He says the girl actually wanted to get married for only one day; they finally settled on three days subject to renewal.

For Selman, Mut'ah is simply "a permission from God to have sexual relations." He's open about the fact that it's different than true love.

"Even if it is temporary, it is still a marriage with serious commitments."Alidina says the crucial components of the Mut'ah marriage are the mutual acceptance of the marriage, a bridal gift to the wife paid in cash, and her obligation to stay single for two menstrual cycles after the marriage ends to ensure she is not pregnant before entering into another.

The husband is responsible for a child conceived during the marriage, even if the marriage lasts only a few hours, and religious leaders recommend that the contract be put in writing so women can claim their rights in Islamic courts that recognize Mut'ah marriages.

Like permanent marriages in Islam, Mut'ah marriages are only allowed with other Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

His partners have been Catholic and Muslim-American, Spanish, Lebanese, Turkish, Palestinian, and Pakistani.

A practicing Catholic when he arrived in New York from Sicily, he converted to Islam after one year here. Six months after becoming a Shiite Muslim, Giganti entered into his first temporary marriage with a Spanish Catholic woman.

"The idea seemed really wishy-washy at first, but as I got more religious it began to make sense," he says."I go there to smoke and not to pick up women," he insists.More often than not, though, he admits he somehow ends up meeting a beautiful girl.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.The narrow confine of Luxor, an Egyptian cafe in Greenwich Village, is one of his favorites, despite the cramped space.There were certain marriages where he felt committed to his bride, but others that he says were just "date-like.""I misused Mut'ah when I did it repeatedly and with several women," he says. "God ordered us to say these words and we say these words."Many years ago, when he was teaching at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Imam Alidina himself got a Mut'ah marriage for six months.