Tying A Slipknot: Temporary Marriages in Iran

The purpose of this Note is to analyze the institution of mut’a critically, but objectively. It is important to first understand that it is possible to learn something from this institution. The sanctioning of temporary marriages illustrates the pervasive role of law as a method of social control, a characteristic which has parallels in the West. Furthermore, the institution may be challenged on its merits. For example, this Note intends to illustrate how the lack of formalism and the presence of great ambiguity in the institution have contributed to its lack of acceptance in Iranian society. The institution’s deficiencies demonstrate the necessity of formality and clarity in any legal institution.