Published by SunniDefense © on May 31st, 2009
The Ithnā `Asharī Shī`īs have always viewed temporary marriage [mut`a] as a permissible contract in Islam. Their foremost proof for this view has been a part of the 24th verse of Sura al-Nisā’:
فَمَا ٱسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـئَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً
“So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed [istamta`tum], give their dues (dower) as obligated.” [4:24]
Shī`ī scholars have opined that these words refer to temporary marriage and thus identify it as the “verse of mut`a.” The Sunnī scholars, however, have written lengthy discussions on this difference of opinion and have held the contrary position instead.
One of the major Sunnī scholars to discuss this was Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), author of the voluminous commentary of the Qur’ān entitled Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb—more famously known as ‘al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr’ [“The Major Commentary”]—that discusses the views of all sects related to Islam. The Answering-Ansar team has also quoted this work in support of their view that according to its author, al-Rāzī, the aforementioned verse was revealed concerning temporary marriage. They write:
Sunni commentaries of the verse 4:24 prove that it refers to Mutah
The Wahabi author not only demonstrates his contempt for the Qur’an, but also his disregard for the Sunni Tafsir writers who have all agreed that this verse deals explicitly with Mut’ah and nothing else. We shall now cite 16 books of Ahl’ul Sunnah who testify from Companions it referred to Mut’ah. Sunni Ulama undoubtedly confirm that this verse refers to Mut’ah. As proof we have relied on the following Sunni texts:
1. Tafseer Kashaf, Volume 1 page 20- commentary of Nisa
2. Tafseer ibn Katheer, Volume 1 page 84
3. Tafseer Tabari, Page 9 part 5
4. Tafseer Fathul Qadeer, page 14
5. Tafseer Gharib Qur’an, page 2 part 5
6. Tafseer Qurtabi, Volume 5 page 60
7. Tafseer Mu’alim al Tanzeel, Volume 1 page 63
8. Tafseer Khazan, Volume 1 page 63 Ayat Mut’ah
9. Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 3 page 95
10. Tafseer Durre Manthur, Volume 2 page 140
11. Tafseer Akham of Quran, Volume 2 page 45
12. Tafseer Baydhawi, Volume 2 page 9
13. Tafseer Haqqani, Volume 2 page 3
14. Tafseer Ahmadi, Volume 1 page 10
15. Tafseer Jama al Bayan, Volume 1 page 22
16. Tafseer Mazhari, Volume 3 page 18
Here it is stated that all Sunnī commentators of the Holy Qur’ān are in agreement that the verse under discussion refers to nothing but temporary marriage, and al-Rāzī was also one of the scholars who “confirm” that this verse refers to temporary marriage. Further in this very same piece of writing, the Answering-Ansar team mentions that al-Rāzī also viewed that this verse was not abrogated.
Testimony of Sunni ‘Ulama that the Verse of Mut’ah was Not Abrogated
We have the testimony of many Sunni ‘ulama that the verse on Mut’ah has not been abrogated.
Tafseer Fathul Qadeer Volume1 p. 14
Tafseer Khazan Volume1 p. 23
Tafseer Mu’alim al Tanzeel volume1 p. 63
Tafseer Tabari Page5 part 15
Tafseer Kashaf Volume1 p. 20
Tafseer Gharab al Qur’an p. 4 part5
Tafseer Kabeer Volume3 p. 9
Tafseer Manar Volume5 page 15 by Rashed Manar
In Fathul Qadeer:
Ibn Abbas said the verse of Mut’ah – i.e. it has not been abrogated.
In Tafseer Mu’alim al Tanzeel
Ibn Abbas said: “The verse of Mut’ah was an order and it’s Halal.
In Tafseer Kabeer
The verse of Mut’ah appears in the Qur’an, no verse has come down to abrogate it.
In this instance, they also quote al-Rāzī’s “testimony.”
These quoted statements found on Answering-Ansar clearly try to portray the image that:
- The author of al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, namely al-Rāzī, is among those Sunnī commentators who “confirm that this verse refers to Mut’ah.”
- Sunnī commentators of the Holy Qur’ān “all agree that this verse explicitly deals with Mut’ah and nothing else.”
- al-Rāzī has explicitly stated that the verse under discussion has not been abrogated by any verse; supported with a quote of his alleged “testimony” from al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr.
Now if one actually refers to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, he will find that this is yet another attempt of the Answering-Ansar team to pull the wool over the eyes of common and unwary Muslims:
One – al-Rāzī’s Interpretation of the Verse of Mut`a
What al-Rāzī has actually stated in his explanation of this specific part of the verse is:
قوله تعالى فما استمتعتم به منهن فآتوهن أجورهن فريضة
فيه مسائل المسألة الأولى الاستمتاع في اللغة الانتفاع وكل ما انتفع به فهو متاع يقال استمتع الرجل بولده ويقال فيمن مات في زمان شبابه لم يتمتع بشبابه قال تعالى ربنا استمتع بعضنا ببعض وقال أذهبتم طيباتكم في حياتكم الدنيا واستمتعتم بها يعني تعجلتم الانتفاع بها وقال فاستمتعتم بخلاقكم يعني بحظكم ونصيبكم من الدنيا وفي قوله فما استمتعتم به منهن وجهان الأول فما استمتعتم به من المنكوحات من جماع أو عقد عليهن فآتوهن أجورهن عليه ثم أسقط الراجع إلى ما لعدم الالتباس كقوله ان ذلك لمن عزم الأمور فأسقط منه والثاني أن يكون ما في قوله ما وراء ذلكم بمعنى النساء ومن في قوله منهن للتبعيض والضمير في قوله به راجع إلى لفظ ما لأنه واحد في اللفظ وفي قوله فأتوهن أجورهن إلى معنى ما لأنه جمع في المعنى وقوله أجورهن أي مهورهن قال تعالى ومن لم يستطع منكم طولا إلى قوله فانكحوهن باذن أهلهن وآتوهن أجورهن وهي المهور وكذا قوله فآتوهن أجورهن ههنا وقال تعالى في آية أخرى لا جناح عليكم أن تنكحوهن إذا آتيتموهن أجورهن وإنما سمي المهر أجرا لأنه بدل المنافع وليس ببدل من الأعيان كما سمي بدل منافع الدار والدابة أجرا والله أعلم
“His, the Exalted’s statement: ‘So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed, give their dues (dower) as obligated.’
There are some issues concerning this verse:
‘Enjoyment’ [istimtā`] linguistically means to gain benefit. All that is benefited from, is ‘property’ [matā`]. It is said: ‘The man benefited [istamta`] from his child,’ and it is said about someone who died in his adolescence: ‘He did not benefit [yatamatta`] from his youth.’
He, the Exalted, has said: ‘Our Lord, some of us have benefited [istamta`] from others…’ [8:128], and He said: ‘You have consumed your good things in your worldly life, and have enjoyed [istamta`tum] them.’ [46:20]: which means: you have been hasty in benefiting from them. He (also) said: ‘So you enjoyed [istamta`tum] your share…’ [9:69]: which means: (you benefited) from your portion and your destined share from the world.
There are two objectives in His statement: ‘So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed’:
First: So to the married women [al-mankūĥāt] whose company you have enjoyed from either intercourse or contract with them, give them their dues for that; then the attributable to ‘those’ [mā] was dropped to counteract ambiguity. Like it was dropped from His statement: ‘It is, of course, one of the courageous conducts.’ [42:43]
Second: The ‘those’ [mā] in His statement will be: ‘…all, except these’[4:24] in the meaning of women, and ‘of’ [min] in His statement ‘…of them…’ [4:24] is for portioning. The personal pronoun in His statement:‘bihi’ [4:24] is attributable to the word ‘those’ [mā], for it is one in wording, and in His statement ‘give their dues…’ [4:24] to the meaning of ‘those’ [mā], for it is plural in meaning.
His statement: ‘their dues’ [4:24]: meaning: their dowers. He, the Exalted, has said: ‘If one cannot afford to marry…’ [4:24] to ‘So marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their dues,…’ [4:25] and these are the dowers. The same is His statement ‘give their dues…’ [4:24] here. He, the Exalted, has stated in another verse: ‘There is no sin for you if you marry them, when you give them their dowers.’ [60:10]. Verily, the dower was called ‘due’ because it is a replacement of beneficial services, not of objects, just as the replacement of the beneficial services of a house or a riding animal.
And Allāh knows best.”
- Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb [al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr], of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), volume 10, page 49-50 [Beirut]
This explanation clearly shows that according to al-Rāzī this verse does not refer to temporary marriage because he considers it to be referring to married women [mankūĥāt] and their dower to be the same as the dower mentioned in the verses about marriage. His position is further confirmed from his counting of women mentioned in this verse under the fourth category of divorced women in the same work.
القسم الرابع من المطلقات التي تكون مدخولا بها ولكن لا يكون مفروضا لها وحكم هذا القسم مذكور في قوله فما استمتعتم به منهن فآتوهن أجورهن
“The fourth category of divorced women [muţallaqāt]: Those (women) who are entered into but are not obliged. The ruling of this category is mentioned in His, the Exalted’s statement: ‘So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed.’ [4:24]”
- Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb [al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr], of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), volume 6, page 146 [Beirut]
Whereas it is known that in the temporary marriage disseminated by Ithnā’ `Asharīs, the women are neither counted among the four married women, nor do they get divorced.
As it is related in Shī`ī texts that the 5th infallible Imām, Muĥammad al-Bāqir, has said about a woman in temporary marriage:
ليست من الأربع لأنها لا تطلق ولا ترث وإنما هي مستأجرة
“She is not from the four (married women) because neither does she get divorced, nor does she inherit. Indeed, she is only a rented woman.”
- al-Kāfī, of Abū Ja`far al-Kulaynī (d. 329), volume 5, page 451 [Tehran]
These facts evidently show that al-Rāzī did not view this verse to be referring to temporary marriage.
Two – The Opinion of Sunnī Commentators about the Verse
After stating what is mentioned above, al-Rāzī briefly discusses the role of this verse in the jurisprudential dispute between the Sunnī Imāms Abū Ĥanīfa and al-Shāfi`ī related to the seclusion of a married couple [al-khalwa al-şaĥīĥa] and the dower.
Following that second issue, he states:
المسألة الثالثة في هذه الآية قولان أحدهما وهو قول أكثر علماء الأمة أن قوله أن تبتغوا بأموالكم المراد منه ابتغاء النساء بالأموال على طريق النكاح وقوله فما استمتعتم به منهن فآتوهن أجورهن فان استمتع بالدخول بها آتاها المهر بالتمام وإن استمتع بعقد النكاح آتاها نصف المهر والقول الثاني أن المراد بهذه الآية حكم المتعة وهي عبارة عن أن يستأجر الرجل المرأة بمال معلوم إلى أجل معين فيجامعها
There are two opinions concerning this verse:
First of the two—and this is the opinion of the majority of the scholars of the Muslim community—is: His statement: ‘Seek through your wealth,…’[4:24]: what is meant by it is the seeking of women with wealth in the way of marriage. And His statement: ‘So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed’ [4:24]: (means that) if he enjoyed her company by entering her, he will give her the entire dower, and if he enjoyed her company (only) by the contract of marriage, he will give her half of the dower.
The second opinion: What is meant by this verse is the ruling of ‘temporary marriage’ [mut`a], and this is a term used for when the man hires the woman with a known amount and a prescribed period so he can have intercourse with her.”
- Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb [al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr], of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), volume 10, page 50 [Beirut]
al-Rāzī has clearly stated here that the majority of the Muslim community—i.e. the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamā`a—are of the view that this verse refers to marriage and its dower, as opposed to the Answering-Ansar team who claim that all Sunnī commentators are of the view that this verse refers only to temporary marriage. However, their claim is not only shown to be a lie by referring to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, but also to some major Shī`ī works.
The major Shī`ī Ithnā’ `Asharī scholar Abū Ja`far al-Ţūsī (d. 460), for example, has stated concerning the meaning of this part of the verse in his al-Tibyān:
وقوله فما استمتعتم به منهن قال الحسن ومجاهد وابن زيد هو النكاح وقال ابن عباس والسدي هو المتعة إلى أجل مسمى وهو مذهبنا
“His Statement: ‘So, to those of them whose company you have enjoyed’
al-Ĥasan, Mujāhid, and Ibn Zayd have said: This is marriage. Ibn `Abbās and al-Suddī said: This is temporary marriage, for a specified period, and this is (the opinion of) our school.”
- al-Tibyān fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān, of Abū Ja`far al-Ţūsī (d. 460), volume 3, page 165 [Qum]
It is evident from al-Ţūsī’s commentary that early Sunnī commentators such as Mujāhid ibn Jabr (d. 102), al-Ĥasan al-Başrī (d. 110) and Ibn Zayd (d. 182) did not concern this verse to be referring to temporary marriage, but to “permanent” marriage. The same opinion is held by al-Rāzī (d. 606), who also mentioned that this is the opinion of the majority of the scholars, as cited above. Among later scholars, the Sunnī commentator al-Sayyid Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ālūsī (d. 1270) even went to the extent of explicitly saying:
فإذا استمتعتم وهو يدل على أن المراد بالاستمتاع هو الوطء والدخول لا الاستمتاع بمعنى المتعة التي يقول بها الشيعة والقراءة التي ينقلونها عمن تقدم من الصحابة شاذة
“‘So, to those (of them) whose company you have enjoyed’ [4:24]: This proves that the meaning of ‘enjoyment’ is intercourse and penetration, not ‘enjoyment’ in the meaning of temporary marriage [mut`a] as the Shī`asay. And the recitations they quote from those who were preceded among the Companions, are anomalous.”
- Rūĥ al-Ma`ānī fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-`Ažīm wa al-Sab` al-Mathānī, of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ālūsī (d. 1270), volume 5, page 7 [Cairo]
The readers should compare these quotes of both Sunnī and Shī`ī scholars to the objectionable statements of the Answering-Ansar team:
It is then established, without a doubt, that Allah (swt) is referring to temporary marriage in the ayat al-Mut’ah. This is agreed upon by the Sunni Tafsir writers.
The Wahabi author not only demonstrates his contempt for the Qur’an, but also his disregard for the Sunni Tafsir writers who have all agreed that this verse deals explicitly with Mut’ah and nothing else.
Three – al-Rāzī’s Alleged “Testimony”
The Answering-Ansar team does not stop at boldly lying about Sunnī scholars and their opinions concerning this verse, they also quote the “testimony” of al-Rāzī from al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr:
We have the testimony of many Sunni ‘ulama that the verse on Mut’ah has not been abrogated.
After quoting a list of references—that includes al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr—in support of this claim, they write:
In Tafseer Kabeer
The verse of Mut’ah appears in the Qur’an, no verse has come down to abrogate it.
Now the question whether these words are al-Rāzī’s? No, they’re not.
It is also very improbable for al-Rāzī to have said those lines as it has been shown that this verse does not refer to temporary marriage in his view to begin with, and there is no other verse said to be allowing temporary marriage.
When al-Rāzī discussed whether this verse refers to temporary marriage or not, he clearly quoted two differing opinions of the Muslim community under the “third issue” as quoted earlier. Following that, he continues to mention the proofs for both opinions under the same issue, and then concludes:
إنا لا ننكر أن المتعة كانت مباحة إنما الذي نقوله إنها صارت منسوخة وعلى هذا التقدير فلو كانت هذه الآية دالة على أنها مشروعة لم يكن ذلك قادحا في غرضنا وهذا هو الجواب أيضا عن تمسكهم بقراءة أبي وابن عباس فان تلك القراءة بتقدير ثبوتها لا تدل ألا على أن المتعة كانت مشروعة ونحن لا ننازع فيه إنما الذي نقوله إن النسخ طرأ عليه وما ذكرتم من الدلائل لا يدفع قولنا
“Verily, we do not deny that temporary marriage was permissible. But what we say about it is: It was abrogated. On this account, even if this verse proved that it is lawful, that will not diminish our view. This is also the reply to their clinging on to the recitation of Ubayy and Ibn `Abbās because that recitation, on account of its veracity, does not prove anything except that temporary marriage was lawful, and we do not dispute about that. In fact, what we say about it is: Indeed, abrogation has taken place upon it, and the proofs you have mentioned do not disprove our opinion.”
- Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb [al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr], of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), volume 10, page 55 [Beirut]
This evidently shows that according to al-Rāzī this verse was not revealed about temporary marriage and—as he himself stated—even if it did, it will still be considered abrogated just as temporary marriage is.
As for the fabricated epigram attributed to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr by the Answering-Ansar team as the “testimony” of “Sunni ‘ulama,” that is in fact a narration [ĥadīth] of `Imrān ibn Ĥuşayn (ra)—which has been refuted by Sunnī scholars time and time again—quoted by al-Rāzī in the context of citing proofs for those who believe that this verse refers to temporary marriage, not a statement of any Sunnī scholar.
Conclusion – End of the Painstaking Journey with a Single Reference
The aforementioned study undoubtedly shows that one does not have to go through the dragging and flighty list of references submitted by the Answering-Ansar team to see how they have blatantly lied about the position of al-Rāzī and Sunnī scholars in general about the verse of mut`a, but just refer to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr alone. It is for this reason, that the main focus of this article was this great commentary of the Holy Qur’ān—not undermining the fact that it also shows how they have misquoted another Sunnī text to support their claims.
The following summary guide of the study demonstrates how the lies of Answering-Ansar aboutSunnī scholars in their article entitled ‘Mut’ah, a comprehensive guide’ are uncovered by only referring to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr:
|○||Answering-Ansar Team says:||Upon Referring to al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr:|
“Sunni Ulama undoubtedly confirm that this verse refers to Mut’ah. As proof we have relied on the following Sunni texts.” (al-Tafsīr al-Kabīrreferenced as one of the relied texts)
The author of al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606), himself believes that this versedoes not refer to temporary marriage [mut`a] and relates the same about the majority of the Muslim scholars.
“The Wahabi author not only demonstrates his contempt for the Qur’an, but also his disregard for the Sunni Tafsir writers who have all agreedthat this verse deals explicitly with Mut’ah and nothing else.”
The great commentator al-Rāzīdoes not believe that this verse refers to temporary marriage and mentions that to be the “opinion of the majority of the scholars of the Muslim community.”
“We have the testimony of many Sunni ‘ulama that the verse on Mut’ah has not been abrogated… In Tafseer Kabeer: The verse of Mut’ah appears in the Qur’an, no verse has come down to abrogate it.”
al-Rāzī states that even if the verse refers to temporary marriage, it will be consideredabrogated. The cited words are actually a narration of a Companion, not a “testimony” ofSunnī scholars.
Now, can the Answering-Ansar team inform their readers of why:
- They have counted al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr among references that supposedly show that Sunnīscholars “confirm” that this verse refers to temporary marriage, when its author holds the opposite view?
- They blatantly lied that all Sunnī commentators of the Holy Qur’ān are of the view that this verse refers only to temporary marriage?
- They have quoted a narration of a Companion in al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr as a “testimony of Sunni ‘ulama”?
The answer, to the Sunnīs, is pretty obvious.
It is only Allah (swt) who gives success, and blessings and peace be upon the Seal of the Prophets, his Pure Progeny and his Companions
♦ ♦ ♦
Abū Ja`far al-Kulaynī (d. 329)
Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya
- al-Tibyān fi Tafsīr al-Qur’ān
Abū Ja`far al-Ţūsī (d. 460)
Maktab al-I`lam al-Islami
- Şaĥīĥ al-Kāfī
Muĥammad Bāqir al-Bahbūdī
- Mafātīĥ al-Ghayb [al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr]
Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606)
- Rūĥ al-Ma`ānī fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-`Ažīm wa al-Sab` al-Mathānī
Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ālūsī (d. 1270)
Idarat al-Tiba`a al-Muniriyya