If she doesn't like it, I understand, but I can't sleep with her."According to Selman, the woman has to say, "I marry you, myself." The man replies, "I accept." A token bridal gift must be given—in Selman's case, usually tea, juice, or chocolates.
Most of his marriages lasted for about three months—the shortest was three days long, with his bank teller, a Sunni from Pakistan.
Selman loathes nightclubs—"Loud music with people getting drunk and stupid is not my scene”—and so has met many of his wives in the hookah cafes of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Popular in places like Iran but also quietly practiced in America, Mut'ah is a handy option for unmarried Shiite Muslims who want to have sex without settling down for life.
"There can be no sex outside of marriage," says the 29-year-old Selman, a champion weightlifter who, over the past 10 years, has been temporarily married 25 times.
"You can't fall in love 25 times," he says, laughing.
"I had feelings for these women and I was attracted to them."But some Shiite scholars, like Muhsin Alidina, say that Selman is "fooling himself." Alidina runs the education department at the Al Khoei Islamic Center, a prominent Shiite institution in Queens.
“As a Catholic you go to hell for having premarital sex.