Is Iddah Obligatory if Husband and Wife Have Been Living Apart for a Number of Years

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


I have been separated from my husband for four years; I’ve now filed for a khula. My question is do I have to do iddat, as he is in Pakistan and I am here?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Iddah is a right of the Shariah and is something, which is obligatory for all Muslim sisters. There are many rules which are attached with the iddah; some are connected with the husband such as he has to provide his divorced wife with food and living accommodations during the period and some are connected with the wife such as she is not allowed to leave the house during this period unless there is a valid Islamic need. The rules of iddah have to be followed by both the husband and wife otherwise they will be considered sinful for discarding a command of Allah (SWA).

A benefit of iddah is that if the husband issued the Talaq in anger or haste and he later regrets his actions, then if he gave one or two Talaq Rajee, he has the option of later taking his wife back during her iddah. Even if he gave her a Talaq Baain, the couple can reconsider their pasts and redo their nikah.

Another wisdom is that it is a means of safeguarding a lineage. Had it not been for this it would have caused many mix-ups regarding the progeny of a child. The iddah is a precautionary way of safeguarding a child’s lineage. (The Concept of Divorce p.197)

Regarding your question, an agreement of khula will effect an irrevocable divorce (Talaq Baain), therefore, after the implementation of a khula, a wife will be obliged to observe her iddah even though the husband and wife may be living apart from each other for a number of years. (Aapke Masaail p.414 v.5)

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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