Laws connected to Iddah.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


As salaamu ‘alaykum.

Mufti Saab,

I know that you explained ‘idda on your program on Sunday, but can i please have it in writing? A lot of my family members cannot seem to accept what i am telling them so if i can have something to show them, proof that mufti waseem said this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Await your soonest response.

Jazaak allaah khair.


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

Iddah refers to ‘the waiting period’, and in the Shariah of Islam, it means a waiting period for a woman after the death of her husband or divorce/legal separation from him.

Observing the waiting period (iddah) is essential (for a woman)since it is evident from many verses of the Holy Quran. In this regard, Allah says:-

‘Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three monthly periods’. (2:228)

There are different duration of the iddah based on the state of a woman. About this, Allah says:-

And those women from among you who have despaired of (further) menstruation, if you are in doubt, their Iddah is three months, as well as of those who have not yet menstruated. As for those having pregnancy, their term (of Iddah ) is that they give birth to their child. And whoever fears Allah, He brings about ease for him in his affair.(65:4)

With respect to a woman who has been divorced before her marriage was consummated, there will be no iddah (waiting period) for her. In this regard, Allah says:-

O you who believe, when you marry the believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, then they have no obligation of any iddah (waiting period) for you that you may count. So give them (due) benefits, and release them in a pleasant manner. .(33:49)

In the case, where marriage has ended with the death of the husband, the widow shall have an iddah of four months and ten days. Regarding this Allah says:-

Those among you who pass away and leave wives behind, their wives keep themselves waiting for four months and ten days. So, when they have reached (the end of) their waiting period, there is no sin on you in what they do for themselves in recognized manner. Allah is All-Aware of what you do.(2:234)

Based on the above verses of the Holy Quran, the different kinds of iddah and their duration are as follows:-

1) Iddah of women who still have their menses. When divorced, their iddah will be three menses.

2) Iddah of women who have passed the age of menstruation. When divorced, they will have an iddah of three months.

3) Iddah of a woman whose husband has died. In her case, the iddah shall be four months and ten days.

4) Iddah of a pregnant woman. If divorced, then her iddah will be until she delivers the child.

5) A woman whose marriage has not been consummated will have no iddah if divorced.

With respect to the conduct of women during their iddah, it is not permissible for those who have been divorced with three divorces or an irrevocable divorce (a divorce in which the husband cannot take back his wife except through remarriage) or has become a widow, to beautify and perfume themselves during the period of their iddah. Such women (in iddah) cannot use henna or wear colored/attractive/showy clothing. They cannot wear ornaments or make-up. These are evident from the traditions of the Prophet (SAS) in which he prohibited women in their iddah from using henna and oiling/creaming themselves, and from beautifying and making themselves attractive (to others) (Baihaqi). The above prohibitions are not applicable to a woman who has been divorced with a revocable divorce (where the husband can take her back as his wife during her iddah without the need of remarrying her).

Additionally, it is not lawful for a woman (in iddah) who is given the first or second revocable divorce to leave her house during the daytime or at night. This is also applicable to those women (in iddah) who have been divorced with an irrevocable divorce or with three divorces. During this period, these women must spend the time in the house in which she lived with her husband, and maintenance/dwelling and looking after her basic needs shall be upon the husband

With respect to a widow (in her iddah), she is allowed to go out of the house during the daytime in order to fulfill her needs. But, she must not spend the night anywhere except in the house in which she and her husband lived.

A woman in her iddah cannot marry, nor can she send a proposal to someone for marriage. (Al Hidaya).

And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan


This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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