Home > Fiqh, Refutations > Ibn ‘Abbas and Mut’ah (Temporary marriage)

Ibn ‘Abbas and Mut’ah (Temporary marriage)


Bismillah

It is a well accepted opinion among the scholars of Sunnah that Mut’ah (temporary marriage) is an invalid practice. It is also well accepted that it was once valid but later on it was banned. Hence, many narrations are present in the books of hadith to prove that it was prohibited. One of the companions who have narrated the hadith on the prohibition of Mut’ah is ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (ra). Besides that there were some who held the view of its permissibility. This is not a discussion on it details rather this is particularly to discuss the view of Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (ra) regarding it and the reaction of companions to his opinion.

 

OPINION OF IBN ‘ABBAS REGARDING TEMPORARY MARRIAGE

Ibn ‘Abbas considered that temporary marriage was permitted. Al-Imam Muhammad bin Isma’il al-Bukhari (d256 AH) narrates in his Sahih:

5116 – حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا غُنْدَرٌ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ أَبِي جَمْرَةَ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ: سُئِلَ عَنْ مُتْعَةِ النِّسَاءِ «فَرَخَّصَ»، فَقَالَ لَهُ مَوْلًى لَهُ: إِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ فِي الحَالِ الشَّدِيدِ، وَفِي النِّسَاءِ قِلَّةٌ؟ أَوْ نَحْوَهُ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: «نَعَمْ»

Ibn ‘Abbas was asked regarding temporary marriage with women so he allowed it. On this one of his slaves said, “It is only in harsh condition, when there is lack of women?” or something of that sort. So Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Yes.”

In a tradition from As-Sunan Al-Kabeer (14166) by Al-Bayhaqi Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) responded to the criticism of Sa’eed bin Jubair on his view on Mut’ah by saying, “I did not intend that, neither did I give such ruling regarding Mut’ah. Mut’ah is not permitted except in case of necessity. Indeed it is like the dead meat, blood and the flesh of swine.”

It is clear from the above authentic narrations that the view of Ibn ‘Abbas was not similar to that of Shia Twelvers regarding Mut’ah. Hence, according to him Mut’ah is only permitted when there is need while according to Twelvers it is a virtuous act.

However, Sunni scholars do not think that Mut’ah is permitted even if there is lack of women unlike Ibn ‘Abbas who thought it is permitted. The view of Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) was wrong and the view of Twelvers is worse.

 

REACTION OF COMPANIONS AGAINST THE VIEW OF IBN ‘ABBAS

The foremost to oppose Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) in his view was Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (ra). Al-Imam Al-Bukhari narrates in his marvelous book Sahih:

5115 – حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ الزُّهْرِيَّ، يَقُولُ: أَخْبَرَنِي الحَسَنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ، وَأَخُوهُ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِمَا، أَنَّ عَلِيًّا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ لِابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ: «إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى عَنِ المُتْعَةِ، وَعَنْ لُحُومِ الحُمُرِ الأَهْلِيَّةِ، زَمَنَ خَيْبَرَ»

Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali and his brother Abdullah bin Ali both narrate from their father [i.e. Ibn al-Hanafiyyah] that ‘Ali said to Ibn ‘Abbas, “The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade from Mut’ah and the eating of domestic donkey’s flesh during the time of Khaybar.”

In Sahih Muslim it is like this:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، وَعَبْدِ اللهِ، ابْنَيْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِمَا، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يُلَيِّنُ فِي مُتْعَةِ النِّسَاءِ، فَقَالَ: «مَهْلًا يَا ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى عَنْهَا يَوْمَ خَيْبَرَ، وَعَنْ لُحُومِ الْحُمُرِ الْإِنْسِيَّةِ»

‘Ali heard of Ibn ‘Abbas being lenient regarding Temporary marriage so he said to him, “Wait O Ibn ‘Abbas! Indeed the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade it during Khaibar and from the meat of domestic donkeys.”

In another version of Sahih Muslim he said to Ibn ‘Abbas, “You are a person who has been led astray…”

Another person to oppose Ibn ‘Abbas in this regard was Abdullah bin az-Zubair. Hence, Imam Muslim records in Sahih:

حَدَّثَنِي حَرْمَلَةُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ، قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ: أَخْبَرَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللهِ بْنَ الزُّبَيْرِ، قَامَ بِمَكَّةَ، فَقَالَ: «إِنَّ نَاسًا أَعْمَى اللهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ، كَمَا أَعْمَى أَبْصَارَهُمْ، يُفْتُونَ بِالْمُتْعَةِ»، يُعَرِّضُ بِرَجُلٍ، فَنَادَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّكَ لَجِلْفٌ جَافٍ، فَلَعَمْرِي، لَقَدْ كَانَتِ الْمُتْعَةُ تُفْعَلُ عَلَى عَهْدِ إِمَامِ الْمُتَّقِينَ – يُرِيدُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – فَقَالَ لَهُ ابْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ: «فَجَرِّبْ بِنَفْسِكَ، فَوَاللهِ، لَئِنْ فَعَلْتَهَا لَأَرْجُمَنَّكَ بِأَحْجَارِكَ»

Abdullah bin Zubair stood up in Makkah and said referring to a person, “Allah has made some people hearts blind as they as He has made their eyes blind; they issue verdict in favor of Mut’ah.” So that person called him and said, “You are uncouth and lacking in manners. By Allah, Mut’ah was practiced during the time of the leader of the pious i.e. the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).” Ibn az-Zubair said to him, “Then do it by yourself. By Allah if you do that I will stone you with your own stones.”

 

Ibn Abi ‘Amrah al-Ansari objected to Ibn ‘Abbas on his view on Mut’ah. Hence, Abdur-Razzaq reports in “Al-Musannaf” (14033) through Az-Zuhri from Khalid bin Muhajir:

عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنِي الزُّهْرِي، عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ الْمُهَاجِرِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ قَالَ: أَرْخَصَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فِي الْمُتْعَةِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ ابْنُ أَبِي عَمْرَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيُّ: «مَا هَذَا يَا أَبَا عَبَّاسٍ؟» فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: فُعِلَتْ مَعَ إِمَامِ الْمُتَّقِينَ. فَقَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي عَمْرَةَ: «اللَّهُمَّ غُفْرًا، إِنَّمَا كَانَتِ الْمُتْعَةُ رُخْصَةً كَالضُّرُورَةِ إِلَى الْمَيْتَةِ، وَالدَّمِ، وَلَحْمِ الْخِنْزِيرِ، ثُمَّ أَحْكَمَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى الدِّينَ بَعْدُ»

Ibn ‘Abbas permitted Mut’ah so Ibn Abi ‘Amrah said to him, “What is this O Ibn ‘Abbas?” He said, “I did it during the time of the leader of pious.” Ibn Abi ‘Amrah said, “May Allah forgive. Indeed Mut’ah was an exemption like in the case when the dead meat, blood or the flesh of swine is necessary. Then Allah completed his religion after that.”

 

‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar also raised his voice against Ibn ‘Abbas regarding Mut’ah. Abdur-Razzaq (14035) reports:

14035 – عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَالِمٍ، قِيلَ لِابْنِ عُمَرَ: إِنَّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يُرَخِّصُ فِي مُتْعَةِ النِّسَاءِ فَقَالَ: «مَا أَظُنُّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يَقُولُ هَذَا». قَالُوا: بَلَى، وَاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَيَقُولُهُ قَالَ: «أَمَا وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ لِيَقُولَ هَذَا فِي زَمَنِ عُمَرَ، وَإِنْ كَانَ عُمَرُ لَيُنَكِّلُكُمْ عَنْ مِثْلِ هَذَا، وَمَا أَعْلَمُهُ إِلَّا السِّفَاحَ»

Saalim said: It was said to Ibn ‘Umar that Ibn ‘Abbas permits Mut’ah with women. He said, “I do not think Ibn ‘Abbas says that.” They said, “Indeed, by Allah he says that.” So he said, “By Allah, he would not say such a thing during the lifetime of ‘Umar. Indeed ‘Umar would punish you on such things. And I do not think of it except as adultery.” – This narration is present in Sahih Muslim but without mentioning Ibn ‘Abbas.

  1. January 8, 2015 at 1:42 am

    what a silly pathetic response. Muta cannot be regarded the same level as if someone was hungry and had to eat pig meant. if you don’t fine women, you cant die from it. the two comparisons of your all ridiculous. Secondly muta and the meat of the donkey was a temporary ban during khaibar. If it was permanent, then garlic should be banned because hadith says that garlic was also banned in khaibar. thirdly, muta was allegedly banned at mecca. why did imam ali say to ibn abbas that mutah was banned at khaibar when according to sahih muslim, it was banned in mecca. surely imam ali would have referred to the mecca banning and not the khaibar banning. this proves you guys don’t have a case.

  1. October 25, 2014 at 12:34 am
  2. January 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

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