Section One: Mut'a of Hajj

What is the mut'a of hajj?

In mut'a of hajj, a pilgrim wears ihram garment in hajj months at Miqat and then leaves it for the house of Allah in order to perform Tamattu'a Hajj. [After arriving at the house of Allah], He circumambulates, walks between Safa and Mawa, does taqsir1 and then gets out of the state of ihram. Thereupon he once again enters the state of ihram in the same journey in Mecca or preferably at the Sacred Mosque. Thereupon he goes towards 'Arafat and Mash'ar al-Haram performing hajj rituals to the end.

By doing this, he is able to perform tamatu'a hajj and Umra [in the same journey]. The term 'mut'a' means pleasure and enjoyment. In this kind of hajj, things that are prohibited during ihram, are allowed in the interval between ihrams. That is why it is called mut'a of hajj.

The prohibition of two mut'as and Imam Ali's opinion

When Umar prohibited those two lawful pleasures [muta' of hajj and mut'a marriage], Imam Ali (a.s), the guardian of Shari'a laws and the supporter of the Holy Prophet (S) stood against it.

Ahmad bin Hanbal and Muslim Nayshaburi have narrated certain traditions in this respect. Ahmad quotes Abdullah bin Shafiq as saying: Uthman used to prohibit mut'a and Ali (a.s) used to allow it. Addressing Uthman, Ali (a.s) said: You are so and so!2

Thereupon Ali (a.s) said: You know very well that we used to practice mut'a at the time of the Holy Prophet (S).

Uthman said: Yes, but we entertained fear.3

In another tradition, Sa'eed bin Musayyab says:

'Ali and 'Uthman differed on Hajj-at-Tamattu' while they were at 'Usfan (a familiar place near Mecca). 'Ali said, "I see you want to forbid people from doing a thing that the Prophet did?" When 'Ali saw that, he assumed Ihram for both Hajj and 'Umra.4

In another tradition, Marwan bin Hakam says:

I saw 'Uthman and 'Ali. 'Uthman used to forbid people from performing Hajj-at-Tamattu' and Hajj-al-Qiran (Hajj and 'Umra together), and when 'Ali saw (this act of 'Uthman), he assumed Ihram for Hajj and 'Umra together saying, "Labbaik for 'Umra and Hajj," and said, "I will not leave the tradition of the Prophet on the saying of somebody."5

  • 1. - Taqsir means shortening one's hair, beard or nail.
  • 2. - in this tradition, the narrators have omitted the words exchanged between Uthman, the third caliph and Imam Ali (a.s) or mentioned them vaguely. They have not mentioned Imam Ali's answer to Uthman's words. According to some traditions, Uthman said something to Imam Ali (a.s).
  • 3. - Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 156 and Musnad Ali bin Abi Talib, tradition no. 758.
  • 4. - Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 569. Muslim has also narrated a similar tradition. He quoting Musayyab says: Sa'id b. al-Musayyab reported that 'Ali and 'Uthman met at 'Usfan; and Uthman used to forbid (people) from performing Tamattu' and 'Umra (during the period of Hajj), whereupon 'Ali said: What is your opinion about a matter which the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) did but you forbid it? Thereupon Uthman said: You leave us alone, whereupon he ('Ali) said: I cannot leave you alone. When 'Ali saw this, he put on Ihram for both of them together (both for Hajj and 'Umra). (Sahih Muslim, tradition, no. 1223, and Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 220).
  • 5. - Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 567, tradition, no. 1488 and Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 153. Muslim has also reported it: 'Abdullah b. Shaqiq reported that 'Uthman used to forbid Tamattu', whereas 'Ali (Allah be pleased with him) ordered [people] to do it. 'Uthman said a word to 'Ali, but 'Ali said: You know that we used to perform Tamattu' with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) , whereupon he said: It is right, but we entertained fear. This hadith has been narrated by Shu'ba with the same chain of transmitters. (Muslim, Book 7, Number 2815).