Nikah mut'ah

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In some forms of the religion Islam, Nikah mut'ah is a form of marriage. It is also called Sigheh. Unlike Nikāḥ, which is the other form of marriage in Islamic law, a Nikah mut'ah marriage does not last for the two people's whole lives. It lasts only limited time. Nikah mutah is about sexual pleasure.[1] The Twelver Shia Muslims say that Nikah mut'ah is legal, but most other Muslims disagree.

Conditions[change | change source]

Some things must be true for a Nikah mut'ah:

  • The bride must not be married to anyone else at the time
  • If she has never been married, her legal guardian must agree
  • She must be a Muslim, or among the People of the Book (which means Christians, Jews, and Muslims, mostly)
  • After the contract ends, she must not have sex with anyone for some time. This is usually three months. This is so people will now that the father of any children she has if she becomes pregnant was her husband.

Nikah mut'ah is different from the other form of marriage in other ways too:

  • The husband is not required to provide alimony or shelter for his wife
  • There's no way to settle an inheritance in favor of the partner if one of the two dies

Nikah mut'ah does not have to be publicly announced. Islam says that Muslim men may have only four and no more, but this only applies to Nikah-marriages.

According to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Nikah mut'ah is the only way a Muslim can marry a person of the Book who is not Muslim. He says Nikah is not possible with non-Muslims. Other Ayatollahs say that Muslims can marry non-Muslim people of the book.

Criticism[change | change source]

Nikah mut'ah has been used to cover child prostitution.[2][3] Some Western writers have argued that mut'ah is similar to prostitution.[4][5] Julie Parshall writes that mut'ah is legalised prostitution allowed by the Twelver Shia authorities. She quotes the Oxford encyclopedia of modern Islamic world to make a difference between marriage (nikah) and mut'ah. She also says that while nikah is for having children, mut'ah is just for sexual gratification.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Parshall, Philip L.; Parshall, Julie (1 April 2003). Lifting the Veil: The World of Muslim Women. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 9780830856961. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  2. "BBC - Undercover With The Clerics - Iraq's Secret Sex Trade - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  3. Al-Maghafi, Nawal (2019-10-06). "In Iraq, religious 'pleasure marriages' are a front for child prostitution". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  4. Meri, Josef W.; Bacharach, Jere L. (1 January 2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415966924.
  5. In Iraq, religious ‘pleasure marriages’ are a front for child prostitution The Guardian, 2019