Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News, 2014-02-13
This year Valentines Day falls on Friday. It’s a pity that the auspicious day of Jumu’ah will be contaminated by acts of immorality that is totally contradictory to the teachings of Islam.
As a token of love, people generally express their affection for each other by exchanging flowers, gifts and indulging in immoral acts under the pretext of Valentines Day.
The question is does real love require this superficial display and can it be confined to just a single day?
‘Valentine’s Day’ is responsible for the propagation of western culture and incitement of people towards unrestrained behaviour.
The Hallmarkization of the holiday presents a big issue for new couples, most notably men. Shopping malls are abuzz with retailers displaying their goods and smooching away the hard earned cash of gullible consumers.
The outflow and squandering of large amounts of cash on this day is unmistakable. Couples are posed with the difficult task of presenting a gift that doesn’t come across as cheap but also doesn’t say “hey I want to marry you,” especially if this is a new romance.
Needless to say, Valentine’s Day can be scary.
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity.
Legend says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.
So…Valentine was Roman priest who refused to give up Christianity.
Now the question is, why do Muslims celebrate this day, when it is totally contradictory to the teachings of the most perfect, beautiful and complete religion in the universe?
It boils down to societies norms and the digression from being on the straight narrow to a watered down version of Islam where the belief is that it’s acceptable to profess ones love on this Christian custom that has evolved not from past Muslim generations, but what the eyes perceive to be acceptable within society.
In other words, celebrate the day or be an outcast.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told us that groups of his ummah would follow the enemies of Allah in some of their rituals and customs, as it says in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him), who narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span by span, cubit by cubit, until even if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?”
Because Valentine’s Day goes back to Roman times, not Islamic times, this means that it is something which belongs exclusively to the Christians, not to Islam, and the Muslims have no share and no part in it.
Prophet (SAW) said – “Every nation has its Eid” (narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim) – then this means that every nation should be distinguished by its festivals.
If the Christians have a festival and the Jews have a festival, which belongs exclusively to them, then no Muslim should join in with them, just as he does not share their religion or their direction of prayer.
People may wonder, and say, you mean to deprive us of love, but in this day and age we express our feelings and emotions – what is so wrong with that? Well, there is plenty wrong…
There is no scientific or cultural basis to celebrating this day. Valentine the ‘saint’ himself was involved in the anti-national acts during his time, then how can one get any benefit by celebrating this day in his name?
On this day young girls and boys come together at different venues and indulge in indecent acts. A common person finds it difficult to even go around such places at this time.
Some organizations even organize programs where young boys and girls can stay together.
Psychiatrists can cite several cases of people who have ‘proposed’ on ‘Valentine’s day’ due to fifty shades of mental turmoil. Women who have been duped or lured by them and have married them have had to suffer great mental and physical torture.
This practice is damaging as it results in a long lasting negative effect on society. The seeds of immorality, which are planted on this day, later cause the destabilization of society through a general fall in morality.
Many western countries do not celebrate this day. The Calendar of Roman Catholic Saints’ was prepared in 1969; ‘Valentine’s Day’ was omitted from the general Roman calendar. If this is so, then why should we honour this day in Islam?
Expression of feelings and emotions is not a justification for the Muslim to allocate a day for celebration based on his own thoughts and ideas, and to call it a festival, or make it like a festival or Eid.
So how about when it is one of the festivals of the kuffaar?
In Islam, a husband loves his wife throughout the year, and he expresses that love towards her with gifts, in verse and in prose, in letters and in other ways, throughout the years – not just on one day of the year.
There is no religion which encourages its followers to love and care for one another more than Islam does. This applies at all times and in all circumstances, not just on one particular day.
Statistics indicate that Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in popularity. So it is clear that the Feast of Love is one of the festivals of the Christians and that it is second only to the festival of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the Messiah.
The Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Jibreen concerning celebrating this day is clear:
Asked about the ruling on celebrating or exchanging gifts, red roses, wearing red clothes on this day where celebration of the so-called Feast of Love (Valentine’s Day) has become widespread among our boys and girls, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Jibreen said:
“Firstly, it is not permissible to celebrate such innovated celebrations. The things that result from that, such as partying, idle play, singing, music, insolence, impertinence, unveiling, wanton display, mixing of men and women, and the appearance of women before non-Mahrams, etc., are all things which are Haraam, or are means which lead to immorality.”
“So it should not be justified as an excuse for relaxation and entertainment, or claims that they will not overstep the mark, because that is not right. The one who cares about himself should keep away from sin and all that leads to it. On this basis, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses,” he added.
May Allah protect Muslims from the harm of temptations and from the evil of their own selves and the plots of their enemies, for He is the All-hearing Who answers duas (prayers).