I accepted the logic and rationality of the faith – din – and have been Muslim for five and a half years. Allah Almighty makes clear how Merciful, Compassion and Just He is. I am not a scholar but I clearly do understand this.
Muslims frequently speak of: the importance of women; their greatness and how much they are treasured; women’s modesty; the way in which Allah Almighty directs us to act; the manner in which we should be treated and how no other religion has given women as many rights. Muslims love to publicise that Allah granted Muslim women freedoms that western women are only now beginning to fight for.
I am tired of seeing the vast discrepancies between their words and their actions. I understand that it is impossible for anyone to control or direct the actions of over one billion people, but I write because something has to be done about the misuse of fixed-term marriage.
I have spoken to many Shi’ah muslimahs and none deny its validity and applicability. But it is beginning to have a deleterious effect on Shi’ah families and this is exacerbated by the response/lack of response of scholars – alims. They seem to unconditionally condone the actions of men. They say, ‘Men are permitted to do this’ or, they turn their faces away and pretend not to see it.
Many brothers in permanent marriages also enjoy fixed-term marriage. Everyone knows what is going on, what is happening, except for their wives. When they find out, the effect is often quite devastating.
Everyone reacts to situations differently. A few women turn away from Islam, not that this is
the correct thing to do, but as a reaction borne out of frustration, hurt and anger. Others
remove their headcover and modest clothing – hijab – and even though they continue to refer to themselves as Muslim, have faith – iman – so weakened that they no longer practise Islam. Yet others accept their situation or pretend it has not happened. A minority seem able to accept it wholeheartedly. However, what concerns me is the effect this has on women, children and Shi’ah families in general. I can attest to the effect it had on my own marriage, as I am presently in the process of getting a divorce. My decision was not based solely on the fixed-term – mut’a – marriage of my ex-husband, there were other factors involved. But, mut’a was the final straw which convinced me I should apply for a divorce.
It disgusts me that, with all the information available on sexually transmitted diseases and Aids, this form of marriage is still so highly sought after. Surely the Muslim community needs to exert more restraint, and to accept that Aids is already in our communities. If measures are not taken now, Muslim society will be affected to the same extent as non-Muslim society.
First of all, we share with you the fact that some men misunderstand, misuse and
misconduct Islamic rulings.
On the other hand, please note the following:
1. This problem affects not only mut’a marriages but also second or third wives as well.
2. The answer of a few religious teachers, that ‘they are men and are permitted to do whatever
they want’ is simply incorrect.
3. People are exposed to diseases such as Aids when they sleep around, are promiscuous,
have multiple uncontrolled relationships or frequent prostitutes. All this is forbidden, with
or without mut’ah. Sometimes wives or brides may contract this disease from their husbands.
4. At the time of your marriage you could have included the condition that your husband may
not marry behind your back. Why did you not do so?
You may respond, ‘because I did not know’, but if this is your answer, why blame Islamic ruling for your lack of awareness? Ignorance of the law is no excuse under any legislative system.
If your husband is wise enough to understand and accept his responsibility, he should immediately desist from damaging your marriage. The wisdom for all of us is to control our desires and to concentrate on the issues important for this life and the next. May Allah help you overcome this problem.