Legal Effects and Consequences of Muta Marriage [Temporary Marriage]

As per Ithna Asharia law :

(1) The cohabitation between the parties is lawful.

(2) The children are legitimate and have rights to inherit the properties of both the parents.

(3) But, the Muta-husband and wife have no mutual rights of inheritance.

(4) The wife is entitled to get full dower even if the husband does not cohabit for the full term and leaves the wife before the expiry of the term. But, if the wife leaves the husband, then husband has a right to deduct the amount of dower proportionate to the unexpired period of the duration.

(5) A Мutа-wife is not entitled to get any maintenance from the husband under the Shia law; but she is entitled to claim maintenance under the Criminal Procedure Code.

(6) Where consummation has not taken place, the wife need not observe any Iddat. If the Мutа-marriage terminates after consummation, the wife is required to undergo an Iddat of two monthly courses. But, where the marriage dissolves due to death of the husband, the Muta-wife is required to observe an Iddat of four months ten days. Where the Мutа-wife is pregnant, the period of Iddat extends till delivery of the child.

(7) There is no divorce in a Muta form of marriage. The marriage in this form dissolves:

(i) By death of either party, or

(ii) On the expiry of the specified period, or

(iii) The husband leaves the wife before expiry of the term.

Where a husband leaves the wife before the term, it is said that he had made a gift of the unexpired period in favour of the wife (Hiba-i-Muddat) because in that case he has to pay the full amount of dower. If wife leaves, her dower is deducted in proportion to the remaining period of the term.

(8) In a Muta form of marriage, if it is not known as to when the term expired but the cohabitation continues till the death of the husband, the proper inference would be that Muta continues throughout the life.

Similar would be the inference where the cohabitation continues after the expiry of a known period. It is submitted that in such cases a life-long Muta is to be presumed. The issues are legitimate and may inherit the properties of the parents, but husband or wife may not mutually inherit each other.


  1. MUTA: Enjoyment
  2. AGE OF PUBERTY: 15 years
  3. GIFT: Hiba