When issue becomes controversial, it is necessary that we treat such issue with high sense of responsibility and sensibility. The issue of child marriage has been on the scene of discuss and the present drama currently going on in Nigeria has brought it to lime light once again. This issue can never be over emphasized. The problem remains that every party view it from it own point of angle making their judgement not far fetch from sentiments. As a matter of fact, it will be beneficial enough when we take an holistic approach and take wider view considering how it affect a larger populace rather than being myopic in our approach.
Another thing I will like to clearly state is that it is no gain saying that when any move is orchestrated and sponsored by a very devout Muslim, many are quick to term it ISLAMISATION without considering the benefits to the entire populace regardless of their social and religious backgrounds. Should I call that ISLAMOPHOBIA. Perhaps!
The point is that you can never deter a Muslim from acting and thinking like one and stop him to follow the teaching of Islam because Islam is not just a religion but a total and complete way of life (fact) attached with code of conducts, laws to be guided with and the way to serve the creator. Islam profers pragmatic solutions to every aspects of man’s life including marriage and government. Muslims are not expected to rack their brains on way out on any issues, the ways out are already provided by the Supreme being through the best of mankind. (May peace be upon him).
For any country that was termed secular even as it is clear that secularism leads to disbelieve and Muslims can never be secularists, it is not out of place for any group to apply his own believe to solve any problem at hand for the benefit of all without forcing anybody to join it since we claim the system connotes freedom of religious belief. As far as it a way out, it will be wrong if any right thinking person term that act as bigotry. This happens either because that group only has solution to the problem at hand or its the best solution out of the numerous ones. But its unfortunate that we are blind to view it from this point of angle still out of sentiments. Such acts has been ridiculed and alienated overtime in Nigeria. When any Islamist comes up with his own ideology to use to help the socio economic development of Nigeria, we call it Islamization of Nigeria. Well I won’t worry much because there is no point in begging anybody to be helped while refusing it.
Looking at the controversies that just crop up and now trending among Nigerians making many people to start testing there proficiency in English language, some even went as far as releasing videos perhaps looking for cheap publicity thinking that it a nollywood movie forgetting that this is reality not the common “action” they are used to. They even did not understand vividly the bone of contention that was going on at the floor house of the senate. The last time I checked, nobody has mentioned legalising child marriage (quoting the senator in charge of publicity as was published in the vanguard newspaper on the 26th of July 2013) they were voting to amend some two clauses that seems contradictory thereby voting that one of such should be removed. It is said that the marriageable age of 18yrs as was adopted as child right in 2013 should be removed allowing those of lesser age legible to marry. Who then now brought in the issue of legalising child marriage, although removing this clause means those below the age of 18 should have the right to marry but then it was not unconnected with some rights that female children were deprived because of the marriageable age. Unfortunately many people and groups have come out to say ‘child marriage is barbaric’ and all sort of English they just came across in the lexicon. They came out like a wounded wolf and hungry lion wanting to devour its prey. They say it is against child rights and any right that came out from their mouth but they fail to explain how bad it is to be allowed. Why, they have allowed their sense of reasoning be beclouded with sentiments and encircled in bigotry. Tell me did they force you to marry your child off or when did you start developing feelings for others, where have you been when children’s rights have been trampled upon. Or is it not obvious that child abuse, forcing children to hawk in the ever busy streets, forcing children to prostitution, baby factory are all worth fighting for. How many of you have come out like this to condemn this acts that has endangered the lives and denied these children happiness. Why?
Maybe we are not aware that a provision of the law does not necessary compute it on everybody. This does not mean we all should give our little children out for marriage, it’s only a provision in the law that allows anyone to do it. This same groups claimed that the future of the minor is at stake, now I get it. Perhaps to them marriage is only about sex. But let me enlighten all, marriage is not all about sex but for social benefit of the entire populace. For your information, maybe you don’t know, when we say Islam allows early marriage, it did not ask you to start having carnal knowledge of the minor, that is an aberration. You can marry a child at an early age but consummation of the marriage will only take place when the child is matured enough and can bear the responsibilities. At this stage if the child doesn’t want the marriage, so be it, according to the Shari’ah, the marriage will be nullified. That is the law, anything outside this is not of Islam. And as a matter of fact, if a child is given out for marriage, it doesn’t stop her education or whatever carrier she intend to pursue, we are only myopic because we limit the institution of marriage to intimacy only. If your wife desire to further her education without distractions, so be it, but she must remember she is an house wife. We are quick to condemn child marriage but silent on children having intimate relationship with the opposite sex. How many minor have been disvirgined by both minors like them and adults including their fathers, forced to prostitution or made to abort unwanted pregnancy. Is this what you want for your child, where is the right to protection for your children. We will never site all this. How many human right groups have stood against the act that is preponderant nowadays. Nobody can deny that he never reads in national dailies that fathers are raping their children even at tender age almost every week. Nobody or group has called for an enactment in the constitution to deter and halt the occurrence of this evil acts. Hypocrisy I guess. Don’t you know if your children are giving out for marriage it will curb this menace. Food for thought.
Let’s not over-flog this issues, there is absolutely nothing wrong in child marriage as far as we don’t think marriage of being about sex only.
I am not writing to impose my believe on you but to save you from the shackles of sentiments which you have been using to nurse this matter. Forget it has Islamic undertone and look at how it will affect all. Weigh the benefits and consequences and conclude justifiably. This is who I call a full man and not one whose mental faculty lacks legitimacy. These are those who follow others. They don’t think.
A word they said is enough for the wise.
Addaktur Tohir Ibrahim