Q: I have a sister who was married and is now divorced with two kids. Islamically who is responsible for the kids and my sister? Our father is deceased.
A. The husband is responsible for the wife during the Iddat but not after the Iddat has expired. He is also responsible for the kids until they begin earning their own income.
After the Iddat has expired, the Mahram males of her family must see to the wife’s needs, e.g. brothers, uncles, etc. If none of them are available or capable of providing support, or they refuse to do so, only then will she be allowed to work, within the confines of Islamic law, e.g. Purdah, etc. If her Mahram males have the means and they refuse to see to her needs, they will be sinful. She should endeavour to run a business from home. If this is not possible, then only can she leave the confines of her home to earn and fend for herself while strictly observing the Islamic laws of Hijaab.
Mufti Siraj Desai