The Experience Of A Female Revert

"I was a 19-year-old Christian female college student when I was invited to enter in a temporary marriage contract. The previous semester, a fellow had asked me for help on a calculus project in one of the computer labs, and I helped him as best I could. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but a few months later the same man passed me in the hallway and engaged me in conversation. Gradually we became acquaintances. He asked me to eat out with him a few times and I cautiously accepted.

"At the time, I was a devout Christian who wasn't too comfortable with the dating scene. I had been reading some Christian literature which recommended that you should save romantic contact, even kissing, until marriage. I was leaning to the point of view that that is what I wanted to do. And then along he came and my resolve was put to the test because it was obvious that we both liked each other. After meeting perhaps half-a-dozen times, he told me he had something important he needed to talk to me about. In a mall, we sat down and he began to explain to me that in his religion dating was not permitted and so he didn't want to continue with what we had been doing. Instead, he told me about Mutah, the temporary marriage.

At first, I was taken aback by the word "marriage" from a man I'd only known so briefly. But as he explained what Mutah marriage was, I quickly realized that I preferred it to dating.

"In contracting a temporary marriage with me, this man was making a commitment to me for a specified period of time, and it was something permissible in his religion. I could not see any reason not to accept because I didn't want him to do something his religion didn't approve of and secondly because I could not find in it a single disadvantage for myself. It was definitely a step up from regular old dating and appealed to my Christian moral sense of commitment before God in the undertaking of any male/female relationship.

"After our first contract expired, we renewed it a few more times before we finally got permanently married through Nikah marriage. During that time, I learned more about Islam and converted to the religion, and I learned more about Mutah marriage. When I converted, I was faced with the task of studying temporary marriage more carefully because some Muslims were telling me it was not permissible.

"Also, I had some difficulties with Mutah marriage because of it being so generally unacceptable in society. He didn't tell most of his friends about the marriage. If I happened to be at his apartment when his friends showed up unexpectedly, I had to go hide in a bathroom or closet until they left. I remember having to duck down in his car when we drove past someone. I did not like the feeling of being kept in secret.

"I met a few other convert ladies who had done or were doing Mutah marriage. They also experienced problems.

"One didn't realize that her husband was concurrently married to someone else, and was promised an exorbitant mahr that she never received. She also was kept in secret.

"All of these ladies, myself included, were looking for Mutah marriage to lead toward Permanent Nikah marriage. But sometimes the brothers weren't thinking the same thing. Obviously, some of these brothers did things that Islam doesn't support, but I think they were in part led to that by the way society looks down upon people who do Mutah marriage. Further, if any fellow has less than noble intentions in doing temporary marriage, he usually gets away with it because society doesn't support those who perform Mutah marriage lawfully and with good intention but instead tries to keep all of it under the rug.

"This whole situation is ridiculous. Regardless of your personal opinion, there is a wealth of evidence to support the permissibility of temporary marriage in Islam. Men and women who choose temporary marriage should be held up and supported for trying to make a lawful, Islamic way for themselves rather than resorting to the kinds of mixing and fornication which is unanimously considered sinful by all Muslims. Careful use of temporary marriage can help to eradicate some of the social problems in the Ummah. If the situation were ever upon me, I would consider temporary marriage again and I am an avid advocate for temporary marriage. I believe that any problems that currently exist with the system are not a result of its practice or permissibility but rather result from society's failure to properly support the good use of the institution."

Sr. DEB (M), revert, high school teacher in Colorado.