Common Shi’a and Sunni References about Current legitimacy of Temporary
Compiled by Engineer Afsaneh Cooper
Marriage is contract of union
between the husband and wife; sometimes this relation is done in the permanent
manner without any limits or boundaries mentioned in the marriage contract, and
other times the same relation is formed in essence, but only during a limited
span of time with a specified duration. Both these marriages are considered
legal and the only difference between them being that one is temporary, while
the other one is permanent with a few similarities between them.
The following conditions are as
creditable in the temporary marriage as is with the permanent one.
Both the man and woman should not
be legally prevented with kinship, among other legal formalities or else the
marriage contract can be nullified.
The dowry accepted by both sides
should be compromised in the marriage contract.
The period of marriage ought to be
The legal contract should be
The child born out of this marriage
is their legal child and should be named after the parents.
The child is dependent on his
father and the procedure of inheritance is also valid for him and is considered
his legal right.
When the period of this marriage
terminates, and if it happened that the woman has not reached the stage of
menopause, she should consider the waiting period 'Eddah' before entering into
another marriage contract, and likewise if she is pregnant, she should also
refrain from getting married until she gives birth.
Other rules that regard the
permanent marriage should also be regarded in the temporary marriage. The only
difference being that since the temporary marriage is legislated to overcome
the necessities, the wife's maintenance is not upon the husband and if the
woman does not stipulate the right to inherit her husband's property in the
marriage contract, she will not be able to inherit it in the long run. Thus it
is quite obvious that these two differences have no such effect regarding the
essence of Marriage itself.
We all believe that the Islamic
religion is of the universal kind that fulfils all the needs of mankind. Now
let us consider the case of a young man who needs to stay in a foreign country
in order to continue his studies and because of the restricted facilities, he
is unable to have a permanent marriage thus, he is in a traumatic state and
there lie three possibilities before him that are;
To remain single.
To fall in the pollution of corruption,
To marry a woman legally for a
temporary period in the framework of the above-mentioned conditions for the
temporary marriage contract.
Let us ponder over these three
Regarding the first case, one can
say that it usually proves to be unsuccessful because even though some can
endure not having sexual inter-course, but it can be rather difficult for
everyone to refrain themselves due to the cause of mental disturbance.
As for the second case, it's end is
nothing but doom and wretchedness and according to Islam, regarded as
prohibited! And considering it to be ideal for allowing it because of its
necessity, is but a deviation of thought, when there could be a better and
purer way, which leaves us with the best choice to opt for, that is the third
Therefore, it is only the third
method left to be chosen, which Islam suggests, and this was also practiced
during the Prophet's lifetime, then later on, dispute arose in the matter and
was nullified by the caliph's of the time.
Let us remind ourselves at his
point, of the following:
The ones who fear getting involved
in the temporary marriage considering it as illegal, should realize that all
the Islamic scholars and researchers have accepted something that is similar to
it in the permanent marriage contract; and that is the couple who are involved
in permanent marriage, their contract is valid even if it be on the grounds of
them having an intention of divorce in more or less than an year.
It is obvious that such a marriage
is apparently permanent though in reality it is temporary what with their
intention. This type of permanent marriage differs from that of the temporary
one in that the latter is limited for a certain period of time both apparently
and in reality, whilst the former is apparently permanent but in reality,
Thus how could it be so that the
ones who are all for the permanent marriage that is widely accepted by the
scholars, fear the permissibility of the temporary one?
Now that we have gotten acquainted
to the essence of the temporary marriage, let us prove of its legality,
The legality of the temporary
marriage at the beginning of Islam.
The non-abrogation of this
religious command during the time of the Messenger of God.
Then again, the obvious clue to its being legal, is stated in the
verse of the Holy Quran such as:
"Then as those whom you profit
by, give them their wages as appointed.."
This verse gives witness to the validity of temporary marriage because
Firstly, the phrase, 'estimation- profit
by, and enjoy' is used here, which is apparently regarded for the temporary
marriage; if at all this meant the permanent marriage, then there was no
Secondly, the phrase, 'ujoorahunna' is used
in order to portray the meaning 'wage' which is a clear evidence in itself for
'muta', because in the case of permanent marriage, words such as 'dowry' and
'sadaqa-nupital gift' is used to substantiate it.
Thirdly, Both the Sunni and Shia
interpreters agree that the above-mentioned verse was revealed for the temporary
Jalal Al-deen Al-Soyuti in his book
of commentary 'Al-dor Al-Manthoor' narrates from Ibn-Jareer and Soddi that the
above verse was regarding 'muta'
Abu-Ja'afer Muhammed bin Jareer
Tabari in his commentary narrates from Soddi, Mujahid and Ibn Abbas that this
verse regards the temporary Marriage.
Fourthly, The owners of Sahah, Masaneed and
other comprehensive books of narration accept to this fact; for instance Muslim
bin Hajjaj in his 'Sahih' narrates from Jabir bin Abdulla and Salamah bin Akwa
who said: "The Prophets call has reached to us saying: God's messenger has
given the permission to 'enjoy', meaning temporary marriage."
The authentic narrations for this
topic are innumerable. Consequently, the principle of legislating 'muta' in the
early Islam and at the time of the Holy Prophet, is accepted by the Muslim
scholars and interpreters.
The question arises as to, 'was the
verse of 'muta' abrogated?
It was quite occasional to find
anyone still doubting the permissibility of 'muta' during the time of the
messenger of Allah; The point of discussion lies in the continuation or the
abrogation of this command after the time of the Prophet.
Both the tradition and the history
of Islam, mention to the fact that the practice of this divine commandment was
common among the Muslims until the time of the second caliph who, because of
public interests, made a stop to the practice.
Muslim bin hajjaj in his 'sahih'
(book of valid narrations) narrates that Ibn-Abbas and Ibn-Zubair had a
disagreement regarding 'muta' and the 'muta of pilgrimage'.
Jabir bin Abdullah said:
"We practiced both during the time of God's messenger, then
Omar prevented us from this practice such that we did not resume to the
Jalal Al-deen Al-Soyuti in his
commentary narrates from Abdul-Razaq and Ibn-Jareer, both of them narrating
from Hakim, asked him,
"Was this verse of muta'
and Ali (p) had said:
"If it was not for Omar
prohibiting the practice of muta, no one except for the wretched would commit
Ali bin Muhammed Qushchi also said,
"Omar bin Al-Khattab ascended
the pulpit and said:
"O people, there are three
things that existed during the time of the Prophet that I now forbid it's
practice, and I punish the one who practices them, these are, 'Muta of women',
'Muta of pilgrimage' and 'Haya ala Khairil amal'
It is imperative to mention that
the narrations similar to these kind are more than can be mentioned.
It is important to point out the
fact that 'muta' is one of the divisions of marriage, because marriage is
divided into temporary and permanent, thus the woman in the temporary marriage
contract is the wife of that person and her spouse is considered to be called
her 'husband' so naturally, such a marriage is definitely included in the
verses that state about the rules concerning marriage, and if the Quran states that,
"And who guard their private
parts except before their mates and whom their right hands possess, for they
surely are not blamable."
The wife in the temporary marriage
is as the example states, ".except for their mates" according to the
framework of the previously mentioned conditions. So it is matter-of-fact that
the wife in this marriage is included in the phrase of "their mates."
Therefore, if the above verse of sura Mominun permits the sexual relation for
two groups of women being the wife and the slave girl, then the woman in the
temporary marriage is obviously of the first group. (i.e, wives.)
It is quite surprising to hear that
the mentioned verse in Sura Mominun abrogated the verse in sura Nisa,
whilst we all know that the verse abrogated, ought to be revealed before the
abrogated one, however, it is the opposite in this case where sura Mominun is considered as the abrogated verse revealed
in Mecca before the migration of the Prophet to Madina and the sura Nisa having
the verse regarding muta was revealed in Madina, and so how can a 'Macci' sura
abrogate a verse in a 'Madani sura'?
Another evidence that testifies the non-abrogation of the verse of 'muta' during
the time of the Prophet are the enormous traditions denying to the annulment of
this practice at the time of the messenger, such as the previously mentioned
narration by Jalal Al-deen Soyuti in 'Al-dor Al-Manthoor'
Last but not least, let us remind
ourselves of this point, and that is the fact that the family of the household, our revered Imams themselves, who
according to the narration of 'Thaqalain', caused the nation's guidance, and
will never separate from the holy Quran, have out rightly declared to the
permissibility and authorization of temporary marriage. Thus Islam is ready and able to
solve all the problems of the human society at large, and so approves the
authorization of such a marriage by regarding the previously mentioned
conditions due to the fact that one of the methods of rescuing the youths from
falling in the pit of corruption is only solved by the purest method, which is
temporary marriage in the frame work of its special conditions of course.
Qur’an (Nisa: 24)
Qur’an (Mominun: 5-6)
Jame Al-Bayan fi Tafseer Al-Quran, vol.5 p.9
Tafseer Al-Tabari vol.5 p. 9
Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, vol. 2 p. 370.
Tafseer Razi vol. 3 p. 200-202
Tafseer Abu Hayyan vol. 3 p. 218
Tafseer Al-Razi, vol. 3 p. 201.
Ahkam Al-Quran (Jasas) vol.2 p. 178
Ahkam Al-Quran (Jasas) vol. 1 p. 342
Al-dor Al-Manthoor vil.2 p.140 following the mentioned verse.
Sahih Muslim, vol4 p.130, printed in Egypt.
Sahih Bukhari Bab Al-Tamatto.
Masnad Ahmad, vol4 p.436 and vol. 3 p.356
Al-Muwata (Malik) vol. 2 p. 30
Sunan Al-Bihaqi vol. 7 p. 306
Nehayat Ibn-Atheer, vol. 2 p. 249
Tareekh Ibn-Khalakan, vol.1 p. 359
Muhazirat Raqib, vol. 2 p. 94
Al-Jame Al-Kabeer (Soyuti) vol. 8 p. 293
Fath Al-Bari (Ibn-Hajar) vol. 9 p. 141
Sunan Al-Baihaqi, vol. 7 p. 206 and Sahih Muslim, vol.1 p. 395
Al-dor Al-Manthoor, vol. 2 p. 140, following the verse of Muta.
Sharh Al-Tajreed (Qushchi), subject of Imamat, p. 484
Masnad Ahmad, vol. 3 p. 356, 363.
Al-bayab wal- Tabyeen (Jahiz), vol.2 p. 223
Al-Mabsoot (Sarakhsi Hanafi), kitab Al-hajj, Bab AL-Quran.
Zad Al-Ma'ad (Ibn Qayem) vol. 1 p. 444
Kanz Al-Amal, vol. 8 p. 293
Masnad Abi Dawud Al-tayalesy, p. 247
Tareekh al- Tabari, vol. 5 p. 32
Al-dor Al-Manthoor, vol. 2 p. 140-141 following the verse of Muta.
Wasa'il Al-Shia vol. 14, Kitab Al-Nikah, bab Al-Muta, 1st bab, p.