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Iddah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ; وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ; وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ; يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

‘Iddah’ (pronounced as ‘Iddat’ by Urdu linguists) literally means to keep a count. In Islamic terminology, it is known as ‘the waiting period’ i.e. the period a woman should wait before she can re-marry.

A. ‘Iddah’ for a woman whose husband dies

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجاً يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْراً فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

“And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait for four months & ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and honourable manner. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.”

(Aayah No. 234, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an).

Therefore, a woman whose husband dies should observe ‘Iddah’ for a period of four months and ten days. This is required to be followed even by those women who become widow even before their marriage could be consummated i.e. a case where the husband dies without having made a sexual relation with his wife.

B. ‘Iddah’ for a divorced woman

A woman who is divorced by her husband is supposed to observe ‘Iddah’ for a period of three menstrual cycles. This ruling is established as per following verse of Qur’an:

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ

“And divorced women shall wait for three menstrual periods….”

(Aayah No. 228, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 02, Holy Qur’an).

However, if the divorce takes place before the marriage is consummated i.e. if the husband divorces his wife before he has had a sexual relation with his wife, then the woman does not have to observe any ‘Iddah’. In such a divorce, the woman has the right to go and marry immediately to anyone if she wishes to, without observing any ‘Iddah’. This is based on following verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمْ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحاً جَمِيلاً

“O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual intercourse with them, no ‘Iddah’ have you to count in respect of them. So give them a present, and set them free in a handsome manner.”

(Aayah No. 49, Surah Al-Ahzab, Chapter No. 33, Holy Qur’an).

However, this does not apply to a woman whose husband dies before consummation of her marriage (as we have already talked about this earlier in Section A of the article).

C. ‘Iddah’ for a woman separated by ‘Al-Khul’

Refer to following two narrations:

Ubadah bin Al-Walid bin Ubadah bin As-Samit narrated from Rubayy bint Mu’awwidh. He said: I said to her, “Tell me your hadith.” She said: I was separated from husband by ‘Khul’; then I came to Uthman (RA) and asked him, “What ‘Iddah’ do I have to observe?” He said, “You do not have to observe any ‘Iddah’ unless you had intercourse with him recently, in which case you should stay with him until you have menstruated.” He said, “In that I am following the ruling of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) concerning Mariam Al-Maghaliyyah, who was married to Thabit bin Qais and was separated by ‘Khul’ from him.”

(Hadith No. 3528, Book of Divorce, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 4; Hadith No. 2058, Chapters on Divorce, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 3).

and,

It was reported from Nafi, from Ibn Umar (RA), who said, “The waiting period of the woman who asks for a ‘Khul’ is one menstrual cycle.”

(Hadith No. 2230, Book of Divorce, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3).

Based on these narrations, it is inferred that a woman separated from her husband by ‘Al-Khul’ should observe ‘Iddah’ for a period of one menstrual cycle.

D. ‘Iddah’ for a woman who does not have menstruations (i.e. due to medical/health reasons) or is past her age of menstruation (i.e. menopause)

وَاللاَّئِي يَئِسْنَ مِنْ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنْ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللاَّئِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ وَأُوْلاتُ الأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْراً

“And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah’, if you have doubt (about their periods) is three months; and for those who have no courses, their ‘Iddah’ is three months likewise, except in case of death. And for those who are pregnant (divorced or widowed), their ‘Iddah’ is until they lay down their burden; and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.”

(Aayah No. 4, Surah At-Talaq, Chapter No. 65, Holy Qur’an).

Based on this, all women who are past their age of menstruation (i.e. into menopause) or women who are not old but do not have menstruations due to any medical/health reasons, their ‘Iddah’ period in case of divorce (or ‘Al-Khul’) shall be three months.

However, in case of ‘Iddah’ because of death of husband, all women should observe it for four months and ten days even if they are of old age and/or has no menstruations.

E. ‘Iddah’ for a pregnant woman

Based on Aayah No. 4, Surah At-Talaq, Chapter No. 65 of Holy Qur’an, mentioned in previous section also, the ‘Iddah’ period of a pregnant woman (whether divorced or widowed) shall be until she delivers her baby. And this is applicable to all cases, whether a woman is observing ‘Iddah’ due to a divorce, or due to ‘Al-Khul’ or due to the death of her husband.

This means that if a pregnant woman becomes a widow (or a divorcee), for example, at 10 o’clock in the morning, and she gives birth to her baby 12 noon (i.e. after 2 hours of start of her ‘Iddah’), her ‘Iddah’ ends after that i.e. after two hours.

This also means that if a woman becomes a widow (or a divorcee), and is pregnant, and shall deliver the baby, let us say, after eight months, her ‘Iddah’ period shall be that much long.

This should be understood very clearly by all of us so as to act accordingly.

F. Where should a woman spend her ‘Iddah’?

F.1. In case of a widow

There are two opinions about this matter:

Opinion 1: Woman should stay in her husband’s house during the period of ‘Iddah’.

This is the view of all four Imams and most of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH). This view is based on following hadith:

Zainab bint Ka’b bin Ujrah narrated that Al-Furay’ah (or Faria’ah) bint Malik bin Sinan – sister of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (RA) – informed her that she went to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to ask him if she could return to her family in Banu Khudrah. Her husband had gone out searching for his runaway slaves, and when he was in Taraf Al-Qadum, he caught up with them and they killed him. She said: So I asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) if I could return to my family since my husband had not left me a home that he owned nor any maintenance. She said: So Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said ‘Yes’. Then I left. When I was in the courtyard, or in Masjid, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) called me, or summoned for me to come back to him and said, “What did you say?” She said: So I repeated the story that I had mentioned to him about the case of my husband. He said, “Stay in your house until what is written reaches its term.” She said: So I observed my ‘Iddah’ there for four months and ten (days). She said: During the time of Uthman (RA), he sent a message to me asking me about that, so I informed him. He followed it and judged accordingly.

(Hadith No. 1204, Chapters on Divorce & Lian, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 2031, Chapters on Divorce, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 3).

Based on these, it is inferred that a woman must stay in house of her husband to complete the period of ‘Iddah’.

Opinion 2: Woman can observe her ‘Iddah’ wherever she wants.

This is the view of Syedna Ali (RA), Ibn Abbas (RA), Aishah (RA) and Jabir bin Abdullah (RA). Their view is based on following:

It was narrated from Ibn Abbas (RA) that this verse (i.e. Aayah No. 240, Surah Al Baqarah, Chapter No. 2 of Holy Qur’an) abrogated the woman’s ‘Iddah’ among her family, and she may observe her ‘Iddah’ wherever she wants. That is the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime: ‘without turning them out’.

(Hadith No. 3561, Book of Divorce, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 4).

The verse of Qur’an referred to by Ibn Abbas (RA) in hadith above is:

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجاً وَصِيَّةً لأَزْوَاجِهِمْ مَتَاعاً إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي مَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ مِنْ مَعْرُوفٍ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

“And those of you who die & leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance without turning them out, but if they leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honourable. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”

(Aayah No. 240, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an).

Some say that this verse is abrogated/superceded by the Verse No. 234 of Surah Al-Baqarah which is as follows:

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجاً يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْراً فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

“And those of you who die & leave behind wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a just and honourable manner (i.e. they can marry). And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.”

(Aayah No. 234, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an).

As per my understanding, above mentioned verse (i.e. Aayah No. 234, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an) and another verse (i.e. Aayah No. 12, Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter No. 4, Holy Qur’an), which is concerning wife’s inheritance from her husband’s wealth, these two verses of Holy Qur’an supercede/abrogate the verse quoted by Ibn Abbas (RA) in context of the waiting period (i.e. the period of ‘Iddah’) and providing the wives with one year’s maintenance.

Therefore, Ibn Abbas’s (RA) view that a woman can observe her ‘Iddah’ wherever she wants, also holds valid.

And Allah knows best.

F.2. In case of a divorce

Case 1. If it is first or second divorce (i.e. revocable divorce)

In case of first or second divorce, the divorced woman has to observe the ‘Iddah’ period in the house of her husband, along with her husband. This is based on Aayah No. 228 of Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an) where Allah says that their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period if they wish reconciliation, and Aayah No. 229 of Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an) where Allah says that the divorce is twice, after that either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. There is also a narration to support this ruling which has been reported by Imam Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir as follows:

Ibn Jarir related that Alqamah said: We were with Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) when a woman came and said, “My husband divorced me one or two periods ago. He then came back to me while I had prepared my water (for taking bath), took off my clothes and closed my door.” Umar (RA) asked Abdullah bin Masoud (RA), “What do you think?” He said, “I think that she is still his wife, as long as she is not allowed to resume praying (i.e. until the third period ends before he takes her back).” Umar (RA) said, “This is my opinion too.”

(Ref. Tafsir by Imam Ibn Kathir).

This should be understood from the fact that Allah gives a chance/option to the husband & wife during the waiting period of first and/or second divorce to rethink about the decision and reconcile.

Case 2. If it is third divorce (i.e. irrevocable divorce)

A woman observing ‘Iddah’ for her third divorce (i.e. irrevocable divorce) is allowed to spend her ‘Iddah’ period at a place other than her husband’s house. This ruling is based on following:

فَإِنْ طَلَّقَهَا فَلا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِنْ بَعْدُ حَتَّى تَنكِحَ زَوْجاً غَيْرَهُ

“And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband….”

(Aayah No. 230, Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Holy Qur’an).

In context of this, there is a famous hadith which narrates us the ruling of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) of a similar case for Fatima bint Qais (RA):

Abu Salamah narrated that Fatimah bint Qais, sister of Ad-Dahak bin Qais, told him that Abu Hafs bin Al-Mughirah Al-Makhzumi divorced her three times, then he went to Yemen. His people said to her, “You are not entitled to maintenance from us.” Khalid bin Al-Walid (RA) came with a group of people to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in the house of Maimunah (RA) and said, “Abu Hafs has divorced his wife three times; is she entitled to maintenance?” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “She is not entitled to maintenance, but she has to observe ‘Iddah’.” And he sent word to her, saying, “Do not be hasty in making a decision concerning yourself.” He told her to move to (the house of) Umm Sharik, then he sent word, saying, “Umm Sharik is visited by the first Muhajirin. Go to Ibn Umm Maktum, the blind man, for if you take off your ‘Khimar’ (i.e. the head cover), he will not see you.” So she went and stayed there, and when her ‘Iddah’ was over, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) married her to Usamah bin Zaid bin Haarithah (RA).

(Hadith No. 3700 (1480), Book of Divorce, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4).

G. A woman observing ‘Iddah’ should not adorn herself during the period of ‘Iddah’.

It is not allowed for a woman to do adornments etc. during her period of ‘Iddah’. This is authenticated by following hadith:

Narrated Umm Atiyya: “We were forbidden to mourn for more than three days for a dead person except for a husband, for whom a wife should mourn for four months and ten days. (While in mourning period) we were not allowed to put kohl in our eyes, nor perfume ourselves, nor wear dyed clothes, except a garment of ‘Asb’. But it was permissible for us that when one of us became clean from her menses and took a bath, she could use a piece of certain kind of incense. And it was forbidden for us to follow funeral processions.”

(Hadith No. 5341, Book of Divorce, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7).

H. Can a woman observing ‘Iddah’ go out of her house for some work?

Refer to following hadith:

Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) said: My maternal aunt was divorced and she wanted to harvest her date palms. A man rebuked her for going out, so she went to the Prophet (PBUH), and he said, “No, go out and harvest your date palms, for perhaps you will give charity or do an act of kindness.”

(Hadith No. 3721 (1483), Book of Divorce, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 4).

Therefore, a woman observing ‘Iddah’ is allowed to go out for works where she is required to go out. These works could be related to her family, her children and even her personal works. For example: she could be the solo bread-earner for her children, and as such shall require going for work. Such cases are permitted.

However, unnecessary going out, like going to meet relatives just as routine, attending marriages & other functions among relatives and other similar outings etc. are not permitted for a woman in ‘Iddah’.

I. ‘Iddah’ rulings for slave women

I.1. For a divorced slave woman

In his ‘Muwatta’, Imam Malik quoted verdicts of Uthman (RA), Zaid bin Thabit (RA) and Abdullah bin Umar (RA), that a male slave has right to divorce two times only, and waiting period of a female slave will be two menstrual cycles only. Therefore, divorce relies on husband’s status of him being free or slave, while waiting period depends on woman’s status of her being free or a slave.

I.2. For an ‘Umm-al-Walad’ when her master dies

After death of her master, the female slave becomes free. If she is ‘Umm-al-Walad’, she should observe ‘Iddah’ period similar to that of a free woman i.e. four months and ten days. A female slave who gives birth to a child by her master is called ‘Umm-al-Walad’.

Concluding Remarks

There might be many reasons with Allah for ordaining the requirement of ‘Iddah’, for His wisdom is infinite. However, our careful study can help us understand some reasons, Be-izn-Allah, which can explain why ‘Iddah’ is ordained for us.

Firstly, it is required to establish the state of the womb i.e. to ascertain whether the woman has conceived prior to that or not. That’s why the period of ‘Iddah’ in almost all cases is calculated on the basis of menstrual cycles.

The second reason could be understood in terms of the mourning period for a woman. Refer to the hadith of Umm Atiyya reported in Sahih Bukhari and mentioned above in Section G of this article; it clearly states that a woman is allowed to mourn for her deceased husband for a period of four months and ten days. We should understand that the relation of husband-wife is one of the closest relations on this earth. Allah develops a strong bond of love and affection in this relationship. The death of husband (or parting with husband through divorce) is a sort of setback and a shocking event for the woman; the pain of such a shock is immense. Therefore, the ‘Iddah’ serves as a period of consolation; the woman gets some time to get back to normal from the pain of getting away from her husband; she gets time to make up her mind to take decisions for future course of action related to her life. This reason can be understood by the obligation of ‘Iddah’ ordained upon the women who are of old age and past their age of menstruation.

Along with the reasons explained above, the biggest reason for us to respect the requirement of ‘Iddah’ should be that it is an instruction from Allah; and for a Muslim, this reason alone should be enough to accept and observe this requirement.

All Muslim women should observe ‘Iddah’ piously. Its observance should not be influenced by modern thought-process which tends to misguide us on the basis of woman’s age or her status in the family or status of her children in society etc. Rather, this should be observed with utmost sincerity, devotion and as a mark of respect to the word of our Creator.

And Allah knows best.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.

.سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون َ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

20 comments

  1. I want to know if a husband and wife were not living together cuz of a fight for over a yr and did not have intercourse either and then got divorced. Does any iddah apply on the girl?

    • Salam alaikum,

      Yes, even then Iddah should be observed. Only in a case where the husband-wife have never engaged in sexual relation (even once), and if divorce takes place for such a couple, then no Iddah is required.

      And Allah knows best.

  2. Salam. mera sawal hai k mera khula ka case chal raha hai. meri shadi ko ek saal ho gaya lekin husband k sath sexual intercourse nahi hua ek dafa bhi. Waise physical contact tha kissing touching etc. divorce k baad iddat wajib hogi ya nahi.
    please guide me well.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam warahmatallah,

      If divorce takes place and there had been no sexual relation between husband-wife, then there is no Iddah prescribed on the woman. It is clearly mentioned in Aayah No. 49 of Surah Al-Ahzab of Holy Qur’an.

      And Allah knows best.

  3. assalamu alaikum brother, i jus want to knw what is the iddah period for a woman if she had taken khula? 1 menstrual cycle or 3mentrual cycle? Plz do reply,

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      I have already explained this matter in the subject article. However, I shall repeat it in brief for your sake.

      It was reported from Nafi, from Ibn Umar (RA), who said, “The waiting period of the woman who asks for a ‘Khul’ is one menstrual cycle.” – (Hadith No. 2230, Book of Divorce, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 3).

      Based on this hadith, it is inferred that Iddah for a woman separated by Al-Khul should be one menstrual cycle. This view is maintained by all, more particularly by followers of Shafi’ view.

      However, followers of Hanafi view do not agree with this view, and according to them even for Al-Khul case Iddah should be 3 menstrual cycles.

      I personally favour the first view i.e. one menstrual cycle for woman separated by Al-Khul.

      And Allah knows best.

  4. assalamu alaikum, jazakallahu khaira for ur reply. Will u plz tel what a woman can do during her iddah? I mean whether she can speak on phone? Can she see sky? Can she apply henna (mehendi) on her nail? Can she go to job?(based on islamic parda) can she speak with her jija(sister’s husband)? Pls tel wat she can do and wat she cannot do during her iddah period?. Once again jazakallahu khaira.

  5. Assalamu alaikum, jazakallahu khaira for ur reply. Wil u plz tel me wat a girl can do and she cannot do during her iddah period? I mean can she apply henna? Can she go to job? Can she see sky? Pls do reply,

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      If you read the article careflly, all such questions have been answered in detail along with authentic references about what a woman is allowed to and what she is not allowed to do during her Iddah period. I request you to read the subject article (“Iddah”) carefully. Insha’Allah all yoru queries shall be answered. However, if some doubts remain even after going through the article, feel free to write back.

      Jazak Allah.

  6. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatahu. I’m extremely sorry for disturbing u again and again. I read the article of iddah carefully, i got the answer for some of my questions. But stil i’m confused. I took khula last week, 99% of moulana said to observe 3menstrual cycle as my iddah. As per the hadith its only one menstrual cycle. Now i’m fully confused which one is correct? upto date here in my town every girl who has taken khula has observed iddah of 3menstrual cycle. How can i explain this to our jamaat? I cant argue with them. Whatever they say we must follow. I dont knw whether they are right or wrong. Pls reply for last time. Jazakallahu khaira.

    • Wa alaikum As Sala Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      Don’t be sorry for that; you are absolutely free to ask as many times as you want.

      As is clear from the hadith, the ‘Iddah’ period of the woman who is separated through ‘Al-Khul’ is one menstrual cycle. If still Maulanas of your place do not agree to that, it is their mistake. And it is so sorry that because of ignorance of our scholars, the common man has to suffer.

      If you ask me about what you sould do, my answer will be that you should stick to Sunnah i.e. observe ‘Iddah’ for one menstrual cycle. If someone objects to it, you can show the hadith to them in support of your action. When we do something correctly as per Qur’an and Sunnah, and when we have supporting evidence/reference along with us, Allah gives us the courage to face our critics/opponents. So, do not be afraid of your elders/Maulanas etc. Do what is correct. But do ensure that you do not take this matter with your elders and scholars of your area in a direspectful manner; avoid disaccord. Tell all of them respectfully that you shall do so on the basis of this hadith. And leave the rest to Allah.

      May Allah help you.

      And Allah knows best.

  7. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wa barkatahu. Jazaakallahu khairan kaseeran kaseeraa. Pls pray, allah should give me courage to face the critics. In sha allah i wil follow as per the hadith. Thanks alot for your guidance. May allah bestow his blessings on u and elevate ur positions in both the worlds. Aameen

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      All praise is for Allah alone. May Allah give you the courage and confidence to follow the right path and face the critics. May Allah help you!

      Whenever you need any advice (in future also) from Islamic point of view, please feel free to write to this platform.

      Jazak Allah khair for your duas; Aameen to all your duas.

  8. Assalamu alaikum. As u knw i’m observing iddah. Its very difficult to spend my time inside home. Can i watch tv? Like islamic channels peace tv?. N one more thing we have two houses in one compound. Can i go move from one house to other during day time? Is it permissable for me to talk to moulana on phone? Pls guide me in this regard. Jazakallahu khaira.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah,

      It is not recommended to move from house to another during your Iddah period. Moving out of your Iddah place/house is allowed only when something really unavoidable asks for it or emergency sort of condition is faced with; under normal circumstances, woman observing Iddah should not go out of her place/house of Iddah.

      If you want to learn Islam, I don’t think there should be any harm in doing so over television. And Allah knows best.

      Avoid talking on phone with non-mahram males during Iddah, even if it is with any Moulana.

      And Allah knows best.

  9. sir wat is the logic of staying at home during iddat period..y is women refrained from pursuing her normal course in case of matrimonial breakdown..plz clear ..

    • Salam alaikum,

      There are many reasons which we can understand in ou limited wisdom; Allah’s wisdom is infinite and He must have many more reasons which we might not be able to understand. Let me list down some of the reasons which we can udnerstand:

      1. In case of a divorce, the woman is required to spend her Iddah at the home of her husband. Allah does not like divorce. Therefore, He wants the couples to give one more final chance to re-think about their decision. Allah says that teh previous husband (who ahs given the divorce) has more right to take the woman back in hi Nikah than others. Therefore, if she spends her Iddah at home along with her husband, they can sort out their problems and re-think about theirdecision of divorce. Hence, it is a motivational act. Becaus eof this, when the woman is divorced irrevocably (i.e. the thrid time), she doesn’t have to spend her Iddah at her husband’s home.

      2. Woman observing Iddah aftr death of her husband or even after irrevocable divorce is preferably asked to spend it at home. This Iddah period is considered as a mourning period for the woman who has lost her husband to death or has been divorced irrevocably. The Prophet (PBUH) said that no one should mourn for the dead for more than 3 days except for a wife whose Iddah period is he rmourning period. This allows the woman to come out of the great loss gradually. It i not natural for a woman who has lost a husband to behave normal immediately. She needs time to realize, accept and digest the bitter truth, and gather the courage to lead her life without her husband from that moment onwards. Iddah period gives her his time.

      3. Woman is required to spend her Iddah at home in order to confirm the pregnancy if any. If the woman had conceived at the time of death of her husband, then it is essential for the woman to stay at home and not meet other people for a specified time period. This shall save her dignity from malicious blames, if any. If shee keeps goign out normally after Iddah and her pregnancy gets obvious, let us say, after 2-3 months of death of her husband, there is a chance that people might start accusing her of adultery. Therefore, the stay at home ensures that such a situation is not encountered. It safeguards the modesty of the woman.

      These are some of the reasons which we can understan behind the the rulings of Iddah. However, the biggest reason for a Muslim to understand is that it is a Command from Almighty Allah, and hence that should be enough for us to follow it.

      And Allah knows best.

  10. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatahu.
    My mother-in-law has just become a widow. She was working in a school as a teacher and her husband was retired and staying with her. This place of her work is away from her native place. Due to illness of her husband, she got him to the place where they had built their home and she was getting him treated. this lasted only for one week. he expired in the hospital on 29 Jul 14. Now my questions:
    1. She is 58 Years old. what will be her iddah period?
    2. Where does she spend her iddah period. In the house where she works or the house they have built?
    3. My wife is the only child of her parents and she wants to take her with us to my place of residence which is in another city, fearing she will get into depression if left alone.
    please advice at the earliest.

    • Wa alaikum As Salam Warahmatallah Wabarakatuhu,

      Apologies for delayed response as I was away and was unable to attend the queries of readers. Here is the response to your queries:

      1. She should observe Iddah for a period of 4 months and 10 days.

      2. She can spend Iddah in either of her houses; she can even spend Iddah with her daughter.

      And Allah knows best.

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