What should a recently converted Muslim woman do If she has already had a marriage with a non-Muslim man?

Details of the Question
Hi. I am a Catholic married woman who wants to convert to Islam. I have questioned my Catholic faith for so many years. 16 months ago, I started reading the Qur'an, and found it difficult to stop reading it and wanted to know more. Can I convert to Islam and hope that my husband will follow me when he is ready? I know a Muslim women cannot marry with a non-Muslim men. However, what can be done when you convert but you are already in a committed marriage?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

As you said, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man.

As is learned from Islamic sources, at the time of Umar Ibn-i Khattab's caliphate, may Allah be pleased with him, a Christian woman became Muslim, but her husband did not become Muslim. Thereupon, Caliph Umar divorced them. (See V. Zuhayli, al-Fıkhu’l-Islami, 7/158)
If the couples become Muslim together, their former marriage is valid. (Zuhayli,7159).
According to the majority of Muslim scholars, if a Christian woman becomes Muslim and her husband does not become Muslim, after the period of “iddat” (the time period a divorced woman has to wait before marrying another man) ends, they get divorced. (Halil Günenç, al-Muntahabatu’l-Fıkhiyya, p.199)
The best way is to persuade your husband immediately and to enable him to become a Muslim.
Let us point out that you have saved your eternal life by choosing Islam. For this reason, whatever the circumstances, do not ever turn back from this way. We believe that you can talk to your husband and persuade him in the three-month period of “iddat” and we pray for you.
If this time does not suffice, -without sexual intercourse- you can share the same house and thus earn some more time. Indeed, instead of being outside of Islam, other sins may even be preferred unwillingly.
As is narrated from some scholars, Umar Ibn-i Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “After becoming Muslim, a non-Muslim (Christian) woman, if she wills, may divorce her non-Muslim husband, and if she wills, may wait for him to become Muslim (without engaging in sexual intercourse). Even if after years, when her husband becomes Muslim, their marriage continues.” (Günenç, the work mentioned, p.200. –For more information, see Ibn Kayyim, ahkamu’z-zimme, 2/641-648).
May Allah be your helper, Who has sent Jesus Christ and Muhammad as Prophets, peace and blessings upon them both.

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