Date : 20-05-2019

Question :

What is the ruling when an irrevocably divorced woman stays at marital home with her children while the father is living alone in a nearby house?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

A woman observing Iddah (waiting period) on account of a revocable or an irrevocable divorce or death of husband is obliged to stay at her marital home since Allah the Almighty says, "and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by God: and any who transgresses the limits of God, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance God will bring about thereafter some new situation."{At-Talaaq, 1}.

The husband isn`t allowed to drive his divorced wife, while she is observing her Iddah, from their marital home. Rather, it is his duty, if he can, to let her stay at his home, because it is a lawful right of hers. However, this right ends after her Iddah expires and so she has to move to another house, unless she has right to child custody; in which case the husband must provide an accommodation for her and her children. Article (B/178) of the Jordanian Civil Status Code states, "A woman with custody of a child has the right to receive the rent for the child`s accommodation from the person required to pay that child`s maintenance, unless she or that child has a home of their own."

The above husband`s leaving his house for his children and divorced wife is an act of goodness and liberality for Allah the Almighty says, "And do not forget Liberality between yourselves."{Al-Baqharah, 237}. However, the wife must treat him as a non-Mahram. Therefore, she must cover herself before him, engage not in idle talk with him nor stay with him in private. The evidence on this is that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the presence of a Dhu- Muhram."{Bukhari & Muslim}.

It is conditioned in forbidden seclusion that a man meets a woman in a place that raises suspicion about their behavior. For example, meeting in a secluded office or a shop with closed doors.

It is stated in {Hashyat Al-Bajirmi Ala al-Minhaaj}, "It is conditioned in forbidden seclusion that a man meets a woman in a place that raises suspicion about their behavior, contrary to meeting in a place that doesn`t raise suspicion."

In addition, it is permissible for the husband to enter the house to check his children, if the afore-conditions are met. And Allah the Almighty knows best.