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Rules of Mut’ah (temporary marriage) in Islam

Question 079:  What is the rules of Mut’ah (temporary marriage) in Islam? My husband told me that its not allowed for single women ( whom never been married which consider as virgin) to enter mutah marriage? The reason im asking this in this forum because I’m tired to hear many of Sunni ‘s Muslim disrespect Shia Muslim. Thanks

Answer 079: Before beginning this debate, two points need to be mentioned:

1) This issue is a fiqhi one, therefore it originally needs to be analyzed in the right place by Sunni and Shia fiqh experts (fuqaha’) along with Quranic and hadithic reasoning and without any negative propaganda and making noise or insult by any of the two sides.

2) Analyzing this issue along with propaganda and insult (as seen in some websites and opposing books) is not the right way to analyze it and is far from proper Islamic behavior.

In order to be able to reach a conclusion, the following points need to be mentioned and analyzed:

1) The definition of temporary marriage

2) The Quranic and hadithic reasoning behind it being permissible

3) Has its ruling been nullified?

4) What the sahaba and tabe’in’ viewpoints were on it.

5) Some of the doubts and questions regarding this issue

1) Its definition: Mut’ah means for a free woman (who isn’t a slave) to willingly get married to a man for a limited and specified time, along with the mahr (dowry) they have agreed on, given that there aren’t any sababi (restrictions that are caused by certain causes eg. when one gets married to a woman, he can no longer get married to her mother even if he divorces her and in other words, marrying her mother is haram forever), nasabi (restrictions that are a result of certain family relationships eg. one cannot get married to his sister, mother or aunts), and rezai (restrictions caused by a woman breast feeding a child of course only certain breastfeeding with the necessary conditions) restrictions to getting married, that the woman isn’t married to another man, that she isn’t in her Iddah (the waiting period in which a woman must observe after divorce before being able to get married to another man) or any other restrictions.

In this marriage contract, there is no divorce, and whenever the specified time of the marriage ends, the couples are no longer “husband” and “wife”. If they have had any intercourse and at the same time she isn’t ya’esah (referring to a woman in menopause) she has to the observe the divorce Iddah after their separation. If she doesn’t have a menstrual period, but is in the age that she is supposed to see blood, she has to observe Iddah for forty-five days.

The child of such a marriage, regardless of whether it is a girl or boy, is the father’s and is called by his name and inherits from both his mother and father. All of the general rulings pertaining to fathers, mothers, their children, and the child’s aunts and uncles go here too.

2) The reason behind its permissibility:

All Muslims agree and no one argues the fact that the permissibility of such a marriage has been legislated by Islam such that all Islamic scholars of all sects (with all of their differences) have no objection here. Of course, Sunnis believe that its permissibility has been nullified. We will analyze this claim as we go on.

As for its Quranic reasoning: Allah (swt) says:[1] فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَريضَةً

Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Ibn Abbas, Sa’id ibn Jubayr, Ibn Mas’ud, and Al-Sadi all would recite the mentioned verse in the following manner: فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ إِلى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى (In other words, they would add the underlined phrase).

Agreed, the writer of Tafsir Al-Minar (Rashid Rhidha) insists that this verse was revealed concerning permanent marriage, but this theory is incorrect because:

  1. a) A large number of the sahabah believe that this verse was revealed concerning temporary marriage, not permanent marriage. The reason for such a claim is that they would always add this phrase «إِلى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى» to the end of the verse. Back then, this phrase was used and added to a marriage contract to indicate its temporariness (showing that when they would add it to the above mentioned verse, they believed that it is talking about temporary marriage). This phrase literally means until a certain mentioned time.
  2. b) Although the word mut’ah (and its derivatives, like the one in the previous verse) can also be used for permanent marriage, its frequent usage is for temporary marriage, therefore if it is used, it is apparently pointing to temporary marriage. On the other hand, the word “nikah” can be used for temporary marriage, although its usage for permanent marriage is stronger. Therefore, this verse is most probably and apparently speaking of temporary marriage.[2]

Even if one doesn’t accept that mut’ahs apparent meaning isn’t temporary marriage, the least is that it denotes temporary marriage and as a result, will be one of the cases in which a word is used in a sentence for more than one meaning.

  1. c) Using mut’ah in the verse to convey permanent marriage entails an unnecessary repetition in the verse. That is because in the beginning of surah Nisa’ (which has expressed most of the rights and decrees pertaining to women) all of the different types of marriage have been mentioned in a special order. As for permanent marriage, it says: “If you fear that you may not deal justly with the orphan (girls), then marry (other) women that you like, two, three, or four. But if you fear that you may not treat them fairly, then (marry only) one…”[3]

Regarding the mahr (dowry) of a marriage, it says: “Give women their marriage-portion freely, (without any restraint), but if they themselves (voluntarily) remit to you anything thereof, then you may consume it with pleasure.”[4]

Concerning female slaves (Ima’): “And whosoever of you who has not the means to marry free-believing men, may marry believing girls from among those (captives and slaves) whom you own; and Allah is The Knower of your Faith; you are Fellow-creatures; then, wed them with the permission of their masters and give them their marriage-portion according to what is reasonable, provided that they are chaste, not adulterous nor taking secret lovers…”[5]

Here, when Allah (swt) says ” ما مَلَكَتْ أَيْمانُهُمْ ” (those whom you own), He is pointing to the marriage between a person and his female slave. This issue has also been mentioned in this verse: “Except from their spouses or their slave women, for then they are not blameworthy. “[6]

Finally this statement that says: ” فَانْكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ ” (then marry them with the permission of their masters) indicates the marriage between a man and the female slave of a third person.

Till this verse, all of the different types of marriage have been counted. The only one left is temporary marriage, which has been also been stated in the previous verse. As a result, interpreting this phrase ” فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ ” as something pertaining to permanent marriage and the phrase ” فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُن” (so grant them their dowries) as its mahr and dowry both entail repetition that is not needed at all, because both have already been mentioned in the previous verses.

Anyways, by taking a look at this surah, one can conclude that it is trying to list all of the different types of marriage in a specific order and this list doesn’t come out to be complete unless temporary marriage is meant by the above mentioned verse (as the verse’s apparent meaning also shows).

  1. d) If permanent marriage is meant, then why has it been claimed that temporary marriage has been nullified? In this case there is no meaning in temporary marriage being nullified, because when the Quran hasn’t legislated it in the first place, how it can be nullified?
  2. e) In this verse, paying the mahr or dowry has been announced as subject to estemta’ (sexual pleasure) when it says: “For the enjoyment you have had from them (sexual intercourse) thereby give them their dowries…”[7] and this matter suits temporary marriage, not permanent marriage because in the latter, the woman becomes owner of the dowry as soon as the marriage contract is performed, although paying all of it depends on the marriage being consummated (while in the former, she only becomes owner after the contract being consummated). Of course, how and when it is paid all depend on the society where the couple live in and the traditions there. Some might even give it before the contract is performed, while others might delay it until after the husband’s death for the wife to inherit it.

These were a few of the many Quranic reasons for temporary marriage.

Now the reasons for it from the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

The followers of the Prophet’s tradition all know that there are many genuine and authentic hadiths on the permissibility of temporary marriage during his time, here are a few:

  1. a) Jaber ibn Abdillah al-Ansari reports: “We would perform temporary marriage during the time of Rasulullah (pbuh) and it was also allowed during Abu Bakr’s time until Umar banned it.[8]
  2. b) It has been quoted from Ibn Abbas that: “The verse of mut’ah (that says that mut’ah is halal) is of the muhkam verses of the holy Quran (verses that are clear statements accepting no interpretation) which hasn’t been nullified.”[9]
  3. c) Both Hakim and Ibn Jarih report that Imam Ali (as) said: “If Umar hadn’t banned mut’ah, no one would ever commit adultery other than shaqiyy (wretched) individuals.”[10]
  4. d) It has been quoted that ‘Imran ibn Hasin said: “The Quran contains the mut’ah verse and there is no other verse that (has come after it that) nullifies it. The Prophet (pbuh) ordered us to it and never banned it during his lifetime. After his demise, someone came and banned it on his own behalf and according to his own opinion.”[11]

This hadith shows that mut’ah was halal until the second khalifah’s time which this hadith refers to as “someone who banned it on his own behalf and according to his own opinion”.[12]

Till here, one can conclude that the argument over mut’ah’s permissibility doesn’t go back to whether or not the Prophet (pbuh) legislated its permissibility or not, or whether or not any of the Sahaba performed it or not, or whether or not they believed in its permissibility after the Prophet’s demise or not (before the second khalifa’s reign). On the contrary, the root of this argument is whether this action, which was allowed during the Prophet’s time and was acted upon by his companions, was nullified or not. Also, a part of this argument goes back to the fact that some have considered its permissibility as nullified, while others don’t.

3) Has the ruling of temporary marriage been nullified or not?

Some Sunni scholars believe that mut’ah’s permissibility has been nullified, yet there is a great argument over exactly how. Some say that the Quran itself is responsible for its nullification. Others say that the Prophet (pbuh) himself banned it. In the second case, there are also arguments which will be pointed to.

The different opinions on its exact nullifier:

a) The Holy Quran. Some claim that these two verses nullify the decree expressed in the mut’ah verse: “Except from their spouses or their slave women, for then they are not blameworthy; but whoever seeks (anything) beyond that it is they who are transgressors”.[13]

Both of these verses are Makki ones (have been revealed in Makkah) while the mut’ah verse is a Madani one (has been revealed in Madinah). It is clear that a verse which has been revealed prior to another, can’t be a nullifier of the one revealed afterwards, because there is no meaning in nullifying something which hasn’t come yet.

The two Makki verses are saying that thos

b) Another group say that the verse of Iddah is the nullifier: “divorce them in their prescribed time ” (meaning that one should divorce them when they aren’t in their period)[14] They say when Allah (swt) demands Iddah, it shows that mut’ah is haram because it has no divorce or Iddah.

Mut’a also has an Iddah that must be observed afterwards. Yes, it doesn’t have any divorce, and if we prove that in Islam there are two types of marriage (permanent and temporary), the verse of divorce will be exclusively for permanent marriages, not temporary ones, because it is a permanent union in which when broken, needs to be announced by divorce. (On the other hand, temporary marriage has no need for any divorce since its time eventually runs out resulting in the end of the union without any need for any type of “breaking).” Thus, this verse is in no way related to temporary marriage in order to be considered its nullifier.

c) The verse of inheritance is its nullifier because in temporary marriage, there is no inheritance.

The same things that were said in answer to the previous opinion, apply here too. In addition to the fact that when some of the signs of something aren’t seen, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t there. For instance, if a woman doesn’t submit herself and allow her husband to have sexual pleasures with her (tamkin) and as a result becomes nashizah (a women who doesn’t fulfill her matrimonial duties towards her husband), she is no longer entitled to the nafaqah (the expenditures and sustenance of the wife which are the responsibility of the husband). Although she is no longer entitled to nafaqah, which is one of the signs of being one’s wife, she is still his spouse. Another example: If a woman from the people of the book gets married to a Muslim, she doesn’t inherit from him (unless she converts), yet she is still his wife (although inheriting is one of the signs of being one’s spouse).

This variation in opinion on the nullification of the permissibility of temporary marriage itself is good evidence that it hasn’t been nullified in the first place (or else there wouldn’t be any argument over how or when or who).

The different opinions on the time of its nullification:

The Prophet (pbuh) prohibited it in the year of Khaybar (the year in which the battle of Khaybar took place in).
The year of Fath (The year in which the Prophet conquered and freed Makkah).

The Prophet (pbuh) prohibited it in the battle of Tabuk. It was allowed in Hajjatul Wida’ (The final hajj in which the Prophet (pbuh) passed away afterwards), and subsequently prohibited.

It was allowed and subsequently prohibited three times.

There are also other viewpoints here which we won’t mention in order to keep this article short.[15]

As was said before, this variation in points of view itself is concrete evidence that there wasn’t any nullification at all.[16]

In his tafsir book, Qurtobi quotes Ibn Arabi’s saying that “This decree has been nullified twice” (meaning that it was allowed, then banned, and allowed once again). He (Qurtobi) goes on to say that other than Ibn Arabi of those who have analyzed the hadiths in this field, say that this decree has been permitted and prohibited up to seven times. He then counts the different claims in this field and concludes that it has been permitted and prohibited in seven different places.[17]

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi says: “We have no other examples of nullification in Islamic law like this one and no other will occur like it.”[18]

In any case, the contradictions regarding this issue are numerous, and we will draw attention to some of them:
The difference of opinion on where it was nullified:

In Khaybar

In the land of Hawazan

In Makkah

About when it was nullified:

They have narrated that Imam Ali (as) said that it was allowed in the battle of Khaybar and subsequently prohibited there.

They have narrated from Hasan Basri and Subratul-Juhani that it was only allowed in qadha umrah (an expired umrah that needs to be made up).

Ishaq ibn Rashed says that Zohari reported that the Prophet (pbuh) prohibited it in the battle of Tabuk.

It has been said that the Prophet (pbuh) made it permissible on the day of “Awtas”.

It has been said that he made it permissible on Hajjatul Wida’ (the final hajj in which he passed away afterwards).[19]

The question here is that if this decree was to be nullified during the Prophet’s time, then why did the second khalifa claim responsibility of this nullification? If so, wasn’t it better for him to relate this nullification to his Excellency (pbuh)? On the contrary, we see him say: “I prohibit two mut’ahs that were halal during the Prophet’s time and will punish anyone who performs them; the mut’ah of women (getting married temporarily to them) and the mut’ah of Hajj.”[20]

4) The sahabas’ position and viewpoint regarding temporary marriage:

A large number of sahabis and tabe’in (those who followed the Prophet’s time but never saw him) see mut’ah as permissible and not nullified. They are as follows:

1) Imran ibn Hussain

2) Abdullah ibn Umar

3) Salamah ibn Umayyah

4) Ma’bad ibn Umayyah

5) Zubair ibn ‘Awamm

6) Khaled ibn Muhajir

7) Ubayy ibn Ka’b

8) Rabi’ah ibn Umayyah

9) al-Sadi

10) Mujahid

11) Ibn Aws Madani

12) Anas ibn Malek

13) Mu’awiyyah ibn abi-Sufyan

14) Ibn Juraih

15) Nafe’

16) Sabib ibn abi-Thabit

17) Hakam ibn Utaybah

18) Jabir ibn Yazid

19) al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azeb

20) Sahl ibn Sa’d

21) Mughairah ibn Shu’bah

22) Salamah ibn Akwa’

23) Zayd ibn Thabet

24) Khaled ibn Abdillah al-Ansari

25) Ya’la ibn Umayyah

26) Safwan ibn Umayyah

27) Amr ibn Hawshab

28) Amr ibn Dinar

29) Ibn Jurair

30) Sa’eed ibn Habib

31) Ibrahim al-Nakha’i

32) Hasan Basri33) Ibn Musayyab

34) A’mash

35) Rabi’ ibn Meysarah

36) Abi Zuhari Mutraf

37) Malek ibn Anas (in one of his two viewpoints)

38) Ahmad ibn Hanbal in some conditions

39) Abu Hanifah according to some cases[21]

5) Doubts and questions on mut’ah:

a) The whole purpose of legislating the permissibility of marriage is for the establishment of a family and the continuation of generations, while temporary marriage defeats this purpose because the only reason for such a marriage is sexual satisfaction.

This question comes up because one mixes up the benefits of a specific ruling and its “subject” (In order to see what is meant by the subject of a ruling , pay attention to the following example: “Prayer is wajib” ; This ruling has a ruling and a subject; its ruling is wujub, or in other words, being mandatory. The subject of this ruling is the act that has been made mandatory, which in this case is prayer.). What was mentioned was one of the benefits of marriage, but its ruling doesn’t solely depend on that particular benefit, thus, getting married to a barren or ya’esah woman (one who has reached menopause), or a girl who is still a child is also acceptable (although the above mentioned benefit isn’t possible with them). Many young couples get married only for fulfilling reproductive desires in an Islamically legitimate way and don’t even think of bringing a child (although it might accidentally happen), yet their marriage is right and no one says that such intentions are problematic.
What is strange is that sexual desires are counted as its only benefit, while in many cases like in permanent marriage, one gets temporarily married for other reasons such as bringing a child, managing and taking care of the home, or nursing and growing children etc.

The question we have from those who oppose mut’ah is that if its purpose contradicts that of permanent marriage, then what do you have to say about couples who get married with the intention of getting divorced after two months? Is their marriage correct or not?

Clearly, no faqih and alem (scholar) says such a marriage is incorrect unless he wants to say something completely illogical. So what is the difference between the two, other than one being timely and the other, permanent?

The author of al-Minar says: “The strictness of past and present ulema (scholars) and them prohibiting mut’ah, necessitates the prohibition of permanent marriage with the intention of getting separated by divorce afterwards. Yet, they say that if one has this intention at the time of marriage but doesn’t mention it when performing the contract as one of the contract’s conditions, the contract is correct (and the two become husband and wife, although if it is mentioned, it will surely make the contract void), nevertheless, hiding this intention is considered deceit, thus, such a contract deserves to be void (although it isn’t) more than a contract in which such intentions have been mentioned in (because when it isn’t mentioned, it is considered deceit).”[22]

We the Shia believe that if the couple themselves are content (in order for it not to become a form of deceit), and make a time limit one of the contract’s conditions, it is still correct and they are husband and wife.

b) The permissibility of mut’ah contradicts the verse that says: “And those who guard their private parts;

except from their spouses or their slave women, for then they are not blameworthy; but whoever seeks (anything) beyond that it is they who are transgressors.”[23] This verse is saying that anyone who goes after anything other than the mentioned instances has crossed Allah’s red line and entered the domain of haram acts. Mut’ah doesn’t cause any legitimate relationship between two people, so one who has intercourse with his mut’ah “wife” has committed a haram act.

This is merely a claim that has no backup. Such a woman is the man’s wife and has her own rulings. Just because her sustenance (nafaqah) isn’t the man’s responsibility and the fact that she doesn’t bear the qismah right (which says the different wives of one man equally share his sleeping with them, each “owning” the same number of nights), doesn’t make her not be his wife. The nashizah woman (one who doesn’t do tamkin) is considered one’s wife although she lacks the nafaqah and qismah rights, and the same goes with a girl who has become one’s wife while merely being a child.

It is completely wrong to say that since there is no ruling, there is no subject of the ruling. Sometimes the subject is there, but its ruling isn’t. Being husband and wife is a relationship between a couple that is followed by numerous rulings and decrees, if some of them cease to exist, it doesn’t mean that the relationship in its entirety doesn’t exist either. There are chances that some of these rulings exclusively belong to some types of marriage, not all of them.

c) One who performs temporary marriage, isn’t after companionship and a life free of adultery and sin, on the contrary, his/her sole intention is adultery. And although there is a responsibility of the man taking care of his spouse and therefore somewhat causing an obstacle for him committing adultery, there is no obstacle for the woman to commit it and she is able to offer and present herself to other men anytime she desires, becoming one of the instances of the poem that speaks of a ball that is struck back and forth by polo-sticks.[24]

Who says that being protected only belongs to men? If this marriage is right, both men and women can protect themselves from adultery. Three things prevent young women from wrongdoing:

1- Permanent marriage

2- Temporary marriage with the conditions that were mentioned earlier

3- Controlling and dominating one’s sexual drive

The first choice isn’t a practical one for young girls and boys because of the low salaries that they receive from their families or the government or anywhere else. Taming the sexual drive is also impractical and almost impossible except for a few exceptional individuals. The only option that remains for youth in order not to fall into sin and corruption is temporary marriage.

Islam is Allah’s final religion and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His final messenger, his book being the final book and his decrees being the final ones. Such characteristics call for this religion to have a solution for every social problem that might occur in order to keep the respect and greatness of Muslims. Sexual problems aren’t an exception and Islam surely needs to provide a solution.

Imam Ali’s (as) voice can still be heard, warning mankind of the negative consequences of not taking this solution serious: “If it wasn’t for him (Umar banning mut’a) no one would ever commit adultery other than the shaqiyy (wretched).”[25]

As for linking mut’ah to the poem mentioned above, it is a sign of this person’s ignorance regarding its essence and its borders and limits. The mut’ah that this person is thinking of, is one of the wrong statements that the Shia have always been accused of,[26] while the Shia find this accusation false. They don’t believe that the temporary wife is one who other men can have turns with, how is that so, while they say that after every temporary marriage she has to observe an Iddah?! If she has to observe an Iddah, offering herself to others will no longer have any meaning. Subhan’Allah! How can they lie so much about the Shia?! This poem is an insult to divine revelation and heavenly legislation, while all interpreters of the Quran and narrators of tradition all agree that such a decree was indeed legislated, even though they claim that it was eventually nullified. So what this person is actually saying is that during the time this marriage was allowed by the Prophet (pbuh), it was an illegitimate act!

For further information on this issue, please read the following answers:

Index: Mutah and Zina: Shia consider Temporary Marriage permissible, answer 201.

Index: Permanent or Temporary marriage of a married man without the permission of his wife, answer 565.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

[1] . Nisa:24.

[2] . See: Tabari, Tafsir Kabir; Zamakhshari, Kashaf; and the sharh (explanation) of Sahih Muslim by Nawawi in the beginning of the chapter on marriage, and other great scholars have all considered this recitation as one that no one can doubt about. In this case, the phrase ” الی اجل مسمی” will only be an explanation added to the verse, not part of the verse; Ezdevaje Movaqqat (temporary marriage), pg. 14-15, The Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly.

[3] . Nisa’colonthree emoticon.

[4] . Nisa’:4.

[5] . Nisa’:25. 8.

[6] . Surah Mu’minoon: 6.

[7] . Surah Nisa’: 25

[8] . Sahih Muslim, v.4, pg. 131, Musnad Ahmad, v.6, Fathul-Bari, v.9, pg.149.

[9] . Kashaf, v.1, pg. 498, printed in Beirut.

[10] . Tafsir Tabari, v.5, pg. 9, Fakhr Razi’s Tafsir, v.10, pg. 5, al-Durrul-Manthur, v.2, pg. 140.

[11] . Sahih Bukhari, v.2, pg. 168 and v.6, pg. 33; Sahih Muslim, v.4, pg. 48, Sunan Nisa’i, v.5, pg.155; Musnad Ahmad, v.4, pg. 426 with an authentic chain of narrators.

[12] . Neylul-Atwar, v.6, pg. 271; Fathul-Bari, v.9, pg. 150.

[13] . Muminoon:6-7.

[14] . Talaq:1 “فطلقون لعدتهن”.

[15] . Ahkamul-Quran, 290, pg. 184-195, chapter of mut’a, Darul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah; Sahih Muslim along with the explanation of Nawawi, v.9, pg. 179, the chapter on mut’a Irshadus-Sari.

[16] . Sahih Muslim, v.2, pg. 130, Darul-Fikr Press, Beirut.

[17] . The tafsir of Qurtobi, v.5, pg.130-131.

[18] . Zadul-Ma’ad, v.2, pg. 204; Ezdevaje Movaqqat (temporary marriage), pg. 17-21, The Ahlul-Bayt World Assembly.

[19] . Al-Insaf fi Masa’ela Dama fihil-Khilaf, pg. 534.

[20] . Sharh Ma’anil-Athar, v.2, pg. 146.

[21] . Al-Ghadir, v.6, pg. 220, and Ezdevaje Movaqqat dar Islam, pg. 133, and Mut’a az Fakiki, and Ahkamul-Shar’iyyah fi Ahwalal-Shakhsiyyah.

[22] . Tafsir Al-Minar, v.3, pg. 17.

[23] . Mu’minoon:5-7.

[24] . Tafsir Al-Minar, v.5, pg. 13. 28.

[25] . Mustadrakul-Wasa’el, v.14, pg. 478.

[26] . Kitabul-Sunnah wal-Shia, pg. 65-66.

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Marrying a fornicator who repented

Question 640: Aoa sheikh, I have a very serious question. If a women has lost her virginity in the past wrongfully by committing sin or been in relationship.  Can’t she be forgiven in the eyes of Islam?  Should a man accept such a women as her life partner?  What does Islam say about Marrying a fornicator who repented?

Answer 640: Although adultery is a great sin according to the Holy Quran, as He, the Exalted, says: “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)”[1], but one point of dire importance, is the special favor and grace which Allah, the Almighty bestows upon someone who repents; repentance destroys and effaces all of the sins and negative consequences of sins before Allah. Read More

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Father’s permission for marriage: Brother’s consent is not required

Question 076: I am 48 years old. I love a girl 44 years of age. We want to get married by nikah. The girls father has passed away. She has two brothers who will not allow her get married because she is the hard worker of their family business. She has to do all the work whereas the elder brothers do not contribute. We really want to be together through nikah, as we are deeply in love. Please, tell me what to do? So, please tell me about Father’s permission for marriage and Brother’s consent if it is required?

Answer 076: According to maraja, a rashidah virgin girl whose father passed away doesn’t need others’ permission to get married. [1] Read More

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Rights and Duties of Women in Islam: Reasons why men chat with non-Mahram

Question 641: Sir Can I ask question I want answer in light of our deen. Wsalam My quesiton on behalf of my friend she is married her husband is addict to talk to other girls every time of chat she talk to him about this and he said it’s man’s nature and I am not ashamed and I vl do she is worried that now what she vl do so her husband don’t do this. Can you please let us know the Rights and Duties of Women in Islam and Reasons why men chat with non-Mahram?

Answer 641: According to all maraj, all kinds of relations with a non-Mahram including joking, expressing mutual love, talking with the intention of deriving pleasure, looking at the body of a girl (except her face and hands up to the wrists) and at her hair or looking at her face with pleasure are haram (forbidden). In fact, if it is feared that they might fall into a sin, it is forbidden for them to have any kinds of relationship with each other.[1] Read More

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Ahlul Kitab are ritually pure: Permanent Marriage with them

Question 081: Salaams dear Sheikh. Does any of the Maraji’ allow permanent marriage with a person from the People of the Book, what is their ruling on the purity/impurity of such persons?

Answer 081: Our maraja have different opinions regarding permanent marriage with People of the Book as follows:

Imam Khomeini: As an obligatory precaution, it is impermissible to get married to People of the Book. Of course, Imam Khumayni (rah) has said in this issue (the issue of permanent marriage with non-Muslim women who are of the People of the Book) that it is an obligatory precaution, which means those who follow him can refer to the verdict of another jurist who says such a marriage is permissible and follow him instead. Read More

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A Shia woman cannot marry a Sunni man?

Question 612: Salam, I am a sunni Muslim and married too, I am in love with one girl she is Ahle Tashi, can you tell me what is the process of doing Muta? Please keep in mind she doesn’t have father or any other Wali over here, she is alone living with her mother and sister. Please guide me.

Answer 612: Islam has introduced temporary and permanent marriage as the legitimate ways of fulfilling one’s needs and desires. Temporary marriage refers to the marriage of a man and woman who have no barriers for doing so.  It takes place with the consent of both sides of the contract and a specified dowry and timeframe. According to Islam, the validity of temporary marriage is contingent upon certain criteria being met, namely getting the father’s (and in the case of not having a father, the paternal grandfather’s) consent if the girl is a virgin.  If the girl isn’t a virgin and has lost her virginity through legitimate marriage, her father’s consent is no longer a condition, but if it has been lost as a result of shubhah intercourse (mistaken/confused/accidental intercourse) or illegitimate intercourse (adultery), it is a preferred precaution to get the father’s consent[1] (although it still isn’t mandatory).  Also, if a girl wants to get married (temporarily or permanently) and neither has a father nor a paternal grandfather, there will no longer be any need for permission from anyone else (regardless of whether she is a virgin or not).[2]

Nevertheless, the marriage of a virgin girl who hasn’t reached rushd (the stage in which one can distinguish between good and bad and can tell what is to his/her benefit) without the permission of her father is void.”[3]

Ayatollah Sistani (ha) says: If a woman is over thirty years of age, and still virgin, and she is not independent, it is obligatory on her to seek the permission of her guardian for marriage. Rather, even if she is independent, she must seek his consent, as a matter of compulsory precaution.[4]

As for the marriage of Shia men with Sunni women, there are different viewpoints on the issue in fiqh; the famous verdict being that it is permissible,[5] especially when there are chances of the guidance of the woman to Shiism and the Ahlul-Bayt’s school of thought.

The viewpoints of Shia scholars regarding the marriage of Shias with Sunnis are as follows:

Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra): The marriage of a Muslim woman with a Non-Muslim man is batil (void), the marriage of a Shia woman with a Sunni man is makruh, the marriage of a Muslim man with a Non-Muslim woman is also void unless the marriage is a temporary one (mutah), and the marriage of a Shia man with a Sunni woman is okay.

Ayatollah Bahjat (ra): Temporary marriage with the People of the Book (Ahlul-Kitab) is correct and as an obligatory precaution it isn’t permissible to perform the marriage contract of a Shia girl or woman and Sunni man.

Ayatollah Sistani (ha): Getting married to the People of the Book isn’t permissible as an obligatory precaution.  On the other hand, it is okay to get married with Sunnis if there isn’t any fear of going astray and losing Shia beliefs as a result.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (ha): It isn’t permissible for a Muslim to get married to a Non-Muslim, while it is okay for Shia men to get married to Sunni women, but taken into consideration that there are chances of going astray for Shia women getting married to Sunni men, such a marriage isn’t permissible.

Note: Marriage between Shias and some “Muslim” sects such as: The Ghulat, The Nasebis and The Khawarij, who falsely claim themselves Muslim, but in reality are Kafirs, isn’t permissible.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Permanent or Temporary marriage of a married man without the permission of his wife, answer 565.

Index: Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

Index: Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

Index: Looking at non-Mahram Body for Marriage, answer 611.

Index: A Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, answer 342.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index: A Muslim Woman Cannot Marry a Non-Muslim Man, answer 576.

[1] Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, pg. 459, issue 2377.

[2] Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, pg. 387, issue 2376.

[3] Question 1483 (website: 1530).

[4] . The official website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A: Permanent Marriage.

[5] Naser Makarem Shirazi (kharej fiqh lessons on nikah [marriage], academic year 1381-1382 on his official website); Seyyid Sadiq Rohani, Fiqhul-Sadeq, vol. 21, pg. 469, from the software of this book from the institute of Al-Imam Al-Rohani.

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A Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man

Question 342: A/S. Is it permissible for a shia divorced woman to marry a non-Muslim. If she married a Catholic and she will not be deterred to practice her shia faith, is it allowed? You think a Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man?

Answer 342: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “… And do not give (believing women) in marriage to idolaters until they believe And certainly a believing servant is better than an idolater, even though he should please you These (idolaters) invite to the Fire And Allah invites to the garden and to forgiveness by His will And makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful”.[1]

According to all maraja’ (ha), as for a Muslim woman, she is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man at all. In this regards, there is no difference in permanent or temporary marriage, weather the man allows her practicing Shia faith or not.

If a Muslim woman has realized that her husband is non-Muslim their marriage contract is void and she must separate from him.[2]

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

Index: A Muslim Woman Cannot Marry a Non-Muslim Man, answer 576.

[1] . Surah Baqara, verse 221.

[2] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 2, Pg. 254;  Minhaju ‘s-Saliheen, vol. 2, Pgs. 263- 265; Ibid, Vol. 3, Pg. 67, Q 205; Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 479, Q 2357; Ibid, 1381, Pg. 476, Q 2393; Istiftaat of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 3, Pg. 128, Q 131 & 132; In this regards, a question has been sent to the office of Grand maraja Ayatollahs Khameni, Sistani and Makarem Shirazi (ha).

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Fiqhi rights of a father to his children upon divorce

Question 202: In the case of an Islam divorce, does the father have fiqhi rights to the children upon divorce? Does the mother have rights to keep the children until she remarries and then the children go to the father? Please, provide references.

Answer 202: According to Islam, the expenditures of the children are the responsibility of their father, although who has custody may vary depending on their age and gender.

Imam Khomeini says: “The custody of the son until two years of age and the daughter till seven years of age is the right of the mother, and after that the mother no longer has any rights regarding their custody and the father can take the children from there on. Nevertheless, the expenditures of the children are the responsibility of the father from the beginning. Also, if the mother gets married to another person during the period that she has custody, she will lose her right and the father will take custody of the children from there on.”[1]

Of course, during this time period, both the mother and father have the right to see their children.

Ayatollah Bahjat (ra) says: “During the time when the father or mother has custody of the children, if the other (who doesn’t have custody) wishes to see the child in order to give him/her something, solve his/her problems or just be beside him/her for a while, the other has no right to prevent such a thing from happening.”[2]

According to Fazil Miqdad and Allama Hilli, it is said that Sheikh Sadouq (ra) believed that kids are in custody of the mother until she marries, but we couldn’t find any reliable sources in this regards.[3]

Those traditions in which say that kids are in custody of the mother are as follows:

  1. Imam Sadiq (as):[4]

“«قال: سئل ابوعبدالله(ع) عن الرجل یطلق امراته و بینهما ولد ایهما احق بالولد؟ قال المراة احق بالولد ما لم تتزوج.»”

The above mentioned hadith is somehow more reliable than the following!

  1. The Holy Prophet (PBUH):
  2. «الام احق بحضانة ابنها ما لم تتزوج.»[5]
  3. «ان امراة جاءت الی رسول الله(ص) فقالت: یا رسول الله(ص) ان ابنی هذا کان بطنی له وعاء و ثدیی له سقاء وحجری له حواء وان اباه طلقنی واراد ان ینتزعه منی فقال: انت احق به مالم تنکحی.»[6]

It should be noted that those traditions in which say that the kid are in custody of her mother until at the age of seven years of old are Sahih.

These Hadith have the same meaning. Imam Sadiq has asked: if a man has divorced his wife and they have a child, the child is in custody of the father or mother? Imam replied: the mother until she marries. The two and third hadith were narrated from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as He was asked in this regards and He replied as the same as Imam Sadiq (as).

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Permissibility of getting Divorce when your partner has lied, answer 295.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

[1] . The Istifia’at (religious Q&A) of Imam Khomeini, vol. 3, pg. 209; also see: Ajwibatul-Istifta’at of Ayatullah Khamenei in farsi, question 1504, pg. 339.

[2] . Tawdhihul-Masa’el (of Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 516, issue 1986.

[3] . “al-Tanqih al-Raye”, Vol. 3, pg. 271; “Mokhtalif al-Shia”, Vol. 2, pg. 577.

[4] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 15, Pg. 191.

[5] . Jawaher al-Kalam, Vol. 31, Pg. 289.

[6] . Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adelatohu, Vol. 15, Pg. 192, Hadith 6.

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Looking at non-Mahram Body for Marriage

Question 611: Salam. Is a person allowed to look at the hair of her fiance once before marriage? Need answer from ruling of Ayatollah Khamenei and ayatollah Sistani?

Answer 611: Generally, it is haraam for a man to look at the body or hair of the Non-Mahram women, regardless of whether it is with the intention of pleasure or not, and whether there is a fear of falling into sinful act or not. It is also haraam to look at the faces and the arms, up to the wrists, of such women with the intention of pleasure, or if there is fear of falling into sinful act, and the recommended precaution is that one should not look at their faces or arms even without such an intention. Similarly, it is haraam for a woman to look at the body of Non-Mahram man, except places which are customarily not covered, like, his face, hands, head, neck and feet. She can look at these parts of a man without the intention of deriving any pleasure, or if there is no fear of being entrapped in any sinful act.[1]

But, it is permissible for a man to look at a woman whom he intends to marry provided that: 1- it is not with the intention of pleasure, 2 – it is to find out about her beauty or her defects, 3 – there should not be any barrier or hurdle to the marriage, 4 – he considers it problem that the girl will not reject him[2], in which case he can look at a woman’s face, hands up to the wrists, hair and a part of her body (neck and upper part of the chest).[3]

It should be noted that grand Ayatollah Saafi believes that: as an obligatory precaution, he must suffice to looking at her face and hands up to the wrists.[4]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: It is permissible for a man to look at the attractive features of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, it is permissible to talk to her before proposing. So, it is permissible to look at her face, hair, neck, hands and wrists, and legs and other parts of her body, provided that he does not so without sexuall gratification.[5]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index: Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

Index: Chatting on the internet with non-Mahram, answer 350.

Index: Shaking Hands with non-Mahram Man or Woman, answer 603.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Marriage » Looking at non-Mahram.

[2] – Khamenei, Sayyid Ali, Ajwebat al-Istiftaat, question 525; Sistani, Sayyid ali, Minhaj al-Salehin, vol.2, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 28; Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Resalah Tawzih al-Masail, issue No.1944; Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No, 26; Fazel Lankarani, Muhammad, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 26.

[3] -Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Ta’liqat Alaa al-Urwat al-Wuthqa, Nikah (Marriage), issue No, 26; Ali bin Abi Talib Religious School, Qom; Sistani, Sayyid Ali, Minhaj al-Saalehin, vol.2, Nikah, issue No. 28; Tabrizi, Jawad, Isteftaat, question 1580, p. 355, Sarwar Publications, Sitara Publications, 3rd edition, 1385 (2006); Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Resalah, Tawzih al-Masail, issue No. 1944, p. 386, Publications of the Office of the Supreme Leader, Amir Printing Press, 18th edition,Qom, 1378 (1999). Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini) vol.2, p. 485, issue No. 2433; Imam Khomeini, Sayyid Rohullah, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol.2, Nikah (marriage), issue No. 28, Payam Printing House, fifth edition, 1365 (1986).

[4] – Saafi, Lotfullah, Hidayat al-‘Ibad, vol.2, Nikah (Marriage), issue No. 28; Adopted from IQ.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Marriage » General Rules.