Are Divorcees or Widows Allowed to Marry?
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Are Divorcees or Widows Allowed to Marry?



Reply Date

Jul 18, 2017


As-Salamu alaykum. What is the ruling on preventing a widow or a divorcee from marrying? and does she have the right to marry a new husband?



Are Divorcees or Widows Allowed to Marry?

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

It is the right of a divorcee or a widow to marry and it isn’t lawful for anyone to prevent them from that.

Answering your question, the General Iftaa’ Department in Jordan, states the following: 

Islam has organized relationships among individuals so as to create a virtuous society. In fact, family constitutes the key pillar of society.

However, when marriage ceases to exist due to divorce or death of spouse, individuals involved are free to go their way. The relief may even be in parting, for Allah, the Almighty, said:

“But if they disagree (and must part), God will provide abundance for all from His all-reaching bounty: for God is He that cares for all and is Wise.” (An-Nisa` 4:130)

The Noble Quran has stated certain rights to the divorcee and the widow, and made it incumbent on individuals to preserve them so as to maintain chastity and righteousness.

One of these rights is not to prevent the afore women from marrying since Allah, the Exalted, has prohibited doing so where He said:

“When you divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (`Iddah), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms.” (Al-Baqarah 2:232)

Therefore, it isn`t permissible to prevent a woman from marrying the person that suits her.

Al-Mawardi, a Shafi`i scholar, stated: “Allah has prohibited the guardians of a woman to prevent her from marrying the man that she accepts as husband.” (Tafseer Al-Mawardi, 1:298)

This ruling is in the best interest of women.

Moreover, preventing women from marrying is among the despicable pre-Islamic practices which was exercised either out of zeal or to eat up a woman`s wealth to deprive her husband from taking it.

Therefore, the prohibition stated in the Noble Qur’an addresses the woman’s guardians, her former husband and all Muslims. He, the Almighty, said:

“O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may Take away part of the dower you have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)

Abu Al-Su`ud said:

“This verse means that when divorce takes place, it isn’t permissible for the guardians or the husbands to prevent the woman from marrying. It is also an intimidation and a warning against committing such an act.” (Irshad Al-`Akil Al-Saleem, 1/229)

In principle, it is permissible for a divorcee or a widow to marry since Al-Miswar Ibn Makhrama narrated: “Subai`a Al-Aslamiyah gave birth to a child a few days after the death of her husband. She came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked permission to remarry, and the Prophet gave her permission, and she got married.” (Al-Bukhari)
In conclusion, it is the right of a woman to marry, and it isn’t lawful for anyone to prevent her from that.

We advise all Muslims to fear Allah, the Almighty, and never be unjust to women in general and divorcees and widows in particular. This is in addition to granting them the rights which Allah has enjoined for them.

Almighty Allah knows best.


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