By now, most of us might have read something regarding the ruling of Muslims celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s the day when you celebrate love. And people vary from not celebrating it with your special someone to celebrating it with their favourite pets, parents, grandparents and so on.
When I was younger, I would be sending cards to my grandparents and my parents when Valentine’s Day was just around the corner.
But why do some find it offensive to celebrate this V-day?
One of the many reasons would be because of it’s dark origin. The ancient Roman men would be celebrating the pagan festival of Lupercalia from 13 to 15 of February every year. On these dates, they would sacrifice a goat and dog, and later they would be whipping women. Surprisingly enough, young women voluntarily line up to be beaten by these drunk men – believing it would help them getting fertile.
Young men would then get matchmade by drawing a name of woman from jar. So much for being ‘cultured’.
Of course, the famous background history of Valentine’s Day is that it was named after Saint Valentine when Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine, and both on February 14, only of different years. They were later honoured by the Catholic Church which initiated the celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day. The Pope later stopped the pagan rituals of Lupercalia by installing Valentine’s Day.
Of course this celebration was not mentioned in the Bible, but you may see that the point why Muslim scholars are refraining Muslims from celebrating this day is that it was initiated by the church.
I just want to express my love
There’s nothing wrong with expressing your good feelings to others. Allah acknowledges this and this makes us normal human beings.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Quran 30:21]
You’ve heard this so many times that it may sound like a cliche: you really don’t need a special day to celebrate your loved ones. The gestures of love should be shown and expressed daily – not just in one day.
The trap of commercialisation
Believe it or not, this is what commercialisation looks like. The business industry is trying to make money out of everything. The bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates are overpriced during V-Day. There’ll be commercials on what should you get for your loved ones during this day.
And your partner would have this expectation that you’d give them something shiny and impressive, and you’d be left feeling all guilty if you didn’t get them something ‘better’ than last year.
They’re taking advantage of this celebration that is supposedly about cherishing each other – not about emptying your partner’s pocket.
Isn’t this a blatant act of wasting?
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah does not like for you to waste wealth, nor ask many unnecessary questions, nor spread gossip.”
Source: Musnad al-Bazzār 8463
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
There are various scholars who rule out fatwas on why we are forbidden to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Other than the prior link to the Catholic Church, one should also think through before becoming one of those associated with the dark origin of this celebration which came with brutalising animals and women.
You don’t need to fall for the pressure to follow the commercialised pop-culture. Just because it’s an in-thing, it shouldn’t mean that you have to do it. Set your own trend with conviction. Be a leader.
Instead, show your loved ones how much they mean to you without having to wait for just one appointed day of the year. Do it today.
Sources: Npr.org, Islamqa, abuaminaelias.com