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Maintenance for a widow


Nasihah (Advice): The mourning period of death


Sayyidatuna Ummu Atiyyah Radhiyallahu Anha reports: “We were forbidden to mourn for more than three days for a dead person, except for a husband, for whom a wife should mourn for four months and ten days.” (Bukhari)



Question and Answer:


  1. After a woman is divorced, the ex-husband is responsible for the ex-wife’s maintenance during the Iddah period. Is it the same case when a women’s husband passes away. Will the deceased’s husband wife be entitled to receive maintenance from the estate of her deceased husband during the Iddah period?


(Question published as received)



  1. During the Iddah period of divorce, it is the ex-husbands responsibility to maintain the ex-wife until her Iddah period terminates. However, in the case of the Iddah period of death, the wife is not entitled to maintenance from her deceased husband or his estate. She is entitled to her share of inheritance from her deceased husband’s estate. (Al Lubaab Fi Sharhil Kitaab 1/290)


As there is usually a delay in winding up the estate, the executor of the estate should ensure that funds required for the maintenance of the widow be made available to her from her share of the estate, if so required.


Note: The Iddah period of divorce is three menstrual for a menstruating woman or three months for a non-menstruating woman. The Iddah period of death is four months and ten days.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


(Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh) 

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