of the Ithna’ ‘Ashariyyah in light of Qur’an and Sunnah
The literal meaning of Mut’ah is to take benefit, and according to the definition of the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers): Mut’ah is when a man has sexual relations with a woman who is not related by blood after stipulating a fixed time and price. There is no need for witnesses, a representative, qadi or public announcement of this union. After one has finished (satisfying himself) there is no need to issue a talaq (divorce) as well. The woman will become free after the stipulated time has expired even if she might have conceived in this union.
1. Mut’ah can be made with any woman not related by blood, whether she is a woman who is known to commit zina or from the Hashimi family, there is no restriction. According to Ayatollah Khomeini one can perform Mut’ah with one who is known to commit zina as well. He says:
يجوز التمتع بالزانية على كراهته خصوصا لو كانت من العواهر المشهورات بالزنا و ان فعل فليمنعها من الفجور
It is permissible, although disliked, to perform Mut’ah with one who is known to have committed zina especially if she is a prostitute. If one performs Mut’ah with her (a prostitute) then she should be told to abandon that practice.
We learn from this statement of Ayatollah Khomeini that one can perform Mut’ah with a woman who frequently commits zina as well, and if she is prostitute then too it is permissible but one should tell her to abandon this practice.
It should be explained to him that Mut’ah is sufficient (as an act of zina) and to differentiate between the two is indeed strange. The very act of Mut’ah is the definition of zina, so what practice should he tell her to abandon and why should he (when he is doing the very same). Khomeini should rather be banning Mut’ah as this is in itself zina, which he is advising others to abstain from.
2. According to the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), Mut’ah can be done with another person’s wife as well, provided she is not a Shia but a Sunni. Similarly they say it is permissible to perform Mut’ah with a Hindu or Zoroastrian. Molana Shah ‘Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlwi rahimahu Llah quotes the Shia scholars:
According to us (i.e. Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia) Mut’ah is permissible with a married woman as well, when that woman is a Sunni. The reason for this is that the nikah of the Ahlus Sunnah is not correct according to us, so it is as if these are unmarried women, and it is unanimously agreed that Mut’ah with an unmarried women is permissible. Mut’ah with Hindu and Zoroastrian women is also permissible, provided she recites La Ilaha illallah even though she does not believe it in her heart.
If one is not satisfied with this quotation from Shah Muhaddith Dehlwi then see what the famous Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi writes. The narrator Mansur Sayqal reports that Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah said:
لا بأس بالرجل ان يتمتع بالمجوسية
There is no problem if a man performs Mut’ah with a Zoroastrian woman.
In the same book it is written that he said:
لا بأس ان يتمتع الرجل باليهودية و نصرنية
There is no problem if a man performs Mut’ah with a Jew or Christian.
Muhammad ibn Sinan says:
سألته عن نكاح اليهودية و النصرانية فقال لا بأس به فقلت المجوسية فقال لا بأس به يعنى متعة
I asked him whether is nikah permissible with a Jew or Christian, and he said it is no problem. I then asked him about a Zoroastrian and he said there is no problem with it, i.e. Mut’ah.
Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi mentions when commenting on these narrations that they explain the permissibility of performing Mut’ah with a Jew, Christian and Zoroastrian but it is still preferable to perform Mut’ah with an innocent believing woman.
It is for this reason that majority of the time; the youngsters seek out Shia girls to perform Mut’ah with especially if they are from the same sect and are virgin.
In addition we learn that according to the Shia, Mut’ah is permissible with Sunni women as well because they are unmarried, i.e. according to the Shia the nikah of the Ahlus Sunnah is incorrect. This makes it clear that according to the Shia, the Ahlus Sunnah are not Muslims. Nevertheless Mut’ah is also permissible with Hindus and Zoroastrians as well. The only condition is that they must recite the kalimah even if they do not mean it.
Similarly they say Mut’ah is permissible with Jews and Christians as well. After seeing the reality of Mut’ah, can any person truly say there is a difference between Mut’ah and zina? Moreover does anyone have the courage to say that the differences between the Shia and Ahlus Sunnah are in minor aspects only and that the Shia only differ slightly with the Muslims?
According to the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), Mut’ah is such a beloved and adored act that it is permissible to perform with those women from the Banu Hashim as well. Thus — according to them — there is no prohibition whatsoever to engage in sexual intercourse with a woman from the Banu Hashim after stipulating a fixed period and price, in fact they regard it as entirely permissible. The famous Shia mujtahid Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi says:
لا بأس بالمتعة بهاشمية
There is no problem with performing Mut’ah with a Hashimi woman.
How astonishing it is, the manner in which the honour and chastity of the noble family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is being put on sale in the marketplace. The Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) intently endeavour to ensure that this act of Mut’ah remains beloved, regardless of whether it be performed with a common woman, adulteress or a Sayed. We seek Allah’s protection.
Just as it is imperative to bring iman in Allah, His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Divine Books, the angels as well as taqdir and the hereafter, so too is Mut’ah regarded as among the essentials of din by the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia. This means that according to the Shia it is imperative to believe that Mut’ah is part of iman and whoever denies it is a disbeliever. The well-known imam of the Shia, Mulla Baqir Majlisi writes under the discussion of those who deny the essentials of din:
If any person denies the legal status of Mut’ah, then he becomes a disbeliever because Mut’ah is among the essentials of din according to the Shia. It is for this reason that they regard such a person as out of the fold of Islam.
It is clear that Mut’ah is among the essentials of din according to the Shia and that the differences amongst the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia are not in trivial matters but in the fundamentals of din. In fact Mullah Fath Allah al Kashani writes explicitly about those who deny the legal status of Mut’ah:
ومنكر المتعة كافر مرتد
He who denies Mut’ah is a disbeliever and a murtad.
The famous Shia mujtahid Sheikh Muhammad ibn Hassan al Hurr al ‘Amili quotes Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah saying:
He is not from amongst us who does not regard Mut’ah as Halal.
In addition to this he says:
اباحة المتعة من ضرورية مذهب الامامية
The permissibility of Mut’ah is among the essential beliefs of the Imamiyyah.
Certain acts and deeds have been described in the Qur’an and hadith such that the iman of the one who does not perform them is incomplete, but wherever this has been mentioned one will notice that a pure and virtuous deed is being encouraged. It is either the fulfilment of the Huquq Allah (Rights of Allah) or Huquq al ‘Ibad (the Rights of Man) that is encouraged or the moral reformation of social etiquettes that is being addressed. However, according to the Shia the iman of the one who does not perform Mut’ah is incomplete, i.e. if one fails to carry out an act which is in actual fact zina — fornication — then his iman is incomplete. The renowned Shia faqih Abu Jafar Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi writes:
ان المؤمن لا يكمل حتى يتمتع
The iman of a believer remains incomplete until he performs Mut’ah.
In fact a severe admonishment has been reported for the one who does not perform Mut’ah. Mullah Fath Allah al Kashani writes:
من خرج من الدنيا و لم بتمتع جاء يوم القيامة و هو اجدع
Whoever leaves this world without having performed Mut’ah will rise on the Day of Resurrection such that his mouth, ears and nose will be cut off.
In a similar manner Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi has written in his book Al Istibsar that the iman of the one who does not perform Mut’ah is incomplete and he will be resurrected on the Day of Qiyamah such that his limbs will be cut off.
This means that one must definitely indulge in sexual intercourse with a woman, after stipulating a fixed period and price, because it is among the essentials of din. If not then the condition of such a person will be extremely terrifying on the Day of Resurrection and his iman will be incomplete.
It is worth pondering; the pristine Shari’ah of Islam has emphasised on abstaining from zina and in addition has prohibited all those actions which may take one even close to zina, because by indulging in such an act the iman of a person hangs in the balance. Yet the Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers) Shia have made this act so beloved and have given it such importance that they say the iman of one who does not perform it is incomplete and will rise on the Day of Qiyamah with his body mutilated. Is this not in actual fact opening the doors for obscenity?
We are amazed that the Shia creed so openly propagates the virtues of performing Mut’ah, yet there is not even a single narration recorded for consenting to perform Mut’ah. When this is the case, then the youth in every home should throw down the literature containing these false narrations and wash your heart and mind of it.
Nikah has been made perpetual in the Shari’ah of Islam and not temporary; such that one may perform nikah for a few days or hours only and then separate. This opposes both logic as well as the reported traditions and is in contradiction with one’s sense of honour. This increases lewdness and obscenity, and also places doubt on one’s genealogy, which will ultimately lead only to chaos and destruction.
However, Shia state that it is imperative to specify a fixed period. If a person decides that he only wants to perform Mut’ah for half an hour then too it is permissible but he will have to specify that it is for half an hour only. The author of al Kafi, Muhammad ibn Yaqub al Kulayni reports from Imam Jafar al Sadiq:
لا تكون متعة الا بامرين اجل مسمى و اجر مسمى
Two things are necessary when performing Mut’ah, specifying time and price.
Khomeini also regards the specification of time as necessary. He says:
Mut’ah can be performed for a short period of time but the time period must be specified.
This means that one may perform Mut’ah for one or two days and even for an hour or a portion thereof. It is reported in a tradition:
ان سمي الاجل فهو متعة و ان لم يسم الاجل فهو نكاح بات
If time is stipulated then it is Mut’ah and if it is not then it is nikah.
This makes it clear then there is a vast difference between Mut’ah and nikah.
In the Shari’ah of Islam it is necessary for two mature sane Muslim men to be witnesses to the nikah, but according to the Shia it is not necessary for the male or female to have witnesses for this contract nor is it necessary to announce it publicly. Thus, there is no need for witnesses, announcement or a qadi. The famous Shia mufassir Fath Allah al Kashani writes:
There are five requirements for Mut’ah, a man, a woman, specified price, fixed period, proposal and acceptance.
Thus, if a man and a woman stipulate a price and a fixed period, where one proposes and the other accepts, they can perform Mut’ah. There is no need for any witnesses to be present and nor is it necessary to inform ones family or parents.
Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi writes:
و ليس فى المتعة اشهاد و لا اعلان
There are no witnesses or any announcement in Mut’ah.
In fact, Sheikh al Tusi dedicated an entire chapter to this discussion, under the heading: The permissibility of performing Mut’ah with a woman without witnesses. He goes to substantiate his view in the following manner: once someone asked Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah if Mut’ah is permissible without witnesses, and he said that there is no problem with this and one may perform Mut’ah without witnesses as this act is between him and Allah, whereas in nikah witnesses are necessary because of the children and if they are none then there is no problem.
انما جعل الشهود فى تزويج البتة من اجل الولد و لو لا ذلك لم يكن به بأس
Witnesses have been made compulsory in nikah because of the offspring and if there are none then it is no problem.
Once the fixed period has elapsed then the woman may leave and there is no necessity for talaq. It is mentioned in al Kafi:
فاذا انقضى الاجل بانت منه بغير طلاق
When the fixed period has elapsed then she will be separated from him without talaq.
In another narration it is mentioned:
فاذا جاز الاجل كانت فرقة بغير طلاق
When the time has passed then they will be separated without talaq.
What difference is there between Mut’ah and zina, the same that is done in zina is performed in Mut’ah. The Shari’ah has mentioned many prohibitions and warnings for zina. If there is no difference between the two then what was the reason for the many restrictions for committing zina. It is clear as day light; Mut’ah is not permitted in the Shari’ah of Islam under any circumstances. It is zina and that is why it was made haram.
Shia muhaddithin report from Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah that a woman came to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and said:
I have committed adultery, please purify me. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then ordered for the punishment of rajam (stoning) to be carried out. While this was taking place, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu heard about what had transpired and asked her: “How did you commit adultery?” She replied:
كيف زنيت فقالت مررت بالبادية فاصابنى عطش شديد فاستسقيت اعرابيا فابى ان يسقينى الا ان امكنه من نفسى فلما اجهد فى العطش و خفت على نفسى سقانى فامكنته من نفسى فقال امير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) تزويج و رب الكعبة
I was walking through the jungle when I was overcome with thirst. I asked a Bedouin for some water but he refused to give me water unless I satisfied him. When the thirst became too intense and I feared for my life, I accepted his condition.” Upon hearing this ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said: “I take an oath by the Rabb of the Ka’bah this is nikah.”
We know full-well that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is innocent from this fabricated tale. Is it possible for any person to claim that this is nikah? If this is nikah then what is zina and if this is zina — which it is — then what is the difference between zina and Mut’ah?
It is evident that the aspect of Mut’ah reported in the narrations of the Shia is in actual fact zina, the punishment of which has been clearly explained in the Noble Qur’an and ahadith.
Just as stipulating a fixed period is necessary in Mut’ah, so too is stipulating the payment also necessary, because the woman is likened to an item on rent for which payment has to be made. According to the Shia, a handful of wheat, barley or dates are sufficient as a payment for Mut’ah. The Shia narrator Ahwal reports that he asked Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah:
عن ادنى ما تزوج به المتعة قال كف من بر
What is the least amount upon which Mut’ah can be made upon to which he replied: “A handful of wheat.”
Another Shia narrator Abu Basir reports that when he asked the same question and he replied:
كف من طعام او دقيق او سويق او تتمر
A handful of food, flour, barley or dates.
One learns from the above that it is not necessary to pay maintenance, clothe, feed or provide shelter to the woman with whom one is performing Mut’ah. A mere handful of dates or wheat is sufficient to carry out the act of Mut’ah because this is not a wife but only an item which has been rented in lieu of a handful of food.
According to the laws of Islam one man is allowed to wed four women at one time, the laws of which have been explained independently.
However, in this beloved act of the Shia there is no limit to the number of women one may perform it with. One may perform Mut’ah with one woman or even a thousand. It is mentioned in the famous Shia book Tahdhib al Ahkam that Imam Jafar al Sadiq was asked:
ا هي من الاربع فقال تزوج منهن الفا فانهن متأجرات
The woman with whom Mut’ah is performed, is she a part of the four (wives that one is allowed to marry)? To which he replied: “perform it with a thousand of them because they are rented items.”
It another narration it is reported that he said:
ليس من الاربع انما هى اجارة
They are not of the four but are rented items.
Baqir al Majlisi reports this narration from him:
ليس من الاربع لا لانها لا تطلق ولا ترث وانما هى متأجرة
She is not of the four because she does not need a talaq (to be separated from him) nor does she inherit from him. She is but an item taken on rent.
It is reported in the chapter of Mut’ah in al Kafi:
صاحب الاربع النسوة يتزوج منهن ما شاء بغير ولى و لا شهود فاذا انقضى الاجل بانت منه بغير طلاق و يعطيها الشئ اليسير
A husband of four wives may also perform Mut’ah with any woman he desires, without her representative or witnesses. When the stipulated time has elapsed then she will be separated from him without a talaq. The man should give her something in return.
Imam Abu al Hassan (al Rida) rahimahu Llah was asked:
اهى من الاربع فقال و لا من السبعين انما من مستأجرة
“Are they from the four?” to which he replied: “No, and not even from the seventy, they are but items taken on rent.”
Ziyad ibn A’yun asked Imam al Rida rahimahu Llah, how many women one is allowed to perform Mut’ah with and he replied:
قال كم شئت
As many as you wish.
One learns from the following narrations of the Shia that even though one may already possess four wives, he is permitted to perform Mut’ah with a thousand additional women as well. There is no restriction in this regard and when the time period has elapsed, she will automatically be separated from him and there is no need to issue a talaq. Furthermore there is no need for witnesses to be present and the women will not be entitled to inherit from him. This act of Mut’ah is not the same as one’s female slaves as well (with whom cohabiting is permissible).
The narration “Not of the seventy” clearly negates this. These narrations clearly state that the woman is an item taken on rent. Just as one would rent a house, by stipulating a price and period of rental so too has the woman been rented in this fashion, by stipulating a price and period of rental; and in this manner one is allowed to perform this act with as many women as he pleases.
One should ponder deeply as to whether there still remains any difference between Mut’ah and zina. Does not the same agreement take place with a harlot? Does an adulteress possess the same rights as a wife? When one performs zina is there a need for a representative, witnesses or public announcement? No, most definitely not, and the same goes for Mut’ah as well. So can there now be any difference between Mut’ah and zina?
In the pure Shari’ah of Islam, if an unmarried woman was to indulge in such an immodest act then she would be given one hundred lashes and if a married woman was to do so then she would be stoned to death. Islam does not condone a woman indulging in Mut’ah with a man while married to another, under any circumstances.
However, the Shia see it as no problem even if she were to indulge in Mut’ah with a number of men, nor do they see this as immoral. The only restriction that they do impose is that she must not be menstruating but if it is a woman who does not menstruate, then a number of men may sleep with her. They term this Mut’ah Dowriyah (repetitive Mut’ah). The Shia mujtahid Qadi Nur Allah al Shostari writes:
و اما تاسعا فلان نسبه الى اصحابنا من انهم جوزوا ان يتمتع الرجل ال المتعددون ليلا واحدة من امرة سواء كانت من ذوات الاقراء ام لا فمماخان فى بعض قيوده و ذلك ان الاصحاب قد خصوا ذلك بلآئسة لا بغير ذوات الاقراء
Those people who have attributed to our scholars that they regarded it as permissible for many men to indulge in Mut’ah with one woman in one night whether they be menstruating or not, have omitted a few of its clauses, and that is they have permitted this only with those woman who have stopped menstruating and not with those who still menstruate.
This means that al Shostari openly admits that the Shia do regard it as permissible for many men to spend the night with one woman. They may do so in turns or two of them may do so simultaneously. The only restriction they will have to bear in mind is that she must not be a menstruating woman, and if she is not then there is absolutely no drawback in performing such an act.
Ponder for a moment, can there be a more shamelessness act than one woman sleeping with a number of different men, one after the other, in one night. Is this not zina? Only that person can regard this as an act of worship whose heart is dead and whose intellect is lost.
In the pure Shari’ah of Islam, if a man issues three talaq to his wife then he cannot marry her again and if he continues to remain with her thereafter then this is termed as zina. He will be worthy of punishment in the hereafter and even in this world the appropriate sentence will be carried out on him.
However, according to the Shia there is no restriction in this regard and Mut’ah is entirely permissible. If a person has performed Mut’ah with a woman and thereafter another performed this act with her, then too it will be permissible for the first person to perform Mut’ah with her again immediately thereafter. The well-known Shia narrator, Zurarah, reports that he asked Imam al Baqir rahimahu Llah:
الرجل يتزوج المتعة و ينقضى شرطها ثم يتتزوجها رجل آخر حتى بانت منه ثلاثا تزوجت ثلاثة ازواج يحل للاول ان يتزوجها
One man performs Mut’ah with a woman and then the time period elapses. Another man then performs Mut’ah with her and when he separates from her, a third performs Mut’ah with her. Like this it has occurred three times and she has performed Mut’ah with three men (at the same time). Is she still Halal for the first?
Zurarah narrates that he replied:
نعم كم شاء هذه ليس مثل الحرة هذه مستاجرة و هى بمنزلة الاماء
Yes, she may do it as many times as she pleases. She is not the same as free women; instead she is like a rented item and the substitute for a female slave.
Can any person with sound intellect be pleased with such immorality? This is indeed a vile act that one woman is sometimes in bed with one man and sometimes with another. When the stipulated time has elapsed then she is given her money and she leaves to begin her time with another. Will any moral person envisage such acts being performed with his sisters, daughter or other women of the family? I believe with full conviction that no honourable person will condone this. Undoubtedly those who lack shame and modesty will become Shia and indulge in such acts.
اذا فاتك الحياء فاصنع ما شأت
When shame and modesty leave you then do as you please. (hadith)
 Tahrir al Wasilah, v. 2 p. 292
 Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah (Twelvers), p. 1779
 Al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 144, Wasa’il al Shia v. 7 p. 462
 Wasa’il al Shia, v. 7 p. 462
 Al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 144
 Tahdhib al Ahkam, v. 2 p. 192
 Tafsir Minhaj al Sadiqin, p. 356
 Wasa’il al Shia, v. 7 p. 438
 Tafsir Minhaj al Sadiqin, p. 256
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 455
 Tahdhib al Ahkam, v. 2 p. 189
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 467
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 457
 Tahdhib al Ahkam, v. 2 p. 189
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 452, al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 147
 Tafsir Nur al Thaqalayn, v. 1 p. 461
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 451, al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 147
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 451, Wasa’il al Shia, v. 7 p. 447’
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 451, al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 147
 Masa’ib al Nawasib
 Furu’ al Kafi, v. 5 p. 460