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For other uses, see Muta

Mutʿah (متعة) is an Arabic word which literally means enjoyment, delight, or gratification.

In terms specific to Islamic law, mutʿah refers to the compensation paid to a divorced woman; in the legal phrase nikāḥ al-mutʿah (نكاح المتعة) it refers to temporary marriage.[1]

But there are more meanings to the word mutʿah as follows:

Mutʿah has many meanings. In some cases it may mean to take benefit, such as when Allah refers to 'They take the benefits of the worldly life.' It may refer to increase, or it may refer to remaining, such as when He says: 'He let them remain for a while.' It may also refer to a gift, such as when He, Blessed be His Names, says: 'They are gifted of knowledge.'
Verbal form: to carry away, take away; to be strong, firm, sold; To make enjoy; to furnish, equip supply; to give as a compensation;to gratify the eye; to make enjoy, to have the usufruct; to be blessed and to enjoy, savour, relish.

Noun form: enjoyment, pleasure, delight, gratification; recreation; compensation paid to a divorced woman; mutʿah, temporary marriage, usufruct marriage contracted for a specified time.

Of those three, the most common meanings are:

Those two terms should not be confused with each other, as they are separate things and the Islamic term "mutʿah" can denote one or both of the terms i.e. mutʿah of Hajj or the Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah.

N.B.: Mutʿah should not be confused the "mu'tah" (مؤتة) (as in Mu'tah or the Battle of Mu'tah). "Mu'tah" is a completely different word and is derived from a completely different root (ʾa-t-ā) (أ ت ى) and there is absolutely no relation between the words.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hans Wehr, p. 1045
  2. ^ The necessity of Mut'ah (
  3. ^ Wehr, Hans. Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. p. 1045. ISBN 0866854223.