Why men dont sit for iddat?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Bhai,


Why don't  a husband  do iddat   if his wife dies? 


Jazak Allah Kheir


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Why men don’t sit for iddat?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 234:If those of you, who die, leave wives behind; they should abstain (from marriage) for four months and ten days.   Then, when their waiting term expires, they are free to do whatever they choose for themselves, provided that it is decent.  You shall not be answerable for this.   Allah is fully aware of what all of you do.


The most straight forward answer I can think of is to say, because Allah has commanded the woman to perform the waiting period or ‘iddah’,  and not the man.   But as with everything in Islam, we are allowed to search and study the wisdom behind the command, so that we can follow them whole-heartedly and with full conviction.


One thing we must realize at the outset, is that each and every command of Allah is based on His Supreme Wisdom and Knowledge.


Although there are many wisdoms behind the waiting period for the women, the main reason is to make sure that she is not pregnant with the child of the deceased; as it immediately effects the inheritance of the heirs.   Yes, someone might argue that today there are technological advances and this can be determined in minutes.    In Islam, some things are announced publicly so that everyone is convinced about the fact, and there is no room for anyone to start a slander, and thus hurt the reputation and honor of a believer.   Thus even if with the help of technology today we can determine whether the woman is pregnant or not, it becomes almost impossible for everyone to come and see the ‘certificate’ that the widow is indeed not pregnant.  


The reason this waiting period of four months and ten days would not be applicable to the man, is because in Islam, all the financial and family obligations are laid upon the man; and thus it would not be possible for a man to stay in the house for so long and financially sustain his family.   Besides, Islam has allowed men to have four wives, and if a man is to sit in ‘iddah’ at the death of his wives,  it would not be right to the other wives!   


The truth is that Islam has given different responsibilities to the man according to his nature, and to the woman according to her nature.   In Islam, man and woman are not equal; but rather they are balanced.  Each has its own set of duties and responsibilities which are laid upon them by Allah and His Messenger (saws); and they are based on the ‘fitrah’ or nature of the gender.   


 Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,







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