City of Brass

City of Brass


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

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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:

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).

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

the NFL, concussions, and domestic abuse #WhyIStayed #WhyILeft
A lot of my friends who aren't into football have remarked upon my newfound interest in football as being somewhat out-of-character (true, at first glance, but i'll address that later) and also critiqued the sport for all its attendant social problems. Of those, the two main ones are domestic abuse

posted 5:47:02pm Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

13 years after 9-11
I honestly don't have much left to say that I have not said already. But it is worth at least remarking on this, the anniversary of the attacks, that the global challenges facing the world today have almost nothing to do with terrorism or Islamic fanaticism. Yes, we have threats like ISIS to grapple

posted 8:44:01am Sep. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Saudis propose to relocate the Prophet's (saw) tomb from Masjid al-Nabawi
The above photo of the Mecca clock tower, or as I like to call it, "Big Bin", was during my hajj a few years ago. It is part of my general observations of the "Meccahattan"-ization of the holiest place in Islam, the way that the Saudi religious authorities are utterly obliterating the historical wea

posted 10:13:58am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Post-Ramadan reflections
Welcome back, readers :) My apologies for being so AWOL from blogging. This past Ramadan I had genuinely been able to ramp up my iba

posted 9:48:39am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Tweeting the Qur'an #ttQuran
My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on, and even at

posted 1:04:00pm Jul. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.