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Islam, Women and Feminism (31 Dec 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Nikah Mut’ah and Nikah Misyar Are Temporary Marriages That Only Benefit The Muslim Man: They Should Be Seen As Nothing But Prostitution

By Dr. Deeba Abedi, New Age Islam

31 Dec 2016

Some cultural and religious practices just keep going on and on for centuries without ever being questioned. No one asks what good they are or who truly benefits from them or why they are still in place after 1,300 years. Nikah Mut’ah and Nikah Misyar, for instance, are some of those customs that perhaps seemed relevant in the seventh century, but today, to many Muslims, they are outdated and geared only for the benefit of Muslim men, with little or no advantages for the women.

There are other Nikahs such as Nikah ‘Urfi, which is a Sunni marriage custom that requires witnesses but is not to be registered with the state or government, and let’s not forget the Nikah Halala, which insists that a divorced woman marry someone else and consummate that marriage and then divorce him BEFORE she can remarry her previous husband, if that is what she really desires. These cultural and religious traditions continually undermine the rights of women and constantly remind us all of who is in charge and who is the dominant gender in Muslim countries ruled by Sharia law. It certainly is not the woman; she is not even an equal partner.

Nikah Mut’ah, also known as the traveler’s marriage, is a temporary marriage that is practiced by Shia Muslims. Nikka Mut’ah was initially designed for men who went on long journeys or to war and didn’t want to break Sharia law but wanted to save themselves from various sexual sins by getting “married” to a woman for a limited period of time. The same practice is still available for men today, even if they aren’t traveling or going to war. A man can make a temporary contract with a woman to be his temporary wife for a certain period of time, which could be several hours, days, weeks or months. No witnesses are necessary for this contract to begin, as Allah and the Qur’an are considered to be the only witnesses needed. He must pay the “bride” in some way (dowry) and when the time period of the contract ends then the temporary marriage ends also and the woman is alone – again. He could conceivably do this with as many women as he likes for the duration of his life. It is not unheard of for a man to be “married” to a number of wives at the same time for several hours – and then the relationship(s) is over.

Nikah Misyar is similar to Nikah Mut’ah in many ways, even though Sunni Muslims might disagree. It is a contractual marriage that must have two adult Muslim male witnesses to make it legitimate and there can be no limit or term of expiration involved in the contract, either written or spoken. The NikahMisyar mandates that the “husband” and “wife” each voluntarily give up some of their rights. They don’t live together and the husband cannot have “anytime” sexual access to her and they must arrange visits. He doesn’t have to support her financially and if any children are produced through the relationship the father gains total custody of them after the children reach the age of seven. An important factor in Nikah Misyar, that was mentioned earlier, is that the marriage contract is not temporary, that is, there is no end date affixed to their contract. There is, however, an exit or escape strategy built in to the covenant just for the man. He is not allowed to say or write the termination date or even mention his intention of leaving her, say, at the end of his stay in Canada or the United States. If he does any of those things then the contract is null and void. He is, on the other hand, allowed to “think” it. In other words, if he doesn’t say or write his intention but in his mind he intends to leave her at a certain point in time, then it is not definite, because things could change and he might not leave. His tacit intention has been interpreted as being between the “servant and the Lord” and therefore he can remain chaste and avoid fornication because he is legitimately “married.” The woman must give up equal husband time in cases of polygamy, along with maintenance payments by her “spouse” and she can be divorced at any time if he gets tired of her, leaving her destitute and then taking her children taken away when they are old enough.

Both Nikahs have plenty of benefits – for the man. It has been said that some women who have no hope of a real marriage also benefit from these marriage contracts, because of the companionship they offer. It has also been said that most women in these very temporary relationships are being treated as prostitutes and the men are simply using the women as sexual objects. Of course, most women who have entered into these arrangements have little or no future hope of a life-long marriage because of the stigma placed on them for being in a temporary marriage.

The Shia and the Sunni cannot agree on many things including how disastrous these two Nikahs are to women. Sunnis and Shias also can’t agree that with some minor differences these two Nikahs are very similar indeed. The Shia say that the Qur’an allows Nikah Mut’ah: 'So those of them [women] whom you enjoy, give to them their appointed wages' (4:24). While the Sunnis say that the practice is not lawful because the Quran states: 'Prosperous are the believers, who… ..guard their private parts, save from their wives and what their right hands own. ..; but whosoever seeks after more than that, those are the transgressors' (23:1-7),  which they say means sexual intercourse is illegal with the woman who is not a real wife.

Nikah Mut’ah and NikahMisyar are temporary marriages that only benefit the man in the relationship. Both of these practices should be seen by every sovereign government for what they are – prostitution – and prohibited endlessly. These “marriages” are only hiding behind the thinnest façade of legality and posing as a sacred element of a world religion for only one reason: to maintain men’s domination over women.


Dr. Deeba Abedi is an Indian-American born in Mumbai, India, to a Muslim family and raised in India and the United States. Currently writing books, she wears multiple hats as a writer, a women’s rights activist and a physician entrepreneur. Also, an advocate for global public health and health laws, Dr. Abedi hopes for perfect humanism toward women one day. In her leisure time, she plays sitar and sings. She is also a fierce debating champion. She contributed this article to NewAgeIslam.com exclusively.

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/deeba-abedi,-new-age-islam/nikah-mut’ah-and-nikah-misyar-are-temporary-marriages-that-only-benefit-the-muslim-man--they-should-be-seen-as-nothing-but-prostitution/d/109557

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  • Premohamedan cultural elements have taken deep roots in quran hathis etc.One must learn to removepreIslamic practtices.Marriages are for life.The possibility of divorce is not denied.Still marriages must be made for life.The word contract is nauseating

    By Dr.Anburaj - 1/26/2017 1:40:24 AM

  • The writer has forgot to mention that in Nikah Mut'aa, no matter how much time it is contracted for, the woman has to undergo the period for 'iddah which is typically around 4 months (3 mensuration cycles). So, if a woman contracts Nikah Mutaah for one hour, she cannot touch another man for almost four months to be sure that she is not pregnant. However, a renewal of the contract with the same man does not require the expiry of the 'iddah and she can contract it say after a few days, if need be. An issue (child) out of Nikah Mutaah has same rights in inheritance as the that of the father's children from permanent marriage. 
    By Faisal - 1/25/2017 5:46:55 AM

  • Sura 4:24 0f Quran should be interpreted properly as it gives an impression that temporary marriages are valid.
    By Ashok Sharma - 1/11/2017 4:23:31 AM

  • Sir: It is so sad to read, especially in this day and age, our Muslim brothers discussing  very old customs and traditions of marriage, of Mutah,and so on which in todays world is not at all applicable. High time   we as Muslims ought really to wake up and be more progressive
    rather being regressive.
    Such is the plight of our UMMAH,such is the plight of our faith.

    By Syed Ali - 1/2/2017 10:48:04 PM

  • It's so pity that when it comes to celebrating Milad of Nabi (saw) so many Religious scholars deliver their sermons & Fatwas stating as Bid'aa / or Haram and so on....
    But when it comes to sex or lust no one utter a word.
    How shameful for those who in spite of knowledge & information prefers to let these sins prosper...

    By A JALIL QURESHI - 1/2/2017 1:23:54 PM

  • what ever traditions may say ,  such practices are NOT  just.

    By abc - 1/2/2017 6:11:59 AM

  • Dear Raihan Nizami Sb, Islamic practice is one thing and Qur'an's clearly illustrated principles are another. Some may argue that stoning to death for adultery, capital punishment for apostasy, giving dowry to the groom at the time of marriage are legalized in Islamic practice. The argument can be stretched by the extremists to put all sorts of restriction on women citing Islamic practices and discriminating against non-Muslim. We must have the conviction of faith to say loud and clear what the Qur'an forbids without any ambiguity - if we understand the Qur'an. No if's and buts and safety clause of God knows best.
    By muhammad yunus - 1/2/2017 4:22:51 AM

  • halala is forbidden in Islam

    Dear Shan 94,

    You have to read the related Qur'anic verses together to understand its message - a truism that holds for all  discourses expounding social laws. Therefore I request you to read my article referenced in my last comment below to know that the Qur'an stipulates a 3-month time-frame for a divorce to be effective - which is not the case with halala. Besides halala does not offer any financial compensation to the divorced.
    By muhammad yunusm - 1/2/2017 4:12:33 AM

  • Both Nikah Mut’ah and Nikah Misyar have been made legal in Islamic practice that is not questionable. The people who are induldged in misuse of Islamic practices in any way, will be answerable to Allah the almighty.
    By Raihan Nezami - 1/1/2017 12:52:42 AM

  • Halala is in the Koran


    The Qur'an expounds: “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah . These are the limits of Allah , which He makes clear to a people who know”. (2:230, Shahih International Translation).

    By shan94 - 12/31/2016 9:19:20 PM

  • Both Nikah Mut’ah and NikahMisyar must be banned and anyone involved in such "nikahs" must be criminally prosecuted.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 12/31/2016 1:25:39 PM

  • Ms Deeba Abedi hits at the head of the nail by conflating temporary marriage and Halala with prostitution, except that she regards them as constructs of culture and religion - whereas they are unlawful in religion and purely rooted in the pre-Islamic customs. The subject is probed from religious standpoint in my article referenced below, and arrives at the following conclusion:

    "The institution of temporary marriage (Muta) and triple divorce are in direct contradiction to the Qur’anic message and therefore stand Haram. Some local customs such as Halala that allows a man to divorce his wife at the spur of the moment, such as in a state of anger or drunkenness and then force her into marriage and sexual intercourse with a friend and get him to divorce her to marry her back the next day or so totally disregarding the three month time for his divorce and that of his friend to take effect also stands utterly haram and sexually shameful sadistic. These practices that remain part of the Classical Islamic Law have defiled and demonized Islam,.."

    Qur’anic Sharia (Laws) On Divorce: Triple Divorce, Temporary Marriage, Halala Stand Forbidden (Haram)


    By muhammad yunus - 12/31/2016 5:52:45 AM

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