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How to Calculate Iddah (Waiting Period)

18 December, 2023
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I am confused about how to calculate my `iddah period. I also want to know what I can or cannot do. After over two years in a chronically abusive marriage, I am finally ready to move on for good masha' Allah. My husband has verbally divorced me countless times. He told me he filed for divorce last month, but we have to wait for a year for it to be final in this state. He asked me to move out of the house otherwise he would harm me and I have done so now. I moved out for a month last year but returned. I don't have any intention of doing that again. I was pregnant when I moved out this time around although we did not know at the time. Unfortunately, I am now miscarrying that pregnancy. It's now three weeks since I moved out. Do I calculate my waiting period from the day I moved out, the last time he assaulted me and told me he was not interested in me anymore or do I wait for my period to resume and count from then? I also want to know what I can or cannot do during the waiting period? When can I begin looking for another person to marry?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi 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:

`Iddah (waiting period) begins right after valid divorce. So, if you are in doubt regarding your divorce, you need to seek the help of a local imam or community leader to help you in this regard.

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In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Your `iddah starts the day he divorces you. So you need to ascertain this fact first before calculating `iddah. In case of doubt about divorce, the judgment is that it did not take place.

So you need to wait for the court divorce to take place before you can decide one way or another.

Otherwise, you may seek the help of the imam in the community, to find out whether he has pronounced an unequivocal Islamic divorce or not. If he did, then you can start calculating the `iddah, accordingly.

You can only get married following the expiry of the period of iddah.

Almighty Allah knows best.