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Misyar marriage
Arabic: 'al-misyar


Marriage institution in Islam, allowing for a lesser form of relationship between man and woman than normal marriage, zawaj. Misyar is an official relationship between man and woman, but does not involve that the two live together, nor that the man is economically responsible.
Misyar allows the man to have a normal wife in a addition to his misyar-wife(s). The misyar wife is expected to live with her parents, and her husband can visit her according to a predetermined schedule.
Misyar has been practiced in Saudi Arabia and Egypt for years. It was officially legalized by the Egyptian Sunni Imam Shaykh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi in February 1999, and the Mufti of Egypt has also been defending the arrangement of misyar.
Misyar has been widely discussed through the year of 1998. Misyar has met strong opposition from scholars outside Egypt, but also from many in Egypt, especially among scholars at the al-Azhar University in Cairo. Defenders of misyar claim that the arrangement is in accordance with Islam. They also say that it gives protection to many women who do not find husbands in the more traditional way.
Misyar has many similarities with mut'a, practiced in Shi'i Islam, except for the preceding definition of duration. But misyar can easily be terminated with standard divorce, making it quite possible to form temporary marriage of even short periods.




By Tore Kjeilen