Why I am celebrating Valentines Day as a Pakistani Muslim

Why I am celebrating Valentines Day as a Pakistani Muslim


Jamat-e-Islami is observing Youm-e-Sharm-o-Haya day today. If you ask Pakistani women they would like Pakistani men or Taaro Maroons to observe this day every day.


Sadly there is a difference in perspective for observing the day. The Jamat wants to observe it to prevent young singles from indulging in public display of affection on account of Valentine’s day whereas Pakistani women in general would just like to keep uninvited stares and advances at bay and like the real Muslim men to respect their privacy.


However, Pakistani women being the more graceful and patient group of the two will sadly have to wait for their turn, again. The Jamat needs to be addressed first. After all they have given me a guilty conscience for celebrating Valentine’s day by quoting Hadiths and Quranic verses on billboards all over the city. These religious commandments are to be interpreted as declaring Valentine’s day haram.


Bravo! Now I just cannot wait for the Jamat to post Hadiths and Quranic verses advocating minority rights and women rights. I mean that campaign is next right? The Jamat being the just, credible and honest flag bearers of Islam should not be impartial in preaching Islam right?


Clearly, the campaign against Valentines days has little to do with Islam and more to do with the anti-American sentiment. Ironically except for F-16 every single import from America or the West in general is looked at with contempt and hate even if it is a love filled day like Valentine’s day. Apparently, it was also Haram to wish Christians Merry Christmas this past year.


As a Pakistani Muslim there are two ways of looking at Valentine’s day; the first in my religious perspective and the second in my cultural perspective. Not so surprisingly, I found Valentines Days to be NOT un-Islamic and as Pakistani as it is American.


And it was then when I realized that perhaps the Jamat confused the ‘American’ Valentine’s day with the American ‘Prom Night’ from the American Pie Movies. The general idea today is to express your feelings towards your loved ones, not to impregnate teens outside wedlock.


To analyze Valentine’s day from a strict religious perspective one cannot just base their premise on how Valentine’s day is observed in pop culture. One has to look at its historical account. Now all those people who think I am qualifying my analysis to justify my beliefs I would like them to consider for one moment how would Islam look like if we analyzed it in terms of how it is practiced by our Mullahs as opposed to what Islam really is in terms of the Quran and Sunnah.


Saint Valentines in whose memory this day is observed is popularly believed to have been imprisoned for performing marriages of those soldiers who were forbidden to marry by the then Roman Empire. He eventually died in jail. If I were to celebrate his memory how can the same act be deemed un-Islamic? Marriage is encouraged under all school of thoughts of Islam and no group of Individuals belonging to any profession be it the army or be it muftis or mullahs are forbidden from getting married under Islam. Now, I am sorry if Saint Valentine did not use to read the Nikah Khutba, since Islam was introduced much after he passed away.


Now coming to the cultural perspective, one has to admit that this day is not entirely kosher. Valentines is also an excuse for unmarried couples to give each other gifts, make cheesy promises of love, have candle light dinners and other stuffs your parents asked you not to do.


But the more you think about love between unmarried couples the more one is reminded of our folklore. Romance is perhaps the most celebrated theme in Indo-Aryan literature where we are amazed by the sacrifices given my two lovers just to be together. Sahiban eloped with Mirza against her brothers’ wishes, Ranjha denounced wordly pleasures and became a jogi, Sohni used to meet Mahiwal secretly even after her marriage and Mumal set herself on fire to convince Rano.


These tales and many others like them are still being taught in our curriculums and still being celebrated and adapted in our Dramas and theatres.


Perhaps we should rebrand Valentine’s day as Waris Shah day or Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai day to make it more acceptable.


At the end, if for one day we are socially obliged to make a special gesture of love towards our parents, siblings, better halves, children or girl/boy friends then so be it. I took my mom on a date to a musical last Valentine’s day and she loved it. There was nothing un-Islamic or anti-Pakistan about how special she felt.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/qanita.farhan Qanita Farhan

    To analyze Valentine’s day from a strict religious perspective one
    cannot just base their premise on how Valentine’s day is observed in pop
    culture. One has to look at its historical account….. < They don't bother to look into the depth. Had they been concerned about the depths they would have analyzed Quran in a much better way.

  • Gohar

    Do we need a day as such a ‘Valentines Day’? For a true & practicing muslim, every day is a valentine day, every day is a mother or father day. Please don’t create the confusion and next time please write something beneficial to people.

  • M.Saeed

    Why not we have our own brand of Valentine-like greetings of
    goodwill between our estranged brothers and sisters within the same religion?

  • Abu Ibrahim Khalil

    Firstly: It is a mistake to confuse what they call the day with what the real intentions are behind it. The love referred to on this day is romantic love, taking mistresses and lovers, boyfriends and girlfriends. It is known to be a day of promiscuity and sex for them, with no restraints or restrictions… They are not talking of pure love between a man and his wife or a woman and her husband, or at least they do not distinguish between the legitimate love in the relationship between husband and wife, and the forbidden love of mistresses and lovers. This festival for them is a means for everyone to express love.

    Secondly: Expression of feelings and emotions is not a justification for the Muslim to allocate a day for celebration based on his own thoughts and ideas, and to call it a festival, or make it like a festival or ‘Eed. So how about when it is one of the festivals of the non-Muslims?

    In Islam, a husband loves his wife throughout the year, and he expresses that love towards her with gifts, in verse and in prose, in letters and in other ways, throughout the years – not just on one day of the year.

    Thirdly: There is no religion which encourages its followers to love and care for one another more than Islam does. This applies at all times and in all circumstances, not just on one particular day. Indeed, Islam encourages us to express our emotions and love at all times, as the Prophet said: “If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.” [Abu Daawood]

    And He said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you truly believe, and you will not truly believe until you love one another. Shall I not tell you of something that, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread salaam (Islamic greeting) amongst yourselves.” [Muslim]

    Fourthly: Love in Islam is more general and more comprehensive; it is not restricted only to one kind of love, that between a man and a woman. There are many more kinds of love. There is the love of Allaah, love of His Messenger and his companions love for good and righteous people, love and support for the religion, love of martyrdom for the Sake of Allaah, etc. There are many kinds of love. It is a dangerous mistake to restrict this broad meaning to this one kind of love.

    Fifthly: What these people think, that love before marriage is a good thing, is wrong, as has been proven in studies and by real-life experience.

    So, how can we believe that Valentine’s Day is of any benefit to Muslims? The truth is that it is a call for more permissiveness and immorality, and the forming of forbidden relationships.

    The husband who sincerely loves his wife does not need this holiday to remind him of his love. He expresses his love for his wife at all times and on all occasions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ram.lakhani.33 Ram Lakhani

    Sorry…anything from West is Unislamic….except charity and and and aid
    Leave bad and accept good is Islam….!!!

  • Pakistani

    I am speechless after reading such stupid justifications by the writer. I wish and pray that his thinking process and perceptions shall become mature enough to look into things deeply. Please refrain yourself by making such articles public as you may guide someone to follow the wrong path. I am not Taliban, nor am I a supporter of Mullah’s but still I am quite clear in my mind and heart that we are following wrong path blindly. Love your loved ones but please dont make yourself crazy for Valentine Day. If at all, it is about sharing feelings and love then why just one day, why not 365 days a year. Why to spend billions of bucks on just one day where outside your dancing and dating spots, many of our country men are longing for a single piece of bread. I wish that we love humanity instead of following something which is against our culture, religious and social obligations. Think and think again.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    What really do you want to say, Mr.Nasir? You blow hot and cold at the same moment. A streak of confusion runs through out your article. Whereas in the penultimate paragraph of your article you have disapproved the Valentine’s Day of the West and assert that it should be cast into the vernacular mold of the Warris Shah Day or the Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Day of the East,in the last paragraph, you have resorted to a brief meteoric panegyric of it. Your knowledge of the history of the Valentine’s Day testifies to your knowledge that it is totally erotic in its spirit, and that it is exclusively related to the married couples or those involved in the libidinal love. In case you grant that argument, I wonder,in what frame of the social values you put your parents or siblings as your companions while taking them to a music show. As long as the celebration of the Valentine’s Day in Pakistan,is kept within the bounds of morality, nobody should raise his eyebrows at it. However,when the celebrant transgress the bounds of morality and social values, every body,including the Jama’at-e-Islami, has got to jump on them.

  • Khadija

    I understand the good sentiments of the writer and if Valentine’s Day was only to express appreciation to family, friends, children it would be fine. However, I live in the West and the experience here for many of us is that the historical significance of Valentines Day, Christmas Day, Halloween, etc. have been abrogated by commercial interests. In the West these have mainly become occasions to buy lots of “junk” merchandise and foods. In the West, Valentine’s Day is also a day of depression for many lonely or isolated people and Christmas holidays are a time of increased family tensions, breakups, and even abuse. There are many people who enjoy these celebratory days but for many they also bring commercial social pressures that induce stress. My advice is – take what’s good from the West, but be careful what that is.


    “Jamat-e-Islami is observing Youm-e-Sharm-o-Haya day today. If you ask
    Pakistani women they would like Pakistani men……to observe this day every day.”

    It may be appropriate for the Jamat-e Islami but I doubt it is for the Pakistan women — Pakistani women have more serious things to do than to observe “Yom-e Ishque” everyday day.

    What I would recommend though — that the Jamat-e-Islami should observe Youm-e Sharm-o-Haya everyday day — because the Jamaatis walk around dressed inappropriately and provocatively for women – every day.

  • myfairlady

    How would you like me taking your mother out on next Valentines? Now don’t take it personal; after all, all’s fair in love, war and liberalism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000466605766 Naveed Khan

    IT IS A FULLY UN-ISLAMICE ARTICLE go TO HElll with this post.

  • Fight4right

    Thats Fuuny and totally Rubish arguments ….

  • Vicky

    You article is good and nice but I guess you have not gone clearly to the origins of the valentines day. Maybe you should go and research more deeply that it was a traditions and customs originate from two festivals celebrated by the romans called,

    1. Lupercalia
    2. The feast day of Juno Februata.

    ” Assisted by Vestal Virgins, the Luperci (male priests) conducted purification rites by sacrificing goats and a dog in the Lupercal cave on Palatine Hill, where the Romans believed the twins Romulus and Remus had been sheltered and nursed by a she-wolf before they eventually founded Rome. Clothed in loincloths made from sacrificed goats and smeared in their blood, the Luperci would run about Rome, striking women with februa, thongs made from skins of the sacrificed goats. The Luperci believed that the floggings purified women and guaranteed their fertility and ease of childbirth.February derives from februa or “means of purification.”

    To the Romans, February was also sacred to Juno Februata, the goddess of febris (“fever”) of love, and of women and marriage. On February 14, billets (small pieces of paper, each of which had the name of a teen-aged girl written on it) were put into a container. Teen-aged boys would then choose one billet at random. The boy and the girl whose name was drawn would become a “couple,” joining in erotic games at feasts and parties celebrated throughout Rome. After the festival, they would remain sexual partners for the rest of the year. This custom was observed in the Roman Empire for centuries.”

    You can do further detailed seach on it. but before claiming anything as non-islamic or non-triditional, go and see for its roots before you link it with your faith and tridition. Last time I was listening to the radio in my car and there were more people who were depressed and sad for having breakup and afraid to be alone on valentines day.

    I used to celebrate valentines but since I came to know about its origin, me and my wife never celebrate it since we have a whole year to share love, exchange roses / gifts and wear red dress rather then just on 14 feb.

  • Vicky

    This guy does not seem to be a muslim at all. His words, views and references seem to tell he is a hindu from an indian sector.