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Zihar in Mut'a

Adopted from the Book : "Temporary Marriage in the Islamic Laws" by : "Sachiko Murata"


There is a difference of opinion as to whether or not zihar may take place in temporary marriage. The majority of the ulama' hold that it can take place, since the Qur'anic pronouncements concerning it are general and not delimited. For example, the verse: 'Those of you who say, regarding their women: 'Be as my mother's back', they are not truly their mothers' (58:2) indicates that zihar pertains to any woman with whom intercourse may legitimately take place, a category within which a wife by muta is included. Al-Shahid al Thani, al Tabataba'i, and al-Muhaqqiq al-HiIIi all hold this opinion.1
But al-Shaykh al-Ansari and al-Shaykh Muhammad al-Hasan seem to prefer the opposite opinion, that zihar does not take place in muta. For the result of zihar is either returning to the wife, or finally divorcing her. As for the second possibility, there is no divorce in mut'a. And 'returning to the wife' is unnecessary in mut'a, whereas it is necessary in permanent marriage. When a man pronounces the formula of zihar in permanent marriage, the woman remains his wife. According to permanent marriage's statutes, she has a right to sexual intercourse. Once the man pronounces the formula of zihar, she may demand her right at any time. At that time the man must either pay the expiation or divorce her. But since the woman has no right to sexual intercourse in mut'a, the problem of 'return' to her does not present itself. At any rate, when the time period expires, separation takes place. Thus if zihar exists in mut'a it comes down to this: the man returns the remainder of the time period to the woman. There is no reason to claim that this returning is equivalent to divorce.2
1. Masalik, I, 542; Sharh al-lum'a, v, 300; Riyad, II, I 17; Shara'i', II, 25; Mukhtasar-i nafi', 232.

2. Matajir, II, 301; Jawahir, v, 173-74.

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