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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