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Valentines Day: Can Muslims Celebrate it?

by | Feb 3, 2011

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Islam encourages people to be loving and peaceful. If that is so, then some of us can think that Valentines Day is a day when Muslims can spread love and peace among themselves. So why is it prohibited in Islam to celebrate Valentines Day? or, often people thing, can Muslims celebrate valentine day? Before coming to this, let’s have a look at what ‘Valentines Day’ is:

The History behind Valentines Day

Valentines Day or the Festival of Love was one of the festivals of the pagan Romans. They celebrate this event in mid-February each year with a big festival.
There were myths associated with this pagan festival of the Romans, which persisted with their Christian heirs. Among the most famous of these myths was the Roman belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom.

One of the rituals of this festival was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. Two strong and muscular youths would daub the blood of the dog and goat onto their bodies, then they would wash the blood away with milk. After that there would be a great parade, with these two youths at its head, which would go about the streets. The two youths would have pieces of leather with which they would hit everyone who crossed their path. The Roman women would welcome these blows, because they believed that they could prevent or cure infertility. Later on this tradition became part of Christian celebrations.

Why Muslims can’t Celebrate Valentines Day

First of all, Celebrating Valentines Day is following the ways and traditions of the Romans, and the Christians. The Christians follow the Pagans as this Day is not included in their festivals. As Muslims we are prohibited from resembling the Christians in their religious practices, then how about an act which is invented and followed by pagans!!

Narrated Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (R.A) the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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 and Muslim)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

 “Whoever resembles a people in their actions and practices is just like them.” (Abu Dawud 4021, Ahmed 2/50)

Celebrating Valentines Day is imitating the pagans. And not only is it imitating the Romans, but the people of the book (Christians) too.

How to express love in Islam

There are many forms of expressing love that are religiously acceptable. Islam recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another but it goes against imitating the Pagans and Christians regarding their Festival of Love. Islam requires all Muslims to love one another all over the whole year and reducing the whole year to a single day is unacceptable.

There is no religion which encourages its followers to love and care for one another more than Islam does. This applies at all times and in all circumstances, not just on one particular day. Islam encourages us to express our emotions and love at all times. As the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.” (Abu Dawood, 5124; al-Tirmidhi, 2329).

The Prophet (SAWW) said:

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you truly believe. and you will not truly believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something that, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread (the greeting of) salaam amongst yourselves.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Best Thing is Marriage

Because In Islam, it is not a sin if you feel a special inclination towards a certain individual since it’s a natural thing. But we are definitely responsible and accountable if we get carried away by such feelings and take specific actions or steps that might be forbidden.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“We do not think that there is anything better for those who love one another than marriage.” ( Ibn Maajah, 1847)

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (Radiallahuanhu) Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:

“You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love of two people.” (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 921)

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