A lady is living without her husband from last 7 months, as her husband is working abroad and she is living at her patents' home. Her husband has divorced her now.

My question is regarding iddat (period of waiting). Does she need to perform iddat or not? Even though she didn't see her husband for 7 months.


3 Answers 3


The 'iddah for a woman who has been given talaq is clearly defined in 2:228:

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. ...

This is for the case of a woman who is in the age where she can have her menses. And this 'iddah starts from the day her husband spoke out talaq and it doesn't matter whether she was separated from him before the divorce or not.

See for example this fatwa, and the english translation here:

إذا كان الواقع كما ذكرتم، فلا ريب أن عليها العدة؛ لأن العدة لا تكون إلا بعد الطلاق ولو طالت غيبة الزوج عن المطلقة؛ لقول الله سبحانه: وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلاَثَةَ قُرُوَءٍ

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who stayed away from his wife and was travelling for twenty years, after which he sent word to her of divorce. This woman wants to get married – does she have to observe the ‘iddah? Because her husband has been away from her for twenty years and has not touched her. Is the purpose of the ‘iddah to establish that there is no pregnancy, or is it for another purpose?

He replied: If the matter is as described, there is no doubt that she must observe the ‘iddah, because the ‘iddah can only begin after a divorce has taken place, even if the husband has been away from the woman who is now divorced, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods”

[al-Baqarah 2:228]

So counting the 'iddah only starts after a talaq has been uttered not earlier than this.

For those women who may not have a menses (like old woman, young girls or pregnant women) there's also a predefined 'iddah (65:4):

And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. ...


The undercurrent of the question is "rationality" of the concept of "Iddah". The answer thereof is that in Divine religions (Islam at present) human rationality is not always an applicable yardstick but the Divine Wisdom-----which is beyond human questioning. For example performing ablution is rational but praying (salah) is not. Hope this will put an end to such questions----which instead of being answered correctly----create doubts in the minds of common people.


Very after the Talaq, an woman must do Ittah for 4 months and 10 days.

She must do Ittah, because she got divorced even if she didn't meet her husband for months or years. She must do Ittah.

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