What is Mutta Marriage and who can be parties to Mutta Marriage?

(1) Introduction

Concept of mutta marriage was present in pre-Islamic period. Mutta marriage was a purely personal contract, which was founded on consent between a man and a woman without any intervention of woman’s family. There was no need for witnesses. In this type of marriage, woman did not leave her home, her people gave up no rights, which they had over her, and children of such marriage did not belong to husband and they were, therefore, not entitled to inheritance of husband.

(ii) Meaning of Mutta Marriage

Literally mutta marriage means pleasure marriage. According to Shia law, mutta marriage can be defined as that marriage, which a Shia male contracts with a woman for a fixed period and a specified dower when such woman is follower of Islam, Christianity, Jewish religion or fire-worship and does not follow any other religion.

(iii) Explanation of Mutta Marriage

Following points are important for explanation of mutta marriage:

(a) Who can be parties to Mutta marriage?

(b) What are legal incidents of Mutta marriage?

 

(a) Who Can Be A Parties To Mutta Marriage?

Followings can be parties to mutta marriage:

(a-i) Shia male

According to Shia law, only Shia man can contract mutta marriage.

(a-ii) Woman

Woman According to Shia law, mutta marriage can be contracted with that woman, who is follower of Islam, Christianity, Jewish religion or religion of fire-worship and does not follow any other religion.

(b) What Are Legal Incidents Of Mutta Marriage?

Followings are legal incidents of mutta marriage:

(b-i) Mutual right of inheritance

(b-ii) Children’s right of inheritance

(b-iii) No evidence about term of mutta marriage & continuation of cohabitation

(b-iv) Evidence about term of mutta marriage & continuation of consummation

(b-v) Dissolution of mutta marriage (b-vi) No right of divorce

(b-vii) End of mutta marriage before expiration of fixed term

(b-viii) Dower in mutta marriage

(b-ix) Maintenance in mutta marriage

 

(b-i) Mutual Right Of Inheritance

Both parties of mutta marriage do not acquire mutual right of inheritance. It reveals that death of one party does not make other surviving party enetitled to inheritance of deceased party.

(b-ii) Children’s Right Of Inheritance

Children, who are born during existence of such marriage, are legitimate. Therefore, they are entitled to inheritance of their parents.

 (b-iii) No Evidence About Term Of Mutta Marriage & Continuation Of Cohabitation

When cohabitation commences between parties of mutta marriage, but there is no evidence about term of mutta marriage, and cohabitation continues, it is considered that mutta marriage has continued during the whole period of cohabitation, and that children, who are conceived during this period, are legitimate and are entitled to inheritance of their parents.

(b-iv) Evidence About Term Of Mutta Marriage & Continuation Of Consummation

When there is evidence about fixed term of mutta marriage, and consummation continues even after expiry of such term, it is inferred that such term was extended to the whole period of consummation, and that children, who are conceived during such extended period, are legitimate.

(b-v) Dissolution Of Mutta Marriage

At expiry of that term, which is fixed for mutta marriage, such marriage is dissolved ipso facto.

(b-vi) No Right Of Divorce

No right of divorce emerges from mutta marriage.

(b-vii) End Of Mutta Marriage Before Expiration Of Fixed Term

Before expiry of that term, which is fixed for mutta marriage, husband can end such marriage by giving hiba-i-muddat to wife.

(b-viii) Dower In Mutta Marriage

In case of mutta marriage, followings are principles in respect of dower:

(x) Entitlement to full dower

(y) Entitlement to half dower

(z) Deduction of proportionate part of dower

 

 

(x) Entitlement To Full Dower

In mutta marriage, wife is entitled to full dower after consummation.

(y) Entitlement To Half Dower

In mutta marriage, wife is entitled to half dower when there is no consummation.

(z) Deduction Of Proportionate Part of Dower

When wife ends mutta marriage before expiry of fixed term, husband can deduct a proportionate part of dower.

(b-ix) Maintenance In Mutta Marriage

Through mutta marriage, wife does not become entitled to maintenance.

(10) Conclusion

To conclude, it can be stated that woman possessed no right in pre-Islamic era as far as matrimonial relations were concerned. It was right of her father or other relatives to give her in marriage. Even she had no right of separation. Islam has banned all such immoral customs, and has provided some matrimonial rights to woman. For example, Islam has given right of dower, maintenance and inheritance to woman through its concept of marriage.

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