#179: Iddah for Men?


Is there iddah for men?


Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Lexically, iddah is a name for a certain duration of time for a woman to enslave herself to Allah SWT or mourn for the loss of her husband or to purify her womb from her husband’s sperm. [1]

Iddah is a period of time a woman undergoes after a divorce or death of her husband. Its purpose is to endure that her womb is free of any pregnancy and its duration depends on the number of times she experiences menstruation. Usually, the duration of iddah for a divorced woman is three times of her menstruation and for a woman whose husband died, the duration of her iddah is for 4 months and 10 days.

During this iddah duration, a former wife is prohibited to marry another man. The purpose iddah is set is to ensure the womb of the woman is pure from any embryo to avoid the uncertainty of the true lineage of a child if marriage with another man happens. In the iddah duration, the husband is permissible to reconcile with his wife as long as the wife is in iddah raj’ie.

Evidences Related to Iddah

  1. The iddah of a menstruating woman, divorced by her husband: 3 times of her becoming pure. This is as mentioned in the statement of Allah SWT:

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ ثَلاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ

“Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods,” [2]

  1. Iddah of a menstruating woman whose husband passed away: 4 months and 10 days. This is as stated by Allah SWT:

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا

“And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days].” [3]

  1. Iddah for a pregnant woman who is divorced by her husband or her husband died: Until she gave birth. This is stated by Allah SWT:

وَأُوْلَٰتُ ٱلْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ

“And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth.” [4]

According to the Quranic evidences, it clearly shows that Allah SWT has set certain durations of iddah for women appropriate with the situation she is in during the divorce or death. However, men don’t have any duration of iddah like the iddah for a woman. However, in certain matters, there is a duration of when he can’t marry another woman or something is stopping him from marrying. In books, jurists ruled that iddah is not obligated on men. [5]

According to the above question, basically, a man doesn’t have any iddah, for iddah is specified for women. However, there are two conditions where a man is subject to the iddah of the woman and he isn’t allowed to marry during the iddah:

  1. He still has a bond with the family member of his wife.

A man is prohibited from marrying the aunt or sister of his wife except after the iddah of the talaq raj’ie [6] has been completed.

  1. He has four wives.

When a man has four wives and he divorced one of his wives, he isn’t allowed to marry another woman until after the wife that he divorced has completed her iddah for talaq raj’ie.

May Allah SWT give us understanding in this religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 4/157

[2] Surah al-Baqarah: 228

[3] Surah al-Baqarah: 234

[4] Surah at-Talaq: 4

[5] See al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 29/306

[6] Talaq raj’ie means a talaq where it is permissible for the husband to reconcile with his wife without renewing the solemnization or marriage after they have divorced on the condition that the wife is still in her iddah duration. However, talaq raj’ie only applies for the first and second of which she hasn’t completed her iddah.


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1 thoughts on “#179: Iddah for Men?

  1. Sabreen Salmani says:

    Assalamualaikum sir/madam

    My question:- why only women have iddah not men?
    Because after demise of wives, husbands ask for another woman.

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