Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: I recently found out I pregnant. I have been married for less than a year. My husband and I are overjoyed; however since being married and finding out I am pregnant, my husband stopped praying. He misses all his prayers. He argues with me on all matters of Islam, and ultimately, it is having a negative impact on me because i need his support and prayers as I am going through a tough time adjusting to marital life and the pregnancy. I feel as though i have no patience. What can i do to help him? Do i leave him to his own devices or do i help him?
Answer: May Allah grant you success in dealing with your situation. Before giving advice and suggestions on how you can approach the situation, it is important to know the ruling regarding changing a wrong. Any wrong (munkar), including leaving prayer, must be changed by a Muslim if one is able. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whosoever of you sees a wrong (munkar) must change it with his hand. If he is not able to, then with his tongue. If he is not able to then with his heart.”
There are conditions to this changing though and they are 1) Knowledge that there is consensus about the prohibition of the matter at hand, 2) The belief that the attempt to change will be of benefit, and 3) That they changing does now lead to a greater harm.
In terms of the first condition, you know that there is consensus about the obligation of the prayer. Now you have to see if there is a benefit for you to mention something to him. If there is, even if it requires many times until he gets the point, then you have to work towards that. If you feel there is zero benefit to your urging him to pray then it is not an obligation to work towards the change. We must be careful though in allowing ourselves a way out by saying that there is no benefit in changing the wrong.
In terms of helping him see the right, one of the best things that you can do is lead by example. Make sure that he sees you do wudu and pray. You can also send him inspirational articles and videos that you may find he would benefit from. You have to use wisdom in choosing what to send him and when.
You know your husband’s temperament and you would be the judge of how much and how often to remind him. Another important thing to remember about calling to the good is that you have to work incrementally. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered Muadh ibn Jabal to focus on calling the people to tawheed when he sent Muadh to Yemen and said that once the people are firm in their faith to work on the prayer.
Based on this, I would say that you should work on helping your husband strengthen his faith. As you see his faith grow, then start incrementally with encouragement about the prayer. Do not worry about all the other details of the religion that he is not accepting, since faith and prayer are the most important. The people once complained to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) about a young man who they said he did every wrong action around.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) told them to not worry about the young man because he prays with him in congregation and this would cause him to leave those foul things. Eventually, the young man left all foul things because of the prayer and Allah says, “Indeed prayer prohibits indecency and foul things” (Quran 29:45).
May Allah grant you success in working towards providing a spiritual place to bring your child into. The most important part of your “nesting” will be creating a space where your child can grow spiritually. Have sincerity in your endeavor, trust in Allah, depend on Him, leave things ultimately to Him, and you will find success.