Impermissibility of confirming marriage tie with others during Iddah (waiting period)

Question 554: Salam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu. Thank you for this helpful and wonderful service. I have a question if you would be so kind to answer. If a lady is in iddah, is she allowed to talk to a man for the purpose of seeing if he will be a suitable husband after her iddah is over? Can she talk to him during iddah before he has formally proposed? Jazak Allah Khair and thank you

Answer 554: Divorce is of two types: Irrevocable divorce (Ba’in)[1] and revocable divorce (Rej’ie)[2]. And marriage proposal can be made directly or indirectly.

According to the Holy Quran and Islamic Law, a woman who is in her Rej’ie Iddah (waiting period) is not allowed to confirm the marriage tie with others whether directly or indirectly. Because, she is still considered as the wife of her husband, though she is allowed to be proposed indirectly during Ba’in Iddah.[3]

In this regards, Allah, the Most High says: “And there is no blame on you respecting that which you speak indirectly in the asking of (such) women in marriage or keep (the proposal) concealed within your minds Allah knows that you will mention them, but do not give them a promise in secret unless you speak in a lawful manner And do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, therefore beware of Him And know that Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing”.[4]

Note: According to maraja (ha), all kinds of relations with a non-Mahram including joking, expressing mutual love, talking with the intention of deriving pleasure, looking at the body of a girl (except her face and hands up to the wrists) and at her hair or looking at her face with pleasure are haram (forbidden). In fact, if it is feared that they might fall into a sin, it is forbidden for them to have any kinds of relationship with each other. [5]

For further information regarding Ba’in divorce, please read the following:

The irrevocable divorce has five types:

1) The divorce of the woman who has not completed nine years of age.

2) The divorce of the menopausal woman (Yaa’isah) who has passed fifty years of age.

3) The divorce of the woman whom her husband had not had intercourse with her after the marriage.

4) The divorce of the woman who has been divorced three times.

5) The Khala’[6] and Mubarat[7] divorce.

Whatever is aside from these are the revocable divorce (Rej’ie).

[1] . Ba ‘in (Talaq-i): An irrevocable divorce after which a woman is free to conclude a contract of marriage with another husband, indeed, after completing the prescribed period called Iddah, and the husband divorcing her irrevocably cannot recall her except by contracting a fresh marriage with her subject to the restriction of the prescribed number of such remarriages by the same husband.

[2] . Meaning that it is permissible for the man to return to his wife during the seclusion (‘Iddah) without need of renewing the marriage contract.

[3] . Golpayegani, Sayyid Muhammad Reza, Majma al-Masael, Vol. 2, Pg. 256, Dar al-Quran al-Karim, Qom, second, 1409 A.H; Imami, Sayyid Hasan, Huquq Madani, Vol. 4, Pg.  270, Islamiyyah Publication, Tehran, Bita.

[4] . Surah Baqarah, verse 235.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Chat between Male & Female

[6] . The divorce of a wife who develops an aversion from husband and hates him, and surrenders to him her Mahr or some of her property so that he may divorce her, is called Khula’ Divorce. The hatred must have reached a proportion where she would not allow him conjugal rights.

[7] . If the husband and the wife develop mutual aversion and hatred and the woman gives some property to the man so that he may divorce her, this divorce is called ‘Mubarat’.