Where should a woman perform her sitting period (ʿidda), after her husband’s death?

Women’s Corner

Where should a woman perform her sitting period (ʿidda),[1] after her husband’s death?

Q: What do the honourable scholars of Islam ordain in regard to the following issue: My son, Khalid Hussain,[2] passed away in Karachi on 22nd March, 2022. He was buried in Khanewal, Punjab. My daughter in law is from Karachi. She went with my son’s body to Khanewal, and now wants to complete the rest of her ʿidda back in Karachi, at her mother’s home, because she has an adopted daughter who cannot be without her and studies there. As of now, the child is with her grandmother in Karachi. After completion of a month and a quarter, my daughter in law wants to go to her mother’s home in Karachi and remain there for the rest of the ʿidda. Is this permissible?

Some people say that if a woman travels some distance with the funeral procession (janāza), she is now not obliged to sit the entirety of her ʿidda. Since my daughter in law travelled from Karachi to Khanewal with the funeral procession, must she fulfil the entire ʿidda period?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

A: Regarding the inquiry mentioned above, it was impermissible and a sin for the daughter in law to travel to Khanewal during her ʿidda. She must sincerely repent to Allah Almighty for this, as she was required to undertake her ʿidda in the same home she lived in with her husband. In this case, that home was in Karachi. As she has already made this error, she is compelled to spend the four months and ten days (130 days) of her ʿidda in Khanewal. Until she completes the rest of the ʿidda, it is impermissible for her to travel or go to her mother’s home.

Whilst travelling, if a woman’s husband passes away in a city and the husband’s home is situated at the distance of Islamically recognised travel, she must fulfil her ʿidda in the city she is in, even if she is able to return home with a mahram.[3] Similarly, regarding the scenario inquired about by the questioner, the daughter in law is to remain in that city (Khanewal) to complete her ʿidda and travel back to Karachi with a mahram after it is complete.

Note: The matter about shortening the ʿidda due to travelling some distance with the funeral procession is completely baseless and incorrect. Completing the whole ʿidda is obligatory, and in any case, it must be fulfilled. People who spread these things are sinful and must repent.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم


Answered by: Muhammad Sa’īd Attari Madani

Authenticated by: Mufti Fuzayl Raza Attari

[1] Duration of waiting undertaken by a woman after her husband passes away.

[2] Name changed for confidentiality.

[3] A woman’s close relative with whom marriage is forbidden.




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