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['Aalim Network QR] Mut'ah


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salamun 'Alaykum

The following question was kindly answered by Br. Hamid.

Fee Amanillah,

Akil Karim
Acting Moderator for ABDG-A

---------- Forwarded message ----------

QUESTION:

          What is your idea about ESTEHBAABE-MOT'E?
          Have we got any HADITH 'bout that?

ANSWER:

                             Bismihi-l-Haqq

There is unanimity amongst the Muslims that temporary marriage (mut'ah)
was sanctioned and approved by the Qur'an and the sunnah of the
Prophet (S).  The dispute on this issue between the Shia and the Sunnis
centres on whether or not this legislation was abrogated by a
subsequent Qur'anic verse and hadith-reports of the Prophet (S).  Our
position  (i.e. Shia), which can be documented with solid evidence, is
that no such abrogation took place in the lifetime of the Prophet.
Recently, an M.A. thesis on Mut'ah by Br. Riad Ahmad was submitted to
the Department of Islamic Studies at McGill University.  It has gone
for binding and cataloguing, and should be available in a few months.

The legislation on temporary marriage (mut'ah) is commonly invoked to
stigmatize the Shiah and is equated to a form of legalized prostitution.
Such a misconception is due to the inability to position this
institution within the larger social context.  Islamic social
legislation is comprehensive and thus must address all possible
scenarios.  Preservation of this practice was so important that the
Imams (a.s.) used to encourage their followers to contract mut'ah.  The
hadiths that recommend mut'ah have to be understood in this context,
i.e. it was meant to revive (yuhyi) and maintain this institution.  See
for example the hadith from Wasa'il-us-Shi'ah (Tehran, 1397 A.H. vol.14,
p. 444)  under the chapter on Nikah and section on Desirability
(Istihbaab) of Contracting Mut'ah: On the authority of the 6th Imam (a)
who is reported to have said that every man who contracts mut'ah and
then performs the ghusl, God creates from every drop (of water) that
drips from him seventy angels who seek his forgiveness till the Day of
Judgment . . .  Another hadith says that He forgives sins when one
perfoms the ghusl equal to the number of hair.  Other traditions that
recommend mut'ah: I love a man who does not leave this world until he
contracts mut'ah even if it is only once, and prays jum'ah in a
congregation; once the sixth Imam (a.s.) asked his companion Muhammad
b. Muslim if he had ever performed mut'ah to which he replied no.  The
Imam said that do not leave this world until you have revived (tuhyi)
the sunnah.  You will notice that wherever the Imams strongly
recommend mut'ah, it is in the context of reviving the sunnah of the
Prophet (S).  This becomes even clearer when we examine the hadith
reports that discourage (karaahat) mut'ah for those who already
have access to their permanent wives.  This is the view of Professor
Murtada Mutahhari and Ayatullah Fadlullah.  The latter believes that
mut'ah can be prohibited if it is warranted for the preservation of
public interest.

I should clarify, however, that all present-day jurists allow men to
enter into a mutah contract irrespective of whether they are permanently
married or not.  Ayatullah Fadlullah puts a limit of 4 wives, inclusive
of permanent and temporay wives, whereas others put no restriction on
the number of temporary wives.  It is prohibited to marry a virgin
in both temporary and permanent marriage without the
consent of her guardian (wali).  It is also reprehensible (makruh)
to engage in mut'ah contract with a virgin.

wa bi-l-laahi-t-tawfiq,

Hamid Mavani

Sources:  Sachiko Murata, Temporay Marriage (Mut'a) in Islamic Law
          The Rights of Women in Islam
          Mohammad Sharif, Innocently Accused: Fixed Term Marriage
          Al-Amili, Wasa'il-us-Shi'ah
          Al-Urwat-ul-Wuthqa with commentaries by marjas
          Ayat. Fadlullah, Ta'ammulat-ul-Islamiyyah hawl-al-Mar'ah



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