OPEN LETTER TO MUSLIM UMMAH
I am a 23 year old Muslim lady from a decent Muslim home. A conscious Muslim family for that matter. For a very long time this issue has weighed heavily on my mind, it has kept me crying most nights before sleep eventually overtakes my disturbing thought.
I am therefore using this opportunity to express my thought and appeal to our religious leaders to prevail on our parents to make getting married easier for us.
To the religious leaders:
1. You have inadvertently completely ignored the females during your daa’wah (lecture) sessions and you often speak as if it’s only the men that are exposed to fitnah (trials). Ladies too are not immune from this, you know.
2. We ladies want you to give this issue so much prominence so that our parents will become aware and consequently heed the advise. We are the ones who bear the burden of this problem, so we look up to duats (Muslim preachers) regarding the issue. Our parents are really not aware of its implications, please make them listen.
3. “Make dua“ (prayers), you say. We do all the time, trust me, and we will continue to do this, but you have to remember – good and pious husbands do not fall from trees, via start-up conversation in malls, or by mere stopping Muslim Sisters in the streets. Please, do create avenues for us to meet in the halal way.
To the society
1. You often ask us “When are you getting married?” Sometimes, you talk behind our backs, especially men, saying “Is she still not married? But then, who among you has ever attempted to offer us proposals? And how often do you task the Islamic community with getting us married?
You are good at preaching and reminding us of the dictates of Islam on societal sanity, chastity and purity of a pious lady. You all know the stand of Islam on fornication and adultery, yet you leave young ladies, spinsters and widows’ emotional needs unattended to; what a wicked Ummah.
And to our parents
1. Our dear parents. Without doubt, it is obvious that you love us so much, as you try hard to do right by us and not do to us, “auren dole” by letting us engage in haram relationships claiming “itama to nemo mijinta da kanta” or “ bama so mu takura mata”. You have indeed placed us in grave danger, being alone with a non mahram, talking and doing things we shouldn’t be doing!
2. You have made getting married so hard for us, you create artificial hurdles – reasons and excuses – that have no significance or strange to Islam.
Your usual excuses: ”You have to finish schooling“. You are also fond of saying, ”But he earns very little“, “He is not the same tribe as you are“ and so on.
We beg of you, kindly refer to the Imams and the clerics for explanation on what the religion says concerning the criteria for choosing husbands for your daughters.
Finally, I must stress that the Ummah – Muslim Community – has truly disappointment us and our parents have also woefully failed us with regards to assisting us to protect our chastity. You must quickly come to terms with this reality, for your regular ibaadat (acts of worship) may not be enough to atone for your sins, arising from this criminal negligence of the onerous responsibility of yours.
This is my contribution. I hope this open letter of mine creates a trend, I hope the message spreads far and wide, just as I hope whoever this message reaches finds time forward it to a higher Islamic organisations and relevant authorities, so that the right thing is done before it degenerates to a social disaster.
Spread the word: The youths are in distress, trust me, we are.
Written by a concerned but hopeful Muslim sister.
Hajia Shuqroh Owolabi