Come Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, the world will be celebrating another day of induction into the club of HIV/AIDS styled Valentine Day. The Muslim Congress (TMC) wishes, therefore, to educate, sermonise and redirect the energy of our youths and uninformed adults by issuing a press release on “Valentine’s Day Celebration from Islamic Perspective ahead of the day.
Worldwide, the celebration has received recognition, accolade, publicity and acceptance, even among Muslims. Whereas, Valentine’s Day is a Roman festival of love, traceable to pagan rites and customs. The festival has continued to be celebrated even when Rome became a Christian nation.
As another Valentine’s Day draws closer, all Islamic organisations and clerics owe Muslims and non-Muslims a divine obligation of liberation through non-violent means from ignorance and blind-followership of questionable practices and customs rooted in immoralities and disobedience to Allah, the Supreme.
On that day, Nigeria would again witness a “Grand Induction Ceremony” of a great multitude of innocent youth and adults into the world of Sex, Shamelessness, Infidelity, Perversion, Loss of Virginity, HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and AIDS, in the name of Valentine’s Day or “Lover’s Day”. There are two historical links to Valentine Day celebration.
The first link indicates that Valentine is traceable to Luperci, an occultic order of Roman priests. The priests gather annually at a sacred cave where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been nurtured and nursed for by a she-wolf (Lupa in Roman language) in their infancy.
The rites entail the sacrifice of a goat by the priests, for boosting communal fertility; this is followed by the sacrifice of a dog, for communal purification and cleansing. The priests 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 occult match-making of couples often ended in marriage and many into sexual perversion.
The second link indicates that valentine celebration is linked to a popular saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on Feb. 14, 270 CE going against the royal decree of Emperor Claudius II. The emperor decided that unmarried men are better soldiers than those with wives and families; the King, therefore, outlawed marriage for young men, who were his crop of potential soldiers. Saint Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree and the sinful implication it portends for the society, defied Emperor Claudius and continued to solemnize marriages for young lovers in secret.
When Valentine’s actions were discovered by the authorities, Emperor Claudius ordered that he be put to death for promoting amorous relationship among the soldiers. Along the line, the story alluded that Saint Valentine himself fell in love with a young girl, who was his jailor’s daughter. The lady visited him during his confinement and travails. Before his death, however, the Saint wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression of love that is still in vogue today.
Though love is a natural disposition, Valentine’s Day as being celebrated today is antithetical to teachings of Islam. It is a celebration which promotes immorality. Unfortunately, some Muslims who are involved in the practice are ignorant, and imitators of non-Muslims.
As Muslims and rational human beings, the two stories have no ideological and theological foundations in our religion, when viewed from the prisms of Qur’an and Sunnah. They could at best be described are relics of Jahiliyyah. Jahiliyyah is from the Arabic root Jahl meaning ignorance.
Another root of the term Jahiliyyah according to Arabic lexicon is the verb Yajhalu meaning “to be ignorant or stupid, to act stupidly on issues. Technically, the word Jahiliyyah refers to the state of ignorance that pervades the world before the commissioning of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as Rasulullah with revelation. Allah cautioned humanity on Jahiliyyah in several places in the Qur’an.
Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance; and who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith. (Q5:50) O you who believe! Enter Islam perfectly, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily, he is to you a plain enemy. (Q2:208)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while delivering his Khutbah, always caution Muslims on misguided practices thus:“Indeed the best speech is the speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). And the worst of matters are those innovated by the people, and every innovated matter is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is astray, and every going astray is in the fire (Sahih Muslim).
Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) commanded:
“Whoever introduces into our matter (religion) that which is not a part of it, will have it (his innovation) rejected.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
Some Important Manifestations of Valentine’s Day
Brothers in Islam, the following represent most important manifestations of Valentine’s Day:
Display of joy and happiness as they do in other important festivals. Wearing red dresses and exchange of Red Roses, as an expression of love- love as a divine god for the pagans and love as a passion for the Christians, a reason why it called Valentine’s Day.
Distribution of greeting cards carrying the image of the Cupid- a child having two wings and holding a bow and an arrow. It is the god of love for the pagan Roman nation. Exalted is Allah above their falsehood and polytheism.
Exchange of flowery words of love and passion through the mutually exchanged greeting cards by the composition of poetry, prose or short- sentenced messages. Some other greeting cards have pictures of smiling images and humorous words. It is a common practice to have a phrase like “be my valentine”. This became a Christian concept after its transformation from the pagan concept.
Islamic scholars on Valentine’s Day
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in his verdict opined that joining fully in the festival of non-Muslims is tantamount to joining kufr, and participating in some minor issues designed by non-Muslims is joining some branches of kufr. Partially joining, at the very least, is disobedience and sin (Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 1/207).
He concluded that Muslims should not do any of the rituals of non-Muslims at the time of their festivals; rather the day of their celebrations should be like any other day for the Muslims. The Muslims should not do anything specific in imitation of non-Muslims (Majmoo al-Fataawa, 25/329).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was informed that in recent time the celebration of Valentine’s Day has become widespread, especially among female students. Its celebration entails dressing completely in red, including clothes and shoes, and exchange red flowers by lovers.
He replied: Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permissible for a number of reasons, viz: a) It is an innovated festival for which there is no basis in Islam; b) It promotes love and infatuation; and c) It calls for hearts to be preoccupied with foolish matters that are contrary to the way of the righteous salaf (may Allaah be pleased with them).
The Ahlus Sunnah abhors the celebration of Valentine’s Day or any other questionable celebrations. They described the act of exchanging gifts of red roses and wearing red clothes and congratulating one another as an innovation and relics of Jahiliyyah and Kufr. The verdict does not excuse bakeries making red coloured bread, cakes and sweet cheeses and drawing hearts on them as signs of love, and some supermarkets, eateries and stores that advertise products that are specially made for Valentine?
The Muslim Congress, therefore, counsels all Muslim youth and adults that clear evidence from the Qur’an, Sunnah and the consensus of clerics of the Ummah indicate that there are only two festivals in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Any other festivals no matter how sophisticated and well –packaged do not have a place in Islam.
A dull no matter how beautiful is still a false child. We urge all our brethren to be guided the saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Hadith).
In conclusion, Valentine celebration comes under the heading of blind followership, because it is an idolatrous festival that is not permissible for Muslims who believes in Allah and the Last Day. It should not be observed, respected and commended, but must be ignored and avoided in obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
It is also haram for the Muslim to provide enabling environment for its celebration by supplying food, drink, gifts, or buying or selling or special valentine production, greetings and advertising because all these acts are tantamount to cooperating in committing sin, transgression and disobedience to Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Allah says “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression0. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment” [Q5:2].
Long Live the Muslim Ummah, Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!