Fatwa n° 588
Category: Fatwas about Family – The End of Marriage Contract – Al-‘Idda (prescribed waiting period)
Concerning the beginning of the divorced
woman’s ‘Idda (waiting period)
When a man divorces his wife, does Al-‘Idda begin at the time of the divorce pronouncement, or when the judgment of the divorce is issued by the court? And if Al-‘Idda comes to an end before issuing the judgment and the revocation has not taken place between them, and another man asks the divorced woman for marriage, is this engagement valid? May Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
If the divorce pronounced by the husband corresponds with [the religious criteria regarding divorcing] the wife, and there is no prohibitions preventing this divorce from taking place, then Al-‘Idda begins with his (husband’s) divorce not the court’s one. Therefore, she has to observe Al-‘Idda that corresponds to her case, whether she is pregnant, she has to observe Al-‘Idda until she gives birth; or she goes through the menopause, then her ‘Idda is three months; or she is among women still having [menstruating] periods, she has to observe Al-‘Idda for three menstruating cycles. The husband’s divorce is to be taken into consideration inasmuch the Shari‘a (Islamic Law) made it as a husband’s right and it is up to him to decide: if he wishes, he divorces otherwise he keeps [his wife]. The husband has a religious responsibility not a judicial one.
Given this, if Al-‘Idda began the day he divorced (her) and came to an end; then the woman is considered [religiously] strange for him, and her husband is like all the other suitors -wishing to ask her for marriage- of whom she can choose the one with whom she establishes her marital life. So if he comes back to her and asks her for marriage with a new marriage contract and a new dowry if he divorced her less than three times, the divorce is counted upon him if she came back to him. Therefore, if he divorced her once then she came back to him, then there remain only two repudiations -for him- with her. So, if she married another man and the divorce judgment was issued afterwards by the court, then this will not affect the validity of the marriage contract.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Rajab the 21st, 1427 H
Corresponding to August the 15th, 2006 G.