Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said four types of marriages existed in the time of ignorance (pre islamic).Reply
1. One type was similar to that of the present day i.e. a man used to ask somebody else for the hand of a girl under his guardianship or for his daughter's hand, and give her Mahr and then marry her.
2. The second type was that a man would say to his wife after she had become clean from her menses. "Send for so-and-so and have sexual intercourse with him." Her husband would then keep awy from her and would never sleep with her till she got pregnant from the other man with whom she was sleeping. When her pregnancy became evident, he husband would sleep with her if he wished. Her husband did so (i.e. let his wife sleep with some other man) so that he might have a child of noble breed.
3. Another type of marriage was that a group of less than ten men would assemble and enter upon a woman, and all of them would have sexual relation with her. If she became pregnant and delivered a child and some days had passed after delivery, she would sent for all of them and none of them would refuse to come, and when they all gathered before her, she would say to them, "You (all) know waht you have done, and now I have given birth to a child. So, it is your child so-and-so!" naming whoever she liked, and her child would follow him and he could not refuse to take him.
4. The fourth type of marriage was that many people would enter upon a lady and she would never refuse anyone who came to her. Those were the prostitutes who used to fix flags at their doors as sign, and he who would wished, could have sexual intercourse with them. If anyone of them got pregnant and delivered a child, then all those men would be gathered for her and they would call the Qa'if (persons skilled in recognising the likeness of a child to his father) to them and would let the child follow the man (whom they recognised as his father) and she would let him adhere to him and be called his son.
But when Muhammad (ﷺ) was sent with the Truth, he abolished all the types of marriages observed in pre-Islamic period of Ignorance except the type of marriage the people recognise today
Ref: Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab an-Nikah, Hadith 5127
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