I’ve recently come across the topic of misyar marriage again after having discussed, however briefly, a while ago.

Misyar marriage commonly translated as “travellers marriage” is whereby the woman fore-goes some of her rights as part of the marriage contract. Its, supposedly, a common occurence in Saudi Arabia, whereby wealthy women waive their rights to maintenance.

Theres been a great deal of discussion and debate on misyar marriages, some seeing it as a marriage of convenience, some see it an Islamicized form of no strings attached type of an arrangement or gratification of carnal desires. Much of the coverage on misyar marriages reduces the marriage solely to an arrangement used for (legitimate) sexual intercourse.

However, it is argued there is no difference between misyar marriage and mutah apart from the latter is practised by Shia’s and the former, majority, by Sunni’s. But there are some differences such as mut’ah marriages are temporary and contracted for a fixed period of time, whereas misyar marriages arent temporary and there is no time period. It simply and only involves waiving of rights.

Misyar marriage is meant to be an avenue pursuable for women who may have variety of hinderances or issues that prevent them from marrying…the ones most commonly put forward are: those who are unable to get married (such as?), are financially stable (don’t wealthy women marry?), who don’t wish to have a “full time husband” (never realised it was a part time position! Does the same apply for fatherhood?)

Do you think misyar marriages have a real leg to stand on? Do they have any place, substance or worth compared to “normal” marriages? Does it have a following or value depending on the cultural, customs and traditions of various Muslim ethnic groups?

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