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Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Shi'i Iran
by Shahla Haeri
This book is a study of the institution of temporary marriage, mut'a, and its practice, popularly known as sigheh, in contemporary Iran. The focus is not just on women but on the perception of the institution by some Iranian men and women whose lives have been tied together by a contract of temporary marriage. This book is also about law and custom, religion and morality, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Syracuse University Press
(first published October 1989)
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Excellent research on a subject where little ethnographic collection has been done, and very clearly written / easy to follow. Haeri does a good job explaining the legal and religious aspects of temporary marriage in Shi'a Islam, which to many westerners looks like legalized prostitution, but is actually fully recognized (and even encouraged) by Shi'a ulama and government in Iran. Great anthropological detail, and a valuable read to gain a greater understanding of Shi'a Muslim culture in Iran.
Much of what's written is true. How sad. The practice of taking a 'temporary wife' is all to real, all too accepted by many. To me, it's nothing more than legalized prostitution. How sad that religion can cloak something most countries, including the ones where this practice is common, deem it illegal and immoral. You should read this book to appreciate what goes on around you.
Explains the practice of temporary marriage, mostly in Iran. It's often used as a cover to legitimize prostitution or rape-- although it can be innocent, allowing an man and woman who aren't related to spend time togehter free from veils and without chapperones.