Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Nikah Mu’tah (temporary marriage): is it forbidden in Islam?

Is temporary marriage allowed in Islam?

Assalamu aleykum

I am 5 months pregnant with my first child and I live with the baby's father,  however, I am afraid that we are not "officially" married. We have what many Muslims call a Nikah Mut'ah (temporary marriage).

I am getting very different opinions from Sunnis and Shias about temporary marriage... I seem to have been brainwashed into thinking that it is OK and I am starting to question myself now that I am pregnant.

I have done brief research about what the Qu'ran states about it, but I can't seem to understand if it is forbidden or not....Sunnis say "forbidden" and many Shia say "allowed" but what I want to know is WHAT DOES ALLAH AND THE HOLY QUR'AN say about Nikah mut'ah?

ANYONE that has an opinion please feel free to respond. I need to know what to do before I have this baby so I can make right of my situation if  I am indeed committing a SIN.

Thank you in advance brothers and sisters.

- Muamerab

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

31 Responses »

  1. Praise be to Allaah.

    Mut’ah marriage means that a man marries a woman – either Muslim or from the people of the Book – and specifies how long the marriage will last, for example five days, or two months, or half a year, or many years. The beginning and end of the marriage are specified, and he pays her a small mahr (dowry), and after the specified time is over, the woman exits the marriage. This kind of marriage was permitted during the year of the Conquest of Makkah for three days, then it was disallowed and prohibited until the Day of Resurrection. This was reported by Muslim (1406).

    The wife is the one with whom one stays on a long-term basis, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “… and live with them honourably …” [al-Nisaa’ 4:19], but in the case of mut’ah a man does not live with the woman for long.

    The wife is the one who is called a wife in sharee’ah, with whom the relationship is long-lasting. She is mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, ¾ for then, they are free from blame” [al-Mu’minoon 23:6] – the latter (a slave whom one’s right hand possesses) is not a wife according to sharee’ah, because her stay is limited to a short time.

    The wife is the one who inherits from the husband, or from whom the husband inherits, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:12]. But the woman in a mut’ah marriage does not inherit, because she is not a wife, since she spends such a short time with the man.

    On these grounds, Mut’ah marriage is considered to be zinaa (adultery or fornication), even if both parties consent to it, and even if it lasts for a long time, and even if the man pays the woman a mahr. There is nothing that has been reported in sharee’ah that shows that it may be permitted, apart from the brief period when it was allowed during the year of the conquest of Makkah. That was because at that time there were so many people who has newly embraced Islam and there was the fear that they might become apostates,
    because they had been used to committing zinaa during the Jaahiliyyah. So this kind of marriage was permitted for them for three days, then it was made haraam until the Day of Resurrection, as was narrated by Muslim, 1406.

    Allah Knows Best

  2. Asalam O Alaikum Sister,

    Please read the following link for the detailed answer.

  3. Yes, it is permissible to have temporary marriage and your child is halal. My husband and I had that before deciding on a permanent marriage. You have nothing to worry about. Of course, there are people that will disagree with me, but I know that you are in the right. May Allah bless you and your baby. Write me if you want and we can discuss this some more.

    • Johanna, the Islamic religion does not go according to our whims and opinions. The Sunni scholars are unanimous that temporary marriage is haram (forbidden).

      Wael Editor

      • Wael,

        Actually, I'm of the Shia school of thought and in our school of thought, it is not haram to have temporary marriage. Although, I wouldn't like it if my husband was to do that (we already talked about it and we agreed that he will not partake in the practice), I can see how a man might want to do it if he is away from his wife for a lengthy period of time. You should consider shias as well as Sunnis when you are writing to other Muslims on this site.


        • I'm aware that most Shia scholars allow it and I mentioned that previously. However, I do not agree with their minority opinion. I think it is a destructive and evil practice. Do you know that in Iran there are "houses of temporary marriage" where a man can go, sign a marriage contract for a duration of an hour, and have sex with a woman? It is basically legalized prostitution. It has even been denounced by some of the Shia scholars who see the evil that results from it.

          If you really believe that it is right, as you said earlier, then why would you make your husband agree not to do it? You should be happy for him to do something that you believe is right and halal, especially if he enjoys it.

          Your actions speak louder than your words. Let's face it, you would not want him to do it because it is against human nature and a vile practice. It is degrading to both parties, but especially to women, who are essentially being used for sex but without any of the rights of a true marriage.


          • Wael,

            My husband and I decided against this because of reasons that I will not go into with you. However, I never thought that the houses of temporary marriage are a good thing. You are speaking to me in a harsh way without knowing what my circumstances are. You do not know of my past or what I've been through before. I don't know how other women feel about this practice, however, I feel that as a Shia, my husband and I discussed the situation and decided against it. I think that you are a little insensitive when answering my previous comment. You allow your emotions to take over rather than realizing that you are speaking to a fellow believing and observant Muslimah. You accuse me of being a hypocrite because my husband and I decided against a practice that is done by other Shias. When you call someone a hypocrite, even if you don't use the word, you are really calling your self that. You should apologize to me since you say that you are respectful to women. You offended me and you did not understand my point of view nor why my husband and I do not partake in this practice. Oh, FYI, my husband has no desire to be with other women and would not enjoy it like you said he would. I expect an apology and if not, you should be ashamed of yourself, Wael.


          • Wael

            The shia and sunni both agree that Mutah was made halaal by the Prophet. Its legality is indicated in the verse 4:24.

            Until the Prophet died, Mutah was halaal. If this is the case, NO ONE else has the authority to alter the law of God and His messenger. Which means Mutah is halaal until the day of resurrection. Now I ask you, with what authority did the second caliph disallow Mutah?

            To address what you have mentioned about the "houses of temporary marriage" - Mutah requires a period of Iddah for the woman after it expires. This period is 45 days. Which further means, that if the woman changes a man hourly, as you state, she is practicing prostitution, not Mutah.

          • Mujahid, perhaps you are Shi'ah? It is well known that the Shi'ah claim mut'ah to be permissible, while all Sunni scholars prohibit it. We are not going to end that divide here, and there is no point in discussing it endlessly. But I will address what you have said:

            1. Quran 4:24 does not legalize mut'ah. It speaks of the (sexual) enjoyment that takes place within the context of marriage, and of the payment of mahr. The Quran in fact says nothing about mut'ah marriage.

            2. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) forbade mut'ah until the Day of Judgment. Umar (RA) did not change this ruling, but only enforced it:

            It was narrated from ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade mut’ah marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys at the time of Khaybar. According to another report, he forbade mut’ah marriage at the time of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of tame donkeys. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3979; Muslim, 1407.)

            It was narrated from al-Rabee’ ibn Sabrah al-Juhani that his father told him that he was with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “O people, I used to allow you to engage in mut’ah marriages, but now Allah has forbidden that until the Day of Resurrection, so whoever has any wives in a mut’ah marriage, he should let her go and do not take anything of the (money) you have given them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1406.)

            The first hadith was narrated by Ali (RA), and is even mentioned in some of the Shi'ah books, so I don't know why the Shi'ah continue to allow mut'ah. But as I said, it's an old debate, and there's no point continuing it here.


  4. I For One Didnt Even No What 'Mut'ah Marriage' Means, Until I Came Across This Question,
    I Must Say Even The Thought Of It Sounds Wrong, Let Alone Putting It Into Practice !!


  5. Johanna, As-salamu alaykum.

    I spoke harshly to you because you breezily said to the sister, "It is permissible... nothing to worry about... you are in the right..." When in reality it is an evil practice, the majority of Muslim scholars condemn it, and later on you admit that you yourself would not like it and that you made your husband promise not to do it!!!

    I never called you a hypocrite. I do not toss such labels around. I see you as my Muslim sister. But I think your advice in this case is unsound and thoughtless, and inconsistent with your own actions.

    Wael Editor

  6. Jannah, the idea of a Mutah marriage just defies the whole marriage process itself.

    In short, Mutah is equivalent to a boyfriend/girlfriend type relationship, test as many fish as you like, then when you find the right one, do the real nikah. In this day and age, doing Mutah is nothing but legalised prostitution.

    It is not in line with Islamic thinking at all. Marriage is meant to be a sweet, pure union of two people who know the essentials about one another and then putting their trust in Allah with the unknown, they decide to get married.


    • "Marriage is meant to be a sweet, pure union of two people who know the essentials about one another and then putting their trust in Allah with the unknown, they decide to get married."

      That is a lovely way of putting it.

      Wael Editor

  7. I think that Wael is wrong in saying that I'm thoughtless. I only wrote down what I truly believe in my heart and what my school of thought permits. Also I never made my husband "promise" anything, we talked about it and we decided against it for us, not for any one else. Another thing to think about here is the baby that was conceived....basically you are saying to the sister that her baby was not conceived in a halal way....think about that.

    • I am dead set against zawaj mut'ah as it is haram according to the evidence and the majority of scholars, and I believe it is a destructive practice and contrary to Islamic spirit.

      I am not one of those people who considers Shia to be non-Muslims. They are our brothers and sisters, we are one Ummah, and I am horrified at the ongoing violence against Shias in Pakistan, Iraq and other places.

      However, when it comes to 'aqeedah and fiqh, I think that mut'ah represents one of the greatest failings of Shi'a thought.

      In any case, I should not have personalized the issue with sister Johanna. I apologize for that. This is Ramadan, the last ten blessed days, and I do not wish to taint my Ramadan with any improper argument. May Allah forgive me, and others forgive me, for any offense.

      Wael Editor

  8. Aoa Sister,
    I will not go in detail as brother Wael has mentioned Muta is haram in Islam.

    Sister if you are from Shia school of thought then I don't want to say anything and I think you should do what Shia ulema tell you and as far as I know even some shia ulema do not allow muta.

    But if you are from Ahle-Sunnah here is something from another muslim sister who was in similar situation as you are and here is a plea from her to all muslim sisters.

    If you are from Ahle-sunnah and want to know more then I can try to dig some ahadith as well.

    And may Allah protect us from this haram and guide us all.


  9. We do not need to do Mutah to get to know someone for marriage. Two people can get to know each other very well in the correct manner, build a rapport & it can be completely halaal aswell. So then what is the point of Mutah? It's obviously to go that one step further and have physical relations.

    Jannah, your arguments in favour for mutah are not very strong.

  10. That was a good answer. When people are from a different school, leave them with their opinion.

    As far as I'm informed, seeing hair, talking outside in a restaurant while having dinner,

    and spending a lot of time together outside tarnish the reputation of 2 people in a muslim community.

    when 2 non-mahrams are alone, shaitaan is the 3rd. That's at least the justification why in many

    schools of Ahle Sunnah, the couple hardly know each other in the wedding night.

    Wa salam

  11. I have read the article and again, it's full of wrong statements and highly polemic.

    How about forbidding polygamy as well because some sisters were abused in

    such relationships? By the way: In a mut'ah marriage, the father of the girl( in

    case she's a virgin and never got married) has to give his permission, he

    can restrict the physical contact as well. If the boy played with the sister's feelings

    and her emotions by not informing her correctly, that may happen in permanent nikka, too.

    Why a 14 year old girl with an allegedly good Islamic upbringing approaches a boy

    at that young age and wants a relationship is more questionable than the idea

    of mutah itself. Mutah isn't a loophole for pre-mature boys and girls without

    informing the parents, especially the father, the girl's guardian. Astaghfirullah!

    As I said, it is for mature people and it's not a pleasure marriage, but a gentle form

    of mahramiya to enable two people to spend time with each other without being

    chaperoned or the girl accompanied by her mahrams all the time.


    • Sorry but your ideas of mutah is different from what the marjas are saying. Today mutah has returned to what it was orignally in the jahil days. It has become prostitution. Iran has now opened 'chastity houses' for shia women to sell sex. Hence mutah is sactifying prostitution.
      Please dont close your mind on this. Todate the shia ulema have lied that the quran has mutah in it. And just because some Sunnis agree does not make it right. In fact both Sunni and Shia agree that women are 'defective in intelligence.' But that it not right either. So just because some sunnis agree with shia mullahs does not turn falsehood in to truth. The truth is that mutah is not in the Quran and yet the shia ulema close their eyes and keep insisting it is. They need to admit that istimatum (fulfilment) is the Quran but mutah(prostitution in the guise of marriage) is not.

  12. Salam,

    Zawjul Mut'ah is degrading and offensive to women. It is haraam. But I think what the sister would like to know is, is her baby halaal or not ? After all, her baby was conceived back when she thought her marriage was legal.

    I have heard that when a man and a woman have sexual intercourse whilst both thinking that they are legally married, out of ignorance of the Islamic Law for example (i mean, it can happen, right ?) (even if in fact they aren't married in the eye of shari'ah), they are not committing zinaa. I would like to know if anybody else has ever heard a fatwa like that ?

  13. I think it's time to end this discussion. Everyone has stated their opinions. For those of you advocating mut'ah, you need to accept that while it may be acceptable in your teaching (if you are Shia) it's a minority opinion and that the Sunni scholars have forbidden it, and you are not going to change that by arguing.

    About angelmr's last comment, I did not actually get the impression that the sister was concerned about her baby being legitimate. In any case, all babies in Islam are "halal". Children do not carry the sins of the parents. As for whether the baby was born out of wedlock, as long as the father acknowledges the baby as his, the baby can inherit and enjoy the rights of kinship.

    Wael Editor

    • I agree with you on that brother wael.
      My question had nothing to do with my child. But however
      Iam glad you brought up that children do not carry the sins of the parents because regardless of my nikah mutah i do not believe my child is haram in any way.

      Somone very close to me actually had the nerv to tell me that i should feel ashamed for bringing a "bastard" child into this world and that he is nothing more than haram. My child has a father who loves and cares about him. He recites the Quran to my baby through my belly and kisses it every morning. This baby has a father and is not a basterd. The day my husband found out i was pregnant he cried. My husband wants nothing but the best for our family. Both our intentions were good when this baby was conceived.

      I will tell you a story, My husband was married twice before me and both times the marriage was unsuccessful. During his marriages to his previous wives he tried to start a family many times and for some reason just could not. He assumed that it was him and that he could not have children since both women later got married and had children with their new husbands. And now after many years HE TOO is having a child. So why did Allah keep him from having kids with these other two women if he in fact could have kids?
      This makes me wonder, if my child was truly haram, then why did Allah BLESS my husband and let me be the first to get pregnant?
      it would make absolutely no sense that Allah answered my husbands prayers only for the child to be "haram."

      All of us are Allah's creation. He gave us permission to live. Without Allah's permission, no child would be conceived. The simple thought that somone would call an innocent child haram is far from anything ive learned in islam in my 2 years of practicing it.

  14. In my opinion. You are in a temporary relation, you must seperate and get proper marriage. before the child birth. after birth you are not interested then call for khula (seperation). In this manner your child will be Jaa'iz. thanks

  15. Though i was not looking to know what sunni and shia "scholars" thought of temporary marriage, I appreciate everyone's response to my question. I was expecting to know what the Quran stated of my temporary marriage. A few of you helped me with evidence from the Quran while others simply stated opinions.

    My issue with that of not wanting to know what sunni and shia scholars thought is because i refer to myself as a muslim and not a "branch" of something that stems from being a muslim. Though i have the outmost respect for both sunnis and shias, i prefer not to choose sides.

    Iam now 7 months pregnant and everything is going beautifully with my pregnancy, the father and i have decided that when the opportunity arises we will have a proper marriage contract and continue raising our son together. if i have Sinned or not Allah forgives those who seek forgiveness, and i for one believe even if i have commited a sin that inshallah i will be forgiven in time through prayer and good deeds.

    May Allah bless all of you for your feedback and concern for helping others with their problems.
    Selam Aleykum

  16. Children are never haram, we don' t have bastard concepts in Islam. Even if two people aren't married

    and commit zina, the child is innocent and born without sins.

    May Allah bless your child

    • Of course, but some people don't think like responsible muslims. Some say hurtful things to see you cry, and this woman knows she has hurt me, our relationship will never be the same after what she said but she refuses to take it back or stand corrected.

      over time I've stopped wasting my breath trying to correct people, i only try to do my best at what is right. If i make a mistake that's not for others to judge, there is God for that.

      selam aleykum

  17. I used to view mutah from a shia perspective but since i have opened my eyes and realised that I need to be more open to questionning my beliefs I have began to seriously reflect on these facts:

    1. Mutah is not mentoned anywhere in the Quran. Furthermore, a synonym of mutah is also not mentioned. in the Quran. Not one law of mutah is in the Quran. But instead the Quran says: "Do not live in lust; do not yield to temptations; do not follow the ways of the pagans etc." All these are against mutah.
    2. Most shia version of the verse 4:24 wrongly substitute the word ISTIMATUM with MUTAH. But this is altering the words to fool us as the word Istimatum does not mean mutah but means compliance, fulfilled, pleased, achieved etc. The word Istimatum is used 8 times in the Quran but the word mutah is not used at all. Furthermore, in all 8 times the word istimatum makes perfect sense if used as fulfilled. In none of the verses does the word mutah makes sense if it is substituted for istimatum.
    3. In Al Mizaan the famous Ayatuallah Tabatabai says that mutah is also allowed with married women provided they are your slaves. But he contradicts verse 4:25 where it says that if a married slave woman has sex outside marriage then she received 'half the punishment' of a free woman.
    4. Why did Allah not use the word mutah in the quran when he meant mutah for the word istimatum! Why confuse us if he meant mutah?

    1. When Umar said that he forbids mutah even though the Prophet allowed it then he was speaking to those who were running a brothel outside Medina. They claimed to have been allowed it and so umar reacted to them and said that even though they claim to be allowed it he will still forbid it . The context in which he says this is not to contradict the Prophet but to stop their vile and self convenient argument.
    2. The first person Umar consulted was Imam Ali who too said it was forbidden. This is written in shia book Al Kafi. Read 'Answering Ansar' which clearly admits that it is written in shia book Al Kafi that when Umar came to Imam Ali to ask about mutah then Imam Ali forbad mutah.

    Shia Islam says that Syeda Khadija, Syeda Fatimah and Syeda Zainab are role models of muslim women. But none of them did mutah. So if mutah was ok then why did not even one of them do it. In fact their slave girl called Fizza never did mutah either.

    The Ahadith on mutah are full of absurdities and contradictions. Here are a few:
    i. Imam Ali said that if mutah was allowed then only the most wretched would commit adultery. But this goes against social fact because adultery is committed with married women who often have sex outside marriage because their husband are themselves not faithful.
    2. Imam Ali Reza first is reported to have said that mutah is good for married men but then in another narraiton he says to a married man not to do it.
    3. Some Ahadith say that doing one mutah makes you blessed like Imam Hussain but two mutahs make you blessed like Imam Hassan etc. This is absurd as all Imams have the same rank and is an insult to the Imams as it gives status to Imams of a sex addict.

    1. Mutah allows a man to hide what he does. This would mean he can even be having sex with mum and daughter without them knowing whom he was sleeping with.
    2. Mutah is often done with prostitutes which is against the Quran that says that a fornicator can only marry a fornicator

    1. The pagan started mutah. Islam started nikkah. Both are totally opposed to each other as both are based on opposite values. Islam talks about respect for relationships. Mutah only works for society which is mechanistic and loveless.
    2. If a child was born then the pagan men had the right to deny it was theirs. The same law exists in shia fikh today.

    Even if a woman in nikkah agrees that the child born in nikkah will not get inheritance the law will not accept it because the right of the child cannot be contracted away by the mother. So how can the right of the child be contracted away in mutah by the mother?


    I hope my shia brethen do actually listen as mutah is already harming society in a major way.


    • Mashallah! i literally have NO WORDS to explain what I'm feeling. Thank you and may Allah be pleased with you for taking the time out to write so much in order to help someone you don't even know. I truly appreciate it.

      • Hadeeth recorded by Muslim:
        Book 008, Number 3249:
        Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported: We contracted temporary marriage giving a handful of tales or flour as a dower during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and during the time of Abu Bakr until 'Umar forbade it in the case of 'Amr b. Huraith.
        It was Umar who forbade temporary marriage, so it does not change the fact that it is permissible.

        • You are wrong. Mut'ah was forbidden by the Messenger of Allah himself (saaws):

          It was narrated from ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade mut’ah marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys at the time of Khaybar. According to another report, he forbade mut’ah marriage at the time of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of tame donkeys.

          Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3979; Muslim, 1407.

          It was narrated from al-Rabee’ ibn Sabrah al-Juhani that his father told him that he was with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said, “O people, I used to allow you to engage in mut’ah marriages, but now Allaah has forbidden that until the Day of Resurrection, so whoever has any wives in a mut’ah marriage, he should let her go and do not take anything of the (money) you have given them.”

          Narrated by Muslim, 1406.

          Maybe Jabir was not aware of these rulings, Allahu 'alam.

          This post is now closed to further comments, as I believe that everything that can be said has been said. There's no point rehashing the same argument over and over.