Mutaa Is Back in Iraq
Progress… or not?
Mutaa is making a comeback in Iraq:
The Shiite practice began 1,400 years ago, in what is now Iraq and other parts of the region, as a way to provide for war widows. Banned by President Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led government, it has regained popularity since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq brought the majority Shiites to power, said clerics, women’s rights activists and mutaa spouses.
According to Shiite religious law, a mutaa relationship can last for a few minutes or several years. A man can have an unlimited number of mutaa wives and a permanent wife at the same time. A woman can have only one husband at a time, permanent or temporary. No written contract or official ceremony is required in a mutaa. When the time limit ends, the man and woman go their separate ways with none of the messiness of a regular divorce.
Some call this prostitution.
The relationships are quite often kept secret.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, sanctions it and offers advice on his Web site.
A woman cannot terminate a temporary marriage before it expires unless the man agrees.
Big Pharoah has more on this Shiite practice.