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

Have a very Muslim Merry Christmas
And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. -- Qur'an 5:46 And t

posted 11:46:49am Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Vote now in the (delayed slightly) Brass Crescent Awards!
Voting in this year's Brass Crescent Awards is now underway, after a few months' delay. Here's the explanation from the official site: We would like to sincerely apologize for the delay in this year's voting. The reason for the delay was that we did not have sufficient blogsphere nominations as w

posted 10:30:42pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Midamar halal beef - charged with fraud
This is disturbing news - the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims: The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered by hand by specially trained Muslim slaughtermen w

posted 10:45:40pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

men should accept blame; women should assert agency
The following rant was posted on Facebook by a friend of mine, and I have her permission to reproduce it in its entirety. Systems of patriarchy are sometimes so entrenched, we just accept them as part of normal daily interactions. Popular discourse often maintains that it's men who do such and s

posted 10:56:12pm Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »

My first day of wearing rida to school
Zainab Jamali is a teenaged Muslim American girl in Los Angeles. As a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, she recently took her misaq (an oath marking the symbolic pas

posted 10:08:13am Nov. 11, 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.