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Can I marry a Muslim man without divorcing my American husband for legal status?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftisays.com
Assalamu alejkum,

In order to get legal status in the USA I have married to an American man. I pay him money for that and never had any intimate relationships with him, and I live far away from him. I converted to Islam half year after this marriage. So our marriage had nothing to do with Islam because I was not Muslim and my “husband” was and is not a Muslim. Now I would like to marry a Muslim guy (who doesn’t have any legal status) and wonder if I have to divorce this person I am married to now. I want to know is it halal or haram for me to marry (in mosque or in other country) without divorcing this man now. It’s been a year now since we’ve got married with him and I’ve got my first legal paper (I am in legal status now for the following 2 years if I don’t divorce). Staying married is the only way for me to be able study and to visit my family (they all are far away, back in my country), and if I divorce, I may not be able to see them for many years…

Assalam alajkum warahmatullahi wa baraketuh.

9th Rajab 1427 – 3rd August 2006
Bismihi Ta’aalaa

If three menstrual cycles have passed since your conversion to Islam you will be considered as divorced. You can now marry a Muslim man without obtaining an official divorce from your first husband.
(Radd-ul-Muhtaar Page 363, Vol 4 – Dar-ul-Kutub, Beirut)

Allah (SWT) Knows Best.
(Mufti) Abdullah Patel

(Mufti) Abdullah Patel
Halal Food Guide

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This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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