“The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did Mutah, and he not only allowed it, but actively encouraged it! We must obey the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) in all matters, and we cannot disagree with him based on our own opinions. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did it, then surely we should do it. Whoever says that Mutah is disgusting is saying that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) is disgusting.”
And some Shia will even go a step further and falsely claim:
“Mutah is even allowed in Sunni Hadith. The only reason Sunnis do not do Mutah is because the second Caliph, Umar, banned Mutah against the orders of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم).” Then, the Shia will procure Sunni Hadith which say that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) allowed Mutah.”
Mutah Forbidden in Stages
The reality is that Mutah was permissible in the early days of Islam, but was eventually banned categorically by the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم).
This is very similar to wine, which was at first permissible in Islam, and it was only later in time that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) forbade it. The prohibitions against wine were expounded slowly over a period of time. In the beginning, drinking wine was permissible and many of the Sahabah did it.
Then, the Quran declared that wine was harmful and bad. After some more time, the Quran forbade approaching prayer whilst drunk. After the people had become accustomed to this, it was only then that they were ready so that Allah and His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) completely forbade wine.
Why did the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) first allow wine and then later forbid it? This was only because Islam was revealed in stages, and the faith was going through a transitional period, with the Shariah being expounded during the life-span of the Prophet. If the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) had not banned wine in stages, and instead had he (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) simply banned wine immediately, it would have been very hard for the early Muslims who were accustomed to wine-drinking, which was a hobby of the pagan Arabs. Many of them were early converts and their faith was weak.
They had an addiction to wine, and many of them would become apostates if wine was suddenly banned outright. So, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) banned wine in gradual stages so that it was easier on the people.
Likewise, Mutah was a hobby of the pagan Arabs. Hence, it was not forbidden in the beginning. This is because Islam was in a transitional stage.
The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) initially allowed Mutah on a few occassions because there were many new converts to Islam who had weak faith. They were often in times of war away from their wives, in which their desires got the best of them since they were not accustomed to the chastity of Islam. In order to prevent the apostacy of these new converts over the issue of Mutah, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) did not forbid Mutah immediately. (And these are the Hadith which the Shia quote to “prove” that Sunnis believe in the permissibility of Mutah.)
Once the Muslims became stronger in faith, the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) categorically banned the practise of Mutah.
Hadith Forbidding Mutah
The Hadith forbidding Mutah are considered Mutawattir, meaning that they have been transmitted so many times and by so many people that there is no doubt as to their authenticity. We are but a few of the many Hadith in which the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) banned Mutah:
The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) said:
“O people, I had permitted you Mutah before, [but now] whoever of you has any part in it currently must part with her, and do not take back anything which you may have given them, as Allah Exalted and Majestic has forbidden it until the day of resurrection.” [Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Nasa`i, and Darimi]
Ali (رضّى الله عنه) said:
“The Messenger of Allah had forbidden Mutah on the day of Khaybar and had forbidden the eating of the meat of domestic donkeys.” [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizy, Ibn Majah, Nasa`i, Tahawy, Shafi’i, Bayhaqy, and Hazimy]
Ali (رضّى الله عنه) said to a man who was engaging in Mutah:
“You are a straying person, the Messenger of Allah has forbidden temporary marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys on the day of Khaybar.” [Muslim and Bayhaqy]
A man called Rabee’ Bin Sabra said to Umar bin Abdul Aziz:
“I testify that according to my father that it happened that the Messenger of Allah had forbidden it [Mutah] on the farewell pilgrimage.” [Abu Dawood and Imam Ahmad]
According to Abu Huraira:
The Messenger of Allah had forbidden or abolished temporary marriage, its marriage and its divorce, its waiting period, and its inheritance. [DarQutny, Ishaq Bin Rahwiya, and Ibn Habban]
When Ali (رضّى الله عنه) was given the Caliphate, he thanked Allah Most High and praised Him and said:
“O people, the Messenger of Allah had permitted Mutah three times then forbade it. I swear by Allah, ready to fulfil my oath, that if I find any person who engages in temporary marriage without having ratified this with a proper marriage, I will have him lashed 100 stripes unless he can bring two witnesses to prove that the Messenger had permitted it after forbidding it.” [Ibn Majah]
Imam Muslim has narrated that according to Mohammad Bin Abdullah Bin Numayr who said:
“My father had narrated to us according to Ubaidullah according to Ibn shahab according to Alhassan and Abdullah the sons of Mohammad bin Ali according to their father according to Ali that he heard Ibn Abbas being lenient towards temporary marriage, so he said, ‘wait Ibn Abbas, the Messenger of Allah had forbidden it on the day of Khaybar when he also prohibited the meat of domestic donkeys.’” [Sahih Muslim]
Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa:
“In the year of Autas, Allah’s Messenger permitted a temporary marriage for three nights, but he prohibited it afterwards.” [Sahih Muslim]
Narrated Ali (رضّى الله عنه):
“Allah’s Messenger forbade the temporary marriage in the year of Khaybar.” [Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari]
Narrated Ali (رضّى الله عنه):
“At the battle of Khaybar, the Prophet forbade the temporary marriage (i.e Mutah) of women, and the eating of the flesh of domestic asses.” [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Ahmad, An-Nasa’i, At-Termidhi and Ibn Majah have all collected it]
It was narrated from Ali (رضّى الله عنه) that:
The Messenger of Allah forbade Mutah marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys at the time of Khaybar. According to another report, he forbade Mutah marriage at the time of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of tame donkeys. [Narrated by Bukhari, 3979; Muslim, 1407.]
It was narrated from al-Rabee’ ibn Sabrah al-Juhanithat his father told him that he was with the Messenger of Allah who said:
“O people, I used to allow you to engage in Mutah marriages, but now Allah has forbidden that until the Day of Resurrection, so whoever has any wives in a Mutah marriage, he should let her go and do not take anything of the (money) you have given them.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1406.]
Sabrah bin Ma’ bad al-Jihani reported:
“I went forth with the Prophet for the conquest of Mecca, and he allowed us Mutah with women. But we had not even left the city [yet] when it was prohibited by the Messenger of Allah.”