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As even eighteen wives were said to be legal, then
the learned gave the decision that it may be admis-
sible, by the mode of matdh, " a temporary agree-
* < ment,"l by means of which the obtainment of wo-
men is facilitated for a certain price; and this is
permitted pursuant to the creed of the Imam Malik.
The sect of the Shiahs assert, that a son begotten in
consequence of mat&h,- is preferable to all others.
Nakib Khan followed the footsteps of the Imam
Malik, who at last declared the matah legal by a pub-
lic patent. The sect of the Shiahs quote, in sup-
port of this, the following passage of the Koran :

1 The passage of the Koran favorable to temporary marriage is in
chap. IV. v. 28: " For the advantage which you receive from them, give
** them their reward (assign them their dower), according to what is
" ordained: but it shall not be criminal to make any other agreement
" among yourselves, after the ordinance shall be complied with." In
this passage the word matdh occurs. This sort of marriage is also ad-
mitted in the Hddaya fil foru," the Guide in the Branches- of the Law"
(translated into English by Charles Hamilton/' 1791).

Nevertheless it was a subject of great contest among the Muhammedan
doctors whether such a connection be legitimate or not. The Imam Abu
Hanifah and others declared it abrogated, according to the universal
concurrence of the prophet's companions, on the authority of Ebn Abbas
Abdallah, who died Hej. 68 (A. D. 687). This Imam adduced the inform-
ation received from Ali, who, on the day of the combat of Chaibar (A. D.
630), heard the prophet declare that such marriages are forbidden. More-
over, a strong opposer to their legitimacy was Yahia, the son of Aktam,
son of Muhammed, son of Katan, a celebrated judge, who died in the
year of the Hejira 242 (A. D. 856). Living during the reign of Mamun,
he succeeded in persuading the Khalif to prohibit by a decree temporary
marriage, which he had before permitted.(See Abulfeda, vol. II. pp.