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Temporary Marriage: Does Quran Allow It?

>>Question: Is Temporary (Muta) Marriage Allowed in Islam? Sura 4 Ayat 24 <<

I seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Salamun Alaykum

Temporary marriage is not permitted in Islam. The verse quoted is given below and there is no reference to a temporary marriage here. This verse refers to the requirement of mutual attraction and dowry as pre-requisites for marriage.

(sub-title) Mutual Attraction And Dowry Required

[4:24] Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you.* These are GOD's commandments to you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, so long as you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain your morality, by not committing adultery. Thus, whoever you like among them, you shall pay them the dowry decreed for them. You commit no error by mutually agreeing to any adjustments to the dowry. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

Footnote: *4:24 If believing women flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with the believers, they do not have to obtain a divorce before remarriage. See 60:10.


To make it even more clear, consider the verses before and after 4:24. Sura 4 is titled "Women", and the theme of Sura 4 is protection of women, which is emphasized when we read these verses.

[4:19] O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit what the women leave behind, against their will. You shall not force them to give up anything you had given them, unless they commit a proven adultery. You shall treat them nicely. If you dislike them, you may dislike something wherein GOD has placed a lot of good.

Protection for Women

[4:20] If you wish to marry another wife, in place of your present wife, and you had given any of them a great deal, you shall not take back anything you had given her. Would you take it fraudulently, maliciously, and sinfully?
[4:21] How could you take it back, after you have been intimate with each other, and they had taken from you a solemn pledge?

Respect for the Father

[4:22] Do not marry the women who were previously married to your fathers--existing marriages are exempted and shall not be broken--for it is a gross offense, and an abominable act.

Incest Forbidden

[4:23] Prohibited for you (in marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, the sisters of your fathers, the sisters of your mothers, the daughters of your brother, the daughters of your sister, your nursing mothers, the girls who nursed from the same woman as you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage--if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter. Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons. Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time--but do not break up existing marriages. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

Following is the next verse 4:25, which once again re-emphasizes the importance of not taking advantage of a slave (i.e., dowry must be paid), and that there is no difference with a slave in terms of belief and faith. Finally, it is clear from 4:27, that there are those who wish to follow their lusts, but God clearly condemns this (i.e., once again emphasizing that are no grounds for temporary marriage, which is in plain terms simply "prostitution").

[4:25] Those among you who cannot afford to marry free believing women, may marry believing slave women. GOD knows best about your belief, and you are equal to one another, as far as belief is concerned. You shall obtain permission from their guardians before you marry them, and pay them their due dowry equitably. They shall maintain moral behavior, by not committing adultery, or having secret lovers. Once they are freed through marriage, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half of that for the free women.* Marrying a slave shall be a last resort for those unable to wait. To be patient is better for you. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

*4:25 This law proves that the punishment for adultery could not possibly be stoning to death as stated in the laws of corrupted Muslims (see 24:2).

[4:26] GOD wills to explain things for you, and to guide you through past precedents, and to redeem you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

God's Mercy

[4:27] GOD wishes to redeem you, while those who pursue their lusts wish that you deviate a great deviation.


Looking at the passage as a whole, it is clear that 4:24 follows from 4:22-23, which details prohibited categories in marriage (60:10 further explains the reference to women who flee disbelieving husbands in case of war). The dowry is emphasized in 4:24 and 4:25, to prevent people from taking advantage of those in financially weaker situations (see also: 4:127). There is never a license for temporary marriage, and on the contrary, as we see in 7:189 and 30:21, marriage is considered a life-long bond between a man and a woman, with love and care.

[30:21] Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.

[7:189] He created you from one person (Adam). Subsequently, He gives every man a mate to find tranquility with her. She then carries a light load that she can hardly notice. As the load gets heavier, they implore GOD their Lord: "If You give us a good baby, we will be appreciative."


To summarize, God does not advocate temporary marriage in 4:24. Temporary marriage that is permitted in some so-called "Muslim" societies is no more than a thinly-veiled term for prostitution which is strongly condemned by God in the Quran. Marriage is a sacred relationship designed by God, and involves love and care towards one's spouse (30:21). Mut'a is not marriage as God defines it, and is a gross lie attributed to God.

Marriage as per Quran is given at the following page:

There are no other marriages in Quran. As we see here marriage involves solemn pledge. It is a serious matter not to be taken lightly. Marriage relationship that is temporary does not have God's approval.

God does not advocate divorce, but God has in His infinite grace and mercy specified laws for divorce. For ending a marriage one has to go through these procedures, there are no two ways about this. Following the process of arbitration and cooling off as specified in Quran--the divorce process itself is likely to take over six months. Where is the logic then of a "temporary marriage" spanning a few days?

For more on divorce per Quran, please see our page on divorce which includes the Quranic verses detailing the process.

May God protect us from attributing lies to God (like advocating temporary marriage).


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