Seegha (temporary marriage) has made several women in Daikundi province fate-less.
According to Fiqh of the Shiite sect there are two kinds of marriages, permanent and temporary. In the temporary marriage, women have the right to have a temporary tie.
Shiite scholars in Afghanistan say that according to Jafari Fiqh, temporary marriage is legal and the wife and husband can be separated after the fixed period, or change the temporary marriage to a permanent one. The scholars say that the husband and wife can marry and live together for a day or till whenever they want; but after the end of the fixed period the legal relationship ends and the wife is illegal to the husband.
But temporary marriages have created difficulties for women in the Daikundi province, one of the central regions of the country. In the Sang Takht district, the cases of temporary marriage are more than that of permanent marriage.
Zainab, a resident of the Syah Chob Bandar of Sang Takht district has just ended her temporary marriage with her husband and is living in a condition of uncertainty. She told PAN that the husband with whom she had a tie of three months has left her and now that she wants to marry permanently, the husband doesn’t give her the permission and says that she is his permanent wife.
This woman added, “Although the temporary husband says that I am his permanent wife, he doesn’t give me any money. When the matter of money comes up he says that we had had a temporary marriage and now that the period is over I should earn myself!”
About the matter of why she agreed to tie a temporary knot with all the difficulties she said that she didn’t have any guardian; and since temporary marriage is legal and when the husband had agreed to take her in, she had agreed to marry him.
This 35-year old widow who has no children says that now she wants to be separated from her temporary husband and marry a permanent husband and spend her life with him.
Mohammad Ali, a 60-year old resident said that temporary marriage with widows was the order of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) and scholars say it has reward.
He added, “As it is a good deed I married temporarily twice in my life. Both the marriages had their conditions and after the fixed period, we were separated.”
The authorities of the head of women’s affairs of Daikundi say that temporary marriage has surpassed permanent marriage in number.
Hawa Rizaee, head of women’s affairs of Daikundi told PAN that this matter has created social problems in the society and has made women fate-less.
She added, “We don’t say this is a disliked custom, in fact it is an order in Islam; but this order of Islam is misused and men tie a temporary marriage with one or two other women (in addition to his temporary wife) and after the set period is finished the women are left with no future.
Temporary marriage can be of two or six months or one year. After this time women have no one to earn for them.
Haji Akhlaqi, a cleric here, says that temporary marriage is an Islamic order and men and women who have the proper conditions required can do it.
He added, “This was the act of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) and we can’t tell the people to stop committing an act of the Prophet.
Despite this, Rezayee says that temporary marriage is even customary amongst the young girls and there are many girls in the area who have no future hope after their marriage has ended.
Sheikh Fazil, one of the scholars in Bamiyan says that widows can marry temporarily after the legal period (four months and ten days) is over.
Ali Mohammad, a resident of Daikundi and one of the students of the Sociology Faculty of Bamiyan University, believes that backwardness of the people of Syah Chob Bandar is the cause of this tradition to be continuing till now.
He added that another possible reason can be intense poverty in the area. This situation has forced mothers and fathers to consent to temporary marriage of their daughters in exchange for money.
He pointed out that girls who have temporary husbands are not accepted as permanent wives as one of the conditions for a husband marrying a wife is her virginity.
Some people in Daikundi believe that temporary marriage is legal and saves the society from corruption as well.
Marriages are not recorded in the country and the government has not done anything in the matter that is why the number of marriages is not that exact.
Haji Kazim Yazdani, a researcher, told PAN temporary marriage was not customary in Afghanistan twenty years back and is purely an Iranian custom.
While this practice is creating problems for the women of Daikundi, two years back temporary marriage (Seegha) became customary among the people of Shiite sect of Balkh province due to the refugees returning from Iran.
According to Shiite sect people of Herat province, impermanent marriages took place here four years back but now no official one has been seen.