Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Marry an escort temporarily in Iran by practicing Sigheh

I had heard about this a few years ago, from an Arab escort friend. I thought it was hilarious. Shia Muslim men who used escorts, felt that it was acceptable if they married the escort, for the length of the booking, or longer.

Sigeh is not actually an Islamic practice, but a pre-Islamic one used in Arab tribes. In its pre-Islamic form women still resided with her family, her kin still retained rights, a woman could also dismiss a man, and any children begotten belonged to the wife's lineage. In Islam, sigeh changed, so that the child now belonged to the father. The practice of sigeh was primarily used as an urban function associated with long distance trade.

Sigeh is officially a contract between a man and a woman were the amount of time and bride price must be specified in advance. Registration of the marriage is optional, and no witnesses are required. Sigeh literally means "a man agrees to give a women something for a specified period of time in return for sexual favors with the understanding there would be no marriage in the beginning and no divorce in the end."[8]

The length of the marriage varies, ranging from a few hours to a few years. It differs from permanent marriage in that the wife's family cannot intervene. A man is not limited to the number of temporary marriages he can have, as he is limited to four permanent wives. After the termination of a sigeh, a woman has a period of idda afterwards. Idda is a waiting period of two menstrual cycles to determine if there was any pregnancies during the marriage, regardless of how short the union was. If a woman has already reached menopause, however, idda is not necessary.

Many people have compared sigeh to prostitution, but it is different in the eyes of Muslims for two reasons. First, any children that come of a sigeh marriage are considered legitimate. Second, sigeh is thought to combat immorality. Sigeh is a spiritual and religious state, where as prostitution is disorder.

Sigeh is also beneficial to women in several ways. For one thing it is less restrictive, women do not have to be as obedient during a sigeh marriage as opposed to a permanent one. Sigeh marriage is a way in which women can be with many men legally in the same way that man can take other wives. She is able to be with different people under the blessings of Islam. Also, the man has to stipulate the specific time of day that he will be visiting his wife. Shahla Haeri interviewed many women who participated in sigeh, and found that many of them used it to their own advantage. They would use it for economic security, or a way to satiate their sexual desires. Women have also often used sigeh as a way to either resist permanent marriage, or to resist being fully possessed by a man. One woman in particular, Mahvash, was very verbose on the subject. She participated in sigeh for two of the reasons stated above, economic and sexual. She said on the sexual aspects of sigeh, "I want to get married [her euphemism for sex] all the time, every night."[9] Mahvash often expressed resentment at having to wait out the idda period, for it deprived her of a time to make money. She was fulfilling her own agenda through the use of sigeh and was often the one approaching men with the proposition.

Quotes from Women in pre-revolutionary, revolutionary and post-revolutionary Iran
By Monique Girgis.

An Iranian minister has backed brief marriages to stem illicit sex.

There seems to be no restriction on the number of temporary marriages that you can have. Your permanent marriage, can run alongside your temporary marriages. The article states that prostitution is a disorder, but sigheh is a religous state. I find it difficult to differentiate between the two.


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Without wishing to appear awkward, I think at some time in our lives, every one of us has turned to prostitution of some kind in order to get what we want, or to be left alone.
If one needs a religion ...

... then one that has a clause to allow vists to delightful courtesans sounds the one for me.

Better than Catholic guilt?

But to be fair this is described as pre-Islamic.

I would be surprised if any major religion would get away with it now.

Again though it shows how religions are created by men for the benefit of men, however much they claim to respect women.

B xx

Thank you for your comments.

Yes, men have it made.

I am aware that for some Shia muslims today, it is acceptable.

Thank you for your comments. I think that there are a number of people who would agree with you.
This is funny to me...not meaning to be disrespectful, but it is.

They used this sort of rationale in the middle ages...they were't having sex outside of marriage, they were "married" for the night so that made premarital sex OK.

I guess we'll have what we want one way or the other to make us more comfortable, yes?

Thank you for your comments. When my friend told me about it, I thought she was joking.
Thanks for the link Nia. I found your site through dragonflygeisha and have enjoyed your witing and thoughts.

btw, I'm a guy :)

Thank you for the link too. I am sorry that I thought you were a woman.
that's just crazy :-)
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