Assalaamu alaikum [Peace be to you],
I wasn't planning to submit anything for valentine's day. as a Muslim who does not celebrate it, I was going to just ignore it. until I got this sweet note from a Christian sister wishing me a happy valentine's day. then I really got to reply. But before that, I need to explain certain things.REMARK:
this article is not aimed to insult people's customs or practices. it is aimed to present the Islamic perspective on these customs for the purpose of better understanding of Islam.
Valentine's Day cards are exchanged between friends and lovers. In school students draw names to exchange gifts or just pass Valentines to classmates. Men usually present gifts of candy and flowers to their Sweethearts. Many couples today make a treat of Dark Chocolate and a fine Merlot Wine in the privacy of their Valentine's Day evening!
In recent years, a new phenomenon has spread among the Muslim youth – males and females alike – which does not bode well. This is manifested in their imitation of the Christians in their celebration of the Valentine’s Day. so what is this Valentine's day? HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHERE THE VALENTINE'S DAY TRADITION STARTED?
Some authorities trace the origin of this Tradition to the Pagan Roman feast called Lupercalis celebrated on February 15th to ensure protection from wolves. The pagan celebration involved young men striking people with whips. Young women endured the blows because they believed this would enhance their fertility.
According to the wrong Roman pagan beliefs, Cupid was the so-called god of love and according to myth was the son of Mercury, winged messenger of their so-called gods, and Venus, their so-called goddess of love. He was also the counterpart of the Greek so-called god Eros. He is usually portrayed as a winged infant with a quiver of arrows and a bow. His wounds are said to inspire love or passion in those who are struck. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SAINT VALENTINE AND THIS FESTIVAL:
It was said that when many Romans became Christian, after Christianity had become widespread, the Roman emperor Claudius II decreed in the third century CE that soldiers should not get married, because marriage would distract them from the wars they used to fight. Valentine, a Christian priest challenged this command and used to conduct secret marriage sermons. He was soon discovered and was sentenced to death. In prison, he (Valentine) fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, but this was a secret because according to Christian laws, priests and monks were forbidden to marry or fall in love. but the people overlooked his crime of falling in love since he remained steadfast on Christianity when the emperor offered to pardon him if he forsook Christianity and worshipped the Roman gods; then he would be one of his closest confidantes and he would make him his son-in-law. But Valentine refused this offer and preferred Christianity, so he was executed on 14 February 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalis. Ever since then, it was called ‘Priest Valentine’s holiday’. After the spread of Christianity throughout Europe, February the 14th was re-named ‘Valentine’s Day’ in his memory because (they say) he sacrificed himself for Christianity and fostered those in love.
In A.D. 496 Saint Pope Gelasius I outlawed the pagan festival Lupercalis and named February 14th as St. Valentine's Day. ISLAMIC STANCE TOWARDS THIS FESTIVAL:
Every Muslim must know that this holiday was invented by the disbelievers (those who reject Islam) and it is therefore unlawful to celebrate it according to the religion of Islam. There is no difference of opinion among the Muslim scholars regarding this. In fact, even if this holiday was invented by the Muslims it would still be unlawful to celebrate it.
The religion of Islam is complete, so there is absolutely no need for invented opinions, innovated desires or man-made legislation. The blessings and favours that have been given to us by Islam are all-inclusive and so we do not have any need for seasons and occasions to be invented so that we may celebrate them.
Islam is a perfect religion. It combines the good of this life and the Hereafter; it addressed the soul and was not heedless of the body; it gave preference to the Hereafter but did not neglect our needs in this life. Islam is a moderate religion that is neither negligent of any matter, nor does it exaggerate any issue beyond its rightful status. There is no monasticism in Islam, nor blind-materialism.
Is it rational for a Muslim to go astray and become blind-imitators after being guided?
In Islam, the festivals are clearly defined and well established (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Ad'ha), and no additions or subtractions may be accepted. In Islam, festivals have been prescribed for us by the God almighty -Glory be to him- and taught by his final messenger -peace be upon him-. Celebrating Valentine's Days is prohibited in Islam for the following reasons:
1. It is an innovated festival that has no grounds in Islam.
2. It invites to lust and encourages immorality and forbidden love.
3. It busies the heart with useless matters and attaches it to harmful matters, that only go against the teachings of our religion.
Therefore, it is not permissible to practice anything associated with this festival, whether it is related to food, drink, clothing, gift exchange or anything else.
Finally, a Muslim should be proud of his religion and should not be naïve to follow everything he sees around him.
I ask the God almighty to protect the Muslim brothers and sisters from all evil temptations, visible and invisible, and to take care of us and give us strength.
To be continued in part 2:
I hope this was beneficial.
- Celebrating Valentine's Day [link]
- Valentine's Day - Love or Lust? [link]
- St. Valentine's Day! [link]
If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.