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SORRY Valentine's Day IM A MUSLIM

Dr. Zakir Naik

How did Valentine’s Day originate?

Valentine’s Day also known as the ‘Festival of Love’ of the pagan Romans dates back to the 17th century when paganism was on the rise in Rome. The Christian heirs of the era have associated many myths and legends with this Roman festival based on ‘spiritual love’. The most popular of these myths was about Romulus who was the founder of Rome. Romans believed that once he was suckled by a female wolf.

Every year this event was celebrated by Romans in mid-February with a big festival in which a goat and a dog was sacrificed. The blood of these sacrificed animals was then smeared on the bodies of two strong, muscular youths and washed away with milk. After this ritual the two men would lead a huge parade on the streets with pieces of leather in their hands. They used the leather pieces to hit anyone who came in their way. Roman women welcomed these blows as they believed that it would cure or prevent infertility.

The link between St. Valentine and pagan Roman festival:
Written by Stand Up For Muslim

Saint Valentine is a name which is given to two of the ancient “martyrs” of the Christian Church. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius, c. 296 CE. In 350 CE, a church was built in Rome on the site of the place where he died, to perpetuate his memory. When the Romans embraced Christianity, they continued to celebrate the Feast of Love mentioned above, but they changed it from the pagan concept of “spiritual love” to another concept known as the “martyrs of love”, represented by Saint Valentine who had advocated love and peace, for which cause he was martyred, according to their claims. It was also called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of LOVERS.
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 one year, so that they could find out about one another. Then they would get married, or they would repeat the same process again on the day of the festival in the following year.
The Christian clergy reacted against this tradition, which they considered to have a corrupting influence on the morals of young men and women. It was abolished in Italy, where it had been well-known, then it was revived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when in some western countries there appeared shops which sold small books called “Valentine’s books”, which contained love poems, from which the one who wanted to send a greeting to his sweetheart could choose. They also contained suggestions for writing love letters.
It was also said concerning the origins of this holiday that when the 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. This decree was opposed by Saint Valentine, who started to perform marriages for the soldiers in secret. When the emperor found out about that, he threw him in jail and sentenced him to execution. In prison, he (Saint 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 he is still regarded highly by the Christians because of his steadfastness in adhering to 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. So this day was named for this saint.
In The Story of Civilisation, it says that the Church devised a calendar in which every day was designated as the feast day of one of the saints. In England, Saint Valentine’s Day was to come at the end of winter. When that day came, according to them, the birds mated enthusiastically in the forests, and the young men would put flowers on the windowsills of the homes of the girls whom they loved. (The Story of Civilization by Will Durant, 15/23). The Pope designated the day of the death of Saint Valentine, February 14, 270 CE, as a festival of love.

Islam’s stance on the celebration of Valentine’s Day
Islam teaches us true love and cooperation for that which is good and righteous. There are forms of love in Islam that are acceptable while others are not. We must be aware that love for Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) must be given the highest priority over all other forms of love.

There are occasions in Islam that increase love between people and bring them closer to each other. However, Islam prohibits us to blindly follow the West by adopting their customs and traditions such as the celebration of the Valentine’s Day. Therefore commemorating and promoting that special occasion of Valentine’s Day is permissible or innovation and has no place in our religion. Islam totally rejects all such innovations. Islam encourages us to love one another all the time throughout the year, and limiting the whole year to a single day is illogical.

There is evidence in Quran and Hadith that supports the statements mentioned above:

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of Him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers"
 [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

And the Prophet (PBUH) had said that groups of his ummah would follow the enemies of Allah in some of their rituals and customs, as it is stated in a hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, 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?!”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-I’tisaam bi’l-Kitaab wa’l-Sunnah, Baab Qawl al-Nabi (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) La tattabi’unna Sanan man kaana qablakum, 8/151; and by Muslim in Kitaab al-‘Ilm, Baab Ittibaa’ Sanan al-Yahood wa’l-Nasaara, 4/2054)

What the Prophet (PBUH) told us 1400 years ago has indeed come true in recent times. Many Muslims today follow the enemies of Allah by imitating some of their rituals, customs and that includes the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Muslims should avoid celebrating this occasion by:

1- Not expressing joy and happiness on this occasion.

2- Not exchanging red roses, which represent the ‘spiritual love’ of the pagans or the ‘love’ of the Christians. Hence it is known to them as the Feast of Lovers.

3- Not sending greeting cards as some of their cards have pictures of “Cupid” (a child with two wings carrying bows and arrows). This was the god of love of the pagan Romans.

4- Not exchanging words of love and desire in the cards or verbally. Some of the cards contain the words ‘be my Valentine’. This is the Christian concept of this festival after they adopted from the pagan Romans.

5- Not attending dance parties with mixed gatherings which lead to immoral activities that prohibited in Islam.

Why Muslims should not celebrate this festival.
In Islam, the festivals are clearly defined and well established, and no additions or subtractions may be accepted. They have been prescribed for us by Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).

"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]

Agreeing with the whole festival is like agreeing with kufr (non-believer of Allah and His Messenger). Agreeing with some of their minor issues is the same as agreeing with them in some of the branches of kufr. Festivals are the most distinctive things which differentiate religions, so participating in their festivals is like agreeing with the most distinctive rituals of kufr.

Imitating the non-believers in general –whether they are idol-worshippers or People of the Book is unlawful. This is indicated by the Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus):

“And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment”
 [Aal ‘Imraan 3:105]

From the Sunnah: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” 
(narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4021)

Prohibition of imitation the Non-believers is one of the basic tenets of the Islamic law. Allah sent His Messenger with guidance and the true religion so that it might prevail over all other religions, and Allah has perfected His religion for mankind.

“This day, I (Allah) have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [al-Maa’idah 5:3].

Allah has made Islam perfect as it satisfies all human interests at all times, in all places and for all people. Why then do we need to adopt the ways of the Non-believers? 

Finally, we need to look at the context in which Valentine’s Day has taken hold in the modern world. Although it is focused around expressing love, Valentine’s Day sets no boundaries. There are many boys and girls, men and women, who start off illicit relationships, outside of marriage, through Valentine’s Day. People send Valentine’s cards to each other, hinting to them at ‘secret loves and crushes’, encouraging the other party to look into this further, teasing their curiosity, which ends up indirectly (or even directly) promoting fornication and adultery (zina).
Muslims do express love but they do this in a right way (Halal), amongst husband and wife, in Halal relationships and without crossing boundaries that have been put in place, with infinite Wisdom, by Allah. We do not restrict this to a single day and are instructed to be kind and generous and considerate to our spouses at all times.

Resources : http://www.haqforum.com and Stand Up 4 Islam.

Below is a recorded lecture from the famous Ustaz Azhar Idrus. Lets hear what he has to say about Muslim celebrating Valentine's Day.

P/S: Entire script was not written to hurt any individual or group of believers. This message is written to inform and remind Muslims about what Allah has clearly written what is permissible in Islam.
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