What is the ruling on mut’ah
Praise be to Allaah.
Mut’ah marriage means that a man marries a woman
– either Muslim or from the people of the Book – and specifies how long the
marriage will last, for example five days, or two months, or half a year, or many years.
The beginning and end of the marriage are specified, and he pays her a small mahr (dowry),
and after the specified time is over, the woman exits the marriage. This kind of marriage
was permitted during the year of the Conquest of Makkah for three days, then it was
disallowed and prohibited until the Day of Resurrection. This was reported by Muslim
The wife is the one with whom one stays on a long-term basis, as Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… and live with them honourably …”
[al-Nisaa’ 4:19], but in the case of mut’ah a man does not live with the
woman for long.
The wife is the one who is called a wife in sharee’ah, with whom
the relationship is long-lasting. She is mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the
“Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands
possess, ¾ for then, they are free from blame”
[al-Mu’minoon 23:6] – the latter (a slave whom one’s right hand
possesses) is not a wife according to sharee’ah, because her stay is limited to a
The wife is the one who inherits from the husband, or from whom the
husband inherits, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they
have no child…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:12]. But the woman in a mut’ah
marriage does not inherit, because she is not a wife, since she spends such a short time
with the man.
On these grounds, Mut’ah marriage is considered to be zinaa
(adultery or fornication), even if both parties consent to it, and even if it lasts for a
long time, and even if the man pays the woman a mahr. There is nothing that has been
reported in sharee’ah that shows that it may be permitted, apart from the brief
period when it was allowed during the year of the conquest of Makkah. That was because at
that time there were so many people who has newly embraced Islam and there was the fear
that they might become apostates, because they had been used to committing zinaa during
the Jaahiliyyah. So this kind of marriage was permitted for them for three days, then it
was made haraam until the Day of Resurrection, as was narrated by Muslim, 1406.