Praise be to Allaah.
1 – Khula’ – in principle – can only occur at the request of
the wife, and with the husband’s subsequent agreement to end the marriage.
2 – ‘Iddah is obligatory upon every woman who leaves her
husband, or whose husband leaves her, whether the cause is talaaq (divorce),
annulment of the marriage or the death of the husband, except when the
divorce occurs before the marriage has been consummated, in which case the
woman does not have to observe ‘iddah, because Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“O you who believe! When
you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have sexual
intercourse with them, no ‘Iddah [divorce prescribed period] have you to
count in respect of them”
3 – With regard to the ‘iddah following khula’, the correct
scholarly view is that it is one menstrual cycle, as is indicated by the
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the wife of Thaabit ibn
Qays ended her marriage to her husband by means of khula’ at the time of the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded her to observe an
‘iddah of one menstrual cycle. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1185; Abu Dawood,
2229. Also narrated by al-Nasaa’i (3497) from the hadeeth of al-Rabee’ bint
‘Afra’. The two hadeeth were both classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim, as we
shall see below).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
In the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) commanded the woman who ended her marriage to her
husband by khula’ to observe an ‘iddah of one menstrual cycle, there is
evidence for two rulings:
The first is that she does not have to wait for three
menstrual cycles, rather one menstrual cycle is sufficient. Just as this is
clearly the Sunnah, it was also the view of Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Uthmaan ibn
‘Affaan, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, al-Rabee’ bint Mu’awwadh and
her paternal uncle, who was one of the greatest Sahaabah. We do not know of
anyone who held a different opinion, as al-Layth ibn Sa’d narrated that
Naafi’ the freed slave of Ibn ‘Umar heard al-Rabee’ bint Mu’awwadh ibn
‘Afra’ telling ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that
she had ended her marriage to her husband by khula’ at the time of ‘Uthmaan
ibn ‘Affaan, and her paternal uncle had come to ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan and
said, The daughter of Mu’awwadh ended her marriage to her husband by khula’
today, so should she move (from the marital home)? ‘Uthmaan said, She
should move, and there is no inheritance between them, and she does not have
to observe any ‘iddah, but she should not remarry until one menstrual cycle
has passed, lest she be pregnant. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: and ‘Uthmaan
was the best of us and the most knowledgeable.
This view was also shared by Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh and Imaam
Ahmad, according to one report narrated from him. It was also the view
favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.
Those who supported this view said: this is in accordance
with the principles of sharee’ah. The ‘iddah (in the case of talaaq) was
made three menstrual cycles in order to lengthen the time during which the
husband may take back his wife, so that the husband will have enough time to
rethink the matter and to be able to take his wife back during this time.
But in the case of khula’ the wife is not going to go back and the purpose
is simply to establish whether she is pregnant or not, so one menstrual
cycle is sufficient. They said: this does not contradict the ruling that the
‘iddah for a woman divorced by talaaq is three months. In the case of
divorce the ‘iddah is the same whether it is a final talaaq or a revocable
Zaad al-Ma’aad, 5/196, 197
Some scholars said that the ‘iddah for a woman who ends her
marriage to her husband by khula’ is three menstrual cycles, as in the case
of one who is divorced by talaaq, but this was expertly refuted by Imam Ibn
al-Qayyim, who said:
What indicates that khula’ is not the same as talaaq is the
fact that in the case of a revocable talaaq after consummation of the
marriage, there are specific rulings which are not applicable in the case of
That the husband has more right
to take her back.
When the husband issues a
talaaq, is it counted as one of three, and after the third it is not
permissible for the wife to go back to him until she has been married to
another man and that marriage has been consummated.
‘Iddah in the case of talaaq is
three menstrual cycles.
So the ‘iddah in the case of khula’ is what is indicated by
the Sunnah, namely one menstrual cycle.
And Allaah knows best.