Social media exploded recently with the case of the “First Egyptian Single Mom” and opinions surged into the downright ridiculous. People said she was selfish. People condemned her as a sinner. People said her son would grow up to hate her, for bringing him up in a society that sees him as illegitimate. A few people turned their attacks towards the father, for being a coward, and not owning up to his responsibilities. But most of the vitriol was directed at the woman, for daring to bring her child into the world instead of aborting it or abandoning it in an orphanage.
This woman fell in love with a man. They got married by urfi marriage, which is the old-school method of Islamic marriage, and requires a pen, two witnesses, and a written pledge that this man takes this woman as his wife. Very little attention is paid to the fun fact that any Islamic marriage, urfi or civil, requires the wide-spread acknowledgment that this person is your spouse. Urfi marriage has over time gained the reputation of being a “sex marriage” or a seedy underhanded practice, when in fact, when practiced by public declaration of being married, it’s a socially acceptable practice.
Why do people even do this, you ask? Usually because they aren’t able or ready to be married publicly, but want to have sex and act like a married couple. And premarital sex is a sin, condemned by conservative Middle Eastern society.
Isn’t it interesting how people think they can fool God?
People in the Middle East go to great lengths to engage in premarital sex. They do oral, they do anal, they get married behind their families backs on a napkin. All of this so they aren’t sinning, but they’re technically still sinning, because isn’t lying a no-no? Why lie to yourself?
The average age of people who marry in this region is rising dramatically. The economy is tanking, and most families require a laundry list of things a couple needs to purchase and accomplish before they get married. Women’s fertility globally is getting lower. Isn’t it about time that people reevaluate their priorities? It’s hard enough being a young person in today’s world. If a couple want to partake in a consensual sexual relationship, they shouldn’t have to delude themselves into thinking a piece of paper protects them from judgment. Not to mention that civil society needs to evolve to a place where children born out of wedlock are protected.
At this time, children born out of wedlock face a lifelong state of discrimination and marginalisation. Their mothers risk at the very least disownment, harassment and in more extreme cases, they risk being murdered by family members retaliating against them for slights against the family honor. Because nothing is more honorable than killing a woman in cold-blood.
Reminder: this is all because of having 5-10 minutes of .. most likely .. mediocre sex.