Some Muslims, out of ignorance, have fallen into the evil of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Shopkeepers have jumped into preparing gifts for this day in the hope of earning some extra bucks. It’s sad that a pagan festival that promotes immorality is being observed by Muslims undermining their faith and Islamic values.

The Permanent Committee for Islamic research and verdicts of Saudi Arabia declared it impermissible for Muslims to celebrate non-Muslim occasions like the Valentine’s day, which is also known as the ‘festival of love.’

“(This) is one of the festivals of the pagan Romans, when paganism was the prevalent religion of Romans, more than 17 centuries ago,” said Dr. Su’ad Ibrahim Saleh, professor of Fiqh at Al-Azhar University, Cairo in one of his articles.

Several customs connected with the Valentine’s Day originate from the beliefs held in England and France during the middle ages. One such example is that birds begin to pair on February 14. According to research, the Romans introduced this pagan festival into the Christian world. In Saudi Arabia, however, it’s not permitted to celebrate this festival and the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice strictly banned the sale of any red roses, hearts or even wrapping paper on this day.

In Islam, expressing love is fine as long as it doesn’t fall into what is Haraam. Among the greatest of all types of love is the love for Allah and His Messenger, and the love for Islam. Loving our parents, family and relatives is very much encouraged. Love of courtship is allowed only between married spouses. Islam highly recommends that spouses show affection and mercy towards each other. Islamic requirements are only in the best interest of the society, to protect morality and nourish familial values. Immorality and Haraam relationships lead to disintegration of families and ultimately to the degradation and destruction of a society. Islam is the best model to follow. All praise and thanks be to Allah for giving us this blessing. We, who have the divine guidance, are not in need of imitating the West.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us that Muslims would eventually fall into this error. Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span by span, cubit by cubit, until even if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else? !” (Al-Bukhari, 8/151, and Muslim, 4/ 2054)

This Hadith should serve as a stark reminder for all of us. We, instead of influencing others to enter the fold of Islam, are following them at the expense of our religion. May Allah protect all Muslims and guide them to the straight path. Aameen.