Allah S.W.T has made a very clear explanation in the holy book of Quran in the second Chapter, Al-Baqarah, verse 120 with the following translation:
“Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance. Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, then would you find neither protector nor helper against Allah.”
We might have been too optimistic to too many people in this world. And the world now is one without border, one that is more dynamic and sophisticated than ever. Consequently, it creates such a world in which the word impossible, in a certain extent, valid no more. Despite certain belief that things can hardly be hidden nowadays, we might want to think otherwise. As opposed to the belief, people now are more cunning, and unluckily might not be on the good side. Are we living comfortably enough that we never realize the threat that we are facing nowadays? Be careful, a person you trust very much might be the one you should be afraid of most. We do not want to condone negative thinking, but it’s even worse if we get easily fooled and taken for granted out of our pure kindness and absolute innocence.
As Muslims, we are strongly encouraged to seek knowledge as it can be likened to a wall that protects a garden from the outside threat. Knowledge makes us safe, hence helps us stay on the true path. Valentine’s Day, celebrated annually on February 14, has its own history. Do we ever care about this, right before we join the party? Are we aware of what it means to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to someone we love or don’t we care? Islam does not stop us from loving but it’s what we do to love that might be wrong and against the Islamic teaching. Therefore, we must be more careful and love Islam by making it our way of life.
Truly, there are different versions of history behind the celebration of the Valentine’s Day and of course, we need to know and study them, so that we understand the reason for its prohibition by Islam. The article I read from Utusan Malaysia dated February 9, 2009 gave a brief example of the history and in this post, I am going to make it even shorter-a very brief one.
First, Valentine’s Day is associated with the celebration of Lupercalia by ancient Romans, during the pre-Christianity era. Lupercalia is a cleansing ceremony or ritual they celebrated from 13 to 18 February. In the first two days, they worship Juno Februata, a Roman Idol for love. On 15 February, they had to choose two strong men whom, among other things, will march while women tried to get to them for animal’s skin they brought, believed to enhance their fertility.
The second story is associated with the death of a priest, St. Valentine during Claudius II’s reign, who was a Roman King. This story comes in two versions. Firstly, the Roman monarch and followers, whom worshipped idols, were against Christianity. Christians were tortured, jailed and prevented from disseminating Christianity. St. Valentine was not spared. He was finally brought to death sentence and this was executed on February 14, hence the date of Valentine’s Day.
The second version of this story is rather different. Claudius II prevented young men during his time to get married. This was so because Claudius II believed that these men were stronger that way. However, St. Valentine saw the opposite and secretly arranged the marriages of Roman young men. Eventually, when the King knew about this, St. Valentine was caught and sentenced to death. His death was recorded to be on 14 February 269, hence again, the Valentine’s Day.
Next, Valentine’s Day was by history, celebrated in conjunction with the fall of the great Islamic Empire in Andalusia, Spain. St. Valentine was responsible in the attempt to defeat Islamic reign during that time. This was looked up upon as a great contribution, and as a sequence, 14 February 1492, which was the day Islamic power in Spain lost to its enemy, become a day to celebrate love, as they believed that Islam was a religion which perpetrated cruelty.
The list of stories above is not exhaustive, so feel free to find more and you might want to correct mine, if in case I was wrong. I hereby would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and blissful day. May Allah bless us all and may we talk again later (on my blog).
Take care, everyone.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
The Meaning of The Holy Quran
Mohd Amirul Asyraf bin Mohd Hanaffi (Ibnu Hanaffi)
Mohd. Yaakub Mohd. Yunus
Utusan Malaysia (Monday, 9 February 2009)