Sunnis generally don’t accept it, but Shi’ites regard temporary marriage (zawaj al-mut’a) as sanctioned by Muhammad himself, as you can see from this clip, and hence part of Islamic law. So as Islamic groups fight against laws banning Sharia in the U.S. and pave the way for it to come to this country, will we eventually see calls from Shi’ites to legalize this thinly disguised form of prostitution? Why not?
“Kuwaiti Shaykh: ‘A handful of dates is given to any woman to enjoy her sexually,'” from Translating Jihad, November 22:
In the above video, Kuwaiti Shaykh Yasir al-Habib, a Shi’a, explains and justifies the Islamic practice of zawaj al-mut’a, or temporary marriage (lit. ‘pleasure marriage’), which is in a sense Islamically-sanctioned prostitution. […]
He also brings up a hadith or saying from one of the companions of Muhammad, who said that, “We contracted temporary marriage giving a handful of the dates or flour as a dower during the life time of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and during the time of Abu Bakr until Umar forbade it because of Amr Ibn Huraith” (from al-islam.org). The last point about Umar forbidding it is where most Shi’a and Sunnis disagree–the Shi’a don’t accept Umar as a legitimate caliph or successor to Muhammad, while the Sunnis do.
Subtitled video is above, transcript below (h/t Nonie Darwish):
I tell him, “Come on, if you”re a man, then give me your sister in marriage, a marriage with the intent of divorcing after one night.” I could imagine something like that, now that you mention it. You know? Now, even if you find this repulsive, the Messenger of Allah didn’t find it repulsive. The Messenger of Allah approved this marriage by recognizing it. The Messenger of Allah permitted and authorized (temporary) pleasure marriages. Now even if they later put it in a written hadith that he later forbade pleasure marriages, the important thing is that it was present (during the time of the Prophet).
If the marriage was by nature considered repulsive by the Shari”ah, meaning it was not pleasing to Almighty Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), then the Prophet from the beginning would not have permitted it. Why did he permit it? I mean, it wasn’t considered contrary to the honor of Muslim women. Why did he authorize his companions to marry Muslim women for a short time, and to “enjoy them (sexually),” [Qur’an 4:24] even with a handful of dates? A handful of dates is given to any woman to enjoy her sexually, that’s it. If you say that this is adultery, then you”re accusing the Messenger (PBUH) of adultery, or that he legitimized adultery. If you say this is repulsive, you”re accusing the Messenger (PBUH) of being repulsive, or that the Messenger of Allah legitimized that which is repulsive, Allah forbid. Is it not so?
Pleasure marriage came to solve a societal problem. It doesn’t mean that it always has to be applied. However, if my sister did that, according to its rules and laws, whether she were a widow and her husband had passed away, or she were divorced, and so forth; if she needed it (for whatever reason), then this marriage would be according to the tradition (sunnah) of Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). There is no shame in this. No shame at all.