Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed M.S.Al-Hakeem


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Temporary Marriage
Q [1]  Please explain to me the contract of temporary marriage (Mut`ah).
Mut`ah is a marriage contract between a man and a woman where they agree on establishing a marital relationship with the stipulation of a dower, for a certain period of time. The said relation ends when the mentioned time elapses.
Muslims have agreed on this legislation, but the second caliph prohibited it during his caliphate, and this became the reason for the differences in opinion on it, as history and jurisprudential books explained.
Q [2]  I want to know why temporary marriage is permissible.
Muslims have unanimously agreed that temporary marriage was legislated by the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). The second caliph stopped people from doing it during his rule at a famous incident. Since it was legislated by the Prophet, it remains lawful and valid. And this is what the followers of the Ahlul-bait (peace be upon him) and a group of the companions of the prophets (peace be upon him) believe.
Q [3]  Some Mulims object to the permissibility of temporary marriage. Can you please provide me with evidence to support its legality?
There is no doubt that the temporary marriage is legislated. Proof is present in the Holy Book and the noble traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) which are authenticated in the Sunni and Shia books. What happened after that is that the second Caliph prevented it and its prohibition then became widely accepted amongst the Sunni scholars.
What indicates its legislation from the Holy Book is the following verse: “It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that you seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom you seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty.” (24:4)
In the book of Nail Al-Awtar, Vol.6, Pg.270, it is mentioned that Ibn Abbas used to recite this verse and he used to add “by a set time” after “And those of whom you seek content” and this clearly explains the legislation of the temporary marriage. In this same book it is mentioned that Ibn Abbas stated that temporary marriage was a mercy that Almighty Allah has given to his slaves and if it was not the forbidding of Umar, no one would ever need to commit adultery.
In the book of Al-Muhalla, vol. 9, pg. 520, the author, Ibn Hazm, stated: “The permissibility of temporary marriage after the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) was affirmed by a group of his companions like Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr, Jabir bin Abdillah, Ibn Masoud, Ibn Abbas, Moawiyah bin Abi Sufyan …” The list continues on until he said: “and most jurists of the holy city of Mecca”.
From this, one can conclude that the disagreement started after the prohibition of Umar and not in its legislation itself.
Q [4]  Marriage is recommended, but does this apply only to permanent marriage or to temporary marriage as well?
Yes, it applies to the temporary marriage also, unless it involves another issue that would lead to the preference of not having the temporary marriage.
Q [5]  I understand that temporary marriage is for pleasure. Does that mean that physical attraction and lust are permissible reasons to enter into such a contract, or are there other prerequisite motivations that one must have before two people can enter into this arrangement?
It is permissible to enter into temporary marriage for the sake of pleasure and lust via legislated means and within religious guidelines. Among the benefits of temporary marriage is that it controls sexual relation between the two sexes within specific rules and guidelines; like specifying the duration of the marriage and the dower, serving the waiting period between one marriage and another, and the child born from such a matrimony being legitimate for the couple.
There is no doubt that if such marriage was common in the society, committing adultery would be minimal.
Q [6]  Does a temporary marriage contract only become valid when the woman realizes that it is a marriage with religious commitments? Or is it not obligatory for the woman to realize this? As mentioning this may strongly cause some women to not wish to go forth with it anymore due to how serious it sounds. If the answer is yes, then can it be said in other words?
If the two parties agreed on forming a marriage contract between them in such a way that the paid money is considered as dower like the permanent marriage, then the marriage is valid. If she understands that the relationship allows her to have sexual acts in return for a fee, then it is adultery. The same can be said if she understands the relationship as a form of friendship.
Q [7]  Is the formula a necessary condition for the validity of marriage contract?
Yes, whether it is a temporary or a permanent marriage, it is necessary to recite the marriage formula between the two parties in order for the marriage contract to be valid.
Q [8]  I got married to a woman by way of temporary marriage, and the woman recited the following formula: "Jawwaztuka Nafsi fee muddatil … ala Mahr …", and I replied: “Qabiltu.” Is this sufficient?
The said marriage contract is valid.

Q [9]  Do we need a scholar in order to perform the temporary marriage contract?
The contract can be done by yourselves, but it is better to seek the help of a religious cleric.
Q [10]  Is there a proper format or structure for a contract when arranging a temporary marriage other than agreeing on the amount of dower and setting a length of time for the marriage or is an informal verbal agreement between the two parties sufficient?
The woman can say: “I marry myself to you on a dower of so-and-so and for the duration of so-and-so.” and mention the amount of dower and the duration of marriage and then the man accepts by saying: “I accept”. He can start the contract by saying: “I marry you on a dower of so-and-so and for the duration of so-and-so” the woman then accepts by saying: “I accept”.
This can be in any language.

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