Vanity of Valentine’s Day
February 14th, also known as Valentine’s Day, is that time of the year that has commonly been associated with love and romance. Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with greeting cards, red roses, teddy bears and a whole host of other paraphernalia that are exchanged between young men and women. Many schools, universities and clubs prepare elaborate functions and parties. Many will argue that Valentine’s Day is a day of joy and harmless fun. But is it really?

From an Islamic point of view Valentine’s day is wrong for the following reasons:

1. It invites people to the relentless pursuit of sexual freedom
In Islam all forms of intimacy and passion are confined to the relationship of marriage. Anything beyond this is not acceptable. The culture of promoting the satisfaction of desires and passions in an uncontrolled manner is unhealthy. Islam recognizes that we are human and can succumb to human weakness, so it has provided strict safeguards for our own sake. The Quran mentions clearly : "Do not come near to adultery. It is a great sin and an evil way." (Surah Israa, Verse 32)

2. Valentine’s Day is based on pagan culture Cupid, the virtually naked, arrow-shooting character, which shoots people with its arrows to make them fall in love, is a remnant of Roman pagan times. Cupid is described as the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid’s picture is frequently found on Valentine cards and other paraphernalia.

3. Imitation is strictly forbidden in Islam Islam only has two special days of celebration – the two Eids. Tashabbuh (imitation) of any foreign culture or system that is opposed to Islam is prohibited. Islam is very sensitive about maintaining its purity and the unique identity of its followers. For example, Salaah is forbidden at the precise times of sunrise, transition, and sunset to eliminate the possibility of confusion with the practice of sun worship. When such care has been taken regarding worship what can we say regarding the celebration of a sinful occasion such as Valentine’s Day?

4. Extravagance and wastage is discouraged by the Quran and Sunnah
Vast amounts of money are usually squandered on purchasing useless gifts, cards and other futile items. The Quran mentions : "The wasters are the brothers of Shaitaan."

5. Valentine’s Day brings along with it a host of parties, balls, dances, social functions, etc.
Unfortunately, these are havens of free mixing, alcohol, drugs, and illicit sexual encounters.

As Muslims we need to distance ourselves from such frivolous events. We should not participate in anything associated with Valentines Day nor should we encourage it in any way. As fathers and mothers we should pay attention to our children. We should ensure that we guard them from such activities by educating and monitoring them. We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices – We do not need to honor or celebrate the death of a Christian "saint" – Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage – Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins. Remember that by participating in Valentine’s Day we are destroying our Islamic morals and standards of respect and dignity. Let us become the army of Allah not the army of Shaitaan.

And as for the Pagan origins of Valentine’s Day. The first information about this day is found in pre-Christian Rome, when pagans would celebrate the "Feast of the Wolf" on February 15, also known as the Feast of Lupercalius in honour of Februata Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, Roman god of nature.

On this day, young women would place their names in an urn, from which boys would randomly draw to discover their sexual companion for the day, the year, and sometimes the rest of their lives. These partners exchanged gifts as a sign of affection, and often married.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“ You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you , span by span , cubit by cubit , until even if they were to enter a lizard’s hole , you would follow them .” We said : “ O Messenger of Allaah , ( do you mean ) the Jews and Christians ?” He said: “Who else ?!”

(Saheeh Al Bukhari, Book #92, Hadith #422)

1. In 1492 during the crusades against Islam Pedro Saint Valentino named the 14th February as the day of ‘love’ after destroying Islamic rule in Spain and Europe.

2. One of the earliest popular symbols of the Valentine’s Day is Cupid, the Roman god of love, who is represented by the image of a young boy with bow and arrow

3. 300 CE the Roman emperor still demanded that everyone believe in the Roman gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, had been thrown in prison. On February 14, Valentine was beheaded. The night before he was executed, he wrote the jailer’s daughter a farewell letter, signing it "From Your Valentine.

4. This holiday in particular was the Roman feast of Lupercalia, a feast dedicated to Faunus, god of agriculture. Priests would gather at a sacred cave were parties and men would slap women’s hands with goat hides’ strips that were dipped in the blood of sacrificed goats. This was thought to make the woman more fertile.