Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding Mutah. According to Shafaqna the questions and answers are as follows:
Question 1: Is it permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman who is still married to a non-Muslim man? Is there an ‘idda period for her when she separates from her non-Muslim husband? What is the period of that ‘idda? Is it permissible to have sexual relations with her during the time when she is in the ‘idda from her non-Muslim husband? If she embraces Islam, how long will her ‘idda be, if she intends to marry a Muslim man?
Answer: It is not permissible to marry her while she is married to a non-Muslim in a marriage which is recognized by them because she is a married woman. It is permissible to marry her temporarily after her divorce and after the completion of the ‘idda from her non-Muslim husband. (The period of her ‘idda is not different from the ‘idda of a Muslim woman.) Therefore, it is not permissible before the completion of the ‘idda.
If she becomes a Muslim after having had sexual relations with her non-Muslim husband and the husband has not embraced Islam, it is precuationarily obligatory for a Muslim not to marry her until after the completion of her ‘idda. But if she became a Muslim without having ever established sexual relations with her non-Muslim husband, then their marriage will be annulled immediately and there is no ‘idda in such a case.
Question 2: Is it obligatory to inform the man who wants to marry a woman from the Ahlul Kitab or a Muslim woman that she has not yet observed the waiting period (‘idda) of a divorce of a previous marriage, or that she is still in the ‘idda [during which marriage is forbidden for her]?
Answer: It is not obligatory.
Question 3: A Muslim man who is married to a Muslim woman migrated from his country. After a longthy stay in the West country, he wants to embark on temporary marriage with a woman from Ahlul Kitab just a few days after divorcing his Muslim wife. Is this permissible for him, espeually when his Muslim wife is still in her waiting period (al-‘idda)?
Answer: The temporary marriage mentioned in the question is considered invalid because the wife who is in the waiting period of a revocable divorce is still considered as a wife. It has just been mentioned that to temporary marry an Ahlul Kitab woman while one has a Muslim wife is not permissible [as a matter of compulsary precaution].
Question 4: A Muslim couple got separated for a long time. Is it permissible for him to marry, temporarily or permanently, a woman from Ahlul Kitab without the knowledge of his Muslim wife? Is it permissible for him to marry, with the permission of his Muslim wife?
Answer: For a Muslim man to marry a woman from Ahlul Kitab permanently is against the compulsory precaution in any circumstance. And his temporary marriage to a Jewish or a Christian woman is allowed, only if he is not already married to a Muslim wife. If he has a Muslim wife, temporary marriage with an Ahlul Kitab woman is not permissible without her consent; nay, even with her consent, it is not permissible, based on compulsory precaution.
Question 5: If a woman is over thirty years of age, and still virgin, is it necessary for her to seek the permission of her guardian for marriage?
Answer: If she is not independent, it is obligatory on her to seek his consent. Rather, even if she is independent, she must seek his consent, as a matter of compulsory precaution.
Question 6: Some Western governments allow the daughter to be independent of her parents, after she has passed the age of sixteen. If she seeks her parents advice, it is only for seeking their opinion or out of respect for them. Is such a virgin girl allowed to marry, be it permanent or a temporary marriage, without the consent of her father?
Answer: If this means that the father has allowed her to marry whomsoever she wants or that he has withdrawn from interfering in the matter of her marriage, it is permissible for her to do so; otherwise, based on obligatory precaution, it is not permissible.