Explain Iddat under Muslim Personal law.

Introduction

iddat

In Islam, divorce has been declared as most abominable act. In fact, Islam suggests that utmost attempt should be made to avoid separation between spouses. Even basic philosophy, which works behind concept of iddat, is to provide opportunity for reinstating of marriage after pronouncement of divorce.

Meaning of iddat

Iddat means that period of waiting, which a woman must observe after death of her spouse or after divorce, and during which she should not marry another man.

Explanation

Following points are important for explanation of iddat:

  • (a) Period of iddat for fornication
  • (b) Period of iddat in case of invalid marriage
  • (c)Period of iddat in case of death of husband
  • (d) Period of iddat in case of divorce
  • (e) Period of Iddat In Case Of Pregnancy
  • (f) Shia School Of Thought According to Shia school of thought
  • (g) Hanfi School Of Thought

(a) Period of iddat for fornication

For fornication, there is no period of iddat.

(b) Period of iddat in case of invalid marriage

As far as invalid marriage is concerned, following points are important for explanation of iddat-period:

(b-i)Separation before actual consummation

If marriage is invalid and spouses separate before actual consummation, there is no period of iddat.

(b-ii) Separation after actual consummation

If marriage is invalid and spouses separate after actual consummation, iddat-period for free woman is three full terms of menses while iddat-period for young woman or too old woman is ninty days. And such period starts from time of separation.

(c)Period of iddat in case of death of husband

In case of death of husband, iddat-period for his widow is four months and ten day according to Hanfi and Shia schools of thought.

(d) Period of iddat in case of divorce

(d-i) Period of iddat for free woman

Iddat-period for free woman, who is Moslemah or Kitabia, is three full terms of menses.

(d-ii) Period of iddat for young or old woman

Period of iddat for young or too old woman is ninety days.

(e) Period of Iddat In Case Of Pregnancy

In case of pregnancy, iddat period continues till birth of baby according to Hanfi and Shia schools of thought.

(f) Shia School Of Thought According to Shia school of thought

following points are important for explanation of iddat-period:

(f-i) Divorce at time of pregnancy & death of husband

If wife is divorced revocably at that time when she is pregnant and her husband dies during her idda,

iddat-period is four months and ten days.

(f-ii) In case of Talak-al-bain

If wife is given talak-al-bain revocably at that time when she is pregnant and her husband dies during her iddat, iddat-period is three full terms of menses.

(f-iii) Pregnancy by adultery

Iddat-period is three months when wife becomes pregnant by adultery and her husband divorces her.

(g) Hanfi School Of Thought

According to Hanfi school of thought, following points are important for explanation of iddat-period:

(g-i) Period of four months & ten days

If husband is ill at time of divorce, and wife inherits from him, and he dies before expiration of iddat-period, iddat-period is four moths and ten days during which there should be three terms of menses.

(g-ii) Continuty of iddat-period

If husband is ill at time of divorce, and wife inherits from him, and he dies before expiration of iddat-period, but three terms of menses are not completed during four months and ten days, iddat-period continues till completion of such terms.

(g-iii) Attaining of puberty

If young girl is under puberty, and she is given divorced, and three months less-one day pass when

she attains puberty, iddat-period continues till completion of three terms of menses.

(g-iv) In case of revocable divorce

When husband divorces his wife revocably, and husband dies, and wife passes iddat-period of three terms of menses, but one day when her husband dies, iddat-period of four months and ten days becomes incumbent on her.

Conclusion

To conclude, it can be stated that there are some objectives behind Islamic concept of iddat: the first objective is that this period clarifies whether woman is pregnant or not. The second objective is to provide husband and wife some time for reconciliation as they are allowed to reunite before expiry of iddat period. And the third objective is to safe woman from hardships, which she is likely to face immediately after divorce.

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