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Waiting Period (ʿidda) of a Widow

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question Summary

How is the waiting period (ʿidda) of a woman whose husband passed away counted?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah guide our hearts, tongues, and deeds to that which perpetually pleases Him.

Thank you for your question. Our deepest condolences to your family during this time of grief. May Allah forgive the deceased, lighten your sorrow and grant you all ease. May Allah also reward you for your desire and effort to find out the best course of action.

Waiting Period of a Woman Whose Husband Passed Away

If a pregnant woman’s husband dies, her waiting period ends when she gives birth. If she is not pregnant (from him), her waiting period is four months and ten days, regardless of whether she normally menstruates or not or whether the husband has had sexual intercourse with her. [Nawawi, Majmuʿ]

Allah has given us guidance for all occasions. Concerning the waiting period, Allah says: “If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days.” [Qur’an 2:234]

If, for example, the husband passes away on the 27th of Muharram, and Muharram of that year had thirty days, then the waiting period will end on the 7th of Jumada Al-Ula, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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