When I met my now wife a few years back, she was a convert to Islam who had chosen the Shia path. I talked to her about the Sunni branch, since I think that Shias have deviated from the Quran and Sunnah. She accepted to be Sunni back then. We have been married for five years, and many times she has expressed the wish to go back to Shia Islam. She did make a lot of effort to learn according to Quran and Sunnah, but she says that her heart is not connecting and as a result her Imaan and Ibaada has gone down. I am unhappy about her wanting to go back to Shia Islam, specially that we have children and I don’t want them to emulate her. We are considering separation, what shall I do?
Wa Alaykumu Salam,
There are several concerns regarding your circumstances that may affect the overall situation. The first, and maybe the most important, is your perception of Shi’ism. Whatever aversion you have towards that point of view of Islam you should keep in mind that you may have a bit of prejudice founded on inaccurate information. It may be of some use that you get better acquainted with the ideas of Shi’ites. Why I suggest this is because your marriage is in the balance. What if you took the time to understand Shi’ism and found your preconceived notions were faulty and not as objectionable as you originally thought? This does not mean that you would accept their ideological differences; rather, it may put you at ease in terms of the differences. If your marriage is of importance to you, apparently it is, then you should do your best to preserve it. A difference of opinion – even a religious one – should not weaken this bond. Your children will be far more negatively affected with a divorce than to be raised in a household with differences of ideologies. If we are allowed to marry the People of the Book and have children with them why should we cut off a relationship with someone who still is a Muslim?
The communication between you and your wife is commendable. It is pleasant to see people reasoning through their situation. Just as you are able to do this you should both be able make things work out with the proper amount of compromise. If you have the right ingredients of understanding you hopefully will be able to achieve it. If your wife has found her truth you need to respect that. However, if you both find that you cannot live with this difference then separation may be the way to go. A very important point to keep in mind is that you are not obliged by Islam to divorce because your wife has chosen other than Sunni Islam. We will all have to account for the decisions we make but that is between us and our Maker.
Whatever you both decide may the Almighty guide you.
I hope this helps.
God knows best.