Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho was having her annual convocation ceremony. It was held in the school auditorium and was such a colorful one as dignitaries from
all walks of life were present to grace the event. The first degree graduating students, the M.sc and the doctorates degrees graduating students were all in academic gowns. The events started as early as 9:00am. The graduating students were seated awaiting the arrival of the school vice-chancellor and his cohorts.
The vice-chancellor, other professors and dean of faculties, later arrived. The invited dignitaries joined not long after and the event started.
Parents, guardians and well-wishers were also present to felicitate with the school and the graduating students.
The program was beautifully conducted by the M.C who was a multi-linguist. He made the occasion more interesting by interpreting in various languages. He also had a sense of humour, which made some guest almost at the edge of their seats with laughter.
The next item on the agenda was prize-giving to students who were deserving of it. Everyone listened with rapt attention as names were been called out.
It was the turn of statistics department, everyone knew Daniel Williams had no contender. He was the only one who passed out with a first class honours in his departments and one of the three in the whole of the faculty.
To everyone’s surprise Daniel Williams carted away 17 out of the 19 prizes for grabs in the ivory tower, leaving the other hundreds of students to scramble for the remaining two.
On each occasion when he was invited to the podium to receive his prize, a thundering ovation applauded his footsteps and his appearance was greeted with eulogy. He not only bagged a first class honours but also had a distinction in almost all his courses. Making him an over all best student his faculty produced.
Everyone were impressed and proud to be associated with him. He exchanged handshakes with the governor of the state, the vice-chancellor and other dignitaries as he received his prizes. He received a lot of exorbitant prizes and awards.
Some of the prizes he received were monetary while others were material. He also had the privilege of making a choice of place of his primary assignment for his youth service corp. to crown it all, he had the privilege to choose a parastatal of his choice for job after his youth service.
He was indeed honoured and elevated. Farha Adeola was among the numerous audience who graced the convocation ceremony. She had been on her toes, stretching her neck at the same time, to make sure she doesn’t miss any bit of the show, since it concerned Daniel Williams.
Farha was impressed and fascinated by Daniels’ success. “Daniel is really a man of honour” she thought. She watched the event with a great admiration and a lot of thoughts started crossing her mind.
“Had it been I had given in to Daniel’s proposal, I would have been by his side today and associated with his success as his first lady”. She thought.
“Oh my God! am I not denying myself a fortune? Am I not a fool? why do I care about what people would say while I jeopardizes my own happiness? Is it not worth it to be associated with this man who has a promising and bright future?” Farha continued asking herself these rhetorical questions while she tried hard to fight her tears from cascading her cheeks.
After the formal convocation program in the school auditorium, the reception was moved to the school open field where families of graduating students arranged their canopies to have a merry-making. .
Farha also trailed Daniel to the reception ground, she stood under a canopy not far from Daniels. She looked up in Daniel’s direction every now and then and prayed silently for him to sight her.
Daniel was busy merry-making and taking photograph shots with his family and friends, he didn’t even noticed there was a Farha staring at him. He had earlier taken photograph shot with the vice-chancellor, the governor and all dignitaries present, almost everyone wanted to associate with him as the saying goes “success has so many friends”.
It was a day of glory for Daniel and every parents present prayed to God to make their children as worthy as Daniel Williams. His parents were very proud of him and his mother was seen caressing and all over him to the admiration of all.
Farha looked at his direction again, this time she could not help it, she stood up not knowing where she got the courage from, and started heading towards Daniel, she got there but the latter was backing her. She tapped him gently on the shoulder, Daniel turned to face her and he was surprised to see her.
“Congratulations Daniel”, she said forcing a smile.
“Hi Farha.” He responded finding it difficult to believe his eyes.
“Congratulations”. She said again.
“Oh thank you darling”. He said giving her a hug.
“Can we talk”. He quickly added.
“Sure. She replied. He dragged her away from the gaze of the camera and began a conversation.
“Farha, why are you doing this to me now, with you I’m a complete man but without you I am incomplete, ple-a-se, today would be the happiest day of my life if you can just give me yes for an answer”. He grabbed her two hands as he spoke and stared directly into her eyes.
“You won”. Farha said smiling.
“Pardon!” Daniel asked trying to confirm
“I said you won”. Farha said again moving closer to him and saying it in his ears.
“Haleluyah!!!”. Daniel exclaimed happily and gave her another hug. “at last, come with me, he held her hands “let me introduce you to my parents. He said eagerly.
“No, not today please”. She said shaking her head.
“Are you scared?”. Anyway how about taking photographs with me?
“No problem about that”. She replied and they both walked together to join Daniel’s family and friends, holding hands as they walked. Femi sighted them and gave Daniel a thumb up signal without Farha knowing.
Both Daniel and Farha were happy, both had his and her mission and target accomplished.
* * * *
This was what kicked off the love affair between Farha Adebowale and Daniel Williams. Although Daniel went for his youth service corp After convocation, the lovers still contacted each other through phone conversation and the socio-media.
Farha made her relationship with Daniel a top secret, she didn’t discuss it with her friends, and she made sure she gives them no room for suspicion. She saved Daniel’s number on her phone with the acronym MD meaning, My Daniel.
Whenever she wanted to receive Daniel’s calls, she would excused herself from the room so that her friends would not suspect what was going on. She wouldn’t leave her phone carelessly so that none of them would check her messages. She continued this hide and seek game until…
One Saturday morning, after breakfast, the three friends, Farha, Aasiya, Hafsoh and their neighbour Samiah were in the room discussing extensively on various issues, diverting from one topic to another. They mentioned the issue of marriage when Aasiya said…
“Sisters I’m challenging you very soon. My wedding is around the corner”. Aasiya informed her friends happily.
“You don’t mean it Aasiya, Farha asked amazed. “When did you meet brother Salim that you are already talking of marriage.
“Actually it’s not been long that I gave my consent but he’s been disturbing me for sometimes now”. Aasiya explained.
“You should at least court for a year or two before dabbling into a life long contract.” Farha said again.
“Two whole years!” Aasiya exclaimed and laughed out sarcastically. “well my own understanding of marriage is that there shouldn’t be any delay once there is an offer and acceptance”.
“Besides, courting for a year, two or even ten years is not a panacea for a lasting marriage. Understanding and tolerance coupled with honesty of purpose is the bedrock of a successful marriage”. Hafsoh puts in.
“Well, best of luck to you Aasiya, so when is the wedding bell ringing”? Farha asked indifferently.
“We would finalise everything when I go home next weekend. Sisters I’m all ears what about yours”. Asia asked expectantly.
Hafsoh and Samiah said they were yet to find suitable suitors. Farha said she was not ready for marriage that besides she had no place for a man in her heart at the moment. When Farha said this, Samiah who knew all along that Farha was dating Daniel could not hide her surprise that Aasiya and Hafsoh didn’t know.
“Aasiya! Hafsoh”. (Samiah called) “don’t tell me you both didn’t know that Farha is dating Daniel, that Christian guy!”
“You must be joking”. Asia said in disbelief.
“Joke?” Samiah asked with all seriousness. “How can I joke with something like this, honestly I thought you knew, not until she said now that she didn’t have anyone.”
Farha was shocked at Samiah’s knowledge of her relationship with Daniel, she wanted to escape the scenario so she decided to play a silent one on them.
“How will I know and just keep calm, this is serious” Aasiya said.
“Farha”. (Hafsoh called) “is this true? Talk now, why are you silent”. She enquired.
“It’s now obvious that only you and Hafsoh did not know that Farha is dating Daniel! Too bad”. Samiah said.
“Farha! is there something you are hiding from us?”. Aasiya asked with concern.
“You don’t mean what you’ve just said, do you?” Aasiya asked Samiah again trying to ascertain the truth.
“She’s here now, ask her and let her tell us if it is true or not”. Samiah said simply.
“Farha say something now”. Aasiya snapped at her.
“Why are you being unnecessarily silent, say something and save us from this dilemma”. Hafsoh said.
“She would not talk! She knew what she’s doing is unacceptable”. Samiah said again.
“But Samiah, why are you just telling us now?” Aasiya queried.
“Did I know that you guys were unaware? Samiah defended herself.
“Notwithstanding, you should have just raised the issue to ascertain if we knew about it or not. This is too serious to take with levity, I cant believe we are living under the same roof and Farha is hiding this kind of a thing from me. Aasiya said disappointed.
Farha sat silently on the bed still wondering how Samiah knew about her supposed secret. She gave her a venomous look, as if to get up and give a dirty slap”. Samiah noticed this and said.
“Aasiya leave story just talk to her because you are her best friend, talk some sense into her head before it’s too late.” Samiah emphasized.
“How do we go about it now, when the person in question is not saying anything. She is not confirming, she’s not refuting I am confused o”. Hafsoh said in dismay.
“You don’t have to be confused Hafsoh, I know Farha inside-out, her silence means yes. I’ll talk to her and by Allah’s mercy Daniel would be history in her life. Aasiya said hopefully.
“You are lieing, I’ve gone far with Daniel and nobody not even my parent can separate us” Farha said breaking her silence.
“So it’s true, Subhanallah! Hafsoh exclaimed. “And you still have the mouth to talk ‘omo Alhaja!!!!! Alhaji’s daughter.”
“Just leave the situation on ground to me, she will leave Daniel in shaa-Allah”. Aasiya said preventing further argument.
* * * *
Aasiya did not waste time in talking to Farha. She made sure there was no one in the room when she raised the issue of her affair with Daniel.
“Farha!” (Aasia called). “you don’t have anything serious with Daniel do you?” Aasiya asked calmly but firmly.
“I don’t want to talk about it please”.
“Please my friend, if you don’t talk to me who else would you confide in or are we not friends anymore?” Asia asked.
“Okay if you must know, I love Daniel and I think religion should not be a barrier where there is true love”. Farha burst the burble!
“This is not a matter of what you think my dear friend, this is a mater of what Allah and his Rosul says…”
“ Which is?” Farha interrupted impatiently.
“That a Muslim should not marry an unbeliever, okay let’s look at it from this angle. “What is lawful is obvious and what is unlawful is obvious” so says the prophet (s.a.w). You yourself knew that what you are doing is wrong, that was why you’ve been hiding it from your friends so that we wouldn’t dissuade you. It’s not too late for you to break up with Daniel, Muslim men abound on campus and everywhere, please I will like you to have a change of heart” Aasiya pleaded.
“It’s too late my dear Aasiya, maybe if you had said this some months back, I would have listened to you, but now I’ve made up my mind to spend the rest of my life with Daniel and there’s no going back on my decision”. Farha said conclusively.
Aasiya could not help but weep for her dear friend who was going astray. She made another attempt to talk to her but all her explanations fell on deaf ears. She felt she should leave her for that day, but she gave her a pamphlet to digest. The pamphlet was written by Sister Lateefah Adewunmi Jumah and contains the message below
THE DANGERS INHERENT IN MARRYING AN UNBELIEVER
It has become rampant in our society these days for Muslim men and women to get hooked up to a Christian man or woman. The Muslim community is beginning to overlook the dangers in this inter-religious marriage to the extent of conducting such marriages. It is an issue to be addressed so that the act could be curbed.
It is very disheartening to see this kind of thing happen among Muslims and this is exactly what impelled me into writing this piece.
The first question to ask is that, what could be responsible for a Muslim, male or female to think of marrying a Christian? According to my personal observations, I think the factors responsible for this disobedience to Allah’s injunction are as follow:
1.Such Muslim does not come from a conscious Islamic background. i.e. being a Muslim for these categories of Muslims is by bearing Islamic names only.
2.Such a Muslim does not have the knowledge of the religion-Islam, as our elders would say. Knowledge is what matter in the practice of Islam and not individual wisdom.
3.Such a Muslim does not dress in a way that depicts her to be a Muslim and as such does not get marriage proposals or offers from Muslim men. These categories of Muslim ladies are the scantily clad ones, their excuses are that they couldn’t find Muslim suitor and how does one find a Muslim suitor? The simple answer is by dressing as Allah and his prophet had commanded and by being in the midst of Muslims.
4.One of the parent of such a Muslim, either the father or the mother happens to be a Christian and as such does not see anything wrong in marrying a Christian as well since one of his parents is also a Christian.
5.Such a Muslim keeps Christian as friends and does not even have a single Muslim friend.
6.Such a Muslim maybe fascinated by something he/she finds as being extraordinary or unique in the Christian which he/she thinks his fellow Muslim is lacking.
The second question to ask is that what could be the things that attracts a Muslim to a Christian.
1.Beauty or Goodlook: The Muslim lady maybe a stunning beauty which the Christian man may find irresistible, on the other hand, the Christian man may be very handsome and sweet tongued which may make the Muslim lady fall head over heel in love for him and finding it difficult to let go.
2.Social status: The Christian man may be an highly placed person in the society or comes from a background of the who is who in the society which the Muslim lady may want to be part of by marrying him and vice-versa.
3.Academic brilliance: The Christian man in most cases may have an extra-ordinary brilliance which may attract the Muslim lady to him, and the Christian man may even be assisting the Muslim lady in her studies which could spring up a relationship that could lead to marriage.
4.Wealth: Another source of attraction is wealth, money they say is the root of all evil. Some Muslim ladies are more satisfied to marry a wealthy Christian man than marrying a struggling muslim man, some ladies hate poverty like feces and they don’t care if the wealthy man is a Christian or a pagan.
5.Infatuation: This is a strong feelings of love or attraction which is not sensible and reasonable and does not last long. This usually happens when there’s a close rapour between a man and a woman, which makes them believe that they’ve fallen in love with each other, irrespective of their religious differences. This kind of feelings or attractions does not make the people involved think clearly or reason straight, they believe marrying each other is a do or die affair. This is a passing infatuation which makes them turn a deaf ear to the warnings of families and friends against their marriage.
6. Polygamy: Some Muslim women’s hatred and detest for polygamy made them settle for a Christian man.They wouldn’t wish to share their husbands and since Islam encourages polygamy for many reasons, they’d better run to Christianity which preaches one man one wife.
Some Muslim’s reason for marrying a Christian most especially Muslim men is to change the Christian woman to a Muslim which in most cases does not work out.
The true fact is that marrying a Christian woman in order to change her to a Muslim in most cases is a fruitless effort. In twenty of such marriages, may be only one could be said to have actually achieved its goal. The remaining nineteen becomes unbelievers alongside the products from their marriages.
In another case the home may be divided whereby the man practices Islam and the woman practices Christianity, but at the end of the day when the man dies, the dog (the Christian wife) will surely go back to its vomit. Women with cunny nature, Christians with prejudice, the two together may make the man’s effort a waterloo.
There are also cases where the man will not even think twice before dropping Islam and following his Christian wife to the church. A man once asked me if I believed in the coming back of Jesus Christ, I replied in the affirmative and he simply told me that the muslims are wrong saying that Islam is the only religion in the sight of Allah, he said that since Islam recognizes Jesus as the prophet of Allah and also affirms to his coming back then Christianity is the way. He told me he was going to marry his Christian fiancée, which he did and now he’s just a Muslim by his mere name.
The bottom line is that majority of our Muslim men lacks the understanding of the religion Islam, with what are they going to change a Christian to a Muslim? It’s just a matter of placing worldly desire over what Allah and his prophet had already decreed.
There are cases where the Muslim man adheres strictly to his religious obligations, he could even make Sallah obligatory in his home, which the wife may accept dogmatically, but should the man be afflicted with adversity! The Christian wife will not think twice before taking him to the church because she believes that is where salvation is. Some Muslim couples had become Christians due to tribulations, how much more of a family where the wife had a Christian background.
Some couples of this kind also practice two religion in one home. The man would remain a Muslim and he doesn’t raise a eyebrow at his wife going to the church. He even gives her permission and full support.
The children from this kind of a home would be confused whether to practice the father’s or the mother’s religion. In most cases they ended up practicing their mother’s religion which is Christianity because a mother is the first school of thought of a child. The children may even ended up being a free thinker or an atheists.
I have personally seen a situation where a Christian man married a Muslim and they made a decision that their children would not practice any religion until they reach the age of reasoning which is 18 years.
A right thinking person would know that this decision is barbaric and absurd. Imagine a child not practicing any religion for 18 good years of his life. Do they know when the soul maker would take it? If Allah takes the child’s live before eighteen years, can they stand before Allah for interrogation? Let us fear Allah in everything we do!
Some Muslim women get married to Christians with the intention of retaining their faith (Islam). It’s very much easier said than done. The faith will shake if the home is not in accord. It’s better not to do it than to do it and have regrets.
On the contrary, some Muslim women get married to a Christian man with the sole intention of becoming a Christian with him. These are the categories of women who believe in the saying “obinrin o lesin” meaning. The religion of a woman’s husband would determine her religion after marriage.
This is nothing but disobedience to the warnings of Allah, who says in Q5v5, that:
“O you who believe, Take not the Christians, And jews as friends, They are but friends, To one another, and If any amongst you, Takes them as friend, Then surely he’s one of Them. Verily Allah guides Not those people who are Wrong doers”
It is disheartening to see that people now turn deaf ears to the warnings of Allah. Marrying a Christian is tantamount to disobeying Allah because marriage is a stronger friendship which is intimate bond and sacred.
Marrying an unbeliever is a sin because doing anything against Allah’s will is going astray. Allah (SWT) says in Q 2 v221 that; “And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (Idolatress etc) till they believe (worship Allah alone) and indeed, A slave woman who believes is Better than a (Free) Mushrikat (Idolatress etc) even though she Pleases you and give not (your daughter) In marriage to Al-Mushrikun Till they believe (in Allah alone) verily, A believing slave is better than a Free Mushrik (Idolater etc) even Though he pleases you. Those (Al-Mushrikun) Invites (you) to fire but Allah invites you to paradise and forgiveness by his leave, and makes lessons, signs, Revelations (etc) clear to mankind that they may Remember.
The lessons that could be depicted from this verse is that a Muslim should on no condition marry an unbeliever until they believe does not mean to marry them and change them afterwards but it means that they should accept Islam and worship Allah alone in sincerity before they could be married. When Allah speaks, who dare have an idea.
DANGERS INHERENT IN MARRYING AN UNBELIEVER
When we disobey Allah’s words, there are bound to be consequences. At the same time, if Allah prohibit something for us, there is definitely danger in it.
The first danger inherent in marrying a Christian according to the above verse is that the unbeliever invites you to the fire. This invitation to the fire means that as soon as you marry them, you have joined them in wrong doing and that is going astray, and any going astray is hell-fire. May Allah save us from hell-fire. Brothers and sisters “BEWARE”
The second danger is that, the children raised from inter-religious marriage are always grown up as free thinkers, confused whether to practice the mother’s or the fathers. Unfortunately the children takes what they believe is the simplest and easiest to practice which is Christianity. This occurs as a result of their parent’s difference in religion.
The third is that, marrying a Christian may affect the future of Islam negatively. This is also because children from such marriages would not be useful to Islam, and the implication is that, the community of Islam would not multiply compare to when every Muslim marries from Islam and raises offspring for Islam.
The forth is that, it causes division in the home, practicing two religion in one home is not healthy. Some of the children may not see any reason in practicing any of the religion. This is painful and saddening.
The fifth danger is that, in most cases, the marriage does not work out because of the couple’s religious differences, thereby causing a broken home where the children suffers negligence and lack of parental care.
SOLUTIONS TO INTER RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE
Every Muslim as an individual should understand the sayings of the creator, Allah which prohibits a Muslim from marrying an unbeliever. Love should not blind our eyes or block our ears and damage our brain from seeing, hearing and meditating on the warnings of Allah.
We should know that there’s no Obedience to the creature in disobedience to Allah and that love would not save us from the punishment of Allah. We should see the Christians as no go area when it comes to marriage and that the havoc is greater than the benefit which is only worldly.
Parents should have it at the back of their minds that they are shepherds and they would be questioned by Allah as to how they managed the affairs of their children.
Parents should on no condition give their daughters in marriage to unbelievers. They should always remember the word of Allah which says in……….. Q2v221
……….. And give not (your daughters) in Marriage to Al-Mushrikun till they believe in Allah alone.
Parents should refuse inter-religious marriage with a strong will and not allow emotions over ride their decisions nor becloud their judgment.
The Muslim community, Imams of mosques, Muslims clerics and scholars should not conduct any inter religious marriage or be party to it. We should try our best collectively as Muslims to make the victims see reasons why marrying an unbeliever is not good in Islam.
A Moment of thought
Since there are Muslim men and women around, there is no reason why
Muslims should go outside their religion for marriage partners. The fear of Allah should be our watchword. Our meeting with him should be our utmost concern in life. We are expected to live our lives according to His injunctions.
A Muslim man and a Christian woman and vice-versa are never compatible. It’s high time we fought our self desires and put a stop to being disobedient to Allah. Let us endeavor to marry from among our brethren in Islam and we shall be happy we did.
Inter-religious union is not always a happy one for those who are conscious of the teachings of their faith, it doesn’t breed good fruits in most cases. It is more of danger and the victims in most cases suffer in silence especially those that does not want to agree that they have strayed.
Let us say no to it and discourage any of our Muslim brothers and sisters who wish to dabble into it for the betterment of our future.
* * * *
Farha finished reading the pamphlet, she held it to her chest and starred vacantly at the ceiling. The message in the pamphlet hit her to the bone marrow.
A sense of guilt engulfed her, but she quickly discarded the feelings of guilt and told herself that she’d gone too far with Daniel to go back.
She had made a covenant with Daniel never to leave him come what may. After all, she thought, no one has ever died and come back to being. So all this we are hearing about the punishment of Allah being severe is just from the book. Besides I didn’t kill, I didn’t steal, I didn’t fornicate, mere marrying a Christian will not take me to hell fire”. Are the Christians not Allah’s creatures? she thought aloud.
A straying dog never listens to the whistle of the hunter. An erring person will never listen to warnings, such is the case of Farha Adeola, Adebowale.