Islamic Perspectives

Valentine’s Day: Reality or Mirage

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14 February every year with elan. This European festival is now universal. It was originally a Roman festival. As far as we Indians are concerned, it has no sense for us. One has rightly said, “it is a tragedy of our time that our youths are bent on accepting every glitter of the ‘modern’ era as fashion and symbol of progress”.

It is unfortunate that we Indians are more susceptible in copying others without realizing the worth of the acts observed by others. It shows our imbecility, idiocy, impassivity, inanity, insanity and stupidity. Rabindranath Tagore described such mania in one of his poems with these words: “Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit”.

In this context it may be said that both Holi and Raksha Bandhan are sacred festivals in India. Both have their radiant and redolent backgrounds and significant importance. But Christians, Jews and the like never celebrate it in their respective countries.

As regards Valentine’s Day, various legends are narrated about it. The most famous is that during the third century Roman Claudius wanted to have a big army. But most of the people did not like to leave their hearth and home. So the emperor banned the marriage of soldiers. Despite this mandate, St. Valentine, the Bishop of the local church, performed marriages secretly. When the emperor came to know about Valentine’s breach of order, he ordered his soldiers to put him into jail. One day the prison guard said to his daughter to visit Valentine in the cell. Accordingly St. Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. It is said due to this reason he was executed on 14 February 278 CE. Since then 14 February is observed as the day of “Feast of Lovers” in Rome.

Now let us see as to what extent celebration of this festival is justified. Was the sacrifice of Valentine for upholding the truth or any other noble cause? We shall dispassionately ponder over the ins and outs of this legend.

It is an open secret that Valentine’s Day leads our youths to the path of obscenity, immodesty and indecency. It has no good aspect through which one may take its advantage.

It is time we kept away from such absurdities and took pride in our own culture and civilization. Good deeds lead to good and evil deeds to evil.

Obaidur Rahman Nadwi