If a husband and wife who were non-Muslims become Muslims, do they have to make a marriage contract again?

The Details of the Question

- There is a married couple; one of them is from the People of the Book and the other is from another faith (Buddhist, Atheist, etc.). They became believers; what is their marriage status now?

- Is it necessary for them to make a marriage contract according to Islam again?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Prophet regarded al-Haris b. Qays’ marriage contract before Islam valid after he became a Muslim and he did not consider whether the marriage contract was in accordance with the necessary conditions.

According to what is reported from Ibn Abbas, a man became a Muslim and entered into the presence of the Prophet (pbuh); then his wife arrived as a Muslim too. The man said,  

"O Messenger of Allah! She became a Muslim with me too." Thereupon, the Prophet returned the woman to him. (Abu Dawud, Talaq, 23; Ibn Majah, Nikah, 60; Tirmidhi, Nikah 43)

Accordingly, if a non-Muslim husband and a non-Muslim wife become Muslims together, their previous marriage is valid. They do not have to marry again. If there is nothing that annuls marriage like being milk siblings or close relatives, their previous marriage is valid. It is not necessary to search whether this marriage contract was made in accordance with the necessary conditions.

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