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Mourning period for a widow

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding the mourning period of a widow? How long will this be?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

The relatives of the deceased will mourn the death for three days and nights and anything more than this is haram. However, it is wajib for the widow of the deceased to mourn for four months and ten days.

Mourning is when a woman leaves all types of beautifications such as attractive clothing, applying antimony for the eyes, perfume, and jewellery. A woman should not leave her house unless it is necessary, such as seeing a doctor due to a severe illness, this is the case for a divorcee or a widow. In the case a widow who does not have provisions to provide for herself, then she can leave her house to work but should spend the night at home.

The Prophet ﷺ mentioned: “It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day, that she should mourn a dead person for more than three days except in the case of her husband whom she should mourn for four months and ten days.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari