Fatwa: # 3037
Category: Divorce
Country: South Africa
Date: 22nd May 2001

Title

Iddah/Iddat (Period of waiting)

Question

Answer

%0D%0A%CDDDAH+%28Period+of+waiting%29%0D%0ALiterally+-the+word+%27iddah+means+to+count.+The+count+of+the+monthly+purifications+after+menstruation.%0D%0A%0D%0AReligiously+%27iddah+means+the+period+of+waiting+by+a+woman+in+a+house+on+the+dissolution+of+her+marriage+after+consummation+or+on+the+demise+of+her+husband+even+if+the+marriage+has.+not+been+consummated.+She+is+not+allowed+to+leave+the+house+in+this+period.+A+marriage+contracted+by+her+during+this+period+is+void.%0D%0A%0D%0AOBJECT%0D%0AThe+primary+object+of+%27iddah+is+imposed+to+ascertain+whether+the+woman+is+pregnant+so+that+the+paternity+of+the+child+that+may+be+born+to+her+after+the+death+of+her+husband+or+the+dissolution+of+her+marriage+may+be+determined.+Another+object+is+due+to+the+close+and+important+relationship+between+the+husband+and+wife%2C+in+the+case+of+a+deceased+husband+the+shari%27ah+has+imposed+upon+the+wife+to+observe+mourning+and+express+sorrow+during+the+period+of+%27iddah.+This+serves+as+a+mark+of+respect+for+the+de-+ceased+husband.%0D%0A%0D%0AThe+rules+regarding+%27iddah+vary+in+different+cases+and+it+will+be+inappropriate+to+include+the+full+detail+of+all+types+of+%27iddah+in+this+booklet.+The+%27iddah+after+the+death+of+the+husband+-+which+is+relevant+is+dealt+with+hereunder.%0D%0A%0D%0APERIOD+OF+%27I+DDAH%0D%0A1.+A+woman+has+to+observe+%27iddah+for+four+lunar+months+and+ten+days+on+the+death+of+her+husband+irrespective+whether+she+is+a+major+or+minor+%28i.e.+she+being+a+child+or+past+the+age+of+menstruation%29+or+even+if+the+marriage+has+not+been+consummated.%0D%0A2.+If+the+husband+dies+on+the+first+day+of+the+Islamic+month+%28which+is+reekonned+according+to+the+lunar+sighting%29+then+the+four+months+and+ten+days+of+the+%27iddah+will+be+calculated+according+to+the+lunar+months+that+follow.+Certain+months+may+be+of+twenty-nine+days+and+others+may+be+of+thirty+days.%0D%0A3.+If+the+demise+was+not+on+the+first+day+of+the+Islamic+month+then+she+will+calculate+thirty+days+for+all+four+months+that+follow+%284+x+30+120+10+130+days%29.+The+months+that+may+be+of+twenty-nine+days+will+not+be+considered.+This+same+rule+applies+to+an+%27iddah+of+Talaq+in+the+case+where+the+widow+is+not+pregnant.%0D%0A4.+The+%27iddah+of+a+pregnant+woman+is+up+to+the+time+of+delivery+or+miscarriage+%28only+if+the+limbs+of+the+embryo+had+formed%29+whether+the+%27iddah+is+due+to+death%2C+divorce+or+any+form+of+separation.+The+four+months+and+ten+days+must+not+be+reckoned+in+this+instance.%0D%0A5.+If+the+woman+is+bearing+twins+her+%27iddah+will+only+terminate+when+the+second+child+is+delivered.%0D%0A6.+If+the+husband+dies+while+the+wife+is+observing+the+%27iddah+due+to+a+divorce+%28%27iddah+of+Talaaq%29+then+the+following+rules+will+apply%3A-%0D%0A%2A+If+the+husband+gives+a+Raj%27ee+Talaaq+%28revocable+divorce%29+and+should+he+then+die+while+his+wife+is+still+observing+the+%27iddah+of+Talaaq%2C+she+shall+now+have+to+abandon+that+%27iddah+and+observe+the+%27iddah+of+death+which+is+four+months+and+ten+days+.from+the+time+of+the+husband%27s+death.+The+remaining+period+of+the+first+%27iddah+which+was+due+to+the+divorce+shall+not+be+reckoned+in+any-way.+In+case+any+one+of+the+married+couple+dies+during+the+period+of+%27iddah+following+a+revocable+divorce%2C+the+surviving+spouse+inherits+from+the+deceased.%0D%0A%2A+If+the+husband+gives+a+Baa%27in+Talaaq+%28irrevocable+divorce%29+while+he+was+in+good+health%2C+whether+this+divorce+was+at+her+instance+or+not%2C+and+should+he+then+die+while+his+wife+is+still+observing+the+%27iddah+of+Talaaq%2C+then+she+should+complete+the+%27iddah+of+Talaaq.+No+%27iddah+for+the+death+of+her+husband+will+be+incumbent+on+her+nor+will+she+inherit+from+his+estate.%0D%0A%2A+If+this+Baa%27in+Talaaq+%28irrevocable+divorce%29+is+pronounced+during+the+death+illness+%28maradbui-mowt%29+and+it+was+at+the+wifes+instance%2C+and+should+the+husband+die+during+the+wifes+%27iddah+of+Talaaq%2C+then+too+she+should+complete+the+%27iddah+of+Talaaq+and+there+will+be+no+%27iddah+of+death+for+her+nor+will+she+inherit+from+the+deceased+husband.%0D%0A%2A+If+the+Baa%27in+Talaaq+%28irrevocable+divorce%29+is+given+during+the+death+illness%2C+not+at+the+Instance+of+the+wife+and+the+husband+dies+during+the+wifes+%27iddah+of+Talaaq+then+she+has+to+observe+the+%27iddah+for+either+divorce+or+death+whichever+period+be+the+longer.+%28three+full+menstruation+courses+or+delivery+if+there+be+a+pregnancy+for+%27iddah+of+divorce+against+four+months+and+ten+days+for+%27iddah+of+death%29+In+this+case+she+will+inherit+from+her+husbands+estate.%0D%0A7.+If+the+marriage+be+faasid+%28irregular%29+%28i.e.+performing+nikah+without+witnesses+or+marrying+two+sisters+at+the+same+time+etc.%29+and+has+not+been+consummated%2C+no+%27iddah+is+necessary.+But+if+it+has+actually+been+consummated+she+has+to+observe+%27iddah+for+three+menstrual+courses+or+three+months+if+she+is+not+subject+to+them.+If+she+is+pregnant+then+her+%27iddah+will+expire+only+on+delivery.+The+period+of+%27iddah+shall+begin+from+the+time+of+the+death+of+her+husband.+In+this+case+the+%27iddah+of+four+months+and+ten+days+will+not+apply.%0D%0A%0D%0ACOMMENCEMENT+OF%27IDDAH%0D%0A1.+The+period+of+%27iddah+commences+from+the+time+of+death+of+the+husband+or+divorce+or+other+causes+of+separation.+It+is+not+in+any+way+affected+by+the+wife%27s+ignorance+of+the+fact+that+it+had+become+due.%0D%0A2.+If+she+receives+the+news+about+the+divorce+or+the+husband%27s+death+at+a+later+stage+but+within+the+prescribed+four+months+and+ten+days%2C+then+she+will+remain+in+%27iddah+for+the+remaining+days+required+to+complete+the+four+months+and+ten+days.%0D%0A3.+If+she+does+not+receive+any+information+about+the+divorce+or+the+husband%27s+death+until+such+time+when+the+prescribed+period+of.+%27iddah+has+already+expired+then+no+%27iddah+shall+be+waajib+%28incum-+bent%29+on+her.%0D%0A4.+If+a+woman+is+not+at+home+at+the+time+of+her+husband%27s+death+or+at+the+time+of+a+divorce.+She+should+return+as+soon+as+possible+and+observe+the+%27iddah+at+home.+The+days+of+%27iddah+are+calculated+from+the+time+of+the+demise+of+her+husband+or+the+time+when+the+divorce+was+given.%0D%0A%0D%0APLACE+OD+IDDAH%0D%0A1.+It+is+incumbent+upon+a+woman+under+%27iddah+to+observe+it+in+the+house+where+she+was+residing+at+the+time+of+the+death+of+her+lius-+band+or+the+dissolution+of+the+marriage.%0D%0A2.+If+the+%27iddah+becomes+incumbent+on+a+wife+while+on+a+journey+she+should+return+to+the+place+of+her+residence+as+soon+as+possible+to+observe+her+%27iddah.+Provided+that+her+permanent+home+is+within+the+Shar%27i+safar+distance%2C+and+not+beyond.%0D%0A3.+If+the+husband+dies+while+the+wife+is+estranged+%28but+not+divorced%29+and+she+is+at+her+parents+home+or+elsewhere+she+has+to+return+imme-+diately+to+her+husband%27s+house+and+observe+the+%27iddah+there.+This+is+even+if+the+husband+dies+elsewhere.%0D%0A%0D%0AMAINTENANCE+DURING+%27IDDAH%0D%0A1.+In+the+case+of+the+husband%27s+death+the+widow+shall+not+be+entitled+to+any+maintenance+from+the+estate+of+her+husband+for+the+period+of+her+%27iddah%2C+due+to+being+an+heir.+The+liability+of+maintenance+lies+only+on+the+husband+and+the+other+heirs+are+not+responsible+for+the+same.%0D%0A2.+She+will+inherit+from+the+estate+of+her+husband.%0D%0A3.+If+she+did+not+receive+her+dowry+%28Mebr%29+nor+did+she+forgive+her+husband+for+it%2C+she+should+receive+it+as+a+first+charge+from+his+estate.%0D%0A%0D%0ARULES+FOR+OBSERVANCE+OF+%27IDDAH%0D%0AThere+are+two+ayahs+%28verses%29+in+the+Qur%27aan+regarding+the+observance+of+%27iddah+of+death.+These+ayahs+sufficiently+denote+the+importance+of+%27iddah.%0D%0A1.+And+%28as+for%29+those+of+you+who+die+and+leave+wives+behind%2C+such+women+should+keep+themselves+in+waiting+for+four+months+and+ten+days+%28AI.Baqarah+-+234%29.%0D%0A2.+And+the+pregnant+women%2C+their+prescribed+time+is+that+they+lay+down+their+burden+%28Al-Talaaq+-+4%29.%0D%0A%0D%0ATo+disregard+Allah%27s+commands+regarding%2C+%27iddah+is+a+major+sin.+The+following+are+important+rules+to+be+observed+during+%27iddah.%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0AMOURNING+DURING%27IDDAH%0D%0A1.+It+is+waaiib+%28obligatory%29+for+an+adult+sane+woman+to+mourn+the+death+of+her+husband+during+the+%27iddah.+Mourning+is+not+waajib+upon+a+woman+who+is+insane+or+a+minor%2C+though+all+the+other+rules+of+%27iddah+will+apply+to+these+two+as+well.%0D%0A2.+Thus+it+is+not+permissible+for+a+women+who+is+in+%27iddah+to+adorn+herself+with+flashy+coloured+clothing%2C+wear+jeweII6ry%2C+use+perfumes%2C+apply+hina+%28mehndi%29%2C+surma+or+make-ups%2C+or+beautify+herself+in+any+way.+Although+she+is+certainly+allowed+to+keep+herself+clean+and+presentable.%0D%0A3.+In+Christian+countries+Muslim+women+must+abstain+from+wearing+black+clothes+during+%27iddah+because+this+is+the+Christian+way+of+mourning+their+dead.%0D%0A4.+However+coloured+clothes+that+are+old+and+not+flashy+could+be+used+and+if+need+be+surma+could+be+applied+at+night+for+medicinal+purpose%2C+but+should+be+removed+in+the+morning.%0D%0A5.+If+she+is+used+to+applying+oil+to+her+hair+and+she+fears+that+not+applying+hair+oil+will+result+in+headaches+then+she+is+allowed+to+use+non-scented+hair+oil%2C+provided+the+result+does+not+enhance+her+beauty.%0D%0A6.+Mourning+by+the+wife+is+not+allowed+for+any+other+person+besides+the+husband.+However+if+the+husband+does+not+prohibit+the+wife%2C+she+may+mourn+the+death+of+a+relative+for+three+days+only.%0D%0ARasulullah+S.A.W.+has+sternly+prohibited+mourning+for+more+than+three+days+besides+the+widow+for+her+husband+which+is+four+months+and+ten+days.%0D%0A%0D%0AREMAINING+IN+THE+HOME+DURING%27IDDAH%0D%0A1.+During+the+period+of+%27iddah+the+bereaved+wife+should+remain+in+the+dwelling+that+they+occupied+at+the+time+of+the+demise+of+her+husband.+It+is+not+permissible+%28Haraam%29+for+her+to+leave+this+house+if+she+has+sufficient+provision.%0D%0A2.+If+she+is+the+sole+bread+winner+with+no+other+means+of+income+then+only+is+she+permitted+to+leave+her+house+during+the+day+to+seek+her+livelihood.+She+must+return+to+this+house+before+nightfall+and+as+soon+as+she+has+completed+this+duty+during+the+day.%0D%0A3.+It+is+not+required+that+she+confines+herself+to+a+certain+room+or+that+she+remains+silent+during+the+%27iddah.+She+should+preferably+occupy+herself+with+ibaadah+or+any+virtuous+act.+She+may+carry+out+any+house+work.+She+must+not+indulge+in+any+sinful+activity+or+pas-+time.%0D%0A4.+She+may+leave+the+house+for+unavailable+or+emergency+medical+treatment%2C+but+should+return+immediately+thereafter.+If+the+distance+to+such+services+exceeds+the+limit+of+safar+%2877.25+km+or+48+miles%29+she+must+be+accompanied+by+a+Mahram+%28a+male+member+of+the+family+whom+she+cannot+marry+by+Islamic+Law%29.%0D%0A5.+She+may+not+leave+the+borne+to+visit+the+ill+or+go+to+a+place+where+there+is+a+funeral%2C+though+they+be+close%27+relatives+or+even+immediate+neighbours.%0D%0A6.+She+may+move+to+another+house+if+she+cannot+find+sufficient+accommodation+in+the+deceased%27s+house+by+virtue+of+her+inheritance+from+him%2C+and+if+the+remaining+heirs+do+not+allow+her+the+use+of+her+hus-+band%27s+house+or+she+is+unable+to+observe+the+lslamic+required+purdah.%0D%0A7.+If+the+husband+dies+in+a+rented+house%2C+then+if+the+surviving+wife+is+able+to+pay+the+rent+she+must+observe+her+%27iddah+in+the+same+house.+When+she+is+unable+to+pay+the+rent+she+may+move+to+the+nearest+available+safe+place+where+she+must+now+complete+her+%27iddah.%0D%0A8.+In+case+she+is+the+sole+occupant+of+the+house+where+the+%27iddah+has+to+be+passed+and+the+fear+of+being+alone+is+so+great+that+it+is+unbearable%2C+so+as+to+cause+mental+ill+health+or+defect%2C+she+may+shift+to+another+house.+Where+the+fear+is+not+unbearable+it+will+not+be+per-+missible+to+move.%0D%0A9.+If+the+dwelling+where+she+is+residing+is+in+a+dilapidated+condition+and+there+is+a+risk+that+it+may+collapse+or+when+it+is+insecure+and+there+is+a+real+threat+to+her+chastity%2C+honour+or+life%2C+she+may+shift+to+another+house%2C+but+she+has+to+return+to+her+home+as+soon+as+the+cause+of+danger+is+removed.%0D%0A%0D%0ANote%3A+In+all+the+instances+described+above+where+shifting+from+the+house+of+the+%27iddah+to+another+house+is+mentioned+utmost+care+must+be+taken.%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%2A+that+the+cause+be+true+and+genuine.%0D%0A%2A+that+she+moves+to+the+nearest+available+safe+house+from+where+she+lived.+%0D%0A%2A+that+she+completes+her+%27iddah+in+this+house.+She+may+not+move+from+this+house+again+without+a+valid+Shar%27i+reason.%0D%0A%0D%0APROHIBITION+OF+MARRIAGE+DURING+%27IDDAH%0D%0A1.+The+Qur%27aan+prohibits+a+direct+proposal+of+the+marriage+to+a+woman+observing+%27iddah+and+a+man+is+allowed+to+give+only+a+veiled+hint+to+her+of+his+desire+to+marry+her+%28Surah+al+Baqarah+-+235%29.+It+is+therefore+not+permissible+to+even+propose+to+her+or+to+become+engaged+to+her+whilst+she+is+observing+%27iddah.%0D%0A2.+The+wife+who+is+observing+%27iddah+cannot+lawfully+contract+a+second+marriage+during+the+period+of+%27iddah.+%27%28Refer+to+Surah+al+Baqarah+232%29.+%0D%0A3.+It+is+a+kabirah+%28cardinal%29+sin+to+solemnise+such+a+marriage+and+even+to+participate+in+it.%0D%0A4.+A+marriage+contracted+by+the+wife+during+the+period+of+%27iddah+shall+be+a+void+%28baatil%29+marriage+and+shall+not+be+recognised+in+Islam.%0D%0A%0D%0AAl-Iddah+-+by+Waterval+Islamic+Institute%0D%0A%0D%0A

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