Sunday, March 16, 2008

Building Homes and Palaces

It was in the news that the government has/will amend the Administration of Muslim Law Act to fix the minimum age of marriage for Muslims at 18, instead of the present 16.

Lots of controversy, as always, from everyone. We the Muslims can never get anything done without endless "consultations" and fear of being seen as unIslamic.

Anyway, it is ironic that in Singapore, a Muslim was allowed to marry at 16 years old, when he/she is not old enough to watch an R rated movie (meaning not old enough to understand sex), not old enough to sign binding contracts, not old enough to buy a flat, nor even to join the army.
In Malaysia, the minimum age of marriage is 18, in Indonesia it is 21.
We were insisting that we must not make unlawful what God made lawful.
Most of the noise would come from misguided (or I should say unguided) quarters.

We have here such a situation.
The great majority of Singaporean Muslims would not think it is appropriate for a 17 year old to get married.
That is why the majority of 16 and 17 year olds who do get married do so because of pregnancy. (In fact, a still large number of those who marry before 21 are also due to pregnancy, but that is another issue).
The reason for getting these CHILDREN married is not because of fulfillment of the sunnah or marriage, but to cover the shame of zina.
Contrary to popular belief, marriage does not make the zina any less a sin, and does not render the child to be legitimate.
We are left with no other reason for the marriage, except to cover up a shame.
A marriage built on a guilty past, instead of a hopeful future, is doomed to fail.

However, this is not to say that Mudpie takes this issue lightly.
And neither does he want to leave this discussion on a condemnatory note.
Change of law or not, the fact remains that there are hundreds of unmarried Muslim girls who get pregnant in their teens every year.
The ones who get married, no matter how sinful or sullied one may think they are, are still angels compared to the hundreds of others who abort their children.
Muslim girls still contribute to about half the abortions of their age group.
To marry or to murder, that is the question for these girls.
In my eyes, the ones who marry have made a tremendously brave decision.
They don't really want to get married, they, of all people know that if they had a choice, they would want to finish school or get a job, like everyone else.
They could still do that, and save their family the shame, by aborting the child.
Yet, they make the decision to keep the child, and sacrifice their future.
Most of these girls end up married to a boy who is not yet ready to be a father, let alone head a household.
Many of them still want to have fun with all their single friends.
Most of them go through hell and then divorce before they are even 21 years old.
All because they chose not to kill their children.

What would our Master (God bless Him and grant Him peace) do?
Mudpie is certainly not Him, but this is what Mudpie thinks He would do-

Forgive these girls. What's happened already has.
Help these girls to survive and raise their children.
Not force them to marry a man they would not want to, especially to a man who is not psychologically and financially ready to marry.
Forgive them again if they behave like immature girls.
Comfort them through the difficult times ahead as a single mother who has just won the invisible "slut" award in the eyes of others.
Love them and convince them that there is a reason for everything. Including why they are in the mess where they are.
Tell them that because they have so much love to give, and God has given them an object for their love, not their resentment.
Tell them that God has given them a child who will love them better than any man ever could.
Remind us that who amongst us has no sin that we may cast stones at the sinner?
Remind us of the hadith qudsi where a Jewish prostitute was forgiven all her sins and placed in Paradise because she fed water to a dog?
Forgive them again and be ready to forgive them even more, for they will continue to stumble and fall.
Accept them as single mothers as a fact of their past and not condemn them, for that is what forces their families to force them to marry.
Remind us that He (God bless Him and give Him peace) did not even scold a bedouin who urinated in His mosque, can we not scold these girls and bring them to ours?
Forgive them, forgive them.

Come, come all of you to our House,
Come, even if you have left a thousand times before,
Come, for this is not a house of Judgment,
Come, for this is a House of Mercy.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mudpie

I do agree with you; what we need is a change of mentality in our community; dont condemned the girls who are brave enough to bring up their child without going through marriage; rather give them support; encourage them to continue with their studies or carve a career. Make their partner responsible for the upbringing of the child even if he is not married to the mum. My two cents worth....

MudPie said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for dropping by. And no, it's worth more than 2 cents.

noshi said...

however, there are also those who purposely get pregnant just so they can get married (or rather, trap the guy into marriage). Sad but true, have heard many cases of this.