The Muslims have unanimously agreed on legislating mutu’a marriage. Moreover, traditions have assured that this marriage was applied during the time of the Prophet (p.), throughout the caliphate of Abu Bakr and in a part of the caliphate of Omar, until the jurisprudential opinion of the sects other than the Shiite Imamate sect that still deem it lawful agreed on forbidding it.
The Mutu'a marriage is also known as the temporary marriage, since it is concluded for a certain period of time that ends without divorce, unlike the regular marriage, which is known as the permanent marriage, since it is not concluded for a certain time and it does not end except by divorce. However, the temporary marriage shares many common points with the permanent one, but differs from it in the following points:
First: in the statement of the contract, both the dowry and the duration of the marriage should be mentioned, so the woman should say: I wed myself to you based on this dowry and for this period of time. Then the man has to say: "I accept."
In this way, they become a married couple for the period of time they have determined.
Second: this marriage ends by the end of the duration determined in the contract without the need for a divorce.
Third: the woman who had full sexual intercourse with the man ought to respect the Iddah period if she wants to marry another man after the end of the duration of her first temporary marriage. The Iddah ends after two menstrual cycles following the end of her previous temporary marriage. Thus, she cannot enter into another marriage except after the aforementioned Iddah period passes. However, if no full sexual intercourse had happened, she can immediately perform another temporary marriage with another man.
If the man wishes to renew the temporary marriage after the end of its duration, she has no Iddah to respect and it would be enough to pronounce the statements of the temporary marriage to become a married couple once more.
Fourth: the man is not obliged to support her financially, unless she includes that as a term in the contract.
Fifth: none of them inherits from the other in case death happens to either one of them during the marriage duration; however, if the husband dies, the wife ought to respect the Iddah period, which is four months and ten days.
On another level, if the man wishes to leave his wife before the end of the contract duration, he can give her the remaining duration and say: "I have given you the duration", so they become separated and the contract ends automatically. It must be noted that a Muslim woman should conclude this contract only with a Muslim man who believes in the legitimacy of the temporary marriage, and she cannot conclude it with a non-Muslim even if he believes in the legitimacy of this marriage. At the same time, it is impermissible for a Muslim man to marry an atheist woman, but rather she ought to be a Muslim or a Jew or a Christian. It is permissible to marry a mature virgin girl without the permission of her parents; however, it is preferred not to conclude such a contract out of fear from any damage on the girl's future. If this contract was concluded, it is preferred to avoid full sexual intercourse.