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The main objective of the study on temporary marriage in Shi'i and Sunni Islam by Khalid Sindawi is to analyze and survey the views of Islamic jurists both ancient and modern on the issue of temporary marriage, that is, a marriage that is limited in time, and whether such a marriage is licit or not. Using juridical texts, religious rulings (fatawa), independent opinions and more, this study illuminates the main disputes among early and modern Islamic scholars and tracks the sources of the obvious disagreements on this matter in Islamic religious circles. It also discusses the social aspects of temporary marriage as well as the influence that social sentiments may have had on the way in which this institution has been appraised in Islamic law.
After the introduction that explores the concept of marriage, its conditions and laws, the encouragement of matrimony in Islamic law, divorce and annulment of marriage, and the two types of legal marriage, permanent and temporary, different marriage types from the pre-Islamic times up to modern times are presented. Sindawi also discusses usufruct marriage (mut'a) in Islamic jurisprudence and the attendant social customs among Twelver Shi'ites, deals with travel marriage (misyar) in Islamic jurisprudence and Sunni social practice, describes what is known as “friend marriage” and the views of Islamic jurists on this kind of liaison, and summarizes the points of similarity and difference between usufruct, travel and “friend” marriage.