Valentine’s Day…and its position in Islam
Let’s roast a turkey on Christmas day; it’s not as if we celebrate Christmas anyway…Why not book her engagement day for Valentine’s Day instead… In fact I think I should pick up a quick gift for him since it’s nearly the 14th of Feb…
These are just a few of the very familiar words that seem to escape the mouths of so many Muslims today…Infact Did you know that ‘Valentine’s Day’ is actually remembered and celebrated by so many different people around the world today, that statistics indicate it is second only to Christmas in fame and popularity…giving preference over many other religious and non-religious celebrations. Why not, after all it is the festival of love!
However beneath all this fun and enjoyment we appear to be experiencing during such occasions of the year, is a very important aspect that seems to have been deeply buried away…the aspect of Islam and its teachings with regards to such occasions. For it was narrated from Abu Saeed Radhiallahu Anhu that Nabi Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam said, ‘you will certainly follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too’- we asked ‘O messenger of Allah, do you mean the Jews and the Christians?’ He said, ‘who else’. (Bukhari/ Muslim)
In fact in another Hadith Nabi Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam said, ‘The (final) hour will not begin until my Ummah follows in the footsteps of those who came before it, hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit…’ (Bukhari)
But can there really be so much harm, in uttering the words ‘happy Valentine ’s Day…or hurling out a quick card and present on the day, even if we don’t believe in all its nonsense? Well we ask you to read the following and answer for yourselves what significance this day, as well as many others has in the court of Allah and his final Prophet Muhammad salallahu alaihi wasalam. So how exactly did it all originate?
It was actually one of the festivals of the Pagan Romans; more than 17 centuries ago. The Romans believed that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom. The Romans would celebrate this event in mid-February each year, with a big festival. Amongst the ugly rituals of this day, they would sacrifice a dog and a goat, and smear the blood onto two youths which they would then wash off with milk. These two youths would then lead a great parade of people and walk the streets lashing young women with pieces of leather.
This festival and its reason of celebration have connected myths and legends which no sound mind can accept, let alone the mind of the Muslim who believes in Allah, and His Final Messenger Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam. Of course already the above myth goes totally against the Aqeedah and belief of Muslims, as it is only Allah who bestows us strength and wisdom- not the milk of a she-wolf.
Another common belief of this day is that when the Romans became Christians, the Roman Emperor Claudius decided that no man from his army can get married as it will divert him from fighting. Now a saint of the time, called Saint Valentine, disagreed with this and secretly got many soldiers married. When the Emperor found out, he put him in jail and sentenced him to execution. In prison, the Saint fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. But remember, all this was a secret, because according to the Christian laws, priests and monks were forbidden to marry or fall in love. This saint was killed and had his head chopped off on the 14th of February, therefore the Pope designated the day of the death of Saint Valentine (14th Feb) as a festival of love; today known as Valentine’s Day.
It was a total innovation and reminds us of the Ayat in which Allah says, “They (the Jews and the Christians) took their Rabbis and monks to be their Lords besides Allah,” (At Taubah). Meaning they obeyed their saints and leaders in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires, without being ordered by Allah.
One of their false beliefs connected with this festival was that the names of girls who had reached marriageable age would be written on small rolls of paper and placed in a dish on a table. Then the young men who wanted to get married would be called and each of them would pick a piece of paper. He would put himself at the service of the girl whose name he had drawn for a year; then they would get married or repeat the same process the next year.
Allah forgive such filth, how wrong were these actions, how wrong is the belief of this day and yet it is being remembered and celebrated by thousands of Muslims, yes Muslims themselves. So wrong it is that even the Christian clergy reacted against this tradition, and the Church wished to ban the whole idea, for it was corrupting the morals of the men and women.
Therefore, whether you and I believe in such stories, whether today these customs are still believed and sanctified or not, to simply affirm to it by even 1% will be totally erroneous and impermissible for you and I as believing servants of Allah.
Many may not go so far, but if need be will participate in a school or work celebration by wearing an item of red on this day. Others will send cards and gifts whilst the least of these actions is simply to say, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.’ Never the less, whatever it may be, big or small, all these acts are totally condemned in Islam and must be stopped by you and I. In fact, Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said, ‘with regards to congratulating others with the congratulations used by the Kufaar on such occasions, (like Happy Christmas, Happy Valentines,) is haram by scholarly consensus (ijma). Even if the one who says this is free of Kufr for it is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross. ‘
Therefore, whoever congratulates a person for sin, innovation or Kufr, exposes himself to the hatred and wrath of Allah. (Ahkaam Ahl-al-Dhimmah).
Whilst whoever celebrates it is celebrating an occasion of shirk and it is regarding the people of shirk that Allah has forbidden Paradise.
Besides dear listeners truly what does it mean to express ones love on one day of the year? What about the other 364 days of a year, where 4,000 wives lose their lives due to beating in America, 2 million women face beating in France, and 88% of love marriages end in failure.
Remember as Muslims there is a much better purpose in life then all of the above. We are taught to carry out the rights of our close and dear ones, every day, of every week of the year. Giving gifts can be done throughout the year why on this day that has no significance whatsoever in the eyes of Allah Subhanahu Watala.
In short our soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Let us strengthen it through our good deeds, and cultivate it via our attachment to Allah, his Prophet and his Deen. For in our desire to look the best, want the best, and be the best we are losing our identity as the best of Allah’s creation- ‘The believing nation’
We must always keep in mind that every good deed will make a difference in our scale of the heavens which we will one day come to see, whilst every sin has the potential to bring us down on that day. Let us leave this one act today solely for the pleasure of Allah so that in its happiness he brings us one more step closer to his pleasure and one leap further from his wrath and anger!
May Allah guide us, unite us, assist us and allow us to taste the true beauty and sweetness of Faith. Ameen