The Marriage of the Mut'a
The Essence of this Marriage
The essence of this type of marriage is that a woman who is completely free, a Muslim or from the people of the book, marries you, provided there is no impediment of her marriage [to you] according to the religion of Islam, whether [this impediment be] due to kinship, relationship, through foster relationship or marriage. She should not be in her waiting period ('idda) nor have other religious obstacles like her being married to one of your fathers even if he has divorced her or he died before the consummation of marriage or her being your sister in law for example, etc..
This woman marries you with an agreed dowry for an agreed fixed time by performing an 'aqd encompassing the conditions which make it proper according to the shari'a, [thus] it has no shar'i impediments as you have read. So she says to you after the mutual permission and agreement between the two of you: "I marry you or perform mut'a with you for a dowry whose amount shall be so much for one or two days or a month or two months or a year or two years" for example, or she mentions another precisely defined period and you say to her immediately: "I accept." Like other contracts, deputyship is also allowed in this type of marriage from both parties. When completed, she becomes your wife and you become her husband until the time period in the agreement expires. By its expiration, she is separated [from you] without a divorce. The husband has the right to separate from her before the expiration time by granting her the [remaining part] of the specified period, not by a divorce according to the special texts governing over it. If the marriage is consummated, it is obligatory for her to observe the 'idda. She observes the 'idda of two months if she menstruates after being granted the period or after its expiration. If she does not, then [the 'idda] of 45 days like a slave girl - according to the special proofs governing the case.
If he grants her [the remaining part] of the period or it expires before he touches her then, like one who is divorced before being touched, there is no 'idda for her. [As for] those who become pregnant in a temporary marriage, their 'idda period, like that of divorced women, is upto when they give birth. As for the 'idda of one whose husband dies in a temporary marriage it is always the same as the 'idda of a woman whose husband dies in a permanent marriage.
The child born in a mut'a, whether male of female, is joined to the father. He is claimed by him (the father) like other sons and daughters. He has the right to inherit as prescribed to us by Allah, the most Majestic, by His saying: "Allah prescribes for your children the male should get the portion of two females." There is no difference between two children of yours, one of whom is born out of temporary marriage and the other out of a permanent one. All the shari'a principles [of inheritance] applicable to the children, the fathers and the mothers are [also] applicable to the children, their fathers and mothers of a mut'a marriage. Similarly, the principles are applicable to pothers and sisters and their children and the maternal uncles and aunts and paternal uncles and aunts and their children (and the people of the wombs take preference over each other in the book of God) always.
Yes, the marriage of mut'a in itself does not lead to inheritance between the spouses, nor sharing the number of conjugal nights or expenditure for the wife. The husband has the right to isolate himself from her according to the special proofs which are applicable to this matter of the rulings of wives.
This is the essence and truth of the marriage of mut'a with women and this is the point of dispute between us and the masses.
Adapted from: "Questions on Jurisprudence" by: "Abdul Hussein Shareefaldin Al-Musawi"
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