Valentine’s Day in Islam?

By Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, AOBM

I was asked to share my views on Valentine’s Day. Personally, I really don’t see what’s the problem that some people seem to have with this celebration. The fact that it’s a Western, originally Christian festival is in all honesty, completely besides the point. We should celebrate Love everyday!

Many cultures have something similar, a day to celebrate love, to send a message of love to your beloved – a person whom you would like to marry or is already your husband or wife. Seriously, what’s wrong with that? What could possibly be wrong with that?

The only argument I’ve heard against Valentine’s Day, is the same one I hear about every other festival besides the two Eids – it’s not part of Islam. Well, sorry, if that’s the best these people can come up with, it’s a pathetic argument – cars and aeroplanes aren’t technically part of Islam either, but we still use them!

More to the point, a Muslim can celebrate any festival, even the social aspect of those of other religions, as long as this doesn’t mean they end up committing shirk – i.e. worshipping another deity besides God or associating partners with God – and this is the position of the mainstream scholars of Al-Azhar University in Egypt.

Indeed, for the vast majority of people who celebrate it, Valentine’s Day isn’t even that religious, rather it’s just a wonderful opportunity to show loved ones how much you appreciate them – which is something every Muslim should do anyway, even if they do not celebrate Valentine’s Day!

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10 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day in Islam?

  1. with due respect to you,according to wikipedia “Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine”
    Do you think Muslims should still celebrate this day?
    I believe everyday should be reserved for the loved ones.

    • Like anything, it depends upon a person’s intention… What if Eid al-Fitr falls on 14. February? Should we avoid celebrating it? Obviously not, as our intention would be to celebrate Eid. Our modern Valentine’s Day is not a religious festival, even if a previous incarnation of it was. Indeed, it probably owes a greater debt to Geoffrey Chaucer than any of the saints named Valentine. Author, Idries Shah wrote about how Chaucer himself was influenced by Sheikh Fariduddin Attar, who wrote the Conference of the Birds (Mantiq-ut-Tair). Thus contrary to popular belief, the actual original influences of today’s Valentine’s Day, may well in fact have been Islamic! The day is an opportunity to send messages of love, although you are right, this can and would be better if done everyday. Nevertheless, having a day specifically dedicated to love, is surely no bad thing!

  2. Amen. it is actually haram in Islam to make a big deal about anything like celebrating a cultural occasion, taking issue with matters that don’t concern you. the very idea that valentine day mothers day teachers day memorial thanks giving threatens someone’s faith in GOD is an insult to faith. if it’s that vulnerable, it’s not faith, not Islam, not anything. thanks for the kind words. God loves love so i know god loves this day in some small happy way. and blesses it just like god blesses any kindness.

  3. a person should show his/her love and affection for someone everyday instead of once a year.. well that’s my opinion though.. why wait until valentine’s day to tell or show someone how much you love or appreciate them.. 🙂

  4. Besides being not part of islam, it is rather a big business and huge industry which does not promote marriage. Valentine´s day as “Nisaar Y. Nadiadwalaa” put it, is “developing the art of fooling females through display of artificial love – Valentine´s Day: The most adulterous day of the year.”

    • Valentine’s Day, like any festival, is what people make of it… If someone takes their spouse out for that extra-special dinner, which they haven’t gotten around to due to other commitments, children etc. is that haram or outside of Islam?

      In my experience, many of those who have complained about Valentine’s Day, Christmas, the solar New Year etc. are from countries to which these festivals are by and large modern commercial imports. On that basis, I can understand people not wanting to have anything to do with them…

      Nevertheless, if you come from a country where these are part of your ancestral culture, they hold a meaning and relevance that they obviously won’t to others. If celebrated in moderation, within the boundaries of what is halal, without going to crazy extremes, there is nothing wrong with them.

      I agree there’s a danger in the over commercialisation of these events, but that applies equally to our Eids, which are now no less commercialised than Christmas, and even the Hajj… Best to put things into perspective before jumping to conclusions. 🙂

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