SRINAGAR – As almost all western countries celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14, the day was far from being noticed in Kashmir, where the event was banned as contradicting with Islamic religious teachings a decade ago.
“Valentine day for Kashmiri Muslims means yet another attack on the already hit social life which has suffered a lot during the last twenty four years of conflict,” Mohd Abass Bhat, a Muslim resident in the Indian administered district, told OnIslam.net.
“This is completely anti-Islamic so we must avoid suc
Every year on February 14, most of the wester countries celebrate the event dubbed as Valentine's Day, exchanged flowers and gifts between loved ones, in the name of St. Valentine.
The event, the second most popular after Christmas, has always stirred ban calls in Muslim-majority countries, seeing it as imposing a western culture that badly effects young Muslim generations.
In Muslim-majority Kashmir, the case was very much the same.
“The event is anti-Islamic and Muslims are not allowed to celebrate the day because in Islam the day has no importance”, Mohd Akram Wani, a student of Institute of Arabic and Islamic studies Srinagar, said.
“Unless the madrassas in Kashmir are not given free hand to teach the youngsters the moral education besides religious education and same is not incorporated in the educational curriculum people mostly young generation will get infected by the western ideas and traditions.
“For Muslim nothing is important which is not mentioned in Holy Quran and Suna (Hadith) the real guide for a Muslim,” he added.
Kashmir Muslim girls shared a similar opinion.
For Bisma Ashraf, valentine day is part of the western culture that might lead to the destruction of the social fabric of Kashmiri Muslims.
“We have lost most of the traditions may it be dresses or the living standard to the western culture but now Kashmiris are not going to adopt this type of westernization which exposes our youth to obscenity,” Bisma told Onislam.net.
Yet, Saima Amin, a Kashmiri girl who was born and brought up in Indian capital state Delhi, believes that the Valentine’s Day has a special significance in the society of present generation.
“The day reminds us of some special relations and this day I spend the day with my friends” she told OnIslam.net.
“I fail to understand why people oppose this move which otherwise bring two friends close to each other.”
Lust Not Love
Imposing the ban almost a decade ago, activists of separatist organization, Dukthran-e-Milat (Daughters of Kashmir), say that they wanted to put an end to the social ills which could have affected Kashmiri young Muslims.
“Though the youth in Kashmir call it (Valentine’s Day), a day of love, but our organization has been calling it as the day of obscenity and vulgarity,” a female activist of Dukthran-e-Milat told OnIslam.net.
“Love is which GOD ‘ALLAH’ has permitted, this type of love is lust not love,” she added.
She said the organization has already warned the young couples of the bad consequences of the celebrations.
“Alhamdulillah people here understand as how the Valentine’s Day is against the Muslims of Kashmir”, she added.
Each year, Dukthran-e-Milat volunteers conduct raids on February 14 on all the hotels, parks and gardens besides the internet cafes and cafeterias on the Valentine’s Day to thwart the celebrations.
“Why should a young boy and girl go to a hotel to celebrate the day when they know they can otherwise bestow their wishes to each other by other means also,” Altaf Hussian told OnIslam.net, terming the celebration as moved by lust rather than love.
“We must not encourage such type of move which is dangerous for our society”.
Despite the ban, Amreena Hassan from Srinagar said that some young people attempt to celebrate the day by using social media like Face book and twitter.
She appealed on young boys and girls to remain apart from the celebrations, saying that Valentine’s Day is even opposed by the Hindu organizations across India then why should we Muslims celebrate it.
“There is no place for any such thing which is western in nature, these types of celebrations teach us nothing so we must not celebrate the day,” Hassan said.
Khurshid Ahmad Wani, a young advocate from Doru Munsiff Court in south Kashmir, termed the celebrations of Valentine’s Day as intrusion to the culture of whole of the south Asia.
He said the celebration of the day is not only against the Muslim religion but other thoughts of schools also.
“It is western people who want to create hegemony on the minds and hearts of the people particularly Muslims all over the world,” advocate Khurshid Wani told OnIslam.net.
The religious organizations have already launched a campaign against the western culture which, according to them, has not only affected the young girls and boys but has ruined the society as a whole.
“Every Muslim whether young or old, male or female must follow the path of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and go by the lessons taught in Holy Qur’an and Hadith”, Moulvi Mohammad Arif, a local Imam in Central Kashmir told OnIslam.net.
He urged young Kashmiris to stick to the teachings of their religion to understand that these events are direct attack on young minds of Kashmir.
“All that is to be followed by the young Kashmiri boys and girls is to adopt the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and young couples must not encourage such irrelevant ideas which has bearing on the society”, Moulvi Arif told Onislam.net
Another religious scholar, Shabir Ahmad of south Kashmir, termed the Valentine’s Day as meaningless.
“Why should we celebrate Valentine’s Day when we know the day has no meaning for the Muslims,” Shabir told OnIslam.net.
“Instead, we should follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as there is no place for western culture in our society.”
Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives.
However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day.
Hence, commemorating the Valentine’s Day is an innovation or bid`ah (innovation) that has no religious backing.