By: Jennifer Fayed

The month of February is approaching and so is the holiday of Valentine’s Day. It is to my understanding that this holiday is not allowed in Islam and is haraam to celebrate it. I dedicate this article to my sisters and brothers in Islam that are astray or don’t know that celebrating this holiday is not allowed in the religion. May Allah bring guidance and light to those who are blinded. Have some of us deviated so far from Allah’s (swt) religion that some Muslims have made this pagan holiday part of their life in joining with the kufar and celebrating this day?… The prophet may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them” (narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4021). Why do some of our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam think it’s acceptable to celebrate a manmade holiday? Allah (swt) says (interpretation of the meaning):“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]. This clearly states that it is forbidden to add and produce things that are not from Allah (swt) and the prophet Mohammed (pbuh). Some of us may not know what the true significance behind Valentine’s Day really means and its true roots.The story of Valentine’s Day comes from one of the festivals that the Romans celebrated about 17 centuries ago, during this time the Romans believed in many gods and this festivity of Valentine’s Day was seen as the welcoming of spring and viewed as a time of purification. Romans would usually clean their homes sweep out the dust and then sprinkle salt and spelt (kind of wheat) inside their homes and living spaces. “Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. The boys then sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would 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 then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.”

Once the Romans embraced Christianity this yearly tradition was strongly rooted in their culture; therefore, they changed its holy meaning of a “love god” to the “martyrs of love” so it would reflect their Christian beliefs and not their past pagan rituals. This was distinguished by Saint Valentine who spread the belief of love and peace; this Saint Valentine was killed for his beliefs. He was called a martyr by the Roman Church. This is how the belief of Saint Valentine was declared by the Romans as the saint for lovers.
This is just a summary of the many meanings of Valentine’s Day. I hope that inshallah we have learned the meaning of this pagan holiday and guard ourselves from its temptations. I mean don’t get me wrong receiving chocolate truffles, jewelry, and roses are lovely but lets do it when we feel it in our hearts and not because it’s the day of love. We should show our family, friends, husbands and wives that we love them everyday and a gift is just one of the various ways that we demonstrate that we care and love them within Islam. May Allah (swt) keep us away from the forbidden and enlighten us with His guidance and increase our knowledge so we can be among the righteous ones on the last day. Amin.More Information on Valentine’s Day: