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Temporary Marriage in Islam


Broadcasted on BICNews 24 November 1997

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem
was-salaat was-salaam `alaa Rasul-illah wa 'alaa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam

Make Sure You Read This, Please!!!
You Or Someone You Know Might Be Getting Affected By This!!!

I was fourteen years old and my relationship with my parents was on the edge just like any other teenager. I started to become interested in boys. I felt as if no one understood me, not even my friends. I especially didn't feel pretty with my braces.

It all changed when I met him. It was fascinating to know that a college student would care so much about me. He was the most wonderful person. He treated me like a queen, and soon we became the best of friends. I felt I could tell him anything. As our friendship progressed, we talked about different topics including religion. He had different beliefs than me; he was Shiya while I was Sunni. We always argued upon the differences. He had a way with making things sound bettter than what they were. Soon I became very confused.

One day he mentioned the idea of muta'a. He told me that it was a type of temporary marriage, which was halal even in Sunni books. At first I didn't believe him, but he used sources such as Bukhari and Muslim. I took his word for it, and before I realized, I was into a lot of trouble. I was in muta'a for four years. As time went by, I learnt that I had lost my honor and dignity to someone who had done this to several other girls. Allah helped me open my eyes and realize what I had gotten myself into. By now, I was on the verge of switching beliefs to be a shiya. At this point, I decided to really search for the truth. Since I cannot present the whole research, I have tried to give a very brief idea about muta'a.

I hope to inform and educate the people about the disease of muta'a, which is spreading rapidly in the sunni community. It is the goal of certain shiya individuals to do muta'a with innocent girls, who lack knowledge of religion and experience of life. They convince them with their beliefs, and create confusion in their minds. I beg every sister, brother, father, mother, and friend to take a closer look at their dear ones, and make sure they do not become victims to the concept of muta'a.

Muta'a is a form of temporary marriage where a man can marry a woman for an agreed amount of time and money(mahr). In Muta'a, the husband is not financially responsible for the wife. If she bears a child though, then the husband is responsible for supporting the child financially. There are no set limits in this kind of marriage by the shiyas. According Shiya beliefs, muta'a is permissible when one cannot do nikah and the need for committing adultery exists, no witnesses nor a permission of the guardian is needed (the Sunni father does not believe in muta'a), and there is no limit on the number of muta'a one can do. Also, the time period can be as little as one hour to as long as sixty years. In addition, a man who is permanently married can do as many muta'a as he feels like. This is very similar to prostitution indeed.

In the history of Islam, The Prophet (saw) allowed muta'a twice in his lifetime. The first time the Prophet (saw) allowed it for three days, at the war of Khaiber, and after three days it was made haram . Once Ali argued with a man who believed in Muta'a and told him that the Prophet made muta'a and the meat of donkey haram on the day of Khaiber (Bukhari vol. 7, pg. 287 and vol. 4 pg. 134). This hadith can also be found in shiya hadith books, which I will mention later. The second time the Prophet (saw) allowed it was at the conquest of Mecca, for three days, and then he made it haram again till the day of Judgment (Muslim vol. 4 pg. 133). Notice, the practice of muta'a was then made haram till the Day of Judgement.This is confirmed with the hadiths in the following books: Imam Ahmed's Musnad vol. 16 pg. 192-193, Muslim vol. 4, pg. 132, Bayhaki vol. 7 pg. 293-294. Since there was a time when muta'a was halal. Therefore, one can find hadith saying that it was halal. However, the latter hadith, which follows the final order of jurisprudence set by the the Prophet(saw), takes precedence over the former hadith.

Ninety-nine percent of the companions followed this opinion, but there was one percent who believed muta'a can be performed in extreme case of necessity in the land of war. This one percent is divided into two groups. One says, it is allowed with the khalipha's permission, and the other says there is no need for the permission . Those who do not believe in khalipha's permission say that it was Umar who made it haram. Their proof is based upon an opinion by a companion namely Ibn Abbas. People misused this opinion of Ibn Abbas until he clarified himself and said, Wallahi I did not mean what they did! I meant similarly to what Allah meant when he allowed the meat of dead animals and pork to be eaten in extreme necessity. This is referring to the time when people abused the rule of necessity at time of Umar, following the understanding of the one percent. Finally, Umar declared and taught it to be haram when a lady came to Umar complaining about how her husband in muta'a, who was married, would not take responsibility of the child. He realized how the society was becoming corrupt with similar conditions to adultery. Thus, he had to teach people and make muta'a haram even in the case of the one percent opinion.

The shiya themselves have a hadith narrated by Ali which states that the Prophet made muta'a haram on the day of Khaiber (Book of Tahdeeb: vol. 7, pg. 251, rewaya 10). The author states that Ali lied for the purposes of safety (taqiya). In Book of Istebsar: vol. 3, pg. 142, rewaya 5, there is a declaration by Ali that muta'a is haram. Again they accuse Ali of lying for safety reasons (taqiya).

One of their highly authentic hadith books, Usool Al-Kaafi: vol. 5, pg. 462, rewaya 1; It has a hadith that states that muta'a for a virgin girl is not recommended because of the shame it will bring upon her parents. Imam Abi-Abdullah narrated: Do not do muta'a with a believer woman..because you will humiliate her by doing that. (shiya sources: Tahdeeb: vol. 7, pg. 253, rewaya 14:21; Istibsaar: vol. 3, pg. 143, rewaya 4:93). In Shiya beliefs, there are many contradictions regarding as to whom muta'a can be performed with. In one hadith, it is stated that muta'a can only be done with a believer (Kaafi: vol. 5, pg. 454, rewaya 3-4) whereas, in rewaya 27, it is stated that muta'a is not allowed with a muslimah, it is only allowed with Jewish or Christian women. In Beharul-anwaar(authentic Shiya hadith book) vol. 103, pg. 340, rewaya 10:3, it is also stated that it is haram to do muta'a with a person who is married or able to marry .

With the given confusion in the books of shiyas regarding muta'a, and it being haram among the sunnis, should really make one think hard before believing that they are doing marriage in a halal way and in the name of Allah.

If muta'a is not an excuse for satisfying lust, then what is it! It seems to be the easiest solution for adultery. If muta'a really was to be done in case of need then why is it permissible for a married person to do muta'a? Also, if one cannot marry due to financial insecurity then how can one be responsible for supporting the child and not be able to support the wife?

The Shiya also use the Qur'an, Surah 4 ayah 24, as a reference to support muta'a. They use this ayath without consideration of the previous or following verses. The ayath cannot be looked at alone. An example of this is Surah 107 verse 4 So woe to the worshipers, If we look at this ayath alone we would think Allah is angered by the worshipers, but if we read on it says in verse 5 who are neglectful of their prayers. This gives a better understanding of what Allah is telling us. If we read till the end, we will get a better understanding of what Allah is trying to say.

Now, the Shiya look at only surah 4 ayath 24. When Allah says  Except for those all other are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your propertyDesiring chastity, not lust.  We take into consideration the ayath before, that describes all the women forbidden for marriage. Surah 4 ayath 23, Prohibited to you (for marriage) are-- your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, mother's sisters; Thus, when Allah says in ayath 24 that all other are lawful we understand it as all other are lawful women.

The ayath continues seeing that ye derive enjoyment from them give them their dower (at least) as prescribed The Shiya say that muta'a is the enjoyment-marriage that Allah is talking about, and that you pay for this enjoyment. To get a clear understanding of how we translate this ayath we have to know this is a shariah hokoom (judgment) from Allah about the payment of the dower.

If a man marries a woman and then divorces her, there are four different scenarios that could happen concerning the dower. They are as follows:
1) A man does not enjoy his wife and he does not assign a dower.
2) A man does not enjoy his wife but he assigns a dower.
3) A man enjoys his wife but he doesn't assign a dower.
4) A man enjoys his wife but he doesn't pay the the assigned dower..

The first hokoom is in surah 2 verse 236, There is no blame on you if ye divorce a women before consummation or the fixation of their dower:
but bestow on them (a suitable gift). There is also a hadith that the Prophet divorced a women before he touched her or assigned a dowery. He gave her some gifts (2 pairs of clothing), and then he released her.

The second hokoom is in surah 2 verse 237, And if ye divorce them before consummation but after the fixation of a dower for them, then the half of the dower (is due to them),

The third hokoom is in surah 4 verse 4 And give their dower as an obligation;.. In Arabic, this word that has been translated into obligation can be more closely translated into standard obligation . So the man should pay to her what the Muslim society has made into a standard.

The last hokoom is if you assigned maher and enjoyed your wife you  should pay it since you enjoyed her whether there is a divorce or not.

This hokoom is in surah 4 ayath 24, seeing that ye derive enjoyment from them give them their dower (at least) as prescribed; but if after a dower is prescribed, ye agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise For the shiya, it is a law that you pay the dower before the enjoyment or else there cannot be a muta'a. This ayath is talking about coming to an agreement and discussing the payment of the dower even after the whole thing is over or paying it after the enjoyment. So we can see that muta'a does not fit.

There are also other differences. If you keep reading to ayath 5 it says If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hand possess and Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: wed them with the leave of their owners and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste not lustful.. This ayath says that permission is needed from the guardian, and the ayath continues teaching us about the differences in the law of the free believer and the right hand possess. In the end of the verse, it says that even to marry what the right hand possess is a big dislike to Allah that a person should not do unless he is really in danger of committing a big sin. Then Allah permitted to marry this group, but still suggested to be patient and have self control, since it is better for us. The same understanding can be seen in surah 23 ayath 5-7.

Allah teaches us that there are only two types of marriages allowed: the normal one and the marriage with the right hand posses. Whoever exceeds these two limits Allah says they are transgressors. How can shiya place the muta'a in the previous ayath when this ayath clearly limits marriage to these two types?

Also in the Qura'n, we see that when ever Allah mentions marriage he also teaches us about divorce. When a man marries a chaste woman, and wants to leave her, he has to first divorce her. This can be seen in the following surah and ayaths, 65:1, 2:231, 2:232, 2:236, 2:37, 33:49, 66:5.

In muta'a, there is no divorce; once you pay the set amount of money and the assigned time ends there is no rights, no duty, no inheritence laws, or divorce process. The only law is that the woman waits for a period of 45 days before she enters into another muta'a, while the man can have immediate one, even while he is married or in another muta'a.

This goes against what Allah assigned for marriage in the Qura'n. In Surah 2 ayath 228 Allah says, Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods and it is not lawful for them to hide what Allah hath created in their wombs. If they have faith in Allah and the last day. In muta'a she can be pregnant with the child of her first muta'a husband and be married to her second muta'a husband or the permanent. In the book of Mustadrak-Alwasa'il (Shiya authentic hadith book) vol. 7 book 3 pg. 506 rewayah 8762 ,it states that the prophet (saaww) said that who ever cannot find the ability to get married let him fast, my ummah' s protection is fasting.

Also in Beharul-Alanwaar(Shiya hadith book in vol.14 pg. 327 rewayah 50:21) it states that Imam Ali said and seek protection from women desire by fasting. What is the need for fasting if muta'a is OK ? It is obvious that this contradict this idea .I hope and pray that we will  take this matter seriously.

Everyday more and more girls in our community are falling victims to this idea presented by the shiya individuals. These girls are helpless in asking anyone for help, especially their parents. Please, teach and inform one another about the idea of muta'a, and our beliefs regarding it. Please do it for the honor and dignity of our Islam and for the love of Allah!

Further information on this matter can be obtained by sending questions to the e-mail address below: If one learns about some brothers or sisters who needs help in this matter then please inform us, so we can help them. All information received will remain confidential.

*** Most of the people who fall victim to such ideas attend high school or college.

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