A divorcée getting married during h...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

A divorcée getting married during her waiting period


After a relative of mine was divorced, she had a new marriage proposal. Because of certain circumstances, the man who proposed to her is in a hurry to get the marriage officially recorded. The problem is that she has not yet finished her waiting period. Since the waiting period is intended to establish whether the divorcée is pregnant or not, is it permissible for her to establish this fact through a pregnancy tests? If it is established that she is not pregnant, can she go ahead with the marriage before the waiting period is over?


While it is true that an important purpose of the waiting period is to establish whether a woman is pregnant or not, it is by no means the only purpose. In this particular case, there is a difference between the waiting period of a widow and that of a divorcée. The waiting period of a widow is longer than that of a divorcee in order to confirm with certainty whether or not she is pregnant. Moreover, the waiting period shows that the widow values her past relationship with her deceased husband, therefore she does not immediately marry another man.

In the case of a divorcée, there are certain rules of paramount importance. To start with, the waiting period is not calculated by months or days, but by the number of menstrual cycles or cleanliness from them. If the woman is not pregnant, her waiting period extends for three menstrual periods. If she is too old or too young to have periods, she then waits for three months. If she is pregnant, her waiting extends until she gives birth.

Whatever the length of a woman's waiting period, she is to stay during that time in her husband's home. He is not allowed to turn her out and she does not need to leave. She is entitled to full maintenance by her husband throughout this period. During this time, he has the right to have the marriage resumed if they both agree to it. In this case, they do not have to conduct a new marriage contract and the husband does not need to give her a new dowry. This is a very important factor [this provides room for reconciliation].

When a woman is in her waiting period, she may not receive a new proposal by anyone. Nor is a man allowed to promise marriage to a woman who is in her waiting period. All that he can do is to hint at his proposal. On this basis, the answer to your particular question is that even though a doctor's opinion may establish that a divorcée is not pregnant, this is not sufficient for her to have a new marriage. The rights, which her first husband continues to have during her waiting period, cannot be easily dispensed with. Even if he agrees to her new marriage, the rules cannot be changed.

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