Marrying a Convert Lady
What is the opinion of jurists2 in the following matter: A Sharīf3 converted a non-muslim cobbler-woman to Islam, married her and brought her home. When his kin came to know about this [and deeming that the] Sharīf has tarnished the name of a family of Qadiri4 Sayyids and keeps a cobbler-woman covered (in ĥijāb)5 at home, [they were enraged]. This woman has been a widow for the past two years. Muslims in the neighborhood along with Hindus [who joined them] uncovered the woman, dragged her out on the street, humiliated and dishonored this woman. Unrelated6 men even beat her and locked her up in the police station.
a) Do Allāh ázza wa jall and His Rasūl şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam permit such a treatment of this newly convert woman?
b) Are those who treated this woman in such a manner sinful, or is the Sharīf who converted her and married her?
c) Is it permitted by the shariáh to boycott this Sharīf and expel him from the community?
d) Is there any way that the woman can become an equal?7
To convert someone to Islam is an act of great virtue and that which deserves a great reward. It is also a good deed to marry her and to keep her veiled in the house. To expel (a man who does so) from the community or to boycott him is extreme oppression and cruelty.
Those who have treated the Muslim lady (as described above) have committed a grave sin. These acts are outright ĥarām8, oppression and cruelty. All those involved have transgressed human rights.9 Allāh jalla wa álā10 and His Rasūl şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam will be unhappy with such people. There is no condition that the woman should be an equal for a pubert man.11
Allāh táālā knows best.
1. Query sent by: Sayyid Ábd al-Karīm Qādiri Rizwi, Masjid Gharib Shah, Pahār Ganj, Delhi. Signed, Shawwāl the 9th 1339AH.
2. Fuqahā, sing. faqīh: jurist.
3. Sayyid or sharīf: descendants of the Prophet şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam through his grandsons Al-Ĥasan and Al-Ĥusayn.
4. Qādiri: a follower of Shaykh Ábd al-Qādir al-Jilānī; an initiate in the Qadiri path.
5. ĥijāb: the Islamic veil
6. nā-maĥram: total strangers or those relatives whom one can marry.
7. maĥram: unmarriageable kin: those relatives whom one cannot marry.
8. kufw: the condition of equal status in marriage stipulated by some jurists.
9. ĥarām: forbidden by Islamic law.
10. ĥaqq al-íbād
11. Glory to Him and Exalted is He
12. That is, being of equal stature is not a necessary condition for a pubert man; in other words, a pubert man can marry any woman permitted by the Sharīáh.