The Prohibition of Mut`ah in the Light of Hadith

The Prohibition of Mut`ah in Light of the Rulings of the `Ulamaʼ of Ahl al-Bayt
October 29, 2015
The Prohibition of Mut`ah in Light of the Noble Qur’an
October 29, 2015

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The Prohibition of Mutah in the Light of Hadith

 

1. Saburah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

انه كان مع رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم) فقال يا ايها الناس انى قد كنت اذنت لكم فى الاستمتاع من النساء و ان الله حرم ذلك الى يوم القيامة

He was in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he said: “O people! I had previously given you permission to perform Mut’ah with woman and now undoubtedly Allah has prohibited it until the Day of Qiyamah.”[1]

 

This narration informs us that the Mut’ah which was permissible in that time, the details of which will be explained later, was prohibited by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam under the orders of Allah. The words “Undoubtedly Allah has prohibited” clearly indicate that Allah himself decreed it unlawful until the Day of Qiyamah. Now for one to say that it is still halal is a terrible fabrication in Islam and the perpetrator of such an act a heinous sinner in the eyes of Allah.

2. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

ان رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم) نهى عن متعة النساء يوم الخيبر الحديث

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited the practice of Mut’ah on the day of Khaybar.[2]

 

This narration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also contains the prohibition of Mut’ah. Now for one to announce that Mut’ah is halal and the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt practiced it can only be outright deceit and nothing else.

We learned from some Shia orators, while discussing this aspect with them, that they were not satisfied with this narration from Sahih Bukhari and using various tactics they tried to refute this narration. However, this will be an erroneous move on their behalf, as this narration of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu can be found in the Shia books as well. Sheikh al Tusi reports:

 

عن زيد بن على عن آبائه عن على (عليهم السلام) قال حرم رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم) لحوم الحمر الاهلية و نكاح المتعة

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited the meat of donkeys and Mut’ah on the day of Khaybar.[3]

 

Another Shia muhaqiq Muhammad ibn Hassan al Hurr al ‘Amili has reported this narration in his book, Wasa’il al Shia ila Tahsil Masa’il al Shari’ah volume 7 page 441.

The Shia mujtahidin and the lovers of Mut’ah are extremely distressed with this narration present in their own books. This makes it impossible for them to deny this narration, as their seniors approved of this narration. In order to downgrade the importance of this narration and to render it inadequate, they began saying that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was practicing Taqiyyah (dissimulation) in this narration. In other words, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was forced under the circumstances to speak a lie. Allah forbid!

 

Sheikh al Tusi provides the interpretation of Taqiyyah in the following manner:

 

الوجه فى هذه الرواية ان نحملها على التقية لانها موافقة لمذاهب العامة الاخبار الادلة موافقة لظاهر الكتاب و اجماع الفرقة المحقة على موجبه فيجب ان يكون العمل بها دون الرواية الشاذة

 

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Hassan al Hurr al ‘Amili also writes:[4]

 

اقول حمله الشيخ و غيره على التقية يعنى فى الرواية لان اباحة المتعة من ضروريات مذهب الامامية

 

The just of these interpretations is that those narrations reported by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu containing the prohibition of Mut’ah has been regarded as Taqiyyah, because the permissibility of Mut’ah has been proven from other ‘reliable’ Shia narrations. The permissibility of Mut’ah is among the fundamentals of din according to the Shia. There for it is incorrect to take proof from the narrations of prohibition and one will practice upon those narrations regarding which there is consensus of the Shia.

What is Taqiyyah? Time is not sufficient to delve into its details nor is it the place. However, one should understand that the concept of Taqiyyah is a tool of the Shia, which they use whenever and wherever they wish to deviate from the truth and counter those narrations of the Imams, that oppose their beliefs.

3. Salamah ibn Akwa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

رخص رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم) غام اوطاس فى المتعة ثلاثا ثم نهى عنها

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam permitted Mut’ah for three days in the year of the Battle of Awtas and then forbade it.[5]

 

This does not refer to the Mut’ah of the Shia, as it was never permitted nor will it ever be. The Mut’ah referred to in this narration is Nikah Muwaqqat (temporary marriage), the details of which will be explained later.

After this clarification, to insist on permitting it in current conditions and to claim that it is the decree of Allah is an outright innovation. In other words, for one to claim to have the same authority as Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and to claim that we too can permit it just as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once permitted it, and in so doing announce its permissibility while concealing its abrogation, is clear kufr.

4. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

انما كانت المتعة فى اول الاسلام كان الرجل يقدم البلدة ليس له بها معرفة فيتزوج المرأة بقدر ما يرى انه يقيم فتحفظ له متاعه و تصلح له شيئه حتى اذا نزلت الآية

اِلَّا عَلٰٓی اَزْوَاجِهِمْ اَوْ مَا مَلَکَتْ اَیْمَانُهُمْ

قال ابن عباس فكل فرج سواهما فهو حرام

Mut’ah was permissible in the earlier years of Islam. Whenever a man would go to a town where he had no acquaintances, he would marry a woman for the period he thought he would be residing in that town. She would safeguard his belongings and prepare meals for him. Later when the verses:

Except from their spouses and those female slaves that you own.

were revealed, all others were made haram except for these two.[6]

 

This narration of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu makes it clear that even the form of Mut’ah that was permissible in the early years of Islam was prohibited under the principle of the verse: “Except from their spouses and those females slaves that you own” and its forbiddance was clearly expounded in the Noble Qur’an. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade this form of Mut’ah because of this directive of Allah, and even ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu is of the opinion that all other women are forbidden, except one’s spouse or female slave.

The Mut’ah that is referred to here and which is being prohibited is actually Nikah Muwaqqat. How temporary? There was no specified time. All that was said was that I marry you until I remain in this town. It is obvious that the specific hour when one will leave is impossible to determine.

This form of marriage was not as disgraceful as the Mut’ah of the Shia, where they both become strangers once again on the exact second after the specified time elapses.

In addition this narration mentions the duties that the wife of such a marriage would perform. She would safeguard his belongings, prepare meals for him and on the whole assist him in all aspects of life, whereas in the Mut’ah of the Shia the woman has no such duties. Mut’ah is only made with her for the purpose of satisfying one’s passions.

It is evident that there was no real shamelessness or immorality in Nikah Muwaqqat, whereas differentiating between zina and the Shia Mut’ah is impossible for even the most competent of the Shia scholars.

 
 

One Misconception

In some narrations it becomes known that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the view that Mut’ah is permissible.

 
Answer

It has been reported in the previous narration that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu clearly stated that it is haram and in support of this ruling recited the verse of the Noble Qur’an. Is it still possible for any person to have the courage to say that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the view that Mut’ah is permissible, after he clearly stated that it is haram.?

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu at first held the opinion that it is permissible but ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed him that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had announced its prohibition. After hearing this Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu withdrew his previous opinion and repented for it.

Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah, better known as Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, has reported:

 

ان عليا قال الابن عباس ان النبى (صلى الله عليه و سلم) نهى عن متعة و عن لحوم الحمر الاهلية زمن خيبر

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited Mut’ah and the meat of donkeys during the expedition of Khaybar.[7]

 

This narration mentions the announcement on the day of Khaybar and not that its prohibition was revealed on that day. Laws are usually enforced at the most appropriate time.

A discussion also ensued between ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu presented the proofs for the prohibition of Mut’ah, Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained silent. This was Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu acknowledging its prohibition.

 

Abu Ja’far Ahmed ibn Muhammad Nahwi Misri writes:

 

ان ابن عباس لما خاطبه على بهذا لم يحاجه فصار تحريم الامتعة اجماعا لان الذين يحلونها اعتمادهم على ابن عباس

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu discussed this (Mut’ah) with Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he did not oppose him. Thus consensus was established on the prohibition of Mut’ah because those who regard Mut’ah as permissible base their view on the opinion of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas.[8]

 

This makes it known that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu had no proof for the permissibility of Mut’ah and he simply accepted the proofs of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Thus the initial permission that existed for the practicing of Mut’ah has also been prohibited.

 

Similarly Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah rahimahu Llah reports:

 

ان عليا قيل له ان ابن عباس لا يرى لمتعة النساء بأسا فقال ان رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم) نهى عنها يوم خيبر و من لحوم الحمر الانسية

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was informed that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not regard the performance of Mut’ah with women as a problem. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade it on the day of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of donkeys.[9]

 

Once ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

انك رجل تائه نهى رسول الله (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

You are a mistaken person; Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has certainly forbidden it.[10]

 

On one occasion Muhammad ibn ‘Ali rahimahu Llah heard that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu held lenient views towards Nikah Muwaqqat, on which he instructed:

Ibn ‘Abbas abandon this opinion as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has prohibited it.[11]

 

In another narration it is reported that Ibn Jubayr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

This opinion of yours that Mut’ah is permissible has been circulated amongst the people everywhere and poets are reciting renditions about it throughout the country.

 

On hearing this Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied:

Subhan Allah! I never issued any ruling to that effect. My opinion regarding Mut’ah is the same as my opinion regarding carrion, blood and swine.

 

In another narration it is reported that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

To Allah do we belong and unto him shall we return! I never issued any ruling to that effect nor was it my intention to do so. I have not issued such a ruling for one who is compelled to do so or anyone else.[12]

 

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu also warned and cautioned Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that if he ever issued any ruling similar to this he would be punished. Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu withdrew his opinion and adopted the view that Mut’ah is perpetually forbidden.

 

Qadi ‘Abdul Jabbar al Mu’tazili also agrees with this view:

 

و انكر ذلك على (رضى الله عنه) لما بلغه اباحة ابن عباس (رضى الله عنه) انكر ظاهر او قد حكى عنه رضى الله عنه الرجوع عن ذلك فصار حظره اجماعا من كل صحابة

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu learnt about the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he severely refuted it. It has been reported that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu withdrew his opinion and all Sahabah now unanimously agreed on its prohibition.[13]

 

Imam Tirmidhi rahimahu Llah also writes:

 

و انما روى عن ابن عباس شئ من الرخصة فى المتعة ثم رحع عن قوله حيث اخبره عن النبى (صلى الله عليه و سلم) و امر اكثر اهل العلم على تحريم المتعة

It has been reported that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarded Mut’ah as permissible but he later retracted this opinion when he learnt of the prohibition of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that the majority of the Sahabah regarded it as haram.[14]

 

Imam al Bayhaqi rahimahu Llah has reported from Imam Zuhri rahimahu Llah that:

 

ما مات ابن عباس حتى رجع عن فتواه بحل المتعة و كذا ذكره ابو عوانه فى صحيحه

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu retracted his opinion that Mut’ah is permissible before he passed away. Abu Awanah also reported this narration in his Sahih.[15]

 

Imam Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn ‘Ali al Razi al Jassas rahimahu Llah also writes:

 

و لا نعلم احدا من الصحابة روى عنه تجريد القول فى اباحة المتعة غير ابن عباس و قد رجع عنه حين استقر عنده تحريمها بتواتر الاخبارمن جهة الصحابة

We do not know of any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum ever ruling on the permissibility of Mut’ah, except for Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu but he too retracted this opinion when he learnt of the abundant proofs of its prohibition form the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[16]

 

Imam al Nawawi rahimahu Llah also writes:

 

و وقع الاجماع بعد ذلك على تحريمها من حميع العلماء الا الروافض و كان ابن عباس يقول باباحتها و روى عنه انه رجع عنه

There is complete consensus of the ‘ulamaʼ on the prohibition of Mut’ah, except for the Shia. Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu held the opinion that it was permissible but it has been reported that he retracted from this view.[17]

 

Hafiz Ibn al Humam rahimahu Llah writes:

 

و ابن عباس (رضى الله عنه) صح رجوعه بعد ما اشتهرت عنه من اباحتها

The narration of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu retracting his opinion of the permissibility of Mut’ah is authentically established, after it had become from him that he permits it.[18]

 

In another place he writes:

ابن عباس (رضى الله عنه) صح رجوعه الى قولهم

The retraction of Ibn ‘Abbas from his opinion to that of the Sahabah is correct.[19]

 

The author of Bahr al Ra’iq, Allamah Zayn al ‘Abidin ibn Nujaym writes:

 

و اما ما نقل عن ابن عباس من اباحتها فقد صح رجوعه

Whatever has been reported from Ibn ‘Abbas on the permissibility of Mut’ah, his retraction from it is authentically reported.[20]

 

Ibn ‘Abbas’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu seeking forgiveness from his previous opinion has also been reported in Tafsir al Kabir:

 

اللهم انى اتوب اليك من قولى فى المتعة

O Allah! I seek your forgiveness for my (previous) opinion regarding Mut’ah.[21]

 

My intention is not to report all narrations of the righteous scholars nor is it necessary as it is apparent from these ahadith and narrations that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu at first regarded Mut’ah as permissible but when he discussed the matter with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and learnt about its prohibition from the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum he changed his view and made it known to the people.

One should keep in mind that the Mut’ah which Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarded as permissible is not the Mut’ah found in the Shia books. Instead this was a form of Nikah Muwaqqat which he regarded as permissible and later retracted from, ruling it to be haram as well.

Who will now claim that Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarded Mut’ah as permissible and include his name among those who condone it, thus laying a false allegation against him?

 
 

 

NEXT⇒ The Prohibition of Mut’ah in Light of the Rulings of the ‘Ulamaʼ of Ahlul Bayt


[1]Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 451

[2]Sahih Bukhari,’ v. 2 p. 606

[3]Al Istibsar, v. 3 p. 142

[4] Wasa’il al Shia, v. 7 p. 441

[5]Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 451

[6]Tirmidhi, v. 1 p. 133

[7] Sahih Bukhari, v. 2 p. 767, Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 452

[8]Tafsir Nuhas, p. 106

[9]Sahih Bukhari, v. 2 p. 1029, Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 452

[10]Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 452

[11]Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 452, Tafsir Mazhari, v. 3 p. 33, Fath al Bari, v. 19

[12]Tafsir Mazhari, v. 3 p. 34, Ruh al Ma’ani, v. 5 p. 6

[13]Tafsir Tanzih al Qur’an, p. 84

[14]Tirmidhi, v. 1 p. 133

[15]Tafsir Mazhari, v. 3 p. 33

[16]Ahkam al Qur’an, v. 2 p. 152

[17]Sharh Sahih Muslim, v. 1 p. 450

[18]Fath al Qadir

[19]  ibid

[20]Bahr al Ra’iq, v. 2 p. 108

[21] Tafsir al Kabir, v. 3 p. 200

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