Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘zawaj mut3a

Sigheh: Temporary marriage contracts

Mohsen married twice by temporary marriage contracts called sigheh in Iran and “zawaj mut3a” in Arabic.

Virgin girls cannot marry sigheh without prior permission from the father, grandfather, or a brother.  Mohsen married with two divorced women.

The first time, one of the friends of Mohsen asked him to marry sigheh one of his sisters who got just divorced.  Mohsen got angry:  the friendship will be altered once he becomes brother-in-law.  Then, the father of his friend called Mohsen to consider marrying sigheh his divorced beautiful daughter.  The contract was for 6 months that can be renewed for another 6 months if the parties matched.

In Iran, the people who marry sigheh are not in any obligation of revealing the new co-habitation situation:  Mohsen lived in the city of Mashhad since Mohsen’s parents were living in Teheran, and they were not informed.  Since Mohsen had no apartment, he shared a room at his “in-laws” with his wife.

The only obligation was for Mohsen to dine on Friday’s nights with his in-laws.  Mohsen got used to joining his new family around the “sofreh” eating on the floor over a white cover.

Well, a cousin of his wife landed from the Netherlands and she decided to marry her cousin and not renew the sigheh after 18 months of temporary marriage.  Mohsen could not eat for an entire month and was depressed.

One day, a friend bought tickets for a bus trip to the Caspian Sea, north of Iran.  Since they could not join their girl friends on the bus, they decided to marry sigheh. The registration office of the contract was helpful and inscribed the marriage on their ID (giving the illusion that the marriage is permanent) so that they could get joint rooms in hotels.

Mohsen fell in love with his new wife and got very chatty and recounted their troublesome lives.  His wife says with a smile: “I don’t want to have more children.  Mohsen wants children.  Thus, I won’t be able to marry him permanently.  Anyway, Mohsen has better opportunities than me to building a stable family life.”

Note 1:  Permanent marriages in Iran are costly.  First, there are not enough apartments to rent. Second, the dowry fixed by the Koran is currently equivalent to $7,000 in Iran (100 camels, or 200 cows, or 1,000 head of sheep)

Note 2:  The abridged interview and accounts are translated from the French book “Walk on my eyes; welcome” by Serge Michel and Paolo Woods.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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