Ilorin and the Traditional Nikaah of Fornicators, by Aladodo Abdus-Salam
Another plague ravaging the city of Ilorin is the solemnization of two fornicators. This happens when a woman is hurriedly married to a man who impregnates her out of wedlock. It is mainly done to avert the man, the woman, and their families of shame.
The leading causes of such misfortunes are:
1. Refusal of some parents to marry off their sons/daughters early.
2. Wayward lifestyle of some children despite being well-trained by their parents.
3. Stubborn decision of some parents on not marrying off their sons/daughters to non-indigene.
Parents who believe their children are too young for marriage or shouldn’t marry a non-indigene do not oppose having a boyfriend/girlfriend. The boyfriend/girlfriend culture is technically a gateway to Zina and is forbidden in Islam.
This toxic culture is overlooked by the parents and provided as an alternative to early marriage. The children then explore themselves in ways the parent cannot imagine. Exploration turns disastrous when the lady gets pregnant.
The wicked boyfriends will propose abortion, while the considerate ones are left with no choice but to push for a quick marriage to save their families from shame. Such weddings are officiated with the pregnancy being a secret or public knowledge (in cases when the baby bump is too big to hide).
In making matters worse, a league of Alfas and Imams will officiate the arangee marriage. Instead of refusing to solemnize such union, they happily wine, dine and congratulate both families on such remarkable (rather saddening) achievement for their sons/daughters.
Ilorin, where are we heading to? Is this the tradition of our fathers? Is this the kind of legacy we want to leave for the coming generations?
What use is the knowledge we ascribe to ourselves and this city if we cannot encourage our sons/daughters to marry early instead of fornicating?
What use is our knowledge if we feel no remorse officiating the Nikaah of fornicators?
What use is the flag of Islam we fly high if chastity is found wanting in our sons/daughters?
Have we forgotten that Nikaah is a sacred rite that must not be preceded with impurities?
Have we forgotten that this city was built with the sweat, commitment, and chastity of our fathers? Why deviate from their excellent actions when we can build on and sustain the good legacy they left us?
وَضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلٗا قَرۡيَةٗ كَانَتۡ ءَامِنَةٗ مُّطۡمَئِنَّةٗ يَأۡتِيهَا رِزۡقُهَا رَغَدٗا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٖ فَكَفَرَتۡ بِأَنۡعُمِ ٱللَّهِ فَأَذَٰقَهَا ٱللَّهُ لِبَاسَ ٱلۡجُوعِ وَٱلۡخَوۡفِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصۡنَعُونَ
And Allah presents an example: a city which was safe and secure, its provision coming to it in abundance from every location, but it denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste the envelopment of hunger and fear for what they had been doing. — Surah An-Nahl, verse 112.
— Aladodo Abdus-Salam