What is meant by temporary marriage? (Muta'a) and why do the Shia believe in it's permissibility?
ANSWER:Marriage is contract of union between the husband and wife; sometimes this relation is done in the permanent manner without any limits or boundaries mentioned in the marriage contract, and other times the same relation is formed in essence, but only during a limited span of time with a specified duration. Both these marriages are considered legal and the only difference between them being that one is temporary, while the other one is permanent with a few similarities between them.The following conditions are as creditable in the temporary marriage as is with the permanent one.Both the man and woman should not be legally prevented with kinship, among other legal formalities or else the marriage contract can be nullified.The dowry accepted by both sides should be compromised in the marriage contract.The period of marriage ought to be specified.The legal contract should be formalized.The child born out of this marriage is their legal child and should be named after the parents.The child is dependent on his father and the procedure of inheritance is also valid for him and is considered his legal right.When the period of this marriage terminates, and if it happened that the woman has not reached the stage of menopause, she should consider the waiting period 'Eddah' before entering into another marriage contract, and likewise if she is pregnant, she should also refrain form getting married until she gives birth.Other rules that regard the permanent marriage should also be regarded in the temporary marriage. The only difference being that since the temporary marriage is legislated to overcome the necessities, the wife's maintenance is not upon the husband and if the woman does not stipulate the right to inherit her husband's property in the marriage contract, she will not be able to inherit it in the long run. Thus it is quite obvious that these two differences have no such effect regarding the essence of Marriage itself.We all believe that the Islamic religion is of the universal kind that fulfills all the needs of mankind. Now let us consider the case of a young man who needs to stay in a foreign country in order to continue his studies and because of the restricted facilities, he is unable to have a permanent marriage thus, he is in a traumatic state and there lie three possibilities before him that are;To remain single.To fall in the pollution of corruption,To marry a woman legally for a temporary period in the framework of the above-mentioned conditions for the temporary marriage contract.Let us ponder over these three conditions:Regarding the first case, one can say that it usually proves to be unsuccessful because even though some can endure not having sexual inter-course, but it can be rather difficult for everyone to refrain themselves due to the cause of mental disturbance.As for the second case, it's end is nothing but doom and wretchedness and according to Islam, regarded as prohibited! And considering it to be ideal for allowing it because of its necessity, is but a deviation of thought, when there could be a better and purer way, which leaves us with the best choice to opt for, that is the third way.Therefore, it is only the third method left to be chosen, which Islam suggests, and this was also practiced during the Prophet's lifetime, then later on, dispute arose in the matter and was nullified by the caliph's of the time.Let us remind ourselves at his point, of the following:The ones who fear getting involved in the temporary marriage considering it as illegal, should realize that all the Islamic scholars and researchers have accepted something that is similar to it in the permanent marriage contract; and that is the couple who are involved in permanent marriage, their contract is valid even if it be on the grounds of them having an intention of divorce in more or less than an year.It is obvious that such a marriage is apparently permanent though in reality it is temporary what with their intention. This type of permanent marriage differs from that of the temporary one in that the latter is limited for a certain period of time both apparently and in reality, whilst the former is apparently permanent but in reality, temporary.Thus how could it be so that the ones who are all for the permanent marriage that is widely accepted by the scholars, fear the permissibility of the temporary one?Now that we have gotten acquainted to the essence of the temporary marriage, let us prove of its legality, The legality of the temporary marriage at the beginning of Islam.The non-abrogation of this religious command during the time of the Messenger of God.Then again, the obvious clue to its being legal, is stated in the verse of the Holy Quran such as:". Then as those whom you profit by, give them their wages as appointed.."This verse gives witness to the validity of temporary marriage becauseFirstly, the phrase, 'estimation- profit by, and enjoy' is used here, which is apparently regarded for the temporary marriage; if at all this meant the permanent marriage, then there was no indication needed.Secondly, the phrase, 'ujoorahunna' is used in order to portray the meaning 'wage' which is a clear evidence in itself for 'muta', because in the case of permanent marriage, words such as 'dowry' and 'sadaqa-nupital gift' is used to substantiate it.Thirdly, Both the Sunni and Shia interpreters agree that the above-mentioned verse was revealed for the temporary marriage.Jalal Al-deen Al-Soyuti in his book ofcommentary 'Al-dor Al-Manthoor' narrates from Ibn-Jareer and Soddi that the above verse was regarding 'muta'Abu-Ja'afer Muhammed bin Jareer Tabari in his commentary narrates from Soddi, Mujahid and Ibn Abbas that this verse regards the temporary Marriage.Fourthly, The owners of Sahah, Masaneed and other comprehensive books of narration accept to this fact; for instance Muslim bin Hajjaj in his 'Sahih' narrates from Jabir bin Abdulla and Salamah bin Akwa who said: "The Prophets call has reached to us saying: God's messenger has given the permission to 'enjoy', meaning temporary marriage."The authentic narrations for this topic are innumerable. Consequently, the principle of legislating 'muta' in the early Islam and at the time of the Holy Prophet, is accepted by the Muslim scholars and interpreters.The question arises as to, 'was the verse of 'muta' abrogated?It was quite occasional to find anyone still doubting the permissibility of 'muta' during the time of the messenger of Allah; The point of discussion lies in the continuation or the abrogation of this command after the time of the Prophet.Both the tradition and the history of Islam, mention to the fact that the practice of this divine commandment was common among the Muslims until the time of the second caliph who, because of public interests, made a stop to the practice.Muslim bin hajjaj in his 'sahih' (book of valid narrations) narrates that Ibn-Abbas and Ibn-Zubair had a disagreement regarding 'muta' and the 'muta of pilgrimage'. Jabir bin Abdullah said: "We practiced both during the time of God's messenger, then Omar prevented us from this practice such that we did not resume to the practice."Jalal Al-deen Al-Soyuti in his commentary narrates from Abdul-Razaq and Ibn-Jareer, both of them narrating from Hakim, asked him, "Was this verse of muta' abrogated?" He replied, "No", and Ali (p) had said: "If it was not for Omar prohibiting the practice of muta, no one except for the wretched would commit adultery."Ali bin Muhammed Qushchi also said, "Omar bin Al-Khattab ascended the pulpit and said: "O people, there are three things that existed during the time of the Prophet that I now forbid it's practice, and I punish the one who practices them, these are, 'Muta of women', 'Muta of pilgrimage' and 'Haya ala Khairil amal'It is imperative to mention that the narrations similar to these kind are more than can be mentioned.It is important to point out the fact that 'muta' is one of the divisions of marriage, because marriage is divided into temporary and permanent, thus the woman in the temporary marriage contract is the wife of that person and her spouse is considered to be called her 'husband' so naturally, such a marriage is definitely included in the verses that state about the rules concerning marriage, and if the Quran states that,"And who guard their private parts except before their mates and whom their right hands possess, for they surely are not blamable."The wife in the temporary marriage is as the example states, ".except for their mates" according to the framework of the previously mentioned conditions. So it is matter-of-fact that the wife in this marriage is included in the phrase of "their mates." Therefore, if the above verse of sura Mominun permits the sexual relation for two groups of women being the wife and the slave girl, then the woman in the temporary marriage is obviously of the first group. (i.e, wives.)It is quite surprising to hear that the mentioned verse in Sura Mominun abrogated the verse in sura Nisa, whilst we all know that the verse abrogated, ought to be revealed before the abrogated one, however, it is the opposite in this case where sura Mominun is considered as the abrogated verse revealed in Mecca before the migration of the Prophet to Madina and the sura Nisa having the verse regarding muta was revealed in Madina, and so how can a 'Macci' sura abrogate a verse in a 'Madani sura'?Another evidence that testifies the non-abrogation of the verse of 'muta' during the time of the Prophet are the enormous traditions denying to the annulment of this practice at the time of the messenger, such as the previously mentioned narration by Jalal Al-deen Soyuti in 'Al-dor Al-Manthoor'Last but not least, let us remind ourselves of this point, and that is the fact that the family of the household, our revered Imams themselves, who according to the narration of 'Thaqalain', caused the nation's guidance, and will never separate from the holy Quran, have out rightly declared to the permissibility and authorization of temporary marriage.Thus Islam is ready and able to solve all the problems of the human society at large, and so approves the authorization of such a marriage by regarding the previously mentioned conditions due to the fact that one of the methods of rescuing the youths from falling in the pit of corruption is only solved by the purest method, which is temporary marriage in the frame work of its special conditions of course.(Nisa: 24)Al-dor Al-Manthoor vil.2 p.140 following the mentioned verse.Jame Al-Bayan fi Tafseer Al-Quran, vol.5 p.9Sahih Muslim, vol4 p.130, printed in Egypt.For example, some of the references are the following: Sahih Bukhari Bab Al-Tamatto.Masnad Ahmad, vol4 p.436 and vol. 3 p.356Al-Muwata (Malik) vol. 2 p. 30Sunan Al-Bihaqi vol. 7 p. 306Tafseer Al-Tabari vol.5 p. 9Nehayat Ibn-Atheer, vol. 2 p. 249Tafseer Al-Razi, vol. 3 p. 201.Tareekh Ibn-Khalakan, vol.1 p. 359Ahkam Al-Quran (Jasas) vol.2 p. 178Muhazirat Raqib, vol. 2 p. 94Al-Jame Al-Kabeer (Soyuti) vol. 8 p. 293Fath Al-Bari (Ibn-Hajar) vol. 9 p. 141Sunan Al-Baihaqi, vol. 7 p. 206 and Sahih Muslim, vol.1 p. 395Al-dor Al-Manthoor, vol. 2 p. 140, following he verse of Muta.Sharh Al-Tajreed (Qushchi), subject of Imamat, p. 484For more information, refer to the following:Masnad Ahmad, vol. 3 p. 356, 363.Al-bayab wal- Tabyeen (Jahiz), vol.2 p. 223Ahkam Al-Quran (Jasas) vol. 1 p. 342Tafseer Al-Qurtubi, vol. 2 p. 370.Al-Mabsoot (Sarakhsi Hanafi), kitab Al-hajj, Bab AL-Quran.Zad Al-Ma'ad (Ibn Qayem) vol. 1 p. 444Kanz Al-Amal, vol. 8 p. 293Masnad Abi Dawud Al-tayalesy, p. 247Tareekh al- Tabari, vol. 5 p. 32Al-Mustabeen (Tabari)Tafseer Razi vol. 3 p. 200-202Tafseer Abu Hayyan vol. 3 p. 218(Mominun: 5-6)Al-dor Al-Manthoor, vol. 2 p. 140-141 following the verse of Muta.Wasa'il Al-Shia vol. 14, Kitab Al-Nikah, bab Al-Muta, 1st bab, p. 436