The ‘iddah period of a woman who has either stopped menstruating or has not yet begun

In the name of Allah


Regarding the ‘idda period of a woman who has either stopped menstruating or has not yet begun, Allaah the Glorified has said:


{as for those who no longer menstruate or have yet to do so, their ‘idda period is three months} [At Talaaq/4],


Regarding the age of menopause, there is a significant disparity. A woman enters menopause at age fifty, according to Ishaaq. A woman enters menopause at age fifty, according to ‘Aa’isha and Ahmad, who both held to this viewpoint according to reported events. It has been said that Imam Ahmad shared the belief that a woman enters menopause at age sixty.


Ash Shaafi’ee has not specified the age of menopause. Instead, he has stated:

Relatives can tell you when menopause will occur or Women, in general, have provided insight into menopause’s age.

Others, including Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyya, have claimed that menopause cannot be predicted because each woman experiences it at a different age[i].

Click to read the various opinions of scholars on menopause.


Iddah (Waiting Period) Variation Based on Different Women’s Situations


If one divorces his wife while she is nursing and she doesn’t start having periods for another two years, she will still be in the waiting period until she has had three menstrual cycles. Accordingly, she would stay for at least two years. Whoever is in menstruation must wait for three complete menstrual cycles, regardless of how long or short the duration lasts.


She must wait three months if her periods have ceased for some reason and it is known that they will never start again, such as when the womb has been surgically removed.


If a woman’s monthly periods have stopped and she is aware of the cause, she should wait until the cause of the stop has passed and her period has returned before she follows the waiting period in accordance with it.


If a woman’s periods stopped for an unknown reason, she should observe a waiting period for a full year—nine months for pregnancy and three months for the waiting period[ii].



Iddah of a woman who experiences uncontrollable bleeding (Istihadah).


The woman will consider her recognized cycle if she can tell the difference between menstrual blood and Istihadah or if she has a known period.



What happens when many ‘Iddah’ overlap, and what are some instances of this?


If a woman is going through the “Iddah” of a revocable divorce, and then her husband passes away. She must move from the “Iddah of divorce to that of her husband’s death, which is four months and ten days after her husband’s passing. This is because, unlike an irreversibly divorced woman, a revocably divorced woman is still regarded as her husband’s wife. The woman who has been divorced irrevocably need not leave her “Iddah of divorce.” While an irreversibly divorced woman has no claim to her husband’s inheritance, a revocably divorced woman is entitled to it.


According to Ibn Hajar, ‘if the husband passes away following a reversible divorce, the wife will observe the Iddah after the husband’s death. The days of Iddah she observed after getting a reversible divorce do not count[iii]’. Moghni Al-Mohtajj, 8/251


If a divorced woman has experienced one or two menstrual cycles and subsequently reaches menopause, she would transfer to the “Iddah of women who do not menstruate: The waiting period is three months.


If a divorced woman who is already in menopause has started observing her “Iddah of three months, and after a month or two, she saw blood, she should move from the “Iddah of months to that of three menstrual periods. But if she has completed the “Iddah of three months before she saw the blood, then she should disregard that because she has already completed her “Iddah.


If a divorced woman has started observing her “Iddah of three months or three menstrual periods and then discovers that she is pregnant, she moves to the “Iddah of a divorced pregnant woman: until she gives birth to the baby[iv].



If a woman has one or two menstrual cycles before her period completely stops and she is unsure of the cause.


When a woman’s menstruation lasts for three days or longer and then stops, the standard rule is that she must wait until she either starts bleeding again or enters menopause. This is in line with Hanafi and Shafi’i schools of thought. (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/508)

She should wait until one year has passed, in accordance with the Maliki and Hanbali schools of thought. (See: al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, 7185)

According to the Hanafi Fuqaha, a woman reaches menopause at the age of thirty for those who have never had periods and at fifty-five for those who have had periods before but ceased due to various factors. However, the fuqaha have provided a concession in which the Maliki view of one year might be followed due to the great difficulty and suffering involved in carrying out this judgment [v].


While the majority’s position is derived from Abdullah ibn Masood and Zayd, Imam Malik’s opinion is based on the judgment of Umar bin Khattab and Ibn Abbas[vi] (may Allah be pleased with them all).


Ibn Qudaamah said: ” If a woman has one or two menstrual cycles before ceasing to have them all together and is unaware of the cause, her ‘Iddah expires one year after the menstrual cycle has ended. This is proven by a report on the authority of ‘Umar, who declared regarding a man who divorced his wife: ‘She needs to wait for nine months; if she is confirmed not to be pregnant, she shall observe an ‘Iddah of three extra months, and that is a total of one year.’ Ibn Al-Munthir, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Umar decided among the Muhajireen and the Ansaar according to this rule, and no one disputed it[vii].”  [End of quote]



He irrevocably divorced his wife before passing away during her ‘iddah.


According to Abu Hanifah, and Muhammad (may Allah have mercy on them) when a woman who was divorced during the [terminal] sickness [of her husband] inherits, her ‘iddah is the longer of the two terms[viii]. In contrast, Abu Yusuf (may God bless him) stated that it is three menses[ix].


Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: If the husband dies, having divorced his wife irrevocably, during the time of the ‘iddah, should she observe mourning for him?

He replied: The correct position is that she should not observe mourning for her deceased husband and instead observe the ‘iddah of her divorce, not the ‘iddah of one whose husband has passed away.

If the divorce took place during his final illness and he passed away, she inherits from him. However, she shouldn’t observe mourning for him because in this situation, she didn’t inherit because she was his wife; rather, she did so because he wanted to deny her of it. As a result, he should be punished by having his scheme foiled[x].


May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the last and final prophet.






Compiled from the following sources


[i] Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (ZAD AL M AA’D) PROVISIONS OF THE AFTERLIFE, WHICH LIE WITHIN PROPHETIC GUIDANCE, Translation Ismail Abdus Salaam, Dar Al-Kotob Al-llmiyah Publication, 2010, Page 868

[ii] Fatwa Islamiyah (Islamic Verdicts) Vol 6 From the noble scholars Abdullah bib Baaz, Shaikh Uthaymeen, Ibn Jibreen ( May Allah have mercy on them) along with the permanent committee. Darussalam Publications Page 100


[iv] Encyclopedia of Islam (Concerning Muslim Women) Volume – 2, Yusuf Al-Hajj Ahmad, Published By: Darussalam Publishers, Page- 152


[vi] The Distinguished Jurist’s primer, Bidayat al Mujtahid wa Nihayat al Muqtasid, Ibn Rushd Vol 2- page 110

[vii] Fatwa Number 432223,

[viii] The MUKHTAṢAR AL-QUDŪRĪ, A Manual of Islamic law, According to the Hanafi School, Page 387

[ix] Al-Hidayah THE GUIDANCE, Burhan Al Din Al Farghani Al Marghinani, Book of divorce chapter 73 page 63

[x] End quote from Thamaraat at-Tadween min Masaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (p. 116), Fatwa number 181545,


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