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There were certain marriages where he felt committed to his bride, but others that he says were just "date-like.""I misused Mut'ah when I did it repeatedly and with several women," he says. "God ordered us to say these words and we say these words."Many years ago, when he was teaching at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Imam Alidina himself got a Mut'ah marriage for six months.
"A lot of us use it as an excuse to have sex, and we really should control ourselves." He says many of his friends are in Mut’ah marriages: "It is very common for religious Shiite." Does this casual use of Mut'ah make them sinners? His first marriage had been a traditional one, but, ironically, turned out to be temporary itself.
"I go there to smoke and not to pick up women," he insists.
Its rule against sex outside of marriage is clear, but many Shiite Muslims believe that a section called "Al Nissa" contains a single word ( ) that seems to allow Muslims to engage in Mut'ah marriages, or "pleasure marriages"—essentially, temporary marriages for the purpose of having sex.A practicing Catholic when he arrived in New York from Sicily, he converted to Islam after one year here. Six months after becoming a Shiite Muslim, Giganti entered into his first temporary marriage with a Spanish Catholic woman."The idea seemed really wishy-washy at first, but as I got more religious it began to make sense," he says.If she doesn't like it, I understand, but I can't sleep with her."According to Selman, the woman has to say, "I marry you, myself." The man replies, "I accept." A token bridal gift must be given—in Selman's case, usually tea, juice, or chocolates.Most of his marriages lasted for about three months—the shortest was three days long, with his bank teller, a Sunni from Pakistan.