Question: Explain the concept of 'Muta Nikah' (Temporary Marriage) under Muslim Law. State its legal consequences.

Note: this post is a part of our important question answer series on Family Law. You can read other questions by clicking here.



'Muta Nikah,' translating to "temporary marriage," is a legally recognized marriage contract specific to the Twelver Shia school of Islam. In this arrangement, both parties enter into a marriage agreement for a predetermined duration, which can range from a day to a year or so. The marriage automatically dissolves upon the expiration of the agreed-upon timeframe.

This type of marriage is seen as prostitution by the Sunni Muslims and thus, is not approved by Sunni sect of Islam.


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Legal Consequences:

• Spouses have no inheritance rights.

• Children born from the marriage are considered legitimate and enjoy full inheritance rights.

• A dower payment ('Mahr') is mandatory for the woman.

• The marriage dissolves automatically after the specified period, without requiring formal divorce proceedings. However, absence of a predetermined duration renders it a permanent marriage, not a Muta Nikah.

You may like: Best books for studying Family Law.



Muta Nikah remains a controversial topic due to differing interpretations and potential misuse. Some critics raise concerns about exploitation and its resemblance to prostitution, while proponents emphasize its purpose in specific situations and adherence to religious guidelines.

Also read: Important Solved Questions on Constitutional Law, (Updated)


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