Nigeria: Sokoto Mass Wedding – Screening Attracts the Young and Old

Sokoto — Females and males of different ages in their clusters waited unwearyingly as the screening for the mass wedding in Sokoto was to be conducted.

The screening which held last week at the Youth Development Centre in the state capital saw over 140 prospective couples being screened. Interestingly, the exercise attracted both the young and the old.

Many who witnessed the screening commended the maturity with which most of the youths conducted themselves during the occasion.

The event which was organized by the Sokoto State Ministry of Youths /Sports Development and Sunnah Marriage Mediation Association of Nigeria, Sokoto State branch, received applaud from many of those willing to engage in the marriage.

Under the programme, the state government is to provide dowry for the males and empower them while the females are to be given what they need for the marriage.

“I came here for the purpose of the mass wedding. I heard it over the radio that the state government will assist people willing to get married. By the grace of Allah, I hope to get a suitable wife I will love and protect,” Abubakar Hassan, one of those who took part in the Sunnah marriage stated.

Muhammad Bello is also among those who came for screening. He lauded the programme, saying it would assist them greatly in settling into a reasonable marital life.

Another prospective husband stated: “I am happy and eager to get a wife because of God. I want God to choose for me.”

Yet another male added, “my hope is to get a woman to marry. Inshaa Allah; I will treat her as expected, because there is no other longing I have now other than to get married.”

Likewise one of the would-be wives asserted “I want God to give me a good husband.”

Another female stated: “the idea of participating in mass wedding is better than engaging in fornication; this programme is commendable as it can help curb fornication and adultery in the society. May Allah reward the state government.”

However, leader of women seeking to be married, Hajiya Kulu Mai Angwa Baba Ladi has these words of caution especially for the men: “any man who would get wife here should be thankful to God and hold her very well in accordance with the dictates of Islam. They should not look down on the women, because of the way they got them and should not insult them.”

Chairman, Sunnah Marriage Mediation Association of Nigeria, Malam Aliyu Bello Kufar Rini, said the association which has branches all over the nation, is out to encourage marriage according to the practice of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and in that way, enhance moral standard of the youths. He said it was also to reduce extravagancy in marriage.

He said since its establishment about 17 years ago, the association has mediated many marriages within and outside the state with successes.

However, this time the association is collaborating with the ministry to organize mass wedding to be sponsored by the state government.

Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Alhaji Tsalha Sidi Mamman, said having seen the impact the association has made in marriage mediation, the ministry decided to collaborate with it and embrace the initiative.

Alhaji Sidi Mamman, who spoke through the Director of Youths, Bello Alkali, said the programme was designed to encourage the youths to embrace the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW towards ensuring a better society.

He advised the youths to embrace the exercise with all honesty and sincerity and eschew any ulterior intention.

During the screening exercise, the would -be spouses were taken through some rules and regulations.

Chairman Sunnah Marriage Media Association, Sokoto branch, Mallam Aliyu Bello Kufar Rini listed some rules they are required to adhere to before the mass marriage.

Among such rules are: No exchange of phone numbers by the males and females before the marriage; no going to the females’ houses without the consent of the officials.

Others include: No temporary marriage for females waiting to go back to their former husbands.

Both males and females are also to be screened for their health status before the marriage.

According to the association chairman, a dialogue committee has been set up towards these.

He revealed that the association, in collaboration with groups of Islamic scholars led by Sarkin Musulumi Sokoto, Sheikh Buhari Sirdawa, and other organizations, has taken adequate steps to ensure the success of the programme.

The programme is projected to be a continuous one.

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