A house on water

A Comprehensive Study Research on Temporary Marriage in Iran


Persian: Shirazeh Publication, 2019

English: Mehri Publication, London-UK 2019

Second edition published by: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Germany (2022)

A house on water

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There are paradoxical views of temporary marriage in Iranian society. Proponents view temporary marriage as a factor in preventing prostitution and moral decadence in society, while opponents view it as a way for men to violate the rights of women and children. A considerable number of women in the country do not agree with Sigheh / temporary marriage, which has always been associated with disobedience and not much accepted, but legislation has given temporary marriage semi-legal status, and the religious section of Iranian society has accepted and adhered to temporary marriage as a form of informal cohabitation.

The jurisprudence and official law of the country consider temporary marriage and forced marriage because of unintended pregnancy (‘gunshot’ weddings) the same despite their different nature. These issues have not been viewed as separate and independent up to now, while legal and religious ambiguity about temporary marriage and forced / gunshot marriage have led to unpleasant consequences such as early childbearing, dropping out of school, violating women’s rights and physical and psychological harm especially to girls and women regardless of the social conditions of Iran. Forced marriage may arise from issues around unintended pregnancy and family ‘honour’ and sometimes temporary marriage does not even have the protection of the law which does exist.

The main motivation for researching temporary marriage and ‘honour’ based forced marriage its legal interpretation whilst conducting research on child marriage (reported in the book Echo of Silence) was that there are many children who enter into ‘marriage’ in secret, without any legal status at all. There are legal vacuums but also some social norms and facilitation of early marriage. The new modes of temporary marriage, together with its legal weaknesses and effects and harms, can impact on individuals, especially women.

In addition to examining the consequences of temporary marriage of children, the book House on Water examined the emergence and prevalence of these new forms of adult marriage, its legal weaknesses, and its effects on individuals, especially women, in cases of miscarriage, alimony, custody, and unwanted pregnancies for first time in Iran. The study examines temporary marriage and new ways of attending it in the metropolitan communities of Tehran, Mashhad and Isfahan.

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A House on water Kurdish 292L R copy

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