By Mohammed Aliyu Baba
Marriage according to the English dictionary is defined as a state of being married. So basically, marriage is a union between two people of the opposite sex who come together to create a family that is legally, socially and religiously acceptable.
Nigeria’s ‘age of consent is pegged to be 18 years. In this instance, a boy or girl cannot legally get married below eighteen years of age. Even if he/she is mature enough, it would be constitutionally tagged child marriage. Because Section 29 of the 1999 constitution as amended clearly stipulates that citizens must be of full age to engage in marriage. The section adds that “full age means the age of eighteen years and above,” and also specifies that “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age” (S. 29, sub-section 4b).
However, the religion of Islam considered the physical and mental maturity of the individuals than their age. In essence, if a boy is matured before eighteen and a girl is riped before fifteen, they should be a religiously pronounced married couple if they accept each other and all necessary obligations met. In this scenario, the ability is generally the courtesy of the age of maturity so as to prevent fornication.
Encourage Marriage to Discourage Immorality. (Q24:32), “you shall
encourage those of you who are single to get married. They may marry the righteous among your male and female servants even if they are poor. GOD will enrich them from His grace. GOD is Bountiful, all-knowing.”
Meanwhile, Northern Nigeria is one of the parts of the world that practices marriage based on the Islamic perspectives since it is mostly dominated by believers of Islam. Many engage in the marital journey even while schooling; an act that (some) others described as a threat to the academic competence of individuals involved.
In fact, many people who are completely westernized see this practice as a child marriage that seriously hinders the literacy level of the region, especially on the part of girl child education. They forgot that it is physical maturity that calls for the marriage of a girl right from puberty; putting into consideration the climatic condition of every geographical area.
The Noble Prophet (S.A.W) in one of his sayings: “Virgin girls are like ripe fruits on trees. If not plucked in time, the sun will rot them and the wind will disperse them. When girls reach maturity and their sexual instincts arise, like that of women, their only remedy is marriage. If they aren’t married, they are prone to moral corruption. It is because they are human beings and human beings are prone to making mistakes.”
From the saying of the Prophet above, human beings are likely to commit avoidable sins (adultery) if the right thing is not done at the right time. And we all know that the world is full of temptations that could drive human beings to immorality.
Considering the immoral activities of students on campus nowadays; if there are means, it is advisable to be married to a partner than to be a promiscuous element. This is never a threat to human academic competence, rather, it controls and regulates one’s sexual urge in a pious way, while it also moderates your infatuation feelings and attention towards the opposite sex.
Indeed, kudos to Zainab Bello who has been doing exceptionally well in her academic journey from her nursery school days. She ventured into marriage in the process, became a mother and still, she was able to break a 60-year-old record in her mathematics department to bag first class in the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. This is true, esprit de corps to our young girls out there that they can even perform better academically in their matrimony.
Of course, there were a series of unwed ladies that studied in her department before her and could not achieve her feat. Therefore, don’t waste your piety unnecessarily through western mentality. If you can’t abstain or ignore the forbidden fruit, get espoused.
Baba writes from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and can be reached via: [email protected]