I am writing to you regarding a question about Mut’a (temporary marriage). I am very confused as to what I should do.
I am 18, and recently a boy the same age as me asked for my hand in marriage, but that this is for the coming years, when he becomes independent. He has asked me privately and no one else knows about it.
The only problem is that it is not permissible to chat nor meet. So, to make it Halal (permissible) he suggested temporary marriage for 2-3 years to get to know each other in a Halal way. I don’t have any problem with that but I’m sure my father will never accept Mut’a, as it is not acceptable in my culture. For this reason I am confused.
I have done some research and found out that there are different Fatwas on this issue. Please help me as I am very confused.
In a nutshell, please consider the following fatherly advice not only from a Sheikh, but a marriage counsellor for over 20 years:
Doing a secret temporary marriage without the consent and knowledge of your family, especially your father -even if it were jurisprudentially permissible – would be a big risk. I don’t advise you for the following reasons:
1. Temporary marriage will most likely – whether willingly or unwillingly – end in sexual intercourse and the loss of virginity: then if for whatever reason the relation doesn’t work, you will drastically lose the chance of future (marriage) proposals.
2. You will not be able to hide it for long, and somehow it will be disclosed soon: consider the embarrassment and the danger associated with that!
3. If the purpose of the temporary marriage is just to get to know each other, then that can be achieved without temporary marriage, with the advantage of not falling into the abovementioned turmoil.
4. Psychologically it is proven that secret relations and falling into secret romantic love doesn’t last long. There will always be a doubt in your partner’s mind that ‘if she could hide it from her parents – her blood & flesh – how can I be sure that she won’t hide it from me one day?!
5. There is no commitment in temporary marriage, and hence by definition, it is destined to expire. However, after a while, girls naturally become attached to their partners, and if for whatever reason such a relationship does not lead to permanent marriage, it will deeply damage the girl’s emotions.
6. It is always more decent and respectful for a girl for her suitor to ask for her hand through her safety net (i.e. her family, or a fatherly figure in the case of reverts). A man who is determined to approach a girl’s family – despite the possible hurdles – is more serious and hence can be trusted more.
It is for these and many more reasons that the absolute majority of our jurists do not bless the temporary marriage of young girls – such as in your age – without the consent of their fathers; they have done this either through a Fatwa, such as Ayatollah Sistani, or as through obligatory precaution, such as Ayatollah Khamenei.
May God protect you and all our youth.
Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei