Is Valentine’s Day Haram or Halal


Valentine's day love card
Photo Courtesy: Kathleen Leavitt Cragun

Valentine’s day is known as the day of love. Filled with flowers and chocolates between couples.

It’s popularity has definitely sparked debated among Muslims and obviously prompted the main question which is, Is Valentine’s day haram?

4 Reasons Why Valentine’s Day is Haram

The 4 main reasons as to why Valentine’s day is considered haram are:

1. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is Emulating Non-Muslim Celebrations
2. The Origin Story of Valentine’s Day Promotes Haram Practices
3. Islam Promotes Expressing Love Between Spouses All The Time, Not Only On A Single Day
4. If Everyone Is Doing It, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Right

1. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is Emulating Non-Muslim Celebrations

Depending on the act, it is considered haram by some Muslims to Celebrate occasions that are non-Islamic such as Christmas or new years because they do not comply with the beliefs of Muslims.

They back this up by referencing the following hadith

Whoever looks like a group in their activities and practices is very much like them.

(Abu Dawud 4021, Ahmed 2/50)

Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid responded to the question of “what is the ruling on Valentine’s day?”

Here’s what he said:

Firstly”

..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.

Secondly:

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] 

Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid – Islam QA (Source)

Find out if it is haram to celebrate New Years in Islam & whether celebrating Christmas is haram or not.

2. The Origin Story of Valentine’s Day Promotes Haram Practices

Valentine’s day is premised on the story of “Saint Valentine”. Saint Valentine was excuted on February 14th 270 CE.

In ancient Rome, Lupercalia was celebrated on February 15 every year. It was a wild Pagan celebration of sex, violence, and fertility (source)

The celebration of Valentine’s day was started on 4th Century BC to honor their god Lupercus. The main event on Valentine’s day was to hold a lottery that distributed young women to young men for “entertainment and pleasure” until the following year’s lottery (source).

This then morphed into Valentine’s day.

Romans continued celebrating this event until after they became Christians (source).

Muslims therefore consider the celebration of Valentine’s day as Haram because the origin of how Valentine came about promoted adultery and promiscuous relationships and by that logic, Muslims ought not to take part of those celebrations as it goes against Islamic teachings.

Furthermore, the typical activities associated with Valentine’s Day are not the most religious activities in the world. Here’s some classic activities that take place during Valentine’s Day:

Here’s a full guide on whether it is haram to kiss, have sex and love before marriage.

3. Islam Promotes Expressing Love Between Spouses All The Time, Not Only On A Single Day

Islam promotes spouses to love one another everyday. There is no scripture in the Quran or Hadith stating that Muslims ought to show signifincant love and emotions on a particular day.

Showing love to your family and friends regularly is highly encouraged in Islam.

Here’s a Hadith that further explains that.

If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.

(Abu Dawood, 5124; al-Tirmidhi, 2329)

By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. May I inform you of something, if you do, you love each other. Promote greeting amongst you (by saying As-salamu ‘alaikum to one another)”

(Narrated by Muslim) (source)

4. If Everyone Is Doing It, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Right

This point here is not necessarily backed by religion or anything, it’s more logical.

Don’t you remember your teacher saying, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Somewhat of a similar situation here.

It’s common sense to analyze and understand why you are celebrating or partaking in an event. In this case, people celebrate it as an expression of love but most people do not understand the origin of the event and how it came to fruition.

Why Do Some Muslims Continue To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Some Muslims continue to celebrate Valentine’s till this day for different reasons.

Some are in the camp that does not understand the origins of the celebration and assume that it has innocent origins.

While others are oblivious to the origins of Valentine’s day but live in western cultures where it Valentine’s day is heavily emphasized on.

Finally, there are those that claim that their intention is not to actually celebrate “Saint Valentine” himself or to continue the Pagan’s celebration of sex, rather, their intention is just to celebrate their significant other.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s important to not judge others for their actions. As a Muslim, it’s probably a good idea to educate your friends and family and guide them as opposed to judging them.

There is strong evidence to classify Valentine’s Day as being haram, but it is not our job as Muslims to Judge others! and only God can judge us on our actions and intentions!

Speaking of love, learn more about whether it is considered haram to not get married.

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