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Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated all around the world on February the 14th. It originated as a Christian Saint day honoring the martyr Saint Valentine, but gradually over the years it became associated with love and romance. It is celebrated by giving gifts, sending cards called Valentine’s to your lover and sending chocolates among other traditions. Valentine’s Day encourages couples to spend time with each other and single persons to confess their love to their sought after person. This article will explain the history of Valentine’s Day and its Islamic perspective.


History:

The history of Valentine’s Day originated in many myths and legends. In fact, there are hundreds of Saint Valentine’s. However, The most famous is regarding Saint Valentine of Rome. He was imprisoned and sentenced to death due to his Christian beliefs. It is said that during his time, he used to arrange weddings for soldiers secretly, which is what may have given the holiday the romantic tone. It is also said that he cured his jailer’s daughter’s blindness and so the whole family converted to Christianity. Before his execution, he sent a letter to his jailer’s daughter and signed it as Your Valentine. This very well may be the origin of sending Valentine’s to loved ones. There are also numerous myths and legends regarding how the holiday became associated with romance. One was just mentioned, “i.e he used to arrange weddings for soldiers”. Another states the Roman holiday of Lupercalia, to honor the goddess Juno, who was the Goddess of marriage. This festival was held on February 13-15.


Years later, Pope Gelasius I abolished the holiday due to its pagan practices. But through the years, Valentine’s Day itself became influenced by the romantic history of Lupercalia and eventually became synonymous with love and romance. The Pope wanted to bring the end of paganism, but instead only succeeded in being influenced by them. Regarding the holiday, it is said from here, that "It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn't stop it from being a day of fertility and love.", from this we can ascertain that Valentine’s Day was a holiday that was associated with fornication, drunkenness, and promiscuity. 


Islamic perspective:

According to the Islamic perspective, there are numerous reasons why one should not celebrate such holidays:


As we have learned in history, the history of Valentine’s Day is associated with both Kufr and Shirk. In Islam, it is imperative upon us that we leave the practices of the nonbelievers and we not associate ourselves with their actions. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an,


يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ ٱلْيَهُودَ وَٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍۢ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ


“O those who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as friends, (rather), they are friends to each other, whoever becomes friends with them, so indeed he is from them, Indeed Allah does not guide the oppressing nation.”

(Al-Maidah-51)


From this verse, we ascertain two things, that we should not become intimate friends with the Jews and Christians, among those things which indicate towards friendship is celebrating their holidays. Just like, for example, Christians and Jews do not celebrate our Eid because it is against their beliefs. In the same manner, why should we celebrate their holidays?


Among the practices of Valentine’s Day is to confess love to those who you love, and for lovers to express their love. However, the vast majority of this confession of love is not through marriage. Rather it is through haram means. This means that Valentine’s Day promotes and encourages men and women to commit Zina (fornication with each other). From the article stated above, it stated that Valentine’s Day was a holiday associated with drunkenness and that it was always associated with nasty behavior. Nowadays, in such a society, Valentine’s Day is mostly celebrated outside of marriage between partners, therefore we shouldn’t celebrate such a holiday that is associated with such impermissible actions.


In Islam, showing love and affection towards one’s spouse is always encouraged, not just on one specific day. Rasulullah (SAW) says,


أكمل المؤمنين إيمانا أحسنهم خُلقا، وخياركم خياركم لنسائهم


“The most complete of the believers in terms of Iman is the best in character, and the best of you is the best of you to your spouses.”


Rasulullah (SAW) did not say to be good to your spouses on Valentine’s Day, rather Rasulullah (SAW) said that the best of the you is the best to your spouses, meaning one should always be good to their spouse, regardless of what day it is. Islam is a religion which encourages love and affection between couples, this was the practice of Nabi (SAW), in another Hadith he states the same,


خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِي


“The best of you is the best to his wife, and I am the best of you to his wife.”


These show that we must show affection to spouses all the time.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, we should not celebrate that which has not been found from Islam and found from the practices of Kufr and Shirk. Rather, we should stay away from such practices and refrain from such actions that encourage such nasty behavior. May Allah (SWT) help us. Ameen

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