Family LawResearch Article

Iddat under Muslim Personal Law

Author: Ankur Srivastava, 2nd year law student of ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad. 


Iddah or Iddat is an Arabic expression which implies time of pausing and is seen by Muslim ladies. It is a time of purity which a Muslim lady will undoubtedly see after the disintegration of her marriage because of the demise of her better half or by separate under the watchful eye of she can legally wed once more. The purpose for noticing iddat period is to learn if the lady is pregnant and to recognize the sureness of paternity.

Iddat period fluctuates in various cases

a. a separated from lady notices it for a very long time while a lady whose spouse has kicked the bucket notices it for four lunar months and ten days after the passing of her better half, if the marriage was fulfilled.
b. Iddat period goes on for separated from lady who is pregnant till the time she conceives an offspring or unnatural birth cycle.
c. If a lady is pregnant at the hour of spouse’s passing, she notices iddat for a total year comprising nine months for pregnancy and three months of iddat period.

This period is considered as an equilibrium by some Islamic researchers by giving adequate chance to grieve to the passing of her better half and furthermore shields the widow from analysis that she may be oppressed for remarrying excessively fast after her significant other’s demise. This period primarily helps in deciding if a lady is pregnant or not, since four and a half months is a large portion of the span of a typical pregnancy if there is any. In Muslim law, spouse will make a will for their wives for the arrangement of one year’s home and support, except if the wives avoid the house with regard to their own freedom of thought.

(Al-Baqarah 2: 234 – 235) of Quran enrolls the accompanying things about Iddah as stanzas –

1. The noticing period for a widow is four months and ten days,

2. During this period, a lady can’t wed another man

3. If an individual needs to wed a widow or separated from lady, he may announce his goals in a socially worthy way while iddat period is running, there shouldn’t be any mystery responsibility of marriage with the widow.

4. Once the time of four months and ten days has finished, a marriage agreement can be settled containing time and spot for marriage ceremonies.

Place to observe Iddah

1. It is obligatory to notice iddat period in a similar house where the lady was dwelling for all time at the hour of her better half’s passing or if there should arise an occurrence of disintegration of marriage.
2. If a lady gets the information on her better half’s death while she was on excursion, she should promptly get back to the spot of her home to notice her iddah, given that her house is inside the arrive at not past, else she could return back after arriving at the objective.
3. A lady who was shipped off her parental home should get back to the home of her significant other, upon her better half’s death to finish her Iddat there on the grounds that as per the standard, Iddat is finished in the house which is the lasting home of a spouse. Her folks’ home isn’t considered as perpetual home.

Rules of Iddat

Certain things are prohibited to Muslim ladies during the time of iddat. In Muslim Personal Law, the term ‘Haraam’ is utilized for carefully precluded things, for example, –

I. It is Haraam upon a lady to enjoy into the exercises of improving herself through cosmetics or some other ways during iddat.
II. She is taboo to wear smooth garments or other pompous dresses. No specific tone is determined to wear during this period like dark or white or any such, simply a straightforward and plain apparel would do the trick.
III. She isn’t permitted to take off from house till the consummation of iddat period except if there is some crisis like prerequisite of essential requirements or clinical disease to such degree that it is unimaginable to expect to orchestrate a house-call by a doctor.
IV. She is obliged to grieve for her significant other by petitioning Allah (God) and asking Allah-Subhanahu for her better half and for herself.
V. There is no limitation of considering that to be or the mirror as certain individuals for the sake of Islam attempt to uphold these restrictions.

Beginning of Iddah/Iddat

Iddah period begins just after the demise of spouse or after a separation for Muslim wife. Regardless of her obliviousness to notice iddah, it would not be held due or influenced in at any rate.

1. If she didn’t get the news on season of her significant other’s death yet became acquainted with about it inside the recommended iddah period, at that point she is obliged to notice it for the excess long stretches of iddat period.

2. In case on the off chance that she gets the news at later stage when iddah period has passed, she will undoubtedly encounter it. The time tallies from the hour of spouse’s end or when separation is given.

Disallowance of marriage during Iddat

The Quran allows just the socially worthy way to proclaim the aims of wedding a lady noticing iddat, the wide range of various direct recommendations or mystery responsibilities are carefully disallowed. When the fruition of iddah period, the ladies can legally go into an agreement of second marriage. A marriage done during the time of iddah isn’t perceived in the Islamic law and considered as void.

Staying at home during Iddat

1. During the iddah period, the wife gets deprived of everything outside the premise of her deceased husband’s house. She is not allowed (Haraam) to leave her house if she has sufficient resources of basic needs.
2. She is allowed to leave the house only in case if she is the sole breadwinner with no other source of income to maintain her livelihood. She is permitted to work during the day time only and must return home before the nightfall.
3. She is not required to confine herself to a certain room or stay silent, she may carry out household works or occupy herself in virtuous acts or praying to Allah.
4. She is allowed to leave the house for any emergency medical treatment accompanied by Mehram (a male member of the family whom she cannot marry under Islamic Law).
5. She is forbidden from attending any funerals or visit the ill though they might be close relatives or immediate neighbors.
6. She is allowed to shift from deceased husband’s house in case there are no proper accommodations inside the house, or the remaining heirs do not permit her to use the deceased’s property or she faces troubles in maintaining the purdah required under Islam.
7. If the wife is unable to pay for the rented house, she can shift to the nearest safe place available where she must complete her Iddah period.
8. In case she is the sole occupant of the house where iddah has to be passed but fear of being alone is to that extent that might cause mental illness or any defects, she is allowed to shift to another house. Reasonable amount of fear does not permit to shift from the house.
9. If the house is in dilapidated condition and there is a risk that it might mall down or collapse any time soon or it is not unsecured which might put a threat to woman’s chastity or honors or life, she is allowed to shift from that place. But as soon as the cause of risk is removed, she is obliged to return to her house.
In all the instances mentioned above, utmost care must be taken like –
• The cause must be true and genuine
• She must move to the nearest available safe place.
• After changing the house once, she may not move to another place before completion of her iddah without a valid reason.

Maintenance during Iddat

During the iddah period, a Muslim wife is not entitled to claim maintenance out of her husband’s estate as she is herself an heir to it. This is because the liability of maintaining the wife lies only on the husband and not on the other heirs. If she did not receive her dower (Mehr) nor did she renounces it, she would be entitled to receive it as a first charge from his estate.

Rules for the observance of Iddat

There are two verses in the Quran regarding the observance of ‘iddah of death’ known as ayahs. These ayahs signify the importance of iddah –
1. According to (AI.Baqarah – 234) –
‘And (as for) those of you who die and leave wives behind, such women should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days’
1. For pregnant women, according to (Al-Talaaq – 4) –
‘And the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden’


1. Phull, V., 2021. Concept Of Iddat Under The Muslim Law | Law Corner. [online] Law Corner. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 February 2021].

2. Pandey, A., 2021. Iddat under the Muslim Law – Is it legal? Legal provisions and more. [online] iPleaders. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 February 2021].

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

4 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More in:Family Law