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Monday, December 20, 2010

Trivial 8 Maryam Fires Back

Dear Reader,

I sought the permission of Aunty Maryam to share with the world this powerful response to my article, Yerima and Maimuna. As you can see we are sailing on the same boat with her, only that we sit on different benches facing each other. Men and women in Kano don't sit on the same bench. Do they? A daidaita sahu!

I am glad that the galant sister granted my request. May God reward her abundantly for standing on the side of the oppressed. We must be proud of a sister like her. I hope Sumpo and other younger women will follow her footsteps.

Though she just wrote an email, I find her response too important to be just a comment at the tail of my article. I have made it a topic of its own: "Maryam Fires Back". You are invited to share with other readers your views. But please do so with maturity in the spirit of mutual understanding. The girls must nto be scared please. Let this healthy debate continue.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
-----------------------------


MARYAM FIRES BACK
By Maryam Uwais

I am glad that my ' friendly fire' has finally evoked a response from
Dr Tilde, as his silence in Yerima's instance, in the face of copious
articles written on similar topics, was almost deafening. Fine, he had
written on issues that gave us reason to believe he was on the side of
justice, but this time, he was quiet.

Like so many others, unfortunately, I really do not know what is meant by the word 'activist' in your
description. I know, for some, it means troublemaker, but i hesitate
to presume that this is your own interpretation. I am just a female
lawyer that detests injustice and tries to assist those in distress,
where i can. I also have been labeled 'western', or influenced by
secular laws. I am amused by such allegations and have not bothered to
debunk them in the past, as i have always known what my motive is. I
will say a few words here, though, having seen some of the comments on
your blog.

I know that before i ever went to school, i had been taught
verses of the Qur'an, the hadith and the basic principles of the
Sharia, because i belong to a family of scholars, in their own right.
I do not claim such learning, but i know that my values, activities
and efforts are deeply entrenched in my early years of being taught
not to allow injustice to go unchecked, and to fight to protect the
'haqq' of the more vulnerable, wherever or whenever i can. I was
encouraged, at a very young age, to ask, where uncertain; and learnt
of the 5 objectives of protected rights in Islam, to be life,
intellect, lineage, reputation and property, ever before i went into
secondary school. Indeed, i did not hear of the Universal Declaration
of human rights until i got to University. But i have come to realise
that many that remain uncomfortable with enquiries some of us make,
find solace in trying to link us to the West, the purpose being to
discredit our work and our efforts. God knows best.

I need to make the point that the work we (some colleagues of mine,
both male and female) sometime engage in has little to do with
publicity, and more to do with what is necessary to salvage a bad
situation or challenge that has been brought to our notice. Just to
try and help, that is all. Many of the cases we have taken an interest
in and handled have not been made public, precisely because the
vicitms concerned are rather young and their privacy is always
paramount. Indeed, many of the concerns relate to issues that require
the cooperation of the person. Where, ultimately, the decision is that
she or he do not want to pursue their rights anymore, we have no
option but to step back, even in the face of the obvious injustice or
offence committed. Many a time, family and friends put pressure on the
victim to leave it to Allah. Where the facts cannot be proved because
witnesses are just not forthcoming, we have to respect the decision,
as we cannot prove any fact without evidence. So most times, we end up
mediating and trying to make the best of a bad situation.

In our work, we come accross so many injustices and even violations,
committed in the name of Sharia. We have striven to ensure that none
of these matters come to the public domain also to avoid the
stigmatisation that would naturally follow, if made public. The aim is
to help, not to compound the challenges of the victim concerned. So in
the same manner, after we saw the article in Trust, we went to work,
contacted Maimuna and have made some progress in trying to ensure
justice for her.

This was even before Dr Tilde wrote about her plight.
I responded to Dr Tilde's article because i was disturbed by his
apparent castigatiion of womens groups over Yerima's case, in his
piece on Maimuna's predicament. I found it to be unfair and
unecessary, as i believed there to be no relationship between the two.
My feelings were that he should know that we would need no prodding,
once alerted.

Yerima was different. Yes, we were loud, but as far as i am concerned,
we were justified in that instance. Yerima went public to say he was
emulating our Prophet Muhammad (saw) and found basis for his
'indiscretion' in Islam. He was silent on other critical underlying
issues, that we found to be fact, after investigation. I then went
public in an article that i believed to be in defence of the
perception of Islam, and to protect our young girls who fall victim to
what our parents and guardians do, usually for economic reasons, but
in the name of Islam.

I felt the need to debunk the impression given by the silence from
Muslims that the Sharia was static, rigid and inflexible, and that all
Muslims accepted the implications of Yerima's position; that the Sharia
was devoid of compassion, reason and morality.

My understanding of Tilde's argument in the instant article is that
because early marriage is NOT categorically prohibited in the Qur'an,
it cannot be outlawed. I would not hestitate to agree with him, were
early marriage a clear an injunction in Islam. Research, however,
demonstrates otherwise. I found that where the issue in contention is
merely permissible, laws can be and have been made in Muslim
countries, in the interests of the public or for public interest. That
is the way and manner Sharia has developed over the years; with a
focus on substantive justice, never selective, always focusing on the
larger picture and the context of time, but ever within the confines
of the letter and spirit of the Qur'an and the hadith.

I therefore wish to ask Tilde, is there an injunction in the Sharia
that marriage MUST be conducted with a minor? Indeed, is driving on
the left side of the road prohibited in the Qur'an? So why does he
drive on the right hand side only? Is is not because the State has
made a law for order and to avoid chaos? So also early marriage/child
birth. If it is found to cause harm, why can the State not regulate
it? Why do other Muslim countries peg the minimum age for marriage, if
it had been prohibited under the Sharia? Why has Saudi Arabia
established a Committee of experts, teachers, scholars, counsellors,
phsychologists, to determine what age is best for marriage in their
own environment? Can we not make enquiries as to the basis for their
laws? Surely where harm is evident in a society, it behoves on the State, and not just the individual, to prohibit it.

I will also add, with confidence, that the victims of vvf are 70%
girls who have given birth at 15 or below. I do not know about the
immediate environment that Tilde hails from, but there is no doubt
that narrow pelvises, in addition to accessibility, health care
provisions, etc, contribute to vvf. The statistics available to me
show that if we can reduce the number of 15year olds (or below) giving
birth at that age or earlier, we will be reducing the number of
patients in the vvf hospitals by 70%. This is sufficient, in my own
understanding. I do not need evidence that vvf is 100% caused by early
child birth, to be persuaded.

Tilde also argues that because other offences are so rampant and
penalties are not enforced, early marriage should not be outlawed. I
hope the suggestion is not that rape or rigging should be removed from
our law books, for that reason. I maintain that they should remain offences, nevertheless. And rightly so. They should remain in our law books, as the failure of the police to enforce the
laws can never be an excuse to obliterate them from our jurisprudence.
The issue to be addressed is the failure of our law enforcement agencies,
not the laws.

And what about the opportunity for girls to go to school and learn a
vocation or skill? Is that not a priority for us now, given the
poverty that prevails in many of our rural communities? Can we
continue to close our eyes to the fact that many of our girls are
marrried off before they can learn something that will enable them
become productive in their homes? Should we not be focusing on how to
encourage our girls be self-reliant, even after marriage.

But of course, while we are striving to make parents let their
daughters achieve some measure of education, we should also be
pressurising our governments to provide quality education and
vocational skills for our children. We will not relent on all fronts.
Believing firmly that laws can be strong catalysts for change (as had
happened in the early 60's when the northern region compelled parents who kept
their children away from school, otherwise they stood the risk of being arrrested) we are
hoping that the enactment of laws permitting our girls to go to school
to learn how to be productive, manage their homes, gain some skills
and be good mothers, should be priority, especially given our
circumstances in northern Nigeria.

We can sit down and determine a feasible age, but we should agree on a minimum age for marriage.
I do not agree that the 'consent' that young teenage girls may give
(in this day and age) is informed consent, as many of them are much too young to
comprehend what they are consenting to, even where their parents tell
them who their husbands are going to be. If they were allowed to grow
more mature, they would be better placed to understand the
responsibilities of marriage and motherhood.

I have often heard the argument that if girls do not have schools to
go to by a certain age, the probability is that they would get
pregnant and get involved in some immorality. Surely parents should be
held responsible for these incidents if they occur, as the upbringing
of the child is squarely on their shoulders. How can blame for the
laxity of the parent be placed on the child, and be the excuse for
depriving that child of an education? In Islam, can a child be blamed for its action or inaction? Indeed, what age does a child attain majority? Should we not reflect deeper on
the implications of our own excuses?

I certainly have never thought that our mothers who married earlier
than 18 suffered for doing so. There was no law at that time, so there
is no reason for Tilde to even suggest that. Indeed, we could venture
into discussions of diet, nutrition, etc and how they impacted on
growth rates, if this debate were to continue along this line. The
point to make is that where there is a valid law that makes it an
offence for you to marry a girl below a certain age, you should strive
to abide by it, especially since you are part of the law making
process. Its like going against your own word, which is definitely
abhorrent in Islam.

Yerima is perceived as a leader, a role model. How can he blatantly
commit an offence, and then say he is not bound by it? How can he
divorce one, just to marry another? How can he be so extravagant in
the circumstances? Are women meant to be treated in such a whimsical
fashion, in Islam? Can he not see that those who are in awe of him
will hasten to ape and copy him? What lessons or impact on our
communties and girls? And the perception of Islam?

These recurring incidents of marriage, giving birth, then divorce is
one of the biggest challenges of our region. We focus on regulating marriage, without attempting to curb the wanton abuse of divorce. So we end up with street and stray
children, many unchecked and without 'tarbiyya', because their mothers
are not married to their fathers. Nobody to monitor their activities,
feeding, protect them, or supervise their coming and going. HIV and
disease so prevalent and on the rise. Divorce so rampant and unchecked, young wives being
replaced for the flimisiest of reasons. Currently, a Speaker in one
of our Sharia State Houses of Assembly is known to have married and divorced
19 times!

Surely we should all be fighting hard towards making the family unit
stable, as is so central and significant in Islam!

Maryam Uwais
Wali-Uwais & Co.
Abuja

41 comments:

Nina said...

Thank you so much for your wonderfully astute analysis of the key points in this debate, Maryam. Women all over the world salute you and support you in your struggle!

Anonymous said...

Hello Maryam! Also try to struggle for Girls to be employed or get married after wasting time. My cousin sister is now a victim at younger age she refused to get married insisting to finish her degree programme in engineering. Now after 4 years of graduation NO WORK NO HUSBAND. Ba Wan ba kanen. At 32 not yet married and no job yet.

DANDUGAJE said...

I salute the academic prowess of Maryam and de-taste the irresponsible nature of men who marry and divorce at will.However,I just want Maryam to be more practical and see the life of a lady in a more practical term perhaps it will make her accept the moral difficulty a lady passes through growing up in the morally hostile environment we are today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful article Maryam. The early marriage problem underscores the greater problem of poverty, ignorance and religious fanatism. While appropriate laws will protect young girls from the effects of poverty and ignorance, the religious angle may be a little difficult to address. As a Muslim, I am appalled when people give execuses for their evil deeds because they claim their actions are justified in the Hadith. I want to be very clear. "Only the Quran is the word of Allah" . The Hadith was written by people who claimed to have observed the prophet (pbuh). Remember many hadiths were removed because they found them to be false. I for one cannot and will never believe the Hadith says my dear Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) married a 13 year old. He fought against the burying of women and even carried his own daughter on his shoulders into the mosque during prayers. He loved children above all things and I am sick of criminals using their own interpretations to justify immoral acts against minors who they otherwise should be protecting. The hadith is a guide not the law, and as long as people continue to interpret it as such, then there can't be any hope truth in Islam.

babazaks said...

The whole point is getting some education and preparing the child for the challenges ahead. The age is very important, 13 in modern times is too small to assume responsibility of modern day marriage

Anonymous said...

Please Maryam, can you also fight to stop the use of your fellow women as prostitutes all over Abuja where you practicing. If you stop them from marrying early please speculate the repercussion of staying up to may be 30yrs without husband. And as nature provided when she filling in need of man what do you want her to. Since at that age she might be experiencing the periodic circle. Please look at what the Prophet said on not marrying them at the age of maturity.

Hamisu Gumel said...

And lest the main issue at stake (Maimuna's ) is overtaken by the reversion to the oft-repeated, celebrated case of Yarima, we thank sister Maryam for the revelation that they are pursuing the case. Our aim was not to discredit or castigate women groups, as some erroneously posited, but prick them into action (as they seemed in slumber and oblivious of the situation the girl Maimuna is in), as we are concerned that they are not giving the issue the deserved attention and publicity the same way they did on Yarima's case. And what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Thank you for the information. However, since this case is already in the public domain (and Maimuna has granted scores of interviews to the media people) I think it is unwise to continue to claim treating it in secret. The reason is that the police, who are now trying to sweep the case under the carpet, will be easily put under check and pressure to see to the prosecution of the culprits if the case is taken to the media, updating the public on the development.

Nasiru said...

A society that cannot put an end to teenage promiscuity has no right whatsoever to stop teenage marriages. It is ludicrous to deny young women the right to marry just because of education...if that is the case,what stops them from continuing their education from the sanctity of their marital homes? Of what use will be their education (and we know the state of employment in Nigeria)if it fails to get them husbands that can take care of their desires?
And if ensuring that a child does not become promiscuous is the sole responsibility of the parent, then giving them out in marriage is also the responsibility of parents.
The Almighty Allah knows our intentions good or bad and shall judge us all accordingly!

Bello Arkilla said...

This is an interesting discussion. Am sure, a 13 year old girl from the house of a rich man, attend Antenatal care as early as possible in unlikely to develop VVF. I am sure the nutritional status and care during pregnancy are more importnat than mere age in the web of causation of VVF. The practice in Saudi or any Arab country should not be a yard stick to our ouwn understanding of tru Islam, so many things happened over there that are not happening in our own way e.g women can not drive in saudi is dat Islam? at same time Bengaly men drives the women round saudi with so many stories of immoralities. a dai yi sese sese yar'uwa.

Yusuf Yusufari said...

Thank you Auntie Maryam,
most supporters of Yarima ignore your third but last paragragh. I made a similar comment in daily trust at the heat of the debate and one of his supporter called me on the phone and after insulting and abusing my parent, he sent the text message below
"Allah ya tsine maka albarka, wawa, jahili, wulakantace. kai ba musulmin kwarai bane. write up din ka ya nuna kai babban jahiline..useless, fool bullshit" his phone no is 0809 180 6060.
What I did was to call him and reminded him that Allah SWA enjoined the ProPhet SAW to preach with "lafazi mai dadi" so that "za su yi imani kuma suji tsoron Allah". If he is doing it because of Allah and his Prophet SAW...this is what the scriptures said. he never called again.
I brought this up to show how bereft of ideas some of the so called defenders of Islam are. For brother Tilde, I have read several of his comments on women's right (in islam)and I am VERY SURE he has not been inpested by the paradigm shift going on in our society.

Bashir Yahuza Malumfashi said...

Kudos, Hajiya Maryam. I agree with you 100% as regards to girls education. Our girls must be encouraged to attain considerable level of education, so that she cater for herself, know her rights and then know how to live matrimonially. She should be given all necessary support to obtain economic power i.e. to be taught trade or any other skill.
It is a known fact that a woman without education is a dead nation.
I also agree with Maryam as regards to the likes of Yarima. Women should be respected in marriage to to be a tool of abuse. I see no reason why Yerima should divorce his wife after birth and marry minor from a foreign country, and citing Islamic law as his reason. What a shame! I doubt much if Yarima will like his daughter to fall into such trap.
May Allah guide us to the right path, amin!

Anonymous said...

@Nasiru,

A minor at 13 is very different from one at 18. Even then having sex with a minor is statutory rape anywhere in the world except in the hearts of the immoral. Marriage to old men is not the solution to promiscuity. What about women and men who are promiscuous even in marriage. As babazaks said, the solution is education of the minor. And from the look of things we have to enact very serious laws very fast so that we begin to protect our children and prosecute all those who are dangerously callous and self centered in their thinking

Anonymous said...

The Pen is mightier than the Sword.

Baba Aye said...

a well articulated piece here by Maryam. All I would add here is that Bello is wrong to put nutrition during pregnancy as being of greater significance than age as vvf causative factor. it is the reverse please. besides, more often than not, children from more wealthy homes that can provide good nutrition etc (and proper education) hardly ever get married at the age of 13! the issue at stake might be for Maimuna now, but it is indeed a clarion call against under-age giving away of the girl-child. I can hardly think of any sound logic that makes such robbing the craddle justifiable

Sa'ad said...

Aunty Maryam. Thanks for the good work. But this issue is not about attacking women's right advocacy group for their silence. In Dr's article he challenged everyone; women's right group, Kano state government (who can spend funds on regulating film industries), our Ulama (for not voicing out in sermons), Sharia commitee, the muslim ummah (who riot because of the prophets cartoon in Denmark and Miss World pageant in Abuja, whereas rape is a bigger sin)Governor Shekarau himself and even the Emir of Kano. He merely mentioned Yerima's case in case of women right groups like he mentioned the Denmark issue and Miss world pageant when addressing the Ummah, like he mentioned the Hausa film regulation when addressing Kano state government.
No one is blaming one party, we are all guilty, the weak needs to be protected by the government and us, not the other way round. Because from what I understand the Police are trying to shelve the case to save the reputation of the Police force i.e protecting the strong at the expense of the weak.

Muaz said...

Thank you Dr. Tilde and Hajiya Maryam for this important debate. It is palpable that the so-called women rights activists have gone this far in their hatred of patriarchy and any other form of male domination. I dont think Maryam and co. are willing to accept uncritically the Islamic injunctions on marriage due to their belief in radical feminist ideologies. To them, the major ill of our society is men domination. All other things are minor evils. May God guide us, amin.

zahrah said...

after reading Dr Tilde's article yesterday, i couldnt help but wonder when our society will progress to the level of holding all parents responsible for proper welfare of their children. I have a 13 year old myself and looking at her right now i cant imagine how anyone will say she can give an informed 'consent' to an important issue like marriage. Indeed my daughter will only accept and undertake such a thing because " we her parents said it is good for her and acceptable in islam" but not because she knows what it entails or has the maturity to carry it through. The truth of the issue is that our children are most of the time brought up to obey us as parents and it is therefore our responsibility as parents to be fair to them and choose what is best for them keeping in mind that Allah SWT will hold us responsible for whatever decisions we take.

Anonymous said...

@Muaz
You claim this is a debate, yet I fail to see your point. Are you referring to the abuse of women as an acceptable form of patriarchy? or are you saying all women who speak out against oppression are radicals? Your views are set in stone and shovenistic at best. They have no place in a civil debate where participants are looking to become educated through the exchange of ideas

Anonymous said...

Well said again Aunty Maryam!!! you make a whole load of us so proud. Pls fight for maimuna. Pls fight for maimuna. those policemen must be made to rot in jail and then hell. I am alarmed that most of the posts on this blog tend to ignore the fact that teenage promiscuity affects not only girls but also boys- at a more alarming rate. since early marriage is the solution for teenage promiscuity- then i dare to advocate that we begin marrying off our sons at the age of 13 as well. all those in support say aye!

AbdulRahman said...

In my opinion I think people should desist from making negative comments on Yerima's marriage else we will look at it as hiding under Yarima's case to attack our Noble Prophet Muhammad SAW and Islam. It has been genuinely established from a sound hadith that our noble Prophet SAW married Aisha RA at the age (9).

Safiyyah J. said...

Aunty Maryam, please, action is needed. We cant afford to see this case swept under the carpet. You know police well, as a lawyer. It is good if. as advocates we organize ourselves under this issue and mount a sustained campaign that these useless police men be tried to serve as deterrence for their like. I think this way we will shame those detractors who use every opportunity to castigate women rights advocates. More grease to your elbow.

Asabe said...

@Nasiru
What stops girls from continuing their education from their matrimonial homes is their husbands.Simple!

I do not at all intend to make light of the situation, but why does Yerima not emulate Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by doing the opposite of what he has been doing? What I mean is that he should instead marry women that are much much older than him. Remember that is Sunnah as well (not that I think he should marry, marry and marry anytime he feels like "changing his wardrobe".

limamin changi said...

the same old story 'vvf is caused as a result of early marriage' . The first person to used that old line was avicenna in 950AD, so, sis i believe u are not a medical practioner and u made a very big mistake of not carrying out research on ur own, to tel u da truth, early marriage is not the main cause of vvf but rather prolong labor, dont u knw dat there are many patient living vvf in europe, usa and other developed countries, other causes of vvf include violent rape, hysterectomy and cone biopsy period! The whole point is, people that use this line of arguement are people
that hate islam and muslims in general, i dont blame u simply bcos of ur western life style and double standard when it comes to women.

jdk said...

Let me dare to say that, as a doctor for more than 20 years, I know that early marriage does NOT directly lead to higher incidence of VVF. In the promiscuous society we leave in, I can understand if parents choose to risk VVF over moral decadence by marrying out their daughter earlier than we would love to see. I don't doubt the sincerity of this author, but We should be aware of mischief makers amongst Muslims and outside them who would want to encourage universality of  western life style hence they approach issues tangentially. Like when they colonized us with the express  intent to "educate" and "civilize" us but came with Bible in one hand and gun in the other! We should not miss the forest as we go for the trees; let's keep our eyes on the bigger picture. If VVF is "harm" to a girl, AIDS, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B are much less fun, but even more, the potential for moral decadence, parentless children and explosion in crime that may follow could be a societal nightmare. 
Back to my first (somewhat controversial) statement. It is pregnancy and childbirth that lead to VVF not marriage. A young girl that can have VVf as a result of giving birth to a legitimate child will have VVF if she had conceived the child outside wedlock! If VVF is the main concern as this article indicates why isn't "delayed first child" be the mantra? Disclaimer, this issue is much more complex that can be reduced to these 2 paragraphs, I only decided to redirect our minds rather than to make my stance. I required and when I can make the time, I would be happy to discuss more elaborately.

Anonymous said...

Islam is a religion,if you are a muslim you have the Quran and the Hadith to answer all your questions .Please try to read them ,understand the Quran and the teachings of our Prophet PBUH.What is not clear for you ask. No need bringing logic and giving un necessary examples.

Anonymous said...

The Nigeria civil right
group's groans over the
yerima's dating to a
thirteen egyptians
teenaged lady, was just
hubbub & utmost
speaking hullabaloos of
the so called women
right activist, Those
frequently jumping on
such a religious matters
which they are not
entitled to prescribed and
utter anything in regard
to, without conveying to
any consultation with the
scholars that are
appropriatly entitled to
pass any religious or
spiritual stand.
Probably human being
telling not to himself
truth as we mostly
believed in religion, we
also believed in the
existence of God, and dat
of what ever religion you
belong to especially the
two major religious
practiced in Nigeria (islam
and christianity) you as a
bliever most adhere and
accept the whole life
style which been implies
as a manual design to
govern every aspect of
life, as believers and as
its within our faith
especially islam, its the
God dat is more wise and
that its he; created
everything on this earth,
thus, its he GOD
resposble to design a
roadmap dat would
eventually govern our
being as subservient,
A man accepting manual
of human made object,
being its electronic
devices such as
phone,computers etc, to
immencely and
appropriately guide him
on how to use them,
other wise, he could not
operate even a little
device witout going
through that its manual,
therefore, if that is the
case why we as
subservient to what so
ever faith and that of
being a God creature have
been turning down his
manual that designed our
lifestyle,
Nigerians have been well-
known in the
commitment to their
belong faith and totally
devotion to God,
The latest episode about
senator Ahmad sani
yerima on his marriege to
an egyptian virgin and an
extra- ordinary decent
young girl is in accodance
of islamic injuction,
becouse islam allowed
marriege to an underage
or even infant as long as
the conjugal conditions
are fulfilled, Don't b
strange! Islam is the
most superior religion
that preserved human
right initially, The prophet
got marriege to his
second beloved wife
Aisha at d age of six and
consumeted with her at
the aged of nine and also
islam allowed muslems
to marry women of their
choice, therefore, if this
propagandist and so
called human right
activist suspecting
yerima among which
some of them are
moslems orientalist, that
direct or in direcly
conveying suspicious to
the holy prophet, which
consequently putting
them into a risk of
blasphemy atimes up to
apostasy.
And claims that yerima
paid her a dowry of
hundred thousand dollars
of which the senate
ordered an inquiry as
alleged by those civil right
groups, seems to reflect
their ironic degradation
and contemptous
themselves without
worthy to be given such
a bulky dowry,
In conclusion, women
should be very careful of
such an activism of
bringing them backward
or dawnward to their
feet and fulfilling their
vision of displaying them
sexually active on the
pavements and turning
them animals, dis-verged
and object of men
satisfaction all in the
name of advocating for
their rights.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong is wrong !!!

Whatever reason we may alude to it, it is just wrong to marry off a girl at age 13. She is psychologiacally, socially and mentally incapable to marital tasks.
she has to cater for her husband, children and other families. She is just a kid

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous,
"Islam is a religion,if you are a muslim you have the Quran and the Hadith to answer all your questions"

What about all those terrorist who are killing innocent people in the name of Islam. They claim to have read the Quran and the Hadith, but have FAILED to apply common sense. "What is wrong is wrong"..Period

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is that so many so called religious leaders rubber stamp pure evil and wickedness in the name of religious practices. To these people, "their hearts and minds have been sealed and even though they read the scriptures every day will never have understanding"

Anonymous said...

@Abdulrahman
"....to attack our Noble Prophet Muhammad SAW and Islam"

@Anonymous
"..The prophet got marriege to his
second beloved wife Aisha at d age of six and consumeted with her at
the aged of nine..."

..The TRUTH need fear no attack, nor does it have a need to defend itself.

Anonymous said...

Salamu alaikum, the numbers of unmarried teenage mothers in western countries are disturbinly alarming, if we do not want this for our future daughters, critical understanding and rightful implementation of the Quranic laws regarding marriage in all aspects are to be applied. Furthermore, Northen Nigeria is not the only part of the world that experiences the subject matter, numerous African countries practise it, Eastern Europe, especially the former Soviet Union, Asia, even North america. I am not disputing the difficulties encountered but these counties have sanctioned. laws that considers marriage under the age of eighteen illegal and even abusive. We as a Muslim community know what our Deen requires from us, we can start from a personal level to make changes that will "God willing" impact our society! Ameen.

Anonymous said...

I salute Aunty Maryam's disposition on the subject matter and her efforts in helping the helpless. However, our society, especially we in the North, has turned upside-down. Parents (men) dont seem to care about the moral decadence in the society and/or our households. Many men have become almost irresponsible as we deny our kids basic education, proper feeding, clothing and shelter, etc. We dont seem to appreciate the physiological changes in our adolescents, particularly young girls, and never care to guide them accordingly.
Another factor that tend to mislead our youth is the flamboyance we create and show in our marriages that made almost every girl to aspire to while scaring away the boys from marriages. Young men rather prefer to have an affair with girls in the name of friendship until the obvious happens when parents would be looking for ways to manage the resultant bad situation.
We also have many men chasing and keeping underaged girls as mistresses - girls equivalent to their grand daughters.
Yet, we see these things happening everyday but we pretend nothing goes wrong in the society until when it too late when they manifest in own our homes.
Honestly, the issue at stake, is beyond early marriages for fear of vvf, or having to enact laws to stop early marriages. That is not the solution.
The solution lies in proper upbringing at our homes where men take control of the affairs, the government, at all levels, tackling unemployement and underemployment, providing vocational centres to train and empower our youth in different skills, proper funding of education, provision of basic healthcare facilities, etc.
Please lets not continue to blame everything on our "bad" leadres. We must make conscious efforts to begin to change things in our own selves, and our immediate families while we look for good leaders to entrust our affairs unto their hands!
May Allah help us.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous
"We must make conscious efforts to begin to change things in our own selves, and our immediate families while we look for good leaders to entrust our affairs unto their hands!"

While so many are pointing fingers, You so excellently put the responsibility back on us....Well said!

Ibrahim M. Attahir said...

I agree with Dr Tilde that the debate should continue.
I do not agree with Maryam that VVF is 100 % caused by early marriage. I am surprised that as a lawyer she finds it safe to say that she does not need evidence. She should have consulted a medical expert before arriving at such a conclusion on a very sensitive issue. If we want to get this debate right, we must involve medical experts. A well-experienced medical expert once told me that VVF is caused more by lack of medical care than the age of the patient.
Maryam also needs to fire back on what some commentators said that if Yerima had picked a young prostitute from Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, the women right groups would not have been hard on him. If we sincerely have concern for the plight of young women, we should fight and outlaw prostitution, not early marriage.
Also Maryam did not respond on the issue of our legislators being under pressure by foreign agencies to pass the child rights legislation. I once challenged the lawmakers in this forum to tell us whom among them received any demand from his constituency that they need the child rights legislation.
It is very wrong to assert that Yerima committed any offence, less alone compare him with the police rapist.The Child Rights Act can never override the constitution. That is the beauty of the constitution. Its makers made a good work. If we want to fight injustice, let us fight injustice in all its ramifications. Period. Selective justice is another form of injustice. Legislating for women and children alone is just a waste of time if we will not do the right things in the society generally. The general injustice in the society is the cause of the plight of Maimuna more than her being female or child. I share the view of Tilde that if Maimuna were daughter of a well-to-do person being taken into the city in her father's car, the police would no have abducted her. These injustices only or mostly happen to children of the poor. Why not fight the source of the artificial poverty instead of being sentimental on the gender, religion or tribe of the victims or the culprits?
As far as I am concerned, the points made by Tilde and the commentators remain valid. Maryam should fire back more. But I commend her on her efforts in this Maimuna case. I only dislike the female chauvinism being played into the case.
I agree with hiding the identity of Maimuna to some extent. But it should not be taken too far. I was once involved in a case like that of a Fulani girl that was raped in the bush by some young boys. At the police station this issue of stigma was being used to cajole the girl's father to settle the matter for the fear that she may not get husband. I was happy to hear that the father told them that nowadays even known prostitutes get husband when they decide to get married. After all if the issue of the proposed trust fund is pursued, Maimuna will be a hero. We were told that a lady that featured in a home grown pornography is now happily married. No wahala.

Anonymous said...

Where does Atiku, Buhari, Sarah Jubrin, IBB, Sambo etc etc stand on this issue? Our so called journalists, go after each of the aspirants in the land and get them to tell us their stand immediately. Publish their stand in the daily and let hold them responsible for the lives of all Nigerian girls.

All aspirants, where do you stand on this debate? Can you articulate your position as clearly as this daughter of Africa has done?

Its time to lift the veil. This simply shows that the north like the rest part of Nigeria has been unfortunate to have been represented by the worst sets of people in their mist. The system that throws up this sort of individuals must be destroyed!

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that we debate the issue of VVF relating it to early marriage as posed by Mar'yam but decide to keep mute when cases of teenage girls in sex trade all over Abuja where our dear Lawyer resides and elsewhere in the country. There is nothing wrong in married girls going to school from their matrimonial home, it is only that those to legislate in support are the main customers of unmarried ladies on our our campuses who are mobile prostitutes. Please Mar'yam kindly fight against prostitution as well.

Anonymous said...

Maryam failed to respond to Tildes accusation on women activist/feminist. cos the identity of Maimuna is known and there are available witness who can testify. Why do you remain silent? This proved our suspicion that you are working for your godfarthers. Allah ya shiryemu.

Lawal said...

This is a very big dilemma. Sister Maryam must have been out of the academic circle for quet some time. Every responsible parent isapprehensive of the immoral state of our Educational Institutions now. A place where even maried women are not safefrom acts of immorality. Little girls are thrown into near prostitution for wanting to pass examinations. So, most parents are eager to marry off their daughters safely as soon as they can, rather than risk the possibility of having them turn into near prostitute for the love of "Education or Vocational Training" which she might never have the opportunity of using considering the uncountable number of graduates walking our streets and most of them willing to do anything to get a job. Maryam there is much more to early marriage that the directional way you are going about it. However, I stand to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous,
"Islam is a religion,if you are a muslim you have the Quran and the Hadith to answer all your questions"

@What about all those terrorist who are killing innocent people in the name of Islam. They claim to have read the Quran and the Hadith, but have FAILED to apply common sense. "What is wrong is wrong"..Period


please i repeat take any topic you like ,the Quran and the Hadith have answers.

What is wrong ,yes is wrong and the Quran and the Hadith also tell us what is wrong and what is right .It is left for a muslim to obey .

Anonymous said...

I agree with Maryam that we here in the north and Muslims in particlar and our dear Nigerians should rise to the protection of our FAMILY values.The Isalmic provision of divoce isb bing abused and should seriously checked. Icall on the Sultan and the supreme council of Islamic affairs to rise to the challenge Failing which we shall have no nation as Family is backrock of any society. That is how the Creator intended to be.Umar

Anonymous said...

At what age did Maryam (AS) gave birth to Jesus (AS)? This will help maryams argument if she can establish that.