March 6, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11173

Columns In Pakistan's Urdu Daily Reject Valentine's Day: 'There Is No Possibility For Valentine's Day In Our Civilized Country; It Is A Festival Of Uncivilized Nations'

March 6, 2024
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 11173

Every year on February 14 in Pakistan, instead of celebrating Valentine's Day, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and other Islamic religious organizations celebrate Yaum-e-Haya ("Day of Modesty"). Progressive groups and youths who are not part of religious organizations simply celebrate Valentine's Day as do youths elsewhere in the world.

Members of Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamist groups also demonstrate against Valentine's Day, the popularity of which they fear is undermining Islam, demonstrate against it. In connection with Valentine's Day this year, Jamaat-e-Islami's Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Jasarat ran two columns promoting Haya Day.

The first column is titled "Fake Valentine" and written by Mehwish Khola Rao. The second column is titled "Valentine's Day or Day of Modesty" and is written by Umme Ibrahim, who narrates the story of a college girl caught in the debate between Haya Day and Valentine's Day. Citing Quranic verses, the columns promote shari'a requirements for girls, especially the requirements for veiling.

A poster issued by the students wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan

Following are excerpts from Mehwish Khola Rao's article:[1]

"The West's Valentine Is In A Lot Of Distress; Their Marriages Happen With Great Difficulty; It Is A Free Society In Every Way; They Will Have Many Things, But Not True Love"

"This festival is not ours; then what childish questions and possibilities we invent [to celebrate this day]: Give flowers to mother, give them to father, or give them to your teacher. [The third-century Saint] Valentine did not designate it as memorable day for father, mother, or any permissible relationship; rather, it is remembered for his secret love affair.

"There is no possibility for Valentine's Day in our civilized country. It is a festival of uncivilized nations, who have no etiquette for food, drink, attire, clothes, and relationships. We are a civilized nation; we have our best clothes, our best delicious food, and our beautiful family system. Our love is always with us. We do not have any misfortune like Valentine's; marriages are common, and weddings happen easily among us. The West's Valentine is in a lot of distress; their marriages happen with great difficulty. It is a free society in every way. They will have many things, but not true love.

"Then, shall we now learn true love from them? Long live the family system in our world where the backdoors of Valentine's Day are still considered despicable. Even if the West tries hard, the love of two na-mahrams [i.e., strangers] in our society cannot get any support or respect. Here, the relationships are built to last until the grave, with Allah and the Prophet [Muhammad] as witnesses – not for a day. And this love is guarded with heart and soul.

"For us, the mutual love of a couple is the payment of rights and duties. We do not sing songs of false love and secret meetings. When a couple gives such deception to each another, we call it sin. And if such a sin is committed, they repent and do not repeat the memory of this sin. We are completely different from the West. Here, love means nothing without action. It is the action that involves respect, honor, and unparalleled loyalty. A Valentine couple, who normalizes superficial relationship and fake love, cannot prove loyalty to each other."

"Young People Of The Country, Valentine's Day Does Not Support Any Pure Love; It Is Only An Aid To Haram [Impermissible] Love; Do Not Be Swayed By The Promises Of A Fake Valentine"

"Now, in the age of social media, you must have seen that when the Westerners marry, they go mad with happiness and start crying when they see the bride. They cannot believe that a woman has bound herself to only one man...

"If you want to emulate true love, do it with these special couples of the world. The world's greatest loving couples include Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Ali and Fatima, Muhammad and Ayesha. If the lady would be angry, they would bear it with love. When Ayesha became upset, the Prophet would sometimes placate her and sometimes he would sulk, and Ayesha would pacify him.

"Sometimes there was an argument over increasing expenses, and so the lady would forgive her right of dowry; and sometimes in times of economic misery, they would be pleased with the lady. Sometimes the lady was given a pearl necklace as a gift, and sometimes a host would be asked for an invitation for the wife too... Allah Allah, these beautiful manners of love!

"Young people of the country, Valentine's Day does not support any pure love; it is only an aid to haram [impermissible] love. Do not be swayed by the promises of a fake Valentine. Keep love within the boundaries of what is halal [permissible], in true and honest relationships."

Following are excerpts from Umme Ibrahim's article:[2]

"Some Girls [In College] Were Saying That We Will Celebrate Valentine's Day On February 14 While Some Said That We Will Celebrate It As Yaum-E-Haya [Day Of Modesty] And Not As 'Valentine's Day' As Non-Muslims Celebrate It"

"Assalam-o-Alaikum, Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu [Peace be upon you, and the mercy and blessings of Allah], Aaliya said in a loud voice while entering the house. Wa Alaikum Salaam, Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu [And upon you be peace and the mercy of Allah and His blessings], I answered the greeting. Aaliya came from the college and did not say anything other than the greetings and unusually she did not even make a noise about being hungry. She went to her room quietly to lie down. I sensed that Aaliya's mind was very confused about something. I went to Aaliya and called out to her lovingly, and only got a 'hmmm' response.

"My doubt turned into certainty that she was thinking about something, that is why she could not respond fully even when I came to the room and called her. This was the girl whose arrival would light up the house and the story of her time in college would be buzzing around the house. Today she was silent and entangled. I said to her, 'Child! What's the matter? Today you seem quiet and troubled; what is the matter that has put my brave and strong daughter into a state of confusion and distress?'

"It seemed like Aliyah was searching for comforting words; she looked toward me with hopeful eyes and began to speak (as if her confusion would now surely be resolved). Mom! Today the girls had a disagreement in the college. There was a lot of discussion about Valentine's Day, and I listened to them silently and could not come to any decision. Some girls were saying that we will celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14 while some said that we will celebrate it as Yaum-e-Haya [Day of Modesty] and not as 'Valentine's Day' as non-Muslims celebrate it. Mom, why would they do that? Why do they not celebrate Valentine's Day? What is Valentine's Day? And what is the Day of Modesty?

"I smiled and began my feeble attempt to explain the 'Code of Life,' connecting faith and modesty, dignity and purity, and the pledge of honor to the growing mind of my daughter. Child! Satan is our enemy: one exists within us and one outside us, and combating both is extremely challenging. We can win the competition only when our hearts are enriched with the wealth of faith. When faith enters us, we live our lives according to the order of the Lord in whom we believe."

"On Valentine's Day, Men And Women Of Any Age Express Their Love For Each Other Without Getting Married; There Is An Exchange Of Gifts And Time Is Spent Together In Solitude Which Is Totally Against The Islamic Way Of Life"

"The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has declared 'modesty' as a great branch of faith in order to make his Ummah of exemplary character. Because 'modesty' is like a precious jewel, a person who wears it has a beautiful character and 'modesty' is the attribute that prevents a person from doing wrong.

"What is 'modesty?' And how do we know if what we are doing is a 'modest' act or not? Aliya asked. Child! 'Modesty' is the name of such an attribute that creates a state of reproach and suffocation in human mind due to the fear of committing sin and wrongdoing. Its source is the heart, and its manifestation is the face.

"This is not without reason that Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, said: 'Modesty only brings good' – Sahih Muslim. In another place, the prophet said: 'Indeed, modesty is a part of faith' – Sahih Bukhari.

"In Islam, friendship is forbidden with a na-mahram [stranger] man and is an act of immodesty. Our religion clearly commands us that interaction between men and women is prohibited. Engaging in friendship, association, or expressing love without nikah [marriage] by a man for a na-mahram woman, or for a woman with a na-mahram a man is called zina [adultery].

"And in the Quran, it is stated for such men and women... [The evildoers are for the evildoers, and the good-doers are for the good-doer, according to Quran 24:24-26]. And Valentine's Day is another name for all these things.

"On Valentine's Day, men and women of any age express their love for each other without getting married. There is exchange of gifts and time is spent together in solitude which is totally against the Islamic way of life and in our religion, it falls under the category of zina. That is why Muslims who love their Lord celebrate it as the Day of Modesty; and they remember the day for obedience to the commandments of shari'a, while avoiding shamelessness and sinful life. And they renew the determination to live a pure Islamic life in order to cut the root of this outdated ritual for burying the faith of Muslims."

Allah Said: "Oh Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, Say To The Believing Women! Keep Your Gaze Lowered And Guard Your Modesty"

"Child, our religion Islam imposes certain limits and restrictions on us regarding relationships, without adhering to which the establishment of a dignified society is not possible. Rather, some of our social values also demand that we stay within our limits so that the beauty of relationships can be maintained. We are the proponents of a religion that instructs us to maintain a certain level of modesty and veiling even in pure relationships such as mother-son, father-daughter, brother-sister, maternal aunt-uncle, and uncle-aunt.

"Here, it is forbidden to enter the parents' room without permission or for adult brother to enter the room of a sister without knocking. Here a limit has been set even in mahram [i.e., close] relationships. And non-permissible relationships' identification has been done with whom open mixing and mingling in any way is not permissible. Modest daughters are the ones who observe all the Islamic orders and limits and do not give themselves to any na-mahram.

A poster declares in Urdu: "Modesty is part of faith."

"There is a clear statement of Allah in the Holy Quran: 'Oh Prophet, peace be upon him, say to the believing women! Keep your gaze lowered and guard your modesty. Do not display your beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appears thereof. Draw your veils over your bosoms' – (Quran 24:31).

"Similarly, men are instructed: 'Oh Prophet! Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is well aware of what they do' – (Quran 24:30).

"Adhering to these commandments, the respected Mothers of the Believers [wives of Muhammad], the most righteous beings on earth, declared ideal and revered... by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the male and female Companions, have always emphasized to believing women and men the importance of embracing 'modesty' through their way of life.

"Upon completion of my words, Alia smiled and said, 'I too will always adhere to these commandments and keep myself within the limits and restrictions that my Lord has established for my own good, and adorn myself with the ornament of 'modesty.' Allah willing, she whispered softly, as if making a pledge to herself."


[1] Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan), accessed February 26, 2024.

[2] Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan), accessed February 26, 2024.

Share this Report: