In recent times the celebration of Valentine’s Day has become widespread, especially among female students. This is one of the Christian holidays. They wear all red clothes, including their shoes, and they exchange red flowers… We hope that you can tell us the ruling on celebrating such holidays. What do you advise the Muslims to do with regard to such things? May Allah keep you and take care of you.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permitted for several reasons:
1 – It is an innovated celebration which has no basis in sharee’ah.
2 – It calls for people to keep their hearts and minds busy with these foolish things that go against the guidance of the pious predecessors may Allah be pleased with them, so it is not permitted on this day to do any of the customs associated with that holiday, whether that be connected to food, drink, clothing, exchanging gifts or anything else. The Muslim should be proud of his religion and not be so weak of character that he follows everyone who makes a noise. I ask Allah to protect the Muslims from all temptations, visible and invisible, and to take care of us and give us strength. And Allah knows best.
The Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Jibreen concerning celebrating this day
He was asked: the celebration of the so-called Feast of Love (Valentine’s Day) has become widespread among our boys and girls. This (Valentine) is the name of a saint who is venerated by the Christians, and this day is celebrated every year on February 14. They exchange gifts and red roses, and they wear red clothes. What is the ruling on celebrating this day, or exchanging gifts on this day? May Allah reward you with good.
Firstly, it is not permissible to celebrate such innovated festivals, because this is a newly-invented innovation (bid’ah) which has no basis in sharee’ah. So it is included in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah may Allah be pleased with her, who said that the Prophet said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) which is not part of it, will have it rejected” – i.e., it will be thrown back upon the one who innovated it.
Secondly, this involves imitating and resembling the disbelievers in venerating that which they venerate and respecting their festivals and holidays, and imitating them in some of their religious practices. In the hadeeth it says, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Thirdly, the things that result from that, such as partying, idle play, singing, music, insolence, impertinence, unveiling, wanton display, mixing of men and women, and the appearance of women before non-mahrams, etc., are all things which are prohibited, or are means which lead to immorality. So it should not be justified as an excuse for relaxation and entertainment, or claims that they will not overstep the mark, because that is not right. The one who cares about himself should keep away from sin and all that leads to it.
On this basis, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses, if one knows that the purchaser will celebrate these holidays, give them as gifts or otherwise use them to honour these days, so that the vendor will not be sharing in the guilt of the one who does this innovated action. And Allah knows best.
The Fatwa of the Standing Committee
The Standing Committee was also asked a question about this holiday:
Some people celebrate the fourteenth day of February of each Christian year as the Day of Love (Valentine’s Day), where they exchange gifts of red roses and wear red clothes, and congratulate one another. Some the bakeries make sweets that are red in colour, with hearts drawn on them, and some stores have advertisements for their products that are especially for this day. What is your opinion?
The Committee replied:
It is prohibited for the Muslim to help with this festival or any other prohibited celebration in any way, be it food, drink, buying, selling, manufacturing, corresponding, advertising or in any other way, because all of that constitutes helping one another in sin, transgression and disobedience towards Allah and His Messenger, and Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
But when you conic out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram leads you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. [Quran 5:2]
So the Muslim must adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah in all his affairs, especially at times of fitan (temptation and tribulation) and when corruption is widespread. He should be smart and be careful to avoid falling into the misguidance of those who have earned the anger of Allah and of those who went astray, and of the evildoers who hope not for reward from Allah and do not show any respect towards Islam. The Muslim should seek refuge with Allah and ask for His guidance and for help to adhere steadfastly to it, because none can guide except Allah and none can make us remain steadfast except Him. And Allah is the Source of strength. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.
Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyah wa’l-Iftaa’
Finally, we offer our brothers the following advice:
1 – They should urge the callers to Islam to tell the people and warn them. They should explain this matter to the Imaam of the mosque and tell him when this day is approaching. They should give him a copy of the fataawa mentioned above and others that address the issue, if they have them. Every person should make the effort to contact the Imaam of his mosque and tell him about this. Certainly there are Imaams of mosques among the brothers so perhaps the responsibility of telling them about this will be discharged when they read this article.
2 – Every teacher should explain the reality of this holiday and warn his or her students about it. They will be answerable before Allah tomorrow. They should explain that it is prohibited by quoting the Fatwaa of the Standing Committee. All that should begin a week beforehand in order to be of any benefit.
3 – Each person should make his family members aware of this. Whoever has sisters in school or brothers should tell them and warn them about this matter, because many people are unaware of this holiday and what it means.