Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No Muthaa For Women

From Three Cups of Tea--This is how one good muslim man handles his sexual relationships:

But the foreign delicacies Changazi savored most had names like Hildegund and
Isabella. Despite the fact that the man had a wife and five children stashed at
his home in distant Pindi and a second wife tucked away in a rentd house near
the superintendent of police's office in Skardu, Changazi had spent the tourist
season tucking into a smorgasbord of the female tourists and trekkers who were
arriving in Skardu in ever greater numbers.

Changazi told Mortenson how
he squared is dalliances with his devotion to Islam. Heading to his mosque soon
after another Inge or Aiko wandered into his sights, Changazi petitioned his
mullah for permission to make a muthaa, or temporary marriage. The custom was
still common in parts of Shiite Pakistan, for married men who might face
intervals without the comfort of their wives, fighting in distant wars, or
traveling on an extended trip. But Changazi had been granted a handful of muthaa
already since the climbing season began in May. Better to sanctify the union,
however short-lived, in Allah's sight, Changazi cheerfully explained to
Morenson, than simply to have sex.

Mortenson asked if Balti women whose
husbands were away could also be granted muthaa.

"No, of course not,"
Changazi said, waggling his head at the naivete of Motenson's question, before
offering him a biscotti to dunk in his tea.

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