Dear Brother-in-Islam, Assalam-o-Alaikum
One of my uncles died recently and my aunt was left alone to stay in her home. Both her sons are employed in Saudi Arabia and all her daughters have been married and are staying in different cities far off from my aunt’s residence. Left alone by herself, she is feeling lonely and depressed. In such circumstances, is it allowed for her to move to one of her daughter’s place or go to Saudi Arabia to join her sons’ families? Please provide your opinion on this issue as soon as possible.
Your aunt may move to either place or wherever she deems comfortable. If living with her daughters or her sons offers her the same protection and comfort she seeks then no one may bar her from doing so. She is not restricted to complete her `Iddat (i.e. prescribed waiting period) at her and the deceased’s home. A divorced or widowed woman is not to be confined to any location due to her current status. The prescribed waiting period protects, gives time for rethinking in cases of divorce, and may reveal a potential pregnancy. Thus the right of staying at home belongs to the woman; she may choose to leave or stay, as it is her prerogative. With that in mind she must not secretly or openly agree about marriage with any other person during this time, which is a clear restriction of the Shari`ah (i.e. Islamic Law). She should also maintain a demeanor of appropriateness to the situation so that people recognize her bereavement. This she can accomplish with a more sober look (e.g. less made up than usual, clothes indicating mourning, etc…) and more subdued behavior than normally as this falls under the concept of moral restrictions.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.