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Subject : In Principle, the Divorcee or the Widow is Allowed to Marry

Fatwa Number : 3304

Date : 09-07-2017

Classified : Conditions of marriage

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling on preventing a widow or a divorcee from marrying? and does she have the right to marry a new husband?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islam has organized relationships among individuals so as to create a virtuous society. In fact, family constitutes the key pillar of society. However, when marriage ceases to exist due to divorce or death of spouse, individuals involved are free to go their way. The relief may even be in parting, for Allah, The Almighty, said(what means): " But if they disagree (and must part), God will provide abundance for all from His all-reaching bounty: for God is He that careth for all and is Wise."{An-Nisa`/130}. The Noble Quran has stated certain rights to the divorcee and the widow, and made it incumbent on individuals to preserve them so as to maintain chastity and righteousness. One of these rights is not to prevent the afore women from marrying since Allah, The Exalted, has prohibited doing so where He said(what means): " When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (’Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms."{Al-Baqarah/232}.

Therefore, it isn`t permissible to prevent a woman from marrying the person that suits her. Al-Mawardi, a Shafii scholar, stated: "Allah has prohibited the guardians of a woman to prevent her from marrying the man that she accepts as husband."{Tafseer Al-Mawardi, 1/298}. This ruling is in the best interest of women. Moreover, preventing women from marrying is among the despicable pre-Islamic practices which was exercised either out of zeal or to eat up a woman`s wealth to deprive her husband from taking it. Therefore, the prohibition stated in the Noble Quran addresses the woman`s guardians, her former husband and all Muslims. He, The Almighty, said: " O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness"{An-Nisa`/19}. Abu Also`oud said: "This verse means that when divorce takes place, it isn`t permissible for the guardians or the husbands to prevent the woman from marrying. It is also an intimidation and a warning against committing such an act."{Irshad Al-Akil Al-Saleem, 1/229}.

In principle, it is permissible for a divorcee or a widow to marry since Al-Miswer bin Makhrama narrated: "Subai'a Al-Aslamiya gave birth to a child a few days after the death of her husband. She came to the Prophet and asked permission to remarry, and the Prophet(PBUH) gave her permission, and she got married."{Related by Bukhari}.

In conclusion, it is the right of a woman to marry, and it isn`t lawful for anyone to prevent her from that. We advise all Muslims to fear Allah, The Almighty, and never be unjust to women in general and divorcees and widows in particular. This is in addition to granting them the rights which Allah has enjoined for them. And Allah knows best.



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