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Nikah Mut'ah: Temporary marriage in Islam is not prostitution, instead, it is freedom to both men & women
I decided to write on this topic after reading the article of Dr Deeba Abedi on, wherein she has mentioned that Nikah Mut'ah and Misyar, both ancient Islamic practices of temporary marriage, benefit only Muslim men and should be seen as prostitution and nothing else.

Tarek Fatah had also raised the issue in his programme "Fatah Ka Fatwa" wherein, under the garb of modernising Islam and Muslims, he actually used the platform to bash both Islam and the Muslims.

It is common phenomenon in the current modern world of pseudo intellectuals to label Islam as a medieval religion which needs to be modernised for the betterment of the world. Although, I know that most of these intellectuals don't even know the basics of Islam, forget about the finer aspects which require careful examination and extensive study of the Holy Quran.

And their followers are even worse, as rather than trying to eradicate the problems in their own society and social structure, they are hell bent upon finding fault lines in Islam so that they can taunt Muslims. But, believe me brothers, this way of life is useless. Rather concentrate your energies on some productive work. Islam is the first religion of the world which provided freedom and rights to women more than 1400 years ago that are still not possible in patriarchal society of the so-called modernised world.

All those people from the majority community who want triple talaq to be abolished claiming it to be anti-women, have never raised the issue of polygamy allowed to Goan Hindu men in case their wife fails to bear a child and even in case of not being able to give birth to a male child. Is this not an insult to womanhood?

Child marriage, dowry system and killing/burning/harassing their daughter-in-laws for money, all these social evils are going on in society uncontrolled. If you are true human beings then oppose all these irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

Before dwelling upon the subject matter of Mut'ah, we need to understand the concept of marriage in Islam as Mut'ah is another form of marriage which can be understood only by highly learned persons. Islam doesn't support celibacy or monasticism which is there in many other religions. Islam puts great impetus on the institution of marriage. But Islamic marriage is quite different from marriages of other religions. There exist well written rules, guidelines, commandments in Quran and hadith regarding the same.

There are three main surahs (chapters) in Quran which deal in length about women, their rights, duties, marriage, divorce etc namely Surah Al Baqra, Surah Nisa, Surah Talaq. There are other surahs too but there is no need to expand our horizon as these surahs will suffice our discussion on the subject.

Now, coming back to the subject matter, marriage in Islam has completely different aspects in comparison to rest of the religions of the world. In Islam, women are not the property of anyone who can be gifted or their rights be transferred to others. According to Islam, marriage is a union of two mature persons with mutual consent. Below are the salient features of Islamic marriage but should not be limited to:

· It is a contract between two mature people, a male and female with their mutual consent to live together with each other without trespassing the limits set by Allah.

· Eye witnesses should be present during the marriage ceremony.

· The consent of a woman/girl is must for marriage to be valid. Even forced consent is invalid which is quite common in other cases where girls are forced to accept the diktat of the family.

· Consent of the girl's father/grandfather is also required for the marriage to be valid.

· Men need to provide mehr (alimony) to women. Provision of mehr is obligatory and is needed to be given.

· Marriage contract must be pronounced for validity of the marriage as mere understanding is not acceptable.

· Women have the right to deny marriage proposals.

· Men and women both have the right to terminate the marriage contract depending upon the situation and conditions. This part is very important as the issue of triple talaq is currently a highly debated matter. Both parties in reality have equal right to annul the marriage.

· The men have been ordered to provide shelter and sustenance to women whom they marry according to their means till they are in marriage.

· Any other valid stipulation(s) can be introduced into marriage contract on mutual understanding.

There is only one difference in Nikah and Mut'ah and that is the duration of the marriage. In Nikah, marriage is of permanent nature which will cease to exist either by death of either partner or through divorce, whereas in case of Mut'ah, the time period of marriage is predefined. After the completion of time period, the marriage will end. Although, rest of the rules, regulations, and guidelines, however, will continue to operate even in Mut'ah.

Surah Nisa ayat no 24, talk about the contractual marriage ie Mut'ah.

So, when you have contracted temporary marriage [istimt'atum] with them, then give them their words [mehr; predefined contractual money]. There is no sin on you for whatever you agree to after this. Indeed, Allah is all Knowing, Wise.

All those who are trying to demean Islam in the name of Mut'ah and at the same time asking Muslim to modernise; must check their double standards. Most of the religions are not anywhere close to providing such freedom to its women folk. Islam is the first religion in the world which accepted woman as a different entity of God rather than a property in male dominated world. Islam gives them freedom to choose their partners and also the right over their bodies. After more than 1400 years of Islam, modern world currently talks about these rights of woman which are enshrined in Islamic teachings.

Islam provided men and women legal way of living together without any social stigma. Still debates are going on about live-in relationships in the world including in our own country. Islam is the religion which offered the freedom to have a live-in relationship more than 1400 years ago and the world is still not sure about it.

Even then, so-called pseudo intellectuals constantly bash Islam over the rights of women. On one hand these champion of women's rights demand freedom for them, but on the other hand they claim that Nikah Mut'ah is nothing more than prostitution.

Nikah Mut'ah is a system where you can live in society with a man without feeling guilty or facing bashing from society for your deeds that are applicable to both the genders. However, in prostitution, women are forced to provide the pleasure of their bodies to men.

Some intellectuals believe that it was a system which was devised to fulfill the carnal desires of men who used to go on long expeditions and wars. That is a completely wrong notion attributed to Islam just like many others, and being said without carrying out any kind of research on the subject. Whatever they say is purely based on heresy and botched-up articles of ill-informed people. The system of temporary marriage was ordered keeping in mind the requirements of both genders.

Further discussion on the topic will be done in next few articles. Thanks in advance to all the readers of

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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