In Syariah Court divorce proceedings, two crucial issues require determination:

  1. Nafkah Iddah
  2. Mutaah

This article will provide some additional information and guidance around each of these areas.

Nafkah Iddah

Nafkah Iddah refers to the husband’s obligation to provide maintenance to his wife for three consecutive months after divorcing her. This maintenance is meant to support the wife during the iddah or waiting period, during which she cannot remarry under Muslim law. Moreover, this period allows the husband and wife to reconcile without the need for a marriage solemnisation (nikah).

Nafkah Iddah is payable in most divorces, but there is three specific situations where it may not be payable:

  1. When the court finds the wife has been disobedient (nusyuz) to the husband.
  2. When the husband pronounces an irrevocable divorce (talak tiga or talak ba’in kubra).
  3. When the divorce is declared by a designated authority (hakam) or through talak tafweed or khuluk.

It is important to distinguish Nafkah Iddah from a wife’s entitlement to maintenance during the marriage (before the divorce). A Muslim man has a fundamental obligation to provide maintenance to his wife throughout their marriage.

If a wife hasn’t received proper maintenance from her husband or the provided maintenance is inadequate, she may appeal to the Family Court for a maintenance order. It is crucial to note that the Syariah Court does not issue maintenance orders but focuses on Nafkah Iddah matters.

Additionally, a husband must also provide regular and sufficient maintenance to his children, which falls under the purview of the Family Court.


Mutaah is a consolatory gift given by the husband to his divorced wife. It is intended to alleviate any sense of shame or loss she may experience due to the divorce. Furthermore, Mutaah serves as compensation or reward for the wife’s efforts and services towards the husband and the family during the marriage. The amount of Mutaah the wife is entitled to depends on the duration of the marriage, meaning the longer the marriage, the higher the Mutaah payment the husband must make.

Unlike Nafkah Iddah, Mutaah is payable in all circumstances of divorce. However, the Syariah Court and the Appeal Board have recommended that Mutaah may not be required in cases of fasakh under section 49 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA). Nevertheless, in certain instances of fasakh, the court may still order Mutaah to be paid on compassionate grounds or the basis of ihsan.

It is essential to distinguish Mutaah from maintenance, as maintenance is the husband’s responsibility to support his wife during the marriage or provide for his children.

How do you calculate the amount Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah due?

To determine the amounts of Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah, the court considers the husband’s means, which encompass not only his income or salary but also his various assets, such as CPF monies, cars, bonds, stocks, property, investments, and savings, along with his financial obligations, liabilities, and limitations. Other factors that influence the determination include the standard of living enjoyed by the husband and wife before the divorce, the wife’s needs, and her contributions during the marriage.

The husband may fulfill the payment of Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah through various methods, including cash payments (either as a lump sum or in monthly installments), using the husband’s share of the proceeds from selling the marital home, or by transferring the husband’s CPF monies to the wife’s CPF account.

While there are some average rates for Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah, the court exercises discretion in determining these amounts, and they may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Here are some current average rates:

  • Nafkah Iddah:
    • The lowest rate is between $200.00 and $300.00 per month of iddah or between $600.00 and $900.00 in total.
    • For the income bracket of $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 per month, the rate ranges from $300.00 to $500.00 per month or between $900.00 and $1,500.00 in total.
  • Mutaah:
    • The lowest rate ranges from $2.50 to $3.50 per day of marriage.
    • For the income bracket of $3,000.00 and $5,000.00 per month, the rate ranges from $4.00 to $6.00 per day of marriage.

It is crucial to present all relevant evidence in court for the court’s assessment, as the exact amounts of Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. In cases where the husband fails, refuses, or neglects to pay the ordered Nafkah Iddah and/or Mutaah, the wife has the right to seek enforcement through the Family Court.

In conclusion, Nafkah Iddah and Mutaah are significant aspects of divorce proceedings within the Syariah Court, providing financial support and compensation during the waiting period and after the divorce, respectively. Due to the complexity of both it is advisable to seek legal advice before commencing any such process.

This content was written and reviewed by a lawyer but it does not constitute legal advice. We always recommend engaging a lawyer before taking any legal action.