What is Misyar / Misyaar Marriage. Is it an acceptable form of Nikah?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
Misyaar is described as a form of marriage in which the wife gives up her rights from her husband for example living with her in the same house and providing her with necessary expenses etc. The husband may come to see her at her parent’s home at whatever time he chooses for himself, or at a time agreed by the two.
Misyaar is been practiced in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Wealthy men sometimes enter into a Misyaar marriage while on vacation especially to poor countries for example Egypt and Syria. Families agree to the arrangement because of the money and the hope that their girl will have some fun and visit places that she can only dream about (i.e. luxury hotels and restaurants). They also hope for some gifts at the end of the vacation and that the rich “husband” will give her some money and divorce her. Sometimes the husband keeps the wife for the next vacation and sends her some money now and then.
Many Misyaar wives hope to win the love of their husbands so that they may live with them permanently. Since the wife knows that she will most likely be divorced, she is more cautious of falling pregnant. It is believed that Misyaar merely permits men to have sexual relations without committing the sin of adultery. In Saudi Arabia 30 men and women aged between 20-40 were surveyed regarding Misyaar marriage. Over 60 percent of the men surveyed favoured Misyaar marriage with the majority of the respondents in their 20s.
The opinions of women respondents about Misyaar marriage were in sharp contrast to the males’. More than 86 percent of the women aged between 20-40 would not even consider such a marriage for themselves. Only four women, all in the over 40 category would consider such marriages for themselves or relatives. Most of the women respondents called it “legal prostitution”. Many have assimilated Misyaar to Mut’a (Shi’a temporary marriage)
The Qur’an says:
وَمِنْ آَيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآَيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (Surah Rum V:21).
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
“O Humans fear your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Fear Allah through whom you claim your mutual rights” (Surah Nisaa V: 1).
The objective and the goal of marriage in Islam is to enable the spouses to dwell in peace and tranquillity which is achieved through equity, equality, and fulfilment of mutual rights. Marriage binds the spouses and leads them to live a common life and form a family that develops into a deep spiritual and sentimental relationship. Marriage is not merely an instrument for legalizing sexual relations, but it is an agreement which unites the very existence of the husband and wife and gives a new colour to their life. It turns them into a couple instead of single individuals and makes them complementary to each other.
The concept of Misyaar marriage is void of fulfilling many fundamental rights of the spouses and reducing the institution of Nikah to merely fulfilling ones passion. Man has been created feable and cannot control his desires and passions. Every person should be the judge of himself as to whether such marriages of this nature conform to the teachings of our beloved Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
And Allah knows best
Ml. Ebrahim Desai,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah