St Valentine’s Day

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh (Peace, Blessings & Mercy of Allah be upon You).

The Pagan origins & Christianisation

The history of the Catholic Church mentions at least three separate St. Valentines, all sharing 14 February as a feast day. St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome who was beheaded on Feb. 14, AD 270. The second St. Valentine was the Bishop of Interamna who was decapitated under the orders of Prefect Placidus. The third St. Valentine suffered martyrdom in Africa with several companions. All three of the saints are revered and honoured by the Church for their love towards (Lord) Jesus Christ and Church. Catholic Church believes that the message that the exchange of “valentines” is more the result of secular custom rather than the memory of St. Valentine, and that the celebration has been further paganized with cupids and the like, there is a Christian message that should be remembered. 1

Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February is an effort to “Christianise” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. 2

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. 3

Seasonal Festivities and Islām

The principle for Muslims is to distinguish the festivals and classify them according to occasions which are religious in nature and those which are celebrated due to ethnicity, tribalism, nationalism. We need to look at the key identifiers and ensure that the identifiers are not religious and draw a distinction, even though that religious basis may no longer exist (today) the act will still be classed as an act of religion.

Muslims cannot partake in festivities which are classed as religious acts. Muslims can take part in festivities which are ethnic, tribal, national etc.

Integration vs Assimilation

We believe that these matters are very often misrepresented, misconstrued and misunderstood as lack of integration. This is not a lack of integration! This is a Muslim not celebrating an aspect of another religion and not celebrating acts associated with another religion. If this Muslims chooses to celebrate or participate in acts of other religions it would go beyond integration and into assimilation. It would imply that the belief system of this individual has been assimilated or that this person has converted from Islām to another religion or he has adopted a hybrid of another religion and Islām and that is not what this person believes to be. He or she is a Muslim and he or she defines himself or herself as a Muslim. 4

Love & Relationships in Islām

Allāh Ta’āla is our Creator and he has intrinsically placed the need for companionship and the need to be loved and valued within us. It is one of the Signs of Allāh Ta’āla and his Mercy.

[30:21] 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.

However this love and affection needs to be articulated, displayed and manifested in according to the teachings of Islām. The correct method will lead the couple to happiness in this world and everlasting companionship in the hereafter. In Islām, the relationship does not necessarily end at death but has the potential to be truly “forever”. Valentine’s Day is the most lucrative moment of the year after Christmas for chocolatiers, jewellers, restaurateurs and greeting card manufacturers. 5 Valentine’s Day is a commercial activity pushed and promoted to grab your money.

Relationships need to be looked after, sustained and genuine effort needs to be put in for it to blossom. We don’t believe that outward (commercial) display for one day contributes anything substantial. Instead, we recommend for Muslims to treat every day as special to ensure that your spouse feels special and valued.

We request all Muslims to watch the presentation below to gain an insight into love and relationships in Islām.

Love, Marriage and Fairytales

Mufti (Dr) Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera (DB)

This is a course it is being shared from another site. It is being shared to provide Islāmic Guidance on the topic and Wifaqul Ulama neither endorses the site nor necessarily agrees with the views expressed nor takes responsibility for the content of external Internet sites

 

Further reading

  • How to live in a secure and peaceful country? 6
  • The Sound Understanding of al-Walā wa’l-Barā 7
  • The British Deobandees 8
  • Muslims in Non-Muslim Lands: A Legal Study with Applications 9