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.