Temporary Marriage, Mutah

a. cheldown, toledo, oh 43064

mutah or temporary marriage is one of the controversial issues among muslims scholars though this concept was generally attributed to shi'a. therefore, many think that it is a shi'i concept. in fact. it is not only a shi'a concept rather it exists in quranic commentaries and many reliable books in which are generally held by sunnis next to the holy quran ( i.e. bukhari : muslim). the holy quran says, " for what you receive (mutah) from them ( women ) give them their pay as the religious duty ". ( 4:24)

many commentators mention that this verse was revealed in regard of temporary marriage ( mutah ) such as ibn hurairah, mujahid and ubay ibn kab ( see fadhul qadir, vol. 1 by al-shawakani ).

some commentators believe that this verse is related only to the permanent marriage. however those who believe in mutah, consider it a marriage, but a temporary one having many points in common with permanent marriage. thus, it is another kink of marriage, which is allowed is islam.

hadith :

there are three groups of hadiths regarding mutah :

  1. that allows mutah ( without any condition ).

  2. that forbids mutah ( without any condition).

  3. that allows and forbid ( this group indicated that it was allowed by the prophet ( p.) then forbidden by the prophet himself (p.).

the second and third group are well known, so we will mention only the first group, which generally ignored.

bukhari reports vol: 7 p.16 cairo edition.

a) hadith reported from ibn abbas that he was about mutat-ul-nisa and he said it was allowed.

b) jabir ibn abdullah and salama ibn akwa said we were in the army when the messenger of allah (p.) came to us and allowed us to perform mutah.

sahih muslim vol : 2 p 705. english ( lahore edition ):

a.) abdullah ( b masud ) reported : we were on an expedition with the messenger of allah (p.) and we had no women with us. we said, should we not have ourselves castrated ? the prophet (p.) forbid us to do so. he, then granted us permission to contract temporary marriages for a stipulated period giving her a garment. abdullah, then recited this verse : o! those who believe, do not forbid what god had made lawful for you and not exceed the limit. indeed god does not like those who exceed the limit ". (5:87)

b.) jabir ibn abdullah and salama ibn akwa said, " there came to us the proclaimer of allah's messenger (p.) and said, " allah's messenger (p.) has granted us the permission to benefit ourselves:i.e. to contract temporary marriage with women"

c.) salama ibn akwa and jabir ibn abdullah reported, " the prophet (p.) came to us and permitted us to contract temporary marriage".

d.) ibn juraih says that : " ata' reported that jubair ibn abdullah came to perform ' umra and we came to his abode and then people asked him about different things. they mentioned temporary marriage during the lifetime of the holy prophet (p.) and during time of abu bakr and ' umar ".

e.) jabir ibn abdullah reported : we contracted temporary marriage giving a handful of dates and flour for some days during the lifetime of prophet (p.) and during the time of abu bakr, until 'umar forbade it in case of 'amr ibn huraith ".

note : the original arabic publication of muslim reads ( al ayyam) i.e. for some, but the translation gives the meaning wrongly as "dower".

f.) abu nadr reported : while i was in the company of jabir ibn abdullah; a person came to him and said that ibn abbas and ibn zubair differed on the two types of mutah (tamatu' of hajj and tamatu' of woman ) whereupon the lifetime of allah's messenger (p.) ' umar then forbade us. so we did not revert to them.

this group of hadiths clearly allowed mutah, that was practiced by the companions during the time of the prophet (p.) and abu bakr and umar. the other two groups of hadiths contradicts the first group. however, we have to consider the following points :

1). if mutah was forbidden by the holy prophet (p.), there would have been no need for anybody to forbid it again.

2). the group which forbids, differs on the date on which the holy prophet (p.) forbade it. some say it was forbidden in umrat-ul-qada, others say in fath khaiber, hunnain, awatas, tabuk, thanyatul wada and hajjatul wada. therefore, it was said that mutah was abrogated many times. (see al ahinqiti mohammed habib allah, zaid al muslim, vol 5 p 528 ). this leads to the question that if it was abrogated by the holy prophet (p.) once, there would have been no need for another abrogation. no muslim would dare to go against the order of the prophet muhammad (p.).

3). there is evidence in the islamic history that mutah was practiced by some muslim jurists after 'umar's reign e.g. abdul malik juriah ( jurist of mecca). he died in 149 a.h. he had married 70 women of mutah ( see zahabe in his book mizan vol: 6 p 147)

these two points show that there was not ijma* of sunni muslim communities to forbid mutah until the third century of the islamic history because it was a controversial issue until the time of mamoon. ( the abbaside caliph, in the 3rd century a.h.)

from this one can conclude that :

1). the hadith that forbids mutah contradicts itself in date. therefore, they are not certain.

2). there would have been no need for ' umar to forbade it after prophet (p.).

3). there would have been no room for controversial discussion until the third century if it was forbidden before.

therefore, it is best to say that 'umar's prohibition was his own personal view and that mutah was not forbidden until his own reign.

this represents the validity of mutah according to sunni sources, however the sources of shi'a have different reports.

witnesses in marriage

most sunni schools of law consider two witnesses at the time of marriage why is there a need for witnesses for validity for marriages? (l. neeley, palatka, fl 32077)

as a required condition for validity of marriage, they believe that marriage is not valid without witnesses. the reasons given are as follows:

  1. husband would not be able to deny the marriage if two witnesses go against him.

  2. hadith from the prophet muhammad (p.) which orders to announce marriages.

the shi'a point of view is contradictory. shi'a believe it is recommend to have witnesses, but it is not obligatory. they indicate neither of the above mentioned reasons are valid. in the first case, it is possible that a marriage be contracted with two witnesses; then the witnesses be asked to keep it secret. in this, case we see the presence of witnesses without any reason; the presence of two witnesses is not going to change the situation. the only important fact is the agreement between husband and wife.

as to the second reason, the hadith only encourages to announce tmarriage at the time of marriage contract, so everybody shall know that the couple are married. thus, shi'a strongly recommend to have witnesses, though it is not obligatory.

on prophethood

what is the status of one who denies the prophethood of the prophet (p.) and believes in imam ali (a.)? imam abu bakr, kalamazoo, mi 49007 it is obvious that that anyone who denies the prophethood of the prophet muhammad (p.) is not muslim, i.e.; kafir *. also, anyone who believes that imam ali (a.) was a prophet is also kafir.

we believe that the best answer to this question is to give some passages from nahjul balagha: (sermons, letters and saying of imam ali(a.)). n sermon no. 2, imam ali(a.) says: through the prophet muhammad(p.), god made these people check their ways of thought and worship. he wanted to bring them out of ignorance. god decided to call back the prophet muhammad(p.) to the sublime vicinity of his glory and selected him to receive his highest favor and blessings".

in sermon no. 89, imam ali (a.) says, "god has revealed his book for you which explains and describes everything for you. he has allowed the holy prophet(p.) to live among you long enough to explain completely his words and deeds, the religion which was revealed to him until he received his teaching and instruction completed and until such a perfection of his chosen religion was achieved by him that satisfied and pleased him".

in sermon no. 92, imam ali (a.) says, "the almighty god has sent our holy prophet (p.) with his mission at a time when the world was left for long without any prophet or any guide, when nations have passed years without realizing

the duty of man towards man and god. when man had gone through ages of disturbances and discord; when long spells of wars had ravaged human society; and when the world was passing through utter darkness and delusions. he sent the holy prophet(p.) among human beings when humanity had a very evil past".

from the above passages of nahjul balagha, one can conclude that any attribution which contradicts these passages is of true. imam ali (a.) said in his well known words, "i am a true follower of prophet (p.). i had followed him since my childhood, and i shall fight for his religion until my death".

we would like to remind you that this kind of accusation is usually spread by the enemies of islam to divide muslims and divert them from unity. the main objective of imam ali (a.) during his life time is shown in the history. he was a true follower of the prophet muhammad (p.). he has done whatever islam required him to do whether fighting against enemies in a battle field or being silent from his own right for the sake of the islamic unity. we hope this would explain the true concept of prophethood and leadership in islam according to imam ali's (a.) view.

death in islam

explanation of death in the holy qur'an and what is the reason for death? (g. dobson, socorr, nm 87801)

the holy qur'an says, "every soul shall taste death". (3:185) and it also says, "wherever you will be, death shall reach you even if you are in high castles" (4:78).

the holy qur'an also says, "god is the one who has created the death and life in order to see who is the best in his deeds". (67:2). death according to the islamic faith is the continuation of life. in another words, there are two phases of life, the life which a person experiences in this world and the life which shall come after this world. a human being accordingly is composed of two components, his physical body and his spirit. when the physical body and his spirit together are active, it is referred to as life. but when the spirit is separated from the physical body, it is referred to as death. to this fact, the verses of the holy qur'an points out, "god has created death and life". (67:2)

in other words, the separation between these two components is death. the soul will remain eternally forever, and the body will be disintegrated like any other material. that is what imam ali(a.) refers saying, "with death, there is the end of the world". nahjul balagha part 1:154. and imam zain-ul-abedin (a.) says, "we have to prepare, for death". sahifa sajjadiyyah prayer no. 4 p.43. imam baqir (a.) says, "death is like sleep which one experiences daily at night in his life except that death has longer duration". since islam sees death as reality of life, it never ignores it in daily life. imam sadiq (a.) says, " death is like perfume for a believer". furthermore, islam recommends every muslim to prepare for death and write his will as being prepared for reality. there are many hadiths which indicate the moment of separation between soul and body as a great moment for a believer because the soul would be able to see everything in its true nature. the privilege which was not granted before the separation of the spirit and the body; in fact, the spirit was imprisoned within the body. so, it is reported that at the time of death, the spirit of the believer would be happy looking at the relatives around the body who are unhappy but he is unable to communicate his feeling with the relatives. in short, death according to islamic faith , is but a new phase of life.

Islamic names

how to choose islamic names for children? (l. neeley, palatka fl 32077)

islam has laid down the basic principle of self-esteem for children by choosing a good name for them in an honest faithful manner. in particular, many hadiths are reported to educate them on these principles during their childhood. the prophet says, "every child is born naturally as a muslim (the one who submits to god), but parents change his religion either to christianity, judaism or zoroastrian." also the prophet (p.) said, " among the rights of children on parents are to choose a good name , educate him and prepare him for a good life". he also said, "parents have to choose a good name for the child, teach him, how to write and also prepare for his marriage'. therefore, prophet (p.) changed the names of some companions after they became muslim, for example, the name "harb" which means "war", was changed to "silm" which means "peace", to indicate the principle of peace. imam baqir (a.) said, "the best name is the one which indicates the worship of allah". imam sadiq (a.) says, "we name every child born in our family "muhammad" for seven days. afterwards, we may change it". imam kadim (a.) says, "the first thing which a father has to do is to choose a good name for his child".

there are three ways to choose an islamic name:

  1. one is to choose one of the 99 names of god, adding to it the word 'abd' which means "servant". for instance, 'karim' to 'abdul karim', 'allah' to 'abdullah', and so on.(for detail see "beautiful names of god" q# 11)

  2. also, one may choose an islamic name by considering the occasions of the birth, if it coincides with the birthday or the death of any prophet (a.), companion, imam or important historical names, of those who have a great significant contribution to the islamic history. for example, one might select either their proper names or their nick names.

the following list highlights the important islamic occasions :

rabi 'al-awwal: 1st of hijra: the migration of the prophet (p.) from mecca to madina

12th: martyrdom of imam hassan al-askari

17th: (52 b.h.): birthday of prophet mohammad (p.)

17th: (83 a.h.): birthday of imam ja'far al-sadiq(a.)

rabi 'al thani:

8th: (232 a.h.): birthday of imam hassan al-askari(a.)

jamada i:

5th (5 a.h.): birthday of zainab al-kubra (a.)

13th (11 a.h.) martyrdom of fatima al-zahra(a.)

jamada ii:

20th (8 b.h.): birthday of fatima al-zahra(a.)


1st (57 a.h.): birthday of imam muhammad al-baqir (a.)

3rd (254 a.h.): martyrdom of imam ali al-hadi al-naqi(a.)

10th (195 a.h.): birthday of imam muhammad al-jawad(a..)

14th (62 a.h.): death of zaal-kubra(a.)

13th (23 b.h.): birthday of imam ali abn abi talib (a.)

27th (11 b.h.): mi'raj, the journey of the prophet(p.) to heaven.


3rd (4 a.h.): birthday of imam al-hussain (a.)

5th (38 a.h.): birthday of imam al-mehdi


15th(3 a.h.): birthday of imam hassan al-mujtaba, al-zaki, al-sibt

21st (40 a.h.): martyrdom of imam ali (a.)

19th, 21st, and 23rd: the nights of qadr


1st: idl al-fitr

25th (148 a.h.): death of imam ja'afar al-sadiq(a.)

dhul qidah:

11th (148 a.h.): birthday of imam ali al-rida(a.):

29th (216 a.h.): martyrdom of imam muhammad al-jawad(a.)

dhul hijjah:

7th (114 a.h.): martyrdom of imam muhammad al-baqir(a.)

10th: id-al-adha

15th (212 a.h.): birthday of imam al-hadi al-naqi (a.)

18th: id ghadir khum


9th: tasu'a

10th (61 a.h.): ashura-martyrdom of imam al-hussain(a.)

25th (94 a.h.): martyrdom of imam zain al-abidin al-sajjad (a.)


7th (128 a.h.): birthday of imam musa al-kadim(a.)

20th: 40th day of arba'in 28th (11 a.h.): death of the prophet muhammad (p.) 29th: martyrdom of imam al-rida(a.)

  1. the third way to choose an islamic name is to select any common name used by muslims. the following list of names may be helpful . these are arranged in three columns: the arabic name of male, female, and each followed by an english meaning and romanization.

male female meaning

  1. abid worshipper

  2. amin peaceful, trustworthy

  3. asim masuma protector protected

  4. amir prosperous

  5. ali aliyyah

  6. azeez azeezah respected, powerful, rare

  7. abbas gloomy

  8. adeeb adeebah educated

  9. afeef afeefah virtuous

  10. ahmed praised

  11. ameer ameerah commander, chief, prince

  12. amjad majeeda glorious

  13. asad lion, the nick name of imam ali (a.)

  14. aqeel aqeelah intelligent

  15. askari nick name of 11th imam who was forced to live in 'askar' i.e., a military camp.

  16. asma wife of the prophet (p.)

  17. ata atiyyah gift

  18. ayyub prophet job

  19. azhar azharf bright, flower

  20. baqir one who splits and spreader of knowledge. nick name of 5th. imam(a.).

  21. basi basil brave

  22. bahir bahirah dazzling

  23. badr badriyyah full moon

  24. baheej baheejah happy

  25. bahy bahiyyah brilliant

  26. bilal companion of the prophet (p.)

  27. basim basmahµ smile

  28. bishr bushra joy, glad

  29. fadhil fadhilah virtuous

  30. faheem faheemah intelligent

  31. fakhry fakhriyya honorable

  32. fareed fareedah precious

  33. fatimah daughter of the prophet (p.)

  34. fatin charming

  35. fawzy fawziyyah victorious

  36. faudd heart

  37. ghalib victorious

39.ghadah graceful

  1. haydar nick name of imam ali (a.)

  2. hany hana pleasant

  3. hameed hameedah gentle

  4. haleem haleemah gentle

  5. hady huda guide to the right path.

  6. hijr companion of the prophet (a.)

  7. hammam energetic

  8. hashim grandfather of the prophet (p.)

  9. hasan the 2nd. imam(a.)

  10. husayn the 3rd. imam(a.)

  11. hakeem hakeemah wise

  12. hamza uncle of the prophet (p.)

  13. habeeb habeebah beloved

  14. haroon successor of prophet moses(a.)

  15. ibrahim the prophet ibrahim(a.)

  16. isa the prophet jesus(a.)

  17. ismael the prophet ishmael(a.)

  18. isam noble

  19. ishaq the prophet issac(a.)

  20. imadd pillar, important

  21. ilyas the prophet elija(a.)

  22. iman faith

  23. islah peace

  24. jalal great

  25. jamal graceful

  26. jameel jameelah handsome, beautiful

  27. jawad generous

  28. ja'far name of the 6th imam (a.)

  29. jubayr companion of the prophet(p.)

  30. jawahir jawharah jewel, jem

  31. kamal perfection

  32. kamil kamilah perfect

  33. kareem kareemah noble

  34. khadijah wife of the prophet(a.)

  35. kumayl perfection

  36. kadim kadimah patient

  37. khaleel khalelah friend

  38. luqman name of prophet

  39. lutfi lutfiyah of kindness

  40. labeeb labeebah intelligent

  41. mahdi mahdiyyah rightly guided

81.maryam mary, mother of prophet jesus(a.)

  1. musa the prophet moses(a.)

  2. mustafa saffiyah nick name of the prophet(p.)

  3. mufeed mufeedah useful

  4. majeed majeedah praise worthy

  5. muna wish

  6. miqdadd companion of the prophet(p.)

  7. mujtaba chosen one

  8. murtudha nick name of imam ali(a.)

  9. muneer muneerah shining

  10. muhsin mohsinah generous

  11. masud masudah happy

  12. misbah light

94.nafi beneficent

  1. nabeeh nabeehah outstanding

  2. nasir nusrah helper

  3. noor noriyyah brightness, light

  4. naqi naqiyyah pure

  5. naji najiyyah saved

  6. najeeb najeebah excellent

101.nazeeh nazeeha pure

  1. najm najmah star

  2. qassim divider

  3. qa'id qa'idah chief, leader

  4. qani qani'ah content

  5. qays companion of the prophet(a.)

  6. rasool messenger

  7. rasheed rasheedah rational

  8. ridha radiyyah pleasant, content

  9. raqey ruqeeyah superior

  10. rafi rafi'ah sublime

  11. sabir sabirah patient

  12. sarah 1st. wife of the prophet ibrahim. (a.)

  13. sabih sahibah friend

  14. salam peace

  15. saleem saleemah safe, free

  16. sukaynah daughter of imam husayn(a.)

  17. salih salihah good, pious

  18. sibt grandson

  19. sajjad sajidah worshipp

  20. sa'eed sa'eedah happy

  21. sadiq sadiqah truthful

  22. salman companion of the prophet(p.)

124.siddiqah the nick name of fatima zahra(a.)

  1. shakir shakirah graceful

  2. shareef shareefah noble, honored

  3. shahid shahidah witness

  4. taqi taqiyyah pious

129.tawfeeq prosperity

130.tayyib tayyibah pleasant

131.tali rising

132.tahir tahirah pure

133.talib talibah pursuer

  1. waheed waheedah matchless

  2. waly waliyyah protector

  3. wafy wafiyyah faithful

  4. wajeeh wajeehah leader

  5. wid widad friend

  6. waseem waseemah graceful

  7. yasir companion of the prophet(p.)

  8. yahyah the prophet john(a.)

  9. yusuf the prophet joseph(a.)

  10. ya'qub the prophet jacob(a.)

  11. yaseen nick name of the prophet(p.)

  12. zayd historical name

  13. zafar zafirah victorious

147.zaynab daughter of imam ali(a.)

  1. zaky zakiyyah pure

  2. zahra bright, nick name of fatima(a.), the daughter of the prophet(p.)

  3. zayn zaynah short of zayn ul-abidin(a.) i.e., who adores worship