Can Divorce Waiting Period be Waived?

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 24 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1424, 26 May 2003

Q.) In Islam, if a man wants to divorce a wife he has to observe a certain prescribed period so as to ensure that she is not left pregnant. Can this requirement be waived if the wife to be divorced terminated her pregnancy by medical means? [Omar Ndeketa]

A.) At the outset, we wish to inform you that the period of waiting (Iddah) is for a lady and not a man. However, if the man wants to marry the sister of his wife, then he will have to wait till his wife finishes her Iddah. (Shaami vol.3 pg.502; HM Saeed)

The period of Iddah after a divorce is subjected to the divorce taking place and cannot be implemented before the divorce. Iddat is not just for ensuring that the divorcee is not pregnant, but it is to complete the rights of marriage. (Ibid pg.425)

This rule of Allah Ta'ala cannot be amended to suit our whims and fancies. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best