Answered by: Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed
Asalamalaikum mufti Saab, I hope you and your family are well, had a question if you don’t mind answering for me, my 11 year old autistic brother only eats if my mom takes him out, knowing that a wife has to stay home for 4 months and 10 days, is it permissible for her to leave the house for him.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is prescribed by Allah Ta’ala that a widow must observe the ‘iddah period of 4 months and 10 days upon the passing away of her husband. In this time period, she is not to leave the house except out of necessity. From your question it was not clear whether your brother only eats when your mother takes him out of the house (i.e he does not eat food in the house? And does not eat when somebody else takes him?), or whether he only eats out of the house (e.g. in a restaurant) if your mother is with him (but will eat inside the house). The first scenario would constitute necessity and she must leave the house to feed her child to avoid him getting unwell. Priority will always be given in the Shariah for protecting a person’s health over staying at home for the Iddah period.
If your brother will eat when other family members take him, then as much as possible the family should facilitate this so your mother does not need to leave, but if there is nobody else to do so then she may leave for the time that is needed. If he eats at home then in sha Allah this should be done, as going out to eat in this case will not count as a necessity. Depending on the severity of your brother’s autism, the family may explain the situation to him so he understands why mum cannot do certain things and this will ease the transition for him.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
ووجهالدفعأنمعتدة الموت لماكانتفيالعادةمحتاجةإلىالخروجلأجلأنتكتسبللنفقةقالواإنهاتخرجفيالنهاروبعضالليلبخلافالمطلقةوأماالخروجللضرورةفلافرقفيهبينهماكمانصواعليهفيمايأتيفالمرادبههناغيرالضرورة (رد المحتار, جلد ٥, باب العدة, صفحة ٢٢٤, دار عالم الكتب)