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Fatwa: What Would the Iddah Period be?

A: Being separated from the husband before the pronouncement of divorce does not in any way remove the requirement that is the ‘Iddah period. Allah linked the ‘iddah with divorce itself and not with separation. As Allah said: 

“Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods.”[1] 
This was also the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
 
It should be noted that divorce is of two types; Revocable and irrevocable. Revocable divorce is the first or second divorce within the ‘Iddat period. As Allah said: 
“Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment.”[2] 
In this case the status of the divorcee is that she remains a wife to her husband which means that he does not need her consent to take her back. She is his wife during this period and she inherits from him if he was to die, as does he from her if she was to die during this period.
 
If the ‘Iddah period ceased then the husband can resume his marriage with his wife but with a new Nikah which requires all the prerequisites and conditions of a new Nikah namely the consent of the female and her Wali (guardian), Mahr (dowry) and witnesses.
 
The irrevocable divorce is the third divorce irrespective of the ‘iddah period, in this scenario the divorce is final and the husband cannot resume the marriage with the same wife until after she is married to a husband other than himself and thereafter divorced. Allah said:
 
“And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him.”[3]
 
Therefore, the ‘iddah period is a period sanctioned by Allah for reconciliation; it is an opportunity for marriage ties between both parties to continue according to the details above.
 
This ruling is one that is unanimously agreed upon by jurists of all the Madhabs (Schools of legal thought).
 
Allah the Exalted knows best.

Sources:
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[1] 2:228
[2] 2:229
[3] 2:230

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Sharia Council (UK & Eire). He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Sharia Council as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

13 comments

  1. iddat period after Khula (for working women)
    i am a working women. please let me know what will be the iddat period after khula for me.

  2. iddah
    My husband was ask by tis woman wu is starting her iddah period to marry her. Is tis allowed in islam n wat does the shariah say abut honouring your iddah period. He did not tell me about it but he send me a text message. Kanala I need advise

  3. Shabbior Ahmad

    Iddat
    salamalaikum
    can my mother aged 70 travel to my house (in other city away from her home town)to join her grand son’s Nikah ceremony during iddat period, as our fater passed away a few days back.

  4. Shabbior Ahmad

    Travel during Iddat
    Salam alaikum
    Can my mother aged 70 travel to my house (in a city away from her home town)to join the Nikah ceremony of her grandson during iddat as our father passed away recently.

  5. mutual divorce but husband changes mind
    my husband had an affair,wanted to marry the other woman and mutually agreed to divorce me and pronounced talaaq on me,once infront of a witness from his family.after 2 months he decides he doesn’t want to divorce me anymore- I still want the divorce.what does this mean for me?

    he even signed the talaq application from the shariah council website-now they have sent him a form to fill with 2 witnesses on it and he is refusing-also he has not spoken to me directly with this change of heart so if he doesn’t get to speak to me before the end of my iddat will we be divorced.talaq has to be pronounced directly to the woman so shouldmn’t the taking back also be the same.plz explain.jzk.

  6. khula
    Why do some say that the Iddah of a woman who seeks khula is only one month? Is that correct?

  7. period of iddah
    i hav been sepertaed from my husband past one year, he is not ready to grant me khula, so i wanted to kno since da seperation gap is 1 year, is iddah obligatory on me? if yes, what is da duration?

  8. Iddah period
    My husband was impotent by birth he didn’t even touch me i took divorce from him tell me about my Iddah period, i have to spent 3 months for Iddah or $ months 10 days or Iddah is not obligatory on me.

  9. Jeremy Boulter

    The third iddat
    A question – for clarification.

    The fatwa states that the third divorce is irrevocable “irrespective of the ‘iddah period.” It explained that the divorce is final in this context, meaning that her estranged husband cannot resume their marriage unless she marries and is divorced by another man first.

    A verse from the Quran is then proffered to illustrate:

    “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him.”

    My question is this. For the third divorce, is the woman allowed to stay in the home with her husband until the ‘iddah period expires, or must they separate as soon as the third divorce is declared?

    Thankyou

  10. Can you comment on divorce proclaiming(verbally) three(3)times or given in writing at a single sitting.Is that kind of divorce is valid( halal)?

  11. Divorce
    Can you comment on divorce proclaiming(verbally) three(3)times or given in writing at a single sitting.Is that kind of divorce is valid( halal)?

  12. Divorce
    Can you comment on divorce proclaiming(verbally) three(3)times or given in writing at a single sitting.Is that kind of divorce is valid( halal)?

  13. Mr.
    Some scholars say that even if a husband pronounces talaq, talaq, talaq three times in succession (even within 1 minute) the tlaq (divorce) becomes effective. The husband can not do the nikkah with the wife until she marries another man who then divorces her.
    Is this a correct interpretation of the Islamic law?

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