Here Comes The Valentine’s Day.

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/02/Valentine01-thumb.jpgEvery shop in the city is dressed up in colors of love with all sorts of red and hearts hanging every where, gift shops selling heats and hearty bears, heart shaped clocks and all sorts of decorative items. Greeting cards also dipped in red with hearts all over them, Roses red and wrapped with hearts printed on wrapping paper being sold on every signal and traffic intersection, All for the 14th of February to celebrate valentines day.

Saint Valentine’s Day is the second largest card sending occasion after Christmas. Being tagged as a hallmark holiday in the United States of America, the occasion is celebrated world wide by people to express and celebrate love.

In Karachi this occasion being introduced as the “Rose day” by in Indian movie years ago has now become one of the most celebrated events of the year. While talking to some gift shop owners around the city I found out that in respect of giving gifts this occasion is marked at the top leaving Eid a few paces behind, the owner “Mr Book” small gift shop In Gulshan said ” I feel sad when people ignore Eid to express their love, but chose this foreign occasion to exchange gifts”. While the owner of a similar shop in Baghdadabad said “It’s good that people are expressing love, also its good for our business, these are the only times we get to earn so much… “.

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/02/Valentine03-thumb.jpgBesides all the mixed feelings and thoughts another interesting fact which I came across was that an average of 80% of Boys buying valentine gifts for their girl friends buy more then one gifts while the percentage for such girls is less than 30. Mostly such boys buy around 3 – 6 gifts while the top figure for girls is no more then 3. An owner of a shop in Gulshan -e-Iqbal said “Last year I packed 15 gifts for a single boy, he was a college student, I had to write ‘My Jan, my Love’ followed by 15 names of different girls on the cards for him”.

We sure have quickly adopted a foreign culture called valentines day, but we are totally not prepared for it to be a part of our society. The girls are still too “Home Kept” or too na√Øve to protect them selves and our society is too brutal on them. It’s time we start thinking about educating our girls so next year they don’t fall prey to the flirts.

In My opinion Love is something we celebrate every day throughout our lives, then why have a day for it. What is your opinion ? How do you see and feel about the valentine day ? Do express.

37 Comments so far

  1. MB (unregistered) on February 11th, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

    @JAMASH :
    ” giving gifts this occasion is marked at the top leaving Eid a few paces behind “

    Jamash i am sorry but i strongly disagree to the above. People still celebrate Eid as a specially day and Valentine in no way matches it. Its just for 15-30 years bracket that is interested (generally) for this day. Can you please quote any source as confirmation of whatever you said. And by the way this virus is prevalent in the middle and upper class. Lower doesn’t even know what the heck is it. And the shopkeepers only know it through this class.

    “It’s time we start thinking about educating our girls so next year they don’t fall prey to the flirts.”

    What the hell it has to do with education dude ?. Education would only give a guy/gul a better way to represent his/her feelings other wise even in Interior Sindh there are illiterate women falling in love with thieves. The more powerful a thief is the more he would be famous. Such is the complexity of LOVE. And its more of the educated lot which is blindly following this day ( including me ) and not the illiterate.

    bewaqufun ki kami nahi Ghalib
    Aik dhundo , Hazar miltey hain

    Hey dear, its not for you by the way….;)


  2. sl (unregistered) on February 11th, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

    Well i agree to the point that love is something that we should celebrate throughout our lives. These occasions are very westernized in the sense they mainly came into being to bring ppl in the western countries bit close where marriages and love relations had pathetic turnover. In our culture these are much more respected relationships with islamic values added and families involved and the eastern touch to it but the problem with us is now we are getting in the groove loosing our par values for their stupid values and our young lads are being bombarded by the indian media …we are loosing our values…for crap !!


  3. xia (unregistered) on February 11th, 2007 @ 11:53 pm

    Pathetic it is without a doubt to see people trying to fit in.


  4. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on February 11th, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

    It’s Utter Nonsense IMHO … it may stand OK for western society norms but keeping in mind OUR society … such ideas is giving a sharp rise to teh concept of girlfriends and boyfriends in Pakistan … drag it around or not …!

    And why do we cater the word LOVE for one and only one relationship too, generally … ??


  5. Wahidi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    I must agree with you all that the whole idea is western…..but when you say that the whole girlfrriend/boyfriend idea is being given a sharp “rise”….well i must remind you that its been dere since forever……the part of it that recieved a sharp rise is the expressive part……
    and ofcourse Valentines is nuthing compared to EID as MB said…
    Loving someone isn’t wrong…..as long as you don’t forget the limits established for you by Islam!……
    p.s. my bday is on the 14th of feb:P……so dont criticize that day completely…..hehe….


  6. Zainub (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 1:11 am

    I wrote about it all over at Desicritis, here.
    Loads of nonsense in short.


  7. KhiTorPitt (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 3:49 am

    “interesting fact which I came across was that an average of 80% of Boys buying valentine gifts for their girl friends”

    @Jamash
    Can you tell me where do you get this statistic from ?
    Although I dont live in Khi, but I know the fact and thats why I would totally disagree with you, 80% of buys wouldn’t have a girl friend either.
    If somebody is in love doesnt mean the girl would become his girl friend, many of the guys dont even talk to a girl whom they like, most of the guys just stares the girls.
    Many ppl just came to know about Valentine’s day bcoz of Indian movies.

    I know that things are getting change and our society is getting worse bcoz of enlighten and moderation theory but still I would say “hamara ma’ashra ab itna bhi nahi bigra hai”


  8. TURAB (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 5:37 am

    SPREAD LOVE n NOT WAR

    peace


  9. Karachiite (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 6:14 am

    People running after American culture don’t have ANY idea where it leads to. Just to give you a couple of statistics:

    In America 95% of BOTH men and women have sex BEFORE marriage – and not necessarily with the person they end up marrying – something I would assume we don’t want.

    In America more then 50% marriages end in divorce.

    America is the WRONG country to be teaching us about love and marriage.


  10. ash (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 8:50 am

    It is shocking to people who remember life before the advance of valentines in south asia, but america has no monopoly on consumer culture or for that matter romance. Things only sell if you can find a market. These things are universal. Its not the fourth of july being celebrated.


  11. Kamran (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 9:36 am

    History of Valentine’s Day

    Below is at least two versions of what Valentine’s Day commemorates. It is one of the ancient Pagan customs just like Halloween which has even been discounted to have anything to do with Christianity. And we keep following the West blindly. Don’t we have anything of our own culture left to celebrate.

    “Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th annually and is associated with lovers, sweethearts or people who have an attraction to another, exchanging cards and/or gifts as a symbol of their affection. However, the history behind this day did not start out as such.

    Back in the time of ancient Rome, the 14th of February was seen as holiday to honour Juno, the Queen of Roman Gods and Goddesses. The following day marking what the Romans classed as the Ides of February (mid-February) a feast marked the celebration of heathen Gods in a feast called Lupercalia. It too was classed as a holiday and was a celebration that honoured the founders of Rome, twin brother Romulus and Remus and also the Gods, Luper and Faunus.

    Legend has it that Romulus and Remus were supposedly suckled by wolves in a cave on the Palantine Hill in the city of Rome and the cave was called the Lupercal. The hill and cave were used as the centre of the Lupercalia ceremonies and the priests of Lupercus would perform a pagan ceremony at the cave.

    The priests would dress in goatskins and sacrifice goats and a dog. They would then smear themselves with sacrificial blood prior to running around the hillside carrying a goatskin thong called a Februa (meaning: means of purification). Women from around the city who wished for fertility and easy childbirth would come and place themselves around the hill so that the priests could hit them with the Februa. It is from Februa that the name of the month of February is derived.

    Along with this part of the Lupercalia, the priests would also play ‚Äö√Ñ√≤cupid’ with the young men and women of the city by having the girls write down their names and place them in a box from which the young men would select a name and that woman would then be his partner for either the duration of the feast, for the year or even for life. It must be noted that the lives of young girls and boys in ancient Rome were strictly separate, hence this was a way for them to interact.

    Although Lupercalia was celebrated on the 15th which the Romans classed as the middle of the month, realistically the 14th is the middle of February as the month has 28 days apart from during a Leap year”.


  12. mansoor (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 11:33 am

    mb: well said yaar!! pasand aaye tumhare baatein

    jamash: “I feel sad when people ignore Eid to express their love” mb: well said yaar!! pasand aaye tumhare baatein

    jamash: “I feel sad when people ignore Eid to express their love”


  13. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    “Last year I packed 15 gifts for a single boy, he was a college student, I had to write ‘My Jan, my Love’ followed by 15 names of different girls on the cards for him”.” — ha…ha…now this is truly pathetic. I wonder how this guy even find time to study.


  14. Jamash (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

    @ MB:
    1. Our youth (Age 13-35) makes the biggest portion of consumer market in Pakistan.

    2. Youth from New Karachi, Jordia bazar, Laloo Khait, and line’s Area also celebrate valentines, they do remain within their own budget but that does not stop them.

    3. Valentines Day is not a part of our culture, It was forced upon us by Indian movies, and later by many Pakistani dramas. It is a process which is overriding our culture because of the commercialism of our media industry. Pakistani and Indian media industries both, are making movies, dramas and programs which show glamorized western culture and they don’t have any Indian sub continental cultural essence in them. Such dramas are playing catastrophic role for our culture and heritage.


  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    Valentine/Eid/blah blah day tu bhai dukandaroun ka hota hay kio k wohi sab se zyda kamata hain. awam tu bewaqoof ban jati hay.


  16. JayJay (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

    There seem to be unanimity against celebrating V-Day. No qualms with that. However, it makes me wonder then who are the people who celebrate this day if nobody at this forum wants to touch this day with a barge pole? People who go the shops for buying presents, as noted by Jamash, must be the part of this city, this culture. If 80% of an age-group (although I doubt the figures provided) are proudly owning and celebrating this festival, it is no more a foreign festival but a very part of ours.


  17. JayJay (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

    There seem to be unanimity against celebrating V-Day. No qualms with that. However, it makes me wonder then who are the people who celebrate this day if nobody at this forum wants to touch this day with a barge pole? People who go the shops for buying presents, as noted by Jamash, must be the part of this city, this culture. If 80% of an age-group (although I doubt the figures provided) are proudly owning and celebrating this festival, it is no more a foreign festival but a very part of ours.


  18. Manzoor (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    It’s only commercialization of love


  19. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm


    commercialization of love

    liked this term, you may also label as “Capitalized Love” :-)


  20. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    Saint Valentine’s Day is the second largest card sending occasion after Christmas.

    This is the sole reason why VDay is thriving and becoming prevalent.


  21. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

    I feel like a fish out of water while saying this– I do not find any harm in the celebration of this day…..after all, expressing one’s love, that is and if only, it is done in a tender and selfless way, should be encouraged and NOT discouraged.


  22. MB (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

    @Jamash:
    “Biggest portion of consumer market “
    Very right. But I don’t think it can in no way match Eid day excitement. Eid toh eid hai na phir babuu.

    Youth from New Karachi, Jordia bazar, Laloo Khait, and line’s Area also celebrate valentines”

    Again very right but if 5000 out of 500000 people in that population is celebrating Valentine. Does that mean this portion represents whole of those areas?. The silent majority has no interest in it. It’s similar like you don’t notice hundreds of people on roads doing noting or normal work but you will sure notice 5 kids fighting or a small mob of 10-20 people attacking. Even if that mob is from that area, does it mean it also represents the people from that area? In this case we don’t have a method to know if the Valentine celebration by this 5 percent lot does represent the wishes of those areas.

    As for your point 3, I completely agree to it. But I am not against Valentine too. If there is a day on which people want to express love, let them so, what’s wrong with it? But personally I object & ask why we are dependent upon that particular day. Why not on Eid, on Chandraat etc. Or why not the whole year. If Muslims could come up with any other day I would be happy with that too. If we are adopting or have adopted Valentine, I don’t see anything wrong with it but all the “WHY’s” I put up there may have this answer:

    The fact that our social/religious theykedaars have tried to put culture and religion as too rigid, then what other choice lovers have but to find and escape route or day so that’s how this day got popular, because our social & religious theykedaars condemn directly or indirectly different forms of fun, entertainment & expression of feelings all in the name of protecting our culture & religion, though none of both discourage such activities in their essence. In fact Islam is biggest proponent of any health activity that can benefit society. So our above theykedaars tried to suppress a natural instinct built-in all the humans which is to express, not merely feelings but point of view, political view or any other view so that had to be the result. On the ROMANCE front it resulted in this Valentine day. On political front it came up as Radio, TV/Media & Internet too. Many conservative groups still consider TV as haraam. So this is/will suppose to happen. You cannot suppress a natural instinct. You can only direct, channel, contain or divert it for a positive output. Or punish it if its out of limit in given social and religious context. Thats all that is possible apart from preaching.


  23. Sufi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

    Mb & all others, its right to celebrate the day or not, but even my maasi & peon know what valentines day is and they do exchange gifts (like not with each other but with their loved ones).

    I don’t know why everyone is denying the fact that it is indeed prevalent in our society. I see it everywhere. I am not a big fan of the day, but it’s everywhere..


  24. MB (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

    Congrats for having that kind of a massi SUFI. I wish she could use the same money to her children one more day of meal or education probably.Anyways, is none of my business. We have a gatekeeper whose salary is few thousand & who gave a 20,000 gift to his brother on his wedding. As they say in Punjabi Shoq da koi mul nai and obviously love is priceless.

    And no one (not me at least) is denying its prevalent. I said its no match to EID. Its obviously is there.


  25. Sufi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

    she is not married yet :P


  26. MB (unregistered) on February 12th, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

    Yeah, so what ?
    It was just an example. Change that children part to any other proper thing.


  27. Imran (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    Nice post Jamash : )

    The end note “Love is something we celebrate every day throughout our lives, then why have a day for it” is worth a thought. However keep in mind that St. Valentine initiated the tradition for “lovers” in particular. Hence the conotation of Valentine Day is (amorous) love.

    Love in all its forms (amorous & non-amorous) will always be cherished, through the endless years of time.

    Now that the veil is being lifted (so to speak) in our part of the World thanks to the push for ‘enlightened moderation’, we are just beginning to embrace the openness. So expect some growing pains … take cover from fanatic Mullahs :)

    You gotta live by OTHER peoples rules, remember? :)
    You DONT have a choice :)
    And LOVE is something to be ashamed of! :)


  28. shobz (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 3:23 am

    valentine’s day is a day to act stupid and act all gooey and irritably clingy. Why do we even need a stupid day to express our love? Why cant we express our love every other day? All right if not every other day then once in a while. One should make his significant other feel special ever once in a while. (Hope i am not eating my words later)


  29. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 6:49 am


    she is not married yet :P

    you sound very exciting :-)


  30. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 7:07 am

    My religion Islam asks me to treat each day as a valentine day that is, to express love and care for my people every day so I don’t need to pick a single day to express love. It’s very fake.


  31. 1967 (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    We are a bunch of double faced hypocrats. We eat, breath and live the so called “western” culture. However our judgement has been muddled due to our lack of openess and the inability to accept change. I don’t consider it a western culture anyway. It’s a modern way of life that has brought us many blessings with some problems as well. However, we should look inwards first what have we given to the rest of the world instead of complaining the onslaught of the modern cutlure and way of life. If it had not been for constant change, adaptibility and development, we would have been living in stone ages (although we try our best to keep it that way) If our cultural contexts are so strong and politically “correct”, why don’t they get accepted, or adopted around the rest of the world?

    In my very humble opinion be it valentines day or whatever, people need new ways to celebrate and share beautiful things in life that they have.


  32. MB (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    @ADNAN
    hahahaha……naatieeeee boy/uncle

    @1967
    It is actually a Western culture dear. Its just that there is nothing wrong with it. So anyone who feels like should celebrate it, properly if he/she wants to but as Adnan Siddiqui said, we dont need that particular day. We already have enough days in a year to do the same. And no one is saying we should not change. Its welcomed if it brings a good package along. And if doesn’t well, try to avoid it. Simple. By the way you last para is great. It summarizes the issue.

    be it valentines day or whatever, people need new ways to celebrate and share beautiful things in life that they have.


  33. javeria (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

    Narrated By Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri : The Prophet said, “You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit ( i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure(a kind of lizard), you would follow them.” We said, “O Allah’s Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians ?” He said, “Whom else?” (Bukhari: Vol 009, Book 092, Hadith 422.)

    Narrated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “The Hour will not be established till my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit ( i.e., inch by inch).” It was said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you mean by those (nations) the Persians and the Romans?” The Prophet said, “Who can it be other than they?”(Bukhari)

    Prophet Muhammad saw said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4021)


  34. bayl (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

    all these people have their panties in a twist over nothing. just relax and get yourself a flower.

    like ASH said, when there is a demand.. there will eventually be a supply. Market dynamics work in this case.
    you don’t see easter or thanksgiving celebrated here being celebrated with the same passion and fervour.
    theres a reason you don’t.

    it gives business to small business shops and gift stores
    how is that so terrible?

    also, if there was no concept of Valentines and gift-giving on a particular day, does anyone honestly think people would not indulge in dating?

    I only have a bone to pick with the idea of making something so pure like love turn in to something so commercialized and materialistic. It induces wants in people that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I’m talking about the people who go through peer pressure or social pressure for getting expensive gifts and expressing love extravagantly. Celebrating love should not mean emptying your pockets or going out of your way to do something that contradicts your personal values.

    Just take a moment to make it slightly more special.


  35. Neoka (unregistered) on February 13th, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

    I see a lot of anti-west sentiments associated with this day. I agree, that it has become hugely comercialized to the extent that people hype up the event more than is expected.

    However is it not in principle, worth celebrating a day just for love, such as some would celebrate a sacrifice, or stop in remembrance of times past.

    It should not be seen as a replacement, or a ONE day event to express ones love. That is foolish to believe.

    “Where is the love people?”

    When I was a kid we would all write little valentines cards for everyone in our class, even the teachers. And when you received one, it made you feel so very special. How innocent is that?

    Love does NOT need to always lead to infedelity, adultery, divorce, abuse etc.

    “Love thy neighbour”, give your neighbour a bouquet of flowers for Valentines day. why not?

    The only thing the west has done, is capitalized on an emotion and made a LOT of money out of it, which is sad because it is killing the whole spirit of the festival. ppl see it as a comodity rather than a celebration.


  36. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    Thanks javeria for this timely reference. Well appreciated.


  37. TRUE TO ALL (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 12:53 am

    Love –

    one of the strongest emotions known to mankind- a power that can ruin or redeem a life- that can bring joy or painful heartbreak.
    Today as the world celebrates this emotion on Valentine’s Day, we see hearts of all sizes and shapes all around, hearts of chocolate and satin. O Yes! It’s Valentines! The day of hearts, red roses, poetry, candies and above all – Love!

    Where did Valentine’s Day come from?
    There are many traditions about its origin, but the most authentic seems to be the one from Encyclopedia Britannica that says that this day has nothing to do with Saint Valentine, instead it is related to the Roman pagan festival of their god, Lupercalia.
    It was celebrated on 15th February and in honour of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of girls were placed in an urn and the men would draw out the name of a girl at random who would then become their date for the remaining festival.
    When Christianity came to Rome, they tried to Christianize this obscene yet popular festival by replacing the names of girls by those of saints. The men were then supposed to emulate the saint, whose name they drew, for the rest of the year. However this attempt proved unsuccessful and the use of girls’ names returned.
    Many associated it with Cupid (the virtually naked god of love), who is the central character of Valentine’s Day paraphernalia, who shoots people with his arrows to make them fall in love. His mother is said to be Venus (goddess of love) and apparently the rose was her favourite flower.
    Another tradition speaks of a Saint Valentine who was killed on 14th Feb. by Emperor Claudius for secretly arranging the marriages of his soldiers whom he had banned from marriage. The Bishop is said to have fallen in love with the jailer’s daughter during his imprisonment and wrote her a letter signed ‘Your Valentine’, which became a tradition for people to come. In 496 Pope Gelasius officially replaced the pagan festival of 15th Feb with St Valentine’s Day on14th Feb.
    Valentine’s Day Today
    Whatever the origin of this day, today it seems to have returned to its pagan, vulgar roots with the child-god cupid and open dating being very much a part of it. It is celebrated in many parts of the world in different ways. For instance, in France, a girl befriends the first boy she sees in the morning and if this relationship lasts for a year, they end up getting engaged on the next Valentine’s Day. The Valentine lottery caused severe problems in France and was banned completely in 1776. Later Italy, Hungary, Austria and Germany also rid themselves of this obscene custom. England remained safe until it was under Puritan rule but then Charles II started it again and from there it entered America, where it was first commercialized by A E Howland, who made 5000 dollars from selling Valentine cards. In 1995 one billion valentine cards were delivered in the US and the postal Dept. made an extra profit of $ 30 million. Flowers began to be used in 1300.
    Now people all over cash in on this opportunity to kindle the fire in young hearts and instill in their minds the necessity of having a ‘Special Someone’ to love. No wonder last year’s newspaper carried news of a woman who sued her husband for divorce for not giving her anything on Valentine’s. According to her it was absolutely necessary to express one’s love on this day and her husband did not give her anything which meant that he did not love her.
    Apparently Valentine’s Day made her feel ‘unloved’ rather than ‘loved’.
    What kind of love depends upon gifts for its survival? What kind of love is restricted to one day in the whole year? What kind of love breeds hatred, jealousy and a sense of deprivation in many?
    Valentine’s Day also proves exceptionally painful for the not-so-popular kids in school who don’t get as many Valentine cards as their friends do.
    In Pakistan, this day has come to mean getting dressed in red, valentine cards, hearts, and chocolates. Through these apparently innocent things the occasion promotes the culture of free sex and male-female relations. Also becoming common are public displays of emotions including advertising love messages in newspapers, going out on romantic dates and attending valentine balls and parties. Schools are not far behind in holding such parties for their students. As a result, even young children are fed new ideas of developing lusty feelings and expressing them boldly. Closet romantics are given a chance to emerge. They imitate their favourite movie love scenes in broad daylight. In all this ‘love’ fever Islam is given a backseat to sit and see how it’s teachings are being ridiculed in public.
    The question that comes to mind is why should WE celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is it our national festival or a religious one?
    Festivals are part of a nation’s identity. They symbolize any religion or culture.
    ASK YOURSELF !
    On this day that the world celebrates love and we see hearts all around, ask yourself: “Have I ever thought of loving the One Who created me, the One Who gave me a heart that can feel love? Has this heart ever felt love for Him? How many times have I cried for His love?
    Have I ever spent any time, effort or money to express my love to Him Who has given me all these things? Am I confident enough to declare my love for Him? Do I ever miss Him in solitude or amongst a crowd? Or am I wasting away a beautiful emotion that was meant for eternity-not just momentary gratification of our ego? Inspite of our ingratitude, The Merciful One continues to love us .
    Our love is a measure of our faith. Is our love deep enough to recognize the One we cannot see but expressions of His love are scattered all around us? Or is it so shallow that it begins and ends only with humans who often abandon and hurt us in this world when we need them the most, whose love brings heartbreak and depression and who will be the first to leave us when we depart from this world?
    Ask yourself, ” How much do I love Prophet Mohammad who had said: “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children and all mankind” (Bukhari).
    Did you ever wonder how we can get Allah to love us too?
    Ask yourself why do I love the people I do? Are the motives all worldly like their looks or money or is it something deeper like their piety or good deeds?
    Ask Yourself!
    Ask yourself honestly, is Valentine’s Day anything but obeying our baser desires and following our lusts? Are we only like cattle following our passions and the trends without knowing why, without understanding?
    As a Muslim, a boy-girl friendship is totally out of bounds. In Surah An-Nisa a woman’s qualities are described:
    “Chaste, not lustful nor ones taking secret friends”
    Muslims have a beautiful institution of marriage where romance is not a summer fling nor is it based on superficial looks, but on a serene relationship of mutual affection, kindness and responsibility.
    T R U E L O V E
    For a Muslim, TRUE LOVE happens only once and eternally and that is with the Lord, The One Who exists from eternity till forever. For Muslims, love for Him supersedes everything and everyone else. Love for Allah is meaningful since it then teaches loving all His creatures (and not just a ‘Special Someone’).
    Muslims already have a day for expressing love and that is ‘Id-al-Azha when Muslims sacrifice a life to show Allah that they can sacrifice anything for Him-even their own lives. They relive the Sunnah of Sayidina Ibrahim -Allah’s friend-who readily proceeded to sacrifice his most beloved possession, his teenaged son, for Allah. Love demands sacrifice. Do we have that kind of pure and intense love in our life? Who do we love the most-our own selves and desires or Our Rabb? If we love Allah, how can we celebrate a pagan custom when our Beloved Lord abhors paganism more than anything else? Then how deeply do we feel on ‘Id-al-Azha and how do we feel on Valentine’s?
    A Muslim’s actions are not purposeless or meaningless. Even his love is meaningful and the expression of love is useful, since instead of spending thousands on flowers, on ‘Id-al-Azha meat is provided for the poor, jobs are created for many, animal skin is used for leather and so on.
    A Muslim doesn’t do something just because the whole world is doing it. He doesn’t waste his life. Let us be Muslims in heart, body and soul.

    Let us then find True Love
    True love seeks sacrifice and I’ve given it all.
    This, this is true love in it’s purest form.
    I turn my face towards You now.
    The Lord of my world and the Heavens above.
    I am Yours and Yours, alone.
    My prayer, my sacrifice are only for You.
    My life and death are Yours to take.
    A promise I make.
    To lay my life for You.
    An oath that I worship.
    No-one but You.
    (Inspired by dua of The Holy Prophet SAW to be read at Qurbani time)



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