Why Valentine's day is observed?
Valentine's day is just now about to come this week and since we are bringing awareness in our Muslim brothers and sisters about this,lets have a knowledge about from where this culture emerged, Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed?
1) The History of Saint Valentine's Day:
Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues and creating a huge army. Many men did not want to participate in the army. This made Claudius furious. He believed that the reason for this was that roman men did not want to leave their loved ones or their families. As a result, Claudius decided to cancel all marriages and engagements in Rome. Many people thought this was a preposterous and a cruel idea.
At that time, a Saint existed by the name of Valentine who was a priest of Rome in the days of Claudius II. He did not like the Emperor. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples even after Emperor Claudius passed his law.
One night, he heard the footsteps of the soldiers and the couples he was marrying escaped in time. Unfortunately he was caught. He was then thrown in prison and was told that his punishment was sentenced to death. The news spread and many young people came from across the land to visit him in prison. They threw flowers and notes up to the window. One of the young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit Saint Valentine in the cell. Saint Valentine had fallen in love with her and on the day he was to die, he left his little friend a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine.” wedding outfits with lace fabric
Saint Valentine died on February 14, 269 A.D. Since then, every year people from all over the world commemorate this day as “Valentine’s Day”. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honor of a pagan God. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.
On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
It has been believed that the custom of exchanging love notes had started on Valentine’s Day.
2) Valentine Traditions :
Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing from home to home.
In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. Wearing the heart on the sleeve made it is easy for other people to know how they were feeling. In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she kept the gift, it meant that she would marry him.
From the history of Valentine’s Day, we acknowledge that Valentine is not just a name of a holiday. In fact, Valentine was a man whom the Christians believe to be a saint. Moreover, the history of Valentine is based on Shirk. In addition to this, the actions committed by the young boys and girls, were purely the acts of fornication(ZINA).
Islam is a religion of peace, love and unity. In Islam, there is no special day to express gratitude and love. In fact, everyday is a day to express love to one’s wife, children, parents, elders etc.
We should show love to our loved ones everyday of our lives. Our love should not be confined to a particular date such as the 14th of February.
However, due to the fact that the foundation of celebrating Valentine’s Day is based on kufr(disbelief) and shirk(associating partners with Allah), such a celebration is innovated,Haram and prohibited in Islam. And Allah Knows Best.
Is it do we see ourselves ready with adoption of our surrounding culture so easily, without knowing its origin,not utilizing our wisdom which Allah had granted to us, simply blindly following people on their path wherever they go?. Alhamdulillah, Islam has shown us the moderate path which if we follow can simplify our lives. Now it is upon us to decide whether we keep our wisdom and eyes blind-folded or to utilize our minds! A thing is very simple and clear as water here before we act upon on anything or any culture or ritual we adopt, ASK yourself what and why you are doing it ??? Being a Muslim, this question really matters to us!!!
Please SHARE with your friends, brothers and sisters.
Jazak Allahu Khairan.