Ruling on celebrating Valentine's Day
Fatwa No: 81747

  • Fatwa Date:11-2-2001 - Thul-Qi'dah 18, 1421
  • Rating:

Question

In recent days, many Muslims celebrate the Valentine day especially the girls. What is the rule of Sharia about this practice?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

To love is a natural instinct and Islam is the religion of love and brotherhood. It encourages good relations among the members of society. Allaah will provide shelter under His Shade for those who love one another when there would be no shade other than His. Allaah's Apostle  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Verily Allaah would say on the Day of Resurrection: 'Where are those who have mutual love for My Sake only? Today I shall shelter them in My Shade when there is no other shade but Mine.'" [Muslim]

Moreover, the true love of the believers is a reason to enter Paradise as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all the articles of faith), and you will not achieve belief as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: spread Salaam (by saying As-Salaamu Alaykum) amongst yourselves."

Therefore, the Muslims who celebrate Valentine’s Day are heedless of their religion and follow the footsteps of non-Muslims.

We would like to bring to the attention of all Muslims the origin of this celebration so that everyone would know the Islamic ruling concerning the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The Romans had a festival named Lupercalia and they used to celebrate it on the 15th February every year. On that day they offered sacrifices to their supposed god named "Lurks" in order to protect their cattle and the like from being killed by wolves. They celebrated this festival during the spring holidays according to their calculations.

During the thirteenth century the day of this festival was changed to February 14th. There was an incident that led to this change. In the thirteenth century a Roman Emperor Claudius II, forbade his soldiers to marry because marriage would involve them in family life and cause them to lose interest in fighting.

A catholic priest named Valentine revolted against this emperor's order and performed weddings for the soldiers secretly. After a while his disobedience was discovered and he was imprisoned. While in prison he fell in love with the jailer's daughter. On February 14th he was executed. After his death people believed that he had sacrificed himself for the sake of Christianity and to save lovers. Subsequently the church elevated him to Sainthood and February 14th came to be observed as Saint Valentine's Day.

On this day young girls and boys send love letters, love cards, gifts, etc. to each other. They celebrate this day by engaging in such practices. Based on the above details we conclude that celebrating this day and any other holiday of non-Muslims is forbidden in Islam. 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her reported: "Abu Bakr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him came to my house while two small Ansaari girls were singing beside me the stories of the Ansaar concerning the Day of Bu'aath. And they were not singers. Abu Bakr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said protestingly: "Musical instruments of the devil in the house of Allaah's Apostle!" This happened on the ‘Eed day and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "O Abu Bakr! There is an ‘Eed for every nation and this is our ‘Eed." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In fact, celebrating some days and festivals is part of the religion. Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: 'Feasts are a part of Islam and of the rituals of Islam. Allaah says (what means): {For every religion We have appointed rites which they perform.}[Quran 22: 67] Feasts are Islamic rituals just like facing the Qiblah and fasting. There is no difference in participating in the feasts of non-Muslims or in their whole religion because approving their feasts means approving their disbelief since the feasts are the special symbols of religions.

'The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not approve the feast of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period). Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) came to Madeenah with two days they celebrated in. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked: 'What are these two days?' They said: 'These are two days we used to celebrate during our Jaahiliyyah'. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: 'Allaah has replaced them with two better days: ‘Eed Al-Adh-Haa and ‘Eed Al-Fitr'"

One of the most distinguished qualities of true Muslims is that they do not attend false practices. Allaah says (what means): {And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity.} [Quran 25: 72]

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa