St. Valentine’s Day
by Javeria Aqeel
The effects of globalization are having a great impact on our society, culture and moral values. Slowly and gradually social activities which were in the past looked down upon are now being accepted as a norm – a part and parcel of this age of modernization.
St. Valentine’s Day is one such festival, which in the recent years has seen a sudden boom in our society and is now ‘religiously’ celebrated by the young and old both. The media has played a major role in encouraging this festival and this day has become a flourishing business for selling Valentines Day cards, flowers, chocolates, gift items etc. Our society is blindly following and accepting the global culture which is undermining the roots of our religion, faith and moral values
People have no qualms in celebrating this festival as it is presented as day of ‘Love”. There appears to be a mind set that even though it’s a Christian festival, there is no harm in celebrating it, because our intention is not to follow Christians, but just to spread love and show our feelings to our loved ones. This mind set has seen the dropping of the ” St.” from St. Valentine’s Day, so as to forget it’s a Christian festival as well!
This justification does not hold water because you are answerable for what you do and your intention will not save you from the punishment of Allah.
So let us analyze this festival, see its origins evolution and its effects on our society and decide for our selves what should be our stand on this day being Muslims and why.
The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day:
The Christian history attributes many different origins of this day, attributed to different saints by the name of Valentine. So its Christian origins are clouded by many mysteries. They are not really Christian festivals at all, since it is know from history that the in the ancient pagan culture of Rome and Greece, the month of February was always considered as a month of romance, fertility and spring, and history proves that St. Valentines day originated from two most sexually perverted and obscene Roman festivals of fertility called Lupercalia and Feast of Juno Februata both celebrated on the 15 th of February..
This festival celebrated on 15th of February was held to celebrate fertility in the honor of roman god Lupercus also called Faunus, an embodiment of fertility, sexuality and lust. He had the head and torso of a man, but the hindquarters and horns of a goat
The ceremony began with the sacrifice of goats and a dog. The youths were anointed with their blood. They were made to wear goat skins (to impersonate Lupercus) and small pieces of goat skin were cut into long strips called Februa. The youths then ran around, striking at any woman that came near them with this Februa. This was considered to bestow fertility to the woman.
Feast of Juno Februata:
The feast of goddess Juno Februa was celebrated after the ceremony of Lupercalia. Juno Februa was the roman goddess of love, marriage and women. For this feast, women wrote their names on slips of papers and men would take the slips out. The woman whose name was on the slip would become his partner for the day’s sexual festivities.
Christianizing Lupercalia and Juno Februata
Christianity was greatly influenced by the Roman pagan philosophy during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine I (288 – 337 AD) who accepted Christianity but Pagan festivals continued under his empire and pagan philosophy also integrated into Christianity.
It was in AD 494, that Pope Gelasius I decided to suppress the perverted pagan festivals. He replaced Lupercalia with the Feast of The Purification of Virgin Mary, celebrated till now on 15th of February by the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches.
It is also said that he replaced the Feast of Juno Februata by St. Valentine’s Day and moved it to 14th February. Instead of lottery of girls, the lottery was replaced by names of Christian saints, whom the youths had to copy that day. Different stories and legends were made, attributed to many different people by the name of Valentine, to give credibility to Saint Valentines Day. The creation of a festival for such obscure figures further proves it was merely an attempt to white wash the pagan celebrations with a label of Christianity since they were not able to get rid them from their culture.
St. Valentine or not, today this day has come back to its original perverted roots. Cupid, a widely used symbol of love is originally a young naked Roman god of erotic love, which comes from Latin word Cupere – meaning to desire.
Roman gods and goddesses actually come from Greek Philosophy and the Greek equivalent of Cupid is Eros – the primordial god of love, sex and lust.
The negative social impact of St. Valentine’s Day
In the west, this day of love becomes a day of distress for many people who are lonely and single. Suicidal thoughts and attempts are on the rise this day. Valentine days blues and depression is now such a common factor that many Anti Valentines day websites have cropped up on the internet. A recent google search for anti Valentines Day returned 1,830,000 results. Many e greeting companies have an Anti Valentines Day category. Humorous and cynical valentines day cards are also exchanged with phrases like:
“At least my cat loves me”
“Happy unimaginative, consumerist oriented entire arbitrary manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day”
“Amount I love you = Amount I spend on you”
“I’m so lonely”
A Money Making Business
This day is considered by the consumers to be a money making business conceived by card, flower, gift and chocolate companies to make more money by creating a fake festival i.e. creating a need to make people buy their products – a creative marketing strategy!
Valentines Day spending Statistics
2006 statistics predicted that a consumer will spend on average $ 100.89 on this day and the total Valentine’s Day spending will reach $13.70 billion!
Valentine’s Day is the number one floral market holiday, capturing 35 percent of holiday transactions. Approximately 180 million cards are exchanged industry-wide, making Valentine’s Day the second largest holiday for giving greeting cards, according to Hallmark More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day Revealed:
· Not a Christian Festival
· Not associated with Saint. Valentine
· Originally from two most sexually perverted pagan Roman festivals: Lupercalia and Feast of Juno Februata
· Celebration of fertility, lust, desire, sex and erotica.
· Nothing to do with displaying platonic love!
· Treatment of women as objects of lust, desire and fertility.
· In honor of Roman gods and goddesses
Whose Sunnah are you following?
Sunnah means a trodden path. If you are celebrating St. Valentine’s Day, you are actually following the Sunnah of the Roman pagans and the Sunnah of the Christians since it is considered to be a Christian festival.Every time we offer our salat, we recite Surah Al Fatiha.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful
Owner of the Day of Judgment,
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee alone we ask for help.
Show us the straight path,
The path of those whom Thou hast favored
Not (the path) of those who earned Thine anger nor of those who go astray.”
· Allah clearly tells us NOT to follow the path of people who earned his anger
· Allah also tells us NOT to follow the path of those who went astray.
· Don’t you think Roman idol worshippers are those who earned the anger of Allah? Don’t you think the Christians are those who went astray?
Sign of the Last Day: Muslims following Persians, Romans, Jews and Christians
Narrated By Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri : The Prophet said, “You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit ( i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure(a kind of lizard), you would follow them.” We said, “O Allah’s Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians ?” He said, “Whom else?” (Bukhari: Vol 009, Book 092, Hadith 422.)
Narrated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “The Hour will not be established till my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit ( i.e., inch by inch).” It was said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you mean by those (nations) the Persians and the Romans?” The Prophet said, “Who can it be other than they?”
So whether St. Valentines day is Roman in origin or Christian in origin, Muslims are doomed if they celebrate it.
True Love: Love Allah
Allah (swt) is our Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher. Everything comes from him. He alone deserves our love, Allah says in the Quran:
Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see behold they would see the penalty that to Allah belongs all power and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty .
Love Rasool Allah
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“Love Allah because he nourishes and sustains you. Love me because Allah loves me” (Tirmidhi)
Allah says in the Quran:
Say: ‘If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. Quran 3:31
Surely those who believe and do righteous deeds, to them will God Most Gracious bestow His Love. Quran 19:96
It is very clear that if we follow the traditions (sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Allah (swt) will love us. Allah’s Messenger (swt) invited people to have faith in Allah and work deeds of righteousness, which he himself practiced with much devotion
Seek Allah’s Love
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Bukhari Vol 4: Book 54 Hadith 431)
Spread True Love Everyday and Everywhere
· Invite others to the truth of Islam- invite people to the true love of Allah
· Spread true love by serving humanity
· Give zakat and charity and bring a smile to the poor, needy and sick
· Treat everyone with respect, kindness and love and give gifts
· Do these 365 days a year!
· Celebrate Eid, a true day of Love
Love requires Sacrifice
True Love seeks sacrifice and I’ve given it all
This, this is the true love in its purest form
I turn my face towards You now
The Lord of my world and the heavens above
I am yours and yours alone
My prayer, my sacrifices are only for You
My life and death are Yours to take
A promise I make
To lay my life for You
An oath that I worship
No-one but You
(Poem based on the dua of Prophet Muhammad saw)
(Poem based on the dua of Prophet Muhammad saw)
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