Advertisement

City of Brass

City of Brass

Valentine’s Day and Islam – the virtues of mohabbat (love)

candy_heart_with_crescent_moon_and_star_sticker-rd77a2f0679d34c5aa61f4805d92c44c1_v9waf_8byvr_512

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am biased towards appreciating Valentine’s Day not just for it’s Gujarati origins but also because it’s my birthday. However, not all Muslims share my appreciation. Here’s a typical example:

Advertisement

In its official Friday sermon text distributed to mosques in the Muslim-majority country, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department blamed Valentine’s Day for everything from alcoholism to abortion.

“Social ceremonies such as this are a stepping-stone towards greater social ills such as fraud, mental disorder caused by alcohol, abortion and baby-dumping, and other negative ills that can invite disaster and moral decay among youths,” it said.

Known by its Malay-language acronym JAKIM, the department is an official watchdog of Muslim values. It regularly denounces Valentine’s Day as encouraging vice and promiscuity

This attitude is hardly limited to Malaysia. A simple google search for “Islam valentine’s day” brings numerous articles to the fore from online islamic dispensaries, all starkly disapproving (with the exception of Suhaib Webb’s piece, which strikes a neutral tone).

Advertisement

Where their mistake lies however is in equating Valentine’s Day with sex. It’s actually about love, which is a concept that is central to Islam. The archetypical love story of Layla and Majnun serves as a parable for Man’s love for God, and the Qur’an is filled with expressions of God’s love for Man.

Love, or mohabbat, is a foundation of faith. Muslims’ mohabbat for the Prophet SAW is why we celebrate Milad al Nabi (much to the disapproval of the same dour mullas who tsk about Valentine’s Day). The mohabbat we have for our spouses, parents, siblings and children forms the bedrock of our values, not to mention the sense of community that arises from our mohabbat for our friends and fellow citizens. Mohabbat is a virtue and it’s wonderful that there’s a whole day devoted to it.

The truly pious would do well to embrace Valentine’s Day, as an opportunity to affirm our relationship with Allah. And to appreciate your own loved ones – friends and family. Only someone truly incapable of love would find fault with that.

Previous Posts

Ramadan Pearls 05 - objective
As for the men of knowledge of the hereafter, what they mean by the correctness of fasting is its acceptability; and the acceptability of the fast is whether or not it has enabled one to reach one's objective. They understand the objective of ...

posted 7:26:32am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

The Fourth and the First
This evening, just prior to sunrise, members of my mosque in Los Angeles gathered round to raise the flag of the United States of America. Due to fortuitous timing, just as the flag was unfurled, a squadron of planes flew overhead in formation, ...

posted 12:38:00am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 04 - angels
He who has fasted for Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, and is in the discomfort of heat and struck by thirst, will have his face wiped and be given the good news by a thousand angels whom Allah has entrusted to him until he breaks his fast; at ...

posted 8:16:29am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

ibadat in Ramadan - process as piety
There are a lot of articles written during Ramadan about what Ramadan means, about what we as Muslims should be "getting out" of Ramadan, what the benefits of Ramadan should be. But I think that these sorts of articles miss the point of ibadat. ...

posted 10:20:36am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 03 - mystery
Know that the goal in fasting is for the veil of appetite and anger to be lifted from the heart's eye so that the heart may see the mystery of the dominion of heaven and earth. (The Easy Roads of Sayf al-Din, as translated by William Chittick ...

posted 8:57:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.