptic" (I.e. agnostic) and not necessarily a "rejector" of God or a Prophet. They may be able to consider that sufficient to still deem her upon the religion of her birth (I.e. Christianity).

I would also advise moderators and admins that such threads which require the intervention of a Marja' (since it is a case that needs to be taken to them) or can be answered with a simple Hukm from the Marja', it should not be allowed to drag on to for 4-5 pages. This definitely leaves the OP and even other readers confused. There is nothing really to debate on the subject for it to have gone to 5 pages.

Wasalam

Edited by Ibn al-Hussain

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As an aside, you all should consider yourselves lucky. You have a belief system and a community to identify with and derive comfort from. 

Every 3-4 years, I'll get an itch to look for a religion and I always end up finding an inconsistency that makes me think that either it's man-made and God is unknowable or it's man-made and God doesn't exist.  I've been doing this for 15 years and I always come to the same conclusion. 

This time, I've whittled my choices down to Islam and Orthodox Christianity. I can't be a Christian because its theology is confusing. No person without a background in Platonism would read the Bible and get a Trinity out of it.  Why would someone who speaks Aramaic use Greek philosophical terms like "Logos?"

Not every agnostic or atheist is a militant religion hater. Some of us tried and failed. 

The ancient Greeks had a term for this. The feeling of needing to get somewhere but being lost and unable to find your way. It's called "aporia." It literally means "roadlessness."

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12 minutes ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

:salam:

If you can get in touch with the office of a Marja' and explain your case (or most likely get a scholar to get in touch), they can actually deem your marriage valid through a very specific way, which I cannot say here publicly. 

I already did. This ruling is from Sistani's office. 

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9 minutes ago, Aragaia said:

The marriage was not immediately nullified? There is the iddah(?) but he isn't saying it remained valid.

Now if a woman can't pick up a religion for her husband - leave her anyway.

 

This is compulsion. This would be conversion to preserve a marriage and escape abandonment. This also goes against the Islamic tradition of using reason and logic and instead relying on frantic emotion. 

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:12 AM, GabrielWithoutWings said:

Hi all,

I've decided to deep dive into Islamic study and I've been reading both Sunni and Shia literature. 

I'm currently an agnostic. My wife is currently nonreligious. We've been together for 10 years. I wasn't really raised religious and neither was she. We have 3 kids, a house, and have been married for 10 years. 

If I converted to Shia Islam, what is the status of my marriage?  Am I unequally yoked, like in Christianity?  Am I committing Zina?

I've tried to find a consensus in Sunni Islam but there doesn't seem to be one. I've heard everything from my marriage is still valid and maybe she'll convert later to divorce her since she's not a people of the book.

I couldn't find an answer on a question this specific. 

Thanks for your time. 

 

3 hours ago, Ibn al-Hussain said:

:salam:

If you can get in touch with the office of a Marja' and explain your case (or most likely get a scholar to get in touch), they can actually deem your marriage valid through a very specific way, which I cannot say here publicly. Your best bet would be to go to the office directly or send someone there with your case. Your case is good enough, 10 years of marriage, 3 kids, a house, and the fact that your kids can be brought up as Muslims as well and perhaps even your wife will be later convinced etc. all of these are more than enough to make a good case.

Another way I think the office may be able to help is if we can establish your wife is simply a "skeptic" (I.e. agnostic) and not necessarily a "rejector" of God or a Prophet. They may be able to consider that sufficient to still deem her upon the religion of her birth (I.e. Christianity).

Mods decided to lock this thread. Some off-topic posts have been removed. 

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