Friday, February 12, 2016

The Essence of Valentine
Some Muslims shun Valentine’s Day because they consider it a day that legitimizes promiscuity and still others consider it a non-Muslim practice that is without much meaning.
Islam does not reject anything and everything because it is practiced by non-Muslims. The criterion in Islam is to focus on the usefulness of everything within the context of its moral boundaries and monotheistic traditions. Islam says that if you find anything in any practice that contradicts the above two principles, you should either make things right or convince people that what they are doing is harmful to them. Islam does not condemn people for what they believe, rather it helps them understand the reasons for giving an alternative perspective. Islam does not believe in saving your soul while letting others live in hell and in agony. Islam believes in the common good of all. If it is critical of an act it is because in its view the act might harm the individual doing it.
The idea behind valentine is not evil or bad. Although the history behind Saint Valentine is somewhat obscure it is generally believed that he was a Bishop in third century Rome who was executed for standing up for his faith. Another popular belief about Saint Valentine is that he was persecuted because he used to marry couples which was considered a crime.
The essence of Valentine’s Day promotes love, compassion and devotion to God.
Can Muslims promote this day as a day of showing compassion and kindness to those who are neglected and down trodden? Can they expressly make it a point to tell their loved ones how much they love them? Can a spouse express that his or her love is eternal and foundational. Can children and parents express their love to each other? Can neighbors and friends exchange compassionate gestures? They can if they want to. So rather than indulging in the useless discussion that valentine day is haram (divinely forbidden) or halal (divinely permitted), why not make valentine a halal event by doing things that do not contradict Islam’s basic values of decency and dignity. After all many pagan Arab traditions were adopted and retained by earlier Muslims by removing elements that contradicted Islam’s fundamental values.
Let this day be celebrated as a day that fosters love among family members and neighbors and people. Let this day be celebrated as a day to express one’s love and gratitude to God almighty. Now some Muslims would say that why follow a non-Muslim practice. Islam calls for love all 365 days. Well, the fact is that by following the practice of a country that Muslims call their own, they would be showing their love and respect to its people but in a manner that does not contradict their values. Muslim, through bringing in their values can give a new meaning to this day.

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