Bismi-llāhi ar-Raħmāni ar-Raħīmi
Do you know what Valentine's is all about? Do you know how it came about? Most importantly, do you know what you're celebrating?
Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, but this much is clear: Valentine’s Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to honour Lupercus, the ‘god of fertility and flocks’. Its main attraction was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for ‘entertainment and pleasure’ - until the next year’s lottery.
Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with the blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the ‘sacred’ thongs by these ‘holy men’ was believed to make the women better able to bear children.
As usual, Christianity tried, unsuccessfully, to end the evil celebration of Lupercalia. It first replaced the lottery of the names of women with a lottery of the names of saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. Christianity ended up doing in Rome, and elsewhere, as the Romans did.
The idea that you can preserve the appearance of a popular evil and yet somehow turn it to serve the purpose of virtue has survived. Look at all those people who are still trying, helplessly, to use the formats of popular television entertainment to promote good. They might learn something from this episode in history. It failed miserably.
The only success it had was in changing the name of Lupercalia to St Valentine’s Day. It was done in the year 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honour of one Saint Valentine. However, there are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. Two of them are more famous, although their lives and characters are also shrouded in mystery.
According to one legend, which is more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St Valentine was a ‘lover’s saint’ who had himself fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter.
Due to serious troubles that accompanied such lottery, French government banned the Valentine ritual in 1776. It also vanished over the years in Italy, Austria, Hungry, and Germany. Earlier, during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong it had been banned in England, but King Charles II revived it in 1660.
From England the Valentine ritual arrived in the New World, where enterprising Yankees spotted a good means of making money. Esther A Howland who produced, in the 1840s, one of the first commercial American Valentine Day cards called - what else valentines sold $5,000 worth in the first year. (Then $5,000 was a lot of money.) The valentine industry has been booming ever since.
-Courtesy of Sis Shiqpe Palloshi.-
The same implies for Christmas and Halloween.
Logically, if you really love someone then everyday can be Valentine's day. If you really love to give, then everyday can be Christmas and if you want to dress up as a monster then do so at a photo studio. LOL. Some Muslims are indulging themselves in practices that they regard as innocent fun when they are actually cultural practices that may symbolize unbelief or they could be rooted in paganism. These ideas/ practices may have been products of superstitions and may be a negation to what Islam stands for.
< I didn't write any of this, May Allah bless the person who did and bless their family in Dunya and the Here-After. Ameen.