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f:624 -    Question about Iddah
Country : India,
Name : submittername
Question:     If a lady's husband had passed away some time ago and she learns it after the period of Iddah is over, then what should she do about the Iddah?
Answer:     The Holy Quran ordains the Iddah (mandatory waiting period) of the lady whose husband has passed away as 4 months and 10 days.  As given in Surah Baqarah:

And those of you who die and leave (their) widows behind shall keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days. So, when they arrive at (the end of) their waiting term, there shall be no responsibility on you for whatever they do for themselves according to Islamic Law. And Allah is Well Aware of what you do.  Surah Baqarah (2:234)

If the lady’s husband had passed away some time ago, then the Fuqaha (jurists) have clarified that the Iddah starts with the demise of the husband.  As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 1, Kitab Ut Talaq, Pg. No. 531/532.

In light of this, we can say that the lady whose husband had passed away some time ago, her Iddah had started with the demise of the husband itself, even though she had not known it.  Now, at this time, her Iddah is already completed.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri,
[Professor of Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder/Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]

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