Is the Waiting Period After a Khul’ Really One Menstrual Cycle?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I recently came across a post on another website that said that the period of waiting (iddah) after a khul’ is one menstrual cycle to ensure there is no pregnancy whereas for a divorce there are three. Is it possible to get this ruling according to both Hanafi and Shafi’i school?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

According to the majority of scholars, including those of the Hanafi and Shafi`i schools, the waiting period after a khul` is the same as the waiting period for a divorced woman. [Ibn Qudama, Mughni; Mawsili, ikhtiyar; Nawawi, Majmu`]

The position that the waiting period after khul` is one menstrual cycle is a minority opinion. It was one of two opinions ascribed to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and adopted by both Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. [Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu` al-Fatawa; Ibn Qayyim; Zad al-Ma`ad]

Recently, a number of scholars have adopted and promoted this minority position despite the fact that the relied-upon position of the four schools is to the contrary. If someone followed this position in the past, it would have sufficed him or her as they were relying on scholarly authority and the position in question has some basis in our tradition. However, for future reference it would be more cautious to follow the opinion of the majority.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.