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Valentine’s Day: Vice Disguised as Virtue

In a series of ferocious attacks launched by non-Muslims against the Islamic Ummah (nation) attempting to wipe out its attributes and eradicate its values, the Western media, along with its allies, propagates an evil festival under a noble name. It is “the festival of love” or “St. Valentine’s Day”. Deceiving and confusing Muslims, they aim at spreading vice disguised as virtues.

What do you know about February 14?
In answering this question, some could say, “We do not know anything about it.” Others might say, “It is a day like other days.” Many, however, will say, “It is the day of red roses, hearts and gifts. It is Valentine’s Day.”
Nevertheless, not many know the story of this day as well as the reasons behind it. They may not know that they are commemorating Christian saints.

What is the story of this day and what is its origin?
According to what is mentioned about this day in encyclopedias, the Romans used to celebrate a festival named Lupercalia on February 15 every year. This festival included idolatrous customs and rituals. They used to offer sacrifices to their false gods to protect their flocks from wolves. That day coincided with the spring break according to the calendar adopted by them, that differs from the one currently in use. Later on, this day was changed to February 14 in Rome in the third century CE.
At that time the religion of Christianity was at its inception. The ruler of the Roman Empire that time was the Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young soldiers so that they would remain strong. St. Valentine objected to this decree and started secretly concluding marital contracts. However, this was soon revealed and he was sentenced to death. In prison, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. This was a secret affair because saints and monks are prohibited to marry or establish romantic relations under Christian law.

Nevertheless, he is still revered by the Christians because of his steadfastness in adhering to Christianity. The Emperor of Rome offered to pardon him if he forsook Christianity and took to worshipping the Roman gods; and promised to make him one of his closest confidants and his son-in-law. However, Valentine refused this offer and preferred Christianity, so he was executed on February 14, 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalia. Thus, this day was named after this saint
Years later, when Christianity spread in Europe and gained authority, the spring break changed to a festival on February 14 called “St. Valentine’s Day”. They commemorate this occasion because Valentine ransomed Christianity with his soul for the sake of those who love each other. Exchanging red roses and cards with pictures of Cupid (a child holding a bow and arrow), are among the customs of this day. Cupid is the Roman god of love who was worshiped by them.

There are various other narrations related to Valentine and Valentine’s Day, but most of them are similar to each other.

This is the day that many young Muslim men and women celebrate and venerate while perhaps they know nothing about these facts.
Why are we talking about this?
Someone may say, “You are promoting and propagating this day, which is probably unknown to many people, by what you are saying.”
However, we say to such people that reflecting on the conditions of many young people today as well as the frenzied commercial activity and mutual congratulations that are exchanged on this day, one realizes that this ignorant custom and dispraised innovation has acquired the proportion of an epidemic and has spread widely and quickly in Muslim countries. This call implicitly aims at achieving the objectives of those who follow their desires to spread immorality and lewdness among Muslims in the name of “love“.
Someone might object, “In this way, you are prohibiting love, for on this day we express our feelings and emotions. What is wrong with that?”
The answer:
First: It is a mistake to confuse the apparent meaning of the name of the day with the real intentions behind it. The love referred to on this day is romantic love, that involves taking mistresses and lovers, boyfriends and girlfriends. It is known to be a day of promiscuity and illicit sex for them, with no restraints or restrictions. They do not mean the pure love between a man and his wife, and a woman and her husband.
Second: To express one’s feelings and emotions is not a justification for the Muslim to allocate a day, venerate it, call it a festival or make it like a festival. Then, what will be the case when such a day is actually one of the non-Muslims’ festivals?
There are many texts from the Quran and Sunnah (tradition) as well as the scholars’ statements that strictly warn against this.
Here are some texts which warn against participating in the festivals of non-Muslims:
•        Mentioning the characteristics of the slaves of Allah The Almighty, He Says (what means): {And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood} [Quran 25: 72]
Commenting on the verse, Ibn Seereen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “It refers to Palm Sunday (a Christian festival).” Mujaahid  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “It is the polytheists’ festival.” A similar interpretation was reported on the authority of Adh-Dhahhaak  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him.
•        Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {For every religion We have appointed rites which they perform.} [Quran 22: 67]
•        Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {To each of you We prescribed a law and a method.} [Quran 5: 48]
Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
Festivals are part of the laws, methods and rituals. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
•        {To each of you We prescribed a law and a method.} [Quran 5: 48]
•        {For every religion We Have Appointed rites which they perform.} [Quran 22: 67]
There is no difference between merely participating in their festivals or in their complete methodology because approving of their festivals means approving of their disbelief, and approving of some rites of these festivals means approving some of the branches of disbelief, since festivals are the most special symbols of religions.
Consequently, whoever celebrates their festivals is agreeing with the most distinctive rituals of disbelief. Undoubtedly going along with them in their festivals may, in some cases, lead to disbelief. Dabbling in these things, at the very least, is a sin. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) referred to this when he said: Every people have their (own) feast and this is our feast.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] [Al-Iqtidhaa’ by Ibn Taymiyyah]
Festivals are characteristics of religions:
In a Hadeeth (narration) on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “O Abu Bakr, every people have their (own) feast and this is our feast.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In a Marfoo‘ Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention )  said: “The Day of ‘Arafah, the Day of Nahr and the days of Mina are our feasts (we the Muslims). They are days for eating and drinking.” [Abu Daawood] [Saheeh]
Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
This Hadeeth and others indicate that there were festivals for people in the pre-Islamic era during which they used to gather. It is known that when the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was sent, he abrogated all these rituals. Had not the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) forbidden them, people would not have abandoned these festivals. This makes it known with full certainty that the leader of the pious, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to strongly prevent his followers from participating in the festivals of non-Muslims and resorted to all means to uproot and eradicate them.” [Al-Iqtidhaa’ by Ibn Taymiyyah]
There are many other texts including the order of contradicting non-Muslims and avoiding their religious as well as worldly deeds.
In some Hadeeths, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:
•        The Jews and Christians do not dye (white hair of the head and the beard), so contradict them.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
        Contradict the polytheists, trim the mustache and let the beards grow.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
•        Fast the day of ‘Aashooraa’ (the 10th day of Muharram) and contradict the Jews by fasting a day before or after it.” [Ahmad] [Ahmad Shaakir: Hasan chain of narrators]
Reason behind the prohibition of imitating disbelievers
One of the great rationales for which Allah The Almighty has forbidden imitating the disbelievers is that doing so would lead Muslims to love them and ally with them and this contradicts faith.
Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If two men meet when traveling or in a foreign country and they are similar in their turbans, clothes, hair, means of transportation, and so on, there would be familiarity between them more than others. Likewise, you find a feeling of familiarity among those who are practitioners of a certain craft. They feel familiar to each other more than others.”
When this is the case with imitating people in worldly matters, then what about imitating them in religious matters? There is no doubt that this leads to a greater and stronger love and allegiance.
Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, is the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation) of the Lord of the Worlds and the Sunnah (tradition) of the leader of all the messengers not enough for us?
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) forbade the Ansaar (Helpers) from celebrating a festival that they used to celebrate in the pre-Islamic era saying: “Allah has given you something better: the Day of Adh-ha (sacrifice) and the Day of Fitr (breaking fast).” [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i and Ahmad] [Saheeh]
Where is the love which they talk about and allocate a festival for, while their reality is completely different?
Western studies and statistics reveal the following:
• An American study conducted in 1407 A.H./1987 CE, states that 79 percent of men physically abuse their womenfolk, especially if they are married. (Al-Qabas Newspaper, 15/2/1988.)
• A study carried out by the National American Office for Mental Health states the following:
– 17 percent of women who go to emergency rooms are victims of physical abuse at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends.
– 83 percent of women who have been admitted to hospital at least once for treatment of injuries, were admitted as a result of beating.
The study added that a large number of abused women do not go to the hospital for treatment, but deal with their injuries at home.
• In a report of the Central American Agency for Examination (FPT) it states that every 18 seconds there is a woman who is beaten by her husband somewhere in America.
• The American magazine Time stated that around 4,000 wives out of approximately 6 million who are beaten die as a result of that beating.
• A German study states that no less than 100,000 women annually are subjected to acts of physical or psychological abuse on the part of their husbands or the men they live with. The real figure may exceed one million.
• In France, approximately 2 million women face physical abuse.
• In Britain, in an opinion poll in which 7,000 women took part, 28 percent of them said that they had been subjected to physical attacks by their husbands and boyfriends.
What is the Muslim’s obligation towards these deviations?
First: Asserting the principle of Walaa’ and Baraa’ (allegiance to Muslims and disassociation from disbelievers), adhering to its requirements and warning against imitating the People of the Book in their appearance, festivals and commemorations.
Second: Warning against rallying behind attractive slogans, false claims and deceptive appearances, which in fact aim at luring Muslims to indulge in widespread corruption.
Third: We appeal to those who are responsible for the press and media, audio and visual, to stop presenting movies and television series that make love between boys and girls appear attractive, and depict love as something necessary for a successful marriage. Such things firmly establish illusions and fantasies in the minds of young girls that make them prone to error and easy prey for foolish and lost youth.
Besides, such things destroy the community by arousing temptation and desires among its members and raising divorce rates. For instance, a girl may think after marriage that her marriage has failed because she stops experiencing “intense” feelings of love, when the reality of marriage appears and the marital responsibilities increase.
Likewise, a youth who finds his wife busy with her home and children may think that she no longer shows the old emotions and feelings of love that she showed in the early days of their alliance, and may feel that his marriage has failed. Thereafter, disputes arise for trivial reasons, differences worsen and discord rages to end with divorce.
Fourth: We appeal to shop owners and Muslim traders not to be driven by their eagerness to gain a perishable quick earning by sharing the activities of non-Muslims and helping them by selling the things they require for such occasions. Shaykh-ul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “When a Muslim sells food, drink or clothes to the non-Muslims during their festivals, this is prohibited because this is a form of help that could lead to making a display of their false religion and gathering people for their festivals. This is greater than helping a specific person.” [Adapted from Al-Iqtidhaa’] It is prohibited for the Muslim to even sell these things to the People of the Book, so that they use them to display the rituals of their religion. Then, what will be the ruling when such things are sold to a Muslim who is originally commanded not to imitate them?
Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Jibreen,  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him, regarding the ruling of celebrating this day
He was asked,
The celebration of the so-called “love festival” or Valentine’s Day has become widespread among our boys and girls. Valentine is the name of a saint who is venerated by the Christians, and this day is celebrated every year on February 14. They exchange gifts and red roses, and they wear red clothes. What is the ruling on celebrating this day or exchanging gifts on this day? May Allah reward you.
He answered,
First: It is not permissible to celebrate such innovated festivals, because this is a newly-invented matter in religion which has no basis in Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation). So, it is included in the Hadeeth (narration) of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever introduces something new in this matter of ours (i.e. religion) that does not originally belong to it, will have it rejected.” It means that it will be thrown back upon the one who innovated it.
Second: This involves imitating and resembling the non-Muslims in venerating that which they venerate and respecting their festivals and holidays, and imitating them in some of their religious practices. The Hadeeth states: “Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them.
Third: The things that result from this, such as partying, idle play, singing, music, insolence, impertinence, unveiling, neglecting the Hijab (Islamic covering), intermixing between the two sexes, and the appearance of women before non-Mahram (marriageable) men, and so on, are all prohibited, or are means which lead to immorality. So, it should not be justified as an excuse for relaxation and entertainment, or be claimed that they will not overstep the mark, because that is not right. The one who cares about himself should keep away from sin and all that leads to it. On this basis, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses if one knows that the purchaser will celebrate these holidays, give them as gifts or otherwise use them to honor these days, so that the vendor will not be sharing in the guilt of the one who does this innovated action. And Allah knows best.
Dear Muslims, are ‘Eed Al-Adh’ha and ‘Eed Al-Fitr not enough for you? Is not your religion the religion of happiness and guidance? Beware of these festivals which are based on innovation in religion and disbelief. Beware and warn others. Be proud of your religion. Be distinguished from the deviant people. Avoid following their traces or being influenced by their ideas. You are nobler in the sight of Allah The Almighty than this.

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