19th May 2010
Mutah Is Haraam
Most Shia of today have a hard time self-justifying the concept of Mutah. In fact, it is a point which causes many of them to doubt their faith, and rightfully so. It is sad that the Shia elders use false rhetoric to demand that their followers reject logic and morality, to instead blindly accept the idea that prostitution is part of Islam. These Shia leaders will make emphatic arguments such as this:
“The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did Mutah, and he not only allowed it, but actively encouraged it! We must obey the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) in all matters, and we cannot disagree with him based on our own opinions. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did it, then surely we should do it. Whoever says that Mutah is disgusting is saying that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) is disgusting.”
And some Shia will even go a step further and falsely claim:
“Mutah is even allowed in Sunni Hadith. The only reason Sunnis do not do Mutah is because the second Caliph, Umar, banned Mutah against the orders of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم).” Then, the Shia will procure Sunni Hadith which say that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) allowed Mutah.”
Mutah Forbidden in Stages
The reality is that Mutah was permissible in the early days of Islam, but was eventually banned categorically by the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). This is very similar to wine, which was at first permissible in Islam, and it was only later in time that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) forbade it. The prohibitions against wine were expounded slowly over a period of time. In the beginning, drinking wine was permissible and many of the Sahabah did it. Then, the Quran declared that wine was harmful and bad. After some more time, the Quran forbade approaching prayer whilst drunk. After the people had become accustomed to this, it was only then that they were ready so that Allah and His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) completely forbade wine.
Why did the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) first allow wine and then later forbid it? This was only because Islam was revealed in stages, and the faith was going through a transitional period, with the Shariah being expounded during the life-span of the Prophet. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had not banned wine in stages, and instead had he (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) simply banned wine immediately, it would have been very hard for the early Muslims who were accustomed to wine-drinking, which was a hobby of the pagan Arabs. Many of them were early converts and their faith was weak. They had an addiction to wine, and many of them would become apostates if wine was suddenly banned outright. So, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) banned wine in gradual stages so that it was easier on the people.
Likewise, Mutah was a hobby of the pagan Arabs. Hence, it was not forbidden in the beginning. This is because Islam was in a transitional stage. The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) initially allowed Mutah on a few occassions because there were many new converts to Islam who had weak faith. They were often in times of war away from their wives, in which their desires got the best of them since they were not accustomed to the chastity of Islam. In order to prevent the apostacy of these new converts over the issue of Mutah, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did not forbid Mutah immediately. (And these are the Hadith which the Shia quote to “prove” that Sunnis believe in the permissibility of Mutah.)
Once the Muslims became stronger in faith, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) categorically banned the practise of Mutah.
Hadith Forbidding Mutah
The Hadith forbidding Mutah are considered Mutawattir, meaning that they have been transmitted so many times and by so many people that there is no doubt as to their authenticity. We are but a few of the many Hadith in which the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) banned Mutah:
The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said:
“O people, I had permitted you Mutah before, [but now] whoever of you has any part in it currently must part with her, and do not take back anything which you may have given them, as Allah Exalted and Majestic has forbidden it until the day of resurrection.” [Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Nasa`i, and Darimi]
Ali (رضّى الله عنه) said:
“The Messenger of Allah had forbidden Mutah on the day of Khaybar and had forbidden the eating of the meat of domestic camels.” [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizy, Ibn Majah, Nasa`i, Tahawy, Shafi’i, Bayhaqy, and Hazimy]
Ali (رضّى الله عنه) said to a man who was engaging in Mutah:
“You are a straying person, the Messenger of Allah has forbidden temporary marriage and the meat of domestic camels on the day of Khaybar.” [Muslim and Bayhaqy]
A man called Rabee’ Bin Sabra said to Umar bin Abdul Aziz:
“I testify that according to my father that it happened that the Messenger of Allah had forbidden it [Mutah] on the farewell pilgrimage.” [Abu Dawood and Imam Ahmad]
According to Abu Huraira:
The Messenger of Allah had forbidden or abolished temporary marriage, its marriage and its divorce, its waiting period, and its inheritance. [DarQutny, Ishaq Bin Rahwiya, and Ibn Habban]
When Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was given the Caliphate, he thanked Allah Most High and praised Him and said:
“O people, the Messenger of Allah had permitted Mutah three times then forbade it. I swear by Allah, ready to fulfil my oath, that if I find any person who engages in temporary marriage without having ratified this with a proper marriage, I will have him lashed 100 stripes unless he can bring two witnesses to prove that the Messenger had permitted it after forbidding it.” [Ibn Majah]
Imam Muslim has narrated that according to Mohammad Bin Abdullah Bin Numayr who said:
“My father had narrated to us according to Ubaidullah according to Ibn shahab according to Alhassan and Abdullah the sons of Mohammad bin Ali according to their father according to Ali that he heard Ibn Abbas being lenient towards temporary marriage, so he said, ‘wait Ibn Abbas, the Messenger of Allah had forbidden it on the day of Khaybar when he also prohibited the meat of domestic camels.’” [Sahih Muslim]
Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa:
“In the year of Autas, Allah’s Messenger permitted a temporary marriage for three nights, but he prohibited it afterwards.” [Sahih Muslim]
Narrated Ali (رضّى الله عنه):
“Allah’s Messenger forbade the temporary marriage in the year of Khaybar.” [Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari]
Narrated Ali (رضّى الله عنه):
“At the battle of Khaybar, the Prophet forbade the temporary marriage (i.e Mutah) of women, and the eating of the flesh of domestic asses.” [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Ahmad, An-Nasa’i, At-Termidhi and Ibn Majah have all collected it]
It was narrated from Ali (رضّى الله عنه) that:
The Messenger of Allah forbade Mutah marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys at the time of Khaybar. According to another report, he forbade Mutah marriage at the time of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of tame donkeys. [Narrated by Bukhari, 3979; Muslim, 1407.]
It was narrated from al-Rabee’ ibn Sabrah al-Juhanithat his father told him that he was with the Messenger of Allah who said:
“O people, I used to allow you to engage in Mutah marriages, but now Allah has forbidden that until the Day of Resurrection, so whoever has any wives in a Mutah marriage, he should let her go and do not take anything of the (money) you have given them.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1406.]
Sabrah bin Ma’ bad al-Jihani reported:
“I went forth with the Prophet for the conquest of Mecca, and he allowed us Mutah with women. But we had not even left the city [yet] when it was prohibited by the Messenger of Allah.”
The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam
The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam also states that Mutah was a common practice among Arab travelers and goes back to the fourth century:
“When a stranger came to a village and had no place to stay, he would marry a woman for a short time so that she would be his partner in bed and take care of his property.”
Caetani also concluded that Mutah in the pagan period was religious prostitution that took place during the occasion of pilgramage.
Thus, Mutah was a loose sexual practice during the pre-Islamic days of ignorance in Arabia. Being an old and established institution, it continued during the early days of Islam. The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) also allowed it temporarily on two other occasions, but only under strict, exceptional conditions during the conquest of Khaybar and during the conquest of Mecca - fearing that those Muslims whose faith was not yet strong might commit adultery during Jihad.
The Shia widely quote Hadith in relation to these events to support their continued belief in Mutah. Sunnis accept these Hadith but add that they happened before all of the revelations of the Quran were revealed and the religion completed. Historians and commentators on the Quran and Hadith agree that Islam eradicated most social evils in a gradual way. It is well known that practices like gambling, drinking, and the eating of pork and blood were common during the early days but were gradually prohibited. Likewise, it seems probable that Mutah was first forbidden to those at Khaybar in the year 7 A.H. and was then completely prohibited to all upon the conquest of Mecca in 8 A.H.
'Umar (رضّى الله عنه) Did Not Invent the Ruling on Mutah
The Shia claim that it was Umar (رضّى الله عنه) who forbade the practice of Mutah and that Mutah was openly practiced during the lifetimes of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) and Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه). In fact, Sunnis acknowledge that Umar (رضّى الله عنه) again declared Mutah to be illegal, but they also state that he did not make the ruling from himself. He was merely reiterating the words of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم).
Umar (رضّى الله عنه) was elected Caliph just two and a half years after the Prophet’s death (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). Present around him were the respected family members and noble companions of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). Had Umar’s declaration (رضّى الله عنه) been contrary to the Prophet’s practice (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), a number of these noble people would have objected to it. Yet, nowhere in Islamic history is recorded a single protest against his announcement.
Furthermore, since Umar (رضّى الله عنه) was later succeeded by Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) and then by Ali (رضّى الله عنه), had Umar’s statements (رضّى الله عنه) been contrary to the ruling of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) at least one of them would have reestablished the sanctity of Mutah. Again, there are no records of such abrogation. Oddly enough, the Shia believe that Ali (رضّى الله عنه) left behind a voluminous book, Nahjul Balagha, wherein he presented various aspects of Islam and the Muslim state. However, not a single word in favor of Mutah is mentioned in it. Had Umar (رضّى الله عنه) been wrong in forbidding Mutah, nothing would have prevented Ali (رضّى الله عنه) from condemning it in his writings.
After the Prophet’s death (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم), there were some people who were unaware of the prohibition of Mutah and thus allowed it. Ibn Abbas (رضّى الله عنه) was one such individual, but he later recanted on this position after Ali (رضّى الله عنه) corrected him. The Shia bring up Ibn Abbas (رضّى الله عنه) to somehow prove that Mutah is Halal. How can this lone opinion of one Sahabah go against the sayings of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم)? Ibn Abbas (رضّى الله عنه) made a sincere mistake, and the reliable reports indicate that he corrected his position later on.
The fact is that in the end the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) forbade Mutah. Perhaps some people might not have been aware of its prohibition and subsequently contracted it after the Prophet’s death; however, when Umar (رضّى الله عنه) found out about it, he made another public declaration against it and enforced the ruling as the Caliph and head of the Islamic state. Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) demanded the people to give Zakat when he became Caliph; does any rational mind claim that it was Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) who invented the obligation of Zakat? There were even some Companions who were of the opinion that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) should be lenient towards those Zakat evaders, and yet Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) rejected these calls for lenience. Likewise, there were some people who were lenient towards Mutah, especially in light of the fact that there were many new converts in a fast-growing empire, but Umar (رضّى الله عنه) rejected these calls for lenience and instead called for the rigid implementation of the Shariah.
The Shia will produce obscure sources to “prove” their claim that it was Umar (رضّى الله عنه) who forbade Mutah, and not the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). As is typical with the Shia, such obscure sources suddenly become the “authoratative Sunni book”–despite the fact that these are obscure and unreliable sources, and oftentimes these are books written by Shia scholars and have absolutely nothing to do with the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
It is possible that the disagreement surrounding temporary marriage–both back then after the Prophet’s death (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) and now with our debates with the Shia–revolves around people confusing two homonyms in the Arabic language. “Mutah” is used in two ways:
1) Mutah Al-Nisa: temporary marriage with women
2) Mutah Al-Hajj: A type of religious pilgramage in which one performs a modified version of Umrah and Hajj. The more common name for this type of pilgramage is tamattu’ (and hence the confusion).
Mutah Al-Nisa translates to “pleasure of the women” and this needs no explanation. As for Mutah Al-Hajj, this refers to the pleasure of this modified form of pilgramage. In Mutah Al-Hajj, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) allowed relaxation of the Ihram and other duties, thereby making the pilgramage more enjoyable and pleasurable to the believer. It is for this reason that it is referred to as Mutah Al-Hajj.
Many of the Hadith that the Shia bring up that use the word “Mutah” are actually referring to Mutah Al-Hajj, and have nothing to do with Mutah Al-Nisa. Thus, a Sunni follower should not be caught off-guard when the Shia propagandists take Hadith out of context, pretending it refers to Mutah Al-Nisa when it really refers to Mutah Al-Hajj. In any case, there are an overwhelming number of Hadith which forbid Mutah Al-Nisa, and the lone opinion of a Sahabah cannot possibly change this opinion. And even this lone opinion stated that Mutah is Makrouh (highly detestable) and only permissible in dire situations of need, unlike the Shia opinion which is that Mutah is Mustahabb (highly recommended) at all times.
We wonder why the Shia even try to justify Mutah by showing that it is even allowed in Sunni Hadith? How does this in any way change the situation? Temporary marriage is immoral. If the Sunnis also believe in Mutah, then it simply means that the Sunnis are immoral too. It does not absolve the Shia from the immoral nature of his own religion which allows Mutah. We hope that the Shia can understand this: proving the Ahlus Sunnah incorrect does not automatically prove the Shia correct. If we agree with the fallacious argument that Sunni Islam also allows Mutah, then we are simply agreeing that both Sunni and Shia religions are immoral. Generally speaking, in the adult world, proving someone else wrong does not prove oneself correct. For example, if the Shia said that 2 plus 2 equals 8, the Shia would not prove themselves correct by showing that the Sunnis were wrong by claiming that 2 plus 2 equals 30.
Furthermore, at most the Shia would be able to say that the Sunni Hadith allows for Mutah only in dire situations of need and that it is Makrouh (highly detestable). (To say even this is a stretch from the truth, since the Ahlus Sunnah forbids Mutah in all circumstances.) On the contrary, the Shia Fiqh encourages Mutah and believes it to be Mutahabb (highly recommended), promising sins to be forgiven to the one who practices it and other such things. Thus, no matter what, the Shia propagandist must explain why his Shia Imams would glorify this hideous institution to the point that they claim that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said:
“The man who contracts Mutah once will be saved from the Hellfire. One who contracts it twice will be in the company of virtuous men [in Paradise]. And the one who contracts it three times will be my companion in the highest level of Paradise.” (Al-Kafi)
And there are many more Shia Hadith in this regards. It should be noted that there is a world of difference between accepting Mutah as a dire necessity on the one hand and on the other saying that it is a great deed of piety. At the most the Shia could claim that the Sunnis allow Mutah but consider it Makrouh (highly detestable) whereas the Shia believe it to be Mustahabb (highly recommended). Thereby, proving Mutah from Sunni sources does not absolve the Shia from explaining the moral lapse in the Shia Imams who would declare such an act to be highly recommended.
The fact of the matter is that the Ahlus Sunnah considers Mutah to be Haram (forbidden), and believes this prohibition to be from the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم). It is upto the Shia follower to slander the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) by saying that he would allow such a practise to continue. As for the Shia trying to prove that Mutah is Halal even in Sunni Fiqh, we could just as easily prohibit Mutah in the Shia Fiqh by playing around with their Hadith; if one tries hard enough, it is possible to declare anything Halal or Haram with enough word games and singular Hadith out of context. The bottom line, however, is that the Ahlus Sunnah forbids Mutah and the Shia allow it. Now it is upto the Shia to deal with the reprocussions of this, and so they should not be surprised when we question the moral nature of the institution they believe in.
The position of the Ahlus Sunnah on the illegality of Mutah is very clear and definitive: nonetheless, we will be forced to endure the broken record players that incessantly repeat that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) encouraged Mutah. No matter how many times the Shia claim this, it simply is not true. The fact of the matter is that this argument by the Shia is simply a smoke-screen to hide their guilt over the abundance of their Imam’s sayings which advocate prostitution.
Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com/
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