Valentine’s Day in Islam

Valentine’s Day in Islam

Every year on the 14th of February many people in various countries celebrate Valentine’s Day to mark their love for each other. People either propose to their partner, or just spend a romantic day with them. Before we move towards the Islamic perspective of celebrating Valentine’s Day, let’s briefly go through its history.

History of Valentine’s Day 

Valentine’s Day is a Roman festival, which continued to be celebrated until the Romans became Christian. This festival was connected with the saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on 14 February 270 CE. However, Muslim scholars hold a different view about the holiday.

Valentine’s Day Scenario  

I frequently travel from Riyadh, KSA to Hyderabad, India and I am thus aware of the activities that occur on Valentine’s Day in both of the countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, strictly governed by Islamic law, does not even allow the selling of red roses and the atmosphere is quite normal, just like other days.

On the other hand, Hyderabad has a completely opposite environment. Shops are loaded with red colored goodies and it is possible that a couple may be seen hand-in-hand and having a small picnic in the park. The sad thing is, even Muslims take part in practices like having a relationship with a Non-Mahram, being alone with a Non-Mahram, and celebrating the festival of Christians which is clearly not encouraged in Islam.

Muslim women, because of their Hijab or Abaya, are easy to identify when seen with a man on Valentine’s Day and this often raises many questions. People from other faiths can begin to doubt a Muslim woman’s sincerity and the modesty that she may claim to have.  beauty_heart_valentines_day_1920x1080 (2)  Valentine's Day in Islam beauty heart valentines day  2

The Islamic Perspective 

Scholars unanimously agree that celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permissible for a Muslim. The reasons are quite simple.

It is a festival of Christians and Muslims are not allowed to celebrate the festivals of other religions or to imitate them in any way.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Festivals are part of sharee’ah, clear way and rituals of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way”

[al-Maa’idah 5:48] 

“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow”

[al-Hajj 22:67]

Partially joining in, at the very least, is disobedience and sin. This was indicated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said: “Every people has its festival and this is our festival.” This is worse than joining them in wearing the zinaar (a garment that was worn only by ahl al-dhimmah) and other characteristics of theirs, for those characteristics are man-made and are not part of their religion, rather the purpose behind them is simply to distinguish between a Muslim and a kaafir. As for the festival and its rituals, this is part of the religion which is cursed along with its followers, so joining in with it is joining in with something that is a cause of incurring the wrath and punishment of Allaah. End quote from Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (1/207). 

Valentine’s Day encourages lewdness and the wasting of time. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said:  results in evils and haraam things such as wasting time, singing, music, extravagance, unveiling, wanton display, men mixing with women, women appearing before men other than their mahrams, and other haraam things, or things that are a means that leads to immorality. That cannot be excused by the claim that this is a kind of entertainment and fun. The one who is sincere towards himself should keep away from sin and the means that lead to it. 

 Conclusion

Today this holiday has no religious importance and is common to both religious people and atheists where couples only exchange cards, candy, chocolate, flowers and even jewelry as a token of their love.  This is also a day where many premarital relationships happen or are forged. Therefore, Muslims should stand up confidently and retain their Islamic values, rather feeling bad and embarrassed about not being able to celebrate a trivial festival.

 

Nimrah Fatima Ahmed

The author studies Information and Communications Technology at Deccan College Of Engineering and Technology. She lives in Hyderabad, India. She is a committee member at the Young Muslimah Project i.e. a platform for Muslimahs from all countries and backgrounds to learn, love and live Islam. INSPIRE. ENRICH. CHANGE

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