Praise be to Allah.
When a woman’s husband divorces her (talaaq), she should
count three menstrual cycles if she is one of those who menstruate and she
is not pregnant, according to scholarly consensus, because Allah, may He be
exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage)
for three menstrual periods”
But if the separation occurs as the result of something other
than talaaq, such as khul‘ or annulment of the marriage, then she should
observe ‘iddah for one menstrual cycle, according to the correct scholarly
view. This has been discussed previously in the answer to question no.
If a man divorces his wife (by talaaq), and during her ‘iddah
she asks for khul‘ and he responds to her request, it is valid, because she
is still his wife.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The woman
who is revocably divorced (first or second talaaq) is still a wife and a
subsequent talaaq (divorce), zihaar (a jaahili form of divorce in which the
husband says to his wife, ‘You are to me like my mother’s back’), eela’ (an
oath not to have sexual relations with one’s wife) and li‘aan (a procedure
in which the husband formally accuses his wife of adultery and she formally
denies the charge, and each invokes the curse of Allah upon him or herself
if he or she is lying) are all valid; and one of them may inherit from the
other, according to scholarly consensus; and if he separates from her by
means of khul‘, his khul‘ is valid.
End quote from al-Mughni, 7/400
The khul‘ is valid even if she is menstruating, because
khul‘can only occur at the request of the wife because of what she is faced
with of bad treatment on the husband’s part. So it is permissible for it to
occur at the time of menses in order to put an end to harm (caused by the
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: There is
nothing wrong with khul‘ at the time of menses or during a period of purity
in which the husband has had intercourse with her. The prohibition on talaaq
at the time of menses is because of the harm that may affect the wife due to
making the ‘iddah longer. But khul‘ is for the purpose of putting an end to
harm that she is suffering because of bad treatment and staying with one
whom she hates and resents, which is greater than the harm caused by making
the ‘iddah longer. So it is permissible to ward off the greater harm by
means of the lesser. Hence the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) did not ask the woman who separated from her husband by means of khul‘
about her situation, because the khul‘ that could lead to making the ‘iddah
longer happened at her request, which indicates that she gave her consent
and proves that it was in her interests. End quote from al-Mughni,
Al-Baghawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Khul‘ at the
time of menses or during a period of purity in which the husband has had
intercourse with her is not bid‘ah (an innovation), because the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) gave permission to Thaabit ibn
Qays to separate from his wife by means of khul‘ without knowing about her
situation (regarding menses etc). Were it not that it is permissible in all
circumstances, he would probably have asked about her situation.
End quote from Ma‘aalim at-Tanzeel, 8/148
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 8/326: The
majority of fuqaha’ – Hanafis, Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis – are of the view that
khul‘ at the time of menses is permissible, because of the general meaning
of the words of Allah, may He be exalted (interpretation of the meaning):
“then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a
part of it) for her Al-Khul‘ (divorce)” [al-Baqarah 2:229].
And because she has a need to put an end to her suffering by
separating from her husband, as she is offering to give up wealth for that
The Maalikis, according to their well-known opinion, are of
the view that khul‘ is not allowed during the woman’s period. End quote.
See also Badaa’i‘ as-Sanaa’i‘, 3/96; at-Taaj
wa’l-Ikleel Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel, 5/304; Mughni al-Muhtaaj,
Once it is established that khul‘ at the time of menses is
permissible, the woman who has been divorced by means of khul‘ does not
finish her ‘iddah when she becomes pure from the menstrual period during
which the khul‘ occurred. Rather she must go through another menstrual
cycle, then become pure and do ghusl; then her ‘iddah will have ended,
because the period during which the khul‘ occurred was not a complete
menstrual cycle, and ‘iddah has to be a complete menstrual cycle.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The
menstrual cycle during which she was divorced (talaaq) does not count as
part of her ‘iddah, and there is no difference of opinion among the scholars
concerning that, because Allah, may He be exalted, has commanded that she
wait for three menstrual cycles, so it includes three complete cycles; the
cycle during which she was divorced does not count because it is only part
of a cycle. End quote.
And Allah knows best.