I was a non-Muslim woman, and I used to befriend a non-Muslim man who converted into Islam after he was sent to prison. While in prison, he helped me to know my way to Islam by sending me Islamic books, dawah materials and alike, by correspondence. I entered islam already and we agreed to marry once he is out and released from prison. But after one year, I get acquainted with a good Muslim man from our district who is keeping prayers at mosque, known to be religious in society, and even he has been accepted to join Almadina Almunawwarh university to study the Islamic knowledge there. All these facts convinced me enough to forsake my old friend and marry that religious man in hope that he will help me deeply to adhere to my religion. By days, I discovered that he does not observe prayers regularly, takes many matters so lightly (too tolerant), and even he changed his mind about studying in Almadina Almunawwarh university. Now we are both in regular quarrelling, so that a complete 7 days pass without talking to each other. He has divorced me twice, and we have one daughter, so I wish I can bring her up in an Islamic way of life, but I think that husband can't help me. Recently, my old friend appeared again out of jail, he started to re-correspond with me so I am thinking seriously to ask for final divorce in order to marry that old friend but I don't know what should I do? Should I be more patient seeking reward from Allah? Or should I ask for divorce?.
First of all, we ask Allah to make you steadfast in Islam and to make things easy for you, and to choose for you that which is best in this world and in the Hereafter.
Remember that the blessing of adherence to this great religion should not be spoiled by anything that your husband does to you. Such things happen in many families, but the laws and rulings of Islam contain nothing but that which is in the best interests of the individual, the family and society, and the one who goes against them is not harming anyone but himself. Islam has nothing to do with his actions.
The first man did you a favour by calling you to Islam, and we ask Allah to reward him for that with the best reward.
But now he should understand that things have changed. Now you are married to another man, so he should stop corresponding with you and talking to you.
You should understand that spoiling a woman’s relationship with her husband is something that is forbidden and is in fact a major sin.
Continuing to correspond with you is spoiling the relationship between you and your husband.
What you should do is to be patient in putting up with your husband and do not be hasty in seeking divorce.
Try to treat your husband kindly and nicely. This is among the most important means of making him change and begin to treat you properly.
Look for an opportunity at the right time to speak to him about adhering to the rulings of Islam and remaining steadfast therein, and remind him that this is the way to true happiness in this world and the Hereafter, in order to set things straight between you and so that your daughter may receive a sound upbringing with both of her parents.
As for the idea of marrying your first friend, you do not know whether that would be better or not. Oftentimes a person thinks that something would be better for him when in fact it is the opposite. And Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allâh knows but you do not know”
We ask Allah to set your affairs straight.
And Allah knows best.