Praise be to Allaah.
The ‘iddah of a woman whose husband has died is four months and ten days, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days”
This period begins when the husband dies, and ends when the time is over, whether the wife adheres to the rulings on mourning or not,
and whether she knows of her husband’s death or not. When four months and ten days have passed from the time of his death,
then her ‘iddah ends.
The scholars are unanimously agreed that the ‘iddah of a free Muslim woman
who is not pregnant is four months and ten days from the death of her husband, whether the marriage had been consummated or not, and whether she was an adult who had reached puberty or very young and had not yet reached puberty. That is because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage)
for four months and ten days.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “it is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day
to mourn for any one who dies for more than three days, except for a husband, four months and ten days.” Agreed upon.
The woman whose husband dies must observe ‘iddah for four months and ten days
if she is not pregnant. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives)
shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days”. That starts from the date of death. If a woman deliberately does not observe
mourning then she is sinning, and she has to repent and seek forgiveness. End quote.
It also says (20/481): The ‘iddah for one whose husband dies is four months and ten days immediately following the death, and until giving birth
if she is pregnant. So long as your mother did not observe mourning during the appointed time due to ignorance or for some other reason, then
she does not have to offer expiation, but she has to repent and seek forgiveness, and recite a lot of dhikr.
A woman who is observing iddah following her husband’s death may go out of the house during the day to meet her needs, such as dealing with
government procedures if there is no one who can do that for her. But at night she should not go out except in cases of necessity.
The woman who is observing 'iddah may go out and do errands
during the day, whether she is divorced or widowed, because of the report narrated by Jaabir who said: My maternal aunt was thrice divorced and she went out to harvest her palm trees. A man met her and told her not to do that. She mentioned that to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he said: “Go out and harvest your palm trees; perhaps you will give some of it
in charity or do some good.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i and Abu Dawood.
Mujahid narrated: Some men were martyred on the day of Uhud and their wives came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
and said: O Messenger of Allaah, we feel scared at night; can we stay in the house of one of our number, then in the morning we will go to our
own houses? The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Chat together in the house of one of your number,
then when you want to sleep, each one should go to her own house.” She does not have the right to stay overnight anywhere but in her own house,
or to go out at night, except in cases of necessity, because night is a time of suspicion, unlike the day, which is the time when people go
about their errands and earn a living, and buy what they need. End quote.
The basic principle is that a woman should mourn in the house of her husband where
and she should not go out except in cases of need or necessity, such as going to the hospital if she falls sick or buying what she needs from
the marketplace such as bread and the like, if she does not have anyone who can do that.
........... There is consensus among Muslims about the general necessity of
'iddah. Its basis is the Qur'an and the Sunnah. As to the Qur'an,
The Hanafi, the Maliki and the Hanbalí schools state: If the husband secludes with her without consummating the marriage and then divorces her, she will have to observe 'iddah,
exactly as if consummation had occurred.
the Sháfi`ís observe: Seclusion has no effect. (the distinction between
revocable and irrevocable divorce,)
The maximum period of gestation is two years according to the Hanafís, four years according to the Sháfi`ís and the Hanbalís,
and five years according to the Málikís, as mentioned by al-Fiqh 'ala al madhahib al-'arba'ah. In al-Mughni, it is narrated from Maalik to be four years.
A pregnant woman cannot menstruate according to the Hanafi and the Hanbalí schools. , the Sháfi`í and the
allow the possibility of its occurrence.
2. She will observe an 'iddah of three lunar months if she is: an adult divorcee who has not yet menstruated or a divorcee who has reached
the age of menopause.9 This age is seventy years according to the Málikís, fifty years according to the Hanbalís, fifty-five years according to
the Hanafís, sixty-two years according to the Sháfi`ís ,
All the schools of thought concur that the widow must mourn her husband regardless of her being old or young and Muslims or non-Muslim.
Except the Hanafís who went to exclude the young and Dhimmiyyah because they are not considered religiously responsible.
The Mourning (Hidaad) is defined as the substinance of the grieving woman from using all sorts of beauty features that would make her
desired by the observers. The details of that was discussed by the people of religious law.
The Maliki and the Sháfi`í schools state:
She shall continue to observe the 'iddah of divorce without changing over to the 'iddah of widowhood.
In short, a revocable divorcee will start observing the 'iddah of widowhood if the Divorcer dies before
the termination of her 'iddah of divorce, and an irrevocable divorce will continue to observe the 'iddah of divorce, as per the concurrence of all the schools except the Hanafi and the \anbalí , who exclude an irrevocable divorcee if the divorce takes place
during the divorcer's mortal illness without her consent.