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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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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 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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Reasoning for believing Imamat of the Infallible Imams

Question 619: Aselam akeyikum werahmetullah. Is believing in Imamiya part of an Aqida for Shi’ism? Meaning, any Muslim who doesn’t believe in Imamiya knowngly a Kaffir, otherwise a Fasiq?

Thanks a lot!

Answer 619: Imamate plays a crucial role in Islam. From the Holy Quran’s point of view, imamate is the final stage of human evolution, to which only Messengers of God have reached. The Holy Quran says about Prophet Abraham (a): ”Remember when Abraham’s God examined him with different means, and he successfully passed all those tests, so that God told him that he was appointed as the people’s Imam and leader, and Abraham (a) asked God to appoint his descendents as Imams as well, but God replied that imamate could not be handed over to tyrants, and only those of his offspring who were pure and sinless would deserve such a grace.”.[1]

This verse shows that imamate has a very high status and rank, since Prophet Abraham (a) was appointed as an Imam while he was already a Prophet. This happened only after he passed many difficult tests and trials.

The position of Imamate is sometimes combined with Prophethood, so that an eminent Prophet such as Abraham (a) becomes an Imam. Another evident reason is the combination of Prophethood and Imamate in the Prophet of Islam (s).

It also occurs that Imamate is separated from a Prophetic mission, such as what occurred in the case of the Shia Imams (a) who were only Imams, without being subject to direct divine revelation.

Reasoning for the Imamate of the Infallible Imams

Since the Imams are appointed by God, there is a need of rational reasoning to recognize the individuals who are actually imam. For instance, human logic can distinguish between an Imam and other people by witnessing characteristics such as knowledge, justice, courage, sinlessness and so forth in the Imam, and a lack of such characteristics in others. In addition, Quranic verses and authentic traditions also prove the imamate of an individual.

The following are some verses and their interpretations which are about the issue of imamate:

  • [2]«انما انت منذر و لکل قوم هاد», which means, “Your duty is to advise people, and there is a leader for every group.”

Shia interpreters and some Sunni ones, including Imam Fakhr Razi, says, “Here the term advisor refers to the Holy Prophet (s) and the leader to Imam Ali (a), since Ibn Abbas said that the Holy Prophet (s) put his hands on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added «و انت الهادی یا علی…» that means Ali (a) was the leader and shall continue to lead people after the Prophet (s).”[3]

In Al-Durrul-Manthur, one of the famous Sunni commentaries, several interpretations of the above verse are introduced, in which it is written that upon the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (s) put his hand on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added that Ali was the leader.[4]

Other similar traditions from other theologians can be found in various other sources such as from Hakem Neyshabouri in “Mostadrak”, Dhahabi in “Talkhis”, Fakhr Razi and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries and Ibn Sabagh Maleki in “Alfusulul-Muhimmah” and Ganji Shafei in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, and Tabari in his commentary, and Ibn Hayan Andolosi in “Al-Bahrul-Muhit” and Neyshabouri in his commentary and Hamvini in “Faraed Olsamtin” and as well as many others. To become familiar with the sources of such traditions and their evidences, see the book Ihghagh Olhagh, Vol. 3, pp 88-92.

  • «با ایها الذین آمنوا اتقوا الله و کونوا مع الصادقین[5] Which reads, “O, believers, avoid antagonism (toward God’s commands) and be with the loyal people.”

Imam Fakhr Razi interpreted the phrase ‘loyal people’ as meaning infallibles. He also added, “By infallible the verse refers to the whole nation in its entirety.”[6] This is while no Arab speaker, at the date of revelation of this verse, was using this phrase to refer to the nation; therefore, such an interpretation does not seem to be valid.

We should accept that in every era, there are loyal people who do not make any mistakes in their deeds and speeches, whom we should follow.

Moreover, many Sunni interpreters have quoted Ibn Abbas as saying that the above-mentioned verse is referring to Imam Ali (a). Allamah Tha’alabi in his book of commentary, Ganji in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, Allamah Sibt Jowzi in “Tadhkirah”, all interpret this verse as referring to Imam Ali (a) and his household. Ibn Abbas added, “Ali (a) is the most loyal man.”[7]

Many other traditions quoted from the members of the prophetic household confirm this same interpretation.[8]

  • «اطیعواالله و اطیعوا الرسول و اولی الامر منکم»,[9] Says: “Obey God and obey the Messenger of God and the Holders of Authority.”

Shia interpreters unanimously believe that by the ‘Holders of Authority’, the verse is referring to the Infallible Imams (a).

In addition, the Hanafi Sheikh Soleiman Qanduzi in his book “Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah” quoted the book “Mujahid” as saying that the verse refers to Ali (a) when the Holy Prophet (s) appointed him as his substitute in Madinah when he himself was involved in the Tabuk war.

It is also quoted from Imam Ali (a) as referring to this verse in a debate with the Mohajerin and Ansar, so that they admitted to the legitimacy of his rule.[10]

In “Shawahidul-Tanzil” of Hakem Haskani, a Sunni scholar, the interpretation of the same verse includes a quotation from Imam Ali (a) as saying that he once asked the Holy Prophet (s) about the meaning of “ruler”, to which the Holy Prophet (s) replied, “You are the first of them.”

Islamic beliefs are like a connected chain, such that if one part is missing, then the whole chain will be useless and have no benefit.  In other words, believing in Allah has its entailments; belief in these entailments is what makes the difference and brings about Allah’s satisfaction.  If you examine the story of Satan being expelled from heaven, you will find that he asked Allah for the chance to live until the Day of Judgment to deviate man.[11]  Therefore, it is understood that Satan believed in Allah and the Day of Judgment but Allah still names him a Kāfir.[12]  So just believing in Allah is not enough for one’s belief to be accepted, but one must also stay firm in regard to the results and implications of this belief.  One of the results of one’s belief in Allah is belief in His messengers meaning the prophets, in such a way that denying them would be like denying Allah.  Also, believing in the Imams, meaning the prophets’ successors, is the inevitable result and reflection of one’s belief in the prophet, because the Imams are the prophet’s successors that were appointed by himself and denying them is like denying the prophet himself.  Therefore, one cannot believe in the prophet and not believe in the imams.  It is the same between each one of the imams, meaning that denying one of them is like denying all of them, for the reason that proves the Imamate of each one of them is the same and applies to all of them; all of them are the successors of the prophet and each Imam has been approved of by the previous one and has introduced the next Imam.  Therefore, denying one of them leads to the denial of the previous one and because all of them were appointed by the prophet, denying them is denial of the prophet.

Finally, we will mention a few ahadith in this regard: Imam Sadiq narrates from his great ancestors, meaning the previous Imams, that they narrated from the prophet that he said: “My successors are twelve individuals, the first is Ali bin Abi Talib and the last is the ‘Ghā’im’, they are my successors, vicegerents, the leaders after me and my Hujjats (reasons) over my Ummah, whoever bears witness to their imamate is a Mu’min (Believer), and whoever denies their Imamate is a kāfir (disbeliever).”[13]

It is narrated in another hadith by Imam Sadiq that: “One who does not follow our words has rejected Allah’s words, and one who rejects Allah’s words is a polytheist”.[14]

Also, it is mentioned in another hadith by Imam Kadhim that: “One who has hate for us resents the prophet of Allah and he actually has hate for Allah, and one who has hate for Allah deserves the hellfire and will not receive help from anyone.”[15]

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

Index: The Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) / Political Authority in Ghadir Khumm, answer 470.

Index: “Ashhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah” in Adhan and Iqamah, answer 276.

Index: Shia Ithna Ashari is Jafari school of thought, answer 111.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia answers: The Term Shia in Quran, answer 129.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!

[1] Surah Baqarah, Verse 124

7 Surah Ra’ad, Verse 7

[3] Tafsir Kabir, Fakhr Razi, Volume 19, Page 14

[4] Al-Durrul-Manthur, Jalaladdin Suyuti, Volume. 4 Page 45

[5] Surah Bara’at, Verse 119

[6] Commentary of Fakhre Razi, volume 16, Page 221

[7] Ihqaqul-Haqq Volume. 3 Page 297

[8] Commentary of Noor Al Thaqalain Volume 2 Page 280,

[9] Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, Page 114 – 115 – 116

[10] Shawahidul-Tanzil, Volume 1, Page 148

[11] “قالَ رَبِّ فَاَنظِرنِي ِالَي َيوِم يُبعَثُون …” Hijr:36; Sād:79.

[12] Baqarah:34; Sād:74.

[13] “عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ آبَائِهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ص قَالَ الْأَئِمَّةُ بَعْدِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ أَوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ آخِرُهُمُ الْقَائِمُ فَهُم خُلَفَائِي و أَوصِيَائِي و أَولِيَائِي وَ حُجَجُ اللَّه عَلَي اُمّتِي بَعدِي الْمُقِرُّ بِهِمْ مُؤْمِنٌ وَ الْمُنْكِرُ لَهُمْ كَافِرٌ”، Sheikh Saduq, Man lā Yahduruhū al-Faqīh, vol. 4, book of wasiyyah (i.e., making a will), the chapter on the will of Adam (as), pg. 180,…hadith 5406, Jame’eye Mudarresin Publications, Qom, 1413 AH. Of course, the term ‘kufr here is to be taken in its literal sense, which is to hide and conceal the truth, and not in its common usage.

[14] “الرَّادُّ عَلَينَا الرَّادّ عَلَى الله وَ هُوَ عَلَى حَدِّ الشَّركِ بِاللهِ…” Kuleini, vol. 1, chapter of difference in hadith, pg. 68, Dār al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah Publication, Tehran, 1365 (solar calendar).

[15] “ألا يا عبد الرحمن من أبغضنا فقد أبغض محمدا و من أبغض محمدا فقد أبغض الله جل و علا، و من أبغض الله جل و علا كان حقا على الله أن يصليه النار و ماله من نصير” Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 97, pg. 122, Al-Wafā’ Institute, Lebanon, 1404 AH.

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Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Related Code: 506

Glossary 506: Muslim.[1] Tawhid.[2] Shirk.[3] Wilayat.[4] Imaan.[5] Takwini.[6] Tashri’i.[7] Mu’min.[8] Haqqul-nas.[9] Zakat.[10] Ahlul-Bait.[11]

Tableegh.[12] Wali.[13] Tafsir.[14] Imam Baqir.[15] Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).[16] Read More

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Islam answers: How to get Rid of Prejudice

Question 125: How do I find a way to get rid myself of prejudice?

Answer 125: 1. Since some people influenced by the belief that other are inferior because they belong to a particular race, color and tribe, Racism and Racial discrimination had existed among them before the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and even during the time of the Prophet.

When Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) sent on a mission as a Prophet, all racisms and prejudices has been condemned by Allah the Almighty. “Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is The Informed Owner of Knowledge.” Allah the Almighty said.

Therefore, nowadays if someone presented himself as a Muslim and a follower of the Islamic religion he/she must stop discriminating against others and avoid racisms and prejudices and then obey Allah’s orders without any delay. In addition, the one must knows that the criterion of the superiority over others is only based on the faith in Allah and fear of Him. Otherwise, they disobey Allah’s orders and thus the Islamic religion doesn’t approve their actions and manners. As a result they will punish in The Hereafter.

  1. It should be noted that Hazrat Adam and the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) had tawny skins. Also, Luqman Hakeem from Ethiopia was a black man with thick lip and Imam Jawad (a.s) had a dark-colored skin. Therefore, color skin cannot be the criterion of the superiority over others and give us the privilege in our life including our marriage to make it a distinction between us and people.

The first important thing we should take into consideration and concern about in our life especially marriage is the piety, faith and moral. Which means our joint life can be desirable and beautiful if we try our best to be concerned about our faith, piety and moral in every aspect of our life. However, there are many people with white faces who couldn’t bring happiness and prosperity for their wives, but make their life full of angry instead.

In other hand, there are many black men with their faith and good moral who made their wives’ life so pleasant and provided the opportunity in which they can reach their wish, happiness and prosperity as well.[1]

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

Index: Prophet Noah cursed Blacks (as) / The Story of Noah’s Sons, answer 198.

Index: Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu, answer 274.

[1] . «إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُمْ», Surah Hujorat, verse 13.

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Wearing Gold and Silk is forbidden for a Male Muslim

Question 485: Assalamu alaikum! Could you please advise if wearing gold-plated (only surface of the watch is covered by gold dust) watch is halal or haram.

May Allah bless you!

Answer 485: According to maraja’, it is not permissible for men to adorn themselves with whatever is called gold irrespective of whether the gold is yellow or red or white.[1]

There is no objection in making the frame of gold for a watch, and keep it with oneself (while offering prayers).[2]

But, if it is a gilt watch, maraja have different opinion about it as follows:

Khamenei (ha), if it is considered as gold it would be impermissible for men to wear it.

Sistani (ha), there is no objection in it.

Safi Golpayegani (ha), if it really contains gold it is impermissible.

Note: If there is a little gold used in it that it is not considered to be gold in the common view (Urf), there would be no problem in wearing it.[3]

If it is not hanging, though it may be in pocket, there is no objection in it! [4]

Regarding other metal, if it is known through checking a metal with an expert that it is white gold, it is haram (forbidden) for men to wear it. As for wearing silver, there is no problem in wearing it.

If a metal is called white gold, it is in fact the yellow gold which becomes white when a white metal is blended with it; therefore it is haram. In case, however, there is so little gold in it that it is not considered to be gold in the common view, there is no problem in wearing it. As for wearing platinum, there is also no objection in wearing it.[5]

Silk: The garment of men, while offering prayers, should not be made of pure silk, rather it is not lawful for men even when they are not offering prayers, although, according to the more cautious opinion, it is something which alone is not sufficient for offering prayer, as a waistband or a cap or the like. Pure silk also includes what is made of raw silk, such as a waistband or a cap or the like. Pure silk also includes what is made of raw silk, though it is permitted for women, even when offering prayers, and for men in the event of necessity or war.

What is for bidden for men is wearing garments made of silk, but there is no objection in making silken carpets or bed sheets and lie on them or blankets etc. and cover themselves with them when sleeping. So also there is no objection in stitching buttons of garments with silk, or decorate the garments with braids and laces made of silk, in the same way as it there is no objection in making the covers for wounds, abscesses and preventives for those suffering from incontinence of urine.

Rather, there is no objection even in patching garments with silk or making the borders of the garments with silk, provided that they are not to the extent that they may be called silken, and in case of borders for garments, it is more cautious that they should not exceed four fingers when joined together in width. Rather it is more cautious to observe this measurement even in case of the patches of silk on the garments.[6]

If a person doubts whether a garment or ring is made of gold or anything else, it shall be permissible to wear them, and offer prayers wearing them.[7]

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[1] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini) Vol. 2, Pg. 927, Issue 443.

[2] . Tahrir al-Wasila of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 168 (English version), issue 14;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini) Vol. 1, Pg. 462.

[3] . Ajwabat al-Istiftaat (in Farsi language), Pg. 90;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’, Vol. 1, Pg. 140, Q 255.

[4] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 169; Tawzih al-Masael of maraja, Issue 833, Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra), Q 846.

[5] . Ajwebat al-Istiftaat (Farsi Answers to Religious Queries), pg.90, Tawzih al-Masail (with annotations by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, pg. 927, issue No.443.

[6] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 169.

[7] . Ibid, Pg. 170.

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Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim

Question 527: Do I have to cut my hair to become Muslim? What are the conditions for one to become a Muslim?

Brief Answer 527:  The first degree, which is referred to as “Islam”, can be reached when one says the shahadatain (the two statements of “There is no God but Allah” and “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah), admitting to its meaning, resulting in that person officially becoming Muslim.  His/her body will be pure (no longer najis) and so will the bodies of his children, marriage with other Muslims will become permissible for him and he/she can have transactions with other Muslims, his/her wealth, life and honor will all be respected etc.  Of course, saying the shahadatain and admitting to its meaning necessitates acting and practicing Islam (e.g. performing the wajib acts such as prayer, fasting, Hajj, Khums and Zakat, and believing in the angels, the hereafter, paradise and Hell and accepting all of the divine prophets as messengers of Allah (swt)), which is the next level of faith which is higher than just plain “Islam” and being Muslim.

Therefore, there is no need to cut your hair in order to become a Muslim.

Answer 527: “Islam” literally means submission and obedience.  This term refers to the religion brought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Allah (swt) as the final divine religion to come, which is a universal and eternal one (meaning that no other religion will come after it that abrogates it until the day of judgment). Read More

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Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message

Question 601: We would appreciate you sending us the new message of Supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issued on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season? I.e. Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj 2017 message.

Answer 601: The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha) issues a message on the occasion of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage season as follows. Read More

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Offering prayer for the dead over one’s body who committed suicide

Question 597: Salaamun Alaykum, Is offering prayer for the dead over one’s body who committed suicide permissible? What about reciting Surah Al Fatiha or Namaz e Wahshat for a those who committed suicide?

Answer 597: It is obligatory to offer prayer for every Muslim (dead person), even if he belongs to the opposite (non-Shiah) sect. However, if he is an infidel of any category whatsoever, even if he is an apostate, or one who is declared a non-Muslim even if he unduly assumes the title of Islam like Nawasib (openly hostile to Ahl-i Bayt) or Khawãrij (.i.e, those who oppose Imam Ali), it is not permissible to offer prayers on their dead[1]. Read More