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Understanding Nikah Mutah
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An Overview of Nikah-e-Mutah
A Nikah-e-Mutah is a mustahabb marriage in which a woman marries a man for a fixed period of time and a fixed amount (Haq Mahr).
“فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِیضَةً”(۔ قرآن کریم)
“Those of them who have done Mut’ah should be paid their fixed wages.”
Mut’ah was permissible and common during the Prophet’s (PBUH) era, but afterward, Muslims differ on whether this Shariah order remains or is revoked.
Mut’ah has been recognized in Iranian law following the jurisprudence of Jafariyah, and no one among the Imamiyyah Shia disputes its legality or validity.
An explanation of Nikah-e-Mutah
Marriage, or Mut’at al-Nisa, is when a woman, even though a lawyer, marries herself for a specified period and on a specified dowry to a man with whom there is no Shariah obstacle to marriage: in other words,
- A woman and a man should not be mahrams because of their lineage, reason, or adoption. The woman should not be married to another person and should not be on the Iddat of divorce or death.
When the specified period expires or the husband forgives the woman for the remaining period, she is separated from him.
The History of Nikah-e-Mutah
According to both Shia and Sunni historical sources, Mut’at-an-Nisa (temporary marriage) was practiced during the time of the Messenger of God and even during the reign of the first Caliph. However, an incident occurred during the second Caliph’s rule that resulted in him declaring this type of marriage forbidden. He even ordered that those who engaged in it would be stoned. This is illustrated by three hadiths from Ahl al-Sunnah sources, with the most well-known being that of Amr bin Harith. The incident is often referenced in sources and is described as follows:
“جابر کہتے ہیں کہ عمرو بن حریث کوفہ سے مدینہ آیا اور ایک آزاد شدہ کنیز کے ساتھ متعہ کیا۔ کنیز حاملہ ہوئی جس کو عمر کے پاس لایا گیا اور اس سے حقیقت حال کے بارے میں سوال کیا گیا۔ تو اس نے کہا: عمرو بن حریث نے میرے ساتھ وقتی نکاح کیا ہے۔ عمر نے عمرو بن حریث سے پوچھا تو اس نے بھی صراحت کے ساتھ بیوی کی بات کی تصدیق کی۔ عمر نے کہا: تم نے اس کے علاوہ کسی اور سے شادی کیوں نہیں کی؟ اور یہی وہ وقت تھا جب عمر نے وقتی شادی سے نہی کی تھی”
Different Islamic sects’ opinions on Nikah-e-Mutah
In addition to the Ahl al-Sunnah, who consider Mut’ah invalid , examine the views of other Islamic sects:
- Abadiyyah says that Mut’ah has been abolished, which is a common problem between Abaazi and Ahl al-Sunnah.
- In addition to the Sunnis, the Zaydias also consider Mutah haram, and no Zaydia scholar believes Mutah marriage is legitimate.
- The Ismailis do not allow Mutah, and consider marriage to be limited to a permanent wife and the country of Yemen.
Components of Nikah-e-Mutah
The dissolution of marriage (i.e., Mutah) is one of the two types of marriage and is a mustahab practice. It has four components.
Mut’ah contracts are formed by accepting and accepting. “Zuwajtuk,” “Mutattuk,” or “Ankhtuk” should be used as the answer, and the contract should not be concluded with other words like “Tamilik”, “Hiba,” or “Ijarah.” A word that indicates satisfaction and attraction on the part of the acceptor is used in acceptance. For example, “Qabiltu al-Nikkaah,” “Qabiltu al-Mut’ah”, “Qabiltu al-Tazwij”, or simply “Qabiltu”.
In the event that the conditions regarding the condition, time, and place are not contrary to the requirements of the contract, either the woman or the man may determine these conditions. The jurists dispute a man’s right to renounce the right of his temporary wife after four months of marriage.
Temporal marriage and Mutah between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman are valid according to later jurists, but not between a Muslim woman and a Muslim man.
Mahr must be mentioned in a broken contract for it to be valid, and if it is not mentioned, it is not valid. A woman becomes the owner of the Mahr as soon as the marriage takes place, but she must obey the husband during the specified period of matrimony and mu’tah to gain ownership of the entire Mahr. Half the Mahr is his responsibility if the husband forgives the wife for the period before marriage.
A term of marriage is a condition of health in this type of contract. If the period is not mentioned, popular belief is that the marriage becomes permanent (and the woman will become the man’s permanent wife). Ideally, the period should be set so that it cannot be shortened or extended; it should be vague and not clean, like a few months before pilgrims return home from Mecca.
The man can waive a part or the whole period of Mu’tah to a woman, and no letter of acceptance is needed.  There is no divorce in Mut’ah, and the woman and man shall separate at the end of the period.
Changing the contract of Mut’ah to a permanent one before the end of the Mut’ah period is not valid, according to the famous saying.
If a woman observes Idda after her Mutah period or if her period is forgiven by a man, or if she interrelates with a man without being pregnant, or does not menstruate at the age of menstruation, she will observe Idda for 45 days. It is well known that there are two menstrual cycles or one and a half months, or two periods of purity. The first statement (two periods) is well known, and if a woman is pregnant, the period until her child is born will count as well.
There is a famous saying that states that a woman who is not pregnant and whose husband has died will spend the next four months in Idda, and some believe that half of that period is spent there. When a woman is pregnant, the period of death is the longest – until she gives birth and the baby is born.
Marriage Dissolution vs. Permanent Marriage.
- In both cases, the woman and man choose to marry temporarily and then renew it if they are willing or separate if they aren’t.
- In Nikah Daim, both parties have the freedom to define their own terms and agreements, unlike in a permanent marriage. For instance, the man is obligated to provide for the daily needs of his wife, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical expenses. However, in Nikah Mutah, these responsibilities are dependent on the mutual decision of the man and woman. In this case, it is possible for either party to decline these financial obligations – the man may be unwilling or unable to bear them and the wife may choose not to use her husband’s wealth for such purposes.
- In Nikah Daim, the wife will accept the man as the head of the family willingly or even unwillingly and will obey his orders in relation to the interest and expediency of the family, whereas in Nikah Mutah, all this is decided between them. It depends on what will be held between them at marriage
- The wife and husband inherit from each other willingly or unwillingly in perpetual marriage, but not in Nikah Mutah.
- There is no need to obtain the consent of the other in Nikah Mutah, according to the opinion of some jurists, whereas in Nikah Daim, neither spouse may refrain from having a child without the other’s consent. It is actually another form of freedom that is provided to the spouses in Nikah Mutah. If a child is born from such a marriage, he has no difference with the child born from a permanent marriage.
- Mahr is obligatory in permanent marriages and Mut’ah marriages. The only difference is that if the dowry is not mentioned in the Nikah Mutah, the marriage is invalid; if it is not mentioned in the Nikah Daim, the contract is valid and the Mahr is determined.
- Mutah marriages are the same as permanent marriages where the wife’s mother and daughter are forbidden to her husband, son, and father, just as others are forbidden from seeking a relationship with permanent wives. It is also forbidden to others. Just as committing adultery with another man’s permanent wife causes eternal sanctity, committing adultery with another man’s wife Mutah also causes eternal sanctity.
- It is the same as for a permanent wife after divorce that they have to stay in Iddah for a particular period, and a Mutah wife must stay in Iddah if the specified period has ended or if their husband forgives them. The only difference is that the Iddah period of a divorced woman from Nikah Daim lasts up to three menstrual periods, while the Iddah period of a divorced woman from Nikah Mutah lasts up to 45 days.
- Nikah Daim and Nikah Mutah prohibit the marriage of two sisters.
- It is not permissible to marry more than four women in a marriage under Nikah Mutah – unlike Nikah Daim –  where there is no limit on the number of women a man can marry.
The Nikah-e-Mutah and Social Culture
Temporary marriage, also known as Nikah Mutah in Islamic tradition, is a highly significant practice in certain communities. A sensitive and respectful approach is necessary when discussing this topic, given the varying beliefs and interpretations of Islamic law. While some consider it a legitimate and allowed form of marriage, there may be differing opinions. Regardless, it is essential to take into account the legal and cultural context surrounding Nikah Mutah and its potential impact on those involved.
In the end, whether one agrees or disagrees with Nikah Mutah, it is important to approach the subject with empathy, knowledge, and a commitment to upholding the rights and choices of individuals within the framework of the law.