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f:727 -    Divorce before consummation of marriage
Country : Aurangabad, India,
Name : Muhammad Nazeer Ahmed
Question:     In our relatives, a person?s daughter got married.  Due to some reasons, on the night of the wedding itself, she was divorced.  Now the question is how many days she has to spend in Iddat?  The guy didn?t even give the Mehr, so will the guy have to give now that they have divorced even though the marriage has not been consummated?
Answer:     If the marriage has not been consummated and the couple have not been together in Absolute Privacy (Khilwat-e-Saheeha) at all and the husband divorces the wife then as per the Shariah, the Iddat (waiting period) is not mandatory on the wife.  As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 526:

Translation:  Iddat is not Wajib (compulsory) on the lady whose has been divorced before consummation of marriage and neither has she been in privacy with the husband.

Allah Most High says:

O Believers! When you marry the believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them (i.e. had sexual intercourse with them), then no waiting period is (obligatory) on them for you which you may start counting. So give them some provision and send them off nicely extending to them excellent morality.  Surah Ahzaab (33:49)

Please understand that Absolute Privacy (Khilwat-e-Saheeha) means that the husband and wife are at a place where there is nothing to stop them from consummating the marriage.  As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 304.

If the Mehr (alimony) has not been paid, then half of the decided amount should be paid.  As given in Durre Mukhtaar, Vol. 2, Babul Mehr:

Translation:  In case of divorce before consummation of marriage and Absolute Privacy, paying half of the Mehr amount is Compulsory (Wajib).

In the given situation, the husband has divorced the wife before consummation of marriage and solitude, thus Iddat is not necessary for the wife.  However, the groom has to pay half of the Mehr amount.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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