If one spouse denounces Islam, what does the other do?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Message: As Salaam Wa Alaikum Mufti,
If a sister marries (nikkah nothing legal was done) a man that took his shahadah 2 days before the marriage and then after some time he tells you that he can never be a Muslim that he only did it to get married to you. He does not pray or practice. The sister wants to leave although they don’t live together. What does she do? Does she still have to seek a divorce from this man although he is a kuffar. Is there an idda period. She stopped having any relations with him since he told her that which was a month ago. What does she do?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

In the case you have mentioned, when the husband confessed that he is not a Muslim and that he will never be a Muslim after he had willingly accepted Islam prior to marriage and had gotten married while being a Muslim, then he has apostated. On account of this, the marriage has come to an end and there is no need for her to seek a divorce. From the time he disclosed this to her, and she had stopped having relations with him, she would start her iddah which is 3 menses. At the end of her iddah, she will be free to re-marry. (Kitabul Fatawa – Vol.5, Pgs.189-190, Zam Zam Publishers, Karachi 2005).

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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