Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Celebrating Valentine's Day

Some Muslims tend to celebrate the Valentine Day. What is the rule of Syariah in relations to this practice?

To love is a natural instinct and Islam is the religion of love and brotherhood. It always insists on establishing good relations with the members of society. Allah will provide a shelter for those who love one another in His Shade when there would be no shade other than His.

Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alai hi wa sallam [SAW] said: "Verily Allah would say on the Day of Resurrection: 'Where are those who have mutual love for My sake only? Today I shall shelter them in My Shade when there is no other shade but Mine.'" [Muslim]

Moreover, the true love of the believers is a reason make them to enter Paradise as the Prophet Muhammad SAW sallam said: "You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith), and you will not believer, as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: (i.e.) giving prevalence to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by saying) As-Salamu ‘Alaikum."

The Muslims who celebrate Valentine Day are not aware about their religion but only follow the footsteps of disbelievers. It is necessary to to bring the attention of all Muslims the origin of this celebration so that everyone could easily see the ruling of Shariah concerning the celebration of Valentine Day.

The Romans had a festival named Lupercalia and they used to celebrate it on the 15th February every year. On that day they offered sacrifices to their supposed god named "Lurks" to protect their cattle and the like from being killed by wolves. They celebrated this festival during the spring holidays according to their calculations.

During the thirteenth century the festival was changed to February 14th. There was an incident that led to this change in the day for this celebration. In the thirteenth century a Roman Emperor Claudius II, forbade his soldiers to marry because marriage would involve them in family life and cause them to lose interest in fighting.

A catholic priest named Valentine revolted against this emperor's order and performed weddings for the soldiers secretly. After a while his disobedience was discovered and he was imprisoned. While in prison he fell in love with the jailer's daughter. On February 14th he was executed. After his death people believed that he had sacrificed himself for the sake of Christianity and to save lovers. Subsequently the church elevated him to Sainthood and February 14th came to be observed as Saint Valentine's Day.

Now on the Velentine Day young girls and boys send love letters, cards, gifts, etc. to each other. They celebrates the day by engaging in such practices. Based on the above details we conclude that celebrating this day [and any other holiday] of non Muslims is forbidden in Islam. 'Aishah reported: "Abu Bakar came to my house while two small Ansaari girls were singing beside me the stories of the Ansaar concerning the Day of Bu'ath. And they were not singers. Abu Bakar said protestingly, "Musical instruments of Satan in the house of Allah's Apostle!" It happened on the Eid Day and Allah's Messenger sallallaahu alyhi wa sallam said: "O Abu Bakar! There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

In fact, celebrating some days and festivals is part of the religion. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allah have mercy on him said: “Celebration are a part of Islam and of the rituals of Islam. Allah says : ‘For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow.’ [Quran 22: 67] The feasts are Islamic rituals just like facing the Qiblah and fasting. There would no difference in participating in their celebration or in their whole religion because by approving their feasts means approving their disbelief since the feasts are the special symbols of religions.'The Prophet SAW did not approve feast of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period). Anas narrated that the Prophet SAW asked the Companion about the celebration: 'What are these two days?' They said: 'These are two days we used to celebrate in in our Jahiliyyah'. The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said: 'Allah has replaced them with two better days: Eid Al-Adh-Haa and Eid Al-Fitr.’”

One of the most distinguished qualities of true Muslims is that they do not attend forbiden practices. Allah says: “And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they disregard some evil practice or evil talk, they disregard by it with dignity.” [Quran 25: 72]

In the light of these details it is clearly that Valentine Day is not a celebration of Islam, rather it is a polytheistic practice.We ask Allah to guide the Muslims always to the right path and cause them to follow the Truth.

© Dr. Abdulla Al-Faqeeh, IslamWeb. 01.02.2007

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