Q1: Does a young woman who is not pregnant, who has been recently divorced after the marriage has been consummated have to wait for certain period of time before she can remarry?
A: In the said case, the divorce is invalid if it takes place during her menstrual period and if they had intercourse during the last Tuhr period, which is the time between menstrual periods. So after being divorced, a woman has to wait for two menstruation periods to pass and she is allowed to remarry when the third menstrual bleeding begins, although it is better for her to finish the third period and then remarry. This is called the Iddah of divorce.
Q2: How long does a widow have to wait before she can remarry? What is the Sharia ruling for her after the death of her husband?
A: The Iddah for the widow is the duration of four lunar months and ten days if she was not pregnant. If she was, then her Iddah is either the mentioned period or the time till birth, whichever is longer.
During this period, she has to observe Hidad, in which she abstains from wearing perfume and from anything used for beautification and embellishment whether it is on the body or clothes.
Q3: If a girl committed adultery and she was approached for marriage, does she have to observe the Iddah?
A: It is recommended that she seeks to distance herself from the semen of adultery by waiting for her next menstruation period before she marries. In fact it is a recommended precaution to do so, although the said is not obligatory.
Q4: If a medical test indicates that a woman is infertile and cannot have children, is she required to observe the Iddah in the case of divorce?
Q5: During the Iddah after divorce, a woman did a pregnancy test and found out that she was not pregnant. Is she still required to continue the Iddah period?
A: The Iddah remains obligatory in both cases.
Q6: If a woman knows that she committed adultery, but the man thinks that there was a valid marriage contract, does she have to observe the Iddah? Should one who wishes to marry her after that wait until she completes her Iddah, or is she regarded as an adulteress who has no Iddah? What is the ruling if the supposition is reversed, i.e. the man is the one who knows that what he is committing is adultery, while she believes that the marriage contract is valid?
A: The criterion that determines the obligation to observe the waiting period in such a situation is the man’s ignorance and his lack of intention to commit an unlawful act, not the woman’s ignorance of the matter and mistaken belief.
Based on this, the Iddah is mandatory if the man thought the marriage contract was valid, even if the woman knew it to be fornication; and Iddah is not obligatory if the man knew that their act was adultery, even if the woman thought it was a valid contract, and it is only recommended to wait for her next menstrual period and no more than that, as has been mentioned in the answer to a previous question.
The Iddah in such a situation is the same as the Iddah in the case of divorce. It begins when one comes to know the reality after the mistaken belief, not from the time of the last intercourse arisen out of the mistaken belief.
The mentioned ruling applies when the man realizes the invalidity of the contact. But if he died before realizing the truth, the Iddah will start from the time of his death.