Shi’ite claim of temporary marriages ‘mutah’ permitted during Prophet (pbuh)’s days
Why are temporary marriages ‘mutah’ forbidden in Islam? Why do the Shiah claim that such marriages were allowed during the time of the Prophet (sws)?
Temporary marriages are not allowed in Islam because a temporary marriage is no marriage at all. An Islamic marriage requires the bridegroom and the bride to come into a serious understanding that they are both undertaking to live as husband and wife for the rest of their lives and to abide by the obligations they owe to each other as spouses. This entire process is undertaken with the full participation of the relatives of the two partners and the other members of the society. Divorce is a measure that is allowed only when the relationship is in danger of causing more harm than good if it continues. If one were to decide at the time of marriage that the relationship is going to be a temporary one then there would neither be any commitment on the part of the two partners to each other nor would the society get involved in the process. Moreover, there is hardly any differentiating line drawn between this arrangement and prostitution, which if undertaken through a formal process could be made to appear like a temporary marriage.
The reason why Shiahs allow temporary marriages is that there is a mention in their books of hadith about the allowance of mutah (temporary marriage). They also claim that mut’ah has even been mentioned in the Sunni books of hadith as having been done by some of the people at the the time of the revelation of the Quran. The Sunni response to this claim is that the reason why we find the mention of mutah in our books is that it was quite a common way of doing zina at that time and the information that it was completely forbidden in Islam reached the entire Arabian society only gradually; therefore, one finds that there were people who despite the clear condemnation of mutah in Islam were still indulging in it. Once it was clarified to all beyond doubt that it was prohibited, all of them refrained from getting involved in it any further.