I am walking down memory lane. I can see myself wearing a blue T-shirt on top of a black snoop-dogg jean pair of trousers. My feet are covered with a black All-star sneakers. I am stepping on my trousers all the way and the edge of the trousers is dirty already but I don’t care as long I am swaggering that’s all that matters. I walk down and I realize the queue in front of UBA. There’s a family friend around to help me get a post-UME form.’ I hate this school’, I say to myself ‘it’s not like U-I’ I continue. Weeks pass by, I have written the post-UME exam. I had prayed fervently that I should not be given admission to LAUTECH. I was hoping I would enter UI as a direct entry student courtesy GCE A-levels. Alas, the premiere University had decided to ‘normalize’ the school calendar so they went for a long break. I am tired of staying at home.
I can see my name ONAWOLE ABDULMUJEEB TOLU, PURE AND APPLIED CHEMISTRY. I am in front of the senate building in LAUTECH and I am looking at the admission list. Of all courses in the world CHEMISTRY! I did not like CHEMISTRY, no that’s an understatement I loathed chemistry. No form of excitement is on my face and my friends who accompanied me look at me like an ingrate. That was five years ago.
I have just concluded my final exams. My last paper GNS 208, FAMILY, MARRAIAGE & KINSHIP(What a course to round off with). I ponder and tell myself so you are a graduate of chemistry, What do you even know in chemistry? That ‘s a complicated question. I sigh and then feel a sense of regret. Regret for not doing so many things I ought to have done in the last five years. I regret pulling out of the STF, I regret avoiding the Shura (consultation) committee when they sent for me. I regret not memorizing more Surahs from the Qur’an. I regret not visiting the health centre every week like I planned. I regret not improving tremendously on my qira (recitation) of the the Qur’an, I regret not following Abu Khalid on his Adenike Dawah trips consistently, I regret not being a consistent academic tutor, I regret not giving in charity more, maybe I could have stopped some of my colleagues from dropping out of school, I regret not being a consistent tutor,I regret not being the best in my department, I regret not starting CATENATE earlier. I regret not being friends with some people earlier, the mountains we could have moved together, I regret so much…
But I could have been worse. I could have had a long list of all the girls I had laid or could have earned the nick name ‘brewery’. I could have been football crazy and cut classes like I just did not care. I could have cheated and been caught and be given extra semesters or worse rusticated. I could have been a club boy or just continued swaggering. I could have… but Alhamdulillahi I am not any of those but I still regret. True are the words of my Rabb:
‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’Q2.126
I wanted to transform to OPTIMUS PRIME but all I came close to was becoming BUMBLE BEE and yet people think I am a STRANGER I am not I am still ‘becoming’. Now 5 years is gone and I realize this is the end of the beginning. I have never felt so much love by so many people, knowing what it means to be called ‘omo iya’ and now I am about to leave and you all make me grieve. They say home is where your heart is. Home is where you can return to. You all have made LAUTECH a home for me. But when I leave that’s when I would need your calls and messages more than ever before because I would be on my own. So please do not say AbdulMujeeb Onawole has graduated and so you do not call anymore, you do not send me messages to remind to be a better Muslim. To the muslim community in LAUTECH, THANK YOU SO MUCH for making me a better Muslim. It’s been a wonderful 5 years. I love you all for Allah’s sake and I miss you already. PLEASE FORGET ME NOT.
Monday, 19 December 2011
‘Do you want to eat my virginity with soaked garri” that’s what she said. I remember that quote even though it has been years back. The earlier quote was from a passage in an English language examination I wrote in my first year in the senior secondary school. The story in the passage was about a couple’s first night together. The husband was not happy that he did not meet his wife at home and she justified herself by saying that how could he meet her a virgin knowing she was beautiful (guess one who wants to marry a virgin should not marry a beautiful woman- just kidding). The story brought about so many discussions after the exam and I recall being a peer educator for AFPAC (Armed Forces Program for AIDS Control) and the question of virginity had always come up. What we really preached about then as peer educators was A.B.C. (A for Abstinence B for Be Faithful and C for Condom) but I wondered why we did not preach ABC (Always Be Chaste). I am sure many adverts we hear on the media on AIDS control talk we often hear the cliché ‘’If U no fit hold body use condom’. To me it sounds like they are advising people to fornicate or commit adultery as the case may be.
Many a time we often hear guys popping up the dreaded question to their proposed spouse ‘are you a virgin?’. The society has double standards we think it is ok for a guy to fool around and think a female is loose if the same happens. True there is no practical test to know if a male is a virgin but also one as is there a test to know if a female is a virgin (confused, I thought so too). We have to go to the genesis and ask ourselves the question “who is a virgin?” the common concept is that a virgin is someone who has not had sex. There are many things wrong with that concept of the word virgin. If you asked a man whose wife engaged in oral and anal sex only before marriage and who has her hymen intact. The man would say he married a virgin. If you asked a man whose wife had her hymen replaced (there are operation that can do that) if he met his wife at home he would reply in the affirmative. All the mentioned examples show in reality of today there is practical no test for virginity.
The word chastity has a much better meaning and it is not a double standard word neither is it confusing. It means morality with respect to sexual relations. So we can say a married person is chaste and if he or she is moral with respect to sexual relations likewise an unmarried person can be said to be chaste provided the person is moral with respect to sexual relations. So if an unmarried woman who never had any kind of sex is raped it does not strip her off her chastity. The society might say she is no longer a virgin but we cannot say she is not chaste the same applies to a female whose hymen is broken due to some other factors like horse riding or heavy menstrual flow. The word chastity does not use hymen as a test factor nor does it sound like it only applies to females. Allah says in the Qur’ an: ‘For Muslim men and women for believing men and women for devout men and women for true men and women for men and women who are patient and constant for men and women who humble themselves for men and women who give in charity for men and women who fast (and deny themselves) for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward’ Q 33.65. Little wonder the word chastity or chaste appear more in the Qur’an than virgin or virginity. Chastity covers a great deal, from the way an individual carries oneself in dressing, in character and so on but virginity is just about the sex. Another very unique thing about the word chaste is the issue of sincerity. Only Allah knows who is truly chaste and hence it creates Ikhlas (sincerity). Many people are virgins for reasons that are not best. Some people are virgins thinking they would get virgins in return as spouses. Some are virgins because of fear if STI(sexually transmitted infections) but when an individual is chaste it is sincerely for the creator’s sake. Someone could be a virgin because of one of the reasons mentioned earlier, if the person died and never got the chance to get married or later the cure to all STI was found such a reason would have be a waste but if such an individual was chaste then it is the fear of Allah that is the intention of such an individual. Such a person does not need to be swayed for any reason to lose that chastity. For example we can find many men or women who commit adultery not because they wanted to initially but just because they wanted to get back at their spouse for cheating on them.
To conclude , I advise my single brothers and sisters to pray for a chaste spouse and also for chastity for themselves and for everyone at large let us follow the simple ABC(Always Be Chaste).