After the eagerness of most Muslims trying to figure out whether it is lawful in Islam to take part in Christmas, celebrating birthdays and others, here comes another headache, Valentine’s Day celebration. Basically known as the celebration of love and romance among friends and loved once.
After I Googled this valentine thing, I found out that it is something Muslims shouldn’t think about. In actual fact, considering the background and history of this celebration, and the way people go about it now, there is no need to hesitate in saying NO to it.
Some ignorant people will always deny the truth without any valid prove, they will rather claim that some of these practices like birthdays, valentine and the likes no longer have any religious significance (despite the fact that it is most of the ancient rituals that are being disguised in today’s celebrations)
Can Muslim couple who are legally married celebrate Valentine’s Day?
As a matter of fact, Valentine celebration can never be something Islam can tolerate even if you are a couple. If you really need a very short answer to this question, then it is NO. If you want to learn more detail then let’s read on.
Let’s see what the World Book Encyclopedia tells us regarding Valentine’s Day:
“The customs connected with the day …probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature” (1973, vol. 20, p. 204).
Actually, there are many different stories pertaining to this particular topic, but still the primary concept is firm. Let’s continue with what the research got for us. From a site called United Church of God with url of ucg.org, I obtained the following commentaries on valentine.
“For the people of ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercalia was an annual ritual believed to ward off evil spirits and increase fertility. Lupercalia (also known as Februatio, from which comes the month name February) was popular among many of the new converts to the fast-rising Catholic Church.
As the book Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays notes, “Everywhere that [mainstream] Christians came into power they immediately adapted the holidays and customs of the people to their own creed” (Robert Myers and Hallmark Cards editors, 1972, pp. 50-51).
Such was their course of action with this festival of Lupercalia at the end of the fifth century. While Pope Gelasius officially condemned the pagan Roman festival and banned its observance, many of its accompanying practices quickly appeared in a newly established holiday added by him to the official church list of feast days in A.D. 496—St. Valentine’s Day.
Soon, people were no longer looking to obtain fertility by being beaten with strips of animal skin called februa. Instead, they turned their focus to St. Valentine, the patron saint of “engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry” (Celebrations, pp. 48-49), whose actual identity is even murkier than what connection he bore to romance.
What amounted to a renamed, refurbished Lupercalia then picked up steam, gradually adapting itself into the Valentine’s Day we know today, which included the added elements of Valentine cards and Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love.
We now have a basic concept of the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Friendship and sending cards to our legal loved ones have never been something bad in Islam, in fact they are wonderful if done in the right way. Allah did not oppose romance either in this religion of peace provided it is at the right time and in the right way.
But does the pagan religious history of Valentine’s Day taint our practice as Muslims? What does Allah says about observing pagan traditions, disguised or not?
Surah al-Kafirun, Chapter 109 verse 1 to 6
- Say: “O disbelievers!”
- “I worship not that which you worship.”
- “Nor will you worship whom I worship.”
- “And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping.”
- “Nor will you worship that which I worship.”
- “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”
I really like the way this surah was revealed. Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) in fact was sent as a mercy for mankind. He lived such an exemplary lifestyle that we can follow even till now, even till the end of time.
This verse was revealed as a result of similar issues we are discussing today. It has been said that in their ignorance (ie disbelievers), they invited the Messenger of Allah to worship their idols for a year and they would (in turn) worship his God for a year. Therefore, Allah revealed this Surah.
Allah sent Prophets to this world to guide us on the right path. This means that there is no (true) object of worship except Allah and there is no path to Him (i.e., way of worshipping Him) other than that which the Messenger came with.
He commanded His Messenger to disavow himself from their religion
It is also narrated in so many Hadiths, some of which says:
“Whoever imitates a people is from them” (Sunan Abu Dawud)
Abu Sa’id al−Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also.
We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)? [Sahih Muslim Book 33, Number 6448:]
In the actual fact, the above verses and hadiths indicate that this practice and its type remain just as detestable as they have been in the side of Allah.
Instead of pagan practices and activities like Valentine’s Day, Christmas celebration, new year celebration and all you can think of, our focus should be on the two main festivals Allah has given us in the Quran which point us toward His amazing and incomparable plan for all humanity.
Yes, from the background and history of Valentine’s Day, we could clearly see that this satanic practice of Lupercalia have been repackaged and disguises as normal activity, making it seem as if there is nothing evil about showing love to your spouse during valentine.
And also, there is no place in the bible that mentioned such thing like valentine. This was practiced already until Romans become Christians. Let’s listen to what is stated in the Bible concerning the celebration of pagan tradition:
When the Lord, your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess …do not inquire after their gods, ‘saying, How did these nations served their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it [Deuteronomy 12:29-23]
It is very clear from the above verses that the Bible also forbid practices of the tradition of the disbelievers. But as a matter of fact, they (Christians) practiced this Valentine the most. They see to it as something normal to an extend they make that day a holyday for themselves.
Dear Muslims, we are completely different. We are the Ummah of the Man who brought light to this world, the Man who was sent as a Mercy for the whole of humanity.
He said He is proud of us so let’s show to the world that we are indeed the best among them. Let’s do away with their activities, let’s not follow their footsteps as the Prophet mentioned. Let’s live as good Muslims and die as good Muslims, I think that’s the only way you and I can be saved.
What are your thoughts on this matter, comment to keep the discussion going Insha Allah.