Marriage in Islam is intended to achieve multiple purposes that include establishing a sound family, fulfilling spiritual tranquility and peace, and cooperation. Marriage is also intended for continuation and perpetuation. Mesfaar marriage does not fulfill the above, and for these and other purposes it is considered unlawful.

Dr. Muhammad `Abd Al-Latif Al-Banna, the managing editor of (Arabic) Shari `ah department at, states: Having considered what has been written on this kind of marriage, we have found it to be a mere call made by some female students to facilitate the procedures of their travel which include a condition that a traveling woman be accompanied by a husband or a   mahram ( close male relative forbidden in marriage ).

After examining the wording of this marriage, it has been manifest that: It is fixed with a specific term — it falls under the marriage with the intention of divorce — it is a marriage of convenience through which a woman aims at facilitating the procedures of her traveling abroad.

Having discussed the wording juristically, we have concluded that this is an invalid marriage for the following reasons:

First: It Is Fixed With a Specific Period

The basic principle in marriage is perpetuation and continuation and the purpose behind it is to continue the lineage, raise children, and prepare a righteous society. This is not the case, however, with the marriage that is fixed with a specific period. Marriage generates compassion and mercy.

Fixing a period is what was called in the Islamic jurisprudence mut`ah marriage. It was permitted for a period of time and afterwards the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prohibited it. It has ever since been prohibited like all other Shari`ah matters that were prohibited through a gradual process. We, therefore, should abide by the final ruling of prohibition. Gradually, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) permitted mut`ah marriage in the case of necessity, then he prohibited this kind of marriage later. Muslim narrated in his Sahih (authentic collection of hadiths ) on the authority of Sabra Al-Juhany that he participated with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the Conquest of Makkah and he (the Prophet) allowed them to marry women on a temporal basis (mut`ah marriage). He further said, “He (peace and blessings be upon him) did not go out of Makkah until he had prohibited it. It is further reported that he said in this narration, “Allah did indeed prohibit this until the Day of Resurrection.

So, the ultimate ruling had been that of prohibition as is the case in the prohibition of wine. None can now bring forth a proof allowing drinking wine by night, as we are required to conform to the final rulings of Shari`ah.

Accordingly, Mesfaar marriage, if it is, as we read, fixed with a specific period ending as soon as the procedures are complete or on the completion of the wife’s  academic mission, is religiously invalid.

Second: It Is an Ostensible Marriage

This refers to the unreality of this marriage. It is not intended for real marriage, yet for the completion of the procedures. It involves cheating and deceiving the administration and possibly the parents. From outside, this marriage appears to have complete pillars and meets conditions, yet in real terms it is not a marriage.

third: It Is a Marriage With the Intention of Divorce

this marriage, based on a certain benefit, will end once such a benefit is achieved; traveling and obtaining a high degree. It is as if divorce will take place by a fixed date, a thing making it mut`ah marriage and revealing the evil intent and the unlawfulness of cheating and deceiving.

A Human, Social Outlook

Marriage contracted in this way does not build a home, while people are in sore need of building homes wherein they bask in peace, repose, and well-being, and they have children filling their lives with happiness and being brought up upon the obedience of Almighty Allah, thereby life continues. But can happiness and procreation be attained through this marriage? If, for argument’s sake, happiness were attained during the temporary period of marriage, what would be the case if children were born out of this marriage? Who would undertake their upbringing after separation and securing what was aspired to?

Instead of being embraced in an educational, family hug, they will rather constitute a burden on the mother and maybe a hindrance to her getting married again, in a valid and real manner this time.

The Objectives of Shari’ah Are Not Achieved

He who looks into this marriage will find that it contravenes the objectives of Shari`ah from more than one aspect:

Among the Shari`ah objectives of marriage is the guarding of chastity, which is not achieved here. The aim here is not marrying for the purpose of guarding chastity, but rather for the purpose of traveling.

Also among the aims of marriage is procreation. On account of the short duration of this marriage, they will probably agree from inception to rule out the issue of procreation since their marriage is doomed to separation.

Still, from among the aims of marriage is its continuation. There is no continuation here, however. Instead, it is timed and slated to end once the procedures or the task set to be accomplished is done.

From the foregoing, we confidently give a ruling that such marriage is religiously unlawful.