"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."
Surah Ali 'Imran, (3:85)
Every year, February 14 marks another awaited day especially by couples around the world to celebrate love, though ironically many of them are not married- which brings a question as to whether unmarried love brings with it responsibility in the form of legal agreement to play roles attributed to each other (as husband and wife and later as father and mother). Therefore, love without marriage is always like a game or a trial and error method in search for a true life partner and most of the time there's no love involved at all, no not love seriously- so please go back and learn your English again, without marriage, it deserves a better word- LUST!
1. Insya Allah, as the title goes, I will elaborate on both Valentine's Day and Maulidur Rasul (The Birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW) as the former takes place on February 14 every year and the latter co-incidentally occurs the day after it this year, on February 15.
2. I am not to compare between both but it's here to note that this time around, there will be a series of articles whereby in correct sequence, will be about Valentine's Day first and Prophet's Birthday in another article. This is therefore put under part one.
3. Valentine's Day is otherwise known as The Festival of Love and is claimed to be a day when people around the world celebrate and appreciate love. It's usual that during this day, people will buy presents and exchange it with their beloved ones, and it may not be necessarily practised by 2 lovers, because some people exchange gifts with their friends instead, as a symbol of friendship love, so-called another form of love.
4. And interestingly, it's not a surprise to hear that JAKIM, The Malaysian Islamic Development Department has now launched an Anti-Valentine's Day campaign, not to forget many circulating articles, flyers etc. that can be found either printed, or more abundant of course in the electronic world, all of which are against this somewhat not uncommon festival in Malaysia..
5. Why does Islam forbid us to celebrate Valentine's Day in the first place? Insya Allah, I will divide my answer into three parts in response to that question- which you can find below.
First, because by history, this celebration is against our principle in Islam and only ignorance permits many misleading practices contained within the festival. Secondly, it is forbidden because it is not the way Islam teaches us to live. Thirdly, because the essence of celebrating Valentine's Day is entirely destructive to the society.
6. Before I continue, it is essential to make a point here that Islam is a religion that always promotes love and good relationship with not only God but also mankind. A very often used phrase is hablun minallah wa hablun minan nas, Arabic words for relationship with God and relationship with mankind. The difference is that in Islam we don't need one special day to love because we can love and be loved all year round. Also, Islam admonishes us to channel our love in an appropriate means, such as through marriage and not through random pick or lottery as committed in the past during Valentine's Day.
Rasulullah once narrated that, "None of you truly believes (in Allah and His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Historical records suggest that this festival is against Islam by principle and by practices.
7. Now, the problem with Valentine's Day begins right through the origin itself. There are several versions with regard to its origin of course, but none of those has anything to do with Islamic origin, nor Islamic source whatsoever. This means that Valentine's day (which from now onwards will be denoted as V-Day for simplicity's sake) is a construct of men's weak mind, and therefore it has a high tendency to be influenced by the evil whisper of the Satan whom never gives up to lead us astray.
"(Iblis) said: Then, by Your Power, I will put them all in the wrong." Surah Sod, (38:82)
8. History has recorded that the V-Day was celebrated by the Pagan Romans in honor of their goddess of women and marriage, Februata Juno and Roman god of nature, called Pan. Please take note that pagan in this context refers to polytheism (many gods), and not without religion. And they honored these gods by allowing men to randomly choose their girl partners whom placed their names in an urn before the names were drawn by men. They then became sexual partners for either a day, a year or even forever.
9. Clearly, this is an act of syirk because you create a partner to Allah by honoring other gods. We know full well that syirk is a sin that will not be forgiven and Allah will hurl those who commit syirk to Hell fire. Also, it is an act of adultery (zina) because there is sex outside marriage. Hence by principle and by practice, V-Day is certainly against Islam and therefore should be avoided.
10. Let me also mention here that the word Valentine is actually to commemorate a Christian saint (whose name was Valentine) who was claimed to be murdered by the Roman emperor by the name Claudius, for conducting secret marriages between soldiers. What has death of a Christian saint to do with us Muslims?
11. Also, there was a practice of smearing their bodies with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs which they believed will improve fertility. Any modern and scientific explanation nowadays will deny that, and what's left there is to take it as a practice of religious ritual which is undoubtedly therefore an act of syirk.
Valentine's Day is not our way.
"Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: The Guidance of Allah is the (only) Guidance." Surah Al-Baqarah, (2:120)
12. The above is a warning and reminder from Allah. He knows exactly why should we not follow them. He has full knowledge of their agenda and His orders are ones that protect us. Even our Prophet Muhammad SAW firmly expressed his concern about this when he said that those who copy what others do in their religion, they are actually a part of them (in their religion). Should we bow to their religion, we automatically deny Allah's oneness and because of that, it is the Hell fire that awaits us, nauzubillahi min zalik.
13. The V-Day is not our way, as simple as that. So, let's abandon it now, even if many of our friends don't. Remember, we don't do things because many people do it, but we do it because it is the right (and permissible) thing to do. We have our own way and Islam teaches us all about them.
"Were you to follow the common run of those on earth, they will lead you away from the way of Allah. They follow nothing but conjecture; they do nothing but lie." Surah Al-An'am, (6: 116)
14. Allah explicitly reminds us in the above verse not to follow the majority only because it is majority. We are given thoughts and wisdom so we must use them to see the truth. We are weak, so we need guidance. A divine guidance surely does not come from mankind. We can't live with conjecture alone. Our way of life is one that is in line with our primordial nature (fitrah) and the only religion or way of life that in its entirety suits the norm of a life of mankind is no other but Islam. Why? Because Islam comes from Allah, and it's Him whom creates us and our fitrah.
The bigger picture and essence of Valentine's Day.
15. In the Western world, people long for this day as much as they long for free sex. It (the day) is like a switch that triggers a strong desire to commit such practice that is humiliating and embarrassing not only in Islam, but also in Eastern culture in general, which highly appreciates someone's dignity and pride especially women.
16. The essence of this festival is that you can do what ever you want with someone that you love, even if you don't marry her. As though love permits everything. It promotes the destruction of our society in many ways because ultimately, it encourages the act of intimacy between unmarried couples.
17. For one thing, it increases divorce. I am not kidding. If you want facts, here I present them to you. And please be aware that these facts are not taken from Islamic authorities (though of course they have facts too), but just so that you can already rule out bias, the following facts are taken from several researches conducted overseas by independent bodies and parties.
18. A study from the University of Denver, found that couples who lived together before marrying reported lower marriage satisfaction. It further exposed that there is evidence about the fact that cohabiting is associated with lower marital quality and higher divorce potential. Surprisingly, it also confirms that people cohabit because they want to test their relationship, so without marriage, they can easily 'let go' if they are not satisfied with their partner (through sexual relationship). The study finally concludes that cohabiting is the biggest problem in relationship.
19. In addition to that, let us ponder on the following report by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development whereby it says, "Cohabitation, once rare, is now the norm: The researchers found that more than half (54 %) of all first marriages between 1990 and 1994 began with unmarried cohabitation. They estimate that a majority of young men and women of marriageable age today will spend some time in a cohabiting relationship. ... Cohabiting relationships are less stable than marriage and that instability is increasing, the study found."
20. From Islamic perspective, what the above transpires is simple; that if you love someone, then go for marriage. The longer you stay in an outside marriage relationship, you either will fall into cohabiting, or you risk an unstable relationship, be it before or after marriage.
21. If I put it in a more casual way, I'd say who are you to stop your girlfriend or boyfriend from falling in love and go to another person when you have no proof at all (through marriage) that he or she is yours? Is this not a common sense?
22. Let us not dwell on another issue that follows this, namely baby dumping, for instance as it is now crystal clear that the impact of treating love in a wrong way by blindly celebrating V-Day is huge and it creates vicious cycle. How do we define love when innocent babies are being cruelly murdered anyway? No, stop giving excuses. What's the big deal if we don't have the V-Day, can you tell?
23. Therefore, I hereby would like to invite all of us to go back to Islam and be careful with the world around us. We always follow things blindly, become excited to copy the so-called latest social trend, and live a deviated life, sometimes without us knowing. So now because we already know, we shall grasp the knowledge fully and pray a lot to Him, Allah the Almighty God so that He leads us to the right path insya Allah.
"And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge, for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)." Surah Al-Isra', (17:36)
May Allah bless us all insya Allah. Wallahu'aklam.