The 14th of February is just a few hours away from us and as we all know, this day has been singled out as “a day of love,” also known as Valentine’s Day. As the world prepares to be painted red in the name of love we should know, as muslims, where we stand. Historically, valentine’s day was one of the pagan Roman festivals which was celebrated in mid-February every year. This tradition was carried on from its roots and mushroomed — cutting across different races, beliefs, and cultures.
As a result, Valentine’s Day has been adopted by many and knowingly or unknowingly, we have found ourselves celebrating this day. On a lighter note, and I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, celebrating Valentine’s for a muslim is like following the ways and traditions of others (in this case, it’s the Romans and Christians). The prophet (SAW) said, ”whoever resembles people in their actions and practices is just like them” (Abu Dawud 4021).
Brothers and sisters, not celebrating Valentine’s Day does not lock us out of the love circle. Islam always encourages us to love one another and not wait for specific occasions or events. So the 1st of February should be a day like any other day to show love to everyone, from family, to friends, to spouses. It was narrated by Muslim that the Prophet (SAW) said, “If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.”
There are many forms of expressing love in a way that is religiously accepted, and the best way is the Prophet’s way. From the hadith, we all know that the Prophet was the perfect lover to his wives and he didn’t have to buy expensive gifts to show his love. This is very much unlike what we see nowadays where we are living in a superficial society. Everyone wants to do their best to please their partners on this day — it’s like building a castle in one day. For the youth, this has somehow given them the wrong idea about love in that many use this day to explore their fantasies only to end up regretting their actions.
It is not a sin to feel a special inclination towards a person since it is a natural thing, but how we respond to those feelings is crucial. There are different kinds of love: the love we feel for our parents, siblings, and friends is different from the one we feel for our spouses.
Valentine’s is a celebration of love as a whole, but people tend to focus more on romance and this has really gotten into our heads. I am not blaming anyone for this...thanks to the society that we live in. If you look around you, the message that is going round in social media, and broadcast and print media is about the upcoming ‘red day’ and many of us find ourselves feeling that sense of belonging.
It’s not like there are no flowers in the shops everyday, or that the joints are closed. Why wait for this very day for you to buy your wife a flower or take her out for dinner or picnic? Just as Islam is a way of life and love is an important component of Islam, then love should be incorporated into our daily lives in some way or another. It was narrated by Ibn Majah that the Prophet (SAW) said, “We do not think that there is anything better for those who love one another than marriage.” It was also narrated by Al-Tirmidhi that the Prophet (SAW) said, “You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love of two people.”(Al-Tirmidhi 921)
Love begins like a tiny spec: a seed that is planted deep in the folds of a receptive heart, carrying the potential of a stunning beauty that is stabilized through deep roots. Brothers and sisters, if you truly love your parent, siblings, friends, and most of all your spouse, you will not wait for this particular day to show them love. Every day of your life is an opportunity to show love just like the Prophet (sAW) taught us through his actions and hadith.
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