According to the muslim law marriage is called as Nikkah, which is a contract marrige. Prophet of Islam speaks about marriage as 'Marrige is my Sunnat (Tradition) and those who do not follow it are not my followers'. But Muta marriages are the temporary marriages. It is illecit relations.These muta marriages are allowed in shia's but not much prevalent in the sunni community. Nikkah marriages are totally different from the muta marriages.
In the muta marriages there wil be an agreement between the parties for a fixed time period, which is called as Muddal. And there is no maximum or minimum fixed time period for a muta marrige agreement. Muta marriage also known as Nikah al-Mutah is a marriage for a temporary but fixed period with a Muslim female by a male Muslim, or between a muslim and a kitabia after specifying dowar. It is a private contract which might be verbal or written in which the declaration of the intent to marry is done followed by the acceptance of the terms in the same way as is done in nikah. After the specified period, the marriage ends without going through the process of divorce.
In the late sixth and early seventh century, during the time of Prophet Muhammad, temporary marriages were already prevalent in the Arabia.The second caliph, Umar, banned temporary marriage, but Shiites reject his authority because they believe he usurped Muhammad's rightful heir, his son-in-law Ali.During the Pahlavi regime in Iran, there was a discreet attempt to abolish this institution of temporary marriage. The family Protection Law of 1967 has no mention of temporary marriage.Later the state was effectively able to move the family reforms through the parliament which led the public to believe that temporary marriages have been banned.
In the muta marriages the time has to be fixed and dower has to be specified. If the duration of marriage is fixed but no dower is specified, the contract for muta marriage is void. After the time period finishes the wife is entitle to only dower but not any maintainenace or inheritance of the property. children's born out of muta marriage are considered to be legitimate. After the agreement overs the wife has to follow the iddat of death of husband that is four months ten days. There is no limit to number of muta marriages and a person cannot enter into muta marriage agreement with a women who is undergoing iddat or if she was a wife of some other person.
In Sohrat Singh v Jafri Bibi, (1915) case it was held that “Where cohabitation of the parties to a Muta marriage has commenced, but there is no evidence of the term or duration for which the marriage was contracted, the inference would, in absence of evidence to the contrary, be that the Muta continued during the entire period of cohabitation and the children conceived during such period are legitimate and capable of inheriting from their parents”.