In ancient time as it is today, Sharia places strict rules on men and women when it comes to their interactions prior to marriage. However, the ancient and noble faith shows itself to be full of surprises and as relevant today as it has always been, even in societies where cultures mix.
In modern society and in a culturally diverse place like Manchester, the interplay between cultures can sometimes reveal themselves in unusual ways and some of the writings in ancient texts and customs can reveal themselves as being surprisingly progressive.
An ancient rule fit for 21st century life?
Under the mut’ah agreement, a man and a woman privately agree to be married only temporarily for a fixed amount of time, with the man sealing the agreement with the Mahr – a gift which has also been settled on as part of the agreement. There may be additional stipulations specified as required, but once agreed, form part of the mut’ah agreement.
After reciting a brief verse, the pair is considered to be married for the duration of the period agreed.
While not all sections of Islamic society agree that Nikah mut’ah is permissible, there’s no denying that the practice has seen a resurgence in recent years.
Young Muslims find a way within Islam
With the idea of dating being prevalent in Western culture, but frowned upon within Islam, the educated, but faithful Muslim students attending Western universities have been credited with finding a bridge between two seemingly opposite notions and are behind the resurgence of the ancient custom of Nikah mut’ah
As Islam does not permit ‘girlfriend and boyfriend’ type relationships, the nikah mut’ah was traditionally used to allows ‘getting to know you’ process before a more permanent marriage. Today it’s used to allow a parallel to the dating process enjoyed by non-muslims without stepping outside Shariah. A true compromise.