Fatwa: # 19105
Category: Marriage (Nikah)
Country: South Africa
Date: 9th December 2010


he married her while she was in Iddah


A person came to know that he had married his wife during her ‘iddah from her first husband.  By this time, he even had a child with her.  What is the status of his nikāh and what should he do?



In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

When a woman is in her ‘iddah, certain rulings of her nikāh still apply to her, one of which is that she is not allowed to even make a promise of marriage with another person, let alone the conduct the actual marriage.  Allāh Ta’ālā says,


وَلَا تَعْزِمُوا عُقْدَةَ النِّكَاحِ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْكِتَابُ أَجَلَهُ (البقرة: 235)

And do not resolve on the bond of marriage until the prescribed term is fulfilled (Qur’ān 2:235)


Hence, one of the conditions of marriage is that a woman may not be in someone else’s ‘iddah, irrespective of whether it was due to her being divorced or widowed [i].  Since the person in question married the woman while she was in ‘iddah from her previous husband, the nikāh is not valid.  However, since they had marital relations, they husband is still responsible for the mahr [ii]. 

Since the nikāh of these two individuals was not valid, they should immediately refrain from any interactions not allowed between unmarried, non-mahram men and women.  However, they should quickly conduct a new nikāh, including a (new) mahr, so that they may move on with their family life as a properly married couple [iii]. 

And Allāh knows best.

Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)

[i]    ومنها ألا تكون معتدة الغير...لأن بعض أحكام النكاح حالة العدة قائم فكان النكاح قائما من وجه والثابت من وجه كالثابت من كل وجه في باب المحرمات...سواء كانت العدة عن طلاق أو عن وفاة أو دخول في نكاح فاسد أو شبهة نكاح

(بدائع الصنائع، كتاب النكاح، فصل في شرط الزوجة: 3/451؛ العلمية)


[ii] إذا وقع النكاح فاسدا وفرق القاضي بين الزوج وبين المرأة...وإن كان قد دخل بها فلها الأقل مما سمى لها ومن مهر المثل إن كان ثمة مسمى [وإن لم يكن ثمة مسمى] فلها مهر المثل بالغا ما بلغ ويجب العدة

(المحيط البرهاني، كتاب النكاح، الفصل السابع عشر: 4/168؛ إدارة)


[iii]ولو تزوج منكوجة الغير وهو لا يعلم أنها منكوحة الغير فوطئها تجب العدة... ويجوز لصاحب العدة أن يتزوجها

(الفتاوى الهندية، كتاب النكاح، الباب الثالث، القسم السادس: 1/280؛ الفكر)



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