Surely I remember this day, the 14th of February
In high school days, it is the day when you see many students walking around with heart letters, teddy bears and red shirts.
At work, the female colleagues gather around and they begin to share their giggles and stories about what the boyfriends got them and the surprise dinner he prepared for her on this night.
What is interesting is that in these moments of love you see some of the girls, notice I said some not all, boil from jealousy when they see that another girl got a present better than them while there is always a girl that gets nothing and sits there feeling pity to her lack of fortune of having a true lover.
Valentine is a very popular day but really none, not even academics can pinpoint or justify why the name of a Christian Saint that was killed for his belief is linked to a day that celebrates the life of love between two people.
Regardless of its background, I noticed that none really cares about this background or link. Practically, young people despite their beliefs don’t pay attention to that point and to them it is a day to show love.
Hence, in Lebanon it is named the day of Love; this is the reason, in my opinion, that makes it very popular so I will focus my article about why people celebrate it and the view of Islam, in my personal eyes and understanding, instead of talking about its background as other Sheikhs, May Allah bless them all, have covered many times before me and thoroughly.
So why don’t Muslims celebrate that day?
Are we against love?
Does Islam always intend to sadden you and deprive you from the joy of life?
Why are you Muslims always angry and serious? Seriously is there anything that you guys love?
Similar comments and many more are usually thrown at my fellow Muslims and some struggle to explain.
Hence, the words of this article to share with others my answer to why we are different.
Where is the love?
After seeking the aid of Allah and His support I say,
Firstly, no faith promotes love more than Islam.
Islam is not only a religion that accepts love only; rather it makes love one of the main components of its faith.
In fact, if you take love out of Islam, you will find that you will nullify Islam and will destroy its foundations.
Our belief in God is not based on forceful Obedience, like many enemies of Islam try to preach; rather it is built on first loving Allah, Hope in Paradise and fear of Hell, and awe to the creator of all the worlds.
Our belief in all the prophets and messengers is based on love; a Muslim that hates any of the prophets or messengers compromises his faith.
Our belief in the prophet Mohamed is not based on forceful Obedience, like many enemies of Islam try to preach; rather it is built on love of the prophet before anything that leads a Muslim to follow the matchless practice of this great man.
The love of the prophet is what pushed Abu Dujanah to hug him and take tens of his arrows in his back so the prophet stays safe.
The love of our parents is one of the gates of Paradise.
The love of our fellow Muslims whatever their race, their tongue or their culture is one of the main constituents of The Muslim brotherhood and sisterhood.
Allah when speaking about one of the many bounties that He bestowed upon humanity, He listed marriage and described it as a bond built on mercy and love.
If I am to expand on this point it will become a lengthy lecture and that isn’t my aim. However, my aim is to highlight this fact to my fellow Muslims and to Non-Muslims as well and show that Islam is a religion of love amongst many other things.
Why do you suppress my emotions?
Some people, Non-Muslims and some Muslims, think, falsely, that it is Islamic to supress your emotions. They think that Islam bans one from feeling and sharing their feelings.
So is this true?
No it isn’t!!
Islam doesn’t deprive a person from showing his love to one’s partner, one’s children or to his fellow Muslims.
On the contrary, it encourages one to do so and makes sharing love and showing love a source of reward.
The prophet encouraged his followers to show their love to one another. He says, “If you love one of your brothers then let him know so”!!! (Tirmidhi, Sahih Tirmidhi, etc)
The hadith is self-explanatory and the words of the prophet are clear; if you love someone tell them “I love you”.
The prophet said to Mu’aaz, “O Mu’aaz I swear by Allah I love you…” (Targheeb and Tarheeb)
Furthermore, the prophet encouraged us to gift those whom we love. He says, “Gift one another so you may love one another” (Al Adab Al Mufrad, Sahih Al Jaami’)
The prophet showed his love to his wives in words and actions.
When Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al Aas asked him, “who is the most beloved to you from people?” he answered, “A’eesha” (Sahih Al Jaami’)
In fact, the prophet informed and encourages the Muslims to show their love and care to their partners, where he says, “… you are rewarded even for lifting a morsel of food and placing it (out of love and care) in the mouth of your wife”
The practice of the prophet went further than this; after the demise of his first wife Khadijah, he showed his love and dedication to her by gifting the people that she used to love. A’isha enquired why does he gift the friends of Khadija and he answered, “I was gifted her love” (Sahih Muslim).
Thus, Islam does not suppress emotions rather it encourages one to show them and directs one to show them through the correct channels of marriage, brotherhood and sisterhood, and righteous actions.
So why don’t you Muslims promote Valentine’s Day and why don’t you set a day of love in Islam?
Islam keeps showing love for one’s spouse an open practice and not a one day event.
It encourages one to show their love whenever one feels it, when you want, when you can and wherever you choose.
It doesn’t allow others to decide for you when or how you show your love.
In fact, Islam encourages you to show your love for your spouse everyday through the beautiful smile, the kind word and good treatment.
More importantly, in my opinion, it is not the notion of love that should be celebrated because love is a feeling that can be positive and can be negative. It can be healthy and can be harmful. It is the person that you share it with is who is important and whether they earn it or not.
When you don’t set a day for that and yet you constantly show your love to your spouse you are indirectly saying
“I don’t love you for the sake of Love; rather I love the notion of love for your sake”
A day of love will make it general and will make it public and if I really need someone to remind me that I love you then my love to you is truly lacking, in my view.
Islam personalises your practise and keeps it confidential to you. The whole world doesn’t have to know when you show your love to your spouse and doesn’t’ have to know how. You don’t have to make it a typical action and copy others. It keeps it unique to you.
The best approach to show love is to make it spontaneous and unconfined.
It is best to express it when you feel it and to make it different than everyone else.
It is nicer to show it when it shines in you rather than to show it because everyone else does!
Gift at any occasion and without an occasion
To remember someone at a time when everyone else does is self-contradictory, it makes one an imitator rather than a leader.
Real love is to remember them when everyone forgets them and to surprise them when they least expect it.
How is it a surprise when I choose to surprise my spouse on the day that everyone plans to do so or expects so?
Thus, we don’t let the gift become a routinely practice; we make it a fuel to rekindle the flame of lover and passion whenever it becomes weak and whenever it is necessary.
It doesn’t have to be roses it could be a ring.
It doesn’t have to be chocolate it could be a sakata pack!!
The main thing is to show that love.
I can expand a bit longer but I think this gets my point across. This is how I would deal with this issue and how I would answer. I am not perfect and didn’t always think that way but as we learn more and experience more we try to become better people and change ourselves and I believe that the Islamic approach to love is the best approach – it is the approach that I choose.
If you love someone guide them to the right path- the path of Islam.
If you love them share your life with them and don’t make it a temporary one.