What is the purpose of iddath?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Salaams. I had asked my husband for a talaak to prevent him from continuing with zinah. He had my file taken from the jamiat office and did not notify me, he did at last give me my talaak (one year later) but I had always been practising the laws of idath. I am not complaining about following the laws of idath, however, I have commenced community work with the youth and other muslim organisations as duas for my parents and do not know whether I am supposed to stop helping these people because of my husbands selfishness. Please advise before we commence with our community work. Jaza- akumullah


It should be noted that the time of Iddat commences only once the Talaaq has
been issued. A divorcee has to sit in Iddat from the time of Talaaq for a
period of 3 menstrual cycles (if experiencing menses) or 3 months (if not
experiencing menses). If she is conceived, the Iddat will be till birth. It
is the responsibility of the husband to maintain the wife in the period of

Therefore, if the period of Iddat has already passed from the time of the
Talaaq being issued, your Iddat is complete. However, if the time has not
yet completed, you should complete the period of Iddat by observing the
appropriate Shar’ee rules.

To observe Iddat is Fardh and to do community work is Nafl. A Fardh act
takes precedence over a Nafl act.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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