How do I count my ‘Idda (waiting period) if my menstruation is irregular due to acute stress?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The unique situation which you’ve described is known as ‘the issue of the elongated purity.’ This is when a woman who previously had a normal menstrual cycle than her period ceases before she reaches the age of menopause without any known cause.
The Hanafi School
In the Hanafi school, a woman in the above circumstance cannot count her ‘Idda and therefore must wait till menopause (55 years of age) and then count her ‘Idda as three months. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]
Due to the great difficulty in applying the Hanafi opinion and the undue harm that will necessarily result therefrom, scholars legally advise taking the Maliki opinion in this regard.
The Maliki School
In the Maliki school, such a woman will count her ‘Idda as one full lunar year. 9 months of the year is to make certain that the woman is not pregnant, and the additional 3 months is the official ‘Idda.
The above is the position of Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyya
Taking From Another School of Thought
Generally, it is encouraged for people to stick to one school of thought. It is, however, permitted to take from another school if not doing so would result in undue harm/difficulty.
See the following links for more clarity on this issue:
A Reader on Following Schools of Thought – Madhabs
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.