Temporary Marriage (Mutah) in Koran & in Hadiths books
Shias claim Muta to be legal and according to Islam. Shias discourage Mutah but do not consider it prohibited. All the references are taken from Sahih's and other Hadiths books.
Fixed-Term/Temporary/Pleasure Marriage are different names for the Arabic word of "Mut'a" which is a contract between a man and woman, much in the same way the Long-Term/Permanent/Conventional Marriage is. The main difference is that the temporary marriage longs only for a specified period of time, and man and woman will become stranger to each other after the expiration date without divorce. One misconception regarding temporary marriage is that some people think that the woman engaged in temporary marriage can have contract every other hour. This is completely misrepresentation of temporary marriage. After such contract has been expired, the woman has to wait for two months (Iddah) before which she can not marry any one else.
Besides, there are many other conditions for performing Muta as well.
The first one who legislated Mut'a with all the rules pertaining to it, was the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF), after it was revealed in Quran. All Muslims agree that the Messenger of Allah legislated Mut'a and made it legal after his migration to Medina, and the Muslims practiced it during his lifetime.
See al-Mughni, by Ibn Qudamah, v6, p644, 3rd Edition.
However there is a disagreement between the Shia and most of the Sunnis concerning whether the Prophet later banned it or not. Most Sunnis assert that although the Prophet legislated it, he later forbade it. This is while the Shia believe that temporary marriage was never abandoned by the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Besides no Quranic verse was revealed to ban the previous Quranic verse which made Muta legitimate, and Hadith can not oppose Quran. Allah revealed it in Quran, and it was being widely practiced to the end of his lifetime and during the period of Abu Bakr(ra) and the early days of Umar's(ra) rule, until Umar(ra) forbade it.
Evidence from Koran, Sunni Commentaries and Shia Commentaries:
Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, said: (...Except the forbidden women) the rest are lawful unto you to seek them with gifts from your property (i.e., dowry), provided that you desire protection (from sin), not fornication. So for whatever you have had of pleasure (Istamta'tum) with them by the contract, give unto them their appointed wages as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what you both agree (in extending the contract) after fulfilling the (first) duty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise. [Quran 4:24]
In the above verse, the Arabic equivalent of the word "marriage" or any of its derivatives has NOT been used. Rather the derivative of word "Mut'a" (pleasure/temporary marriage) has been used, i.e., "Istamta'tum". The word Istamta'a is the tenth verbal form of the root m-t-a. As we will show shortly, the word Istamta'a has also been widely used in the authentic Sunni collections for Temporary Marriage. Of course, Mut'a is one type of marriage, but some of it's regulations are different than the permanent marriage, including the fact that the couple can extend this contract by mutual agreement as the end of verse specifies.
Moreover, if we look at the Sunni commentaries of Quran, many Sunni scholars such as Fakhr al-Razi confirm that the above verse (4:24) was revealed about the Temporary Marriage (Mut'a). They straightforwardly mentioned that temporary marriage became Halaal (permitted) DUE TO the above verse, but they assert that it was later prohibited.
Many Sunni commentators mentioned under the above verse that:
Ali(ra) said: The Mut'a is a mercy from Allah to his servants. If it were not for Umar forbidding it, no one would commit (the sin) of fornication except the wretched. (Shaqi; an utmost wrong-doer)."
Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Tha'labi, under commentary of verse 4:24 of Quran;
Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v3, p200, commentary of verse 4:24;
Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, under commentary of verse 4:24 with authentic chain of narrators, v8, p178, Tradition #9042;
Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v2, p140, from several chain of transmitters;
Tafsir al-Qurtubi, v5, p130, under commentary of verse 4:24 of Quran;
Tafsir Ibn Hayyan, v3, p218, under commentary of verse 4:24 of Quran;
Tafsir Nisaboori, by al-Nisaboori (8th century);
Ahkam al-Quran, by Jassas, v2, p179, under commentary of verse 4:24.
A very similar tradition has also been narrated by Ibn Abbas (RA), and was mentioned by al-Tabari and al-Tha'labi in their Tafsir of Quran.
Note that Umar(ra) did not attribute the prohibition of Mut'a to the Prophet (PBUH&HF). They were others who did that after Umar(ra) mainly to justify what he did. Umar(ra) clearly mentioned that: "Mut'a WAS permitted at the time of the Prophet and I PROHIBIT it!" The great Sunni scholar, Fakhr al-Razi, who has been given the title of "Imam al-Mushakkikeen" (the leader of ever-questioners/ever-doubtful) by the Sunnis, in his voluminous commentary of Quran mentioned under the verse of Temporary Marriage that:
Umar(ra) said: Two types of Mut'a were (legal) during the time of the Prophet and I forbid them both, and I punish those who commit it. They are: Mut'a of pilgrimage and Mut'a of women.
Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Fakhr al-Razi, v3, p201 under verse 4:24;
Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p52;
Also in another Sunni commentary it is reported that:
Umar(ra) said, while on the pulpit: "O folk! Three were (allowed) during the time of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF), and I forbid them, and make them Haraam, and punish on them. They were: Mut'a of women, Mut'a of Hajj (pilgrimage), and saying 'Hayya Ala Khair al-Amal'."
Remark: The third item mentioned above which was prohibited by Umar(ra), is what is said in the Call for Prayer and Iqaamah after the phrase "Hayya Ala al-Falah", and it is practiced by the Shia to this date. It means "Hasten for the best deed". This part of call for prayer was abolished by Umar(ra) as well. Instead, he replaced it by the sentence: "Prayer is better than sleep"!
Who could we find better that Jabir Ibn Abdillah al-Ansari (RA), the great companion of the Prophet, who according to Sahih Muslim said:
Jabir Ibn Abdullah and Salama Ibn al-Akwa' narrated: There came to us the proclaimer of Allah's Messenger (May peace be upon him) and said: "Allah's Messenger has granted you to benefit yourself (Istamta'a), i.e., to contract temporary marriage with women."
Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI titled: Temporary Marriage, Tradition #3246.
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1022, Tradition #13, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut'a"
Jabir did NOT relate "Istamta'a" to consuming the marriage in general. Furthermore, in the verse 4:24 Allah states, "...And there is no sin for you in what you both agree after fulfilling the duty (i.e., dowry of the first contract)". The mutual agreement after the duty refers to extending the period of temporary marriage after full payment of the previous dower, so that the woman can freely decide on the continuation of the marriage with no pressure or temptation. In this way, Allah encourages that people who are engaged in Mut'a will get more reward if they extend it to a bigger period (or perhaps convert it to a permanent marriage) by assigning a new dower after fulfilling the previous dower.
Tafsir al-Tabari, by Ibn Jarir al-
Tabari, under the verse 4:24, v8, p180.
Another reason for the fact that the dowry mentioned in the above verse does not refer to permanent marriage, is that Quran has already talked about the dowry for permanent marriage at the early part of the very same chapter by saying:
"...Marry women of your choice two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one...". "And give the women (of permanent marriage) their dower as a free gift" [4.3 & 4:4]
It is clear that the above verses are about permanent marriage and the dowry associated with it. So there would be no need that Allah repeats it along with its associated dowry again in the very same chapter. However if Allah intended to discuss about Mut'a, then it is some thing new. And this can be inferred from the choice of words which Allah used in the verse of Mut'a (4:24) by using the derivative of Mut'a in contrast with the other verses around it.
Allah is discussing different types of marriages: first, permanent marriage in the verses before Verse 24, then temporary marriage in Verse 24, and then marriage with the slave girls in Verse 25. Thus Allah repeated the issue of dowry three times, one for permanent marriage, one for temporary marriage and one for the bondwomen.
Also many Sunni commentary books mentioned similar to the tradition of Sahih al-Bukhari (see part II) with more details and put it under the verse 4:24 of Quran:
Imran Ibn Husain narrated: "The verse of Mut'a (4:24) was revealed in Allah's Book, and there did NOT came any other verse after that to abrogate it; and the Prophet ORDERED US to do it, so we did it at the time of Allah's Apostle, and he did not forbade us from it till he died. But a man (who regarded it illegal) expressed what his own mind suggested."
It is narrated that: Abu Nadhra said: Ibn Abbas (RA) recited the verse 4:24 with the addition of "to an appointed time". I said to him: "I did not read it this way." Ibn Abbas replied: "I swear by Allah, this is how Allah revealed it," and Ibn Abbas repeated this statement three times."
Tafsir al-Kabir, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, under the verse 4:24, v8, p177, Tradition #9038
The Ja'far (as) was asked: "If the wife becomes pregnant as a result of Mut'a, to whom does the child belong?" He replied: "To the father," i.e., the child is legitimate.
[Wasa'il al-Shia, v14, p488]
Ibn Abbas was asked: "Is Mut'a fornication or marriage?" He answered: 'Neither the one nor the other.' The questioner then asked: "Well then, what is it?" Ibn Abbas replied: "It is Mut'a', just as God has said." The questioner continued: "Is there a waiting period in Mut'a?" He replied: "Yes, a menstrual period." He was also asked: "Do the husband and wife inherit from each other?" He answered: "No."
[Reference: Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v3, p286]
The Ja'far (as) considered Mut'a a divine mercy by means of which people were saved from the sin of fornication and delivered from God's retribution. Concerning the Quranic verse: "Whatsoever mercy God opens to men, none can withhold (35:2)," the Imam said: "Mut'a is part of that mercy."
[Wasa'il al-Shia, v14, p439].
According to Sunni and Fabricated Hadiths:
According to Sunnis, Muta was practiced till 7th Hijri (i.e. after migration to Madina). This is agreed by almost all sunnis. But the argument lies whether it was prohibited later on by Allah or not. This point must be remembered that Muta was once allowed in Islam, so why criticize it such that it was a thing of pre-islamic days?
The Quranic Verses that Sunni brothers quote for prohibition of Muta are in Surahs, which are by Ijma revealed in Makkah or in initial time of Madina. Maulana Modoodi checked all these quranic verses and came to conclusion that it is only conjecture to say that these verses prohibit Muta.
Some people fabricated Ahadith to prove that quran prohibited Muta. Unfortunately, some peoples still quote these Ahadith. Such fabricated ahadith are listed below.
Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (r.a.a.) said: "Temporary marriage was at the beginning of Islam. A man comes by a town where he has no acquaintances, so he marries for a fixed time depending on his stay in the town, the woman looks after his provisions and prepares his food, until the verse was revealed: "Except to your wives or what your right hands possess." Ibn 'Abbas explained that any relationship beyond this is forbidden. [narrated by Tirmidhee]
Contrary to above Hadith, Ibn Abbas was the person who very very strongly promoted Mutta and even fought people for that. There are a lot of Ahadith which confirm this fact. The above hadith claims that Ibn Abbas said that muta became Haram after the revelation of verse "Except to your wives or what your right hands possess." Now this verse is either in Sura Nisa, or in Sura Muminoon (23rd Sura). And by Ijma of Sunni Ulama, Sura Muminoon was revealed in Makkah and Sura Nisa was revealed in the very early part of Madinian Life. While Muta was practiced(according to Sunnies) at least till 7th Hijri.
'Aisha(ra) said: "It has been forbidden in the Qur'an in the words of the Most High: "And those who preserve their private parts except with their spouses or what their right hands posses, then they would have no blame." [23:5].
Verse [23:5] is from Sura Muminoon, which is by Ijma revealed in Makkah. Please see introduction to this Surah by Maudoodi. Extremist Sunni brothers forcefully try to deduce the result that it prohibits Muta. But understanding of Rasool Allah (saww) is contrary to these people and he allowed Sababa to perform Mutta long long after revelation of this verse.
Summary of all Ahadith which Prohibit Muta:
There are only 4 such Ahadith, which are transmitted by only 3 Sahaba (through different chains). Please don't get confuse when somebody present a lot of Ahadith. If you see the chain, then they return to only these 3 persons.
The names of these 3 companions are:
1) Rabi Ibn Sabra (who narrates it from his father Sabra Jahani)
2) Ali Ibn Talib
3) Salma b. al-Akwa'
ALL narrations of these 3 companions are CONTRADICTORY to each other. All these narrations from these 3 companions are contradictory to each other with respect to the "Time of Prohibitition Of Mutta"
1) Hadith of Ali claims Muta was prohibitted in 7th Hijri (at Khaybar)
2) In one Hadith, Ibn Sabra claims that Muta was prohibited in 8th Hijri (at victory of Makkah). While in other tradition, this same Ibn Sabra claims that Mutta was prohibited in 10th Hijri (at Last Pilgrimage Hujjatul Wida)
3) While Salma b. al-Akwa claims that Mutta was prohibited in 9th Hijri (i.e. in year of Autas, which was after battle of Hunain)
They cannot simulteneously use all these 3 in order to prove prohibitation of Mutta by Rasool Allah (saww). In comparison to above mentioned 3 Reports (which even contradict each other), there are witnesses of 20+ Sahaba and Tabaeen, which are UNNANIMOUS that it was Umar(ra) who forbade Muta.
Narrated 'Imran bin Husain: "The Verse of Mut'a was revealed in Allah's Book, so we did it at the time of Allah's Apostle, and nothing was revealed in Quran to make it illegal, nor did the Prophet prohibit it till he died. But a man (who regarded it illegal) expressed what his own mind suggested."
Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, v6, Hadith #43
Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic, v2, p375, v6, p34
Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p436 on the authority of 'Imran Ibn al-Qasir
Narrated 'Abdullah Ibn Masud: We used to participate in the holy battles led by Allah's Apostle and we had nothing (no wives) with us. So we said, "Shall we get ourselves castrated?" He forbade us (to castrate ourselves) and then allowed us to marry women with a temporary contract (Mut'a) and recited to us: 'O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, but commit no transgression.' (5.87)
Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English version, v7, Tradition #13a
Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic, v6, p11, under Tafsir of verse 5:87 of Quran
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1022, Tradition #11, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut'a"
Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3243
[Please Note: Ibn Masood mentioned the verse (5:87) i.e. Sura Maida, which was revealed after Hudaybiyyah i.e. in 7th Hijri]
Another companion who opposed this innovation of Umar(ra), was his own son!! His name was Abdullah Ibn Umar. He was in favor of both Mut'a of Hajj and Mut'a of women. I give two traditions expressing each Mut'a. It is narrated in Sahih al-Tirmidhi that:
"Some one asked Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) about Mut'a (of Hajj), he said: It is permitted (Halaal). So he was asked: your father forbade it. He said: Do you think that my father can forbid what the Prophet did? Should I follow what my father said, or should I follow what the Prophet ordered? The man said: Of course the orders of the Prophet (&HF)."
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v1, p157
Tafsir al-Qurtubi, v2, p365, reported from al-Darqunti
Evidences From the Sunni History/Fiqh/Misc. Books
"Ali(as) said: The Mut'a is a mercy from Allah to his servants. If it were not for Umar forbidding it, no one would commit (the sin of) fornication except a (Shaqi/Shafa)."
Bidayat al-Mujtahid, by Ibn Rushd, v2, p58
al-Nihaya, by Ibn al-Athir, v2, p249
al-Faiq, by al-Zamakhshari, v1, p331
Lisan Al-Arab, Ibn Mandhoor, v19, p166
Taj al-Aroos, v10, p200
Fat'h al-Bari, v9, p141
Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v8, p293
Al-Iqd Al-Fareed, v2, p139
Umadat al-Qari, by al-'Ayni, v8, p310, (reports Mut'a was Halaal at the time of the Prophet + Abu Bakr + some of the Umar's period.)
Abu Nadhra said:
Ibn Abbas commanded to do Mut'a while Ibn Zubair forbade to do it. I mentioned this to Jabir Ibn Abdillah and he said: It is through me that this Hadith has been circulated. We did Mut'a (of Hajj and women) at the time of the Messenger of Allah. When Umar was installed as Caliph, he said: Verily Allah made permissible for his Messenger whatever He like and as He liked. And its command was revealed in Quran. Thus accomplish Hajj and Umra for Allah as Allah has commanded you, and confirm (by reverting to permanent marriage) the marriages of those women (with whom you have performed Mut'a). And any person would come to me with a marriage of appointed duration (i.e. Mut'a) I would stone him.
Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter CDXLII, Tradition #2801
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p885, Tradition #145.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah reported:
"We contracted temporary marriage giving a handful of the dates or flour as a dower during the life time of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and during the time of Abu Bakr until Umar forbade it because of Amr Ibn Huraith.
Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3249
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1023, Tradition #16, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut'a"
Ibn Juraih reported:
Ata' reported that Jabir Ibn Abdullah came to perform Umra, and we came to his abode, and the people asked him about different things, and then they made a mention of temporary marriage, whereupon he said: Yes, we had been benefiting ourselves by this temporary marriage during the life time of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) and during the time of Abu Bakr, and Umar.
Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3248
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1023, Tradition #15, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut'a"
Ibn Zubair was born of Mut'a marriage:
Muslim al-Qurri said:
I asked Ibn Abbas about Mut'a and he permitted it, where as Ibn Zubair had forbidden it. So Ibn Abbas said: "This is the mother of Ibn Zubair who states that Allah's Messenger had permitted it, so you better go to her and ask her about it. He (Muslim al-Qurri) said: So we went to her and she was a bulky blind lady. She said: Verily Allah's Messenger permitted it.
Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p909, Traditions #194-195.
Ibn Abbas supported Mut'a even after the battle of Camel (which happened when Ali (as) became the head of Islamic states), and years after he lost his eyes. Let me give you one interesting tradition reported by Ibn Abi al-Hadid.
Ibn Zubair gave a speech over the pulpit in Makkah when Ibn Abbas was sitting under the pulpit beside other people. Then Ibn Zubair said:
"Among these people is a man whom Allah has made his heart blind as He did with his eyes (referring to Ibn Abbas who was blind at the time); and he thinks that Mut'a of woman is permitted by Allah and his Messenger; and he issues religious verdicts for every single issues; and he has stolen the treasury of Basra yesterday and caused financial problems for the people of that city, and how can I blame him when he fought the mother of believers (Aisha) and the companions of the Messenger of Allah and those who protected him." Hearing that, Ibn Abbas said to Sa'd Ibn Khuthaimah to take him in front of Ibn Zubair since Ibn Abbas was blind. After he faced Ibn Zubair, Ibn Abbas said:
"O' Ibn Zubair! As for blindness, verily Allah said in Quran that:
'For indeed it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which are within the bosoms, that grow blind.' (Quran 22:46)
And as for my religious verdicts, there are reasons behind them that neither you nor your companions comprehend them. And as for the treasury, it was the money which was collected and we gave every liable person his just share. As for Mut'a, you better ask your mother Asma'! (note: Ibn Zubair was born of Mut'a marriage between Zubair and the daughter of Abu Bakr, Asma'). And as for our fighting the mother of believers, her title is referring to us, not you and your father (i.e., 'believers' is referring to us). Your father (Zubair) and your uncle (Talha) destroyed the protection that Allah provided for her, and used her for Fitna by fighting beside her while keeping their own wives at their homes; and they were not fair to Allah and His Messenger by exposing the wife of the Prophet and protecting their own wives; and as our fight against you (in the battle of Camel), we came forward to you, and if we were infidels (Kuffar) then you have become infidels by running away from us (after being defeated in the battle field), and if we were believers then you have become infidels by fighting against us. And if a woman was not among you, I wouldn't leave any bone among your people unless I would have broken."
When Ibn Zubair came back to her mother and ask her about Mut'a, she replied: "Did I not warn you from facing Ibn Abbas and facing Bani Hashim (The clan of the Prophet(PBUH&HF)), because they have answer for everything. O my son! Avoid this blind man for neither human nor unseen creatures (Jinn) can corner him."
Sunni reference: Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v4, pp 489-490
Also, in this connection, al-Raghib al-Isbahani reported:
Ibn Zubair denounced Ibn Abbas for his opinion on Mut'a. Thus Ibn Abbas told him: "Go and ask your mother what she did with your father." When Ibn Zubair asked her, she said: "By God, I did not conceive you except through Mut'a."
Sunni reference: al-Muhadhiraat, by al-Raghib al-Isbahani, v2, p96
Sunni scholars and their Fatwa's:
Ibn Hazm (d. 456) who is one of the Sunni scholars, in his book "Muhalla" gave the name of some of the companions and their disciples who believed that Mut'a is Halaal. In the 9th section of the chapter of Marriage in his book "Muhalla", Ibn Hazm gives a detailed account of Mut'a and its regulations. Among numerous companions and their disciples who believed in practicing Mut'a after the demise of the Prophet are:
Ali (as), Abu Dhar, Jabir Ibn Abdillah, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Abdullah Ibn Masud, Zubair Ibn al-Awwam, Imran Ibn Husain, Abdullah Ibn Umar, Ubay Ibn Ka'ab, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, Salamah Ibn Umayyah, Awka' Ibn Abdillah, Salamah Ibn al-Awka', Khalid Ibn Muhajir, 'Amr Ibn Huraith, Rabi'a Ibn Umayya, Suhair, Sa'id Ibn Jubair Tawoos, Qotadah, Mujahid, Ataa al-Madani al-Suddy, and al-Hasan (as),
Here is the Fatwa of Sunni Hadith Master "Hafidh Jalaluddin Syuti" about Umar Ibn Al-Khattab.
"He (Umar (ra)] is the first who made Mut'a forbidden (Haraam)."
Tarikh al-Khulafaa, by al-Hafidh Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, p136
Also Both Ibn Jarir al-Tabari and al-Zamakhshari narrated that:
"al-Hakam Ibn Ayniyah was asked if the verse of Mut'a of women is abrogated. He answered: 'No'."
Tafsir al-Tabari, under commentary of verse 4:24 of Quran, v8, p178
Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by al-Zamakhshari, under the verse 4:24, v1, p519
The hadiths claiming to ban Muta are extremeley contradictory to one another and a fabrication, as the same sunni books also prove that Muta was allowed till the era of Umar(ra), who later forbade it. According to shia traditions, only one kind of ahadith were found. Muta was allowed by Allah as a mercy for Muslims.