Can A Divorcee Suffering from Depression Come out During Iddah?

17th February 2024


Question: A woman is observing her Iddah of divorce and has a toddler. She is alone and suffers from mental health concerns (anxiety and episodes of depression and sometimes cannot get out of bed in the mornings and is becoming very withdrawn). Is its permissible for such a lady to,  

  1. Go out for walks (accompanied) to get fresh air for her mental health?
  2. Take her toddler out for walks for fresh air and to toddler classes?
  3. To attend family gatherings?


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



Concerning your case in question, as a general rule, a divorced woman is required by the Shariah to observe a waiting period (of three menses – Iddah) in the same accommodation she lived with her husband. She is not permitted to leave her home nor relocate elsewhere to observe her Iddah without a genuine excuse. The Quran and as well as the Hadith are explicit on this matter. Allāh Almighty states, Do not drive them (wives) from their homes and neither should they (wives) should exit the home…”[1] It is reported that the Messenger of Allāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam once divorced Sayyidah Hafsah radhiyallahu anha, after which she went to her family (to observe her iddah). Allāh Almighty revealed the above verse (instructing the women to observe their waiting period in the husband’s accommodation). The Messenger of Allāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam was instructed however to retract from the divorce and take her back as his wife due to her piety.[2] In light of the above evidences, the Hanafi jurists have deduced that under normal circumstances it is obligatory for a female divorcee to observe her Iddah in the current home she is living in. The laws of Iddah are the rights of Allāh Almighty so leaving the home or relocating elsewhere without necessity is a violation of Allāh’s rights.[3] The Shariah does however consider exceptional circumstances where due to genuine reasons she is permitted to emerge or relocate elsewhere to complete her Iddah. Genuine excuses include; the fear of house collapsing, fear over her wealth perishing, living in a rented accommodation and does not have the means to pay the rent, is forcibly driven out of the home by her husband or has no financial support and hence must emerge to earn for herself. Jurists have also included other reasons such as being fearful at night of living by herself alone in the house.[4]

With reference to the case of depression then the classical jurists have not made any explicit mentioning of this. It will therefore depend on the degree of depression she is suffering. Below are some recommendations.

  1. Minor distress does not justify leaving the home.
  2. Family members should visit her often to give her company to reduce her anxiety level. In that way there is no need for her to leave her accommodation to visit them. They should offer to take her toddler out for walks or to classes during her Iddah period.
  3. She should seek counselling therapy from a professional in which case it would be permissible for her to leave the home to visit a therapist.
  4. If the anxiety level is so extreme that staying home for a longer period will trigger her anxieties and prove harmful to her mental well-being and to the child and there is no one to support her then she may emerge from her home out of necessity. She should primarily stay in the garden for fresh air but if this is not sufficient, then she can walk for a certain distance only to the need that is required. This is justified under the principle of necessity as in when one’s physical or mental well-being is at severe risk and no available alternative exists then prohibited matters become permissible and constraint situations beget flexibility but only to the extent that is necessary.[5]

In summary, the general default position is that a divorcee cannot leave her home during her Iddah except due to necessity. In the aforesaid case, family members should often visit her to support her and her child. If her depressive state is so extreme that staying home will prove harmful to her mental well-being and to her child and there is no one to support her then she can come out due to necessity for fresh-air. She must then immediately return home and not to stay out longer than necessary.


[Allãh Knows Best]



Written and researched by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department



[1] Surah Talaq [65:1]

[2] Ibn Katheer vol 8, p. 142

وَقَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي حَاتِمٍ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ ثَوَابِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ الْهُبَارِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَسْبَاطُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: طَلَّقَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَفْصَةَ، فَأَتَتْ أَهْلَهَا، فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ، عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ} فَقِيلَ لَهُ: رَاجِعْهَا فَإِنَّهَا صَوَّامَةٌ قَوَّامَةٌ، وَهِيَ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكَ وَنِسَائِكَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ.


[3] Kasān, Badā’i Sanāi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 3 p. 205 – shamila

فَصْلٌ فِي أَحْكَامُ الْعِدَّةِ

فَإِنْ كَانَتْ مُعْتَدَّةً مِنْ نِكَاحٍ صَحِيحٍ وَهِيَ حُرَّةٌ مُطَلَّقَةٌ بَالِغَةٌ عَاقِلَةٌ مُسْلِمَةٌ وَالْحَالُ حَالُ الِاخْتِيَارِ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَخْرُجُ لَيْلًا وَلَا نَهَارًا سَوَاءٌ كَانَ الطَّلَاقُ ثَلَاثًا أَوْ بَائِنًا أَوْ رَجْعِيًّا أَمَّا فِي الطَّلَاقِ الرَّجْعِيِّ فَلِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى {لا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِنْ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ} [الطلاق: 1] قِيلَ فِي تَأْوِيلِ قَوْلِهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ {إِلا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ} [الطلاق: 1] إلَّا أَنْ تَزْنِيَ فَتَخْرُجَ لِإِقَامَةِ الْحَدِّ عَلَيْهَا، وَقِيلَ: الْفَاحِشَةُ هِيَ الْخُرُوجُ نَفْسُهُ أَيْ إلَّا أَنْ يَخْرُجْنَ فَيَكُونَ خُرُوجُهُنَّ فَاحِشَةً، نَهَى اللَّهُ تَعَالَى الْأَزْوَاجَ عَنْ الْإِخْرَاجِ وَالْمُعْتَدَّاتِ عَنْ الْخُرُوجِ وقَوْله تَعَالَى {أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنْتُمْ} [الطلاق: 6] وَالْأَمْرُ بِالْإِسْكَانِ نَهْيٌ عَنْ الْإِخْرَاجِ وَالْخُرُوجِ وَلِأَنَّهَا زَوْجَتُهُ بَعْدَ الطَّلَاقِ الرَّجْعِيِّ لِقِيَامِ مِلْكِ النِّكَاحِ مِنْ كُلِّ وَجْهٍ فَلَا يُبَاحُ لَهَا الْخُرُوجُ كَمَا قَبْلَ الطَّلَاقِ إلَّا أَنَّ بَعْدَ الطَّلَاقِ لَا يُبَاحُ لَهَا الْخُرُوجُ وَإِنْ أُذِنَ لَهَا بِالْخُرُوجِ بِخِلَافِ مَا قَبْلَ الطَّلَاقِ.

لِأَنَّ حُرْمَةَ الْخُرُوجِ بَعْدَ الطَّلَاقِ لِمَكَانِ الْعِدَّةِ وَفِي الْعِدَّةِ حَقُّ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى فَلَا يَمْلِكُ إبْطَالَهُ بِخِلَافِ مَا قَبْلَ الطَّلَاقِ؛ لِأَنَّ الْحُرْمَةَ ثَمَّةَ لِحَقِّ الزَّوْجِ خَاصَّةً فَيَمْلِكُ إبْطَالَ حَقِّ نَفْسِهِ بِالْإِذْنِ بِالْخُرُوجِ، وَلِأَنَّ الزَّوْجَ يَحْتَاجُ إلَى تَحْصِينِ مَائِهِ وَالْمَنْعُ مِنْ الْخُرُوجِ طَرِيقُ التَّحْصِينِ لِلْمَاءِ؛ لِأَنَّ الْخُرُوجَ يُرِيبُ الزَّوْجَ أَنَّهُ وَطِئَهَا غَيْرُهُ فَيَشْتَبِهُ النَّسَبُ إذَا حَبِلَتْ.

وَأَمَّا فِي الطَّلَاقِ الثَّلَاثِ أَوْ الْبَائِنِ فَلِعُمُومِ النَّهْيِ وَمِسَاسِ الْحَاجَةِ إلَى تَحْصِينِ الْمَاءِ عَلَى مَا بَيَّنَّا.


Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 3 p. 535- 6 shamila

(وَلَا تَخْرُجُ مُعْتَدَّةُ رَجْعِيٍّ وَبَائِنٌ) بِأَيِّ فُرْقَةٍ كَانَتْ عَلَى مَا فِي الظَّهِيرِيَّةِ وَلَوْ مُخْتَلِعَةً عَلَى نَفَقَةِ عِدَّتِهَا فِي الْأَصَحِّ اخْتِيَارٌ، أَوْ عَلَى السُّكْنَى فَيَلْزَمُهَا أَنْ تَكْتَرِيَ بَيْتَ الزَّوْجِ مِعْرَاجٌ (لَوْ حُرَّةً) أَوْ أَمَةً مُبَوَّأَةً وَلَوْ مِنْ فَاسِدٍ (مُكَلَّفَةً مِنْ بَيْتِهَا أَصْلًا) لَا لَيْلًا وَلَا نَهَارًا وَلَا إلَى صَحْنِ دَارٍ فِيهَا مَنَازِلُ لِغَيْرِهِ وَلَوْ بِإِذْنِهِ لِأَنَّهُ حَقُّ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى.

(قَوْلُهُ: بِأَيِّ فُرْقَةٍ كَانَتْ إلَخْ) أَيْ وَلَوْ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ كَتَقْبِيلِهَا ابْنَ زَوْجِهَا بَحْرٌ عَنْ الْبَدَائِعِ. قَالَ فِي النَّهْرِ: قَيَّدَ بِمُعْتَدَّةِ الطَّلَاقِ، لِأَنَّ مُعْتَدَّةَ الْوَطْءِ لَا تُمْنَعُ مِنْ الْخُرُوجِ كَالْمُعْتَدَّةِ عَنْ عِتْقٍ وَنِكَاحٍ فَاسِدٍ وَوَطْءٍ بِشُبْهَةٍ إلَّا إذَا مَنَعَهَا لِتَحْصِينِ مَائِهِ كَذَا فِي الْبَدَائِعِ.

(قَوْلُهُ: أَصْلًا) تَعْمِيمٌ لِقَوْلِهِ لَا تَخْرُجُ، وَبَيَّنَهُ بِقَوْلِهِ لَا لَيْلًا وَلَا نَهَارًا. (قَوْلُهُ: فِيهَا مَنَازِلُ لِغَيْرِهِ) أَيْ غَيْرِ الزَّوْجِ، بِخِلَافِ مَا إذَا كَانَتْ لَهُ فَإِنَّ لَهَا أَنْ تَخْرُجَ إلَيْهَا وَتَبِيتَ فِي أَيِّ مَنْزِلٍ شَاءَتْ لِأَنَّهَا تُضَافُ إلَيْهَا بِالسُّكْنَى زَيْلَعِيٌّ. (قَوْلُهُ: وَلَوْ بِإِذْنِهِ) تَعْمِيمٌ أَيْضًا لِقَوْلِهِ وَلَا تَخْرُجُ، حَتَّى إنَّ الْمُطَلَّقَةَ رَجْعِيًّا وَإِنْ كَانَتْ مَنْكُوحَةً حُكْمًا لَا تَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَيْتِ الْعِدَّةِ.


[4] Kasān, Badā’i Sanāi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 4 p. 451

وَأَمَّا فِي حَالَةِ الضَّرُورَةِ فَإِنْ اُضْطُرَّتْ إلَى الْخُرُوجِ مِنْ بَيْتِهَا بِأَنْ خَافَتْ سُقُوطَ مَنْزِلِهَا أَوْ خَافَتْ عَلَى مَتَاعِهَا أَوْ كَانَ الْمَنْزِلُ بِأُجْرَةٍ وَلَا تَجِدُ مَا تُؤَدِّيهِ فِي أُجْرَتِهِ فِي عِدَّةِ الْوَفَاةِ فَلَا بَأْسَ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ أَنْ تَنْتَقِلَ، وَإِنْ كَانَتْ تَقْدِرُ عَلَى الْأُجْرَةِ لَا تَنْتَقِلُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ الْمَنْزِلُ لِزَوْجِهَا وَقَدْ مَاتَ عَنْهَا فَلَهَا أَنْ تَسْكُنَ فِي نَصِيبِهَا إنْ كَانَ نَصِيبُهَا مِنْ ذَلِكَ مَا تَكْتَفِي بِهِ فِي السُّكْنَى وَتَسْتَتِرُ عَنْ سَائِرِ الْوَرَثَةِ مِمَّنْ لَيْسَ بِمَحْرَمٍ لَهَا، وَإِنْ كَانَ نَصِيبُهَا لَا يَكْفِيهَا أَوْ خَافَتْ عَلَى مَتَاعِهَا مِنْهُمْ فَلَا بَأْسَ أَنْ تَنْتَقِلَ،

وَإِذَا انْتَقَلَتْ لِعُذْرٍ يَكُونُ سُكْنَاهَا فِي الْبَيْتِ الَّذِي انْتَقَلَتْ إلَيْهِ بِمَنْزِلَةِ كَوْنِهَا فِي الْمَنْزِلِ الَّذِي انْتَقَلَتْ مِنْهُ فِي حُرْمَةِ الْخُرُوجِ عَنْهُ؛ لِأَنَّ الِانْتِقَالَ مِنْ الْأَوَّلِ إلَيْهِ كَانَ لِعُذْرٍ فَصَارَ الْمَنْزِلُ الَّذِي انْتَقَلَتْ إلَيْهِ كَأَنَّهُ مَنْزِلُهَا مِنْ الْأَصْلِ فَلَزِمَهَا الْمُقَامُ فِيهِ حَتَّى تَنْقَضِيَ الْعِدَّةُ،


Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 10 p. 365-367

(وَتَعْتَدَّانِ) أَيْ مُعْتَدَّةُ طَلَاقٍ وَمَوْتٍ (فِي بَيْتٍ وَجَبَتْ فِيهِ) وَلَا يَخْرُجَانِ مِنْهُ (إلَّا أَنْ تُخْرَجَ أَوْ يَتَهَدَّمَ الْمَنْزِلُ، أَوْ تَخَافُ) انْهِدَامَهُ، أَوْ (تَلَفَ مَالِهَا، أَوْ لَا تَجِدَ كِرَاءَ الْبَيْتِ) وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ الضَّرُورَاتِ فَتَخْرُجُ لِأَقْرَبِ مَوْضِعٍ إلَيْهِ، وَفِي الطَّلَاقِ إلَى حَيْثُ شَاءَ الزَّوْجُ

قَالَ فِي الْفَتْحِ: وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّ مَدَارَ حِلِّ خُرُوجِهَا بِسَبَبِ قِيَامِ شُغْلِ الْمَعِيشَةِ فَيَتَقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهِ، فَمَتَى انْقَضَتْ حَاجَتُهَا لَا يَحِلُّ لَهَا بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ صَرْفُ الزَّمَانِ خَارِجَ بَيْتِهَا. اهـ. وَبِهَذَا انْدَفَعَ قَوْلُ الْبَحْرِ إنَّ الظَّاهِرَ مِنْ كَلَامِهِمْ جَوَازُ خُرُوجِ الْمُعْتَدَّةِ عَنْ وَفَاةٍ نَهَارًا وَلَوْ كَانَ عِنْدَهَا نَفَقَةٌ، وَإِلَّا لَقَالُوا: لَا تَخْرُجُ الْمُعْتَدَّةُ عَنْ طَلَاقٍ، أَوْ مَوْتٍ إلَّا لِضَرُورَةٍ فَإِنَّ الْمُطَلَّقَةَ تَخْرُجُ لِلضَّرُورَةِ لَيْلًا، أَوْ نَهَارًا اهـ.

وَوَجْهُ الدَّفْعِ أَنَّ مُعْتَدَّةَ الْمَوْتِ لَمَّا كَانَتْ فِي الْعَادَةِ مُحْتَاجَةً إلَى الْخُرُوجِ لِأَجْلِ أَنْ تَكْتَسِبَ لِلنَّفَقَةِ قَالُوا: إنَّهَا تَخْرُجُ فِي النَّهَارِ وَبَعْضِ اللَّيْلِ، بِخِلَافِ الْمُطَلَّقَةِ. وَأَمَّا الْخُرُوجُ لِلضَّرُورَةِ فَلَا فَرْقَ فِيهِ بَيْنَهُمَا كَمَا نَصُّوا عَلَيْهِ فِيمَا يَأْتِي، فَالْمُرَادُ بِهِ هُنَا غَيْرُ الضَّرُورَةِ، وَلِهَذَا بَعْدَمَا أَطْلَقَ فِي كَافِي الْحَاكِمِ مَنْعَ خُرُوجِ الْمُطَلَّقَةِ

( لُهُ: وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ)

مِنْهُ مَا فِي الظَّهِيرِيَّةِ: لَوْ خَافَتْ بِاللَّيْلِ مِنْ أَمْرِ الْمَيِّتِ وَالْمَوْتِ وَلَا أَحَدَ مَعَهَا لَهَا التَّحَوُّلُ – وَالْخَوْفُ شَدِيدٌ – وَإِلَّا فَلَا


[5] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 10 p. 365

وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ الضَّرُورَاتِ فَتَخْرُجُ لِأَقْرَبِ مَوْضِعٍ إلَيْهِ، وَفِي الطَّلَاقِ إلَى حَيْثُ شَاءَ الزَّوْجُ

وَأَمَّا الْخُرُوجُ لِلضَّرُورَةِ فَلَا فَرْقَ فِيهِ بَيْنَهُمَا كَمَا نَصُّوا عَلَيْهِ فِيمَا يَأْتِي، فَالْمُرَادُ بِهِ هُنَا غَيْرُ الضَّرُورَةِ، وَلِهَذَا بَعْدَمَا أَطْلَقَ فِي كَافِي الْحَاكِمِ مَنْعَ خُرُوجِ الْمُطَلَّقَةِ


It is permitted for a Mufti to take into consideration specific cases in order to grant leniency in extreme circumstances like Ibn Abideen Shami allowing a divorcee to emerge to earn for herself when necessary.

Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 10 p. 362

مُطْلَبٌ: الْحَقُّ أَنَّ عَلَى الْمُفْتِي أَنْ يَنْظُرَ فِي خُصُوصِ الْوَقَائِعِ.

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.

Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa Nazair, p. 72-73

أَنَّ الْأَمْرَ إذَا ضَاقَ اتَّسَعَ، وَإِذَا اتَّسَعَ ضَاقَ

مَا أُبِيحَ لِلضَّرُورَةِ يُقَدَّرُ بِقَدْرِهَا