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  • Iddah Period For Women Going Through Menopause

    Umer updated 2 years, 7 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • Umer

    Moderator November 25, 2021 at 11:16 am

    In normal circumstances, the iddat is three menstrual cycles; however, if a woman does not menstruate because of advancing age or in spite of reaching puberty, then the Quran has specified in Surah Talaq that this period would be three months. It has also been stated that the iddat of a pregnant lady extends to childbirth. In Surah Talaq, for women who do not menstruate because of old age, there also exists the condition of إِنْ ارْتَبْتُمْ (if you are doubtful). While explaining this condition, Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

    … “it seems to me that the condition of إِنْ ارْتَبْتُمْ (if you are doubtful) is to differentiate between a lady who does not menstruate because of age but has had sexual intercourse with her husband and a lady in similar state but who did not have sexual intercourse with her husband. For if a lady who does not menstruate because of age has had sexual intercourse with the husband there might be a chance of pregnancy if her state was temporary for some reason. A similar situation may arise for a lady who has not menstruated in spite of reaching the age and she has sexual intercourse with her husband … It is possible that the question may arise in the mind of a person that if this was the case, then why did the Qur’an not explicitly state that the ‘iddat of a lady who does not menstruate because of age and who has had sexual intercourse is three months. The answer to this question is that such a statement of the Qur’an would not have pointed to the underlying reason of ‘iddat – which was essential to be highlighted. This underlying reason is not merely the fact that whether a lady has had sexual intercourse or not: it is the possibility that she may be pregnant“. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Quran, vol. 8, 442)

    It also follows from this that since the question of pregnancy does not even arise when a wife has not begun conjugal contact with her husband, hence there should be no iddat for her. In Surah Ahzab, the Almighty has specifically mentioned this fact:

    يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمْ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا

    Believers! When you marry Muslim women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, no period of iddat have they for you which you can ask them to complete. (Quran 33:49)

    Hence the basic purpose of iddah is to determine whether a lady is pregnant or not. This is necessary to protect the lineage of the child. Hence in all cases where one is absolutely sure that the divorcee/widow is not pregnant there shall be no iddah. Obviously in such a case there shall be no other restrictions of the iddah as well.

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