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Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 97
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject: Muta/Misyar Reply with quote

I am bringing this post here, posted by me at another forum for further comments and discussion to learn from more knowledgable ones

"I was talking to a very old and dear friend yesterday. I during this discussion may have ended up irritating him. This I regret extremely as in him I CONSIDER that I HAVE one of the best friend. I promised that I will not post anything about religion on this board further. My family who are visiting us from Pakistan told me that that in Saudi Arabia, Muta has been made permissable. I did not want to believe them blindly, so started doing a search, here is what I am finding. Anybody with connection there could please help to confirm or refute.

July 20, 2006
Temporary marriages gaining ground in Saudi Arabia
While introducing a concept-- temporary, misyar marriage--that would be unfamiliar to most Western readers, this article often leans annoyingly toward presenting the practice as somehow novel or
cute-- indeed, as "marriage-lite."

From Reuters: "Misyar offers marriage-lite in strict Saudi society"

RIYADH (Reuters) - Khaled never thought a form of temporary marriage, described by some in Saudi Arabia as legal prostitution, would open the door to his happily-ever-after. The 25-year-old Saudi security guard opted to marry Zeinab, also a Saudi, through a "misyar" contract -- a kind of marriage-lite under which couples often live separately but get together regularly, sometimes just for sex.[...] Misyar also offers an alternative to cash-strapped men who want to avoid lavish weddings but would like a relationship, without incurring the wrath of the morality police.
Misyar is allowed under Sunni Islam and it is legal in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. But it is traditionally frowned upon and the fact that it leaves the wife financially vulnerable has angered many women's activists and intellectuals.
"Misyar reduces marriage to sexual intercourse," said Hatoun al-Fassi, a female Saudi historian. "For clerics to allow it is shameful for our religion."
In regular marriages in Saudi Arabia, men must pay for expensive ceremonies, huge dowries and a home. If the couple divorce, he must pay alimony and child support.
So misyar appeals to men of reduced means, as well as men looking for a flexible arrangement -- the husband can walk away from amisyar and can marry other women without informing his first wife.
Wealthy Muslims sometimes contract misyar when on holiday to allow them to have sexual relations without breaching the tenets of their faith.
A misyar is often one of the only options for older spinsters, divorcees and widows who often struggle to find husbands in a society where they are stigmatised.
This vulnerability has sometimes encouraged abuses: women sometimes act as matchmakers for less than scrupulous men on the prowl for lonely and wealthy spinsters.
Suhaila Zein al-Abideen, of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Medina, said almost 80 percent of misyar marriages end in divorce.
"A woman loses all her rights. Even how often she sees her husband is decided by his moods," she said

I am bringing this to discuss as I think it will have very long term implications. Also my DEAR FRIEND ASKED ME yesterday, how our religion could have been changed over years. Here is a classic example my friend. The ones in power both political and religious can do it very easly, and a generation or two later it becomes norm and well accepted part of ones way of life. This is because most of
us do not want to question our ancestor's way of life. I do not want to irritate any one again. But I think this is going to affect lives of us all and our future generations as well, if we care about them at all. Comments welcome.

Badar Kanwar
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