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Marry a muslim if already married to mon-muslim (halal/haram)

Last updated: 2nd July 2006
Question ID: #2045
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Assalamu alejkum,

In order to get legal status in the USA I have married to an American man. I pay him money for that and never had any intimate relationships with him, and I live far away from him. I converted to Islam half year after this marriage. So our marriage had nothing to do with Islam because I was not Muslim and my “husband” was and is not a Muslim. Now I would like to marry a Muslim guy (who doesn’t have any legal status) and wonder if I have to divorce this person I am married to now. I want to know is it halal or haram for me to marry (in mosque or in other country) without divorcing this man now. It’s been a year now since we’ve got married with him and I’ve got my first legal paper (I am in legal status now for the following 2 years if I don’t divorce). Staying married is the only way for me to be able study and to visit my family (they all are far away, back in my country), and if I divorce, I may not be able to see them for many years…

Assalam alajkum warahmatullahi wa baraketuh.

9th Rajab 1427 - 3rd August 2006
Bismihi Ta'aalaa

If three menstrual cycles have passed since your conversion to Islam you will be considered as divorced. You can now marry a Muslim man without obtaining an official divorce from your first husband.
(Radd-ul-Muhtaar Page 363, Vol 4 - Dar-ul-Kutub, Beirut)

Allah (SWT) Knows Best.
(Mufti) Abdullah Patel

Answer last updated on:
12th August 2006
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 03
Location: UK