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UK Muslims revive temporary marriages

The temporary marriage, or Nikah Mut'ah, is an ancient Islamic practice that unites man and woman in marriage but for a limited time only.

Thousands of years ago it was used so that men could take on a wife for a short period of time when travelling long distances - so why are young British Muslims doing it?

Sunni Muslims do not practice the Nikah Mut'ah but it is permissible among Shias.

Senior UK scholars and student groups say they are seeing young British Shias using it as a way of getting to know their partners before committing to a full marriage.

Critics of the practice say it is no more than a way of sleeping with someone before committing; some go as far as to say it is prostitution.

Sara, 30, is a pharmacist from Birmingham and is of Pakistani heritage. She is a Shia Muslim and had a temporary marriage for six months.

Sara spoke to the BBC Asian Network about why she wanted a temporary marriage.

You can hear the full radio documentary Married for a minute on BBC Asian Network on Monday 13th May at 1700 BST or listen back on BBC iPlayer.

  • 13 May 2013
  • From the section UK