Although mutaa marriages are sanctioned by Shia clerics, it's seen as dishonourable - essentially prostitution - by many sectors of Iraqi society, both Shia and Sunni. There is a queue of fathers waiting for their daughters to get married before the judge. Today they are sanctioned by Shia clerics in Iraq and neighbouring Iran, where most Shia adhere to what is known as Twelver Shiism. He acknowledged that Sunnis also enter into informal marriages, but said the fact that the Shia clerics are closer to those in power means they can act with impunity. In the marriage offices in Kadhimiya, clerics approached by the BBC undercover reporter elaborated on their practice.
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Rusul's harrowing way of life was triggered by an encounter when she was at work. Supporters of mutaa marriages say they can be a positive move for couples who are aware of what they are doing. Despite her initial vow to remain independent, she found herself dreaming of a husband - one who would take care of them both. In the case of girls like Rusul, they essentially enable child abuse.