Why the Cry? , Muhammad Tariq Ghazi
Director, Umam Studies House – USH – Toronto
I am not surprised. A Canadian woman Sobia* Ali Faisal got her PhD from the University of Windsor by proving that around 67 percent Muslim men and an equal number of women in Canada had engaged in sex before marriage.
I am not surprised by her findings, even though one can doubt about the method she got her numbers. Personally I do not trust these surveys. They never unravel truth; they are conducted to camouflage it.
The percentage computed by Ms Faisal’s surveyor is abnormally huge for a characteristically conservative community even in a broadly liberal society. She might have taken the iceberg for the tip of iceberg. The supposed study becomes enigmatic in view of the Ontario provincial government’s dogged resolve to introduce sex education as early as in grade one.
Nonetheless, there is more than one reason for my cynicism. And this is because the following is not a number game, but detached observations at different kinds of parties and festivities and solemn occasions.
First the author, Ms Faisal is fully trained in the epidemiological discipline that ensures her to get the degree she worked for by toeing the line etched on granite. She can’t help if she allows conscience working freely; otherwise she firmly believes what she has written.
Secondly, the men and women – youth – she has talked to or talked about (and many parents too) are those averse to Islam as it puts restrictions on certain acts while prevailing norms allow every pleasurable freedom which attracts everyone.
Thirdly, no doubt a number of Muslim youths (including the hijab-abaya girls and boys seconding for the Masjid-based madrasahs for Hifz or Alim studies) are dating (among themselves, halal-way though) and no wonder if they have sex as part of the game. They are influenced by school environment, peer pressure, teachers’ guidance plus friends, and the media (cell-phones, internet, movies, music and popular songs). If parental guidance ratio is near the baseline the obvious reason is that, as in non-Muslim families, both parents are working and have no time to spend with adolescent children, high-schoolers, who are prone to engage in sex with friends.
Fourthly, parents are generally unaware of what their children are doing while in school, particularly in higher classes, or in college/university.
Fifthly, many Muslim parents are ignorant about Islamic teachings: their own parents did not transmit that knowledge to them and when their generation finally assumed parenthood they were not ready to groom their progeny on the lines that their given names suggest, if not demand. Main reason for this drawback is that their knowledge of Islam is confined to remembering a few small Surahs of the Qur’an, reading namaz (salat) which they do not attend or read regularly, doing roza (fasting) in Ramadan, total lack of the knowledge of Hadith, total ignorance of the Fiqh, even about such smallest of issues like how to make ghusl, or what breaks the fast, or what corrupts a namaz.
A Toronto Masjid found that during Ramadan Taraweeh young girls and boys would spend time in a coffee shop near the Masjid rather than joining the prayer, and girls continued chatting and texting inside the Masjid or in the tent pitched for women. Ironically, the coffee-shop decided to shutter down during the Taraweeh time since the boisterous young Muslims had become a nuisance for the business. Repeated appeals through the Masjid PA system to parents to take care of their young ones would draw no response because parents themselves were absent from the Masjid.
It is claimed that in India only four percent Muslim boys go to Islamic Deeni madrasahs. Secular schools there do not provide religious (read Islamic) education since it is denounced as un-secular, if not obscure, far behind the contemporary world, and religious graduates being ignorant of the tremendous scientific and social progress the world has made; the maulawis (although an insignificant minority of the four percent attendees to the madrasahs) being the main cause of Muslim backwardness in every sphere of life.
If this figure about India is correct, one can guess about the ratio of religious-education-seekers in Canada and the United States.
Sixthly, promiscuity is the third stage of the disease which seems to be shocking to a section of society. Symptoms of decay can be seen in what is overlooked as innocent diversions like birthday parties, anniversaries, etc. Young girls and boys dancing together in marriage ceremonies is a common sight these days. Parents have no qualms if their children engage in dating but only after the Nikah is performed – in some cases after the formal engagement ceremony – yet before the final ceremony of the couple “officially” starting life as husband-wife which is invariably delayed in order to allow distant relatives to attend the grand ceremonial. Dancers in marriage or engagement ceremonies make obscene gestures in front of stranger men and women. Many other local habits have already been accepted like mixed parties for marriage/birthday hullabaloo and a dozen other related rituals, with women casting off their abayas in order that their showy dresses are appreciated, cake-cutting at birthday or anniversary parties, bride in her best glittering attire without a headscarf sitting jutted to the groom in broad public view.
Education begins at home. That is the remedy. For that we need to educated parents before they produce children.
* Re: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/heartfelt/2015/11/what-does-the-research-say-that-muslim-youth-need-sex-education/