You know it’s Valentine’s Day when you walk past a shop and all you see is a sea of red… Red hearts and bows, teddy bears and chocolates, musical cards, cupids and cherubs- It’s all over the place. I passed a car dealership and the entire car had little white hearts on a red background. Marketers have been working at this to sell their merchandise. I must say, they know their jobs because it catches the eye quickly. You don’t need the teddy bear hugging silk red rose, but you’ll buy it anyway because it looks so cute, right?
Most people don’t care to know where a certain festival originates but we as Muslims, should. Although many people link Valentine’s Day with Saint Valentine marrying young couples in secret against the wishes of the Roman Emperor, truth be told Valentine’s Day is actually more connected to the celebrations of Roman and Grecian rites for fertility. In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.
In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome connected to fertility. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier “or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia.
So wherever the true origins of Valentine’s Day sprang from, we know that it’s origin is not Islamic. We also know that the Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam)… It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Libaas, 3512. Al-Albaani said in Saheeh Abi Dawood, (it is) hasan saheeh. No. 3401).
If the Lindt easter bunny looks good, will you buy it? “I’m buying it for the chocolate”. So why not buy another product? Why the easter bunny? Will we then buy christmas trees, crackers and baubles because it looks good? Will we start wearing crucifixes in earrings and chains because of the beautiful diamonds it bears? Where do we draw the line? Liberal Muslims will argue that Christmas and crucifixes are a bit much for any Muslim, but if we keep partaking in celebrations with pagan origin what stops us from celebrating Christmas? I mean it’s the shopping, who cares about, what it’s really about? That is the trick of Iblees. To keep you from getting closer to Allah and to bring you closer to shirk. May Allah guide us all, the youngsters who think it’s romantic an the older people who market this in their shops, let us stay away from what is not sanctioned by Shari’ah.