Temporary Marriage – A Comparison of the Jewish and Islamic Conception


19 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2018

See all articles by Yehezkel Margalit

Yehezkel Margalit

Netanya Academic College; New York University School of Law

Date Written: August 5, 2018


The Jewish marriage differs from the Catholic Christian marriage, which is an institution surrounded by the halo of a holy sacrament that cannot be nullified. It also differs from the Islamic marriage, which is closer to a legal agreement than to a sacrament, wherein the husband alone may annul the marriage, either unilaterally or by mutual consent. This is especially true of the Shi’ite marriage — the muta — which may be annulled without any divorce proceedings at a predetermined date. In this article, I present a little-known possible halakhic stipulation: temporary marriage. I consider its roots and the different applications in Talmudic sources. An example of the Babylonian application of this conditional marriage is the cry by important Babylonian amoraim, “Who will be mine for a day?” In this unique case, some of the halakhic authorities rule that there is no necessity for a get in order to terminate the marriage. I consider the early halakhic rulings on these cases and the modern version of this stipulation, which was also rejected by modern halakhic authorities. I also offer a comparative study of a possible parallel to the marriage for a predetermined period, the Shi’ite temporary marriage, which is intentionally restricted to an agreed period of time and does not require divorce to annul it. I conclude my discussion by revealing the possible common roots for the Jewish temporary marriage and the Shi’ite temporary marriage in ancient Persian law.

Keywords: Temporary Marriage, Jewish Law, Islamic Law, Family Law, Contract Law, Muta, Conditional Marriage, Persian Law, Muhammad, Catholic Christian Marriage

Suggested Citation

Margalit, Yehezkel, Temporary Marriage – A Comparison of the Jewish and Islamic Conception (August 5, 2018). 33(1) JOURNAL OF LAW AND RELIGION 89 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3226600

Yehezkel Margalit (Contact Author)

Netanya Academic College ( email )


New York University School of Law ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics