Wife’s apostasy


As-salamu ‘alaykum,

Regarding the status of a woman’s marriage in the case of her apostasy, the Hanafi school has three opinions: 1. Her marriage contract breaks and she must reconvert and remarry her husband. 2. Her apostasy has no effect on her marriage at all. 3. the woman becomes the slave of her (now ex-)husband. [source: Traditionalist approaches to shari`ah reform: Mawlana Ashraf `Ali Thanawi’s fatwa on women’s right to divorce]

A person said that the last opinion is attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah, whereas the second opinion is attributed to Hanafi scholars of Central Asia. Do these two opinions have any basis in the Qur’an and Sunna and are they properly ascribed to the Ahnaf?


wa `alaykum salam,
There is a difference of opinion among the scholars.
Imams Abu Haneefah and Abu Yoosuf said that the apostasy of one of the spouses annuls the marriage. They are to be separated immediately be it before consummation of marriage or afterwards. This does not count as a divorce but rather separation under special circumstances.

Imam Senad Agic
Head Imam (IABNA)
The Islamic Association of Bosniaks in North America
American Islamic Center – Chicago

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