Temporary marriage and its benefits
Unfortunately, Muslims do not look at this marriage except by the eye of criticism. They do not discuss except its negative points, which are very little, and do not see its positive points which are very many.
In fact, everything has negative and positive points. As this kind of marriage was not practiced since the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab, who prohibited it with no any legal cause, so people consider it as adultery and they look at it disgustingly. This does not mean that it is disgusting, but because people have neither known nor practiced it.
It is like the offering of two prayers at one time, or like the khums, or wiping the feet in wudhu’. Despite that they have been available in the Holy Qur'an and despite that the Prophet (S) has practiced and ordered Muslims to practice them, most of people are ignorant of them. Muslims find them strange for nothing, but just because they are not familiar with them in their daily life. You see that they do not find adultery as strange as they find temporary marriage strange!
A young woman often tried to incite some young man to commit adultery with her. When he refused and suggested that they should get married in temporary marriage, she refused and said that she did not know this kind of marriage.
If you argue about the matter of temporary marriage with Sunni scholars and prove its legality with irrefutable proofs from al-Bukhari and Muslim and when they are embarrassed before the evidences, they say that this marriage is a kind of humiliation to woman. When you prove to them the opposite, they begin talking nonsense and say: will you marry me your sister or daughter in temporary marriage?
They speak with the mentality of domination over woman. They often say that woman cannot marry herself (to someone by her will) and that her marriage is in the hand of her guardian. They think that woman is like a cow that is sold and bought, and that she has no right to choose her husband. Indeed, this is the very humiliation to woman and not her temporary marriage.
Temporary marriage is a mercy from Allah for woman and it is not a kind of humiliation. She has the full right to refuse temporary marriage and no one can ever force her to accept it. If they think that this kind of marriage is humiliation to woman, then what do they say about polygamy where another fellow wife or other fellow wives are brought home inspite of her presence and without her agreement or willingness to participate with her in everything; her husband, her house, and later on the inheritance?
Is this worse or that when her husband gets married for a short period (temporary marriage) to some woman who shall share with wife, besides that this wife may not know anything at all about that marriage, which shall end soon, and about that second wife, who shall leave back for her own life?
We have said before that temporary marriage within its legal conditions and limits is for the advantage of woman and not for her disadvantage. As temporary marriage is not obligatory and as it cannot be imposed on anyone, man or woman, against his or her will, so what for is all this nonsense, defamation and accusation?
I am so sorry for this afflicted nation that claims the love to the Prophet’s progeny (S), while it contradicts them in all rulings which they narrated from their grandfather the Prophet Muhammad (S) and did according to these rulings. Despite that Ja’fari School (Shiism), which is the jurisprudence of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), is taught in al-Azhar University in Cairo, many people because of fanaticism, still doubt it and doubt it belongs to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.).
It is certain that the twelve infallible imams (a.s.), at the head of whom is Imam Ali (a.s.), called among people for the legality of temporary marriage and said that it was a mercy for people. Abdullah Ibn Abbas, as well, often said to people that temporary marriage was lawful. Muslims were divided into two parties; one of minority who followed and did according to the doings of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and the other one of great majority who followed the caliphs (but not Imam Ali a.s.) and companions.
Matters have remained until now as they were before; the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) see temporary marriage as lawful, and the followers of the caliphs see it as unlawful.
After all and as we offer this study, we do not want to force anyone to accept it. People are free to choose what they see as true, but we have to uncover the hidden facts so that the truth becomes clear and shiny before whoever intends and looks for it.
In our view, temporary marriage has many benefits:
If a male student and a female student, who live together throughout the school year while they are in the age of intensity of sexual passion, get married temporarily, they shall be in intimate companionship and association even if they do not have sexual intercourse when they both agree to this condition.
This may last for the period of their study, and after that, they can decide either to separate, or conclude a contract of continuous marriage if they want. In fact, the first marriage shall give the two spouses more chance to know each other in the best way and shall be able to get over all the obstacles that may face them in their continuous marital life.
This marriage shall give them relief, peace and tranquility and make them proceed with their studies easily. Their relation shall be lawful and honest and shall make their consciences satisfied and pleased and consequently Allah will be pleased with them. They shall be safe from troubles and suspicious looks of other students, who when they know about this marriage shall stop to trouble them.
On the other hand, if a female student moves from one young man to another, having in her handbag tens of love letters from this and that besides the contraceptives for fear of pregnancy and scandal and if young men move from one girl to another to taste the honey of each one, as bees tasting flowers, and play with the fates, futures and feelings of those girls, paying no any attention to the honor, dignity, and feelings of their families, and when those girls finish their studies and return to their homes followed by suspicions and accusations that shall cause them tens of complexes arising from the leaving of those traitors who promise and after satisfying their desires, leave those deflowered girls alone to be later on filled with rage and spite against the society and to try avenge for themselves by every means - it shall be found not strange by those pretending scholars!!!
A traveler, who travels for a long period away from his home and wife, may be able to be patient (with his sexual desire), but if not, he has to get married in temporary marriage to assure his ease, tranquility, and faith. His wife may agree willingly when she knows that her husband has followed the lawful way and kept away from unlawful ways. A wife knows her husband well and shall prefer him to be in the house of an honest and upright woman, who gets married to protect her honor and honesty and make use of Allah’s mercy rather than to look for a prostitute in a street every day who takes his money and gives him fatal diseases after having slept with other men many times on the same day. Surely, there is nothing of that in temporary marriage, as one from among its conditions is that the woman having married in temporary marriage has no right to remarry except after having undergone all the iddah of her first marriage which is a period of two menstruations or two months for a woman in menopause.
Temporary marriage can solve the problem of a spinster who has not married for one reason or another. Islam permits her to satisfy her desire in this lawful way.
Temporary marriage also solves the problem of a widow who does not want to marry in continuous marriage for the sake of her children or any other reason.
How often it happens in our Arabic societies that a beautiful woman falls in love with a teenager or a young man in the age of her son. This woman may sleep with this teenager and remain doing so secretly in unlawful association. Temporary marriage makes their association lawful and preserves their honor and dignity.
A woman, who is afraid to travel alone or that some countries may prevent her from traveling except with a non-mahram, can conclude a contract of temporary marriage just for the purpose of travel. Marriage in this case can be without sexual intercourse.
A man, who has a female servant at home, is not permitted by Islam to touch any part of her body or look at her while unveiled, and her full veil may embarrass her when doing her job in the house and before her master. This man can conclude a contract of temporary marriage between his young son1 and the servant inasmuch as for the period of her employment, and thus she becomes his daughter-in-law who is mahram to him. In this way, there shall be no problem or embarrassment.
A young woman, who remains alone for hours in the house of a man for learning special lessons or a foreign language, or any other reason, can conclude a contract of temporary marriage with that man to avoid that forbidden privacy, about which the Prophet (S) said, “No man and a woman are alone in privacy except that Satan becomes the third of them.” In this way, this privacy shall be lawful and the woman can put off her hijab before her teacher or shake hands with him. However, she can stipulate any condition she wants.
There are many other cases where temporary marriage becomes mercy for people lest they commit sins, which may cause the society much corruption and many physical and psychological diseases. Temporary marriage, in many cases, is the only solution to save society from these diseases and to preserve honors, lineages, dignities, and nobilities.2
Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency; do you say against Allah what you do not know. Qur'an, 7:28
Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and oppression; He admonishes you that you may be mindful. Qur'an, 16:90
- 1. The boy may be no more than some years, and it is not intended in such a marriage that the sexual intercourse happens, but it is just to make lawful through this marriage what is unlawful without it. This does not mean to make lawful what Allah has prohibited, for this is of disbelief, but to follow what the Sharia may permit. Shaking hands with a non-mahram woman is not lawful, but it becomes lawful after a legal contract of marriage with that woman.
- 2. When I was preparing a thesis for higher studies in one of the Sunni colleges, I heard one of the female officials of the college blaming a teacher why he did not visit her the last night where she had prepared a gateau and been waiting for him. The teacher was trying to apologize.
I say: if there is no contract of continuous marriage or temporary marriage, then what shall be the legal excuse for them to meet and mix as man and woman?!!