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Can Muslims Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

13 February, 2017
Q Can I celebrate Valentine's Day?


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Aisha Khaja: Dr. Shabir, the question for today is, you know, February is one of the big days that’s highlighted as Valentine’s day.

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And a lot of people are wondering can Muslims celebrate Valentine’s day, or the idea of a Valentine I guess?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yeah, well, you know when a community is small and the community is growing and in the initial phases, then that community tries to identify itself, and to do so in contradistinction with other communities.

So, there’s a sense of what’s us: what’s not us. We do what’s us: and we don’t know what’s not us.

Similarly, if somebody is suddenly taking Islam seriously, they are new to the faith, or are newly returned to their roots within the faith. Now, they try to make the similar distinction. What’s us: what’s not us. Let’s do what’s us: let’s, you know, totally shun what’s not us.

But, you know, when one, when the community matures, and that individual matures within the faith as well, one has a sense of complacency and satisfaction with who we are.

And then, one does not feel threatened by that which is outside. One can then make a distinction between what’s good and what’s bad. Take what is good and leave off what is bad.

So, what’s good in Valentine’s Day is that it gives people a time to remember their loved ones, especially within their legal relationship of a marriage.

And so, husbands and wives showing greater affection to each other at that particular time just simply being inspired by the moment of the season, the festivity around them, and then, this is not a bad thing.

What is bad is where people now take that outside of the legal relationship and they use the Valentine’s Day, or any other excuse, to have relationships outside of marriage, which obviously is forbidden within the Islamic tradition.

So long as you make that distinction, we can take what is good and leave off what is bad. A hadith says {quoting hadith in Arabic}: whoever imitates the people is one of them. A hadith like this scares Muslims into thinking that you absolutely have to refrain from anything that is outside of Islam.

But another hadith says that wisdom is the lost property of the believer: he takes it from wherever he finds it. So, if there’s something good outside of the Muslim community, we do not refuse it all together.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Valentine’s Day: To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate?

Marking Valentine’s Day, Boston Kids Share Love with Muslims

Why Not Celebrate Valentine? It’s All About Love