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Sunday, February 15, 2009

ISLAAM AND VALENTINES

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Involving in cultural practices of the community we live and imitating the trends, be them old or new, has been an old practice of humans since the beginning of our existence. We seldom pay much attention to moral standard of that practice or the the origin and even benefit of those practices, or culture (what ever you're more comfortable with).

However, since the advent of Islam, since before our beloved prophet Muhammad(sas), Allah(swt) has sent down guide lines, advises and regulations for us, so as to keep us on the strait path, the path of the "Mustaqeem".
Thus with the coming of our prophet Muhammad(sas), Allah(swt),has given us guidance that will last us until the end of time.

One very important practice that we find prevalent in our society, is VALENTINES DAY. A supposed day of love, a A day out of all the days of the year chosen specifically to show someone special how much u love them.
Yes love is good, it is encouraged in Islam, it fosters peace and unity, the Core of Islamic teachings, Once it is done properly, in a permissible and sin free manner.

However, Us as Muslims, why do choose this day? this day that does not come from Islam, this day that so much sin is being committed and supported? Do we even know the Origin of this day? the significant of this day? Let me answer, i guess you don't!!.

we involve in this practice that is alien to our teachings and goes against everything that The Rasool(sas) has taught us.We try to be normal, that's our first excuse, but the prophet(sas) made it clear about following a people in a hadith :-
"Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them."

however before i delve into this matter let us look at the origin of this celebration.

Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, Valentine’s Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BC to honor Lupercus, the ‘god of fertility and flocks’. Its main attraction was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for ‘entertainment and pleasure’ - until the next year’s lottery.

Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with the blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the ‘sacred’ thongs by these ‘holy men’ was believed to make the women better able to bear children.


However the name "valentine" was given to this day after the Romans accepted Christianity. This name was chosen because
Saint Valentine is a name which is given to two of the ancient "martyrs" of the Christian Church. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius, c. 296 AD. In 350 AD, a church was built in Rome on the site of the place where he died, to perpetuate his memory.

When the Romans embraced Christianity, they continued to celebrate the Feast of Love mentioned above, but they changed it from the pagan concept of "spiritual love" to another concept known as the "martyrs of love", represented by Saint Valentine who had advocated love and peace, for which cause he was martyred, according to their claims. It was also called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.

One of their false beliefs connected with this festival was that the names of girls who had reached marriageable age would be written on small rolls of paper and placed in a dish on a table. Then the young men who wanted to get married would be called, and each of them would pick a piece of paper. He would put himself at the service of the girl whose name he had drawn for one year, so that they could find out about one another. Then they would get married, or they would repeat the same process again on the day of the festival in the following year.

The Christian clergy reacted against this tradition, which they considered to have a corrupting influence on the morals of young men and women. It was abolished in Italy, where it had been well-known, then it was revived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when in some western countries there appeared shops which sold small books called “Valentine’s books”, which contained love poems, from which the one who wanted to send a greeting to his sweetheart could choose. They also contained suggestions for writing love letters.


This practice not only have barbaric origins, modify in an attempt to make it acceptable. However as time passed even Christianity accepted it. But Islam doesn't make compromises in matters of faith.

However coming back to the point that this is not a practice of Muslims and the prophet (sas) said in another hadith "He is not one of us who imitates other than us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians."

I wouldn't go on to stress the implications as a result of that hadith on those who follow alien practices to Islam, Not only valentines day but any other practices that go against Islamic rules, the prophet(sas) was reported to have said in another hadith
"When I came to you, you had two days which you used to celebrate in Jahiliyyah. Allah(swt) has replaced them for you with better days, the days of slaughter (Adhaa) and the day of fitr.

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam and readers in general, This day has open doors to so much of sin involving the relationship between the opposite gender according to Islamic laws, Because most of the people that involve intimately with valentines day are young and unmarried people. In our effort to show how much we love and care for That special someone, especially on Valentines day, we over step our boundaries by a large margin.
My fellow readers, remember that our purpose of being created is to worship Allah(swt) and him alone, and we do that by enjoining what is right and forbid what is wrong by His decree.
For it is Jannah, and not the rewards and temptations of this world, which motivate us, or which should motivate us if we strive to obey only Allah(swt),and allah(swt) said:-

“Allah is the Wali of those who believe: from darkness, He leads them into the light, while those do not believe have, as their Wali, their Taghut so that they are led from light into darkness. For them, there is the Fire, where they shall dwell forever.” chapter : 2(baqarah) - verse : 257

thus we should try to protect our Imaan(faith) for Allah(sas)said in the quran:-

"And verily, this is my straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may have Taqwa" chapter:6( An A'am) - Verse : 153

May Allah(swt) protect us from all forms of Al-asabiyyah Al-Jahiliyyah, forgive us for our mistakes, and guide us to and keep us on the Right Path.

AMEEN



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