Temporary Marriage in Pre- and Post- Islamic Iran according to Jurisprudential Texts

Scholars in Zoroastrianism, such as Macuch (1981, 1993, 2007); Carlsen (1984); Mazaheri (1938); Shaki (1971, 1975) and Hjerrild (1988, 1993, 2003) have extensively studied family laws in Ancient Iran. They have based their research on Zoroastrian jurisprudential texts. However, the study of different aspects of marriage laws, with regard to temporary marriage, has nearly been deprived of the attention it deserves, especially the comparison of this kind of matrimony in Pre-Islamic Iran and in Shiʻism.
As most of the original texts in Middle Persian and Early New Persian suggest, there existed five kinds of marriage in Ancient Iran, specifically in Sasanian era. According to “Persian Rivayats” pAdixSAy-zanIh, osrA’InIh, čagar-zanIh, ayOgEnIh, and stUrIh were different marriages. Although we cannot find a specific legal term for temporary marriage in the Pahlavi legal texts, there are some laws, either directly or subtly, mentioning the conditions of such matrimony. Macuch, who believes ayOgEnIh was intermediary successorship rather than a kind of marriage, brings up the question whether temporary marriage in Sasanian era continued to exist as Motʻa in Shi’ism (1985). However, her valuable article inspecting the Zoroastrian laws is devoid of evidence from Shiʻi jurisprudential texts.
This research is to shed light on some legal aspects of temporary marriage in both Zoroastrianism and Shiʻism. It also examines women’s rights and responsibilities in this kind of matrimony, and hence the impact of these laws on women’s social status.
The research has been fundamentally done through primary sources among which are MAdayAn I Hazar DAdestAn (the Book of a Thousand Judgments), RiWAyat Āzar FarrnbaG FarroxzAdAn, RiWAyat Ēmed ASawahiStAn, and Shiʻa reference books such as Sharḥ e Lomʻa and jurisprudential text of Oṣul e KAfi part II. The former is the major source of jurisprudence and even in the law system of Modern Iran, the latter consists of Rivayats in different subjects one of which is matrimony.