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When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half
– Islamic Haith
Marriage is sacred in Africa and beyond, because it solidifies relationship that enrich communities and nations by bring forth new life and new hope. African cultures celebrate the coming of the rains, the first harvest and the birth of a child.
– AHS Society
O young people! Whoever among you can support a wife should marry, for that is more modest for the gaze and safer for your private parts
– Islamic Hadith
Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.
– Ancient Egypt
When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half
– Islamic Hadith
But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
– Mark 10:6-9
A man marries a woman for 4 reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her character. So marry the one who is best in the character and prosper
– Islamic Hadith
Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.
– Harriet Tubman
If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
– African Proverb
If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.
– ' Alik Shahadah
If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it
– Zulu Proverb
When you look around the history of human civilization and see the tradition of marriage that stands independent of time, race, geography and culture. It means it is a aspect of civilization, humanity and human culture. Marriage historically has be used in political unions between nations, between different ethnic groups to secure peace, trade and development. And marriage is one thing that unites African culture, although two marriages will never be similar. You can marry in a church, a mosque, in the bush, by a priest, an Imam, minster of justice, underwater, in a tree, the core thing is marriage is a contract of commitment with rules and regulations that represent the persons culture. It is a communal relationship, a rite of passage which bonds two people and enshrines obligations and values. And even while people may get divorced they are guidelines and ethics in every culture for governing all aspects of married life. Marriage is dignity and a true sign of commitment. It defines our humanity and contributes to making us more human. It is exclusively between naturally God man members of the opposite sex.
A good relationship is not only defined by the high points, it is also defined by how people handle the low points. It is how they survive conflict and struggle in an equitable progressive way. Two people are married and they boast "We never had a disagreement, we never had an argument"— Then that marriage is untested. It is the marriage or relationship that had the weight of challenges bearing down upon them and resolved them through mutual growth —that is a real marriage. It is like a body that has an immune system for future challenges.
In the Western world because of feminism a good marriage is constructed differently from the African paradigm. Asking your wife to bring you a cup of tea while you relax and watch the game is a "no-no." But why would this be a problem in an equitable relationship, where at another stage when the wife wants to stay in bed the husband reciprocates. So a relationship is a single unit made up of two parts which complement, support, reinforce, and give pleasure to one another. All of this is wrapped in the concept of justice— what is fair to all, and what is righteous to all.
During the African Holocaust of enslavement marriage was pointless if you were owned by the slave master. A person could be sold off at any instant. Everything is temporary -- commitment is void when someone owns you. And we must, regardless of our martial status, be bold enough to see the errors that are out growths of enslavement. The destruction of people systems, the death of things that define our humanity. The temporariness of the enslaved reality meant also commitment was also fleeting. Long term arrangements in areas of marriage and parenting were nonexistent. And today the habits of enslaved people still run our relationships with each other. So a man can get a woman pregnant and simply abandon his responsibilities, this is slave culture. A woman feels no dishonor in having multiply children and no wedding ring. This is again only because we are a people void of culture.
During the African Holocaust of enslavement marriage was pointless if you were owned by teh slavmaster. A person could be sold off at any instant. Everything is temporary -- commitment is pointless when someone owns you. And we must regardless of our martial status be bold enough to see the errors which are out growths of enslavement. The destruction of people systems, the death of things that define our humanity. The tempoaryness of the enslaved reality meant also commitment was also fleeting. long term arrangements in areas of marriage and parenting were nonexistent. And today the habits of enslaved people still run our relationships with each other.
Not only are African Americans the least likely to marry, they are also the most likely to divorce. According to a study by the Pew Research Center. African-American children are significantly less likely than other children to be living with two married parents. (70 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried parents). In 2006, 35 percent of African-American children were living with two parents, compared with 84 percent of Asian children, 76 percent of non-Hispanic White children, and 66 percent of Hispanic children. – Child Trends DataBank, 2007 The Trend in the UK is even more dire with inter-racial marriages dominating over same-race marriages (see external link). African-American marriage rate seems to be on the upswing--from 46.1 percent in 1996 to 47.9 percent in 2001--after a 40-year downward spiral. The bad news is that the number of Black married couples is only half the number of married Whites, and the situation is getting worse. In 1963, more than 70 percent of all African-American families were headed by married couples. In 2002 that number was 48 percent. (1).
In South Africa only a third of children are living with both of their biological parents, according to a new report.. The report, The First Steps to Healing the South African Family, shows that 40% of children live only with their mothers, 3% live only with their father, and 23% live with neither of their biological parents. Some 8% of children live in 'skip generation households' with their grandparents or great aunts and uncles.
A 2003 study states that HIV and AIDS are less prevalent in Muslim populations and speculates that this may be due to the effect of several Islamic tenets, such as the avoidance of extramarital affairs and the "benefits arising from circumcision"
In the olden days two people meet 2 times and got married on the 3rd meeting -- and these marriages lasted a lifetime. Today couples date for 3 years and get divorced 6 months after finally getting married. What has changed?
These factors, combined with the adoption of western philosophy in how to handle them has resulted in imbalance.
Because of the over sexualization and promiscuous nature of societies people are becoming less tolerant, and at the first sign of a flaw they get out of the marriage. The family structures that make people sit down under peer review is vanishing and the taboos of shame and dignity are also evaporating so a man or a woman can conduct themselves immorally without worry of the societies shame. In traditional African societies any abuse (against a woman for example) would be discussed with the community elders. Disputes which once could easily fixed by intercession, are now reasons for irreconcilable squabbles.
Understanding and accommodating difference and growth are critical to sustaining marriages. It will never be about 100% equality but more 100% harmony. Respect is absolutely critical, and honesty is the heart of that respect. And there is a myth that these guidelines only apply to monogamous relationships—not so. In any marriage set up, plural or otherwise, honesty is still the key. If a man is married to two women he must be equitable and honest just as if it was monogamous. Having another wife is not cheating, it is only an act of dishonesty which violates the marriage contract.
Many factors, esp. the destruction of family, and family values due to economic pressures of urban development contribute to the demise of an unbalanced marriage. So already even if the marriage is in good spirit, it struggles. The solution must be holistic, and balanced. An evolution of how we see gender roles that will fit into modernity and the challenges of that modernity is key. Balance also means finding a balance between the necessity and urgency of marriage vs. the consequences of forced marriage.
that feminism and woman's justice is the same is to assume that Jewish self-determination equals Zionism.We need to deconstruct feminism from its global linguistic imposition and evaluate its paradigms, contrasting them against communal cultures quest for gender harmony and justice.
In the African paradigm (sometimes mistakenly called African feminism) we see how male inclusion is central, how biological determination is factored in, and how spiritual components merge together. It's ethical root is on concepts such as Maat, not individualism.Feminism rotates in the west and is exported to infect, and attach themselves to the broader Woman’s struggle for justice and equality in a male dominated world. However as a paradigm is diabolically anti-African anti-human neologism emerging out of the Eurocentric reactionary women’s movement in the 50’s. To collapse feminism and women’s rights is a fundamental linguistic flaw as the two concepts articulate completely different social realities. It is therefore inadequate to use the term feminism and apply this loaded word to the gender issues of Africa. The one commonality in all African cultures is the de-emphasis on individuality and the emphasis on community, the priority of family and creating new life. The feminist is in agreement with everything that breaks the family unit and inhibits procreation. Therefore, the African woman should never seek to locate her liberation within the Eurocentric boundaries of feminism. Within the broader African philosophy, the higher focus is balance over “tick for tack” equality. The feminist equality implies “what men can do; women can do to” as distinct from the African question of “right and wrong.” "ownership of their sexuality, to flaunt immorality. "This shows the flawed paradigm which is found in many aspects of Eurocentrism, where objectives are disconnected from spiritual and biological harmony.
The forms of African women’s rights emerging in various parts of the continent do not grow out of individualism within the context of industrial societies, as did Western feminism. In the West, economic and social trends historically pushed women into more active roles in the economy, and Western feminism has focused on women’s struggle for control over reproduction and sexuality. However, African women have had a different experience. African debates do not focus on theoretical questions, the female body, or sexual identity. African feminism is distinctly heterosexual, supportive of motherhood, and focused on issues of “bread, butter, culture, and power.”
Women's rights responses to the injustice against women but seeks solutions within the cultural/biological context, thus it does not ignore or try to deny the biological design of women and men. Certain terms like "Equal rights" have floated around in popular culture for so long that they evade interrogation. Men and women share many roles but some roles have different gender priority, some are exclusive to women (child birth for example.) So if men do not give birth how can the "rights of the women" equally apply to men. Men have to go to war by default, women do not. And while women should have equal access to education, but not to war, not being held responsible for direct conflict. Because the woman gives birth to a nation and such a key to continuing civilization has no place being exposed to the ugliest side of human conflict. An African man does not need his African woman, mother, sister, wife coming home in a body bag in pieces. In the Islamic tradition women, the elderly and children cannot be targeted as a matter of human ethics. An in ancient African societies we see woman traditionally not being engaged in direct conflict, especially when able bodies men are available. While we can agree on commonalities in the struggle for empowering of women we have to also realize in a diverse ethnic-cultural world not every item relevant to women in the west can be transplanted into Africa, Asia or the Middle East.
A central theme in Africa idealism is the quest for harmony and justice. Justice trumps equality every time. And we need clarity on these issues to avoid liberal pitfalls. Both male and female live inside communities, not individual cells, and communities build nations-not individuals. The female energy creates a different world to the world men create. All of this violence we see is partly because of a gender imbalance (Coni and Ms.. Clinton you are excused from this example). There is a myth going around that women's rights /justice is a woman only affair. No that is feminism. Women have agency, but it is a man's problem as well, especially men are 1 out of 2 of the agents of female oppression. <See Feminism article>
African world views, rituals, art, language and works of wisdom celebrated the complementary relationship between the male and the female. Everything in African cultures from Ethiopia to Congo respect to the centrality of life and pro-life systems (systems that promote life). The harvest, the coming of the rains, the pouring of libation to the ancestors all speaks to the continuity of the life processes. According to Dr. Molefi Kete Asante; professor at Temple University, the overall African philosophy is that life and the reproduction of life sit at the core of human society. Men and women have children who ritualize their parents and ancestors. Individualistic societies selfishly places emphasis on personal rights , called "fredom of choice", over the rights of the unborn, or the community. Choice begins with birth control and using a condom. Not after the fun is finished and a new life has started. It is far more responsible and humane to teach morals than deal with the consquences of a immoral society.
And at the core of this abortion dilemma is again the ugly issue a racial dispartity. In the U.S., with African American women five times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have abortions. Planned Parenthood is notoriously famous for, among many things, being willing to accept donations for the explicit and sole purpose of aborting African-American babies. The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (currently in debate) would make it illegal to solicit or accept funds for sex or race selection abortions.
There are situations (rape, incest, severe deformity, health risk) where abortion is necessary. But abortion in Western societies with its over sexualized conduct is more of a birth control, which is used the last resort after a irresponsible night of lustful pleasure. Why should the life in a woman's womb be destroyed because of low maturity or lack of sexual control between consenting adults?
The minute sperm meets egg a process starts, which has one destiny. That destiny is guided by forces outside of our jurisdiction – and that destiny is life. And between Islam, Ifa, Zulu, Ethiopian Orthodox request people respect their bodies and practise marriage. Thus reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancies that cannot be sustained. The mental consequences of abortion are destructive to the woman. No volume of feminism or counseling ever allows a woman to forgive herself after an abortion. They suffer in silence in a world that said it was okay. However, no volume of okay turns an injustice into a justice. The innate mechanism of a woman's biological design were created to sustain life. Abortion is at odds with this innate design and the creates a spiritual void and pain a woman never truly overcomes.
the social-economic threat caused by increased African populations and the Eurocentric Christian values.
BIBLE AND POLYGAMY
Very little in the Bible prohibits polygyny, and it is more an taboo is Western culture, but not in Christian teology as believed by many African Christians. The New Testament does not specifically address the morality of polygamy. (1 Timothy), however, states that certain Church leaders should have but one wife: "A ''bishop'' then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (chapter 3, verse 2; see also verse 12 regarding deacons having only one wife). Similar counsel is repeated in the first chapter of the Epistle of Titus; however, the redactor of 1 Corinthians (chapter 7, verse 2) writes, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let ''every'' man have his own wife, and let ''every'' woman have her own husband." In modern times some Roman Catholic theologians have argued that polygamy, though not ideal, can be a legitimate form of Christian marriage in certain regions, in particular Africa.
However today polygamy is still a reality and is becoming an option in the African Diaspora in response to a social dilemma. Polygamy within the framework of law and balance is a viable aspect of African family systems which is exited from Kemet to Sokoto.
Perception of African self has been so given to us by the “other” that it is hard to distinguish what is indigenous intelligence and what is a product of mental conditioning because of the European dynamic. There is a great confusion around modernity with progress and development and too often Westernization or more specific Europeanization is collapses into modernity. African people must objectively re-examine structures that were the backbone of their historical development in an attempt to successful engage in modernity.
GENETICS AND POLYGAMY ARGUMENT
In the event of a global holocaust the only system which would favor re-populating human kind with sustainable diversity would be if the sex-ration was 1 man to multiply females, the 1:1 ration could not re-populate humanity.Throughout human history, relatively few men seem to have had a greater input into the gene pool than the rest, suggests a study of variations in DNA.
Tens of thousands of years of polygamy has left a mark on our genomes that is a signature that small numbers of males must have mated with lots of females.
Over time, such a pattern will spawn more genetic differences on the X chromosome than other chromosomes. This is because women have two copies of the X, while men only one. In other words, the diversity arises because some men don't get to pass on their genes, while most women do."Humans are considered to be mildly polygynous and we descend from primates that are polygynous," says Michael Hammer, a population geneticist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
President Bashir of Sudan stated that the undeniable relationship between development and population increase (as clear with China and India) and openly encourages polygamy to allow increased development. This seems contrary to Western advisors who encourage Africans to decrease their populations, but ironically these same experts argue for an increase in Europe's population and are deeply concerned with the social-economic consequences of decreasing birth rates in the Western world. Ali Mazrui states: Culture provides lenses of perception, the way of looking at reality, a world view; culture provides standards of evaluation; what is good and what is evil; what is legitimate and what is illegitimate are rooted in criteria provided by culture. Culture conditions motivations; what motivates individuals to act or refrain from acting, what inspires individuals to perform well or to really exert themselves, is partly inspired by cultural factors. Culture is the medium of communication; the communicative aspects of culture range from language in the literal sense to physical gestures and modes of dress. Culture provides a basis of stratification, a pecking order in society. Status, rank and class are partly the outcome of a cultural order.
Some African advocates of polygamy see it as an aspect of a needed paradigm shift where Africans revisit there traditional practices which worked for thousands of years. Thus mentally throwing of colonial imposed taboos.
The labolla created funds for the marriage and the family who had raised her, it was a gift to say thank you for raising such a respectable lady - not a purchase of a woman as property. With the advent of a sexual-liberal immoral society the entire sex after marriage has been vulgarly abandon in favor of promiscuity. But still the labolla (dowry) remains but failing in its cultural role, and worst feeding the crisis.
From the new African man’s perspective it seems redundant that a man should pay R40,000 for a woman who has had over 20 boyfriends and 2 children and only 23 years old. Where is the incentive for the man to marry when he can continue to sleep around and father children? The statics show that in South Africa, Africans like African-Americans, are majority single mothers with the lowest marriage rate for any race group. Not only is it a moral and cultural issue it is also a health issue because the lack of commitment to marriage also increases the chances of HIV. The lack of commitment to marriage also is a gateway to immorality as women and men explore sex more frequently due to the burdens of seeking marriage. Labolla was designed to protect the culture. Now it is being used to prevent it by capitalist greed inserting itself at the expense of the next generation.
The solution is for a re-evaluation of the dowry in monetary terms. Because the dowry is a serious aspect of African culture and it does function when used properly. However the priority should be to create happy marriages. So the demand for high dowry should be secondary to the demand to make sure a couple marry and live clean lives in commitment.
. The reason behind this can be the Nigerian Church and the Eurocentric missionaries who influenced the Church and the African groups. But there are some in Nigeria who still live after the old traditions and are preforming the tradtioally wedding ceremonies.
The first step in the wedding process is the first meeting with the both involving families where they investigate each other. At this occation they groom's family donate some gifts to the bride's family, consisting mostly of cattles, yams or money. After this the ceremony the bride comes to live with the groom and his family, and if that turns out to work out a weddingfeast is held. After thet ceremonial feast he bride is concidered married to the groom and his family.
The bride should be a virgin before the actual wedding, but today there are exceptions. Pregancy outside of marriage is considered shameful. Polygamy marriages exist and are legal in Nigeria, but again the Christian religion forbids it. Pologamy marriages have though become less common in today's Nigeria. This is due to the fact that a man in such a marriage is responsible to provide for his family and to provide for a family is expensive. Because of the economical situation in Nigeria it has become less common with polygamy marriages.
Note: In South Africa if a man gets a woman pregnant outside of wedlock he is required to pay damages (a fine to the paents) for dishonored the family.