The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ask an Alim

Married to an atheist ,what should I do in this situation?


Salaam ale kum. Me and my wife are married for 10 years now and we are blessed with 1 daughter (7yrs) and son ( 2months). My wife belongs to shia syed family. She told me that she is an atheist just few days before our marriage when all cards were printed. At that time I din’t have enough knowledge about religion and I told her that it’s a disease and you will come out of it. We married in 2011. Now with 2 kids and married to a wife who does not belive in Allah makes me feel sad that I have taken a wrong decision. Even her father mother and sister does not practice Islam. Few days back I came to know that they all are atheist as well. I feel now that it’s all mistake and I have 2 lovely kids now and I am making sure that my daughter be on the right path and I also have one maulana teaching her. My question is ” what should I do in this situation? I cannot leave my kid and I also love my wife., is my marriage legitimate” please help me and I would love to talk to someone who can counsel me on this topic.


Wa Alaikum al-salam

Thanks for your question
Sometimes people say thing but they don’t mean that, these saying are out of feeling and there are no intention behind it, but other times they say thing with previous intention, there is a believe behind that, in islam this count as Irtidad (Apostasy) which means abandoning islam and The punishment for apostasy includes state enforced annulment of his or her marriage, seizure of the person’s children and property with automatic assignment to guardians and heirs, and death for the apostate.
There are two types of ‘apostate’ (murtadd):
1. ‘fiṭrī’: this is someone whose father and mother, or one of them, were Muslim when he was born, and after he was able to discern between right and wrong (tamyīz) he remained a Muslim, and after that he became a disbeliever.
2. ‘millī’: this is someone who is the opposite [of a fiṭrī apostate; i.e. it refers to someone whose father and mother, or one of them, were disbelievers when he was born, and after he was able to discern between right and wrong he became a Muslim, and after that he became a disbeliever].
rulings about a woman becoming apostate according to ayatullah sistani:
Ruling 2466. If after the conclusion of a marriage contract a woman becomes apostate, whether that be millī or fiṭrī, her marriage contract becomes void. And in the event that her husband has not had sexual intercourse with her, she does not have to observe ʿiddah. The same applies if she becomes apostate after sexual intercourse but she is postmenopausal (yāʾisah) [as defined below] or a minor (ṣaghīrah). However, if she is of the age of women who experience menstruation (ḥayḍ), she must observe ʿiddah in accordance with the instructions that will be mentioned in the laws pertaining to divorce. If she reverts to Islam within the ʿiddah period, the marriage contract will remain as it is, although it is better that if the couple wish to live together they should contract a marriage again, and if they wish to separate they should get a divorce. A postmenopausal woman in this ruling is a woman who has reached the age of fifty, and due to her advanced age she does not experience ḥayḍ and has no expectation of experiencing it again. (source:
So if their claim about being atheist and rejecting Allah swt is out of anger and such things without pre intention then there is nothing, and there will be no penalty, but it seems there is an intention behind these claims so she counts as murtad and must be dealt with accordingly.
Sheikh Mahdi Mosayyebi