Marrying Girl with Intention to Leave Her
Fatwa No: 83457

Question

I would like to know the reasons for making Zawaj el-Neya (when you marry a girl you intend to leave her without telling her that you will leave her when the time comes) Halal and what are the evidence from Qur'an and Sunnah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Marrying with the intention of divorcing after a certain period is of two kinds:

1. Stipulating a certain period such as a month, a year, or till the end of the study, etc. at the time of establishing the marriage contract is considered "Mut’ah" temporary marriage, which is prohibited in Islamic Sharee’ah.

2. The person does not stipulate a certain period of marriage; rather, he marries as any normal person does, but he intends without expressing it that he will divorce her after a certain period.

The known opinion of the scholars of the Hanbali School is that the latter kind of marriage is also forbidden and it is an invalid contract. The basis of their opinion is the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “The reward of deeds depend upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” [Al-Bukhari]

From this Hadeeth, they conclude that the intention is also considered as a stipulation. They elaborated on this rule by giving an example of the person who marries a divorced woman with the intention of making her lawful for her former husband who had divorced her thrice and then divorces her; this practice is forbidden and the marriage contract is invalid. So the rule of temporary marriage applies to the one who marries while intending a certain period though he does not stipulate it in his marriage contract.

The second opinion is that such marriage, i.e. marrying with the intention of divorcing after a certain period, is permissible. So, the marriage of a person who stays in a country for a certain period for instance to complete his study, etc. and marries a woman intending that he will divorce her when he leaves that country, is valid according to the second opinion because he does not stipulate a particular period in his marriage contract. The difference between Mut’ah marriage (temporary marriage) and this marriage is that the temporary marriage automatically comes to an end after passing the stipulated period whether the husband likes it or not, while this kind of marriage is not linked to a given period. In this marriage, the husband can change his mind and continue his life with his wife. This is one of the two opinions of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him on this issue. This opinion is correct in such a manner that this marriage is not similar to Mut’ah marriage. But the person is cheating his wife and cheating is forbidden in Islamic Sharee’ah. Therefore, the person who does this commits a forbidden act.

If the woman were aware that the person is marrying her only for a certain period she would not marry him, and her family also would not approve of this marriage.

Furthermore, if one does not like such to be done to his daughter or sister, then how can he like it be done to others? How can a person do something to others when he does not accept the same thing when it is done to him? The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): said: “None of you will truly believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Finally, we conclude that doing so is a kind of cheating and deceiving a woman that could cause many harms. For this reason, Imam Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “This practice does not suit the character of the Muslims at all.” Cheating is not permissible whether it is practiced with a Muslim woman or a non-Muslim woman.

Therefore, we support the opinion of the Hanbali scholars who do not permit this kind of marriage since it contradicts the objective of marriage.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 90234 and 87975.

Allah knows best.

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