Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Temporary marriage [Supplement 2017]
(1,510 words)

A temporary marriage is a contract between a man and an unmarried woman permitting sexual relations for a fixed amount of time upon compensation of the woman. Although the Arabic term for this concept (mutʿa) does not occur in the Qurʾān, the tenth verbal form of the root m-t-ʿ is employed in Q 4:24, probably with reference to this practice as a pre-Islamic Arabian tradition (some exegetes; cf. e.g. the traditions preserved in Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, ad loc., identify al-istimtāʿ with nikāḥ or tazwīj; cf. also Heffening, Mutʿa). This practice developed into a complex Shīʿī religious …

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Shahla Haeri, “Temporary marriage [Supplement 2017]”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 15 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_050506>
First published online: 2017

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