Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Misyar Marrriage in Islam

A young Muslim couple
A young Muslim couple. In reality, misyar marriage is often practiced secretly by married men and divorced women.

Misyar Marriage - Necessary Islamic Concession or Social Disaster? Editor's Note:

I am publishing here Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi's famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) fatwa on misyar marriage, which is a type of marriage in which the husband does not support the wife financially and does not live with her, but can visit her freely and have sexual relations.

I personally find this type of marriage arrangement to be damaging and improper. If you look at the social circumstances under which it takes place (something our scholars often fail to do) you'll see that it is often surrounded by secrecy, and often ends in divorce. One of the purposes of marriage in Islam is procreation of children, but the last thing misyar couples want is to conceive childen, because then the whole culture of secrecy falls apart and the "marriage" must be made public.

Misyar marriage has often been called "legal prostitution." It makes Islamic values a laughingstock to non-Muslims, as they see in it evidence of hypocrisy or a dysfunctional culture.

It is true that some modern Muslim cultures are dysfunctional. In these two countries where misyar is most common (Egypt and Saudi Arabia) skewed cultural expectations have made standard marriage very difficult for young people. However, misyar is not the answer.

I have never allowed advertisements for misyar marriage on Matrimonials.

I suggest to readers to also read these articles on the subject:

No-Strings Marriage

Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am: Misyar Marriage in Saudi Arabia

Misyar Marriage "” a Marvel or Misery?

A Proposal Saudis Can't Refuse

Men, be honest with yourselves and ask if it's something you would approve for your daughter, if you had one, or for your sister if you were her wakeel.

However, it's not the way in Islam to suppress those opinions or fatwas we do not agree with, so I am publishing Sheikh Qaradawi's fatwa here. Readers can make up their own minds.

- Wael Abdelgawad, Editor

Misyar Marriage

By, from their Fatwa Bank

Date: 06/Jul/2006Name of Mufti: Yusuf Al-QaradawiTopic: Misyar Marriage

Name of Questioner: Samir from Lebanon

Question: Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum!. May Allah bless you, and in sha' Allah you will always be in progress. I want to ask you about the marriage that is called in Arabic. Misyar. I hope you will explain to me what it means, and kindly shed light on the Islamic ruling concerning it.

Jazakum Allahu Khayran


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we are really pleased to have your question and to have the chance to convey some of the teachings of our religion to our Muslim brothers. In fact, it adds to our happiness to find guidance being disseminated and the word of truth being highly elevated. We hope these humble efforts meet the great expectations of yours.

Misyar marriage can be defined as a marriage contract between a man and a woman, in which the woman waives some of the rights she would have in a normal Islamic marriage. This sometimes takes place when, for example, there are many women who, as they get older, find it increasingly difficult to marry. In this case a woman opts for a husband who is not able to fulfil the normal marital duties like financial maintenance, or spending adequate time with her, for example. She considers that marrying such a husband is better than remaining unmarried.

It's noteworthy that once a marriage contract meets its Shari`ah requirements, it will be acceptable from the Islamic point of view irrespective of what people call such contract. Conditions of valid marriage are: The consent of both spouses, the consent of the wali (guardian), the payment of the dower, the presence of the witnesses, and the announcement of the contract.

It goes without saying that valid marriage should not be limited to a certain period of time; otherwise it will be reckoned as a mut`ah (temporal) marriage which is prohibited in Islam.

Dealing with this subject, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:

Misyar marriage should be viewed as a form of legal relationship between man and woman regardless of any description attached to it. This is pursuant to the juristic rule: "What matters most in contracts are motives and meaning, not the wording or structure."Therefore, in determining the legal nature of this marriage, we should not judge things according to names, for as we know, people feel free in naming or describing something.

Stipulating certain details in the marriage contract on both sides is acceptable. For example, some scholars maintain that a woman has a right to determine the timing of marriage; i.e., it can take place at day or night, however, she can also waive this right.

Therefore, based on what has been mentioned, we can state that misyar marriage, or something in similar form, has been in practice from time immemorial. It also serves the purpose of some women, who, for instance, may be rich but happen to be unable to marry at the proper time. So, such women can opt for this kind of marriage.

But I do have to make it clear that the aforementioned statement does not make me a protagonist of misyar marriage. In all my fatwas and sermons, it is not mentioned anywhere that I give any support for such marriage.

The point is that when I was asked by a journalist to state my opinion regarding this marriage, I found it a pressing religious duty to give a clear-cut opinion on something that does not make unlawful what Almighty Allah has made lawful for His servants.

Therefore, if anyone seeks my opinion on this marriage, I must reply him saying: What do you mean by misyar marriage. Then, if I get an explanation that shows that in misyar marriage, all the Islamic legal requirements are met, then the marriage is valid.

Those requirements are: an offer and acceptance from both parties; a specified dowry, according to the Qur'anic verse: [And give unto the women, (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions] (An-Nisaa' 4: 4), and that the contract wins the consent of the guardian. Thereby, no one has the right to brandish it as unlawful.

There is no doubt that such marriage may be somehow socially unacceptable, but there is a big difference between what is Islamically valid and what is socially acceptable. As we know, people can be cynical about the idea of an employee marrying his employer. But who can deny the validity of such a marriage if it meets all the legal requirements?

This issue, therefore, needs a cautious approach. One should not feel free to condemn an act as absolutely forbidden, merely on social repugnance. Rather, one needs to have convincing evidence to determine the legal nature of each particular act.

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22 Responses »

  1. Dear Sir, one thing i want to know that according to your belief what is important "whether Farman e Rasool (s.a.w) or Saudi Almeens? in my belief it is Farmane Rasool (S.A.W). Hazoor (S.A.W) allow Muttah in Islam and Saadui's Almeens allow Misyar then what important whether Muttah or Misyar?
    Ehle Hades and Ehle Sunat said comments in favor of Misyar you may see the program Point Balnk on Express News Channel Websit where Sunni Alim comments that Muttah allow in Islam then it was Prohibited by Prophet (S.A.W) and then again allow in Khaiber War. What is the logic of again allow the Muttah. Sharab allow in earlier of Islam but then Prohibited by Prophet (s.a.w) for ever but in Muttah what was the reason of allow Muttah again in Islam? The Sunni Alim accept this statement that Muttah allow in Islam then prohibited and then allow again in Khaiber War. My Questiion is that what are the reason that it allow again after prohibition once? and what is important in your belief whether Saudi Alimeens Misyar Marriage or Muttah Marriage which was allow by Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w) which was also in Quran.

    • Abbas,
      First you need to understand that a Misyar marriage and a Muttah marriage are not one and the same. In a misyar marrige, the couple are meant to stay married, but not live together. While a muttah marriage (which is mainly practiced by shia) is a temporary marriage that could last anywhere from a few hours to a number of years. Any marriage given a a date in which it will be ended is totally prohibited in Islam. I don't support either misyar or muttah marriages, but one should know the difference between the two before comparing them.
      I hope Allah (s.w.t) guides us all on the straight path.


  3. abbas you are absolutely right............

    • Dear all,
      I have been married to my husband for 24 years. We have been happy and have raised children. In the last few years our intimate life has ceased. We have sought help and tried lots of things. But there has been no change. We are now at the point where I have suggested temporary marriage to my husband. I hope I am doing the right thing. I can't bear a permanent wife I am not that selfless but I want him to have the intimacy I am physically unable to give him.

      • Loving sister, please log in and write your question as a separate post. One comment though, you should know that temporary marriage is forbidden in Islam. It is not a solution to anything. It is merely a form of prostitution.

        Wael Editor

      • You cannot recommend temp marriage because it is forbidden
        Till judgment day (sahih Muslim). Permanent is Halal. If u give ur husband bad advice
        U share in d evil but he will be commiti.g zina.

  4. abbas, i do agree with u to some extent.. But bro i could'nt find muttah's refrence anywhere in quran, if any1 can can kindly provide me with the refrence ayah , i'll be glad..

    May Allah almighty bless us all and make us stick to the right path !

  5. I'm married to my husband such a way. He has another family a wife and three daughters, and they are most of the time away from where we live it is either he goes to see them for max 3 weeks (normally up to 10 days) or like it happened now they are here for a month. We've got married a year ago, and I knew nothing about this type of marriages and I didnt even bother myself reading anything about it. Our contract states that he will take it to some authority to make a real marriage if I convert to Islam...(I did - I don't mean I did it for Marriage Certificate - and nothing happened)...He is buying food for home, sometimes make some shopping for me (happened twice in a year + some holiday gifts) but we stay in my apartment (its more comfortable for me to go to work from here, then from his), I've no problem providing for myself and for home sometimes, but nevertheless, I feel it's all wrong...

    I love him very much, and I know he loves me too...Says I'm his real wife, and if something happens to me his brother will share equally between me and his other wife, but in my contract there is no single word about living with me (even he says that once we will move to stay in his country it will be like 4-5 days with me and 2 with his family), says that he wants kids from me but later when we move there - but there are no single word about all this things like financial support (and he wants me stop working or work little just to not feel bored at home, when we move), time he should stay with me, his duties and anything which as far as I understand now should be in the contract....ah yes, the nice part - I never met either of his friends or of his relatives, except brother, I mean I am the biggest secret... Now I had to cry 3 days infront of him, to make him understand that whenever he is not with me i need to know he thinks of me too, and that he has to contact me every day - cause his plan was completely no communication for 30 days - "I dont want any problem this time, not this time, you know I've allot....and she's sure now I've another woman"

    All this hurts, and I don't believe it, but he says he has no relations with other wife for 4 years, sleeping in separate rooms and so on (btw, if you are alone in a room, why cannot you text me? = no answer) and like I'm the only one in his heart, but it all makes no sence in terms of self respect...

    I pray daily to find a path out of all this, and I cannot get anything....I made istihara and asked Allah to guide me if I should trust his words or not, and it brought me a kind of relieve, I saw nothing, just woke up in peace, but words are words, love is love and everything changes with time - I want to feel secured if we stay together, or I want him talk to me honest way and let me go before it got more complicated and hurt more people then just me....


    • I'm sorry to hear about you problem sister. And this is one of the reasons I don't support this kind of marriage. When a man and women get married there should be a certain amount of commitment from both the man and women's side. So I would advise you too find out what this man's (who calls himself your husband) real intentions are. If his intentions for you are genuine, it would be better for you to end this relationship before it becomes even more complicated and you become hurt anymore. I ask Allah to guide you in your decision on this subject. And I hope that you will find the right husband for you, a good, respectful husband who is serious about his marriage to you. And please, to all the rest of my sisters who may read this, be careful of these such marriages. Only marry someone who is willing to commit himself fully to you as a husband should. Wa salam.

      • Mike, can you advise me how to find it out? I know NOW he loves me, but I've no guarantee / warrantee for future... I know nobody can do it....everytime i start this type of conversations, he starts saying those love words to calm me down, and to assure me he is "not a bad man"...i asked if we are married that way, he said no, its different - ours is same legal, but not attested anywhere.. I leave all to life...I am fed up:(

        • I'm not really sure how to advice you how to find out for sure, but you say that you know now that he loves you, but is that love true love or just conditional? If your relationship is making you feel the way you say it does, then I think that you have to really find out what he really thinks of you. I hear lots of stories and know of women who stay in a shaky marriage for the sake of their children. Event though they suffer a lot. And I really respect those women who give up their own rights selflessly for the sake of their own children, but it shouldn't have to be that way and it angers to me to no end that men can be this cold and selfish.

  6. I think this type of marriage is great if both parties are consenting . In this day and age , women are liberal and independent . They have education and a job . They have too much power so why do they need a man to support them financially .

    • Marriage insn't just about women needing support from men, and misyar marriges create an environment where many problems may occure. One only needs to ponder on all the negatives of misyar marriges. I'm sure most women do think about the negatives of such marrieges, but it's most of us men folk who fail to to the bad side of such marriages because sadly, most men tend to think with their small head instead of thier big head. Men need to start understanding the true meaning behind marriage. In my opnion, misyar marriages as well as muttah marriges will only lead to problems.

  7. Mike, I agree with you so much...Marriage is not about financial support, providing for someone or sleeping together....Neither it is about having / rasing kids...Its about making some special circle, like a warm hug where everyone would be feeling secure, self, comfortable and warm always, yes, there'd be fights and arguments - none can avoid it, but nevertheless, ask any woman - should she be PM, President, CEO or whoever and she would say yes, she needs that secure and safety feelings, cause whatever haram/ not haram but we can have / raise children without a man, we can manage our lives, but we feel alone if we are alone....the worst alone is when you feel alone when you are "with" someone...

    Any feelings - passion, love - will go one day, and if there are no commitments - nothing feel be left....

    Unfortunately, no man would ever understand the way they hurt women doing like that, and no woman would use her brain to think of negative consequences or sides when she is flying in 7th skies and she's so much in love:(

  8. Hello, Myself and Mike. If only I could be friends with you two. Your words are like comfort to my ears and I'm glad to be able to find others in the same dilemma as I am. Mike seems to be more understanding in his approach to advise women in this situation. Sometimes, I wish we are all ruled by the brain and not heart.

    I cannot agree more with Myself. I believe I might end up being like you one day if I choose to stay on with this man...neither here nor there. Never 100% happy.

    • If you need a friend sister, I will be more than happy to be not only your friend, but also your brother. I really wish that there was something I could do for you to ease your situation. I will sincerely pray for you. May Allah make things for you better.

  9. Helpless,

    Fortunately, 1mln times alhamdulillah, I solved my situation - I am now normal official (I hate this #2) wife, he lives with me and he will live with me, visiting his family once in a month or two for 10 days - 2 weeks.... i have a very very complicated family name (i was born Jew and we live in Arab country) and we were at dentist and the receptionist when asked it couldn't get it and said "never mind" - here all my phone bills, bank statements come with my family name upside down and inside out.... I told him I"ll go to consulate and change my family name in passport to Never Mind and I will be Ms. Never Mind (Its OK or no Problem)... he said lets go to court, marry and take mine... That's it....

    Yet, if you still want a friend, I am not sure how to do it here - I dont feel publishing my email address to whole of the world, you are more then welcome.

    P.S. i guess you can get it from someone like admin, and add me to messenger

  10. I think Misyar is a specific type of marriege which can be allowed in perticuler kind of situations.Islam take stocks of Humanity and its need as a whole.Its is not dependent on the likes or dislikes of individuals.

    The growing materialism and vanity has resulted in many nations speically the islamic ones errecting barriers which hinders the natural flow of social events.In saudi arabia its almost impossible for a non saudi muslim man to marry a suadi woman.this kind of concealed racisim is abhored by Quranic injunctions ,this ridicules islam concept of eqaulty and justice.

    If divorced and financially stable women do not find men with in their own countries It is only natural that this gap will be filled by people from the out side .But you try to hamper this process by erracting the bariers of law then the natural and normal situation is changed into a perticuler and special one.In such cases ,special clauses of religions are activated .

    If someone doesnt like those perticuler clauses of religion then he/the nations first need to change thier own behaviour and their laws and make it according to the true spirit of Quran and Sunnah.

  11. salam brothers and sisters.

    im 31 yrs old guy, not married live in Los Angeles. In order for me to follow my religion path i must get married. But niether i found any one nor im financially stable to full fill the sophisticated life style.

    i believe that i doing my web search to find some one for temporary marriage, and i invian

    Need YOUR Help what to do. Please guide me

    • Yasin...what does marriage have to do with a 'sophisticated life style'? If you look for a humble woman who is striving to practice Islam, she will be happy to live with you in a humble abode and have a humble lifestyle. A temporary marriage is not permitted in Islam. That is like legalised prostitution. Furthermore this is not a marriage site, you can join for spouse searching. But I advise you to purify your intentions and look for a wife for life, not for a few lustful moments. If you have any further questions, please log in and submit them as a separate post.

      SisterZ Editor

  12. If I understood correctly then both parties can terminate this type of marriage any time they want. In this case I do not see anything wrong with the whole idea.
    My question though is what happens in case the woman is a non-muslim and does not have a guardian? Who can act as a guardian, only father or brother?

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