By Oleg Atbashian,

Gold dome of Imam Reza's shrine, Mash'had
Holy Shiite! Pious pilgrimage just got more exciting at Imam Reza’s shrine in Iran, where for a reasonable fee (see price list below) a mullah can join any eager pilgrim in holy matrimony of “temporary marriage” with his choice of a lovely, fully hijabed, and properly veiled prostitute for a period lasting between 5 hours to 10 days. Pedophiles welcome: girls as young as 12 years of age are standing by. Not to worry, the mullahs got them covered: all “temps” under 14 must show a written consent from their fathers or male guardians.

We are not making this up.

According to a document obtained by, the mullahs are doing it not for the money (what’s a 5% pimp cut for a holy shrine?), but out of the noble desire “to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind” of “those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine.” Verily, what true believer can maintain tranquility of mind and not succumb to sexual yearning while away from his other wives for nearly a week? No pious man should have to suffer such inhumanity.

Here’s how it works. The mullah performs a ceremony that sanctions the “morality” of the relationship for a period specified in the “prenuptial agreement” (not more than 10 days, minimum charge 5 hrs) — in direct proportion to the size of the “bridegroom’s” wallet. When the “godliness” of their prepaid romance expires, the “honeymooners” descend from the moral high ground to get an easy, sharia-compliant divorce. As Allah and his prophet Mohammed would have it, a man can have many wives, so no laws are broken and the decorum is intact.

Everyone is happy: the mullahs count their money, the enlightened “pilgrim” goes home with a renewed sense of moral self-righteousness, and the recurrent bachelorette is back on the bridal market.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the full document, translated into English by

In the name of Allah who is most gracious and merciful

Temporary Marriage
(Marriage is among the traditions of the Prophet Mohammad)

In order to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind, the Province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan has created centers for temporary marriage (just next door to the shrine) for those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine of our eighth Imam, Imam Reza, and who are far away from their spouses.

To that end, we call on all our sisters who are virgins, who are between the ages of 12 and 35 to cooperate with us. Each of our sisters who signs up will be bound by a two-year contract with the province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan and will be required to spend at least 25 days of each month temporarily married to those brothers who are on pilgrimage. The period of the contract will be considered as a part of the employment experience of the applicant. The period of each temporary marriage can be anywhere between 5 hours to 10 days. The prices are as follows:

• 5 hour temporary marriage — 50,000 Tomans ($50 US)

• One day temporary marriage — 75,000 Tomans ($75 US)

• Two day temporary marriage — 100,000 Tomans ($100 US)

• Three day temporary marriage — 150,000 Tomans ($150 US)

• Between 4 and 10 day temporary marriage — 300,000 Tomans ($300 US)

Our sisters who are virgins will receive a bonus of 100,000 Tomans ($100 US) for the removal of their hymen.

After the expiration of the two-year contract, should our sisters still be under 35 years of age and should they be so inclined, they can be added to the waiting list of those who are seeking long-term temporary marriage. The employed sisters are obligated to donate 5% of their earnings to the Shrine of Imam Reza. We ask that all the sisters who are interested in applying, to furnish two full-length photographs (fully hijabed and properly veiled), their academic diplomas, proof of their virginity and a certificate of good physical and psychological health which they can obtain through the health and human services of the township of their residence. Please forward all compiled material and send to the below address by the 31st of the month of Ordibehesht, 1389 (May 21st, 2010).

Attention: For sisters who are below 14 years of age, a written consent from their fathers or male guardian is required.

Address: Mash’had, Shrine of Imam Reza, Shaheed Navab-Safavi, Kossar passage, Bureau of Temporary Marriages

or call Haji Mahmood Momtaz: 98/511/222-5790

And you thought speech codes only existed on your local public radio. The mullahs have been perfecting the magic of word games too, and with great efficiency. For instance, the above document can be used as proof that there is no prostitution in Iran.

Obviously, it is not sex tourism as long as they call it “visiting holy shrines.” It is not sexual exploitation as long as the clients are called “brothers” and the whores are called “sisters.” It is not a brothel as long as you call it a “bureau.” It is not prostitution as long as it is called “temporary marriage,” the hustler is a mullah, and the pimp cut is an “obligatory donation.”

See? No prostitution whatsoever. Just like there are no homosexuals in Iran. Sanctimonious language works every time whenever an irrational culture keeps people blind to reality, compelling them to judge others by what they say and not by what they do.

The mullahs are very peculiar about maintaining a highly moral society. And the society plays along, by exhibiting a highly moral behavior. And what happens in the Shrine of the Eighth Imam, stays in the Shrine of the Eighth Imam.

You may still be smirking about the new definition of “temporary employment agency.” Or yucking that the meaning of “brothers” and “sisters” will never be the same again. And it may be a while before you stop associating the word “honeymoon” with the crescent on top of a mosque.

Original document translated at:

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