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Temporary Marriage in Sunni and Shiite Islam

The main objective of the study on temporary marriage in Shiite and Sunni Islam by Khalid Sindawi is to analyze and survey the views of Islamic jurists both ancient and modern on the issue of temporary marriage.

The main objective of the study on temporary marriage in Shiite and Sunni Islam by Khalid Sindawi is to analyze and survey the views of Islamic jurists both ancient and modern on the issue of temporary marriage, that is, a marriage that is limited in time, and whether such a marriage is licit or not. Using juridical texts, religious rulings (fatawa), independent opinions and more, this study illuminates the main disputes among early and modern Islamic scholars and tracks the sources of the obvious disagreements on this matter in Islamic religious circles. It also discusses the social aspects of temporary marriage as well as the influence that social sentiments may have had on the way in which this institution has been appraised in Islamic law.
After the introduction that explores the concept of marriage, its conditions and laws, the encouragement of matrimony in Islamic law, divorce and annulment of marriage, and the two types of legal marriage, permanent and temporary, different marriage types from the pre-Islamic times up to modern times are presented. Sindawi also discusses usufruct marriage (muta) in Islamic jurisprudence and the attendant social customs among Twelver Shiites, deals with travel marriage (misyar) in Islamic jurisprudence and Sunni social practice, describes what is known as “friend marriage” and the views of Islamic jurists on this kind of liaison, and summarizes the points of similarity and difference between usufruct, travel and “friend” marriage.

Preface of the Book

Muslim jurists have used a variety of devices to deal with issues of theology and religious jurisprudence throughout the ages. The system is quite complex, although based only a number of basic components. The principle of independent judgment or ijtihad differs from other juridical devices in Islam, in particular those that are considered as constituting the basic principles of the faith. Thus the Quran, as the main pillar of Islamic jurisprudence, has remained the leading source of Islamic legislation from the earliest times to our days, despite the many different and contradictory interpretations to which it has been subjected, since it is regarded as a divine text, untouched by the hands of human beings and their narrow interests. Two other important sources of jurisprudence, although slightly inferior in status to that of the Quran are the Sunna, the binding sayings and actions of the Prophet, and the hadith or reports of the sayings and deeds of the Prophet and his Companions. The principles of analogy and consensus have had varying fortunes in the discussions of jurists and their juridical texts. In fact, although both analogy and consensus have been recognized as important principles, they were only applied to certain specific juridical issues and were ignored in the great majority of cases in which independent judgment had been applied. The problematic nature of independent judgment (ijtihad ) and the literature on the subject is due to the fact that Islamic scholars in any one age were unable to come to agreement on any specific issues. In the course of time the disputes based on independent judgment grew more acrimonious, while schools of religious thought proliferated through the ages. The topic of temporary marriage involves a great many problematic issues in Islamic religious law (shari’a ) , due to the aforementioned disagreements among jurists which are engendered by contrasting views on independent judgment and the existence of many different and mutually inconsistent schools of thought and jurisprudence. This has brought about a situation in which juridical matters, instead of being discussed for their own sake, have been exploited for sectarian purposes far removed from the interests of Muslim society as a whole. This study will analyze the issue of temporary marriage in Islamic canonical law (shari’a) in light of contemporary positive and civil law in a number of Muslim countries. It will also discuss the social aspects of temporary marriage, as well as the influence that social sentiments may have had on the way in which this institution has been appraised in Islamic law. We shall compare the juridical approaches of a number of modern Islamic legal scholars who have focused on this issue, in addition to a perusal of relevant manuscripts in which the opinions of past scholars can be seen. The written materials used in this study are thus derived from both ancient and modern sources. The variety of sources also reflects quite well the great differences of opinion on the issue at hand among different scholars and the various schools of jurisprudence, including various innovations in a number of matters, especially those concerning problems of the modern age, which are unprecedented and are therefore not discussed by medieval jurists. The study itself is divided into an Introduction, seven chapters and an epilogue. The Introduction explores the concept of marriage, its conditions and laws, the encouragement of matrimony in Islamic law, divorce and annulment of marriage, and the two types of legal marriage, permanent and temporary. Chapter One describes marriage types that were in existence in pre-Islamic times and were abolished by Islam. Chapter Two presents the various types of marriage in Islam, some of which are still in vogue to this day. Chapter Three discusses the many kinds of marriage in modern times in the Arab and Muslim world. Chapter Four deals with usufruct marriage (mut’a ) in Islamic jurisprudence and the attendant social customs among Twelver Shiites. The main issues it addresses are the following: Mut’a marriage in light of the text of the Quran and its commentators, in light of Shiite Hadith , in light of Sunni hadith, in light of Sunni jurisprudence (fiqh) and in light of Twelver Shiite jurisprudence. Chapter Five deals with travel marriage (misyar) in Islamic jurisprudence and Sunni social practice. Chapter Six describes what is known as “friend marriage”, discusses the views of Islamic jurists on this kind of liaison, and analyzes it in light of the juridical and social interpretations that have been given it. The final chapter, Chapter Seven, provides a brief digest of the points of similarity and difference between usufruct (mut’a), travel (misyar) and “friend” marriage. The Epilogue summarizes the most important results of this study, followed by a list of references.

About the Author

Khalid Sindawi is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at the Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Israel.

Table of Contents

Transliteration

Acknowledgments

Preface

Temporary Marriage in Shia and Sunni Islam: A Comparative Study

Objectives of the Study

Introduction

Marriage in Islam: General Introduction and Socio-Historical Investigation

Marriage: Definition

The laws of marriage in Islamic canonical law (shari’a)

The conditions of a valid marriage in Islamic law

Islamic canonical law encourages marriage at any time

Dissolution and annulment of a marriage

Permanent and temporary marriage

Chapter One: Matrimonial Institutions Abolished by Islam

Impregnation marriage (nikah al-istibḍa’)

Prostitution

Group marriage (nikah al-raht)

Spouse exchange (nikah al-badal)

Fraternity marriage (nikah al-mukhadana, nikah al-musahaba)

Marriage to the wife of one’s father (nikah al-maqt, nikah al-zayzan)

Marriage to prisoners of war and/or marriage by abduction (nikah al-masbiyyat, nikah al-makhtufat)

Paramour marriage (nikah al-mudamada)

Chapter Two: Disputed Marriage Types That Are Still Practiced Today

Concubinage (nikah al-tasarri)

Marriage without a dowry (nikah al-shighar)

Usufruct marriage (nikah al-mut’a)

Common-law marriage (al-nikah al-urfi)

Forms of common-law marriage

Marriage of validation (nikah al-tahlil)

Marrying with the intention to divorce (al-nikah bi-niyyat al-talaq)

Chapter Three: Contemporary Marriage Types

Travel marriage (zawaj al-misyar)

Marriage of preference (zawaj al-ithar)

Day marriage and night marriage (zawaj al-nahariyyat wal-layliyyat)

Civil marriage (al-zawaj al-madani)

Fictitious marriage (al-zawaj al-suwari)

White marriage or cohabitation (al-sakan al-mushtarak)

Forced marriage (zawaj al-talji’a, zawaj al-ikrah)

Tourism marriage (al-zawaj al-siyahi)

Soap opera marriage (zawaj al-musalsalat)

Internet marriage/electronic marriage (zawaj al-intarnit, al-zawaj al-iliktruni)

Tattoo marriage (zawaj al-washm)

Blood oath marriage (zawaj al-dam wal-tashbika)

Abduction marriage (zawaj al-khatifa)

Stamp/postal marriage (zawaj al-tawabi’/al-busta)

Cassette marriage (zawaj al-kasit)

Trip marriage (zawaj al-misyar)

Summer marriage (zawaj al-misyaf/al-Sayf)

Friend marriage (zawaj al-frind)

Fatiha marriage (al-zawaj bil-fatiha)

Take-away marriage (zawaj al-tek away)

Business marriage (zawaj al-biznes)

Cohabitation (zawaj al-musakana, al-zawaj al-funduqi)

Entertainment marriage (zawaj al-wanasa)

Chapter Four: Usufruct marriage (mut’a) in Islam and Islamic jurisprudence, and social traditions among Twelver Shiites

Usufruct marriage in the Quran and its commentaries

Usufruct marriage according to Sunni hadith

Usufruct marriage according to Shiite traditions

Mut’a marriage in Sunni religious law

Usufruct marriage in Twelver Shiite jurisprudence

Chapter Five: Travel Marriage

(zawaj al-misyar) in Islamic Jurisprudence and Social Tradition among Sunnis

The emergence and spread of contemporary travel marriage

The etymology of al-misyar

The term “travel marriage” (zawaj al-misyÁr)

Chapter Six: “Friend” Marriage in Islam and Islamic Jurisprudence, and Social Customs among Sunni Muslims

“Friend marriage”

The fundamentals of Islamic law on which the idea is based:

A comparison among usufruct, travel and friend marriage

The differences between travel and usufruct marriage

The differences between travel and conventional marriage

The differences between friend marriage and conventional marriage

The differences between travel and friend marriage

Epilogue

References

Arabic sources

Hebrew sources

Sources in European languages

Links to internet websites

Bibliographic Information

Title: Temporary Marriage in Sunni and Shiite Islam

َAuthor: Khalid Sindawi

Publisher:  Otto Harrassowitz

Language: English

Length: 134 pages

ISBN: 978-3447069878

Pub. Date: July 1, 2013

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