UPDATE: Someone left a wonderful, well informed, helpful comment that I’ve posted for anyone curious. They have provided a great deal of information regarding Mut’a as well as offered some corrections to my inaccuracies.
Several times a week I get emails from readers who are involved in relationships with Muslim men and are often seeking advice on religion, culture, tradition, and how the three tie into one another — if at all. Many of them are also seeking advice on marriage and whether or not he’s ‘serious’ when he asks her to consider marrying him. Obviously I don’t have all the answers and never claimed to be a professional in the field of intercultural marriages, so I simply share information based on my experience and hope that helps.
A topic I recently realized I have never covered is Mut’a Marriage. And based on a few emails I’ve gotten as of late, I figured now would be the best time to touch on this.
My experience with Mut’a is pretty much nonexistent. It’s something (from what I understand) that is practiced among the Shia’a Muslims and not so much anymore within the Sunni community. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m basing this information off of friends in Kuwait and the UAE who are both Sunni and Shia’a. Therefore, I would love to hear from any readers who have been involved in a Mut’a Marriage in hopes of helping out some of the women who might be reading this and could use that guidance.
It’s my understanding Mut’a is a ‘temporary marriage’ where a woman agrees to be a man’s wife for a specified period of time and can then participate in all things husbands and wives participate in; ie. sex. There is no dowry involved, no additional benefits, no financial gain (unless he agrees to pay her a certain amount), and no support upon divorce. Some of these marriages last as short as a few days and some can be a lifetime I suppose. As far as their legality, I know they’re not recognized in the US as our marriages (to be legal) must be documented in a court. A Mut’a Marriage is simply an agreement between a man and woman. I don’t believe there’s any paperwork involved. However, I do believe it’s a fairly common practice for boyfriends and girlfriends as a way to eliminate any Islamic guilt. You know… have sex, pretend you’re married, and Allah doesn’t know any better. No offense intended. Just keeping it real.
That being said, if you’re one of the women who have written me about your boyfriend asking to marry you ‘temporarily’ to ‘test’ out how a real marriage would be, maybe that’s not exactly what he means. It’s possible he has a strong desire to have sex with you but his religious guilt is telling him to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘marry’ you. Of course the real right thing would be to respect you as a woman and keep it in his pants. But, chances are, you’re unaware of his culture and what is and is not permitted in his religion. He can pretty much tell you anything and you’ll pretty much believe it. And of course, once he starts throwing the idea of marriage around, it makes it all that much more appealing. And, well, ‘real’ in your mind.
Do your homework, ladies. And keep your panties on while you’re studying 😉
It’s fairly common for me to write about living overseas and marrying an Arab man since that’s my experience. But what I haven’t discussed is the far more common scenario of the couple meeting while in her home country. He’s generally overseas studying at some fabulous Western university and the lifestyle is new and exciting. Chances are this is his first time away from home.
I came across this really interesting post on Maritime Muslimah‘s blog this morning and thought I would share. She points out a few ways for a woman to know he’s just never going to marry her. I’ve only added her list of 5 things a woman should look out for, but her entire post is definitely worth reading.
1. The Parents
First things first – if he is hiding you from mommy and daddy then get out while you can. He will make excuses and tell you again and again that it’s not the right time. He will keep delaying it until he leaves. You will never meet them on skype or hear him mention you to them.
2. Justifies all the Haram
If you convert to Islam and he keeps convincing you to party, drink and have sex then he’s a dud. Often times he’ll be aggressive about it and call you ‘extreme’ . When you come to Islam he should support you and you both should grow and become better together.
3. My ‘friend’
If he calls you just a friend in front of his friends and other people and later makes excuses for it then call him out on it and if he doesn’t change – you’ll end in heart break.
4. False Nikah
Beware of him convincing to marry him ‘Islamically’ with the local Mosque without informing his parents or having any of his friends as witnesses. He is trying to make your relationship ‘halal’ while still committing haram (If you’re still partying and having sex).
5. Convinces you Not to become Muslim
He’s scared that if you become Muslim that you will ruin his experience and fun in the West. He came to escape the laws of his country not have another mother telling him what to do.
The most recent act of domestic terrorism at the Boston Marathon had a lot of people asking who could do something so horrible… and whether or not they were Arabs.
As the story unfolds this morning and one suspect has been killed by police (then run over by his own brother while he was escaping) we’ve learned they’re not Arabs. These two are from Russia and it seems they’ve lived in America for well over 10 years with their parents.
While looking for suspects a Saudi Arabian citizen who was injured at the Marathon was held for questioning and even labeled a ‘suspect’ by some news outlets. The FBI had planned a press conference to discuss this Saudi who was in America on a student visa, but cancelled it at the very last minute.
Now that we know the real criminals are not the injured Saudi student but are from Russia, the focus seems to have turned to their religion by some. Fox News immediately starting planting the seed.
Why the need for racial and religious profiling? Sure there have been acts of terrorism carried out by Arabs and/or Muslims, but there have been just as many carried out by your Caucasian neighbor who loaned you his lawn mower. Columbine, Oklahoma, Aurora Movie Theater, and more recently Sandy Hook.
So why is it some ethnic backgrounds and religions are still labeled? How much of a role does media play in this xenophobia? And as long as we fear people based on the color of their skin or the religion they practice, can we ever really grow as a society? Aren’t we just building walls instead of bridges?