Praise be to Allaah.
The marriage of a Muslim woman to a kaafir, no matter what
his religion, is invalid according to sharee’ah and their intimacy is
tantamount to fornication. They must be separated, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And do not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses) till they
believe (worship Allaah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is
better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you.
And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikoon till they believe
(in Allaah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free)
Mushrik (idolater), even though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite
you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His
And Allaah says, stating that the Muslim women are not
permissible in marriage for kaafir men (interpretation of the meaning):
“They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are
the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them”
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book
al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam al-Qur’aan (3/72): The ummah is unanimously agreed
that a kaafir man cannot marry a Muslim woman at all because that undermines
the position of Islam.
But if the man becomes a Muslim – as mentioned in the
question – then he must re-marry the woman with a new marriage contract,
because the first marriage contract was invalid and does not count for
anything in sharee’ah.
Shaykh ‘Atiyah Muhammad Saalim said in his completion of the
book Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 8/164-165:
Why is it permissible for a Muslim man to marry a kaafir
woman from among the People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians), but it
is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a kaafir man from among the
People of the Book?
This question may be answered from two angles:
1 – That Islam should prevail and not be prevailed over. The
role of maintainer and protector in marriage belongs exclusively to the
husband, so the man may influence his wife and she may not be able to
practice her religion as she should, and she may leave her religion
altogether. Similarly the children will follow the religion of their
2 – Islam is comprehensive and other religions are limited,
on which there is based a social matter that affects family life and the
relationship between the spouses. This means is that if a Muslim man marries
a Jewish or Christian woman, he believes in her Book and her Prophet, so he
will deal with her on a basis of respect for her religion because he
believes in it in general terms, and that will give them some common ground
which may lead to her becoming Muslim as her own Book tells her. But if a
Jewish or Christian man marries a Muslim woman, he does not believe in her
religion so he will not have any respect towards her religion or her
principles. There is no room for common ground with him with regard to
something that he does not believe in at all. So there is no room for
harmony or mutual understanding; there is no goodness in such a marriage, so
it is forbidden in the first place.
So they must make a new marriage contract. And Allaah knows
With regard to the question about al-Salaah al-Naariyyah,
please see question no.