Da'wah to Muslims

The Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 

"Allaah, His angels, and the inhabitants of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and even the fish, send blessings (pray for good) upon the one who teaches the people good." (At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh)

The Muslim’s attitude towards Valentine’s Day

The Muslim’s attitude towards this holiday should be clear:

(1) S/he should not celebrate it, or join others in their celebrations of it, or attend their celebrations, because of the evidence quoted which prove that it is forbidden to celebrate the festivals of the Kuffâr.

Al-Hâfiz al-Dhahabi (may Allâh have mercy on him) said,

“If the Christians have a festival and the Jews have a festival, which belongs only to them, then the Muslim should not join them in that, just as he does not join them in their religion or their direction of prayer.” (Tashabbuh al-Khasîs bi Ahl al-Khamîs, al-Hikmah magazine, 4/193).

Because one of the basic principles of the pious predecessors was al-walâ’ wa’l-barâ’ (lbroken-heart-2oyalty and frie ndship vs. disavowal and enmity), it is obligatory for everyone who says Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh Muhammad Rasûl Allâh to follow this principle. So he should love the believers and he should hate the disbelievers, oppose them, and be different from them. He should know that that will bring immeasurable benefits, just as imitating them causes far greater harm. In addition to that, when the Muslims imitate them it makes the Kuffâr happy and fills their hearts with joy, and it leads the Muslims to love the Kuffâr in their hearts. If any Muslim girl who celebrates this holiday because she sees Margaret or Hilary or whoever doing so, this undoubtedly reflects the fact that she is following them and approves of their behaviour. Allâh ('azza wa jall) says (interpretation of the meaning), {O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyâ’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)} (al-Mâ’idah [5]:51)  

One of the bad effects of imitating them is that this makes it look as if there are more of them, as if they have more supporters and followers. How can it be appropriate for a Muslim who recites in every Rak’ah (unit of prayer), {Guide us to the Straight Way, The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.} (al-Fâtihah [1]:6-7 – interpretation of the meaning) to ask Allâh for guidance to the Straight Path of the believers and to keep him away from the path of those who have earned His anger and of those who went astray, then go and follow their path by choice and willingly?

Statistics indicate that Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in popularity. So it is clear that the Feast of Love is one of the festivals of the Christians and that it is second only to the festival of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. Therefore, it is not permissible for Muslims to join in the celebrations of this date, because we are commanded to differ from them in their religion, customs and other things that belong exclusively to them, as is stated in the Qur’ân and Sunnah and scholarly consensus.

(2) He should not help the Kuffâr in their celebrations, because it is one of the rituals of Kufr, so helping them and approving of what they do is helping them to manifest Kufr and make it prevail, and approving of it. The Muslim’s religion does not allow him to approve of Kufr or help others to manifest it and make it prevail. Hence Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allâh have mercy on him) said,

“It is not permissible for the Muslims to imitate them in anything that is specifically part of their festivals, whether it is food, clothing, bathing, lighting fires, or changing a custom of daily life or worship… To sum up, they should not do any of the specific rituals of their (the Kuffâr’s) festival on that day; rather the day of their festival should be just another ordinary day for the Muslim.” (Majmû’ al-Fatâwa, 25/329)

(3) He should not help any Muslims who celebrate it. Rather it is obligatory to denounce them, because for the Muslims to celebrate the festivals of the Kuffâr is an evil action which must be denounced. Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) said,

“Just as we should not imitate them in their festivals, so too we should not help a Muslim to do that; rather he should be told not to do that.” (al-Iqtidâ’, 2/519-520)

Based on what Ibn Taymiyah said, it is not permissible for Muslim businessmen to deal in gifts for Valentine’s Day, whether they are particular kinds of clothes, red roses, or whatever. Similarly, it is not permissible for the one who is given a gift on this occasion to accept it, because by accepting it, he is showing approval of this holiday.

One of the Callers to Islaam said,

"We went to a flower shop in one of the Muslim countries and we were shocked to find it completely prepared for this occasion, with red carpets at the entrance, red placards and red decorations. We were met by one of the people who worked there, and we asked him why they had done so much to decorate the place for this occasion. He said that these preparations had begun early, and that there had been very many orders… Then he told us that he had been amazed by that, because he was a new Muslim who had left Christianity. He had known about that before he became Muslim, so how come his customers were Muslims and not Christians?!

Other shops ran out of red roses, which were being sold at high prices. When one of the female Dâ’iyahs entered upon the female students who were gathered in the lecture hall, she was dismayed to find them all carrying something red. One had a red rose, another had a red scarf, or a red handkerchief, or a red bag, or red socks…"

Alas for the Muslim girls!

Among the things that have been seen among the Muslims on this holiday:

1- All the female students agreeing with their friends to tie a red ribbon on the right wrist.

2- Wearing something red (a blouse, hair clip, shoes…). This reached such an extent last year that when we entered the classroom we found most of the students wearing it, as if it was a uniform.

3- Red balloons on which are written the words “I love you”. They usually bring these out at the end of the school day, in an area far from where the teachers can see them.

4- Writing names and hearts on their hands, or just initials.

5- Red roses are widespread on this day.

Groups of girls entered their lecture rooms on February 14, each of them wearing something red, with red heart-shaped stickers on their faces, wearing red make-up. They started to exchange red-coloured gifts and kiss one another warmly. This happened in more than one university in the Muslim world, even in an Islamic university. In other words they were celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day.

On that day, secondary schools (high schools) were astonished by the large numbers of female students who brought red roses of the finest quality, coloured their faces with red cosmetics, wore red earrings, and started to exchange gifts and warm greetings, in celebration of this day.

Al-Mawsû’ah al-‘Arabiyyah (the Arabic Encyclopaedia) says that there are special customs for Valentine’s Day, such as printing love poems on cards to be given to relatives and those whom one loves. Some of them draw funny pictures on these cards, and the most common phrase written on them is “be my Valentine”. Parties are often held during the day, where they dance in their fashion. The Europeans still celebrate this holiday. In Britain, sales of flowers reached 22 million pounds. More chocolate is consumed on this day, and companies offer free messages on their Web sites to advertise those sites.

Valentine’s Day has come to a number of Arab and Muslim countries, and has even reached the heartland of Islam (the Arabian Peninsula). It has reached societies which we had thought far removed from this insanity. In Riyadh the price of roses has risen in a crazy manner, so that a single rose costs 36 Riyals (10 dollars), whereas before this day it cost 5 Riyals. Gift shops and card shops compete in designing cards and gifts for this occasion, and some families hang up red roses in the windows of their homes on this day.

In some of the Gulf countries, shopping centres and hotels have organized special celebrations of Valentine’s Day. Most of the stores and business places are covered with red. One of the finest Gulf hotels was full of balloons and dolls. Following the customs of the Feast of Love and the pagan myths, the restaurant put on a dramatic production with “Cupid”, the idol of love in the Roman myths, nearly naked and carrying a bow and arrow. He and his cohorts were looking to select “Mr. & Mrs. Valentine” from among the people present.

Less expensive restaurants also celebrated this day in their own way. Some stores replaced their regular plates with heart-shaped plates, used red tablecloths and linens, and put a red rose on each table for the man to present to his beloved.

The latest Valentine’s Day craze was started by the owner of a gift-shop in Kuwait. He imports (live) French rabbits which are small and have red eyes. He puts a necktie around the neck of each rabbit, and puts it in a small box to be given as a gift!

We must oppose these things by all possible means. The responsibility rests upon us all.

(4) We should not accept congratulations on Valentine’s Day, because it is not a holiday or an Eid for the Muslims. If the Muslim is congratulated on this occasion, he should not return the congratulations. Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allâh have mercy on him) said,

“With regard to congratulating others with the congratulations used by the kuffâr on such occasions, it is harâm by scholarly consensus, such as congratulating them on the occasion of their festivals or fasts, wishing them a blessed festival, etc. Even if the one who says this is free of Kufr, it is still Harâm. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross. It is even worse with Allâh and more hated by Him than congratulating someone for drinking alcohol, or committing murder or adultery, etc. Many of those who have no respect for religion do that, and they do not realize the abhorrence of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for sin, innovation (bid’ah) or kufr exposes himself to the hatred and wrath of Allâh.” (Ahkâm Ahl al-Dhimmah, 1/441-442)

(5) We must explain the true nature of this holiday and other festivals of the Kuffâr to those Muslims who have been deceived by them, and explain to them that it is essential for the Muslim to be distinguished by his religion and to protect his belief (‘Aqîdah) from anything that may damage it. This should be done out of sincerity towards the Ummah and in fulfilment of the command to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.

Fatwas of Muslim scholars concerning Valentine’s Day

The Fatwa of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sâlih al-‘Uthaymîn (may Allâh have mercy on him)


"In recent times the celebration of Valentine’s Day has become widespread, especially among female students. This is one of the Christian holidays. They wear all red clothes, including their shoes, and they exchange red flowers… We hope that you can tell us the ruling on celebrating such holidays. What do you advise the Muslims to do with regard to such things? May Allâh keep you and take care of you."

He replied:

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permitted for several reasons:

1 – It is an innovated celebration which has no basis in sharî’ah.

2 –It calls for people to keep their hearts and minds busy with these foolish things that go against the guidance of the pious predecessors (may Allâh be pleased with them), so it is not permitted on this day to do any of the customs associated with that holiday, whether that be connected to food, drink, clothing, exchanging gifts or anything else. The Muslim should be proud of his religion and not be so weak of character that he follows everyone who makes a noise. I ask Allâh to protect the Muslims from all temptations, visible and invisible, and to take care of us and give us strength. And Allâh knows best.

The Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allâh ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmân ibn Jibrîn


"The celebration of the so-called Feast of Love (Valentine’s Day) has become widespread among our boys and girls. This (Valentine) is the name of a saint who is venerated by the Christians, and this day is celebrated every year on February 14. They exchange gifts and red roses, and they wear red clothes. What is the ruling on celebrating this day, or exchanging gifts on this day? May Allâh reward you with good."

He answered:

Firstly, it is not permissible to celebrate such innovated festivals, because this is a newly-invented innovation (Bid’ah) which has no basis in Sharî’ah. So it is included in the Hadîth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allâh be pleased with her), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said, “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) which is not part of it, will have it rejected” i.e., it will be thrown back upon the one who innovated it.

Secondly, this involves imitating and resembling the Kuffâr in venerating that which they venerate and respecting their festivals and holidays, and imitating them in some of their religious practices. In the hadîth it says, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

Thirdly, the things that result from that, such as partying, idle play, singing, music, insolence, impertinence, unveiling, wanton display, mixing of men and women, and the appearance of women before non-mahrams, etc., are all things which are harâm, or are means which lead to immorality. So it should not be justified as an excuse for relaxation and entertainment, or claims that they will not overstep the mark, because that is not right. The one who cares about himself should keep away from sin and all that leads to it.

On this basis, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses, if one knows that the purchaser will celebrate these holidays, give them as gifts or otherwise use them to honour these days, so that the vendor will not be sharing in the guilt of the one who does this innovated action. And Allâh knows best.

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee


"Some people celebrate the fourteenth day of February of each Christian year as the Day of Love (Valentine’s Day), where they exchange gifts of red roses and wear red clothes, and congratulate one another. Some the bakeries make sweets that are red in colour, with hearts drawn on them, and some stores have advertisements for their products that are especially for this day. What is your opinion? "

The Committee replied:

It is Harâm for the Muslim to help with this festival or any other Harâm celebration in any way, be it food, drink, buying, selling, manufacturing, corresponding, advertising or in any other way, because all of that constitutes helping one another in sin, transgression and disobedience towards Allâh and His Messenger, and Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {Help you one another in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment.} (al-Mâ’idah [5]:2)

So the Muslim must adhere to the Qur’ân and Sunnah in all his affairs, especially at times of Fitan (temptation and tribulation) and when corruption is widespread. He should be smart and be careful to avoid falling into the misguidance of those who have earned the anger of Allâh and of those who went astray, and of the evildoers who hope not for reward from Allâh and do not show any respect towards Islam. The Muslim should seek refuge with Allâh and ask for His guidance and for help to adhere steadfastly to it, because none can guide except Allâh and none can make us remain steadfast except Him. And Allâh is the Source of strength. May Allâh bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.  (Al-Lajnah al-Dâ’imah li’l-Buhûth al-‘Ilmiyah wa’l-Iftâ’)

Finally, we offer our brothers the following advice:

1 –They should urge the Imaams of the Masaajid to tell the people and warn them. They should explain this matter to the Imâm of the mosque and tell him when this day is approaching. They should give him a copy of the fatwas of the Standing Committee and of Shaykh Muhamamd ibn Sâlih ibn ‘Uthaymîn (may Allâh forgive him). Every person should make the effort to contact the Imâm of his mosque and tell him about this. Certainly there are Imâms of mosques among the brothers so perhaps the responsibility of telling them about this will be discharged when they read this article.

2 –Every teacher should explain the reality of this holiday and warn his or her students about it. They will be answerable before Allâh tomorrow. They should explain that it is harâm by quoting the Fatwâ of the Standing Committee. All that should begin a week beforehand in order to be of any benefit.

3 –Those who go around and check on people and the headquarters of organizations should be notified of any shops which are selling gifts for this day or which put up pictures showing what the gift is or how it is wrapped.

4 –Each person should make his family members aware of this. Whoever has sisters in school or brothers should tell them and warn them about this matter, because many people are unaware of this holiday and what it means.

We ask Allâh to protect the Muslims from the harm of temptations and from the evil of their own selves and the plots of their enemies, for He is the All-hearing Who answers prayers. May Allâh send blessings upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions. Aameen.

There is no doubt that taking drugs is Haraam, including hashisfire_handh, opium, cocaine, morphine, and so on. This is for many reasons, including the following:

1 – It dulls the senses and befogs the mind, and whatever does that is impermissible, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Every intoxicant is khamr, and every intoxicant is haraam. Whoever drinks khamr in this world and dies persisting in that and without having repented, will not drink it in the Hereafter.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2003.)

Abu Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him) said, 'The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and me to Yemen, and I said, "O Messenger of Allaah, there is a drink that is made in our land and is called al-mizr, which is made from barley, and another drink called al-bit’, which is made from honey." He said, “Every intoxicant is Haraam." [Al-Bukhaari (4087) and Muslim (1733)]

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated, 'I heard ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) say from the pulpit of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),

“O people, the prohibition of Khamr was revealed when Khamr was made from five things: grapes, dates, honey, wheat and barley. Khamr is whatever befogs the mind.” [Al-Bukhaari (4343) and Muslim (3032)]

There is no doubt that drugs also befog the mind and take away reason.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

'The general meaning of the words, “Every intoxicant is haraam,” is taken as evidence that whatever causes intoxication is Haraam, even if it is not a drink. So that includes hashish and other things. Al-Nawawi and others were certain that it is an intoxicant, and others were certain that dulls the senses, and it is arrogant to say otherwise, because its visible effects are the same as those of Khamr, such as euphoria and addiction. It is proven in Abu Dawood that all intoxicants and relaxants are Haraam.' (Fath al-Baari, 10/45.)

Al-Khattaabi said,

'Relaxants are those drinks that cause relaxation in the muscles and numbness in the extremities, which is the precursor to intoxication. It is forbidden to drink them lest they be a means that leads to intoxication.'

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said,

'Everything that takes away one's senses is Haraam, even if it does not result in drunkenness or intoxication. If it takes away the senses it is haraam according to the consensus of the Muslims. With regard to using Banj (lit. henbane) which does not cause intoxication or take away reason, this is subject to a Ta’zeer (punishment).'

The scholars who studied the issue realized that hashish is an intoxicant, and that it is only consumed by evildoers, because of the pleasure and euphoria it brings. So it is like intoxicating drinks. Khamr makes a person lively and argumentative, whereas hashish makes him relaxed and lethargic, but it still befogs the mind and opens the door to physical desires and  heedlessness with regard to one's honour, which makes it worse than intoxicating drinks. This is something that was introduced by the Tatars.

The one who consumes a little or a lot of it is to be subjected to the punishment for drinking: eighty or forty lashes, if he is a Muslim who believes that intoxicants are haraam. (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 3/423)

It says in al-Siyaasah al-Islamiyyah (p. 92),

'Hashish which is made from grape leaves is also Haraam and the one who does that should be whipped as the drinker of kKhamr is whipped. It is worse than Khamr in a way, because it corrupts the mind and mood, and robs a man of his masculinity and makes him heedless about his honour, and other evil consequences. But Khamr is worse in another way, because it leads to arguments and fights. Both of them keep a person from remembering Allaah and praying. Some of the later Fuqaha’ (Jurists) did not issue rulings on the punishment for it, and they thought that the one who consumes it should be given a Ta’zeer (punishment) that is less severe than the Hadd punishment, because they thought they thought that it alters the mind without causing euphoria, like Banj (henbane). We have not found any comment on it among the earlier scholars, but that is not correct, rather those who consume it become addicted to it like those who drink Khamr, if not more so, and it keeps them from remembering Allaah and praying if they consume a great deal of it. It also causes other evil results such as heedlessness about one's honour and loss of masculinity, corruption of one's mind and mood, and so on. Because it is something solid and edible, and it is not a drink, the scholars disagreed as to whether it is Naajis (impure) and there are three opinions in the Madhhab of Ahmad and elsewhere. It was said that it is Naajis like Khamr that is drunk – this is the correct view; and it was said that it is not Naajis because of its solid state, and it was said that a differentiation should be made between its solid and liquid forms.'

Whatever the case, it comes under the heading of that which Allaah has forbidden of Khamr and intoxicants, whether by name or by nature. Abu Moosa al-Ash'ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, advise us with regard to two drinks that we used to make in Yemen: al-Bit’ which is made of honey that is soaked until it becomes strong, and al-Mizr which is made of wheat and barley until it becomes strong.' The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had been given the gift of comprehensive and concise speech; he said, “Every intoxicant is Haraam.” (Agreed upon in al-Saheehayn).'

He also said: How about the person who persists in consuming hashish, especially if he believes that it is permissible, as some people do? Such a person should be asked to repent; if he repents, all well and good, otherwise he should be executed, because intoxicants are haraam according to scholarly consensus, and regarding them as permitted is undoubtedly Kufr (disbelief). (Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 2/309.)

2 – They cause a great deal of harm, which may be greater than the harm caused by drinking alcohol. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah (2341); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.)

They cause harm to the person himself, to his family and children, and to his society and nation.

With regard to the personal harm caused, they cause serious harm to both the body and the mind, because intoxicants and drugs destroy the health, nerves, mind, reasoning, the digestive system, and other negative effects which impact the entire body; it damages his dignity and honour, as his personality becomes fragile; he becomes a laughing-stock and suffers from numerous diseases.

With regard to the harm that is caused to the family, this is the mistreatment of his wife and children, so the house is turned into an unbearable hell because of tension, anger, arguments, insults, repeated utterance of divorce (Talaaq), breaking of things, neglect of the wife, and not spending properly on the home. Intoxicants and drugs may even lead to the birth of children who are deformed or mentally handicapped.

The harm that is caused to society is evident in the huge destruction of wealth with no positive return, which affects man’s interests and leads to the failure to fulfil duties and loss of public trusts, whether that has to do with the interests of the state, institutions or individuals. This is in addition to the damage caused by criminal acts against people, property and honour. The harm caused by drugs is worse than that caused by intoxicants, because drugs destroy moral values. (al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuha by Dr. Wahbah al-Suhayli, 7/5511.)

To conclude, no wise person would doubt that drugs are haraam, because of the textual evidence that points to their prohibition, and because of the extensive harm that they cause.

With regard to the punishment for one who takes drugs, it is the same as the hadd punishment for drinking alcohol, as stated above by Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) with regard to hashish. Drugs come under the heading of Khamr and intoxicants that have been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).

The scholars, lecturers and writers have to explain to the people that drugs are Haraam and they must point out the great harm that is caused by them.

17-lotteryLotteries and raffles are other names for gambling, which is impermissible according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.), and Al Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from As Salaah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?” (al-Maa’idah [5]: 90-91)

It is not permissible for the Muslims to engage in any kind of gambling at all, whether the money collected from gambling is to spent on charitable projects or otherwise, because it is evil and forbidden, as indicated by the general meaning of the evidence (daleel), and because the earnings derived from gambling are among the kinds of earnings which we must avoid and beware of.

This gambling – which is any transaction in which a person may win or lose, and he does not know whether he will be a winner or a loser – is all Haraam. Indeed, it is one of the major sins, and its abhorrent nature is no secret when one realizes that Allaah mentions it in conjunction with idol-worship, alcohol and azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision). Whatever benefits may be hoped for from gambling pale into insignificance beside the harm that it causes. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: ‘In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.’” (al-Baqarah [2]:219)

Think about this verse, where benefits (manaafi’) are mentioned in the plural, and sin (ithm) is mentioned in the singular. Allaah did not say, “In it are many sins and (some) benefits for men”, rather He said (interpretation of the meaning), “a great sin”. This is an indication that the benefits, no matter how numerous they may be, are insignificant when compared with this great sin; the great sin far outweighs them. So its sin is greater than its benefits, no matter what they are. 

If someone says that he only gambles occasionally, this is like one who says that he only commits adultery occasionally, or he only steals occasionally, or he only lies occasionally. Does the fact that he commits that Haraam action only rarely means that it is not a sin and that he is not exposed to the wrath of Allaah? How does he know that this rare action will not develop into something that is done more frequently, until it becomes a habit? In fact this is what usually happens, especially in the case of those who are afflicted by gambling.

We must fear Allaah and abstain from that which Allaah has forbidden.

Masturbation for both men and women is Haraam (forbidden) in Islam based on the following evidence:

fire_handFrom the Qur’aan:

Imam Shaafi'ee stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning), "And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, - for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors."(23.5-7)

Here the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or that their right hand possess. And whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor.

"And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His bounty." (24.33)

This verse also clearly orders whoever does not have the financial means to marry to keep himself chaste and be patient in facing temptations (including masturbation) until Allah enriches them of His bounty.

From the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said, "We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allaah’s Messenger said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power." (al-Bukhaari: 5066)

The hadeeth orders men who are not able to marry to fast despite the hardship encountered in doing so, and not to masturbate despite the ease with which it can be done.

There are additional evidences that can be cited to support this ruling on masturbation, but in order to be brief we will not go through them here.

Curing the Habit of Masturbation

As for curing the habit of masturbation, we recommend the following:

1) The motive to seek a cure for this problem should be solely following Allaah’s orders and fearing His punishment.

2) A permanent and quick cure from this problem lies in marriage as soon as the person is able, as shown in the Prophet’s hadeeth.

3) Keeping oneself busy with what is good for this world and the hereafter is essential in breaking this habit before it becomes second nature after which it is very difficult to rid oneself of it.

4) Lowering the gaze (from looking at forbidden things such as pictures, movies etc.) will help suppress the desire before it leads one to commit the Haraam (forbidden). Allaah, the Almighty orders men and women to lower their gaze as shown in the following two verses and in the Prophet’s hadeeth (interpretations of the meanings),

"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is all-aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) ..... " (24:30-31)

Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Do not follow a casual (unintentional) look (at forbidden things) with another look." (Al-Tirmidhi 2777.) This is a general instruction by the Prophet to abstain from all that may sexually excite a person because it might lead him/her to commit the haraam (forbidden).

5) Using one’s available leisure time in worshipping Allaah and increasing religious knowledge.

6) Being cautious not to develop any of the medical symptoms that may result from masturbation such as weak eyesight, weak nervous system, and/or back pain. More importantly, feeling of guilt and anxiety that can be complicated by missing obligatory prayers because of the need to shower (ghusl) after every incidence of masturbation.

7) Avoiding the illusion that some youth have that masturbation is permissible because it prevents them from committing illegal sexual acts such as fornication or even homosexuality.

8) Strengthening one’s willpower and avoiding spending time alone as recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said, "Do not spend the night alone." (Ahmad 6919).

9) Following the Prophet’s aforementioned Hadeeth and fast when possible, because fasting will temper one’s sexual desire and keep it under control. However, one should not overreact and swear by Allaah not to return to the act because if one does not honor one’s promise, one would be facing the consequences of not living up to one’s oath to Allaah. Also, note that medication to diminish one’s sexual desire is strictly prohibited because it might permanently affect one’s sexual ability.

10) Trying to follow the Prophet’s recommendation concerning the etiquette of getting ready for bed, such as reading well-known supplications, sleeping on the right side, and avoiding sleeping on the belly (the Prophet forbade sleeping on the belly).

11) Striving hard to be patient and chaste, because persistence will eventually, Allaah willing, lead to attaining those qualities as second nature, as the Prophet explains in the following Hadeeth, "Whoever seeks chastity Allaah will make him chaste, and whoever seeks help from none but Allaah, He will help him, and whoever is patient He will make it easy for him, and no one has ever been given anything better than patience." (al-Bukhaari:1469.)

12) Repenting, asking forgiveness from Allaah, doing good deeds, and not losing hope and feeling despair are all prerequisites to curing this problem. Note that losing hope is one of the major sins punishable by Allaah.

13) Finally, Allaah is the Most Merciful and He always responds to whoever calls on Him. So, asking for Allah’s forgiveness will be accepted, by His will.

tucson-sunsetThe harm caused by falling into this great sin is not limited to punishment in the Hereafter, rather it goes beyond that and a part of the punishment may happen in this world; even if it is nothing more than the regret and feelings of guilt that result from it, that is enough, so how about if that is accompanied by incurable fatal diseases which the doctors are agreed are widespread among homosexuals and are caused by these perverted practices?

The way to deal with this problem is as follows:


You have to repent sincerely from your heart, turn to Allaah, regret what you have done, and pray a great deal to Allaah, asking Him to forgive you and help you to get rid of this problem. For Allaah is most Generous and is Close and always Responsive. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “Say: ‘O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’” (az-Zumar [39]:53)

So stand before Allaah weeping, beseeching, expressing your need for Him and seeking His forgiveness, and receive the glad tidings from Allaah of a way out and forgiveness.


Strive to plant the seeds of faith in your heart, for when they grow they will bear fruits of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

Faith in Allaah is what – after the help of Allaah – protects a person from falling into Haraam things. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “No adulterer is a believer at the moment when he is committing adultery.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2475; Muslim, 57). So when faith is well established in your heart and fills your heart and emotions, you will not violate His sacred limits, Inshaa' Allaah. If the believer stumbles on one occasion he will quickly wake up. Allaah describes His slaves as follows (interpretation of the meaning), “Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious), when an evil thought comes to them from Shaytaan (Satan), they remember (Allaah), and (indeed) they then see (aright)” (al-A’raaf [7]:201)


Try to follow the advice which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave to young people, which is to get married if you are able to. Do not pay any attention to the fact that you are young, for being young is not a reason not to get married, far from it, so long as you have the need to get married. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting chastity. Whoever cannot afford that should fast, for it will be a shield for him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5065; Muslim, 1400). Strive to follow this advice from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for this is the solution to your problem, Inshaa' Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with telling your father and mother of your need and desire to get married; don’t let shyness stop you from doing that.

Think seriously about marriage and do not fear poverty, and Allaah will grant you independence of means by His bounty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people)” (an-Noor [24]:32)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us that the one who gets married with a good intention, Allaah will help him. It was narrated from Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There are three who are entitled to Allaah’s help: the mujaahid who fights for the sake of Allaah, the slave who made a contract of manumission with his master, wanting to buy his freedom, and the one who gets married, seeking chastity.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1655; al-Nasaa’i, 3120; Ibn Maajah, 2518; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1917).


If it is not easy for you to get married, then there is another solution, which is fasting. So why not think of fasting three days of each month, or on Mondays and Thursdays?

How great is the reward of fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that Allaah said, “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him except for fasting, which is for Me and I shall give reward for it.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1904; Muslim 1151).

And Allaah tells us that He has enjoined fasting on us so that we might become pious, “O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” (al-Baqarah [2]:183)

Fasting – as well as offering protection from following whims and desires and bringing a great reward from Allaah – also trains a person to have strong will, patience and forbearance, to rise above the desires and pleasures of the self. So hasten to fast so that Allaah may make things easier for you.


Beware of thinking little of looking at Haraam things in cheap magazines and nude pictures which lead to committing immoral actions that doom a person to Hell, and have deep and bad effects on the heart – Allaah forbid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is All-Aware of what they do." (an-Noor [24]:30)

You should note that if you think little of this evil, this gives the Shaytaan an opportunity to make other actions that lie beyond that seem attractive to you, which is obvious. But he will do that because you gave in to him, even if that only happened once.


Remember, when the idea of sin comes to you, or the Shaytaan whispers to you to commit a sin, that the parts of your body will bear witness against you on the Day of Resurrection for this sin. Do you not know that these limbs and this youthful energy are a blessing from Allaah to you? So can it be an act of gratitude to Allaah that you use them to disobey Allaah and rebel against the commands of Allaah?

There is another matter which you should pay attention to. Read with me the following verse (interpretation of the meaning), “Till when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do. And they will say to their skins, ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will say: ‘Allaah has caused us to speak.’ He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return” [Fussilat 41:20-21]

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “We were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he smiled and said, ‘Do you know why I am smiling?’ We said, ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘Because of how a person will address his Lord. He will say, ‘O Lord, did You not guarantee me protection against injustice?’ He will say, ‘Yes.’ He will say, ‘I do not deem valid any witness against me but my own self.’ Allaah will say, ‘Your own self will be sufficient as a witness against you this Day, and the honourable scribes (recording angels) will also bear witness.’ Then a seal will be placed over his mouth and it will be said to his limbs, ‘Speak!’ And they will speak of his deeds. Then he will be allowed to speak and will say, ‘Away with you! It was for your sake that I argued.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2969).


Avoid being alone, for this makes you think about your desires. Try to fill your time with things that will benefit you, such as doing righteous deeds, reading Qur’aan, Dhikr and prayer.


Avoid keeping company with evil and immoral people who discuss these subjects, talk about things that provoke desire, take the matter of sin lightly and encourage it. You have to look for good friends who will remind you of Allaah and help you to obey Him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A man will follow the religion of his close friend, so be careful about who you make friends with.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2378; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1937).


If it so happens that you fall into sin in a moment of weakness, do not persist in that, rather be quick to repent to Allaah, lest you become one of those of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning),

“And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allaah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135]

Dear Muslim, do not despair of the mercy of Allaah. Beware of letting the Shaytaan have any power over you or letting him whisper to you that Allaah will never forgive you. For Allaah forgives all sins of those who repent to Him.

broken-heart-2Allâh has chosen for us Islaam as our religion and He will not accept any other religion from anyone, as He says (interpretation of the meaning),  {And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.} (‘Imrân [3]:85)  

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) also told us that groups of his Ummah would follow the enemies of Allâh in some of their rituals and customs, as it says in the Hadîth of Abu Sa’îd al-Khudri (may Allâh be pleased with him), who narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said,  “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span by span, cubit by cubit, until even if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allâh, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?!” (Narrated by al-Bukhâri and Muslim)

What the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) spoke of has indeed come to pass and has become widespread in recent times, in many of the Muslim countries. Many of the Muslims follow the enemies of Allâh in many of their customs and ways of behaving, and imitate them in some of their rituals and in celebrating their holidays.

The matter has been made even worse by the opening up of mass communications between people, whereby the rituals and customs of the Kuffâr are now transmitted with the glamorous adornment of sound and image from their countries into the Muslim countries, via satellite TV and the World Wide Web (Internet). Many Muslims have been deceived by their glamour.

In recent years, a new phenomenon has spread among the Muslim youth – males and females alike in their imitation of the Christians in their celebration of the Valentine’s Day, which has led the Scholars and Callers to Allah to explain the rulings of Sharî’ah concerning it, out of sincerity towards Allâh, His Messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk. This is so that Muslims may have a clear understanding of this issue and so that they will not fall into that which will undermine the belief (‘Aqîdah) with which Allâh has blessed them.

This is a brief discussion of the origins, development and purpose of this holiday, and what the Muslim should do with regard to it.

The story of the Festival of Love (Valentine’s Day)

The Festival of Love was one of the festivals of the pagan Romans, when paganism was the prevalent religion of the Romans more than seventeen centuries ago. In the pagan Roman concept, it was an expression of “spiritual love”.

There were myths associated with this pagan festival of the Romans, which persisted with their Christian heirs. Among the most famous of these myths was the Roman belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom.

The Romans used to celebrate this event in mid-February each year with a big festival. One of the rituals of this festival was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. Two strong and muscular youths would daub the blood of the dog and goat onto their bodies, then they would wash the blood away with milk. After that there would be a great parade, with these two youths at its head, which would go about the streets. The two youths would have pieces of leather with which they would hit everyone who crossed their path. The Roman women would welcome these blows, because they believed that they could prevent or cure infertility.

The connection between Saint Valentine and this festival

Saint Valentine is a name which is given to two of the ancient “martyrs” of the Christian Church. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius, c. 296 CE. In 350 CE, a church was built in Rome on the site of the place where he died, to perpetuate his memory.

When the Romans embraced Christianity, they continued to celebrate the Feast of Love mentioned above, but they changed it from the pagan concept of “spiritual love” to another concept known as the “martyrs of love”, represented by Saint Valentine who had advocated love and peace, for which cause he was martyred, according to their claims. It was also called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.

One of their false beliefs connected with this festival was that the names of girls who had reached marriageable age would be written on small rolls of paper and placed in a dish on a table. Then the young men who wanted to get married would be called, and each of them would pick a piece of paper. He would put himself at the service of the girl whose name he had drawn for one year, so that they could find out about one another. Then they would get married, or they would repeat the same process again on the day of the festival in the following year.

The Christian clergy reacted against this tradition, which they considered to have a corrupting influence on the morals of young men and women. It was abolished in Italy, where it had been well-known, then it was revived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when in some western countries there appeared shops which sold small books called “Valentine’s books”, which contained love poems, from which the one who wanted to send a greeting to his sweetheart could choose. They also contained suggestions for writing love letters.

It was also said concerning the origins of this holiday that when the Romans became Christian, after Christianity had become widespread, the Roman emperor Claudius II decreed in the third century CE that soldiers should not get married, because marriage would distract them from the wars they used to fight. This decree was opposed by Saint Valentine, who started to perform marriages for the soldiers in secret. When the emperor found out about that, he threw him in jail and sentenced him to execution. In prison, he (Saint Valentine) fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, but this was a secret because according to Christian laws, priests and monks were forbidden to marry or fall in love.

But he is still regarded highly by the Christians because of his steadfastness in adhering to Christianity when the emperor offered to pardon him if he forsook Christianity and worshipped the Roman gods; then he would be one of his closest confidantes and he would make him his son-in-law. But Valentine refused this offer and preferred Christianity, so he was executed on 14 February 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalis. So this day was named for this saint.

In The Story of Civilization, it says that the Church devised a calendar in which every day was designated as the feast day of one of the saints. In England, Saint Valentine’s Day was to come at the end of winter. When that day came, according to them, the birds mated enthusiastically in the forests, and the young men would put flowers on the windowsills of the homes of the girls whom they loved. (The Story of Civilization by Will Durant, 15/23)

The Pope designated the day of the death of Saint Valentine, February 14, 270 CE, as a festival of love. Who is the Pope? He is the “the archbishop, the supreme pontiff of the universal church, the successor of Saint Peter.” Look at this “archbishop” and how he prescribed for them the observance of this festival which was an innovation in their religion. This reminds us of what Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allâh (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allâh)…} (al-Tawbah [9]:31)  

It was narrated that ‘Adiy ibn Hâtim said: “I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) wearing a gold cross around my neck. He said, 'O ‘Adiy, cast aside this idol.’ And I heard him reciting from Sûrat Barâ’ah (which is also called "at-Tawbah") (interpretation of the meaning), {They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allâh.}

He said, ‘They do not worship them, but when they permit them something they accept it as permitted, and when they forbid them something they accept it as forbidden.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and it is a hasan hadîth).

Among the most important symbols of this holiday:

1 – Expressing joy and happiness on this occasion, as on their other major festivals.

2 – Exchanging red roses, which are an expression of love, the “spiritual love” of the pagans or the “love” of the Christians. Hence it is known to them as the Feast of Lovers.

3 – The sending of greetings cards. On some of these cards are pictures of “Cupid”, who appears as a child with two wings, carrying a bow and arrows. This was the god of love of the pagan Romans – exalted be Allâh far above their fabrications and their association of others with Him.

4 – Exchange of words of love and desire in the greetings cards which they send to one another, in verse, prose and short phrases. Some of the cards contain comical pictures and funny words, and they often contain the phrase “be my Valentine”. This represents the Christian concept of this festival after it was taken from the pagan concept.

5 – In many western countries, parties are held during the day and in the evening, where there is mixing of men and women, and dancing. Many of them send gifts such as roses and boxes of chocolates to their wives, friends and those whom they love.

Anyone who looks at what is said above about the myths surrounding this pagan festival will clearly understand the following:

Firstly: Its origins lie in the pagan beliefs of the Romans, where it was an expression of the spiritual love of the idols which they used to worship instead of Allâh. Whoever celebrates it is celebrating an occasion of shirk on which the idols are venerated. Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers.} (al-Mâ’idah [5]:72)  

Secondly: The development of this festival among the Romans was connected to myths and legends which no sound mind can accept, let alone the mind of the Muslim who believes in Allâh and His Messengers (peace be upon them). Can anyone of sound mind believe that a she-wolf suckled the founder of the city of Rome and gave him strength and wisdom. Moreover, these myths go against the belief (‘Aqîdah) of the Muslim because the One Who bestows strength and wisdom is the Creator, may He be glorified and exalted, not the milk of a she-wolf! The same applies to the myth that their idols could protect them from evil or keep wolves away from their flocks.

Thirdly: Among the ugly rituals of the Romans on this day was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat, the daubing of their blood onto two youths then washing the blood off with milk, etc… This is something that would cause revulsion in anyone of a sound nature, and it is unacceptable to the sound mind.

Fourthly: The connection between Saint Valentine and this festival has been questioned by many sources, and it considered to be far from definite. It would have been better for the Christians to reject this pagan festival in which they imitated the pagans. So how about us Muslims, who are commanded to be different from the Christians and the pagans before them?

Fifthly: This festival was denounced by the Christian clergy in Italy, the bastion of Catholicism, because it was spreading bad attitudes and having an adverse effect on the minds of young men and women. So it is better for the Muslims to reject it, warn others against it and to fulfil their duty towards it of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.

Why do we as Muslims not celebrate this festival?

This question may be answered in several ways:

1. In Islam, the festivals are clearly defined and well established, and no additions or subtractions may be accepted. They are an essential part of our worship and there is no room for ijtihâd or personal opinion. They have been prescribed for us by Allâh and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him). Ibn Taymiyah (may Allâh have mercy on him) said,

“Festivals are part of the laws, clear way and religious ceremonies of which Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning),

{To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way.} (al-Mâ’idah [5]:48)

{For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow.} (al-Hajj [22]:67)

like the Qiblah (direction faced in prayer), prayer and fasting. So there is no difference between joining them in their festival and joining them in their other rituals. Agreeing with the whole festival is agreeing with Kufr. Agreeing with some of their minor issues is the same as agreeing with them in some of the branches of Kufr. Festivals are the most distinctive things by which religions are told apart, so whoever celebrates their festivals is agreeing with the most distinctive rituals of kufr. Undoubtedly going along with them in their festivals may in some cases lead to Kufr. Dabbling in these things, at the very least, is a sin. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) referred to the fact that every nation has its own festivals when he said,

‘Every nation has its own Eid and this is our Eid (al-Bukhâri , 952, Muslim, 1892).” (al-Iqtidâ’, 1/471-472)

Because Valentine’s Day goes back to Roman times, not Islamic times, this means that it is something which belongs exclusively to the Christians, not to Islam, and the Muslims have no share and no part in it. If every nation has its own festivals, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said, “Every nation has its Eid” (narrated by al-Bukhâri and Muslim) 

Then this means that every nation should be distinguished by its festivals. If the Christians have a festival and the Jews have a festival, which belongs exclusively to them, then no Muslim should join in with them, just as he does not share their religion or their direction of prayer.

2. Celebrating Valentine’s Day means resembling or imitating the pagan Romans, then the Christian People of the Book in their imitation of the Romans in something that was not a part of their religion. If it is not allowed to imitate the Christians in things that really are part of their religion – but not part of our religion – then how about things which they have innovated in their religion in imitation of idol-worshippers?!

Imitating the Kuffâr in general –whether they are idol-worshippers or People of the Book – is Harâm, whether that imitation is of their worship – which is the most serious form – or of their customs and behaviour. This is indicated by the Qur’ân, Sunnah and Ijmâ’ (scholarly consensus):

(i) From the Qur’ân. Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment}(Aal ‘Imrân [3]:105)

(ii) From the Sunnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawûd, 4021)

Shaykh al-Islaam (Ibn Taymiyah) said,

“These two Prophetic Narrations the very least indicates that it is Harâm to imitate them, although the apparent meaning implies that the one who imitates them is a Kâfir, as Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyâ’ [friends and helpers]), then surely, he is one of them’ [al-Mâ’idah 5:51].}

(iii) By Ijmâ’ (consensus of the scholars). Imaam Ibn Taymiyah narrated that there was agreement that it is Harâm to imitate the Kuffâr in their festivals at the time of the Sahâbah (may Allâh be pleased with them), and Ibn al-Qayyim narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this point. (See al-Iqtidâ’, 1/454; Ahkâm Ahl al-Dhimmah, 2/722-725)

Allâh has forbidden imitation of the Kuffâr; He has described it as hateful and has warned against the consequences of that, in many verses, on many occasions, and in various ways. Sometimes He does that by forbidding following them or obeying them; sometimes by warning against them or being deceived by their plots, following their opinions, or being influenced by their actions, conduct or attitude. Sometimes He does that by mentioning some of their characteristics that will make the believers put-off from them and from imitating them. Most of the warnings in the Qur’ân refer to the Jews and hypocrites (Munâfiqîn), then the People of the Book in general and the Mushrikîn. Allâh tells us in the Qur’ân that imitating and obeying the Kuffâr may constitute Riddah (apostasy). Allâh also forbids following them, obeying them, or following their whims and desires and bad characteristics.

Prohibition of imitating the Kuffâr is one of the basic principles of Sharî’ah. Allâh sent His Messenger with guidance and the true religion so that it might prevail over all other religions, and Allâh has perfected His religion for mankind, {This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion}(al-Mâ’idah [5]:3 – interpretation of the meaning).  

Allâh has made Islam cover all (human) interests at all times and in all places and for all people. So there is no need to adopt the ways of the kuffâr or imitate them.

Imitation causes defects in the Muslim personality, such as feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, weakness and defeatism, then it leads to shunning and keeping away from the path and laws of Allâh. Experience has shown that admiration for the kuffâr and imitation of them causes people to love them, have complete faith in them and take them as friends and helpers, and to reject Islam and its people, its heroes, its legacy and values, and become ignorant of all of that.

3. The purpose of Valentine’s Day in these times is to spread love between all people, believers and disbelievers alike. Undoubtedly it is Harâm to love the Kâfirs. Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning), {You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people)…}(al-Mujâdilah [58]:22) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allâh have mercy on him) said,

“Allâh tells us that there is no believer who takes a Kâfir as a close friend. Whoever takes a Kâfir as a close friend is not a believer. Outward imitation may be taken as a sign of love, so it is Harâm.” (al-Iqtidâ’, 1/490).

4. The love referred to in this festival ever since the Christians revived it is romantic love outside the framework of marriage. The result of that is the spread of Zinâ (fornication and adultery) and immorality. Hence the Christian clergy opposed it at some stage and abolished it, then it came back again.

Most of the young people celebrate it because it lets them fulfil their desires, without thinking of the issues of imitation and the resembling that is involved. Look at this tragedy, where they go so far as to commit major sins such as Zinâ and the like, by imitating the Christians in something which is part of their worship and which may even be Kufr.

Some people may wonder, and say, you mean to deprive us of love, but in this day and age we express our feelings and emotions – what is so wrong with that?

We say:

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 Eid. So how about when it is one of the festivals of the Kuffâr?

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 (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said, “If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.” (narrated by Abu Dawûd, 5124; al-Tirmidhi, 2329; it is sahîh). 

He (peace be upon him) also 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 (the greeting of) salâm amongst yourselves.” (Narrated by Muslim, 54) 

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 Allâh, love of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) and his companions (may Allâh be pleased with them), love for good and righteous people, love and support for the religion, love of martyrdom for the sake of Allâh. 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. In a study conducted by the University of Cairo, on what they called “love marriage” and “traditional marriage”, the following was stated,

In marriages which came after a love story, 88% of cases ended in failure, i.e., the success rate was not more than 12%. But in cases of what the study calls traditional marriage, 70% were successful. In other words, the success rate in marriages described as traditional was six times more than those described as “love marriages”. (Risâlah ila Mu’minah, p. 255).

So how can we believe that Valentine’s Day is of any benefit to married couples? 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.

flowersniqabWe often hear the noble Hadeeth, “I have never seen anyone with a deficiency of ‘Aql (intellect) and Deen (religion) who are more overpowering to men than one of you [women]” misused by some men who view this Hadeeth to be a form of belittlement towards women. We must first analyse the hadeeth:

It was said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the deficiency in her intelligence?” He said, “Isn’t the witness of two women equal to that of one man?”

So it was said, “What is the deficiency in her Deen?” He replied, “Isn’t it the case that if she is menstruating she doesn’t pray or fast?”

Here the Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) clarified that the deficiency of her intellect is from the angle of her weak memory and that her testimony is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. This is because of the importance of the precision of the witness (in Islaam) and because she may forget and make an addition or deletion to the testimony. Just as Allaah, the Almighty says, {And bring forth two witnesses from your own men. If there are not two men (available) then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs then the other can remind her…} (2:282)

As for deficiency in her Deen, then it is because during her state of menstruation and post-partum bleeding, she abandons the Salaat and fasting, and she doesn’t make up the Salaat. This is from the deficiency in her Deen. But this deficiency is not blameworthy upon and for her.

Rather it is a deficiency, which happens as a result of that which Allaah had decreed for her and this was done in a manner of leniency and easiness towards her. For if she were to fast in a state of menstruation or in a state of postpartum bleeding it would harm her. Therefore, from the Mercy of Allaah (towards women) He has legislated for her to abandon the fast at the time when she is menstruating or in a state of Nifaas, and to make up the fast afterwards.

As for the Salaat, then without a doubt, the state of menstruation prevents her from purification. So from the mercy of Allaah, He legislated for her to abandon her prayer and likewise in the state of Nifaas. He also legislated for her not to make it up, because in making up the (Salaat) is difficulty, because the Salaat is tremendous, and repetitious, five times throughout the night and day, and the days of menstruation can be plentiful, sometimes seven or eight days or more than that. As for the Nifaas, then it could reach uptp forty days. So from the mercy of Allaah upon her and from His Ihsaan (doing good) towards her is that He removed the Salaat from her whether it be the initial Salaat or the make-up.

rednikabThis does not necessitate that her intelligence is deficient in everything! Nor that her Deen is deficient in everything! But indeed the Messenger (peace be upon him) clarified that the deficiency in her intelligence is from that which happens to her from the lack of precision in her memory and testimony, and that the deficiency in her Deen is from the fact that she leaves off the prayer and fasting at the time of her menses or in the state of Nifaas. Also this doesn’t necessitate that she is less than a man in everything! or the fact that the man is better in everything! Yes, generally the male gender is better than the gender of the females generally for many reasons. Just as Allaah the High and Sublime says, {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend their wealth (to support them)…} (4:34)

But she can surpass him, sometimes, in many things. By Allaah! How many women surpass many men in their intelligence, Deen and precision! But, indeed that which is narrated from the Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is that the women are surpassed by men, generally, in intelligence and in the religion only. There can proceed from her many righteous actions, in which, she can surpass the men and in her Taqwah of Allaah, 'Azza Wa Jall, and in her ranking in the hereafter.

There could be some affairs that she places great importance on and is precise in them more so than the precision of a man. There are many issues, which she carefully considers, and is diligent in memorizing and precise in. She would become the foundation in Islaamic history and point of reference in many affairs and this is clear to those who ponder and reflect on the state of the women during the time of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and after that.

With this it should be understood that this deficiency should not prevent her from being treated equally in her narrations and in her testimony, if it is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that it (this deficiency) should prevent her from having Taqwah of Allaah and the fact that she could be from the most virtuous slaves of Allaah if she is upright in her Deen, even if the fasting and Salaat is not obligatory upon her at the time of menstruation and Nifaas rather this is a deficiency which is specific to the intellect and Deen just as the Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) clarified. It is not appropriate that a believer should accuse her of being deficient in everything and weak in every area of her Deen, and its clarification is pertinent and important so that the speech of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is understood in it’s proper context and in the best possible manner and Allaah knows best.

Reference: Majmoo’ Fatawaa Wa Maqalaat Mutanawi’ah. Vol. 3/292.