‘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).