By Hadhrat Mufti Shafi (RA)
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
(And also prohibited are) the women already bound in marriage, except the
bondwomen you come to own. It is has been written by Allah for you. All
except them have been permitted for you to seek (to marry) through your
wealth, binding yourself, (in marriage) and not only for lust. So, whoever
of them you have benefited from, give them their due as obligated. And
there is no sin on you in what you mutually consent to after the (initial)
settlement. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Surah an-Nisaa, Ayat
The root of the Arabic word, istimta' is م - ت - ع (meem, taa, ‘ain) which
means to derive benefit. Any benefit derived from a person or from wealth,
property, assets, etc. is called istimta’. According to Arabic grammar,
the addition of the letters س (seen) and ت (taa) to the root of any word
gives the meaning of seeking. Based on this lexical explanation, the
simple and straight sense of the Qur’anic expression, Istamta’tum (you
have benefited), as understood by the entire Muslim ummah from the revered
early elders to their successors and followers, is just what we have
stated a little earlier. But, a sect says that it means the
conventional mut’ah and, according to its adherents, this Ayat proves that
mut’ah is halaal (lawful). Therefore, it is pertinent here to give a brief
account of mut’ah and its unlawfulness.
Mut’ah, which was in vogue before the advent of Islam, was a temporary
contract between a man and a woman for having sexual relationship between
them for a specified period in exchange of money or a specified kind
offered by the man to the woman. This type of contract, which was never
meant to create permanent rights and obligations of marriage, was clearly
prohibited by the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah; however, this particular
sect claims that it is still halaal. They sometimes seek support to this
claim from the present Ayat just on the ground that the word mut’ah has
been derived from the same root wherefrom the word Istamta’tum used in
this Ayat has been derived. Obviously, this argument is too far-fetched,
and the present Ayat itself is sufficient to refute it, because before the
word, Istamta’tum, Allah uses the words “binding yourself in marriage and
not only for lust,” which clearly prove that the sexual relationship
approved by Allah (in the Holy Qur’an) is the only one which aims at
chastity through the permanent bond of marriage, and not a relationship
based on satisfying lust for a temporary period which has been termed by
the Holy Qur’an as flowing water.
Now, it is obvious that the conract of mut’ah has nothing to do with this
concept. It neither creates permanent rights and obligations, nor does it
bring about a family set-up, nor does it aim at having children and
maintain chastity. It is nothing but to satisfy the sexual desire for a
short period of time.
As a result, the woman with whom mut’ah is done is not given even the
status of a wife who could inherit from her very pragmatic
counterpart—who, for that matter, does not even have the grace to count
her among his recognized wives. The reason is very simple as the purpose
here is nothing but sexual gratification, an attitude that drives men and
women to keep hunting for ever-new sex-partners in a temporary setting. If
this be the state of affairs, mut’ah (referred to as temporary
marriage) can never be taken as the guarantor of modesty and chastity;
it is, on the contrary, its very enemy.
Therefore, the Qur’anic words, Muhsineena ghayra musafiheen, are more than
enough to rule out the possibility of mut’ah being meant by the present
The author of Hidayah has attributed to Hadrat Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi
‘alaih) that, according to him, mut’ah is permissible. But, this
attribution is totally incorrect as clarified by the commentator of
Hidayah and other respected scholars who say that the author of Hidayah
has attributed this view of Hadrat Imam Malik inadvertently.
However, there are some of those who claim that Sayyidina Abdullah ibn
‘Abbas, radiyallahu ‘anhu, believed in the lawfulness of mut’ah right upto
his later years, although this is not so. Hadrat Imam Tirmidhi (rahmatullahi
‘alaihi), devoting a chapter to mut’ah, has reported two Ahadith. The
first one is as follows:.
Hadrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that the Holy Nabi,
sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, on the occasion of the battle of Khyber,
prohibited mut’ah with women and from (eating) the meat of domestic
This Hadith-e-Sharif appears in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim as well.
The second Hadith reported by Hadrat Imam al-Tirmidhi is given below:
Hadrat Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says: Mut’ah was there only in the
early period of al-Islam until the Ayat—Illaa ‘alaa azwaajihim awmaa
malakat aymaanuhum—was revealed. Then, he said: All private parts other
that these are unlawful (that is other than those of the legally wedded
wife and the bondwoman one may come to have).
Nevertheless, this much has to be said that Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu
‘anhu) took mut’ah to be permissible upon a certain time. Then, it was on
the good counsel of Sayyidina Ali, radiyallahu ‘anhu (as in Sahih Muslim,
volume 1, p. 452) and under the chastening impact of the noble Ayat—Illaa
‘alaa azwaajihim awmaa malakat aymaanuhum—that he revoked his earlier
position, as indicated in the narration from Imam Tirmidhi.
It is very strange that the sect which believes in the lawfulness of
mut’ah—despite its claim to love and obey Sayyidina Ali ibn Abu Talib (karramallahu
wajhahu)—elects to oppose no less a person that him on this particular
The author of Ruh al-Ma’ani reports from Qadi Ayad that mut’ah was lawful
before the battle of Khayber, but it was made unlawful during it. After
that, it was declared lawful on the day of the Conquest of Makkah, but it
was after three days that was proclaimed as unlawful forever.
There is yet another point worthy of our attention. The Qur’anic
“And those who guard their private parts, save from their wives or from
their bondwomen, they are not blameworthy.”
Is so explicit that it admits of no other interpretation. It shows the
unlawfulness of mut’ah very clearly. Seeking flimsy support from some rare
and unauthentic readings is absolutely incorrect.
To sum up our earlier submissions, there is no absolute proof to support
the view that the Qur’anic word, Istamta’tum (you have benefited) refers
to the conventional mut’ah. This is just a remote possibility which can
never override the absolute proof contained in the Ayat cited above.
Specifically, keeping in view the well-settled principle of Islamic
jurisprudence, that where two arguments or two interpretations are equally
possible, the one supporting prohibition is always preferred.
Like mut’ah, a time bound marriage is also unlawful. A time-bound marriage
(termed in Islamic jurisprudence as al-nikah al-muwaqqat) is a marriage
entered into for a fixed time. The difference between the two is that
mut’ah is done by using the words of mut’ah. A time-bound marriage is done
by saying the word, nikah which is normally used for regular marriage.
“And there is no sin on you in what you mutually consent to after the
[initial] settlement”: This sentence in the Ayat that Mahr or dower which
has been fixed mutually is not, in the real sense, absolute and
definitive, and something to which nothing could be added or deleted. On
the contrary, a husband can add something on his own accord on the fixed
mahr, and the wife too, if she so desires, willingly and happily, can
forgo a part of her mahr, or the whole of it. The generality of the words
also allows a situation where a woman willingly agrees to defer the
payment of a dower that was originally settled to be prompt.
“Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise”: The addition of this sentence
towards the end of the Ayat tells us two things. Firstly, that Allah
knows. He is aware of everything. His injunctions are there to be complied
with. If somebody acts against these and even if a judge, a ruler, or any
other human being ever gets to find out about it, Allah in His most
exalted state of being, knows all about this and everything else. One must
keep fearing Him under all circumstances. Secondly, that the injunctions
He has revealed are all based on Hikmah (Allah’s Divine Wisdom—cannot be
translated). In essence, Hikmah is too deep to be understood by everyone.
The injunctions concerning what is unlawful and lawful as given in these
Ayats, whether or not one understands their cause, reason or
justification, must be believed in, accepted and obeyed. This is because,
even though we may not know the raison d’etre, the cause, reason or
justification, it hardly matters, for the Creator and the Master of the
Command, Allah Almighty certainly knows it all, being the Aleem (the
All-Knowing), the Hakeem (the Wise).
There are many people, educated but ignorant, visibly spread out in our
contemporary Muslim and non-Muslim societies, who go about gopher-like,
searching for the causes of Divine injunctions. When they fail to find
any, they side-track the need to comply with the injunction by saying that
the Word of Allah was, God-forbid, contrary to the requirements of the
modern age, or worse still, unsuitable. The words of the Ayat have
silenced such people forever by telling them: “You are ignorant. Your
Creator is All-Knowing. You lack understanding. Allah is All-Wise. Do not
make your reason the touchstone of the Truth.”
I.e., the Shi’ah, currently operating this
concept under the name of Ja'fari Fiqh or Ja'fari Madhhab
The term used in America is contractual
Very common is the practice of forging lies
against the venerable name of Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, rahmatullahi ‘alaih.
Article taken (with Thanks) from MOA Fiqh Page
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