Waiting Period and Demanding Half of Husband’s Assets

28th September 2021

 

Question: I wanted to ask a few questions about iddah, specifically in the case of faskh-e-nikkah, as in what would be the length of a woman’s iddah? And also if the woman is of an old age, how should she go about counting the days of her iddah if she doesn’t menstruate? In the UK, when a couple divorces, all the assets and properties are split between the pair. Is this permissible in Islām? My final question would be that if the father of my children is agreeing to pay the expenses of my children, if I was to ever use the money for my personal needs would this be permissible in Islam?

 

 

الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

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

 

Answer

In reference to your case scenario, iddah or known as grace period is mandatory upon a woman who has been separated from her husband after her marriage was consummated whether it was a talaq or a faskh – dissolved through an Islamic court. Her waiting period as prescribed in the Quran is three complete menstrual cycles.[1] Though the Quran references to a divorced woman, the similar rule applies to faskh also.[2] This is because both a talaq and faskh bear the same cause of marriage separation as of which iddah will be also prescribed for her in the case of faskh.[3]  The reason behind the iddah is to cleanse her womb before she moves on with another marital relationship with someone else. The underlying reason exists both with talaq and with faskh which is why the same iddah is necessary for faskh as well. If she reached the age of menopause then her iddah according to the Quran will change to three months.[4] In both cases, she is eligible for maintenance and living accommodation until her waiting period expires.[5]

As for demanding half of her ex-husband’s property and assets after divorce through the court, then this will not be permissible Islamically. The only assets she can demand from him is either her outstanding mahr, outstanding debt owed to her that she previously lent or basic maintenance during her waiting period.[6] The court’s decision to divide the property into half will not valid Islamically for a number of reasons;

Firstly, just as her personal property belongs to her, so does his personal property belong to him. Demanding what is rightfully not hers is an injustice against him. And injustice is a punishable offense in the Hereafter.

Secondly, many have sought to justify her right to half of his assets claiming that it is to compensate for his shortcomings in fulfilling his financial obligations towards her during marriage. This is not justifiable however. Classical jurists have elaborated on the legal status of non-paid expenses towards one’s wife. To summarise, the legal default status of expenses – nafaqah – as the jurists explain equates to hadyah – gift. Albeit he becomes sinful for his failure, default expenses of the past are not considered a debt and hence not binding on him. They become binding in two exceptional instances only namely; mutual agreement between couple or a Muslim judge stipulates allowance for her in the court. If the husband made a binding agreement that he will grant specific monthly allowance or she presented her case to a Muslim court where he stipulated monthly allowances for her from her husband and thereafter, he fails, only then she can demand the default payments of the past.[7] Even in this case however, she can only demand the agreed amount payable to her in either of these two instances and that is only during the marriage or her waiting period. Contrarily, demanding half of his assets is an injustice on her part for taking that which does not rightfully belong to her after they marriage has ended. Moreover, a non-Muslim judge’s decree in marital issues is not valid when it conflicts with the fundamentals of Islām which is the case here.  In short, it would not be valid Islamically to reclaim half of his assets and in doing so, she becomes sinful.

Your final question is whether she can use some of the child’s expenses after divorce then as alluded earlier, the wife is Islamically entitled to expenses during her grace period. After it expires, he has no obligation towards her because they are no longer married. His financial obligation remains towards his biological child only. So, taking a share of the child’s expenses for herself will not be permissible without his consent. In the case she does, she incurs a debt on herself.

 

 

[Allãh Knows Best]

 

 

Written and researched by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department

 

 

[1] Quran [Surah Baqarah 2:228]

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ

“And divorced women will wait for themselves (a grace period of) three menses.”

 

[2] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh vol 3 p. 504-5 – shamila

وَأَنْوَاعُهَا حَيْضٌ، وَأَشْهُرٌ، وَوَضْعُ حَمْلٍ كَمَا أَفَادَهُ بِقَوْلِهِ (وَهِيَ فِي) حَقِّ (حُرَّةٍ) وَلَوْ كِتَابِيَّةً تَحْتَ مُسْلِمٍ (تَحِيضُ لِطَلَاقٍ) وَلَوْ رَجْعِيًّا (أَوْ فَسْخٍ بِجَمِيعِ أَسْبَابِهِ).

(قَوْلُهُ: لِطَلَاقٍ، أَوْ فَسْخٍ) تَقَدَّمَ فِي بَابِ الْوَلِيِّ نَظْمًا فِرَقُ النِّكَاحِ الَّتِي تَكُونُ فَسْخًا وَاَلَّتِي تَكُونُ طَلَاقًا (قَوْلُهُ: بِجَمِيعِ أَسْبَابِهِ) مِثْلُ الِانْفِسَاخِ بِخِيَارِ الْبُلُوغِ، وَالْعِتْقِ، وَعَدَمِ الْكَفَاءَةِ، وَمِلْكِ أَحَدِ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الْآخَرَ، وَالرِّدَّةِ فِي بَعْضِ الصُّوَرِ، وَالِافْتِرَاقِ عَنْ النِّكَاحِ الْفَاسِدِ، وَالْوَطْءِ بِشُبْهَةٍ فَتْحٌ؛ لَكِنَّ الْأَخِيرَ لَيْسَ فَسْخًا.

 

[3] Kasān, Badā’i Sanāi, Kitāb al–Talāq, vol 3 p. 190

وَعَلَى هَذَا يُبْنَى وَقْتُ وُجُوبِ الْعِدَّةِ أَنَّهَا تَجِبُ مِنْ وَقْتِ وُجُودِ سَبَبِ الْوُجُوبِ مِنْ الطَّلَاقِ، وَالْوَفَاةِ، وَغَيْرِ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى لَوْ بَلَغَ الْمَرْأَةَ طَلَاقُ زَوْجِهَا أَوْ مَوْتُهُ فَعَلَيْهَا الْعِدَّةُ مِنْ يَوْمِ طَلَّقَ أَوْ مَاتَ عِنْدَ عَامَّةِ الْعُلَمَاءِ،

[4] Quran [Surah Talaq 65:4]

 

وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ

“And those women amongst you who have despaired from menstruation if you doubt then they waiting period is three months, and those that do not menstruate.”

Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh vol 3 p. 507

(قَوْلُهُ: وَالْعِدَّةُ فِي حَقِّ مَنْ لَمْ تَحِضْ) شُرُوعٌ فِي النَّوْعِ الثَّانِي مِنْ أَنْوَاعِ الْعِدَّةِ وَهُوَ الْعِدَّةُ بِالْأَشْهُرِ وَهُوَ مَعْطُوفٌ عَلَى قَوْلِهِ وَهِيَ فِي حَقِّ حُرَّةٍ تَحِيضُ (قَوْلُهُ: حُرَّةً أَمْ أُمَّ وَلَدٍ) أَيْ لَا فَرْقَ بَيْنَهُمَا فِيمَا سَيَأْتِي مِنْ أَنَّ عِدَّةَ كُلٍّ مِنْهُمَا ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ

 

Kasān, Badā’i Sanāi, Kitāb al–Talāq, vol 3 p. 192

وَأَمَّا عِدَّةُ الْأَشْهُرِ فَنَوْعَانِ: نَوْعٌ يَجِبُ بَدَلًا عَنْ الْحَيْضِ، وَنَوْعٌ يَجِبُ أَصْلًا بِنَفْسِهِ أَمَّا الَّذِي يَجِبُ بَدَلًا عَنْ الْحَيْضِ فَهُوَ عِدَّةُ الصَّغِيرَةِ وَالْآيِسَةِ وَالْمَرْأَةِ الَّتِي لَمْ تَحِضْ رَأْسًا فِي الطَّلَاقِ، وَسَبَبُ وُجُوبِهَا هُوَ الطَّلَاقُ، وَهُوَ سَبَبُ وُجُوبِ عِدَّةِ الْأَقْرَاءِ، وَأَنَّهَا تَجِبُ قَضَاءً لِحَقِّ النِّكَاحِ الَّذِي اُسْتُوْفِيَ فِيهِ الْمَقْصُودُ، وَشَرْطُ وُجُوبِهَا شَيْئَانِ: أَحَدُهُمَا – أَحَدُ الْأَشْيَاءِ الثَّلَاثَةِ: الصِّغَرُ أَوْ الْكِبَرُ، أَوْ فَقْدُ الْحَيْضِ أَصْلًا مَعَ عَدَمِ الصِّغَرِ، وَالْكِبَرِ، وَالْأَصْلُ فِيهِ قَوْله تَعَالَى {وَاللائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ} [الطلاق: 4]

 

[5] Fatawa Hindiyyah, Kitāb al-Talāq, vol 1, p. 558

[الْفَصْلُ الثَّالِثُ فِي نَفَقَةِ الْمُعْتَدَّةِ]

وَإِنْ حَاضَتْ فِي الْأَشْهُرِ الثَّلَاثَةِ وَاسْتَقْبَلَتْ عِدَّتَهَا بِالْحَيْضِ فَلَهَا النَّفَقَةُ، وَكَذَلِكَ لَوْ كَانَتْ صَغِيرَةً يُجَامَعُ مِثْلُهَا فَطَلَّقَهَا بَعْدَ مَا دَخَلَ بِهَا أَنْفَقَ عَلَيْهَا ثَلَاثَةَ أَشْهُرٍ، فَإِنْ حَاضَتْ فِيهَا وَاسْتَقْبَلَتْ عِدَّةَ الْأَقْرَاءِ أَنْفَقَ عَلَيْهَا حَتَّى تَنْقَضِيَ عِدَّتُهَا كَذَا فِي الْبَدَائِعِ.

 

Muheetul Burhani, Kitāb al-Talāq vol 3, p. 553

الفصل الثاني في نفقة المطلقات

اجتمع على المطلقة طلاقاً رجعياً تستحق النفقة والسكنى ما دامت العدة قائمة سواء كانت حاملاً أو حائلاً، وهذا لأن بعد الطلاق الرجعي النكاح قائم وإنما أشرف على الزوال عند انقضاء العدة وذلك غير مسقط للنفقة، كما إذا أو علق طلاقها بمضي شهر، وأما المبتوتة فلها النفقة والسكنى أيضاً ما دامت في العدة حائلاً كانت أو حاملاً، وهذا مذهبنا.

 

[6] Mufti Ismail Kacholvi, Fatawa Deeniyyah, Ch. Divorce, vol 3, pp. 577-579

 

[7] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Salāh vol 3 p. 594

(وَالنَّفَقَةُ لَا تَصِيرُ دَيْنًا إلَّا بِالْقَضَاءِ أَوْ الرِّضَا) أَيْ اصْطِلَاحِهِمَا عَلَى قَدْرٍ مُعَيَّنٍ أَصْنَافًا أَوْ دَرَاهِمَ، فَقَبْلَ ذَلِكَ لَا يَلْزَمُ شَيْءٌ، وَبَعْدَهُ تَرْجِعُ بِمَا أَنْفَقَتْ وَلَوْ مِنْ مَالِ نَفْسِهَا بِلَا أَمْرِ قَاضٍ.

[مَطْلَبٌ لَا تَصِيرُ النَّفَقَةُ دَيْنًا إلَّا بِالْقَضَاءِ أَوْ الرِّضَا]

(قَوْلُهُ وَالنَّفَقَةُ لَا تَصِيرُ دَيْنًا إلَخْ) أَيْ إذَا لَمْ يُنْفِقْ عَلَيْهَا بِأَنْ غَابَ عَنْهَا أَوْ كَانَ حَاضِرًا فَامْتَنَعَ فَلَا يُطَالَبُ بِهَا بَلْ تَسْقُطُ بِمُضِيِّ الْمُدَّةِ. قَالَ فِي الْفَتْحِ: وَذُكِرَ فِي الْغَايَةِ مَعْزُوًّا إلَى الذَّخِيرَةِ أَنَّ نَفَقَةَ مَا دُونَ الشَّهْرِ لَا تَسْقُطُ فَكَأَنَّهُ جَعَلَ الْقَلِيلَ مِمَّا لَا يُمْكِنُ الِاحْتِرَازُ عَنْهُ، إذْ لَوْ سَقَطَتْ بِمُضِيِّ يَسِيرٍ مِنْ الزَّمَانِ لَمَا تَمَكَّنَتْ مِنْ الْأَخْذِ أَصْلًا. اهـ وَمِثْلُهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ، وَكَذَا فِي الشُّرُنْبُلَالِيَّةِ عَنْ الْبُرْهَانِ وَوَجْهُهُ فِي غَايَةِ الظُّهُورِ لِمَنْ تَدَبَّرْ فَافْهَمْ.

ثُمَّ اعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ بِالنَّفَقَةِ نَفَقَةُ الزَّوْجَةِ، بِخِلَافِ نَفَقَةِ الْقَرِيبِ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَصِيرُ دَيْنًا وَلَوْ بَعْدَ الْقَضَاءِ وَالرِّضَا، حَتَّى لَوْ مَضَتْ مُدَّةٌ بَعْدَهُمَا تَسْقُطُ كَمَا يَأْتِي وَسَيَأْتِي أَنَّ الزَّيْلَعِيَّ اسْتَثْنَى نَفَقَةَ الصَّغِيرِ وَيَأْتِي تَمَامُ الْكَلَامِ عَلَيْهِ عِنْدَ قَوْلِ الْمُصَنِّفِ قَضَى بِنَفَقَةِ غَيْرِ الزَّوْجَةِ إلَخْ (قَوْلُهُ إلَّا بِالْقَضَاءِ) بِأَنْ يَفْرِضَهَا الْقَاضِي عَلَيْهِ أَصْنَافًا أَوْ دَرَاهِمَ أَوْ دَنَانِيرَ نَهْرٌ (قَوْلُهُ فَقَبْلَ ذَلِكَ لَا يَلْزَمُهُ شَيْءٌ) أَيْ لَا يَلْزَمُهُ عَمَّا مَضَى قَبْلَ الْقَرْضِ بِالْقَضَاءِ أَوْ الرِّضَا وَلَا عَمَّا يَسْتَقْبِلُ؛ لِأَنَّهُ لَمْ يَجِبْ بَعْدُ،

أَطْلَقَ النَّفَقَةَ فَشَمِلَ نَفَقَةَ الْعِدَّةِ إذَا لَمْ تَقْبِضْهَا حَتَّى انْقَضَتْ الْعِدَّةُ: فَفِي الْفَتْحِ أَنَّ الْمُخْتَارَ عِنْدَ الْحَلْوَانِيِّ أَنَّهَا لَا تَسْقُطُ، وَسَنَذْكُرُ عَنْ الْبَحْرِ أَنَّ الصَّحِيحَ  السُّقُوطُ وَأَنَّهُ لَا بُدَّ مِنْ إصْلَاحِ الْمُتُونِ هُنَا لِإِطْلَاقِهَا عَدَمَ السُّقُوطِ، وَأَنَّ هَذَا كُلَّهُ فِي غَيْرِ الْمُسْتَدَانَةِ وَسَيَأْتِي تَمَامُ الْكَلَامِ فِيهِ

 

Fatawa Hindiyyah, Kitāb al-Talāq, vol 1, p. 551

[الْفَصْلُ الْأَوَّلُ فِي نَفَقَةِ الزَّوْجَةِ]

إذَا خَاصَمَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ زَوْجَهَا فِي نَفَقَةِ مَا مَضَى مِنْ الزَّمَانِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَفْرِضَ الْقَاضِي لَهَا النَّفَقَةَ وَقَبْلَ أَنْ يَتَرَاضَيَا عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ الْقَاضِيَ لَا يَقْضِي لَهَا نَفَقَةَ مَا مَضَى عِنْدَنَا كَذَا فِي الْمُحِيطِ