The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Books » Islamic Laws

Chapter twenty-nine » Irrevocable (bāʾin) and revocable (rijʿī) divorce → ← Chapter twenty-nine » The prescribed waiting period (ʿiddah) of a divorce

Chapter twenty-nine » The ʿiddah of a woman whose husband has died

Ruling 2535. If a woman whose husband has died is not pregnant, she must observe ʿiddah for four lunar months and ten days. This means that she must refrain from marrying another man during this period, even if she is a minor (ṣaghīrah), postmenopausal, a temporary wife (mutʿah), a disbeliever (kāfirah), or a woman who has been given a revocable divorce (al-muṭallaqah al-rijʿiyyah) and is observing ʿiddah, or her husband had not had sexual intercourse with her, even if her husband is a child or is insane. If she is pregnant, she must observe ʿiddah until she gives birth. However, if the child is born before the passing of four lunar months and ten days, then she must wait until four lunar months and ten days have passed after the death of her husband. This ʿiddah is known as ‘the ʿiddah of a widow’ (ʿiddat al-wafāt).

Ruling 2536. It is unlawful (ḥarām) for a woman who is observing the ʿiddah of a widow to wear clothes that are an adornment (zīnah), or to apply kohl, or to do something else that would be considered an adornment. However, leaving the house is not unlawful for her.

Ruling 2537. If a woman is certain that her husband has died and after she has observed the ʿiddah of a widow she marries again, then in the event that it becomes known that her husband died at a later time and the second marriage contract was in fact concluded while her first husband was still alive or while she was observing the ʿiddah of a widow, she must separate from her second husband and, based on obligatory precaution, she must observe two ʿiddahs. This means that if she has become pregnant by her second husband, she must observe ʿiddah until childbirth; this ʿiddah is for intercourse that has ensued from a mistake (waṭʾ al-shubhah). Its duration is the same as the ʿiddah of a divorce. Then, she must observe the ʿiddah of a widow or complete her previous ʿiddah. If she is not pregnant, and if her first husband died before she had sexual intercourse with her second husband, she must first observe the ʿiddah of a widow and then observe the ʿiddah of intercourse that has ensued from a mistake. But if she had sexual intercourse before her first husband died, then the ʿiddah of intercourse that has ensued from a mistake must be observed first.

Ruling 2538. If a husband is absent or if he comes under the rule (ḥukm) of being absent, the ʿiddah of a widow begins the moment the wife becomes aware of her husband’s death, not from the time of her husband’s death. However, with regard to a girl that has not reached the age of legal responsibility (bulūgh) or is insane, this rule is problematic (maḥall al-ishkāl)62 and it is obligatory (wājib) to observe precaution in such a case.

Ruling 2539. If a woman says, ‘My ʿiddah has come to an end’, her word is to be accepted unless she is believed to be someone whose word cannot be accepted in this case, in which case, based on obligatory precaution, her word is not to be accepted. For example, if she claims that she experienced bleeding three times in one month, her claim is not to be accepted unless her female relatives substantiate that her menstrual habit was like that.
Chapter twenty-nine » Irrevocable (bāʾin) and revocable (rijʿī) divorce → ← Chapter twenty-nine » The prescribed waiting period (ʿiddah) of a divorce
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français