Temporary Marriage and Sex and Society in the Muslim World

This is the third installment of our weekly column entitled Ask a Shiite. Our resident Shiite and United Arab Emirates citizen will be fielding questions of a philosophical, physical, and political nature in regards to Shiite Islamic belief and Middle East perception. Interested in asking a question? Send an email to alec.

Question: Can you talk about sex and society in the United Arab Emirates and in Islamic culture in general? What is temporary marriage and how does it function in Islamic law and faith? Is there premarital sex and can you talk about the relationship between sex and religion for Muslims?

Answer: Temporary Marriage is a practice allowed for Muslims when they need to engage with someone from the opposite sex for multiple reasons but for a fixed amount of time and a less ‘connected’ relation.

Temp Marriage can be done for any amount of time. In the eyes of God you are lawful to each other. Once the period of the marriage expires, the couple are free to go and are ‘divorced’ automatically. But after that period the girl or woman has to wait for four monthly menstruation cycles before contracting another marriage. This prevents many problems. But in this time, if they want, the couple can marry each other again. There are a few other conditions and rules which need to be followed in Mutah and they prevent corruption.

Mutah (Temp Marriage) is not done only for sexual pleasure but for many other reasons. Technically speaking a boy or girl who have reached physical maturity can engage in Mutah. Physical maturity is defined with particular
rulings.

In many countries like Iran,I have heard, Mutah is quite common but I have personally not come across people engaging in Mutah. To engage in Mutah, the girl says a specific sentence in Arabic which basically means that she is engaging herself in Marriage for the agreed time and Dower. Then immediately the boy replies Accepted. These are the only formalities required and the couple are engaged together. For this declaration, no witnesses are required but there is no problem if there are. The dower is a small present to the wife from the husband.

Mutah is you could say a private thing and does not have anything to do with the UAE’s law. Otherwise it is done in the same way around the world.

Talking about sex is absolutely allowed in the UAE without any, as far as I know, law which prevents it. If someone has a problem with you then matters get serious otherwise if you talk with your friends in a responsible way then you are good to go.

In Islam also discussing sex is allowed provided you do not have a bad intention or you are not aroused leading to a major sin. Sex is discussed for educational purposes in fact our Infallible Imams have given us instructions on mating which are, according to science today, correct and recommended.

I personally have not come across people engaging in temporary marriage. It is allowed, practiced but people only use it as a last resort. They try to control themselves and given the right advice at the right time, people manage to pull off their teenage and young adult life without mating. There are many ways of controlling oneself and a person just needs to manage his lust properly. The reward for control over ones mind, temptations and emotions, not just in lust, is more than that of defending ourselves by war. War comes under Jihad Asghar (Lesser Struggle) and this control comes under Jihad Akbar (Greater Struggle).

Premarital sex is not allowed in Islam as it is a form of fornication and comes under a Major Sin. I don’t understand why someone would want to have premarital sex when one can engage in temporary marriage.

Of course, as said above, we can talk about the relation between sex and religion. Your perceptions towards Muslims seem to be one where Muslims are totally cut off from sex and that sex is a sin. Sex is in fact highly encouraged and given that you have the right intentions, it comes under worship of God. Sex gets rid of our sins very quickly.

This however has to be done under the Sharia rules which really help the society in the long run. They might seem harsh but this opinion should not remain when one studies their philosophy, reasoning and logic.

       

Previous Installments of Ask a Shiite: Shiites & Sunnis and Perceptions of the United States in the Middle East.

[tags]sex in the middle east, intercourse, dating, ask a shiite, temporary marriage, united arab emirates, sexuality, society, islamic culture, sexuality, premarital sex, god, allah, religious practice[/tags]

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  1. Kit says:

    Interesting. Temporary marriages sound similar to exclusive dating in America. Basically, sex within a committed relationship, which in most version of Christianity is a sin, unless I’ve completely missed the point of promise rings and shit like that.

    Really I don’t understand how someone could go about having premarital sex if you have temporary marriage. It seems like you’d have to be an idiot not to say the magic love words that make Allah smile on naughty couplings.

  2. Yoinks says:

    Sounds like a great way to keep a mistress, hire a prostitute, or have a one night stand with a stranger. Especially when marriage to your main wife doesn’t provent you from having as many “temporary marriages” as you want! There’s even a dower involved so you can compensate your new bride for her 45 minutes of matrimonial services at the local hotel.

    Hmm, is there any way to get temporary permits for OTHER sins? I mean, I’d be happy to clear it with the church before killing my neighbor or stealing a car. It seems like it all boils down to administration and ritual. Perform the right ritual and your sin is not a sin. Which, when you think about it, is pretty fantastic. Way better than those Christian prudes, who won’t let you sleep with multiple women unless you’re a Morman.

  3. Shia says:

    Alright now you didnt really understand Mutah did you? About saying those ‘magic’ words, it just there to have a commitment between the two sides or if there are witnesses, then so that they hear it loud and clear. Secondly it takes less than a minute so it wouldnt hurt woudl it?

    To Yoinks:
    The points you raised are typical ones and have been literally ‘blasted’ away by our scholars. I m not an expert so I possibly couldnt do the same. Now in Mutah you cant marry a woman who is already married. The girl has to be of a good character. She cant be a publicly known adulterer and neither can the man I think. She has to wait 4 months before marrying another man. So prostitution is off the list. The girls ‘vali’ better known as the father has to give the girl permission to get married.

    According to one of our top scholars, who can be emulated for laws (there are only a handful of those type in the world at any given time), has passed his verdict that you can only marry upto 4 woman at a time.

    If I m not mistaken, you can not marry a non-muslim if you are already married with a muslim in a permanent marriage. If you are already married I think you need your wife’s permission to go into Mutah which as you might have guessed would be next to impossible.

    You try to skip any of the rules and as far asI know, the relation goes illegal. unlawful and into fornication which is a sin.

    Now these are just a few points about why Mutah is different from prostitution, adultery or fornication. I dont know why you would think Mutah is equal to adultery if you knew the about Mutah in depth. Its not a temporary license to sin legally.

  4. Shia says:

    To Seann:
    I am very sorry for how long it took fr me to reply to your little request. I was just kind of busy and couldnt make it.

    As for the article, I will first tell you that this has nothing to do with Islam. So we will steer clear of that. As far as the article goes, I would agree with it. This thing is actually a cultural one where Arabs think of them superior to others. I live in the UAE and to some extent we notice the same thing, however less profound, and we get angry with the Arabs. We always say that they claim to be Muslims but practice racism.

    This article might be a bit harsh or over exaggerated. Or maybe I am in the UAE so it is less apparent over here. This whole thing is cultural and the Arabs have not yet come out of it into a society that is free and equal.

    Degradation of women has been linked to Islam. While Islam does call for sexual control, it has ways like Mutah to relieve oneself. Most Arab countries are from the Sunni sect and take Mutah as illegal so this is what you get out of it. Otherwise women are protected in Islam far better than even the most advanced countries in the world. When Ayatollah Khomeini brought Islamic law to Iran, women had to take hijab (modest dressing). People criticized him. Today in Iran women are very safe, can leave their houses even late in the night without any fear. Yes some cases do go bad but they over exaggerated by the media and they are not as many as in other ‘free’ countries.

    Basically all that racism and backwardness that has been written is totally cultural and has nothing to do with Islam, and it is there even today to some extent. Hopefully the situation will get better. It is not so bad in the UAE though.

  5. Syed Ammad Ali Shah says:

    I can’t believe people are doing these things as a muslim i know do all those things which makes ALLAH happy … if we’re talking about Mutah, what impression you left to others, (To Shia) So any father could ever alowed her daughter to go for temporary marriage like for two days and finish your virganity …. This never had happened in islam, if you’re talking about a boy or girl is hardly control his lust then where islam goes ..Islam teach us patience to control your senses, Marriage is only permanent mariage and nothing this not even socially having positive impact but also Islamically. People says you can go under 4 wifes at same time I want to ask those people do they beliefs all other things what islam told us, having 4 wifes, can you manage equality now adays between them ..never this is even not socially good, Man Islam is so simple just to control yourself from any sin else we’re sinful. Marriage should be 1 and both of them should loyal to each other and spend life while loving each other that’s what life is and that’s what islam told us…..

    May ALLAH bless you all

  6. adult says:

    cool post dude

  7. nazia prima hussain says:

    oh my good ness!!!!
    how vould this happen in islam!!!
    im never going to do mutah!!
    its ll for sex!!
    other wise who would want to get maried for like 1 month???
    not me!!
    what if you have chlidren!!

  8. muhammad says:

    all this is bullshit, there is no such thing as a “temporary marriage” in islam.you’re just makin fun of islam.

    • TheGodlessSwami says:

      No, It is a fact of Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia) in any Islamic school of thought or law and in any Islamic denomination (Shia, Sunni, etc). Just because it embarrasses you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is taking advantage of a “loophole” in Islamic law which says divorce is allowed and makes it easy to do so.

  9. Kt says:

    So after reading this there’s just one thing I want to know…can you do this in America…?

  10. Abdullah says:

    Subhanallah!!!

    I just came across this blog and i just wont to set the record straight….so everyone read carefully.

    Islam has been split, for a long time, into 2 major factions; sunni and Shi’a. the Sunni being the vast majority and are in control of all muslim countries except Iran.

    The Shi’a point of view is that Mutah is allowed and lawfull. However i was under the impression that wittnesses are required but Allah Alam; i am not a shia myself and i don’t agree with many of their views including this one

    The Sunni view is unanamous that Mutah was allowed in the begging of Islam but then was prohibited by the prophet (saw) untill the end of time. So no one can do mutah “marrage” again. How could it be otherwise? Anyone who has read the quur’an and knows about the prophet (saw) will know that such a thing could never have been allowed to continue. It was a jahillya (Period of ignorance before Islam) practice that was allowed during the first part of the prophet’s misson only because to get the arabs away from it would take stages; the Arabs of that time would have found it very difficult to abadon it just all at once…

    …the analogy of mutah is the same as that of drinking alcohol. The arabs used to love drinking and so to get them away from this real faith had to be put in their hearts first, so that then their hearts become purer and they look more to the Spirite and the afterlife than towards the flesh and this lower world; so that this faith would give them strength to obey Allah. That is why the first chapters of the Qur’an to be revealed never have any instructions – they just encourage contemplation, beleife and faith in God and the afterlife. Then it was prohibited to pray while drunk, so the arabs had to make sure they were sober by the time the nest prayer came. Finally after a few years alcohol was prohimbited forever.

    Just because it was allowed in the beginig of Islam does not mean that alcohol is islamic. The same with mutah. It is an un-Islamic practice and all who do it now are just following their lusts without any guidance from God.

    It should be enough for all sincere souls to know that the prophet (saw) never in his life contracted a muta “marrage” just has he (saw) never once drank alcohol. He(saw) was 25 yrs old, the most handsome man in Mecca, with the best reputation and lineage, and he married a 40 year old widow (who had been married twice before) and was completely faithful and happy with her untill she passed away 24 odd years later. What young man would do that in this day and age!?!

    He (saw) encouraged young people to get married quickly to protect them and those that could not marry to help themselfes by fasting. The propblem these days is that parents and society often make marrage hard and difficult and expensive; a person who marries at 25 or under is very lucky these days!. He (saw) encouraged people to help make marrage easy for young people and not make such high demands.

    Just to conclude; in orthodox islam there is no muta only real marrage (with full nikah/contract, 2 wittneses and a gardian who gives away the girl), and in Islam marrage is easy so long as society allows it

    I hope this clears everything up and Peace upon those who follow guideance!!!!

    Salaams and take care

  11. Abu Omar says:

    1st. Dear brothers Muslims and none muslims who would like to know about Islam teachings.
    Islam is the religion of Peace, Kindness, Mercy, Love, Dignity, Toleranc, Equity, Justice, Honor, purification and all the best values in humanty. If muslims do bad acts or committed certain faults whether against them selves against others, Islam is clear from their dos, also Islam can not be blamed for what Muslims do, Muslims are humans who are subject to right and wrong deeds and actions. In no way that bad deeds of people can be called rites of the religion. Islam the religion of all opposite openions, every thing could be discussed with good intensions. Islam has no racism or sexism at all, in fact who know about Islam teachings and be fair, he/she would delare that Islam granted men and women their full rights in a superior way that no other relegion or other teachings could even imagine, the women is treated a full righted person at the time she was treated as a second or third grade human in some relegions or human made teachings, check Qura’n and Prophet Hadith.
    2nd. As temporary marrage is concerned, there is no temporary marrage that both parties know or set a time period for it, there is only ( muta’h ) which Sheiat practice under the nade of Islam, while Islam is red of such un realistek and un congital practice.

  12. Skits says:

    What a load of crap. Either you can have premarrital sex or you can’t. Simple. You cannot go and have a temporary marriage just becuase you feel like having a shag. Whats the point in that. The religion may as well change and just say that you can shag who you want when you want!It’s hypocracy, very clever though!

  13. conie says:

    can somebody pass us a cone man.

  14. nadia says:

    i a in a current relationship and i am 22 year old fully covered muslim i like to say i had two mu’ta so far now the good thing about it if you don’t have to tell your husband and all you have to do is just agree on the time of your mu’ta know from trying it mant times i had great pleasures from other married mens the whole idea of it is don’t let nobody know just do it anyway it’s between you and god.

  15. muhammad says:

    you sound like your muslim arab!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Abdullah:
    Are you sure it wasn’t the second Caliph who prohibited temporary marriage?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sex gets rid of our sins very quickly?,, sex comes under the worship of God? Are you kidding me?

    Temp marriages or muta which translates to pleasure marriages the holy muslim way of prostituting. No offence

    How could Allah allow such crap? And you give dowry

    Basically ur paying the paying the woman for her efforts= prostitution

    Your whole religion is a whole lot of crap … no offence 😀

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  19. OneWhoKnows says:

    This is a bunch of BS. I haven’t read all of the comments, but one should know the consequences should the woman become pregnant. The father does not claim the child, nor or they legally responsible for them. So in what way does this represent Islam? This is just some perverted way of justifying sex without a commitment. No respectable Muslim woman would ever agree to this.

  20. adel albatati says:

    this article was writeen be a shiate person. this kind of marriage is only permitted in iran. this kind of marriage is not allowed by islam and can not be found except for iran and its followers like hezbullah.
    anyone should not take any word for granted. the writter should study the subject before talking about islam and what is permitted. this is a kind of prostitution where women are considered only for pleasure and can be shared by men like a cup of tea. kids will be thrown in the street. there is a lengthy study about this and can not be explained here. however, the iranian who consider themselves muslims and the other muslims are not, they are the one who promote this kind of prostitution and many other stubid things such as torturing themselves and cutting themselves with blades. they believe that the Quran, the islamic wholly book is not present. so the spend their time telling stories and lies.

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