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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentines Day : How Halaal is it ?

by Asma bint Shameem

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

"May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You" its that time of the year again. When they say that "love" is in the air. The time when you see RED hearts, red candy, red flowers and red roses.

And when you walk into the stores you see chocolates, and jewelry and gifts for "that someone special you know".

This is the time when the old and the young, and even kids, as young as those in elementary school, exchange valentine cards and love notes amongst themselves.

And why is all this?

Because it's "Valentine's Day"...thats why. 

But the sad calamity is, that even us Muslims are doing this. And its not just in the West. Those living in Muslim countries are just as involved. They too, are exchanging cards and gifts and love notes.

They too, are celebrating Valentines Day,

But what is this "Valentine's Day" after all ?

Have we ever thought about it? What is the story behind it?

What does celebrating "Valentines Day" really mean?


Valentine’s Day is a jaahili Roman festival, which continued to be celebrated until after the Romans became Christian. This festival became connected with the saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on 14 February 270 CE. The kuffaar still celebrate this festival, during which immorality and evil are practised widely. For more details on this celebration, 


It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate any of the festivals of the kuffaar, because festivals come under the heading of shar’i issues which are to be based on the sound texts. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Festivals are part of sharee’ah, clear way and rituals of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way”

[al-Maa’idah 5:48] 

“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow”

[al-Hajj 22:67]        (Excerpts from Islam QA)

Where does this fit in a Muslims life?

In fact, does it even fit in it at all?

Looking at the Quraan and Sunnah, one should realize that we should not be celebrating it in the first place, because it is a celebration of the non-Muslims. Whatever we need to celebrate has been prescribed to us by Allaah and His Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) and it is prohibited to celebrate anything else. 

That is why And Allaah said:
"For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow." 
[Surah al-Hajj:67] 

And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said: "Every nation has its own Eid (celebration) and this is our Eid (meaning Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha). ’ (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)  

But, even if this Divine command was not there, it still would not be appropriate for a Muslim to celebrate Valentines Day.

Why is that ?

Because, if you really think about it, what this day promotes and revolves around, goes against the very basic principles of Islaam. What this day encourages, cuts at the very roots of what our religion teaches us.

Let us see what some of these differences are: 

1. Allaah commands us to lower our gaze and not look at the opposite gender.

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts....And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts...” Surah al-Noor :30-31)

But Valentines Day encourages people to deliberately look and stare and seek out the one that you find attractive and pick him/her as your valentine.

2.  Allaah orders the Muslim women not to talk unnecessarily or in a soft manner to strange men.

“....then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire” (Surah al-Ahzaab :32)  

Even for the Sahaabah, Allaah ordered them to screen themselves from the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) when they need to ask them something.  Who could be purer than the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) and who could be higher in taqwa than the Sahaabah?

"And when you ask (the Prophets wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts".
(Surah al-Ahzaab: 53)

Yet, for Valentines Day, you see young men and women who are absolutely not mahram for one another in any way whatsoever, going way beyond this prohibition. Not only are they talking to each other in a soft and flirtatious way, but they are right out expressing their love (in reality, lust) for each other.

3. The Sunnah prohibits a man and a woman from being alone together at any time.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram present, for the third one present will be the Shaytaan.” (Ahmad -- saheeh by al-Albaani)  

But those who celebrate Valentines Day purposely seek to be alone with each other and go out on dates with each other while Allaah says:

“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him)” (al-Isra’ :32)

4. Islaam prohibits a man to even touch a non-mahram woman.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:
“If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, that would be better for him than his touching a woman who is not permissible for him.” (al-Tabaraani --saheeh by al-Albaani)  

But Valentines Day promotes more than just touching. It promotes hugging, kissing, cuddling and much more. May Allaah protect us.  

5. Islaam teaches us that real love between a man and a woman, that is acceptable and allowed by Allaah is only that between a husband and his wife.

"And of His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you might reside with them, and has put love and mercy between you. Surely, there are signs in this for those who think". 
(al-Room: 21)

But Valentines Day endorses haraam relationships between a non-mahram man and woman and encourages illicit love and un-Islaamic affiliations.

6. Islaam tells us that Hayaa (modesty) and bashfulness are a jewel to be treasured.

It is a purity and innocence that is a virtue, regardless for a man or a woman. 

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:
“Hayaa (modesty) is a branch of faith.” (Bukhaari)

On the other hand, this Valentines day advocates nothing but shamelessness and immodesty. Young men and women who have no hayaa for Allaah, leave alone for each other, openly and shamelessly, ask each other to be their love or be their valentine. Subhaan Allaah!


We, as Muslims, should not be celebrating Valentines day, nor is it allowed for us to do so. Everything that this day revolves around and is associated with is totally against the pure and pristine teachings of Allaah and His Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam).

One shouldnt even congratulate one another or commemorate this day in any way or form. Even if this celebration is between a husband and wife, it is not right to do so because it is a celebration of the non-Muslims. And of course, if it is an illicit relationship, then obviously it is haraam.  

We should adhere to the limits set by Allaah, and not transgress them just because we see other people doing so.

May Allah guide us and enable us to be true Muslims who submit earnestly and sincerely to Allaah and His Orders. 


"O you who believe! Fear Allaah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is All-Aware of what you do." 
(Surah al-Hashr:18)

Jizak Allah Khair sister Asma bint Shameem

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a westerner and my husband is a Muslim.

We honor and respect each other and see the validity in celebrating traditions which are important to each other. Although I am the first to admit that my knowledge of Islam is limited, from my daily life and that of my husband, my observation is that there is nothing to be lost by celebrating the core religious/spiritual teachings of other cultures - and love and respect are at the heart of all religions. In my experience I have only gained from including the spiritual ways of other religious paths.

Valentine's Day is a day to show respect, appreciation, and love for your partner or spouse. The only argument which is valid is that couples should try embody the celebration of Valentine's Day by showing love and appreciation to each other every day of the year.