All praise and thanks are due to Allah the Rabb of the Worlds and peace and blessings on His Messengerr the last and final Nabi and Rasool, our master Muhammadr, his family and companions and all those who follow them in excellence until the Day of Judgment. Thereafter.
They say, ‘Imitation is the most sincere form of praise.’ I say, ‘Imitation is the surest sign of mental slavery.’
So what is Valentine’s Day?
This is what my research on Google produced.
“In Ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno, Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Feast of Lupercalia started the next day.
During these times boys and girls were segregated. However, the young people had a custom that began on the eve of the Festival of Lupercalia. The girl’s names were written on pieces of paper and inserted into jars. Each boy then drew a girl’s name from the jar and they were partners throughout the Festival. After being paired, the children would often continue to see each other throughout the year and on occasion even fell in love and got married.
Emperor Claudius II of Rome, also known as Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time recruiting men as soldiers. He believed that the men did not want to leave their sweethearts and cancelled all engagements and marriages throughout Rome. St. Valentine, a priest of Rome at the time, secretly married couples. He was eventually caught, arrested and condemned. He was beaten to death and beheaded on February 14th, around the year 270.
Lupercalia was a feast to a heathen God. Pastors and priests of the early Christian church did away with the pagan custom by replacing the names of the girls with the names of saints. They chose St. Valentine’s Day as the day of celebration for the new feast.
Now, Alhamdulillah we all know the Islamic reasons why celebrating Valentine’s Day is Haraam and why all the actions associated with it – contacting and being alone with non-Mahram men and women, flirting, having boyfriends and girlfriends, carrying on romances directly or on the internet and so on, are all Haraam.
I don’t think in today’s world there is any Muslim who can read and write and has access to the internet, who is ignorant enough to claim that he or she does not know that these things are actually Haraam. So I want to talk about another insidious and shameful aspect of this Festival of Shaytaan. I call it the ‘The thin edge of the wedge’.
They called it freedom. And freedom is a good word, so we thought nothing of it. Freedom to do whatever they want, to be themselves, to express themselves, to have space; they called it. It sounded like a good thing. After all don’t we all believe that the fight for freedom is the good fight and don’t we support all those who are fighting to gain freedom?
We should have asked, ‘Freedom from what? To do what? What does ‘express yourself’ mean? What is the meaning of ‘space?’
Then we would have learnt that freedom meant, freedom from all restraint, all rules of decency, all that holds the fabric of moral, socially responsible society together. But then, isn’t that what we used to call anarchy?
Yes it is, they said. But then you see, those are the quaint and frankly embarrassingly idiotic and backward, middle class values that we used to live by. High time we jettisoned them and joined the mainstream of modern society in the global village.
They forgot to tell us that in the global village the dominant culture is the culture of consumerism. The culture of consumption. The culture of self-indulgence with the only limit being the spending power of your credit card. They forgot to tell us that one day we have to pay for what we buy. That one day we will be called to account. They forgot to tell us that in the process of creating this society it was necessary to create a high degree of irresponsibility, a sense that only ‘I’ matter and the rest can go to hell. ‘Each man for himself and the Devil take the last.’ ‘Family’ in this society is a 6 – letter word; a bad word because families epitomize responsibility. And responsibility is another 14 – letter bad word. Responsible people save. They don’t spend. They conserve. They don’t waste. They become sedate. They don’t follow fads and trends. Responsible people don’t support consumerism. They are bad news.
So the family must be destroyed.
To do that promiscuity and immorality must first be encouraged. But you can’t call it that, can you? That will draw too much flak. So they invented another phrase – adult consent.
Now being adult is all about taking decisions about your own life without anyone else having the right to ‘interfere’, right? If two adults want to do something who is anyone else, be it society, be it the law or be it religion, to dictate what they can and can’t do? That is the opposite of freedom, right? And the opposite of freedom is oppression, right? And oppression is a bad thing, right?
So adult consent came into being. And we supported it.
Now to take the ‘fight for freedom’ to its next stage and that is, to define who is an adult. Age of consent. 21 years? Too old. People mature long before that. So 18? Why not 16? Ah!! The joy of a 16 year old!! But we can’t talk like that. 16 is the ideal age of consent because a person is mature at 16, so why should they be prevented from exercising their right to freedom any longer? That sounds much better.
How do you make promiscuity acceptable in a society that insists on decency and morality?
A very powerful way is to call it ‘Love’. A ‘good’ 4 – letter word for the real 4 – letter word for what it really is, ‘Lust’. They promoted it in the form of a festival – Valentine’s Day. ‘What’s the harm in it?’ – they asked. It’s only little boys and girls (of course most of them are not so little) expressing love for their sweethearts. Originally even Christian clergy opposed it but then, they succumbed.
Naturally Valentine’s Day promotes the consumerist culture that is the real agenda – give people reasons to spend more and more. So let them express ‘love’. Now what does that make those who say that this way of expressing love is Haraam? At best, killjoy Mullahs. At worst Islamist, terrorist, retarded, backward, oppressive – see the name game?
What did Allah tell us about such festivals and celebrations of Shaytaan? He said:
[B]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِي الأَرْضِ حَلاَلاً طَيِّباً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ[/B]
[B]إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاء وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ[/B]
Al-Baqara 2:168. O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy. 169. \[Shaytaan] commands you only what is evil and Fahsha (shameful, sinful), and that you should say against Allah what you know not.
How do you make promiscuity acceptable in a society that insists on decency and morality?
Another excellent way is through advertisements, serials and movies. Bollywood, Hollywood and all the commercial product and service advertisements do a cardinal job of chipping away at the bastions of social morals until what was unmentionable a decade ago becomes fashionable in this decade. We call it entertainment. We call it being progressive. We call it being chic and those who don’t subscribe are the squares.
That’s the thin edge of the wedge. Once it gets into the doorway, the rest is inevitable, only a matter of time. So we thought nothing of a biscuit advertisement that showed a scantily dressed woman lounging languidly on a couch. We thought nothing of an ice cream stick ad which showed a woman licking the stick in a gesture that clearly reminded you of something else. We thought nothing of a pocket PC ad that focused more on the curve of the buttock supporting the pocket than the PC which protruded therefrom. And all the while we comforted ourselves with the thought that after all these were only bill boards featuring some women we did not know personally. So they can’t hurt us, can they?
We did not see or chose not to see the real agenda – social engineering. Changing the standards of society. Changing what is acceptable and what is not. Changing what is considered taboo and what is not. Moving something from ‘unthinkable’ to ‘aspirational’. You did not think it could be done, did you? Well, just look at the way advertising and films have changed over the last 3 decades and you will see how things that our parent’s generation would have had a heart attack to see don’t even attract a comment from us.
But why do you need a woman’s naked body to sell ice cream? Isn’t that oppression of women? No it isn’t. You see, she is doing it of her own free will. Just like playing tennis in micro-skirts. Wearing a burqa is oppression. But what if the one wearing the burqa is doing it of her own free will? Not possible. The burqa is not religion. It is subservience. Ask Sarkozy. So it must be banned. But forcing people to take clothes off is as much oppression as forcing them to put them on, isn’t it? Ah!! You will never understand. But it doesn’t matter, because you don’t matter. You are too old fashioned and out of date.
We watched pre-marital and extra-marital relationship scenes in movies in the name of story line and plot and marveled at the acting skill (after all it is all acting and not real, we comforted ourselves) until suddenly one day our children started to have similar relationships. When we watched the movie we never thought it would happen in our own home, did we? But then weren’t we accepting the new world order when we paid to watch the movie? Was it not we who told our children that pre-marital or extra-marital sex was okay, when we watched the movie together as a family? Was it not we who gave our children the message that our morals had changed and that it was no longer necessary for them to take us as role models but instead to take the actors and actresses as worthy of emulation?
Then came television and the lovely serials, ending each day on a note of suspense that ensured that we watched what happened the next day. Bold & Beautiful, which may have been bold but was certainly not beautiful. Relationships of men and women that eventually got so confused that the woman who was once the wife of the father is now the wife of the son while simultaneously being the paramour of someone else. What freedom!! And where was all this happening and being watched? In our own living rooms. In homes where women were in purdah, extra-marital relationships were displayed in full detail and watched by the whole family completely without shame. Why? Because of course we believed it couldn’t happen to us and what we were seeing was ‘only acting’.
And for those of us who were among the watchers exclusively of National Geographic, talk shows, news and Animal Planet – well you see, it is the commercials that ensure that you can see these shows and what is in the commercials? Pushing the boundaries of desire, daring, challenging norms and making the impossible, possible. Not one of those words that I have used, will you challenge.
Not one of them in themselves is objectionable. But look at a commercial – almost anyone of them and you will see each of these concepts in a totally different light. But we didn’t think about that, did we? Because we don’t think, period. And for those who don’t watch any TV at all there are the newspapers, magazines and the ever present, ever more daring bill boards.
The thin edge of the wedge that was inserted in the doorway had very effectively worked its way in, and the door was now wide open.
So now we go the whole hog!! Homosexuality. Ah!! Before you start screaming, ‘Stop!’ It’s all about freedom, see? And about adult consent. And about who is an adult. Did you not agree to all these concepts already? Were you not on the forefront right alongside us in the fight for our right to exercise our freedom and express ourselves and to have our personal space and to fulfill our desires? Well, so what’s the problem now? It’s all about desire, see?
Goodbye, old chap. It’s now our world. Ask your children if you don’t believe me.
In the Washington March for Gay Pride in 1993, they chanted, “We’re here. We’re queer. And we’re coming after your children.”
You say it’s not natural? Well neither is ice cream.