By Ibrahiym A. El-Caleel
Lately, some Nigerians from a section of the country have been facing big shocks in their lives. Fathers have been running DNA test on their children to ascertain whether they are theirs or not.
When they discover that the children are not biologically theirs, they run into depression and other social Illnesses. A separation follows and in extreme cases, it ends with a suicide.
It is the case of a man who spends decades investing his time, wealth and energy to bring up a child who DNA test confirms was never his. You can only imagine the emotional trauma and despair.
Kindly forgive me if I sound insensitive, but this shouldn’t really be shocking. Any society which swears not to see anything wrong with cross-gender intimate friendship and treats premarital sex lightly, then such society should keep warm palms to receive funereal stories like this. It is not rocket science.
As if it is not already five years, a conversation I once had with Mr Ola [not real name] is still fresh in my head. Mr Ola (a Muslim married man himself) told me that ahead of getting married, intending couples (in his exact words) “have to check and examine one another” to find out if they are compatible for marriage. He was talking about consummating a marriage before the marriage itself!
As a daring gentleman then, I asked him if personally he had that experience before his marriage, and he replied in the affirmative. I didn’t intend to sound offensive at all. But since he voluntarily shared this information with me after telling him I had just been engaged and my marriage was just five months away, I felt we were having some honest personal conversation.
I was glad he didn’t take any offense. I wanted to just verify if he meant what he said. If this is already happening in SOME Muslim marriages, then Allah’s aid is sought. You do not want to find out what is then happening in other non-Muslim home. Whatever the case might be, the DNA tests going on and the extreme cases of suicide give some hint and should be an opportunity to correct this misdeed.
There’s everything wrong with this kind of premarital examination. From an Islamic standpoint, everyone already knows it is an uncompromising HARAM (prohibition). No such examination is permitted under whatever context.
To begin with, Islam has already forbidden a non-exigent contact between a man and a woman who are marriageable (non-mahrams). This forbiddance comprises as low as a simple handshake between them or standing side-by-side for a picture or anything that looks simple to you. None of all these is allowed as far as Islam is concerned.
The so-called “premarital examination” as referred by Mr Ola above is simply adultery (read: fornication) as far as Islam is concerned.Subsequently, from the standpoint of critical thought, the presumptive advantages of this examination is insignificant when compared versus the evident disadvantages. These are at least two disadvantages:
a) If it becomes a norm within a society, then the unmarried chaste men and women within such society shall be placed in a difficult situation when they set forth to search for their potential spouses. Inter-societal marriages will become harder as well.
The doubting Thomases will have doubt on virtually everyone and this is not good for the society. There are truly men and women who will remain chaste even in the face of widespread moral corruption.
b) In this age of multiple dating among our youths, family lineage will be placed at high risk. The bloodlines will be jeopardized. With the possibility of multiple examinations already going on, it is easy for the finally selected husband to end up looking after the child of one of his co-suitors.
He will never find out about this till after the DNA test he will want to do some 25 years later. This is when he will hear a story that will touch his heart.
To curb this menace, we must go back to the Islamic way of doing things. We must respect the unambiguous boundaries set in respect to cross gender relationships.
Islam aims to shut the doors of this ordeal from the first step of hastening marriages and frowning at prolonged dating. Also, Islam prohibited a man to seek marriage where there is already another man who has been given a green light to seek marriage. Multiple actors are not Islamic. Multiple dating is not Islamic no matter how highly popular or famous a woman is.
Secondly, in the event that after marriage couples discover that their intimate capabilities are incompatible, then they should seek for a genuine medical aid. Ideally this should work. But if there is no medical solution, then Muslim marriages are not a “for better or worse” union.
The couple should separate honorably through a divorce. This is a maslaha (public good) for both the couple and our dear society. They should not stay in a marriage that is not working and then be engaged in extramarital affairs.
A premarital sex is a fornication which qualifies each of them to 100 lashes as hadd (punishment) before a Shari’ah Court. An extramarital sex is an adultery that will qualify each of them to execution through stoning as hadd (punishment) before a Shari’ah Court.
Therefore, a divorce is the best and honorable solution here. There is nothing shameful, blameworthy or asocial here. And woe onto him or her who scolds, slanders or gossips about this couple for truly finding a permissible way out of their predicament. Woe on to the slanderer and slanderess!
This is the Islamic way of dealing with issues. And this is the civilized and realistic way of dealing with issues to prevent depressing stories in the future. A husband should not be having a wife at home and a mistress or side-chick outside.
A wife shouldn’t be in a marriage at home and another relationship in a hotel. These two things will definitely provoke a DNA test someday, somewhere and somehow. The result will always be a heartbreaking. It will be more shameful and gossip-worthy than a divorce in the eyes of the slandering chiefs and slandering queens.
Keep intimate life strictly within a marriage. Never before a marriage nor outside a marriage. You owe yourself this honor. You owe your ancestors this trust. And you owe our society this sanity.
Ibrahiym A. El-Caleel writes from Zaria and is reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org