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Valentine's Day

By February 14, 2011

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"I find the idea of having a special day to celebrate love is ridiculous since we should love every day of our lives. I would rather celebrate our anniversary with my husband if I want to specify a special day for love."  - Haifa Salim, a Saudi woman commenting on Valentine's Day, Arab News, 2006

Muslims celebrate two major holidays each year, both connected in some way to Islamic faith and worship. Generally, Muslims do not participate in other celebrations, particularly those with pagan roots. You may be surprised to learn that Valentine's Day (which is named after a Christian saint) has its origins in a February 14th pagan Roman celebration, honoring love and fertility.  My colleague Austin Cline explains.

Comments
February 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(1) Magdalene Maheswari says:

i would like to correct ur post a little, my fren.In Christianity,its a faith that is fully bonded with love…giving it a specific day to celebrate isnt wat christians came up with.Its a paganist idea,i agree.NOT A CHRISTIAN BELIEF.for smth to be associated with a religion,that specific idea has to be present in that religion’s scriptures itself.Nowhere is it written abt this day in the bible.A christaian’s idea cannot become
the idea of the religion itself.everything is already written in the bible itself n nth can be added or removed frm it;which is strictly against the law of the book.And secondly,Christians are against paganist beliefs too.This festive may be be more likey to be associated with Catholics as the emphasis on saints is there.Christians pay minimal interest to saints.(:
Tks, i hope that few points might have tweaked ur thinking a little further.
God bless you,Peace be unto you.

February 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(2) Thomas says:

So you’re saying that Christmas is not a pagan belief?
It’s followed by almost every Christian I can think of, unless you got any objections about that.
If you say Christians are against pagan beliefs, then why is Christmas celebrated?
I would really love to know, and I’m sorry if this question doesn’t fit the topic really well.

February 19, 2010 at 3:23 am
(3) M Hamza Rasheed says:

i have another question what happened to all the original books of the hadith bukhari for example. the ones written 1400 years ago. email me you tube is slow mhamzarasheed@live.com

February 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm
(4) Aysha says:

Christians celebrate Christmas due to they celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are people that celebrate Christmas for just the gifts and all that. The original celebration was to celebrate the birth of Jesus and then it became all about presents. Yes even athiest celebrate Chrismas now I am now Muslim but my dad is a Christian. We do not celebrat holidays like Halloween. During christmas he teaches about the birth of Jesus. Just like at Easter the death and reurrection is celebrated, but yes non christians has turned it into a gift giving holiday and all about some easter bunny. You have to realize that many Christians are trying to do right by what they know. Please discuss with peace and understading. I am just informing you of what some Christians practice. Also there are certain things that are practiced in Catholicism that are not practiced in Christianity. As a new muslim I realize that some people but christianity and catholicism together but it’s not the same practice or laws.

February 25, 2010 at 10:24 am
(5) svend says:

I don’t agree as a Muslim that there’s anything wrong with celebrating either Halloween or Valentine’s Day, whatever their origins may be (and Halloween actually has *Christian* origins). Their meanings today are completely different. As different as a Michael Jordan poster hanging on a teen’s wall is from an idol worshiped in Abraham’s time.

Aysha, the idea that Catholicism is apart from “Christianity” is highly debatable on numerous levels (and is ironically often put forward by people unaware of the last 2 millenia of Christian tradition). Also, despite a few superficial structural differences Islam (whether Sunni or Shia) has a lot more in common philosophically with Catholicism (and Greek Orthodoxy) than most forms of Protestantism, and especially Evangelical varieties. That’s not meant as a criticism–it’s a fact. The if you will “do it yourself” approach to scripture often employed by Protestants is no less problematic to orthodox Muslims than orthodox Catholics.

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