Temporary Marriages in Islamic theology.

Someone emailed:
I read an interesting article about changing mores in Iraq particularly in relations to "temporary marriages", which can last as little as one hour.

Among Sunnis similarly the "temporary marriage" is known as an "Orfi" marriage and among Shi'a it is called a "Mut'ah" marriage. The difference is that while the "temporary marriage" is perfectly accepted and legal among the Shi'ites, the orfi marriage is still embarrassing to established sensibilities.The orfi marriage is also referred to as an "unregistered marriage" because it can take place simply by the contract of the two involved and two witness (usually two friends taken in confidence). If the relationship "runs its course" the contract can be torn up and thus the marriage is for all intents and purposes "annulled." But sometimes, as you can imagine, the male sometimes unilaterally tears up the contract leaving the female with child. The the discussion about some personal experiences and the legal status of orfi marriages here.

Reply: Thank you for pointing out this very interesting aspect of Islamic marriage law.

I looked up the subject of Shi'ite "Temporary Marriage", which I learned about from you, and found an interesting Q & A page about it on Ayatollah Sistani's site. It defines Temporary Marriage as one which has a stated time limit. You can remarry the same woman even the next day after the marriage ends, and that your temporary wife may even be a Christian or a Jew, but your permanant wife must be a Shi'ite Muslim. See also the summary here.

This appears to be very similar to the practice which Moses might be condemning in Deut.24.1-4 - where the practice of marrying, divorcing and remarrying the same woman is condemned.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am just thinking if the early church and early church fathers could have been incorrect on their views on divorce and remarriage and given the wrong counsel which could have gone on for centuries because they didn't have access to Brewers historical research, let alone logos software.

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In what circumstances do you believe a Christian may divorce their partner? (tick one or more)