Verse 24 of surat An-Nisa'say:

وَ الْمُحْصَناتُ مِنَ النِّساءِ إِلاَّ ما مَلَکَتْ أَيْمانُکُمْ کِتابَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْکُمْ وَ أُحِلَّ لَکُمْ ما وَراءَ ذلِکُمْ أَنْ تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوالِکُمْ مُحْصِنينَ غَيْرَ مُسافِحينَ فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَريضَةً وَ لا جُناحَ عَلَيْکُمْ فيما تَراضَيْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الْفَريضَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ کانَ عَليماً حَکيماً

And all married women except those whom your right hands possess (this is) Allah's ordinance to you, and lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed; and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.(4:24)

As I searched, there are 2 interpretations for this verse.

One interprets the verse to be about permanent marriage (Tafsir al-Manar of Rashid Reza)

And one interprets to be about temporary marriage (mut’ah)(Tafseer Kabeer of Tabari,al-Kashāf of Al-Zamakhshari,the sharh (explanation) of Sahih Muslim by Nawawi)

So, which one is the correct interpretation in Shia view? Please provide strong reasons.


2 Answers 2

             In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful

In regards to Surah An-Nisa, verse 24, I presume the following illustration can elucidate the issue for you to some extent:

For non-Muslims, captivity is counted as divorce. It is like the Faith of a woman that when her husband continues his infidelity and the woman has embraced Islam; the very belief separates her from her husband. To take in marriage a woman who has husband is unlawful from the point of Islam. The woman may be from any nation and with any religion.

But captivity is like divorce, and a captive woman should observe a waiting term for one month (one menstruation) from the time she is captured, and if she is in pregnancy period, she must wait until she is delivered of her child. Thus, during this period, no conjugal connection is admissible with her. This matrimonial device, as a permanent or contemporary spouse, is better than the device of returning her to the infidels or leaving her alone with no guardian.

"..." , According to several traditions narrated from the holy Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (as), and also according to many commentary books recorded by the scholars of the Sunnis, this phrase of the verse refers to temporary marriage where the above-mentioned holy verse says:

"...Then as to those of Whom you seek content (by marriage), give them their dowries as a duty. And there is no blame on you in whatever you mutually agree after the duty. Verily Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise."

Reference and further information:


The interpretation referring to temporary marriage(mut’ah) is the correct Shia view. You can read it from here.

  • 1
    would you please note just the important points of this link which could prove your answer? Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 10:35
  • I saw the link. It seems helpful, but I wish you add it in your answer directly. Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 16:16

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