What is the ruling of temporary (mu...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

What is the ruling of temporary (mut`a ) marriage in Islam?


What is the ruling of temporary (mut`a ) marriage in Islam?


Mut'a marriage (i.e. a marriage contract that lasts for a stipulated fixed period) is prohibited [haram] in Islam.

Mut'a marriage is considered prohibited by the majority of Muslim jurists and consensus of scholars. Sunni jurists and others who maintained the prohibition of mut'a marriage based their opinion on numerous evidences from the sunnah including the following:

- At the time of the battle of Khaibar, Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) told ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them): "The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has forbidden mut'a marriage and eating the flesh of domestic donkeys at the time of the battle of Khaibar" [recorded in the Sahih of Bukhari).
- The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "O people, I permitted you to contract mut'a marriage with women, but Allah has forbidden it until the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, whoever is married to a woman [by virtue of a mut’a contract], is to let her go; do not take anything from what you have given her [as dowry]" [recorded in the Sahih of Muslim).
- Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that when the Prophet (pbuh) arrived at Thaniyat al-Wada’ valley, he saw lights and heard women crying. Thereupon, he asked, 'What is that?' People replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, they are those women whose husbands have left them after [the stipulated period of their mut’a marriage] has ended.’ He said, 'Mut'a marriage has been obliterated’ or he said, ‘Mut'a marriage has been prohibited by marriage (nikah), divorce, and inheritance" [recorded by IbnHibban, Darqutuni, and al-Baihaqi]. The hadith means that mut’a marriage was prohibited by the legislation of sound marriage, divorce, ‘idda [waiting period], and inheritance.

Based on this, mut'a marriage is considered a specific kind of marriage and one of the various kinds of marriages that prevailed at the time of the Jahiliaya [pre-Islamic era]. It was allowed in Islam (under urgent circumstances), and was later abrogated. It is an invalid form of marriage that does not make sexual intercourse permissible. This is the opinion maintained by the jurists of ahlul-sunna and the consensus of Muslim jurists because it is considered a specific kind of marriage the prohibition of which was mentioned in Prophetic and non-Prophetic reports.

When weighing mut'a marriage against the conditions and integrals of a valid marriage, the former will be deemed invalid due to the following reasons:

- According to the consensus of Muslims, it lacks the presence of witnesses.
- It includes the stipulation of a time period in the contract. There is a scholarly agreement that the marriage contract does not admit fixing a time period for the duration of the marriage.
- A mut'a contract is invalidated by uttering the words of mut'a and istimta’ i.e. ‘sexual pleasure’ instead of marriage or nikah. Therefore it lacks the marriage statement sanctioned by Islamic law.

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