Chapter Three: The necessity of Mut’ah

It is a matter of fact that Allah (swt) has placed within humans certain innate characteristics including sexual desire. Allah (swt) is not unjust to his Creations He does not place this desire into human beings, and then tell them to quash such feelings (as is the thinking of certain religions) – on the contrary Allah (swt) provides the means of controlling that desire via the institution of marriage – and during the lifetime of Rasulullah (s) both types of Nikah ran in parallel with one another Nikah and Nikah Mut’ah. From an analytical point of view, let us take the example of one Islamic Republic, Pakistan. The average marital age for the Pakistani male is 30 years, while for a female it is around 25 years of age. Pakistani parents assume that their offspring are ‘angels’ and perpetuate no sins of the flesh until they marry. Sadly, contrary to the conjecture of Pakistani parents, many of their offspring do indulge in immoral practices. In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

  1. Masturbation is a widespread problem
  2. There are thousands of video centers supplying pornographic movies.
  3. Pakistani cinemas show porn movies.
  4. There are ‘red light areas’ in almost every city

Why does the the Islamic Republic of Pakistan possess such evils in its society? Let us give you a simple answer. Just read the following tradition:

Narrated ‘Abdullah Ibn Masud: We used to participate in the holy battles led by Allah’s Apostle and we had nothing (no wives) with us. So we said, “Shall we get ourselves castrated (for fear of making sin)?” He forbade us (to castrate ourselves) and then allowed us to marry women with a temporary contract (Mut’ah) and recited to us: ‘O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things, which Allah has made lawful for you, but commit no transgression.’ (5.87)
Sahih al Bukhari Volume 7 tradition 13a

This tradition makes the following things clear to us, the Sahaba (including the great Sahaba like Abdullah Ibn Masud):

  • Were unable to control themselves for even a small period of time (i.e.during battles), and were convinced that they would indulge in sin.
  • had wives at home, but the period away from them (due to war) was long enough for them to indulge in sin.

This being the case, how can Pakistani parents expect their children to live like infallible angels until they attain the age of 30? Do Pakistani Muslim parents believe that their children are at a greater level of Iman than the pious Sahaba like Abdullah Ibn Masud?

Now let us cite another example. Initally, Allah (swt) made it Haram for the Sahaba to go to their wives for all thirty nights during the month of fasting. But what happened? The Sahaba were unable to control their sexual desires, even for only thirty consecutive nights and hence they would climb over the backwalls of their houses and sleep with their wives. Upon that Allah (swt) sent a new revelation in the Quran:

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ

[Shakir 2:187]
It is made lawful to you to go into your wives on the night of the fast; they are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them; Allah knew that you acted UNFAITFULLY to yourselves, so He has turned to you (mercifully) and removed from you (this burden).

The Sunni Ulema in their commentaries of this verse have recorded that Umar Ibn Khattab and other Sahaba were unable to control their sexual desires even for thirty nights.

“Sahaba refrained from going to their wivies during Ramadhan, but some used to commit mistakes due to which this verse was revealed. It is narrated in one tradition that such mistake was committed by several men that also included Umar Bin Khattab, who after Mahgrib prayers did intercourse with his wife. Then people launched complaints about it before Prophet [s] and then these blessed verses were revealed. According to one tradition. When Umar came to the Prophet [s] and told Him [s] the story, He [s] said: ‘O Umar, I had not expected this from you’. Thus, this verse was revealed”
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Urdu), Volume 1 page 41 (Dehli)

Qadi Thanaullah Pani Patti al-Hanafi records the following in his authority work Tafseer Mazhari:

“Bukhari has narrated from Hadrath Bura [ra] that when the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory, people refrained from going to their wives for the whole month of Ramadhan but incidentally some men did intercourse with their wives, therefore Allah [swt] revealed the verse: ‘Allah knew that you acted unfaitfully to yourselves’. Imam Ahmed, Ibn Jareer and Ibn Abi Hatim have narrated from Abdullah Ibn Ka’ab who narrated from his father that the condition of the people during Ramadhan was such that if someone sleeps in the evening, then eating, drinking and approaching his wife would get Haram and will remain so till the time of Iftaar next day. One night Umar [ra] got late while chatting with the Holy Prophet [s], when he returned home, he planned to do intercourse with his wife, she objected and argued that she had slept but Umar argued that he wasn’t slept, after that he started doing intercourse with her and similar act was committed by Ka’ab bin Malik [ra]. Next morning, Umar [ra] told the incident to Holy Prophet [s]“
Tafseer Mazhari, Volume 1 pages 251-252

When the ‘great’ Sahaba that Ahle Sunnah venerate were incapable of controlling their sex drives for thirty days, how can Pakistani parents expect that their children to successfully control their sexual desires until the age of 30 or until they get married?

Sex is a reality, whilst it might be taboo in Islamic societies the fact is, it happens and people use all manner of methods to release sexual tension that ultimately leads to individuals falling into the lowest forms of depravity such as prostitution, paedophila and homosexuality. If it is assumed that this problem is only synonymous with the West then allow us to highlight the case in Pakistan:

The largest and most popular group of Pakistani newspapers is the “Jang Group of Newspapers”. According to them, in the city of Lahore alone, there are more than 55 thousand sex workers in total, and out of them 19 thousand are children. This news is absolutely shocking. Please read complete news which also telling about HIV and other issues of these sex workers.

One would assume that Islamic schools would be houses of protection, far aloof from sexual abuse; sadly this is not the case. In Pakistan, this is an appalling reality that Dr Amir Liaqat, the minister for religious affairs in Pakistan highlighted in the Senate in 2007. Child sex abuse is rife in Pakistani madrassas. This evil has spread its tentacles into Pakistani society and has even taken the shape of custom in many areas, to the point that it is not even frowned upon by people. Moreover, sex evil is also heigh in all over Arabic Countries, see the link:

Though we are avoiding to go in this issue at moment, but to quote one such incident, a police raid unearthed a ‘mini-jail’ set up at a seminary in the suburban of the Kotaddu city of Pakistan wherein the children were detained, tortured and sodomised.
Read the story from the zipped webpage of daily Dawn

Whilst an Islamic State may indeed be successful in curbing vices, you cannot prevent the influences of Western ideology entering into a Society. Images of sexual behaviour are rife in the West, sex before marriage is a norm. Whilst in the past Muslim countries might have been able to block such behaviour, Western images through the Web and Media means that there is no effective means of preventing Muslims from being exposed to the lures of sexual freedom.The harsh reality is Muslim countries have been unable to control such voyeurism. According to the BBC Website:

  1. 45.1% Pakistani net users regularly visit porno websites
  2. 31.9% Pakistani net users visit Newspapers websites.
  3. 19.5% Pakistani net users visit other websites.
    bbc article zipped

Similarly “Google Trend” shows that Pakistan is No. 1 in the world for searching for word “SEX”.
google trend zipped

“Google Trend” lists the first 10 Countries where users search most for word “SEX”. And out of these 10 Countries, 6 are Muslim Countries. This is a point which should make Muslim Parents think more about their children.

Actually, this is no surprise when one sees internet cafes populated by youth observing pornographic material on the internet. Frequent Pakistani Government attempts to curb this problem have all been in vain. In the past people could only access pornography from video centers, people can now access it at the click of a mouse button.

Similar difficulties have also been brought by television cable networks in Pakistan that show pornographic movies and western movies without any form of censorship.

The situation is all the more difficult for pious Muslims living in the West, parents may try their utmost to prevent such activity influencing minds, but how can they hide their children from a Society where all taboos have ended, the move towards a tolerant society includes the acceptance of sex before marriage and homosexual relationships. Pressure on Muslim youth living in places such as University Halls is even greater where there is a pressure to conform, to be one of ‘us’. Parents living in Muslim countries would be very naïve if they assumed that these difficulties only refer to the generation of Muslims born in the West, and not to their beloved children, that the send out to study. Such parents send their children for 4-5 years to study in Europe. They mistakenly believe that they are angels who would commit no sin during this period, rather they will remain locked inside their flats, reading the Qur’an and praying Salat. Unfortunately, they are totally wrong. The reality is many of these ‘students’ who enter these hedonistic European societies may avoid alcohol, and haraam meat, they may avoid going to Discos, many do become victims of lust / sex that opens the door to further sins. Their steps into deviation are as follows:

  • They set about locating girls.
  • Unable to locate them in the immediate locality they switch venues to disco’s wherein women can be easily located. Their intention is not to listen to music or dance; it is simply to form relationships with women.
  • Once they are in Discos, they see girls drinking alcohol, and ultimately such Muslim students also start to drink in order to gain their company (i.e. whilst alcohol does not interest them, it becomes a means to an end, and as such committing this sin will aid their ultimate aim of bedding women).
  • The need to maintain female company also compels them to eat Haram Meat (although the majority of them still avoid eating/touching pig meat)
  • They satiate their sexual desires by sleeping with European girls.

It is sheer stupidity for Pakistani parents to assume that their children are leading monastic lives studying in European countries, when they are fully aware that the married Sahaba were unable to control their sexual desires for 30 consecutive nights of Ramadhan, or even worse just for few nights when setting out for war.

Such evils experienced by Muslims in Europe might have influenced Muslim Students to perform “Misyar Marriage” i.e. to marry European girls with the intention of deception and leaving them after their studies are complete. Such deception has no basis in the Qur’an or Sunnah.

Can fasting be the answer to eminiating one’s sex drive?

Some people still believe that there is no need of encouraging Mutah in society, and for them ‘fasting’ is enough to remove all the evils of masturbation, Porno movies, red light areas etc.
Fasting is indeed an effective way of controlling oneself, but look at all of the Islamic societies where fasting is already being encouraged and performed, despite this, these evils are growing more and more. Why?

The reason is you cannot control the “MASSES” through Fasting alone. You need to fulfil their ‘natural demand’ in a natural way, while fasting is the ‘last option’ when one is unable to find a woman for marriage. If the logic of “masses” and “last option” is still not clear, then look at the following example of fasting by the Sahaba.

“The fasting Sahaba” were unable to control themselves during month of Ramadhan

The Sahaba, who were already married, had to stay away from their wives for 30 nights during the month of Ramadhan. But their fasting was unable to help them control their sexual desires for those 30 nights and they committed sexual sins. And upon that Allah (swt) had to reveal this verse:

[Shakir 2:187]
It is made lawful to you to go into your wives on the night of the fast; they are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them; Allah knew that you acted UNFAITFULLY to yourselves, so He has turned to you (mercifully) and removed from you (this burden).

Those Sahaba were already married, but natural desires were so strong that they were unable to keep a check on their testosterone levels for 30 nights (despite their fasting). When the Sahaba encounted such sexual frustration what can we expect of present day Muslim youth who remain unmarried until the age of 30 in a society surrounded engulfed with impudent activities and vice, are they really going to act like angels for such long period of time?

Alhamdolillah the message of Allah (swt) is clear to us:

  • You cannot control the “Masses” through fasting only.
  • The first option is to fulfil this natural demand in a natural way i.e. by marrying either permanently or temporarily (based on a respective situation).
  • Permanent marriage (i.e. Nikah) is preferred over all other options.
  • If the conditions for permanent marriage are unsuitable, then the second option is temporary Marriage (i.e. Muttah), as it was personally recommended by Rasul Allah (saw) himself during battles and time of Hajj [as the Sunni tradition recorded in Sahih Muslim narrated by Sabra proves].
    Simple conclusion is Rasul Allah (saw) recommended/ordered to perform Muttah in all cases when one is away from his permanent wife and is in danger of indulging in sin.
  • Fasting is a last option to curtail this problem i.e. when one is in a condition wherein he is unable to find any suitable woman either for Nikah or Mutah, even then he is not allowed to commit evils, but he has to fast and still protect himself from such evils].

Islam is applicable to all situations until the day of judgement. In earlier centuries traders had to visit other countries. One trip could take months even years. Do you believe they would act like angels for that whole period in terms of controlling their sexual desires? For present day Muslim students who visit Europe for 4-5 years for studying, Mutah marriage is highly recommended for them (and if they fear indulging in sin, it becomes obligatory on them to enter into a permanent or temporary Nikah. Muslims have only two options either fornicate or seek out the means of lawful intercourse via the contracting permanent or temporary marriage. The Sahaba were unable to control their sexual desires through fasting or whilst away for brief periods which is Rasulullah (s) ordered that they contract Mut’ah, would Allah (swt) not provide for the same option for later generations of Muslims, who often spend months and even years away from home (due to work and study commitments)? Would Allah (swt) really leave such people to their own devices, or would he provide the relevant safety mechanism? Sexual desire exists in humans, and in the same way Allah (swt) assisted the frustrated Sahaba to relieve themselves by utilising Mut’ah, Allah (swt) has also given Muslims that option today.

When the present day Saudi Ulama (like Bin-Baz) were presented with problems of Muslims students in West, they innovated a new type of thing in Islam, and marketed it with the name “Misyar Marriage” (i.e. marrying a girl with intention of deceiving by divorcing her later on).

The facts are clear to us:

  1. No one could deny that it was Rasul Allah (saw) himself who RECOMMENDED (in fact ORDERED) Mutah Marriage in order to save oneself from sin.
  2. The argument of “Fasting” alone, cannot counter the well established recommendation/orders of Rasul Allah (saw) in relation to Mutah Marriage.

Allah (swt) and Rasulullah (s) never told the Muslims to control their sex drive via monasticism, neither did He (swt) give an order that they relieve themselves by acts such as masturbation or sex with melons – these innovations entered the religion later by the Ahl’ul Sunnah Ulema as methods of preventing Zina when these Ulema prescribed such curious methods to prevent Zinah don’t you think Allah (swt) who is the best of Planners would have also prescribed the appropriate method? Alhamdolillah He (swt) did, He provided the option of temporary marriage to his adherents, a marriage that according to Ibn Abbas can be reinstated in emergency scenarios. An emergency scenario is clearly open to interpretation, and is very personal thing if a person needs a means of controlling his sexual desire then that emergency scenario has triggered and s/he can utilise Mut’ah. On a wider level if emergency scenario does not arise in the West where the pressure to commit Zinah is so great that safe sex is taught as part of a Curriculum in High Schools then when will it arise?

We hereby cite a few examples, about Mut’ah being a basic necessity for the human nature, and where this emergency situation clearly arises.

  • In History of Tabari, we learn that when Umar sought to justify his prohibition of Mutah saying “The Messenger of God permitted it at the time of necessary. Then people regained their life of comfort” ( History of al-Tabari, English version, Volume 14, pp 139 & 140) . This reasoning carries no basis since we learn that the Sahaba would practice it whilst away on journeys etc. Traveling was not just restricted to the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (s). Man still travels today’s, to even greater lengths, periods etc. If Rasulullah (s) permitted the Sahaba to partake in Mutah while on journeys, hence the need arose, the same is the case today. Whenever man sets foot on the earth the need to travel always emerges. Sometimes traveling can involve man going thousands of miles away from home, sometimes for moths, even years. Do one’s sexual desires just evaporate when an individual is traveling? Sexual desire isn’t like some light switch that turns off when a man leaves his wife to set off on his travels, and turns back home when he gets back! Sexual desire is something that remains permanently with a human, when it accompanies him at all times then how can he curtail such sexual feelings? When someone is traveling and accessing his wife is impossible, and he is incapable of summing her to join him, then what will a young red blooded male do? Miles away from home, feeling sexually aroused his situation is not one wherein he can get permanently married, so what is he to do? He will feel the only way that he can relieve himself is by amalgamating himself into the society around him. Islam does not permit a person to sexually relieve himself through masturbation nor is he permitted to adopt the ways of the kufr and indulge himself in fornication, it offers him a legitimate mechanism with which to relieve himself and that is temporary marriage. That is exactly why Maula Ali (as) said: if it were not Umar forbidding it, no one would commit (the sin) of fornication except the wretched (Shaqi; an utmost wrongdoer).” (Tafseer Dur al-Manthur, Volume 2 page 486)
  • It is not just traveling, that might necessitate Mutah, there are many in society who just does not have the financial ability / standing to get permanent married, yet they still have sexual desires, again Mutah is there to ensure that they practice sex within the boundaries set by Allah (swt).
  • In some countries the law says a non-naturalised citizen cannot marry a woman and take her back to his country. In this circumstance if Mut’ah is performed, after the set period both the man and the woman are free, from each other. If marriage is commenced then the couple are tied with other for the rest of their lives, or they will get tangled in achieving a divorce.
  • Islam is a religion that is suited for all nations and ages. Mut’ah is a good example of that. It is only the Deen of Islam that caters for sexual desire by permitting a legitimate method of control. For others societies the only mechanism that they see as the solution to relieving sexual feelings is through the practice of fornication. In the western world adultery and fornication are common and openly performed. Mut’ah is a way of protecting a person from committing these serious sins and vices.
  • One of the benefits of Mut’ah is that a couple who do Mut’ah get to understand each other better over that period of time. If all goes well, when the period of Mut’ah is over they may engage in a permanent marriage. This could also be in a reverse case, if all does not go to plan then they may go their own ways after the limit of Mut’ah. Rather then getting married and then having a divorce Mut’ah is a great way of overcoming this undesirable act (divorce).
  • Mut’ah is particularly advatageous to reverts. For male reverts to Islam in relationships with non-Muslims prior to reverting, practicing Mu’ta is the only option they have to continue their marriage in a lawful manner. Rather than being forced to walk out of the family unit, performing Mutah provides the opportunity for a new revert to propagate / show his beliefs to his spouse on a practical basis. It is far more beneficial than walking out of a relationship, and then utilizing phone conversation about child maintenance to perform dawah over the phone. Spouses have the opportunity to practically see how Islam has changed their husband, and this is much more likely to change them that brief conversations! From this context we can understand why Ibn Abbas (ra) described Mutah as a blessing, it certainly is for reverts keen to continue conjugal relations, and influence their partners. For reverts married to a non-Muslim — it leaves open the door for the non-Muslim spouse to more fully explore Islam without having to be forced to choose to revert under difficult and ‘forced’ conditions of Nikkah.

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