CAIRO – Sharing love with the community, a Halifax mosque will open its door on Valentine’s Day to bring the community together for food, art and open dialogue.
“With Valentine’s Day being a well-known day for sharing the love, we just hoped to give our perspective on it and make use of that,” Bridget McEwan, one of the event organizers and a member of the mosque, told Halifax Metro on Friday, February 12.
“We will have a speech from the imam at the Ummah Mosque and he’ll be discussing the theme of the event, which is love and peace and how it relates to our beliefs within Islam.”
Ummah Mosque is hosting a day-long open house they’re calling, Love is Beautiful.
The event will include food, an art exhibit, discussions, as well as a lecture and centers around the themes of peace and love.
It is not the first for the mosque which has hosted open houses in the past to clear misconceptions about Islam and solidify interfaith relations.
However, organizers thought Valentine’s Day would be an ideal time to welcome the community into their space.
“I liked that it is not restricted to romance and there are so many dimensions to the topic beyond what we think of when we think of Valentine’s Day,” she said.
“It’s a message of hope. It’s a holistic message and it covers all kinds of things.”
Guests will get the opportunity to speak about different topics, including hijab and supporting refugees.
“One of the things we’re trying to go beyond is that the love that we’re speaking about is not just restricted to romance, it’s not just the love that you think of when you usually think of Valentine’s Day,” McEwan said.
“It’s something much bigger and something that’s important, we think, to try and spread in the world today in general. It’s something that’s needed.”
The Love is Beautiful Valentine’s Day event runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ummah Mosque, 2510 St. Matthias St. in Halifax.
McEwan, who reverted to Islam four years ago, said many people don’t realize how multicultural Muslims are.
“There’s a massive amount of languages and backgrounds and cultures and places of origin for the people in our Muslim community,” she said.
“There’s always something to learn.”
Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14, by many people throughout the world.
In the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their feelings for each other.
Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives.
However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.
Hence, commemorating the Valentine’s Day is an innovation or bid`ah (innovation) that has no religious backing.