Wife does not pray

Reference: Silsilah Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Tape 8

Question: I am married, and have three children. I adhere to the religion of Islaam in shaa.-Allaah. My wife is a Muslim, and she fasts [the month of] Ramadhaan, however, she does not pray or do any [other religious] acts [of worship], and neither does she obey me or offer her prayer. [This being the case], do I have the right to legally divorce her if she is not obedient to me, or not?

Response: If your wife does not pray, and has left the prayer and continues upon abandoning the prayer, then [in this case] she is a disbeliever, and refuge is sought in Allaah. This is the preponderant of the opinions of the people of knowledge; the one who has abandoned the prayer is a disbeliever, [rendered] out of the fold of Islaam, So based upon this, she is prohibited to you until she returns back to her religion and [begins] to pray. And it is not permissible for you to keep her with you under the current circumstances; that is because your marriage to her is nullified due to her apostating, unless she repents [sincerely to Allaah] and returns to the religion of Islaam – and [accordingly] begins to pray, in which case she can remain as your wife.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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