20th August 2016
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Question: Is it permissible for a divorced woman to continue working during her waiting period? They separated on the basis that the husband never provided nafaqah (maintenance) for her nor contributed to the home utility expenditure. The wife was compelled to find a job to pay for the household expenditure and bring food to the table. If she does not work during her waiting period, she will end up losing her job. So can she work during her waiting period?
In addition, would the similar ruling apply to a woman who is studying the Ālim course at her local institute? Can she attend her regular classes during her waiting period or not?
الجواب حامداً و مصلياً
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The general Islamic position is that a female divorcee cannot emerge from her home during her waiting period due to the explicit Qur’anic command on this matter except during to extreme necessity that involves physical and monetary harm. It is the husband’s moral duty to provide for her daily expenses during that time and failing to do so will be a sin on his part. However, if it is the case where the wife is compelled to work because her husband refuses to provide for her and nobody is willing to financially support her then as a last resort, the jurists such as Ibn Nujaim rahimahullah have permitted such divorcee to emerge to earn her livelihood during her waiting period as a necessity. It must be made clear here that concessions are limited to the extent necessary, and where the necessity is removed then so is the concession. Due to the necessary case, this rule of concession is restricted only to work and cannot be extended to other areas where physical or monetary harm is not incurred. So reasons such as studying, visiting family relatives and so on are not legitimate reasons for her to leave her home during her Iddah.
[Allãh Knows Best]
Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed
Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam
JKN Fatawa Department
 Ibn Nujaim, Bahr Raiq, Kitābut Talāq -Fasl Fil Ihdād, vol 6 p. 259
وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّ مَدَارَ الْحِلِّ كَوْنُ خُرُوجِهَا بِسَبَبِ قِيَامِ شُغْلِ الْمَعِيشَةِ فَيَتَقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهِ فَمَتَى انْقَضَتْ حَاجَتُهَا لَا يَحِلُّ لَهَا بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ صَرْفُ الزَّمَانِ خَارِجَ بَيْتِهَا كَذَا فِي فَتْحِ الْقَدِيرِ وَأَقُولُ: لَوْ صَحَّ هَذَا عَمَّمَ أَصْحَابُنَا الْحُكْمَ فَقَالُوا لَا تَخْرُجُ الْمُعْتَدَّةُ عَنْ طَلَاقٍ أَوْ مَوْتٍ إلَّا لِضَرُورَةٍ؛ لِأَنَّ الْمُطَلَّقَةَ تَخْرُجُ لِلضَّرُورَةِ بِحَسْبِهَا لَيْلًا كَانَ أَوْ نَهَارًا وَالْمُعْتَدَّةُ عَنْ مَوْتٍ كَذَلِكَ فَأَيْنَ الْفَرْقُ؟
Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāb, Fasl Fil Ihdād, vol 5 p. 223
قَالَ فِي الْفَتْحِ: وَالْحَقُّ أَنَّ عَلَى الْمُفْتِي أَنْ يَنْظُرَ فِي خُصُوصِ الْوَقَائِعِ، فَإِنْ عَلِمَ فِي وَاقِعَةٍ عَجْزَ هَذِهِ الْمُخْتَلِعَةِ عَنْ الْمَعِيشَةِ إنْ لَمْ تَخْرُجْ أَفْتَاهَا بِالْحِلِّ، وَإِنْ عَلِمَ قُدْرَتَهَا أَفْتَاهَا بِالْحُرْمَةِ اهـ وَأَقَرَّهُ فِي النَّهْرِ والشُّرُنبُلالِيَّة.