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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Muslim World apart from Pakistan embraces Valentines day as a wholesome activity

News Desk |

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrated Valentine’s Day after a prominent cleric on Wednesday endorsed the event as a ‘positive social event’ in a Fatwa widely circulated on social media. The Fatwa called the event as unthreatening to the Islamic traditions prevalent in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia marked the day through an uninhibited manifestation of love and celebration in the absence of the religious police that used to once heavily guard the streets and public places on Valentine’s Day. The streets were filled with the stalls and vendors selling red roses, without any fear of confiscation.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qasim, former President of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Mecca, said Valentine’s Day is as relevant as other social events like Mother Day or National Day.

Read more: Valentine’s Day against Islam: Islamabad High Court

“All these are common social matters shared by humanity and are not religious issues that require the existence of a religious proof to permit it,” he said.

Al-Ghamdi says the celebration of love and peace is not restricted to non-Muslims. He cited various incidents from Prophet Muhammad’s life, in which he engaged with other non-Islamic traditions deriving from non-Muslim.

“There are many worldly things that we deal with morally that may be of interest to non-Muslim communities and became more common among Muslim communities because of their popularity.”

“The Prophet dealt with many worldly things that came from non-Muslims,” he further added. Clerics from other Middle Eastern countries including Egypt and Tunisia too issued Fatwa on February 13th, 2018 supporting the day as a positive social event in their Fatwas.

Egyptian cleric Ahmed Mamdouh said: “There is no harm to allocate one day to show love to one another.”

Read more: Saudi cleric endorses Valentine’s Day as ‘positive event’

Tunisian Grand Mufti Othman Battikh also rejected the claim that Valentine’s Day is solely a Christian tradition. “Anything that brings people closer together is good and desirable,” he said, adding that Muslims can celebrate without departing from Islamic ethics.

An official endorsement of Valentine’s Day from clerics in Saudi Arabia affirms the Kingdom is heading towards secularization. This transition at the heart of Islamic fort is influencing other adjoining tightly controlled Muslim countries too.

By contrast, Pakistan, despite being a moderate Islamic country is still grappling to ascertain the status of  Valentine day in the society.

The Justice system of Pakistan has declared the day as against the Islamic traditions. In 2015 Islamabad High Court issued orders to PEMRA asking them to stop media channels promoting Valentine’s Day. The notice also directed PEMRA to pursue strict measures against media outlets violating the orders.

Read more: PEMRA bans Valentine’s Day celebration on all media

This year Pemra issued orders to Pakistani channels ordering them not to celebrate Valentines day otherwise they will be fined.

Pakistani social media spent the day debating whether we should have it not. With the yeah sayers it was an expression of love and like Mother’s day – if it forces loved one to remember each other what is the harm. They also made the point state should limit its infringements of personal and private rights of individuals. The naysayers all used Islam to condemn it. However, the acceptance in other Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia, puts this up to question.