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When Must we Marry?


The proper time and age of marrying is when the individual reaches sexual as well as mental maturity. Mental maturity may mean the capability of establishing a cordial family life and the ability to fulfill rights of family members.

The need of a spouse and family is a natural and instinctive need which Allah through His Wisdom has placed in human beings and is awakened at its particular time and season, and makes its demand. If it is answered on time and its requirement fulfilled, it traverses its natural course and makes the person perfect. If it is delayed or answered in an incorrect and unnatural mode, it deviates from its natural course, and insurges and rebels, and not only becomes corrupt itself, but also corrupts the man.

Who is eligible to marry?

For man to become eligible for taking a woman's hand in marriage, Islam has several recommendations. According to Islamic laws, when a boy attains the age of fifteen, or becomes sexually potent, he is baligh, and has attained puberty. But this is not enough for entering into a contract of marriage.

Apart from the laws related to puberty, there is a concept of Rushd[15] which can be translated as 'capability of a sensible conduct' or maturity. A husband has to be Rashid and a wife Rashidah; so that the responsibilities of married life are sensibly discharged.

Books of Islamic law may be referred to for exact details on physical and mental maturity.

Recommendation for Early Marriage

Islam highly recommends an early marriage. Even those who feel they would not be able to bear the expenses of family are urged to repose faith in Allah, as He is the Giver of Sustenance (Rizq), and go for an early marriage.

The proper time and age of marrying is when the individual reaches sexual as well as mental maturity. Mental maturity may mean the capability of establishing a cordial family life and the ability to fulfill rights of family members.

The need of a spouse and family is a natural and instinctive need which Allah through His Wisdom has placed in human beings and is awakened at its particular time and season, and makes its demand. If it is answered on time and its requirement fulfilled, it traverses its natural course and makes the person perfect. If it is delayed or answered in an incorrect and unnatural mode, it deviates from its natural course, and insurges and rebels, and not only becomes corrupt itself, but also corrupts the man.

Who is eligible to marry?

For man to become eligible for taking a woman's hand in marriage, Islam has several recommendations. According to Islamic laws, when a boy attains the age of fifteen, or becomes sexually potent, he is baligh, and has attained puberty. But this is not enough for entering into a contract of marriage.

Apart from the laws related to puberty, there is a concept of Rushd[15] which can be translated as 'capability of a sensible conduct' or maturity. A husband has to be Rashid and a wife Rashidah; so that the responsibilities of married life are sensibly discharged.

Books of Islamic law may be referred to for exact details on physical and mental maturity.

Recommendation for Early Marriage

Islam highly recommends an early marriage. Even those who feel they would not be able to bear the expenses of family are urged to repose faith in Allah, as He is the Giver of Sustenance (Rizq), and go for an early marriage.

 


Notes:

 

[15]  Youth and Spouse Selection, Ali Akbar Mazaheri, Ansariyan Publication, p. 34


 
   
 

 

 


 

Importance of marriage in Islam

www.al-islam.org

The Holy Quran says,

And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.[2]

The above ayat begins with the words Wa Ankehoo (And marry…) The imperative form of the word 'nikah' implies that either it is obligatory or highly recommended.[3] According to scholars, though marriage is a highly recommended act, it becomes obligatory when there is a chance of falling into sin.

The Prophet says, “No house has been built in Islam more beloved in the sight of Allah than through marriage.” [4]

On another occasion the Prophet (s.a.) said,

“The best people of my nation (Ummat) are those who get married and have chosen their wives, and the worst people of my nation are those who have kept away from marriage and are passing their lives as bachelors.” [5]

Imam 'Ali (a.s.) exhorts, “Marry, because marriage is the tradition of the Prophet.” The Prophet (s.a.) also said, ”Whosoever likes to follow my tradition, then he should know that marriage is from my tradition.” [6]

A. Importance of sex in marriage

In Islam, marriage is not restricted to a platonic relationship between husband and wife, nor is it solely for procreation. The Islamic term for marriage, “nikah” literally means sexual intercourse.3

So why has Islam provided extensive rules and regulation regarding sex? This was because Islam has fully understood that sexual instincts cannot and must not be repressed. They can only be regulated for the well being of human beings in this life and for their success in the hereafter.

Sex in married life has been openly recommended in Qur'an, 'When they [i.e., the wives] have cleansed themselves [after menstruation], you go into them as Allah has commanded.” [7]

B. Fulfillment of Sexual Urge

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) also encouraged their followers to marry and to fulfill their sexual urges in lawful ways as can be seen from the following: The Prophet (s.a.) said, “O you young men! I recommend marriage to you.” [8]

Imam Reza (a.s.) said, “Three things are from the traditions of the messengers of God: using perfume, removing the [excessive] hair and visiting one's wife.” [9]

C. Celibacy and Monasticism is Forbidden

Islamic is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. 'Uthman bin Maz'un was a close companion of the Prophet. One day his wife came to the Prophet and complained, “O Messenger of God! 'Uthman fasts during the day and stands for prayers during the night.” In other words, she meant to say that her husband was avoiding sexual relations during the night as well as the day. The Prophet was angered. He did not even wait to put on his slippers. He went to 'Uthman's house and found him praying. When 'Uthman finished his prayers and turned towards the Prophet, he said, “O 'Uthman! Allah did not send me for monasticism, rather He sent me with a simple and straight [Shariah]. I fast, pray and also have intimate relations with my wife. So whosoever likes my tradition, then he should follow it; and marriage is one of my traditions.” [10]

D. Beneficial Effects of a Married Life

Various studies prove that married people remain healthier, physically and mentally. Islam, has always maintained that marriage is beneficial for us in many ways.

Islam also regards marriage as a way to acquire spiritual perfection.

The Prophet (s.a.) said, “One who marries, has already guarded half of his religion, therefore he should fear Allah for the other half.” [11] How true! A person who fulfills his sexual urges lawfully would rarely be distracted in spiritual pursuits.

E. Marriage enhances the value of prayers

The Prophet (s.a.) said, “Two rak 'ats (cycles) prayed by a married person are better than the night-vigil and the fast of a single person.” [12]

A woman came to the Prophet (s.a.) and said that she had tried everything to attract her husband but in vain; he does not leave his meditation to pay any attention to her.

The Prophet (s.a.) told her to inform her husband about the reward of sexual intercourse which he described as follows: “When a man approaches his wife, he is guarded by two angels and [at that moment in Allah's views] he is like a warrior fighting for the cause of Allah. When he has intercourse with her, his sins fall like the leaves of the tree [in fall season]. When he performs the major ablution, he is cleansed from sins.” [13]

F. Marriage increases Sustenance

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) remarked, “Give spouses to your single ones, because Allah makes their morality better (improves it) (under the shadow of marriage) and expands their sustenance and increases their generosity (human values).” [14]


Notes:

 

[2]    Surah Nur 24: 32

[3]    Marriage and Morals in Islam, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi

[4]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 3

[5]    Mustadrakul Wasael, Muhaddith Noori, vol. 2, p. 531 quoted in A Gift for the Youth, Shabeeb Rizvi

[6]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 3-4, 6

[7]    Surah Baqarah 2:222

[8]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 25

[9]    Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 4

[10]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 10

[11]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 5

[12]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 7

[13]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 74

[14]  Nawadir al Rawandi, p. 36

 

A. Importance of sex in marriage

In Islam, marriage is not restricted to a platonic relationship between husband and wife, nor is it solely for procreation. The Islamic term for marriage, “nikah” literally means sexual intercourse.3

So why has Islam provided extensive rules and regulation regarding sex? This was because Islam has fully understood that sexual instincts cannot and must not be repressed. They can only be regulated for the well being of human beings in this life and for their success in the hereafter.

Sex in married life has been openly recommended in Qur'an, 'When they [i.e., the wives] have cleansed themselves [after menstruation], you go into them as Allah has commanded.” [7]

B. Fulfillment of Sexual Urge

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) also encouraged their followers to marry and to fulfill their sexual urges in lawful ways as can be seen from the following: The Prophet (s.a.) said, “O you young men! I recommend marriage to you.” [8]

Imam Reza (a.s.) said, “Three things are from the traditions of the messengers of God: using perfume, removing the [excessive] hair and visiting one's wife.” [9]

C. Celibacy and Monasticism is Forbidden

Islamic is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. 'Uthman bin Maz'un was a close companion of the Prophet. One day his wife came to the Prophet and complained, “O Messenger of God! 'Uthman fasts during the day and stands for prayers during the night.” In other words, she meant to say that her husband was avoiding sexual relations during the night as well as the day. The Prophet was angered. He did not even wait to put on his slippers. He went to 'Uthman's house and found him praying. When 'Uthman finished his prayers and turned towards the Prophet, he said, “O 'Uthman! Allah did not send me for monasticism, rather He sent me with a simple and straight [Shariah]. I fast, pray and also have intimate relations with my wife. So whosoever likes my tradition, then he should follow it; and marriage is one of my traditions.” [10]

D. Beneficial Effects of a Married Life

Various studies prove that married people remain healthier, physically and mentally. Islam, has always maintained that marriage is beneficial for us in many ways.

Islam also regards marriage as a way to acquire spiritual perfection.

The Prophet (s.a.) said, “One who marries, has already guarded half of his religion, therefore he should fear Allah for the other half.” [11] How true! A person who fulfills his sexual urges lawfully would rarely be distracted in spiritual pursuits.

E. Marriage enhances the value of prayers

The Prophet (s.a.) said, “Two rak 'ats (cycles) prayed by a married person are better than the night-vigil and the fast of a single person.” [12]

A woman came to the Prophet (s.a.) and said that she had tried everything to attract her husband but in vain; he does not leave his meditation to pay any attention to her.

The Prophet (s.a.) told her to inform her husband about the reward of sexual intercourse which he described as follows: “When a man approaches his wife, he is guarded by two angels and [at that moment in Allah's views] he is like a warrior fighting for the cause of Allah. When he has intercourse with her, his sins fall like the leaves of the tree [in fall season]. When he performs the major ablution, he is cleansed from sins.” [13]

F. Marriage increases Sustenance

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) remarked, “Give spouses to your single ones, because Allah makes their morality better (improves it) (under the shadow of marriage) and expands their sustenance and increases their generosity (human values).” [14]


Notes:

 

[2]    Surah Nur 24: 32

[3]    Marriage and Morals in Islam, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi

[4]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 3

[5]    Mustadrakul Wasael, Muhaddith Noori, vol. 2, p. 531 quoted in A Gift for the Youth, Shabeeb Rizvi

[6]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 3-4, 6

[7]    Surah Baqarah 2:222

[8]    Wasaelush Shia, vol. 14, p. 25

[9]    Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 4

[10]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 10

[11]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 5

[12]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 7

[13]  Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 14, p. 74

[14]  Nawadir al Rawandi, p. 36


 


 

Temporary Marriage

by Sr. Diana Masooma Beatty

 

My last topic in marriage is perhaps the most controversial within the Muslim community, and this is the temporary marriage.  Among the Muslims are some who believe that the temporary marriage is unlawful and others who believe that it is lawful and even very important.   Those who believe it is unlawful believe that the Prophet of Islam (saw), through God’s command, allowed it for a very short period and then disallowed it.  Those who believe it is lawful believe that the Prophet of Islam (saw) never disallowed it but rather it was a Caliph, after the death of the Prophet (saw) at which time Islam can not be changed, who made it illegal. 

 

Further, those who find it lawful turn to a verse in the Qur’an in which they believe it (temporary marriage) is mentioned. They say that something which is lawful in Qur’an and not made unlawful somewhere else in the Qur’an must be permissible.   The matter of dispute is in 4:24, here presented as in the Puya/Ali translation and tafsir of the Holy Qur’an:

 

“As to those whom you married for a fixed time (Mutah), give them their agreed dowries; and there is no sin for you in what you mutually agree together after what has been settled.” 

 

The corresponding tafsir follows:

 

“Famastamta-tum bihi [the Arabic in the text which refers to the marriage] provides for a temporary marriage, knows as Mutah.  It has been specifically made lawful by the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet, therefore this provision subsists as unrescinded.

 

One day, for no reason at all, and having no authority to amend a law given and practiced by the Holy Prophet, the second caliph declared from the pulpit:

 

‘Two Mutahs (temporary marriage and combining hajj with umra) were in force during the time of the Holy Prophet, but now I decree both of them as unlawful; and I will punish those who practice them.’ (Tafsir Kabir, Durr al Manthur, Kashshaf, Mustadrak and others).

 

According to Tirmidhi even his [the second caliph’s] son, Ibna Umar, refused to agree with his father’s action because it was made lawful by Allah and His Prophet, whose pronouncements could never be revoked by any one after him.

 

Therefore the Shia school of thought holds both Mutahs lawful.  Ali ibn abi Talib reversed the uncalled-for innovation of the second caliph, and thereafter it was never again prohibited.”

 

 

Now if we look at a different translation, we find that there is no clear mention of the marriage referred to as being temporary in nature:

 

“And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty.  And there is no sin for you in what you do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done).”  (Pickthall)

 

Thus, for one who is not an expert in Qur’anic Arabic, it is difficult to determine whether “famastamta-tum bihi” refers to a temporary marriage.  It may be easier, then, to adhere by the law according to the Islamic school that you choose to follow, but this is not a truly satisfactory answer for the convert who may have not yet chosen a school.  However, it is possible to study the works of those who are more knowledgeable in Qur’anic Arabic or you can try to determine the matter using the information on which nearly all Muslims agree.

 

That on which nearly all Muslims agree, both Sunni and Shia, is that the temporary marriage was made lawful by the Prophet (saw) of Islam and was not made unlawful until after Allah swt had completed and perfected Islam and the Prophet (saw) had died.  It is also largely agreed upon that anyone after the Prophet (saw) cannot make anything that was lawful, unlawful, or anything that was prohibited, allowed, except on a temporary basis stemming from urgent political need.  As an example of a temporary change stemming from urgent political need, it would be acceptable for an Islamic scholar to prohibit the use of birth control temporarily to counteract an oppressor’s rule that all Muslims must not procreate.  Normally, many methods of birth control are permissible for Muslims, but in an emergency when the future of the Muslim society is at stake, the scholar can rule that they should not use birth control until the situation is alleviated.

 

Therefore it would seem that the second caliph’s ruling cannot have any effect on the permissibility of temporary marriage today and as such the conclusion I make is that it is permissible.  There are a minority of Sunnis who turn to different traditions that indicate that the Prophet (saw) himself forbade Mutah, but those traditions contradict each other and do not stand up to close scrutiny and we are left with the same conclusion that temporary marriage is permitted.  But, to address that opinion, the following is quoted from the Shia Encyclopedia (available online):

 

“Sabra al-Juhanni reported on the authority of his father that while he was with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), he said: O' people, I had permitted you to contract temporary marriage with women, but Allah has forbidden it (now) until the Day of Resurrection. So he who has any (woman with this type of marriage contract) he should let her off, and do not take back anything you have given to them (as dower).

Sunni references:

Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3255

Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1025, Tradition #21, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mutah"

 

'A side comment here is that again the word "Istimta'a" has been used in this tradition for temporary marriage which is exactly what Quran has used.'

 

“In the next tradition after the above tradition in Sahih Muslim, the same narrator (Sabra) has narrated the same tradition with addition that:

"I saw Allah's Messenger standing between the pillar and gate of Ka'ba when speaking the Hadith."

Sunni references:

Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage),      Tradition #3256

Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1025, Tradition #21, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mut'a"

 

“The following tradition, however, indicates that the Prophet allowed Temporary marriage after the battle of Hunain (after 10/8 AH) which was after the conquest of Mecca:

Narrated Iyas Ibn Salama on the authority of his father that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) gave sanction for contracting temporary marriage for three nights in the year of Autas (this was after the Battle of Hunain in 8H), and then forbade it.

{Note: The sentence inside parentheses is the Saudi translator's footnote, and is NOT mine.}

Sunni references:

Sahih Muslim, English version, v2, chapter DXLI (titled: Temporary Marriage), Tradition #3251

Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, p1023, Tradition #18, "Kitab al-Nikah, Bab Nikah al-Mutah"

 

Now, let us see what the problems are: …

If the Prophet has forbidden the temporary marriage FOREVER in the Day of Khaibar (1/7 AH), why it was practiced even after the battle of Hunain (after 10/8 AH) with the direct order of the Prophet? (See the reference above) In other words:

How is that possible that one is forbidden FOREVER and in two different points of time, in the Day of Khaibar (1/7 AH) and on the victory Mecca (9/8 AH) FOREVER, and people were practicing it between these two instants of time and after these two instances with the order of the Prophet?

In the mentioned tradition about the battle of Hunain, it is said that the messenger of Allah ALLOWED to do Mutah  after the battle of Hunain. So we can not say people did it because they did not know it was forbidden forever. The traditions confirms that Mutah was done with the direct order of the Prophet. So how can we justify these few alleged traditions that the Prophet forbade it forever before that? …

 

Two Sunni scholars: al-Qurtubi (in his commentary of Quran) and al-Nawawi (in his commentary of Sahih Muslim) are in the opinion that different traditions concerning the ban of Mutah specify seven different dates!!! ….

 

What will be wrong if we take the opinion of Imam Ali (AS), the most knowledgeable one among the companions who said:

 

The Mutah is a mercy from Allah to his servants. If it were not for Umar forbidding it, no one would commit (the sin) of fornication except the wretched (Shaqi)." …. “

 

But why would anyone want to be in a temporary marriage?  What purpose does it serve? Temporary marriage is not intended as an alternative to permanent marriage, but rather, like polygamy, is an option for those who have needs that permanent marriage cannot meet.  To claim that permanent marriage meets all needs is foolish upon close examination of society.  Imam Ali (as), the 4th caliph of Islam according to the Sunnis and the first Imam (one appointed by God to succeed in leadership after the Prophet (saw) and to uphold the religion) according to the Shias, is quoted on this issue as saying,

 

“It [temporary marriage] is permitted and absolutely allowed for the one whom Allah has not provided with the means of permanent marriage so that he may be chaste by performing Mutah [temporary marriage].”  Wasail, vol. 14 pp.449-450.

 

In modern society, the temporary marriage may meet the needs of someone who is travelling for a long time and is in need of companionship, or someone who cannot find a permanent spouse.  Additionally it may serve the needs of someone without the financial means to have a wedding and then to support his wife financially. (The requirement that he maintain his spouse according to his means and according to what she is accustomed to does not have to apply in temporary marriage.)   The elderly widows who have little realistic chance of finding another permanent spouse can more easily find temporary spouses to serve the need of companionship.  Similarly, youth who are too young for the responsibilities of permanent marriage but in danger of committing sin may lawfully meet in a Mutah marriage.  This last case does not give freedom for youth to freely mingle with the opposite sex and have intercourse.  A condition mitigating against this abuse is the requirement that a virgin female have permission of her father to enter any marriage relationship, including Mutah, unless the father is found to be one who is unreasonable in that regard. It is further commonly required that a condition of the marriage be that sex shall not take place.  

 

Mutah is the way to avoid sin when permanent marriage is not possible.  Many Muslims today commit sin prior to their marriage with the person that they are engaged to.  Islam is clear that, between men and women, touching, viewing parts of each other’s bodies that should be covered, and visiting while unescorted are sins unless they are closely related or married. 

 

Engagement is not marriage, yet couples involve themselves in this behavior that should take place only in marriage.  The logical alternative to avoid sin is simply to have a temporary marriage prior to the permanent marriage so that the couple can make sure they are suited to each other.

 

Mutah is often referred to as a pleasure marriage and is compared to prostitution.   The man pays the woman a dowry and they enjoy each other and then move on.  But, in truth, Mutah probably more often occurs without any sex than it does solely for the purpose of sexual gratification.  Mutah, unlike permanent marriage, may have conditions put on it, including the most common one, which is that no sex shall take place.  Thus, its purpose is companionship and getting to know the other person and not just sexual pleasure.  Mutah is different than prostitution in that it is a union before God, and any children resulting will be legitimate.  It is in all senses of the word a marriage.  Just as in permanent marriage, the woman has a waiting period after the end of the marriage before she can take another spouse.  The waiting period serves many purposes including making sure of any paternity, avoiding running into another relationship too soon, and giving the couple time to reconcile.  A woman is unlikely to be able to make a living from Mutah, because she could legally have less than half a dozen partners in a year.  In this way, it is clearly unlike prostitution.  Payment of a dowry does take place in Mutah, but it is unlike prostitution because the payment is not for sex, but rather it is identical in purpose to the dowry given in permanent marriage.

 

I think the stigma placed on temporary marriage is largely unjustified, but I must also admit that the way it tends to be practiced is rather messy.  Most Muslims have heard stories in which a permanently married man had several temporary spouses on the side, while his permanent spouse was neglected. Or, that a man convinced a young girl to sleep with him in Mutah without the permission of her father by classifying the father as one who would unreasonably deny the marriage.

 

Personally, I have known a handful of women involved in temporary marriage, all of whom were converts.  The stories of blatant misuse of the marriage are not to be found with those I have known, but there were problems.  I think, in each case these marriages were too long.  What I mean is that temporary marriage is supposed to be just that --temporary.  But in all cases that I have personal knowledge of, they extended for years, often in a series of repeated temporary marriages.  Two-thirds of the time the wife was kept secret from family, friends, and/or community because of the stigma and judgment that would result.  Thus, when someone unexpectedly came to the door, the wife had to hide in a back room or closet silently until the guest could be taken care of.  The longer the relationship persisted, the more the woman became attached to the man and secretly hoped for permanent marriage, and some resented having to hide if they were one of the ones kept secret.  Often the men provided just enough hope of a permanent marriage that the women stuck around, but years passed and no longer term commitment was made, no permanent marriage plans arose -- but another temporary marriage was offered.  In public, the women frequently had to say they were unmarried because the temporary marriage was unknown. For some, the end result was a happy permanent marriage or a happy parting but that was not always the case.  Ultimately, being temporary rather than permanent spouses seemed to these women to indicate a partial rejection by their husbands even if there was no other reason to believe that to be the case.  The women just wanted more.

 

I do not wish to paint the men who choose temporary marriage even for prolonged periods in a bad light.  In nearly all cases they are trying to do right and love their wives.  Their dilemma often stems from the rejection they find or anticipate from their family and society because of the race or nationality of their spouse, or because they found each other without the traditional arrangement done by the family.  Or often, they were initially only able to pursue a temporary marriage and not a permanent one and had to hide their marriage because of the very negative reactions and rejection they would receive from people, especially family, if it were made public.  I sympathize with the desire to want both your family and your wife.  In the end, these men often have to choose one or the other.

 

Rightfully, they should not have to choose.  People should accept a man’s choice in spouse regardless of her race or nationality, especially if she is a pious woman. And people should not allow stigma to exist upon those who find the need for temporary marriage.  This stigma has no place on something that was made lawful by God and the Prophet (saw) and even encouraged or mandated when sin is the likely alternative. Mutah has a place in society and the need for it is not altogether uncommon.  It is a gross error to accept fornication and adultery more easily than Mutah. 

 

I strongly feel that people who engage in temporary marriage should do so only after having educated themselves about it and making clear in their minds and hearts that it is indeed temporary.  If it is not intended to lead to a permanent marriage, this needs to be absolutely understood by both sides.  And, if it is intended to lead to permanent marriage, then the permanent marriage should take place as soon as possible.

 

If, upon examination of your heart, you find that you are one who holds a stigma toward polygamy, Mutah or those who practice them, you should understand that whether or not your opinions are voiced, they do real damage.  People suffer because of the stigmas that others hold.  Just as in a monogamous permanent marriage, polygamous and temporary marriages can contain abuse and bad outcomes.  It is the abuse that should be stigmatized, and not the marriages themselves.  In fact, stigmatizing the marriages causes abuse within them to be more likely because it makes it more likely that the marriages will be done in secret. Therefore, if you are concerned about misuse of the temporary and polygamous marriages, then let them out of the closet and into the realm of the public.  One can only remove a stigma through conscious and deliberate effort within oneself.  Although past damage cannot be fully repaired, future damage can be prevented if more people, perhaps starting with the reader him/herself, would be active and audible in their support of polygamous and temporary marriage and those individuals who pursue them lawfully.