Does the Quran permit temporary 'mutaa marriages'?
Researched by A. Muhammad

'mutaa marriages' are practiced among some Muslims. These are marriages where a time duration is fixed when the marriage contract is drawn.
The contract for 'mutaa marriages' usually includes a hefty sum of money to be paid to the bride. The money is paid upfront, or half before the start and half if sexual pleasure is attained! The marriage is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term.
Despite the fact that this type of marriage is not authorised nor mentioned in the Quran, yet those who legalise it base their justification on a manipulated interpretation of some words in 4:24 (analysed below).
To research this type of marriage in the light of the Quran, the following issues need to be addressed:

God would never advocate sin (7:28), not plain sin nor disguised sin (6:120). Anyone who writes a temporary marriage certificate for the sake of sexual activities is trying to disguise his sin. In fact, he would not be any different from someone who hires a prostitute for a period of time for sexual services. The only difference is that the first man is hiding behind a piece of paper that is no more than a sham marriage certificate! However, the act is identical in purpose and execution.
This immoral type of marriage defies the whole concept and purpose of marriage as designed by God.
God ordained marriage to be a lasting union between man and woman. The lasting nature of marriage in God's eyes is made clear when we consider all the conditions which God placed before a divorce can be executed.
The Quran places the following conditions before a divorce can be executed:

1- The couple must wait 4 months (cooling-off period) before committing to divorce (2:226)
2- The couple must seek a council from the 2 families and genuinely attempt to reconcile (4:35)
3- If the couple still wish to go ahead with the divorce, the divorce does not become lawful unless it is witnessed by two equitable people (65:2).
4- The wife should not be evicted from the marriage home unless she commits a gross sin (65:1)
5- The man must pay the divorced wife a divorce compensation (2:241)
6- The man must pay for his children's alimony and also for the divorced wife's food and clothing throughout the suckling period, which can be up to 2 years (2:233)

There is nowhere in the Quran that says that any of the above conditions can be broken under certain circumstance. In effect, it is impossible to fulfil all these conditions in the case of a temporary marriage. For example, how can a couple who draw a temporary marriage for 2 weeks wait for 4 months before getting divorce? The terms of their temporary marriage says that it is dissolved after 2 weeks! Equally, will the couple who set up a temporary 'marriage for sex' arrangement for a week or two seek a council from their two families before they end the marriage?
As a result, the farcical timed divorce drawn out in a temporary marriage agreement violates all the conditions which God placed before a divorce can be executed.

Some who justify the 'mutaa marriages' say that not everyone is able to get married, this could be for financial reasons or other reasons. Thus they claim that this type of marriage would be the answer for them.
When we read the Quran we find that God has already considered this situation and God gives the righteous solution for those who do not have the means to get married in the following verse:

Those who cannot find the means to get married shall maintain morality until God enriches them from His favour.

Maintaining morality is the solution given by God. So those who do not have the means to get married, for any reason, they should maintain their chastity until God provides for them.
Those who engage in temporary marriages, and fool themselves by saying "it is legally drawn up" are violating the command in 24:33.

Others have claimed that temporary marriages are a cheap and legal way to vent the human sex drive! This is also far from the truth.
The large majority of women who engage in such marriages are paid large sums of money for their services! As a result, temporary marriages are often enjoyed by rich men, who are mostly married to other women, and who just wish to enjoy a bit more sex on the side. They fool themselves by claiming that it is allowed by God!
In contrast, poor men do not have the means to pay these large sums, so are not the ones who engage in such marriages.
In addition, if these farcical marriages are ways to gratify the human sex drive, will the sex drive of a person end after the 2 weeks of marriage? Would he have to keep getting temporarily married?

Others have said that some couples are not resorting to this type of marriages just for sexual reasons but because they are genuinely in love but do not have the means to get married in the conventional way. They add, that this would be a good solution for them.
The question is: If this couple are genuinely in love, why would they want their marriage to be temporary? Would their love end after 2 weeks?

When we come to the verse which is the subject of the manipulation (4:24), we need to read the words carefully and verify how accurate the claims are:
And also married women, except what your right hand possesses. This is God's decree that is binding over you. Beyond those, all others are permitted for you, so long as you employ your money for marriage purposes and not for illicit sex. Those among them who are pleasing to you, you shall pay them their decreed dowries. There is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree upon beyond the obligation. God is Knowledgeable, Wise. 4:24
- When God says, "employ your money for marriage purposes and not for illicit sex." God is speaking about God’s definition of marriage and not the "illicit sex" which is the convenient sex contract of temporary marriages.

The whole concept of these verses (starting from 4:22) is marriage as authorised by God. What God is saying in 4:24 is that if a woman is pleasing to the man, then he may marry her as long as he pays her the dowry.
To corrupt these words and make them mean that God is allowing men to have sex (with a fake temporary contract) is an insult to God and the righteousness which God advocates.

God tells us in 18:109 that He is not short of words, which means that God gives us all the details in clear words. If God deems that additional words are needed to make a meaning clear God would have added them, God is not short of words.

We cannot see anywhere in the Quran any mention of temporary marriages! Has God forgotten to mention these marriages? The legalisation of 'mutaa marriages' in some countries is based on the manipulation of Quranic verses such as

Whatever they come up with, the fact will always remain that there are no words in the Quran which allow marriage to be drawn for a specified limited time in order to satisfy the sexual needs of the human being.
Any person, man or woman, who engages in such un-Quranic practices is in fact guilty of corrupting and manipulating God's words in order to indulge in sin. This type of marriage, which is no more than a disguised prostitution, is one good example for what God calls disguised sin (6:120).

In view of the above considerations, it can be said without any shadow of doubt that a temporary marriage for the purpose of sexual activities is immoral and in violation of the laws of marriage and the laws of divorce as designed by God. The 'mutaa marriages' are no more than a sly attempt to ascribe legality to an act of paid sex. In other words, it is an attempt to legalise prostitution.

Whoever claims that this is made lawful by God is actually insulting God!
God never advocates sin (7:28), thus God would never allow this arrangement.
Those who claim legality to this act saying that God objects to prostitution if it is not accompanied by a contract, but that God is totally happy with the same paid act, as long as it is accompanied by a written contract!