Traditionally, in northern parts of Nigeria, particularly North West, the perception and practice of romantic love relationship in Hausa communities has been morally and spiritually shaped by decent African culture and Islamic teachings , as the majority of the people are Muslims. Love, before marriage or in courtship, in its pure conception and practice, does not signify any element of indecent acts or romantic sexual relationship between lovers. Premarital sex has no place in the culture and is forbidden. Thus love affair is deemed as taboo by the people.
In courtship, love is seen as an affection , expression of emotional attraction or being affectionate towards the beloved without any sexual involvement or indulging oneself in sexual act or physical show of affection towards the lover. Sexual feelings towards the beloved are supposed to be suppressed or repressed as an act of decency till marriage is achieved between young lovers. Similarly, modesty in dressing among women is emphasized in order to fight temptations that could lead fornication , adultery, indecent-assaults or rape. One is obliged to not indulge himself or herself in an amorous acts of kissing, hugging, touching or caressing, hand-holding, breast fondling and any lecherous act of that nature to the opposite sex before marriage. These physical acts between lovers before marriage, are considered to be indecency – disapproved by the society. Marriage is the only accepted means to quench this human instinctive desire for bodily show of affection and love-making. Any other means apart from this , is transgressing, and going beyond borders will incur the wrath of Sharia with punishment to the offenders. In a nutshell, unmarried youths are to observe abstinence as it is emphasized in the culture, also, continence is encouraged through fasting which serves as one of the effective ways to control human sexual desire – the hunger caused by fasting can suppress sexual urges.
The institution of marriage, especially early marriage practice among young lovers and modesty in dressing and behaviour within the culture , have played a significant role in safeguarding the lives of Hausa society against immorality, sexual harrassment, indecent-assaults, rape, premarital sex, unwanted pregnancy, rampant teenage fornication, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases and many other ills of the world, as well as promoting peace, stability and well-being of the society. It should be recalled that many a time in the past our literate ancestors, grandparents or parents were newly wedded couples who were virgins in their honeymoon but did not know what do with each other until later they learnt the art of love-making. That was the way of their world then, it was beautiful. This is the beauty of the culture and many of today’s teenagers and youths are supposed to be like their ancestors if only they had not been morally corrupted and their parents and the community tried to give them good training – good upbringing.
Sadly, today, we see how some kind of crude Western culture has found its way into societies and nations across the world, breaking down and undermining golden cultural norms and values inherited in many societies. To be more specific, in Hausa communities, many young lovers are now morally corrupted with an alien culture. They disengage themselves from the beautiful culture they inherited to ugly one due to some Western brainwashing and appeal for Americanism. Through contact with the Western world and the media, many youths today in Hausa communities, among many youths in some societies in the world , are now being brainwashed into falling in love with the new idea of romantic love or Western lifestyle. They are introduced to some concept of love , and to great effect, some of these members of the communities are made to feel that their culture is ‘archaic’ , ‘barbaric’, ‘inferior’ and ‘uncivilized’ and whiteman’s culture is ‘superior’ , ‘civilized’ and ‘sophisticated’. As a consequence of that they lost respect for their culture. They discarded it and indulge themselves in the Western lifestyle of premarital sex and some obscenities they are taught, obscenities like ‘free love’, ‘casual sex’, ‘one-night-stand’ , ‘threesome’, ‘pornography’, ‘phonesex’, ‘sexting’ and ‘cyber sex’ or ‘ internet sex’, to name but a few – all the dirty things which seem to define some kind of Western romantic love relationship and fun.
Sadly enough, It is very common nowadays to see an unmarried young man blatantly boasting about his sexual adventures in public. Nudity has become a thing of adornment with our women naked dressings showing cleavage with tight wears leaving nothing to the imagination, have also become things of fashion among many young women. Losing virginity before marriage has become the new normal. Today we witness the ugly moral decay in our youths and the sinking of our goal.