By Alkasim Harisu
In my neighbourhoods, a marriage contract that had stayed long in the making was recently cancelled. I received this news that made my worst news of the month about a week ago. My mother broke this tragic story about two families connected by blood and kinship marriage. They also were and are united by whereabouts. Above all, they once lived in the same house.
The two lovers dated for more than seven years. When the love commerce began, the girl was much younger. The guy, undoubtedly the older love partner, had kept courting the girl despite the difficulties that often arose. He had endured the immaturity girls the age of his date show. Whenever a misunderstanding happened between the duo, the girl would quickly fault him. But the guy would patiently swallow his anger, contrary opinion and eat humble pie even if he was correct. He is the epitome of patience. Because, as people close to him will say, the man epitomises patience in both his social and business intercourse with people. He never picks quarrels with people. He demonstrated more patience when the girl’s family postponed his wedding several times for no good reason because he should have tied the knot two years previously.
To cap it all, this guy was denied the girl on some loose basis. Guess why? He is not wealthy. It is sad to know that riches have capital importance to many of us. They mean everything, so to say. But, like it or not, in many circumstances, the continuation and/or breakdown of a relationship hugely rest upon riches.
I am not blowing my own trumpet, but I can indeed marry off my daughter to a responsible person provided he has got a job, and I don’t mind if he scavenges for a living. However, it is disappointing that today some people hate to give their daughters’ hands in marriage to people that carpenter, teach or plumb for a livelihood, no matter how morally and religiously good these people are. They consider such jobs disgusting and can’t bring themselves close to people in such occupations, let alone associating or identifying themselves with them. But you never can tell; such people can one day become stinking rich. Such is life.
Today, thanks to the difficulty of gaining employment, many people have had to combine jobs. As a result, many folks engage in various occupations, which fetches them a lot of money. I know one of such people who is currently building his own house due to his hard work and commitment.
To our dismay, the family of the girl I was earlier on talking about lost their humanity and sent back the engagement money of this guy. The marriage arrangement lacked architecture with them. This is evident in their frequent delaying of the wedding. They once said they were postponing the wedding to allow the man to complete his house because they did not want their daughter to languish in a rented house. As this occurred, only Allah knows how many sleepless nights the guy had experienced. Anyway, they have sufficiently assassinated their character themselves.
This girl has memorised some portion of the Holy Qur’an. Quite unfortunately, she shows it off. Even though she is not that beautiful, I can say she is averagely beautiful. And that does not matter. These and other reasons made her proudly say she could not wed someone with no gainful job. “Mai na sama ya ci, balle ya bawa na kasa“, the girl would often say. She was saying this because the guy is a jeweller. He is not rich enough to live up to her expectations. But he is responsible and can cater for her.
Towards the end of this love drama, the girl started making new dates. Just imagine the kind of family that permits this with a girl already betrothed. There was a time she got the number of my former colleague. Then, he was newly married. Not long ago, he got his firstborn. Seeing him in our neighbourhood with another co-working friend, she did the unimaginable to get his number. This Prince Charming stole her heart at first sight. No doubt, he came by car; that was why she lost herself to him. She ignorantly thought the car was his.
We share a neighbourhood with the elder sister of the ex-boyfriend. To be precise, she is our next-door neighbour. They rent their house. Shamelessly, the girl did not care to stand with her new boyfriends before her sister-in-law’s house and cousin. “Biri ya yi kama da mutum!” Indeed, she no longer had the guy at heart. Nevertheless, she summoned up all her willpower to do this to provoke her already-broken-hearted boyfriend.
When I passed by the girl’s house, I would often see her a bit far from the guy. I kept wondering how this was happening between lovers. From the perspective of space, the gap between them did not explain a love relationship. Those who study the science of space (proxemics) will tell us more. There is no telling that such a distance speaks about a lack of love. As I saw this, I always became the saddest.
Marriage is known to weld and cement relationships. But this cancelled marriage proposal will only devastate the relationship between the two families. I can’t think of the mess the two families will be in because the girl’s grandmother is the younger sister of the ex-boyfriend’s grandmother.
A lot of people think that peer pressure works on girls. I agree with them. Yes, most girls are misadvised by their close friends. This is even one of the disadvantages of collecting many friends. But this situation makes an exception. The problem originated from the girl’s family because the girl’s birth mother is worldly-wise; she only wants a wealthy person for her daughter. She is money-wise.
Indeed, you are a nobody to many people if you don’t have money. In sha Allah, they are only hoping against hope. The choice or dream husband will not come their way since they abandoned a poor person who sells jewellery for a living.
As the girl is becoming wiser with the passing of days, we pray she doesn’t end up in sexual commerce with people stealing her attention. Money talks, of course. But Allah is Ever-Awake. He will judge the situation.
Alkasim Hariru wrote from Kano. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is quite scintilating and awesome. The writer has provided a sound ground for wonderful marital life which many families have forgotten about. We build our life fantasies on money and only money… Allah Ya kiyaye!
A very good work kwaro, you must have started marriage counselling. Allah ya kara basira.
Amin. Thank you.
This piece was made my day, It’s full of meaning indeed.
This piece was made my day, It’s full of meaning indeed. Money isn’t everything to right thinking humane.
Thank you Alkasim.
Indeed, money talks. But Allah is ever Awake.
Good one Prof. Sir
Ameen, thank you.
A very interesting piece and it is unputdownable I feel unable to set aside while reading. Thank you much
That is the essence of true, everythings in this life, deals with money, without it you no longer do anything, Infact you are not a human being, if you lacks the money, getting to be rich, by any means is the source of all evils, in this contemporary life, becouse if you dont have it so, definately you lacks these : Value, Honour, Respect, punctuality, and courage. This is why a mass number of our people, used to get money, any how some prepare to be an Arm robbered, Boko Haram, Kidnapping,Trick, 419, Interest,Yahoo Boys, e.t.c. Ya Hayyu Ya Kayyum!
I can’t imagine why experience is still not a lesson to many of us!. May ALLAH see us through
Masha Allah More power to your elbow , interested article
Uhmmmm… Indeed, this is common now a days. May God bless us with the best of faith.
So sad and tragic! The writer is absolutely amazing, Allah ya bashi wadda ta fita.
Very nice piece.
Full of lessons in our contemporary world.
I love it!