Assalaamu alaykum, respected Scholar. I would like your advice on an issue that I have. I would like to marry a Filipina who converted to Islam in 2011. Her Husband has not converted and took another woman even before she converted to Islam. They have been separated ever since. She is a practicing Muslimah and very devout and loyal to Islam. Now the issue is that according to Filipino law, she cannot get a divorce, and the only way is the annulment of the marriage, which is a very lengthy process in itself. We want to start our own life as a married couple and raise our kids. (Note: her children are from her ex, and they show a certain liking towards Islam.) So my question is the following: in your good knowledge, what can we do to take steps to start our own married life? Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking your time to answer my question.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
If this woman converted to Islam and her husband did not embrace Islam until her ‘Iddah (waiting period) expired, she is entitled to marry another man. For details, please refer to fatwas 107894 and 84226.
Hence, it is permissible for you to marry her because there is no religious impediment to your marriage. However, it is feared that your marriage at this point may incur legal problems on you. You might be held legally accountable if you marry her before she finalizes her divorce officially. Therefore, it is better that you wait until the legal procedures of the divorce are finalized.
Allah knows best.
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