Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Child Not Bride or Child Not Adult?

This is one article that is long overdue.

I ask you to read this to the end once you have started it and if you are a bigot I urge you not to start reading this because I would hate for any reader to not fully comprehend my point here. Read to the end, I am not spewing words that I do not understand, I know full well what my argument is and I stand by it also I have proof of all that I write so….read and leave your comments below

First of all, I start by pointing out one fact. The choice for adults to reproduce comes with a certain responsibility that entails that until this child is fully an adult, he/she is under the sole care of his/her parents. It is the parents responsibility to protect and provide for this child, it is their duty as parents to do everything in favor of the child. The child did not ask to be born, the parents made that decision for the child so they are required to do whatever it is they can to protect the well being of that child.

Education has become a privilege. Those of us privileged enough to have an education know this very well. There are several people that are not so fortunate.

The issue of child marriage is appalling honestly. I just watched the interview with Senator Yarima and I am honestly disappointed on how clueless these so called people we elect into office to lead us are. I am not trying to be disrespectful here. I understand Senator Yarimas whole basis but come on. In the interview he said, he went all the way from Nigeria to Egypt to see a girl but ended up seeing the 13 year old whom he wedded. Doesn’t this seem just a little odd to you. This is a man over the age of 50, he has kids way older than 14 years of age. I have a father who is over the age of 50 and a little sister who just turned 13. I am simply outraged by the idea that someone as old as my father would look at my little sister in a “sexual” way. This is a child who can barely take care of herself, a child whom I as an older sister always have to remind to go take a shower. How do you as an adult and a father look at this innocent child and think of taking her up to your bed?

I am pretty sure the Senator gave this girls family a ton of money to marry their daughter and it breaks my heart to know that there are families out there who would take their child and give her off to a man just because he has a lot of money. This reminds me very well of slavery. You cannot tell me a 13-year-old girl has always had a dream of marrying a man of 50 years from a place far away from her hometown and everything she knows. 13 is a tender age, a very vulnerable age, this is the stage where a child begins to discover herself, this is the time in her life when she begins to understand her body and the changes her body will begin to show at that age. 13 is the age of innocence. I think it is highly important that we as adults do our best to preserve the innocence of children.

If a child at the age of 13 thinks of nothing but marriage to a 50 year old man then I am sorry but there is something wrong here and the mother should be worried too. I am not a mother, I may not know anything about raising a child, but I am a child of 5, I have four sisters and I happen to be the second oldest. I have watched my mother raise my little sisters and me and at the age of 13 my mother does her best to keep us as innocent as possible. I mean, isn’t that what parenting is? Protecting your child? If my mother should ever hear about a man, giving her 13-year-old daughter a look of sexual desire, knowing my mother, I know she would go berserk.  I am completely blaming the childs mother here. To rub your child of the innocence of a 13 year old, to rub your child of the beauty of being a teenager, that is absolutely heart breaking. This child has being made into a mother at the age of 15. Do not tell me she can still go to school and follow her dreams and be whatever she wants to be. She cannot, her sole responsibility is now all about protecting her own child and doing what’s best for the child. At 15 years old, I was in High school still not sure of who I was and what I wanted to be and there is no way in hell that I would have being able to take care of a child at that age.

I think marriage is sacred and before anyone embarks on this life long journey, one must be able to understand what he/she is getting into. Marriage comes with sacrifices and compromises and biologically, the average 13 year olds brain is not fully able to comprehend what exactly marriage entails.

I am not even discussing the medical ramifications under aged sexual activity has on a child.  This child is vulnerable to VVF. Do you as the “supposed” husband make this child understand that she is at a risk of tearing her internal organs? Do you make her understand that if she agrees to go to bed with you, that she is at a risk of having to hold a bag of pee with her wherever she goes? Senator Yarima pointed out that his wife is fine but that doesn’t mean other girls are. We are all different and we all have different body types, one girl may be mature enough to give birth at the age of 15 but another girl wouldn’t be. So because one child narrowly escapes this horrible path we should allow it and not protect other girls?

Notice how all this time I by-passed the topic of religion. I am a born, raised and practicing Muslim. I have read the Qur’an in both Arabic and English and I have had it read to me and explained to me in a language I could understand right from childhood so I do have a pretty sound idea of what I am about to talk about.  Yes  it is common misconception that the prophet married his wife Aisha at the age of 6 and had the marriage consummated two years after when she was at the age of 8. I have done my research, I have read about this several times. The reason I used the word “misconception” is because The Prophet  (SAW) did not marry Aisha (RA) at as young an age as 6. She is said to be way older. It appears that Maulana Muhammad Ali was the first Islamic scholar directly to challenge the notion that Aisha was aged six and nine, respectively, at the time of her nikah and consummation of marriage. This he did in, at least, the following writings: his English booklet Prophet of Islam, his larger English book Muhammad, the Prophet, and in the footnotes in his voluminous Urdu translation and commentary of Sahih Bukhari entitled Fadl-ul-Bari, these three writings being published in the 1920s and 1930s. In the booklet Prophet of Islam, which was later incorporated in 1948 as the first chapter of his book Living Thoughts of the Prophet Muhammad, he writes in a lengthy footnote which I quote from saying

“Again it is a fact admitted on all hands that the nikah of Aisha took place in the tenth year of the Call in the month of Shawwal, while there is also preponderance of evidence as to the consummation of her marriage taking place in the second year of Hijra in the same month, which shows that full five years had elapsed between the nikah and the consummation. Hence there is not the least doubt that Aisha was at least nine or ten years of age at the time of betrothal, and fourteen or fifteen years at the time of marriage.”

(Full article from

To make my point even clearer. Men do not have the right to compare themselves to the Holy Prophet. We are told in the Holy Qur’an to follow the teachings of the Prophet (SAW). We were not asked to be him. Men have come to justify their actions by stating the phrase “The prophet also did it”, excuse me but you have no right  to compare your virtues to that of the Prophet (SAW). Why then are men asked to marry only up to 4 wives but we know clearly from The Qur’an and hadith that the Prophet had up to 11 wives. The time of the prophethood and our time is not the same. Men need to understand that, before they can quote the Qur’an and use it as a basis for their arguments, they must first understand the Qur’an first. Later research have also gone on to prove that Aisha (RA) was not as young as she is said to be when she married the Holy Prophet.

Below quoted from the compiler of the famous Hadith collection Mishkat al-Masabih, Imam Wali-ud-Din Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Khatib, who died 700 years ago, has also written brief biographical notes on the narrators of Hadith reports. He writes under Asma,  the older daughter of Abu Bakr:
“She was the sister of Aisha Siddiqa, wife of the Holy Prophet, and was ten years older than her. … In 73 A.H. … Asma died at the age of one hundred years.”

“This would make Asma 28 years of age in 1 A.H., the year of the Hijra, thus making Aisha 18 years old in 1 A.H. So Aisha would be 19 years old at the time of the consummation of her marriage, and 14 or 15 years old at the time of her nikah. It would place her year of birth at four or five years before the Call.”

We women in Nigeria have always being silenced by men. When I first showed my disapproval towards the whole bill to make a 13 year old girl an adult and be legally consent towards marriage, I was told by several people to “keep quiet” about it and someone went further to tell me “I support prostitution and not the teachings of the prophet”. Women must take a stand. If no one will stand of the 13 year olds, we as adult women must fight and protect them. We must be heard.  I keep thinking of my little innocent baby sister as I write this. I am an educated young woman and I know my rights and I know wrong when I see it and Senator Yarima is wrong. This is not about the Senator, Yarima loves the attention he is getting, this puts him in the spot light for the next political office he runs for and he knows full well that the ignorants among us are so much more and he will have their support.  Again the is not about the Senator. This is about the rights of children that we as a society must protect and stand for. We must let children know that the society has not forsaken them and they are safe. Their rights to an education is safe and their body is not a vessel for a man to purchase whenever he pleases.
My religion teaches peace and equality. It does not teach barbarism, it does not teach extremism. Quoting from the holy book:

" It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7,Verse 189

"The believers, men and women, are "Awliy," (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma`ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do);and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they offer their prayers perfectly (lqamat-as-Salat), and give the Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have mercy on them." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 9, Verse 71

"So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), "Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 195
“And according to usage, women too have rights over men similar to the rights of men over women.”
(al-Qur’an, 2:228)
This Verse denotes that rights enjoyed by men are the duties of the women and the duties of men are the rights of women. This implies a similitude between both the genders. There is no right conferred on man that woman may be deprived of because she is a woman.

So basically my point is, know the deen before you use it to justify your own human actions. Regardless of your beliefs, a 13 year old is not an adult. NOT AN ADULT.

Read More

Saturday, October 26, 2013

- Last night,
i wore blood red lipstick,
coloured my eyes black
and painted my face
several layers of brown,
i looked like the definition
of angels in heaven.
i was tumbling
down valleys
of self hatred
and several years
of repressed
Read More

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tears Of My Mother

I grew up with the idea that only the weak cry. It worked for me. I wasn’t one of those kids that cried all the time when they didn’t get what they want, I sit and strategize and I always end up getting what I wanted. I was a smart kid like that. I blame my father tho, he bought me books that thought me to be smart.

Tears are like rain in summer, I look at it as beauty. You know when it rains and you want to sit down and read a book or just go to sleep, that’s tears for me. It’s a rare comfort I am not blessed with having the company of all the time, whenever I cry, I always end up sleeping the day away, I saw my mother do this when her friend died. As she cried out her friends’ name, I sat on the couch and hugged my knees. I tried to watch the show going on on the tv but all I could hear wear my mothers cries, I could feel the tears streaming down her face forming a pool of anguish at her feet. It wasn’t a pool I could swim, I couldn’t save her. I was only 5. I sat and listened as her other friend hugged her and comforted her. That is how I learned the beauty of hugs. Even in the most painful moments, I hug could lift your spirits. My mothers’ sobs subsided and she wore her iron mask. We were not a very touchy feely family. My mother taught us to swallow our pain and only let it out when it was most necessary. Whenever I did something wrong and my mother hits me, she always follows it up in her very cultured mother tongue “swallow those tears”. I grew up swallowing my pain, at a point I drowned in my pain. In cases when I was allowed to cry, I learned were when the source of my anguish is beyond my control, I had to sit in the waiting room and listen to my mother in the theater with the doctor while I held her purse. I listened as my mother cried out for her own mother when the doctors’ blade sliced her finger to remove the puss from her infected whitlow. I could not save my mother. I felt the doctors lift of the blade and I felt it coming down on her finger and I heard her blood flow from it, I listened to it flow like an ocean wave, it was chaotic, between the sound of the blade, the flash of its silver tip, the ocean of blood flowing from my mothers finger and her sobs. I sat in the waiting room and held her purse and drowned in my ocean of emotions. I was not allowed to cry. My mothers’ tears were gold, a rare form of gold that you only get to see almost never. I wanted to lift a glass to her eyes and well up the tears to stop them from hitting the ground and forming a pool that I couldn’t swim across, I wanted to be able to save my mother, she came out of the theatre with a smile on her face, I held her purse, I asked her if it hurt and she looked at me dead in the eyes and said “a little bit”. She was titanium. I held her purse. She bid the nurse and doctor goodbye. I held her purse. We walked to the car and my mother, hand bandaged up all together got into the car, put on her seat belt and drove us home. I held her purse.
Read More

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Nigeria at 53

It has been 53 years since we broke free from the shackles of colonialism and it breaks my heart that what we see is blood and dust, tears and sweat, broken dreams and empty promises, little acts of misconduct

they have taken our country from us, not the white people, not the Queen, we took our country from the Brits and Sir Tafawa Balewa and all his friends that fought for us will turn over in their graves watching as their hard work falls down in chunks, imploding on its people

Nigeria is a great nation, it's a nation that takes care of itself, we have done nothing for it, we have squandered its funds and pissed in her womb

Nigeria has not forsaken us, Nigeria is a beautiful nation and Nigeria will still take care of herself......and us.

Read More