Love and Valentine’s Day

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Oleh: Ahmad Naufal Basri, Tahun 5 Perubatan, Universiti Kaherah

The time of the year has come again when sales of chocolate, flowers and everything red skyrocket to the roof. Declaration of love and romanticism is heard commonly up till the highlight day of the month, Valentine’s Day. And throughout the Muslim community, the ongoing battle against Valentine’s Day continues. Countless articles and talks have been published to get through the whole Muslim community that Valentine’s Day is haram and should not be celebrated.

Islam and Sexual Repression

                However, this firm opposition against Valentine’s Day opens a new field of debate, whether Islam actually represses the natural urge of humans to love? At heart, are Muslims against love? Muhammad Qutb, in his book, Misconceptions of Islam, under the title Islam and Sexual Repression states,

“Western psychologists accuse religion of repressing the vital energy of man and rendering his life quite miserable as a result of the sense of guilt which obsesses the religious people and makes them imagine that all their actions are sinful and can only be expiated through abstention from enjoying the pleasure of life”

In contrary, no religion in this world is as honest as Islam in recognizing love as a part of the natural motives, Fitrah and treating them as pure and healthy. The Qur’an states:

                “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land…” (3:14)

Through this verse, Allah recognizes these earthly desires as desired things in the eyes of men, but does not object to these desires as such nor does it disapprove of such feelings.

However, the need to express these feelings and emotions is not a mere justification for Muslims to allocate a day of celebration based on his own thoughts and ideas, and to call it a festival. As a matter of fact, Islam encourages us to express our emotions and love at all times and in all circumstances, based on the teachings of Islam, Syariah. The Prophet said:

“None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In the end, what does Islam recommends us to do? To channel this powerful emotion, love, capable of moving mountains and hills, into seeking the greatest pleasure in life, the pleasure of Allah.

If I worshipped love, then I’d do anything for love, but love is not my God. Allah is my God. I worship only Him, for Him I’d do anything

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