Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh:
I’m hoping the Shaykh can offer some advice that I can pass on to a friend. A friend of mine, a Muslimah, became pregnant–and rather than have the child out-of-wedlock, married the non-Muslim father of her baby. She felt that was the best thing to do, rather than make things worse by having an abortion or raising the child without its father.
Her own father now basically considers her dead. While I personally think she did the right thing in a bad situation–there are those Muslims who say that she is continuing to commit adultery because her marriage is not valid.
What advice would you have for this girl and her family? The baby is due soon–and the situation has brought great stress upon all involved. We are all making du’a that one day the father of the baby will come to Islam, but other than that–what can we do? Is she continuing to commit adultery by having married this man? Should we encourage the father to have a relationship with his daughter, and new granddaughter–in hopes of keeping her within Islam and also doing dawa to the baby’s father?
Alaykum as-Salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
In a hypothetical marriage between two Muslims if the man becomes an apostate the marriage contract (nikah) is automatically dissolved. Similarly, nikah does not take place between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, it is intrisically invalid (batil) from the start, because it is missing one of its integrals (rukn, pl. arkan), namely for the groom to be Muslim. So such cohabitation is indeed fornication (zina) both before and after the state-issued civil marriage license.
We can say that “she did the right thing” from a secular perspective by making her relationship official; however, from the perspective of her own Islamic standards she has added one disastrous mistake on top of another. She will also be accountable on the Day of Resurrection about the rights of her own children to be born inside a valid nikah wedlock and be raised as Muslims. She should invite her partner to take shahada 24/7 and once he declares it sincerely then they can hold a proper nikah in sha Allah.
The Muslim father of the bride is not off the hook and has no right to “consider her dead.” He should take account of himself and check whether he has a living relationship with Allah Most High, Who is testing him severely through his daughter’s actions. If she had a blameless spiritual upbringing she would not suddenly wake up one day and decide to throw it all away. He should continue his relationship with her to stem her further alienation from the Divine good pleasure and as an avenue of guidance back to what is best for her and her children here and hereafter. And Allah knows best.
Hajj Gibril Haddad