Mut' ah Marriage in Islam: Modernized Dating or Legalized Prostitution?

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Mut’ah or a form of temporary marriage is a marriage contract in the Islam culture. It was originally accepted by all people of the religion and even was practiced by the Prophet himself. However, after the Prophet died, it was banned by the caliph, ‘Umar. Since then, only Shi’ite Muslims have continued to accept mut’ah as a legitimate form of marriage. Mut’ah has been used for a variety of reasons including travel, to allow a man and woman without an intimate relationship to share a house or even to increase convenience for a woman. There are many, many more reasons that a mut’ah marriage might be used for but in today’s society there are two reasons that a majority of people take advantage of. Mut’ah can help two people who would like to date and spend time together without breaking the laws set by the Shari’a. It can also be used as a legalized form of prostitution because the contract that is written when a mut’ah marriage is established creates a loophole in the laws pertaining to prostitution. So, it raises the question: What is the purpose of mut’ah in today’s society? Is it a way to modernize dating for Muslims or is it a way to cover up illegal acts in the Islamic community?
The concept of mut’ah was around in the time of the Prophet and has been said that he himself had a few mut’ah marriages. There were two preeminent reasons for mut’ah marriages to exist. The first was in Islam, it is forbidden for a man and woman (who are not married or family) to be alone together. When mut’ah was used in this context, it was usually during long trips. For example, if a doctor were to accompany a woman and her child on a long trip, the doctor would draw up a mut’ah contract with the child. He would then be married to the child and t...

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