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Abandoning prayer does not invalidate marriage contract


Assalamu Alaykum My husband and i started to get to know more about Islam probably around 10 months before we got married (although we are born Muslims but living in a westernized environment). We started to explore Islam slowly in further details as days go by. Syukur Alhamdullillah, Allah S.W.T opened up our eyes to the truth and we have been trying to increase our knowledge as days pass us by. We recently found out that the marriage contract of those who did not pray is not valid. We did not practice praying consistently only until a few months after we got married. Although my husband did inform me the the morning of our Nikah, he did pray Fajr. However i did not. Please do note that we have ever prayed throughout our lives before on occasions. For me, before our marriage, i had not prayed for a very long time and only stated to pray after marriage. My husband is the same as well but the morning of the Nikah he prayed Fajr. Thus my concern is, should we renew our marriage contract? If yes, how long is the iddah period in this case? I am so confused right now and am greatly saddened with possibility that i might be living in sin with an invalid marriage. If we were to renew our marriage contract, it will be hard to inform my father to wali me again and my relative to become witnesses again as they simply just will not understand it. Worse, i'm afraid of fitna that they will think that my husband had divorce me and we were just giving excuses so that they will nikah us again. On top of all this, my father is also known not to pray(although i am not sure if he had repent as he is staying apart from us) and i am so stressed as to how i am going to go about renewing my marriage contract. Please help.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

There is no doubt that abandoning the prayer is one of the grave major sins but there is a difference of opinion among the jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them on the ruling on a person who abandons the prayer. Most of them are of the view that such a person does not go out of the fold of Islam. This is the view chosen by Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, contrarily to the well-known opinion in his School of jurisprudence. So, you may act according to his view.

In support of his opinion that the person who abandons the prayer does not go out of the fold of Islam, he made the following statement: “…because this view is the consensus of the Muslim scholars, as we do not know at any given time that a person who abandoned the prayer was not washed after his death, or that the funeral prayer was not conducted on him, or that he was not buried in a Muslim graveyard, or that his heirs were prevented from inheriting from him; also, he himself was not prevented from inheriting from the person whom he is entitled to inherit from, and no married couple was separated because either of them abandoned the prayer, while there are so many people who used to abandon the prayer. If such a person [i.e. the person who abandons the prayer] was considered a disbeliever [i.e. went out of the fold of Islam due to not performing the prayer], then such rulings would all have been confirmed against him.” For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 83943, 85264 and 86918.

Based on this, your marriage is valid, so each of you should have good marital relationship with the other, and you should perform good deeds, become righteous in the future and be keen on acquiring beneficial Islamic knowledge.

On the other hand, if it becomes evident to you that your father is still abandoning the prayer, then you should advise him in a gentle manner, or you may seek the help of whoever may influence him to do so. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 21794.

Allaah Knows best.

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