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Divorced While Still Virgin: Is `Iddah Required?

By, Reprinted from "Ask the Scholar"

Date: 26/Mar/2008

Name of Mufti: Ahmad Kutty

Topic: Divorce, 'Iddah, Waiting Period After Divorce

Name of Questioner: Nada from Australia

Question: Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. I got married, and before the wedding ceremony, I slept with my husband, but I am still virgin, and it was more than once, but he was careful that I keep my virginity before the ceremony. We fought, and he divorced me. He went away to get married from his country. Do I need to wait for three months before I can get married again (knowing that I am still virgin)? And in case he comes back, how should we get together again? Thank you.


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Sister, first of all, we'd like to thank you for your keenness to acquire religious knowledge, and we ask Almighty Allah to bless you and grant you happiness in this worldly life and in the hereafter.

As for your question, we'd like to clarify that intimate relations necessitate observing the `iddah (waiting period) after divorce. The absence of vaginal intercourse does not mean that you are not required to observe `iddah.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, stated,

As you and your ex-husband have lived together as husband and wife, in the event of divorce, you are obligated to undergo the prescribed waiting period of three months or three menstrual cycles.

The fact that you did not have vaginal intercourse does not mean that you are free from this requirement. The simple fact that you have had intimate relations is a sufficient ground for observing the `iddah.

Therefore, I advise you to wait for the period of `iddah to expire before considering another proposal of marriage. If your ex-husband arrives after the `iddah has expired, then you are not considered being married to him; however, if he arrives before the `iddah expires, then he is entitled to take you back, because the divorce is revocable in this case. This can ideally be done by stating, in the presence of two witnesses, that he is taking you back as wife. In case of expiry of `iddah, he needs to remarry you, if both of you wish to get together again.

See also:

'Iddah (Waiting Period After Divorce or Death of Husband): Wisdom & Rulings Muslim Matrimonial ServiceArticles Muslim Matrimonials and More