Ruling on a Muslim woman remaining with a non-Muslim husband

Q 2: What is the ruling if a Christian woman whose husband is Christian converts to Islam and wants to marry a Muslim man? What is the Shar`y (Islamic legal) ruling on this?

A: If a woman married to a non-Muslim man converts to Islam, she is prohibited to be his wife and they should be separated. However, the elapse of her `Iddah (waiting period) has to be taken into consideration. If the `Iddah is over before he converts to Islam, a minor irrevocable divorce will take place as Allah (Exalted be He) said: ...then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them. If he converts to Islam before the elapse of her `Iddah, she should return to him because the Prophet (peace be upon him) (Part No. 19; Page No. 21) returned Muhajir women (those immigrated from Makkah to Madinah) to their husbands who converted to Islam while the women were still in the `Iddah period. However, if he converts to Islam after the elapse of the `Iddah, he may marry her anew through a new marriage contract. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.