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ON MARRIAGE, DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS: HELPING THE YOUTHS SET THE PRIORITIES RIGHT

Author: 
Aremu Toyib
Category: 

Perhaps what is necessary now is to first apologize for missing weeks on this column since the commencement of the second half of this session. Sometimes we do things and may not really realize that there are people watching. It was consistent writing spurred by a good heart for change that saw Chief Dele Momodu, the veteran journalist who writes the Pendulum column at This Day Newspaper, to Aso Rock on invitation by President Muhammadu Buhari. I also have been recently addressed as “the brother who wants to go to Poly” by a sister based on an article I wrote in this column towards the end of last semester. It was funny when I heard this. This is just to say that we should continue with what is good that we are doing and abandon whatever bad thing it is we have our hands dipped in because we don’t know exactly who is watching. I seize the medium to supplicate unto Allah that the souls of the Hujjaj who lost their lives in the two deadly incidents that occurred at this year’s hajj be admitted to Al-janatu Firdaus (Amin). Now we address the issue of the day.

Recently, I found myself in a room interviewing some youths and I waited each time to see how each person reacts when asked about marriage and relationship affairs. The reactions are the things one can guess: it varied from those who were shocked that they could be asked such question at that time (which means they do not have plans to get married soon irrespective of their maturity) to those who are hopeful that they would engage soon. What surprised me, however, is that we had some “inbetweeners”; people who have decided not to take side. They are not planning to get married soon and they do not present themselves as single. The moment I saw this situation, I knew there is a problem of orientation in our community. It is just a matter of finding a way to fix it.

It may be hard to come to terms with but the truth is that our thinking and way of living have been deeply transmogrified by western education. A Muslim today now plans his whole life depending on education: he finishes first degree, goes for service and immediately returns for masters. When he is done with that, he returns to complete the race with the pursuit of PhD. So just then I ask, what will it be when PhD becomes of less value like others did? It can be said without much hesitation that this is the generation that requires marriage most. Unlike the centuries that have passed, women now move around almost naked; when one sits in front of the TV to watch the news, there’s always that advert that triggers the sex sense in us. But even then, we have decided to be the most unconcerned generation about the issue of marriage. Or more appropriately, we have trivialized it.

A friend recently shared with me that some brothers protested, albeit silently and peacefully, the status quo of some sisters in the university of Ibadan. I guess they have finally come to realize the evil in what most of us have got involved in. If you approach a sister now and ask her if she is single (with a view to ask her out), she would most probably say she is attached; the single with a “but” status. Normally, one should be happy for her except that the relationship she claims to be serious about is the least serious thing. She would have been with the brother for more than a year and none of the families will know what their child is up to or who he/she is with. Today, we have afforded ourselves towing the line of sin, what the Quran has warned us all about and against. The prophet advised clearly that the best thing for two persons who love each other is to get married but instead of following this imperative advice which is best for us, we instead chose the path of dating for more than 3 or more years and create problem for the society.

I always say to people that there is no blessing in a relationship that lasts for more than 3years before you finally decide to involve the parents. What would be the topic of discussion for those 2, 3 or more years? Ustadh Rosheed Hasheem always warns us from getting too close to the one who we intend to marry. It is because we have got this wrong that we have brought burdens upon ourselves. Buying cloths or shoes for your fiancée is not your responsibility yet. You two are not engaged yet so you should avoid seclusion and unnecessary visits. You should totally avoid taking up responsibilities meant for couples. Going to get food from her is not so cool. If you haven’t met her, won’t you fetch for yourself? Why do you think people break up easily this generation? Haven’t you thought about it? Even if the wedding was very colourful and many people attended it, soon one of the couples will file for a divorce. Personally I believe that the time you meet someone you would love to marry is the time to becoming a better person. If you are weak in Islamic knowledge, cooking, having patience and being submissive; this is the time to reshape and reorganize your life. Calling your boyfriend or girlfriend too often is not the best thing (experience and personal research have even showed that it upsets some people), becoming a better person for them is.

I have thought about this overtime and I can’t but think that one of the reasons couples break up is because they have tasted more than they should of themselves before the marriage. When two individuals in a relationship have spoken all their time over the phone, what is left to surprise them of each other? Unravelling the character of someone is a mystery of marriage but what mystery would be left when you have been seeing the person the person for about 6years before you got married? I personally feel that when people date over a long period of time, they are liable to later not find reasons to get married anymore. That’s why all of a sudden you just receive a text saying it is over. You shouldn’t be shattered over this because it’s your fault.

The sisters also complain that the brothers are the unserious ones. They complain that the brothers do not want to get responsible. This is true. What is a brother who cannot feed himself doing with sending in a marriage proposal? You don’t have a plan on how you will feed a family and you keep complaining that the sisters are not looking at your side. You are also the type that wants a full housewife. How is this feasible to you? This is a call, brother; start pulling some real stunt if you are serious you really want to get married. This is the time when you should start paying more attention to women lifestyle. Listen more times than you talk and learn to not aim for a win all the time. Sometimes you will return from work tired and the only thing to meet home is trouble. As a man, you need to start gathering intelligence from experienced fellows on how to proceed in this kind of situation. If the sisters should perceive you as a hard and uncaring person, you might have just dropped red oil on your CV.

Finally in the words of Ustadh Harun Audu, “only the brother who has met a lady’s parents and sought her hand in marriage has proposed”, not the one hanging all around her unserious. I leave the responsibility with the sisters to make sure the unserious brothers get serious. Try giving him dad’s number. That’s good. 

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