3. Allah Calls Mut’ah “A Good Thing”

We know already that Allah revealed the Verse of al-Mut’ah in His Book:

فما استمتعتم به منهن فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة

Those of them with whom you contract mut’ah, give them their prescribed dowries.1

We also know that this ayah came down with some extra words included in it:

فما استمعتم به منهن إلى أجل مسمى فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة

Those of them with whom you contract mut’ah for a specified period, give them their prescribed dowries.

The underlined part, however, is not part of the verse. It is only Allah’s Own Tafsir of it, and it belongs to the Hikmah revealed to Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi. As we have discussed in the first chapter, it is allowed to recite this extra phrase along with the verse (as Ubayy b. Ka’b, Ibn ‘Abbas and some others from the Salaf did), and it is equally allowed to remove it. The words “for a specified period” make it impossible to twist the verse – in desperate attempts - in favour of permanent marriages or concubine relationships. Only mut’ah is conducted “for a specified period”, and the ayah is definitely about it.

Meanwhile, the Verse of al-Mut’ah remains in force till today, and will continue to do so till the Hour. Shaykh al-Kulayni (d. 329 H) records:

علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن أذينة، عن زرارة قال: جاء عبد الله بن عمير الليثي إلى أبي جعفر عليه السلام فقال له: ما تقول في متعة النساء؟ فقال: أحلها الله في كتابه وعلى لسان نبيه صلى الله عليه وآله فهي حلال إلى يوم القيامة

‘Ali – his father – Ibn Abi ‘Umayr – ‘Umar b. Uzaynah – Zurarah:

‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umayr al-Laythi went to Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, and said to him, “What is your opinion of mut’ah with women?” So, he (Abu Ja’far) said, “Allah made it halal in His Book and upon the tongue of His Prophet, peace be upon him and his family. Therefore, it is halal till the Day of al-Qiyamah.”2

‘Allamah al-Majlisi (d. 1111 H) says:

حسن

Hasan3

Ayatullah al-Ruhani also comments:

صحيح

Sahih4

The ace Sunni exegete, Imam Ibn Jarir al-Ṭabari (d. 310 H), also documents:

حدثنا محمد بن المثنى، قال: ثنا محمد بن جعفر، قال: ثنا شعبة، عن الحكم، قال: سألته عن هذه الآية} : والمحصنات من النساء إلا ما ملكت أيمانكم {إلى هذا الموضع: }فما استمتعتم به منهن {أمنسوخة هي؟ قال: لا. قال الحكم: قال علي رضي الله عنه: لولا أن عمر رضي الله عنه نهى عن المتعة ما زنى إلا شقى.

Muhammad b. al-Muthanna – Muhammad b. Ja’far – Shu’bah:

I asked al-Hakam concerning this verse {Also [forbidden for marriage are] women already married, except those whom your right hands possess} up till {Those of them with whom you contract mut’ah} [4:24], “Is it abrogated?” He said, “NO”.

Al-Hakam said: “ ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ‘If ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, had not forbidden mut’ah, none would have committed zina except a wretched person.”5

We already encountered this sanad in the first chapter. The chain is sahih up to al-Hakam. As for al-Hakam himself, al-Hafiẓ states about him:

الحكم بن عتيبة بالمثناة ثم الموحدة مصغرا أبو محمد الكندي الكوفي ثقة ثبت فقيه إلا أنه ربما دلس

Al-Hakam b. ‘Utaybah, Abu Muhammad al-Kindi al-Kufi: Thiqah (trustworthy), thabt (accurate), a jurist, except that he perhaps did tadlis.6

Al-Hakam was without doubt a major jurist of the Ahl al-Sunnah, and this is evident from the action of Shu’bah. He declared explicitly that the Verse of al-Mut’ah was never abrogated. Moreover, by narrating the munqati’ athar of ‘Ali to Shu’bah, he made it absolutely clear to him his understanding that the ayah was about mut’ah. Meanwhile, the fact that the verse is unabrogated is further revealed in the general attitude of the Sunni ‘ulama. A lot of them interpret it as a reference to intercourse in a permanent nikah7 – a submission that contradicts the authentic ahadith quoted in our first chapter.

However, there is an alternative Sunni view, which insists that the Verse of al-Mut’ah has been abrogated. For instance, Imam Ibn Hazm (d. 456 H) submits:

قوله تعالى}: فما استمتعتم به منهن فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة] {٢٤ / النساء / ٤[ فنسخت بقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم إني كنت أحللت هذه المتعة ألا وإن الله ورسوله قد حرماها ألا فليبلغ الشاهد الغائب .

ووقع ناسخها من القرآن موضع ذكر ميراث الزوجة الثمن والربع فلم يكن لها في ذلك نصيب. وقال محمد بن إدريس الشافعي رحمة الله عليه موضع تحريمها في سورة المؤمن وناسخها قوله تعالى} :والذين هم لفروجهم حافظون إلا على أزواجهم أو ما ملكت أيمانهم] {... ٥ مكية / المؤمن / ٢٣ [وأجمعوا على أنها ليست بزوجة ولا ملك يمين فنسخها الله بهذه الآية.

His Statement, the Most High: {Those of them with whom you contract mut’ah, give them their prescribed dowries} [Al-Nisa, 4:24]. It has been abrogated by his statement, peace be upon him: “I used to allow this mut’ah. Verily, Allah and His Messenger have (now) made it haram. Therefore, let those present inform those who are absent.”

Its abrogation also occurs in the Qur’an where the inheritance of the wife is mentioned, eighth and fourths, and she (the woman in mut’ah) has no share from that. Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi’i, may the mercy of Allah be upon him, also said that the place of its abrogation is in Surah al-Mumin, and its abrogation is His Statement, the Most High: {And those who guard their private parts, except from their wives or what their right hands possess (i.e. slave-women)...} [Makkan, al-Mumin, 23, verse 5]. And they agreed that she (i.e. the woman in mut’ah) is not a wife, and not a slave-woman. Therefore, Allah abrogated it with this verse.8

Apparently, Ibn Hazm also believes that the verse was revealed about mut’ah. His arguments against the temporary marriage are as follows:

(i) The ahadith against mut’ah have abrogated the Verse of al-Mut’ah.

(ii) The verse about the inheritance of wives has abrogated the Verse of al-Mut’ah.

(iii) A verse revealed in Makkah in Surah al-Mumin abrogated the Verse of al-Mut’ah, which was revealed later in al-Madinah!

Well, only an ayah can abrogate an ayah, as Allah Himself declares:

ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها نأت بخير منها أو مثلها

Whatever a verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or one similar to it.9

We also read:

وإذا بدلنا آية مكان آية والله أعلم بما ينزل قالوا إنما أنت مفتر بل أكثرهم لا يعلمون

And when We change a verse in place of another verse, and Allah knows best of what He sends down, they say, “You are but a forger.” Nay, but most of them know not.10

Imam al-Shafi’i (d. 204 H) himself says about it:

ولا ينسخ كتاب الله إلا كتابه لقول الله} ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها نأت بخير منها أو مثلها {وقوله} وإذا بدلنا آية مكان آية والله أعلم بما ينزل قالوا إنما أنت مفتر { فأبان أن نسخ القرآن لا يكون إلا بقرآن مثله

The Book of Allah cannot be abrogated except by His Book, due to the Statement of Allah {Whatever a verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or one similar to it} and His Statement {And when We change a verse in place of another verse, and Allah knows best of what He sends down, they say, “You are but a forger”}. So, it is very clear that the abrogation of (a verse of) the Qur’an cannot occur except through (another verse of) the Qur’an.11

Imam ‘Abd al-Razzaq (d. 211 H) has this too:

عبد الرزاق قال معمر وقال قتادة وأما قوله نأت بخير منها أو مثلها يقول آية فيها تخفيف فيها رخصة فيها أمر فيها نهي

‘Abd al-Razzaq – Ma’mar – Qatadah:

As for His Statement {We bring a better one or one similar to it}, He says: “A verse in which there is relief, in which there is permission, in which there is a command, in which there is a prohibition.”12

Prof. Ibn Yasin says about this riwayah:

وإسناده صحيح

Its chain is sahih.13

Therefore, it is an ayah that abrogates or replaces another ayah. As such, if indeed the Verse of al-Mut’ah has been abrogated, there must be an explicit verse in the Qur’an revealed for that purpose. Whoever is unable to provide an abrogating verse must accept the validity of temporary marriage in the Book of Allah unconditionally.

Secondly, it is perfectly possible for the wife in a valid marriage not to inherit her husband. For instance, Imam al-Bukhari (d. 256 H) documents:

حدثنا أبو عاصم عن ابن جريج عن ابن شهاب عن علي بن حسين عن عمرو بن عثمان عن أسامة بن زيد رضي الله عنهما : أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال :لا يرث المسلم الكافر ولا الكافر المسلم

Abu ‘Asim – Ibn Jurayj – Ibn Shihab – ‘Ali b. Husayn – ‘Amr b. ‘Uthman – Usamah b. Zayd, may Allah be pleased with them both:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The Muslim does not inherit the kafir, and the kafir does not inherit the Muslim.”14

So, where a Muslim is married to a Jewish or Christian woman – and she cannot inherit him – does this in any way affect the validity of their nikah? Of course, it does not. In the same manner, the fact that the spouses in a temporary marriage may not inherit each other – depending upon their mutual agreement - does NOT in any way establish its abrogation by any ayah or hadith, nor does it cancel the status of the woman as a “wife”. Mut’ah, obviously, is an exception to the general ruling in the Verse of Inheritance, just as the Muslim-kafirah marriage is.

Finally, al-Shafi’i quotes this verse as the abrogator of temporary marriage in the Qur’an:

والذين هم لفروجهم حافظون إلا على أزواجهم أو ما ملكت أيمانهم فإنهم غير ملومين فمن ابتغى وراء ذلك فأولئك هم العادون

And those who guard their private parts, except from their wives or what their right hands possess (i.e. slave-women), for then, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.15

His argument is that the woman in mut’ah is neither a “wife” nor a “slave-woman”; and, sexual intercourse is not allowed except with those two. However, there are three fatal problems with the use of this noble ayah against mut’ah. First, it was revealed in Makkah, while the Verse of al-Mut’ah came later in al-Madinah. So, if anything, it would be the later abrogating the former! Secondly, Prophet Muhammad allowed and practised mut’ah during the Madinan era, long after the revelation of both Surah al-Muminun and Surah al-Ma’arij in Makkah. If we accepted the Sunni argument, it would mean that he was permitting and indulging in illegal sex! May Allah protect us from such blasphemous thoughts. Lastly, mut’ah is a form of nikah (marriage), which means that both parties are husband and “wife”. Since those verses have allowed sex with “wives”, then they have defended mut’ah as well!

So, as things stand, there is NO ayah in the entire Qur’an that has abrogated the Verse of al-Mut’ah. Meanwhile, only a verse can abrogate a verse. With that, then, nothing can abrogate the Verse of al-Mut’ah, and it shall remain in force till the Qiyamah. By extension, mut’ah itself is, on the strength of that verse, valid till the end of life on earth.

This is the point of departure between the Shi’ah and the Sunnis. The Ahl al-Sunnah accept the authenticity of ahadith which contradict the Verse of al-Mut’ah, and use them to overturn it. By contrast, the Shi’ah throw out any riwayah that disagrees with any verse of the Kitab. So, naturally, all ahadith against mut’ah – whatsoever their sources or chains – are fabrications (whether intentional or accidental) by Shi’i standards. Al-Kulayni reports:

عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أبيه، عن النضر بن سويد، عن يحيى الحلبي، عن أيوب بن الحر قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول :كل شئ مردود إلى الكتاب والسنة، وكل حديث لا يوافق كتاب الله فهو زخرف

A number of our companions – Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid – his father – al-Naḍar b. Suwayd – Yahya al-Halabi – Ayyub b. al-Hurr:

I heard Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him, saying: “Everything is returned back to the Book and the Sunnah, and EVERY hadith that does not agree with the Book of Allah is a vanity.”16

Shaykh al-Majlisi comments:

صحيح

Sahih17

And Shaykh Hadi al-Najafi agrees:

الرواية صحيحة الإسناد

The report has a sahih chain18

Al-Kulayni here again records:

محمد بن إسماعيل، عن الفضل بن شاذان، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم وغيره، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: خطب النبي صلى الله عليه وآله بمنى فقال: أيها الناس ما جاء كم عني يوافق كتاب الله فأنا قلته وما جاء كم يخالف كتاب الله فلم أقله.

Muhammad b. Isma’il – al-Faḍl b. Shadhan – Ibn Abi ‘Umayr – Hisham b. al-Hakam and others – Abu ‘Abd Allah, peace be upon him:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, delivered a khutbah at Muna and said, “O mankind! Whatsoever comes to you from me that agrees with the Book of Allah, I truly said it. But, whatsoever comes to you that contradicts the Book of Allah, I never said it.”19

Al-Majlisi says:

مجهول كالصحيح

Majhul ka al-Sahih20

Prof. ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari also declares:

سند صحيح

A sahih chain21

Our beloved teacher, Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381 H), also thereby submits, in line with the sahih ahadith:

وكل حديث لا يوافق كتاب الله فهو باطل

Every hadith that does not agree with the Book of Allah is a fabrication.22

Ayatullah Ja’far Subhani too says:

أمر الأئمة عليهم السلام بعرض الأحاديث على الكتاب والسنة، وأن كل حديث لا يوافق كتاب الله ولا سنة نبيه يضرب به عرض الجدار .وقد تواترت الروايات على الترجيح بموافقة الكتاب والسنة

The Imams, peace be upon them, ordered that the ahadith must be compared to the Book and the Sunnah, and that every single hadith that does not agree with the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Prophet must be thrown out. There are mutawatir reports about weighing (ahadith) on the basis of agreement with the Book and the Sunnah.23

Ayatullah Makarim al-Shirazi even applies this rule to reject a hadith:

إن هذا الحديث لا ينسجم مع نص القرآن .ووفقا للقواعد الأصولية التي عندنا، أن كل حديث لا يوافق كتاب الله ساقط عن الاعتبار، ولا يمكن التعويل على أنه حديث شريف من أحاديث النبي أو المعصومين عليهم السلام.

Certainly, this hadith does not agree with the text of the Qur’an. And, based on the principles of usul with us, that every single hadith that does not agree with the Book of Allah is unreliable, and it is impossible to depend upon the fact that it is a noble hadith from the ahadith of the Prophet or the infallibles, peace be upon them.24

So, since mut’ah is halal in the Qur’an, and there is no ayah that has abrogated it, then every single hadith – wherever it comes from – that suggests its illegitimacy is “a vanity”, a fabrication. The only way a Sunni can make a valid argument against temporary marriage is to quote a verse of the Kitab that truly repeals it. Anything short of that is only a child’s play.

Anyway, there is a second ayah – apart from the Verse of al-Mut’ah – which, though NOT revealed about temporary marriage, applies to it:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله لكم ولا تعتدوا إن الله لا يحب المعتدين

O you who believe! Do not make haram the good things which Allah has made halal for you; and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.25

In the last chapter, we see how Ibn Mas’ud considered mut’ah as one of “the good things” mentioned in this verse. In this report of Imam al-Bukhari, the reason is explicitly given:

حدثنا قتيبة بن سعيد حدثنا جرير عن إسماعيل عن قيس قال : قال عبد الله كنا نغزو مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وليس لنا شيء فقلنا ألا نستخصي ؟ فنهانا عن ذلك ثم رخصلنا أن ننكح المرأة بالثوب ثم قرأ علينا } يا أيها الذين أمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله لكم ولا تعتدوا أن الله لا يحب المعتدين {

Qutaybah b. Sa’id – Jarir – Isma’il – Qays – ‘Abd Allah (b. Mas’ud):

We were on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and we had nothing with us. So, we said, “Should we castrate ourselves?” But, he forbade us to do that. Then, he permitted us to do nikah (marriage) with the woman, giving her a garment (as the dowry). Then, he recited to us {O you who believe! Do not make haram the good things which Allah has made halal for you; and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits}.26

Yes, it was the Prophet himself who first quoted the verse in support of mut’ah, and Ibn Mas’ud only followed this Sunnah later.

Imam Ahmad (d. 241 H) also documents:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا يحيى بن زكريا قال أخبرني إسماعيل عن قيس عن بن مسعود قال كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليس لنا نساء قلنا يا رسول الله ألا نستخصي فنهانا عن ذلك فقال { يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله لكم }

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – Yahya b. Zakariya – Isma’il – Qays – Ibn Mas’ud:

We were with the Messenger of Allah. There were no women with us. So, we said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we castrate ourselves?” But, he forbade us from doing that AND said {O you who believe! Do not make haram the good things which Allah has made halal for you}27

Shaykh al-Arnauṭ comments:

إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Its chain is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.28

The ayah in question is from al-Maidah, the last revealed surah of the Qur’an. Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) reports:

حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ثنا بحر بن نصر الخولاني قال : قرىء على عبد الله بن وهب أخبرك معاوية بن صالح عن أبي الزاهرية عن جبير بن نفير قال حججت فدخلت على عائشة رضي الله عنها فقالت لي : يا جبير تقرأ المائدة ؟ فقلت : نعم قالت : أما أنها آخر سورة نزلت فما وجدتم فيها من حلال فاستحلوه وما وجدتم من حرام فحرموه

Abu al-‘Abbas Muhammad b. Ya’qub – Bahr b. Nasr al-Khawlani – ‘Abd Allah b. Wahb – Mu’awiyah b. Salih – Abu al-Zahiriyyah – Jubayr b. Nufayr:

I did Hajj and went to ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and she said to me, “O Jubayr! Do you recite al-Maidah?” I said, “Yes”. She said, “Verily, it was the last surah to be revealed. So, whatsoever you find in it to be halal, declare it as halal; and whatsoever you find to be haram, declare it as haram.29

Al-Hakim submits:

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين

This hadith is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.30

Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) agrees:

على شرط البخاري ومسلم

Upon the standard of al-Bukhari and Muslim.31

Imam Ahmad has documented it through his own sanad too:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا عبد الرحمن بن مهدي قال ثنا معاوية عن أبي الزاهرية عن جبير بن نفير قال دخلت على عائشة فقالت هل تقرأ سورة المائدة قال قلت نعم قالت فإنها آخر سورة نزلت فما وجدتم فيها من حلال فاستحلوه وما وجدتم فيها من حرام فحرموه وسألتها عن خلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقالت القرآن

‘Abd Allah (b. Ahmad) – my father (Ahmad b. Hanbal) – ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Mahdi – Mu’awiyah – Abu al-Zahiriyyah – Jubayr b. Nufayr:

I went to ‘Aishah and she said, “Do you recite Surah al-Maidah?” I said, “Yes”. She said, “For, verily, it was the last surah to be revealed. So, whatsoever you find in it to be halal, then declare it halal; and whatsoever you find in it to be haram, declare it haram.” Then I asked her about the character of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and she said, “The Qur’an.”32

Al-Arnauṭ states:

إسناده صحيح

Its chain is sahih33

Apparently, nothing declared halal in Surah al-Maidah was ever abrogated. Moreover, the verses of the surah came very late in revelation, and were therefore very close to the time of the Prophet’s death.

We are unsure about that exact military expedition which Ibn Mas’ud was making reference to. However, we know that a lot – perhaps the majority - of its Muslim soldiers were youths as stated by him. He himself died during the rule of ‘Uthman in 32 H34 and his age was sixty three then35. This means that he was already 31 during the Hijrah and had reached 33 by the time of the Battle of Badr – the first battle in Islam. So, whenever that expedition was, Ibn Mas’ud was, by all indications, already beyond youthfulness. Therefore, when he said “and we were youths”, he was most probably referring only to the dominant composition of the army.

It seems that this is also what explains the tone of the ayah. The Verse of al-Mut’ah had been revealed before that expedition. So, when these youthful Sahabah talked of castrating themselves instead of going into mut’ah, it looked as though they had made it haram for themselves. As a result, the Prophet quoted Qur’an 5:87 (which also had been revealed before then) to declare that temporary marriage was one of the good things mentioned in that ayah, that it was made halal by Allah, and that the Muslims must not make it haram for themselves. Then, he gave them a direct command. Imam Abu Ya’la (d. 307 H) records:

حدثنا أبو خيثمة حدثنا مروان بن معاوية الفزاري عن إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن قيس بن أبي حازم قال : سمعت عبد الله بن مسعود يقول كنا نغزو مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليس لنا نساء فقلنا : يارسول الله ألا نستخصي ؟ فنهانا عن ذلك وأمرنا أن ننكح المرأة بالثوب ثم قرأ عبد الله : { يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله }

Abu Khaythamah – Marwan b. Mu’awiyah al-Fazari – Isma’il b. Abi Khalid – Qays b. Abi Hazim:

I heard ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud saying: “We were on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. There were no women with us. So, we said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we castrate ourselves?” But, he forbade us from doing that AND HE ORDERED US to do nikah with the woman, giving her the garment (as the dowry)”. Then, ‘Abd Allah recited {O you who believe! Do not make haram the good things which Allah has made halal for you}.36

Shaykh Dr. Asad says:

إسناده صحيح

Its chain is sahih37

This order, in some other reports, is also termed a “permission” by Ibn Mas’ud. Perhaps, he did this because the Messenger – being the field commander – had the right to temporarily prohibit certain halal things to his soldiers in order to maintain strict discipline, high morale and strong energy. Normally, even if Ibn Mas’ud and the others had initially considered mut’ah to be halal, they would nonetheless have needed the Prophet’s permission to go ahead with it, as long as they were still on the military expedition. Obviously, his order to them to perform mut’ah contained two things together: a permission and a command.

Imam Ibn Hibban (d. 354 H) also documents:

أخبرنا أحمد بن علي بن المثنى قال حدثنا أبو خيثمة قال حدثنا مروان بن معاوية عن إسماعيل بن أبي خالد عن قيس بن أبي حازم قال سمعت بن مسعود يقول كنا نغزو مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ليس لنا نساء فقالوا يا رسول الله ألا نستخصي فنهانا عن ذلك وأمرنا ان ننكح المرأة بالثوب ثم قرأ عبد الله هذه الآية يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله لكم

Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. al-Muthanna - Abu Khaythamah – Marwan b. Mu’awiyah al-Fazari – Isma’il b. Abi Khalid – Qays b. Abi Hazim:

I heard Ibn Mas’ud saying: “We were on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. There were no women with us. So, we said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we castrate ourselves?” But, he forbade us from doing that AND HE ORDERED US to do nikah with the woman, giving her the garment (as the dowry)”. Then, ‘Abd Allah recited this verse {O you who believe! Do not make haram the good things which Allah has made halal for you}.38

‘Allamah al-Albani states:

صحيح

Sahih39

And Shaykh al-Arnauṭ concurs:

إسناده صحيح على شرط الشيخين

Its chain is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs40

The bottomline of all this is that the Prophet described mut’ah as one of “the good things” which Allah has made halal, mentioned in a verse in Surah al-Maidah. His companion, Ibn Mas’ud, followed him strictly in this Sunnah as well, after him. Well, our brothers from the Ahl al-Sunnah routinely describe mut’ah as “fornication and adultery”. So, we ask: are fornication and adultery good, halal things?

Moreover, one of the very last ayahs of the Qur’an to be revealed re-affirm the halalness of “the good things”:

اليوم أحل لكم الطيبات

Today, the good things are made halal to you.41

Once more, this is from al-Maidah where nothing of halal and haram has been abrogated. As such, this verse also re-declares mut’ah to be halal since it is one of “the good things”, according to the Prophet himself.

We equally read these verses:

يسألونك ماذا أحل لهم قل أحل لكم الطيبات

They ask you (O Muhammad) what is halal for them. Say: “The good things are made halal for you.”42

And:

الذين يتبعون الرسول النبي الأمي الذي يجدونه مكتوبا عندهم في التوراة والإنجيل يأمرهم بالمعروف وينهاهم عن المنكر ويحل لهم الطيبات ويحرم عليهم الخبائث ويضع عنهم إصرهم والأغلال التي كانت عليهم

Those who follow the Messenger, the Ummi Prophet, whom they find written with them in al-Tawrat and al-Injil, he orders them with good deeds and forbids them from evil deeds, and he makes the good things halal for them and makes the impure things haram to them, and removes from them their burden and shackles which they were upon.43

We know that he “ordered” the performance of mut’ah. In that case, it is one of the “good deeds”. We also know that he explicitly called mut’ah one of “the good things”. This assures us that he always declared it halal till his death, in line with the Qur’an of his Lord, and never made it haram – not even for a split second.

Meanwhile, let us equally look at this from another angle. In one of the Makkan surahs, Allah declares haram all forms of indecent behaviours:

قل إنما حرم ربي الفواحش ما ظهر منها وما بطن والإثم والبغي بغير الحق وأن تشركوا بالله ما لم ينزل به سلطانا وأن تقولوا على الله ما لا تعلمون

Say: “My Lord has only made haram all indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you say against Allah what you do not know”.44

So, fornication and adultery – both of which are indecencies – were already made haram before the Hijrah. Our Sunni brothers say that mut’ah also constitutes fornication and adultery. As such, by their logic, it was banned during the Makkan era by Allah and His Messenger. But then, on what basis was the Prophet practising mut’ah along with his Sahabah after the Hijrah? On what basis was he also “allowing” and “commanding” them to contract temporary marriages? Was he contradicting his Lord? Was he declaring the haram to be halal? Was he encouraging and enforcing fornication and adultery?

Even worse still for our Sunni brothers, this is what the Kitab has said:

قل إن الله لا يأمر بالفحشاء

Say: “Verily, Allah does NOT command indecencies.”45

In fact, He actually forbids them:

إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر والبغي

Verily, Allah commands justice, good deeds and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecencies, and evil deeds and rebellion.46

So, we put this to the Ahl al-Sunnah: when Allah commands us to give dowries to mut’ah wives in the Verse of al-Mut’ah, what has He done?

  • 1. Qur’an 4:24
  • 2. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ya’qub b. Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi, al-Furu’ min al-Kafi (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], vol. 5, p. 449, # 4
  • 3. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Mir-at al-‘Uqul fi Sharh Akhbar Al al-Rasul (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: Sayyid Muhsin al-Husayni al-Amini], vol. 20, p. 229
  • 4. Muhammad Ṣadiq al-Husayni al-Ruhani, Fiqh al-Ṣadiq (Qum: Muasassat Dar al-Kitab; 3rd edition, 1414 H), vol. 22, p. 14
  • 5. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir b. Yazid b. Kathir b. Ghalib al-Amuli al-Ṭabari, Jami al-Bayan fi Tawil al-Qur’an (Dar al-Fikr; 1415 H) [annotator: Ṣidqi Jamil al-‘Aṭṭar], vol. 5, p. 19
  • 6. Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tahdhib (Beirut: Dar al-Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah; 2nd edition, 1415 H) [annotator: Muṣtafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Aṭa], vol. 1, p. 232, # 1458
  • 7. See Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir b. Yazid b. Kathir b. Ghalib al-Amuli al-Ṭabari, Jami al-Bayan fi Tawil al-Qur’an (Dar al-Fikr; 1415 H) [annotator: Ṣidqi Jamil al-‘Aṭṭar], vol. 5, p. 17
  • 8. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Hazm al-Andalusi, al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh fi al-Qur’an al-Karim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Dr. ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Sulayman al-Bundari], p. 33
  • 9. Qur’an 2:106
  • 10. Qur’an 16”101
  • 11. Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafi’i, Kitab Ikhtilaf al-Hadith, pp. 483-484
  • 12. ‘Abd al-Razzaq b. Hamam al-Ṣana’ani, Tafsir al-Qur’an (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Rushd; 1st edition, 1410 H) [annotator: Dr. Muṣtafa Muslim Muhammad], vol. 1, p. 55
  • 13. Prof. Dr. Hikmat b. Bashir b. Yasin, Mawsu’at al-Ṣahih al-Masbur min al-Tafsir bi al-Mathur (Madinah: Dar al-Mathar li al-Nashr wa al-Tawzi’ wa al-Ṭaba’at; 1st edition, 1420 H), vol. 1, p. 213
  • 14. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Isma’il b. Ibrahim b. Mughirah al-Bukhari al-Ju’fi, al-Jami’ al-Ṣahih al-Mukhtaṣar (Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir; 3rd edition, 1407 H) [annotator: Dr. Muṣṭafa Dib al-Bagha], vol. 6, p. 2484, # 6383
  • 15. Qur’an 23:5-7 and 70:29-31
  • 16. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ya’qub b. Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi, al-Uṣul min al-Kafi (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], vol. 1, p. 69, # 3
  • 17. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Mir-at al-‘Uqul fi Sharh Akhbar Al al-Rasul (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: Sayyid Muhsin al-Husayni al-Amini], vol. 1, p. 229
  • 18. Hadi al-Najafi, Mawsu’at Ahadith Ahl al-Bayt (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 1st edition, 1423 H), vol. 9, p. 394, # 11899
  • 19. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ya’qub b. Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi, al-Uṣul min al-Kafi (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], vol. 1, p. 69, # 5
  • 20. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Mir-at al-‘Uqul fi Sharh Akhbar Al al-Rasul (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: Sayyid Muhsin al-Husayni al-Amini], vol. 1, p. 229
  • 21. Prof. ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari, Dirasat fi ‘Ilm al-Dirayah Talkhiṣ Miqyas al-Hidayah (Jami’at al-Imam al-Ṣadiq; 1st edition), p. 259
  • 22. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, al-I’tiqadat (Dar al-Mufid; 2nd edition, 1414 H) [annotator: ‘Iṣam ‘Abd al-Sayyid], Ch. 1, p. 22
  • 23. Ja’far al-Subhani, Kulliyat fi ‘Ilm al-Rijal (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami; 3rd edition, 1414 H), p. 27
  • 24. Naṣir Makarim al-Shirazi, al-Amthal fi Tafsir Kitab Allah al-Munzal, vol. 12, p. 34
  • 25. Qur’an 5:87
  • 26. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Isma’il b. Ibrahim b. Mughirah al-Bukhari al-Ju’fi, al-Jami’ al-Ṣahih al-Mukhtaṣar (Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir; 3rd edition, 1407 H) [annotator: Dr. Muṣṭafa Dib al-Bagha], vol. 5, p. 1953, # 4787
  • 27. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurṭubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 1, p. 450, # 4302
  • 28. Ibid
  • 29. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Ṣahihayn (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1411 H) [annotator: Muṣtafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Aṭa], vol. 2, p. 340, # 3210
  • 30. Ibid
  • 31. Ibid
  • 32. Abu ‘Abd Allah Ahmad b. Hanbal al-Shaybani, Musnad (Cairo: Muasassat Qurṭubah) [annotator: Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 6, p. 188, # 25588
  • 33. Ibid
  • 34. Abu al-‘Ala Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwazi bi Sharh Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1410 H), vol. 10, p. 208
  • 35. Shams al-Din Muhammad b. Ahmad b. ‘Uthman al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam wa Wafiyat al-Mashahir wa al-A’lam (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi; 1st edition, 1407 H) [annotator: Dr. ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Salam Tadmuri], vol. 3, p. 389
  • 36. Abu Ya’la Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Muthanna al-Mawṣili al-Tamimi, Musnad (Damascus: Dar al-Mamun li al-Turath; 1st edition, 1404 H) [annotator: Dr. Husayn Salim Asad], vol. 9, p. 260, # 5382
  • 37. Ibid
  • 38. Abu Hatim Muhammad b. Hibban b. Ahmad b. Hibban b. Mu’adh b. Ma’bad al-Tamimi al-Darimi al-Busti, Ṣahih Ibn Hibban bi Tartib Ibn Balban (Beirut: Muasassat al-Risalah; 2nd edition, 1414 H) [annotators: Muhammad Naṣir al-Din al-Albani and Shu’ayb al-Arnaut], vol. 9, p. 448, # 4141
  • 39. Ibid
  • 40. Ibid
  • 41. Qur’an 5:5
  • 42. Qur’an 5:4
  • 43. Qur’an 7:157
  • 44. Qur’an 7:33
  • 45. Qur’an 7:28
  • 46. Qur’an 16:90