Fatwa n° 716
Category: Fatwas about Family – The End of Marriage Contract – Al-‘Idda (prescribed waiting period)
The obligation upon the woman observing ‘Idda (prescribed waiting period) from a revocable divorce to stay at the marital house unless she is involved in a flagrant indecency
I got married since four years; however, there was no stability in our marital life except on rare occasion. My wife used to ask me divorce for trivial reasons, and commits, because of that, significant stupidities as to attempt throwing herself from the roof of the house, until some members of the family prevent her from doing so. And the straw that broke the camel’s back is that she brandished a knife at me and threatened to kill me or to kill herself if I don't divorce her (knowing that she does not suffer from any nervous illness). Accordingly, I divorced her and took her to her parents’ home. Then, I learnt that Al-‘Idda of the pregnant woman is that she stays at the marital house until she lays down, but I am afraid for myself and my child or one of my family members. Is she allowed to observe her ‘Idda at her parents’ home? And may Allah bless 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:
The basic principle is that the divorced woman has to observe Al-‘Idda at the marital house until her ‘Idda comes to an end. Further, her husband is not allowed to force her to leave her home. She too must not leave home; and if she left it, she is obliged to return to it, unless that she is not guilty of a manifest abominable act, if she did so, she has to leave home. And what is meant by manifest abominable act is any dispraised wrong deed, disobedience and bad qualities among which adultery as stated by Ibn Mas‘ûd and Ibn ‘Abbâs رضي الله عنهم. The term Fâhisha (abominable act) also encompasses the woman’s recalcitrance (disobedience to her husband) or the fact that she speaks in a rude way with her husband’s family or shows unacceptable behavior towards them as stated by Ubay Ibn Ka‘b and Ibn ‘Abbâs (1) رضي الله عنهم. Indeed, the mentioned case does not go beyond this meaning. Allah تعالى says:
﴿يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحۡصُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّكُمۡۖ لَا تُخۡرِجُوهُنَّ مِنۢ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخۡرُجۡنَ إِلَّآ أَن يَأۡتِينَ بِفَٰحِشَةٖ مُّبَيِّنَةٖۚ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ ٱللَّهِ فَقَدۡ ظَلَمَ نَفۡسَهُۥۚ﴾ [الطلاق: 1]
The meaning of the verse:
﴾ Ô Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their ‘Idda (prescribed waiting period) and count (accurately) their ‘Idda. And fear Allah your Lord (Ô Muslims). And turn them not out of their (husband’s) homes nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are committing an open indecency. And those are the set limits of Allah. And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself ﴿ [At-Talâq: 1].
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: Rabî’ Ath-Thânî the 18th, 1428 H
Corresponding to May the 6th, 2007 G.
(1) See these interpretations in: “Tafsîr At-Tabarî” (28/121), “Tafsîr Al-Qurân Al-‘Adhîm” by Ibn Kathîr (8/165), “Al-Musannaf” by Ibn Abî Shayba (14061), “Al-Musannaf” by ‘Abd Ar-Razzâq As-San‘ânî (12101) and “As-Sunan Al-Kubrâ” by Al-Bayhaqî (15775).