Love, Pakistan and Valentine’s Day

 What’s love got to do with Saint Valentines?

All early 14 Saint Valentines were the martyrs of Christianity and had nothing to do with love and romance.  The name “Valentine” is derived from valens meaning worthy, strong and powerful.   It is celebrated in churches in religious terms.

The modern Valentine’s Day has gradually been developed to express love and affection through cordate objects, doves, Cupid and red colour.  Cupid, a character in Latin literature by Apuleius had an ability to make people fall in love.  It is derived from Latin cupido meaning ‘desire’ and Amor meaning ‘love’, is the god of desire and erotic love with his Greek counterpart Eros.

The Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world including few Islamic countries on different dates with different names in relation to their own  ‘mythical love stories’.

However, the religious sector in some Islamic countries condemn it for many reasons, such as, it is a Christian day or is being celebrated by Christian or non-Muslims, promotes immodesty and is against their definition of chastity in Islam.  The word ‘chastity’ anyhow is derived from Latin castus meaning ‘pure’.

Pakistani literature, just like other literature around the world, is full of enchanting love stories.  The characters have been depicted romantically in both prose and poetry.  Heer Ranjah, Sussi Punnoon, Sohni Mahivaal, Omar Marvi, Mirza Sahiban, Yusuf Khan and Sherbano, Adam Khan and Durkhanai, Noori Jam Tamachi are some of the most famous one.  Not only that but Pakistanis are also impressed with the tale of Laila Majnoon and Romeo Juliet and Cleopatra and Mark Antony.

Then there are some  said to be true love stories of Emperor Jahagir (real name Nuruddin Salim) with the maid/kaneez Anarkali and with his wife Mehr-un-Nisa famous as Noor-e-Jahan meaning ‘light of the world’  and Noor-Mahal meaning ‘light of the palace’ – and of Emperor Shah Jahan (real name Shahabu-ud-din Muhammad Khurram) with Arjumand Bano, the 14 year old niece of Empress Noor Jahan, got fame as Mumtaz Mahal meaning ‘the jewel of the palace’.  He built Taj Mahal, one of the wonder of the world, in remembrance of her beloved love.

Avoiding the failed love-affairs, there are few successful real life love stories, topping both Quaid-e-Azam and Madam Noor Jahan with Pakistan, Muhammad Ali and his wife Zeba, Santosh Kumar (Moosa Raza) and his wife Sabiha Khanum, Darpan (Ishrat Raza) and his wife Nayyar Sultana.  Beside that, in my family, out of many love-marriages, I would proudly mention my cousin with her husband, both hearing impaired, enjoying their life romantically with triplets, great couple.

Religiously, the story of Prophet Yusuf/Joseph (peace be upon him) and Zulaikha (Potphar’s wife) was popular among Persian poets.

Out of all, I must say that Emperor Shah Jahan stands out for holding 1st position among all successful lovers and as he waited five years to marry her love, they had 14 children and he built Taj Mahal to express the intensity of his love for her.

Religious parties in Pakistan have been protesting against Valentine’s Day celebrations.  Many moderates also condemn it as the way it is celebrated is against their culture and moral values.

Recently, Jamat-e-Islami (the religious-political party) announced February 14 as Yom-e-Haya meaning the ‘day of modesty’ to defy the effects of Valentine’s Day on our youth.

What has modesty to do with love-affairs, marriage-proposals and exchanging gifts for love?

Modesty/Haya is the part of faith since 1433 years and it should be the part of a Muslim’s personality every second of his/her life.  Hazrat Usman among all companions is considered the most modest man, was married to Hazrat Ruqayyah, Hazrat Umm-e-Kulsoom and Hazrat Naila.

Among prophets, Prophet Yahya ibn Prophet Zakariyyah/Jhon the Baptist is famous for being the most modest.

For Muslims, great example comes from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who’s character is most appreciated in Qur’an.  He said, “Beloved to me are three things, fragrance, women and salah/namaz/prayer is the coolness of my eyes” – he didn’t use the word ‘my wife’ but women in general.  He married 11 honourable ladies.  Hazrat Kadijah bint Khawailud, the modest lady, proposed him out of love and respect.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was shown Hazrat Ayesha and he fell into love with her.  He (pbuh) has mentioned many times his love for Hazrat Khadijah and Hazrat Ayesha.

Although there is a concept of part-time love according to some religious sects, Islam encourages adulation, loyalty and tenderness for better relationship between spouses.  As I have heard a hadith that the worst among transgressors are those who cause fitnah/evil/trial between husband and wife and try to destroy their relationship.

So, in Islamic history, modesty never stopped any man or woman from sending proposals and marriages of their own choice.

Love is the feeling which is appreciated and celebrated in every religion, in every culture, in every era, at every time, by everyone except Pakistan.

Romance is excitement, sentiment and attachment.  It is not just a childish love-affair between a girl and a boy.  Romance is the beauty and attraction found anywhere and everywhere, it could be in food, in clothes, in books, in pets, in flowers, in forests, in caves, in moon and stars, in work, in passion, in money, in people.  For a lot of people it is in Qur’an, in Muhammad (pbuh), in Salah, in Makkah and Madinah.  It is not flirt or scandal all the times.

The coordination, harmony, melody and engineering in nature is romance.  Isn’t it?

What is the value of love and romance in Pakistan?

In Pakistan, love is related to power and authority; love of Allah, love of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), love of parents and husband’s power of sexual intercourse.

The society, as a whole, demands and admires the expression of love in form of unilateral devotion, forbearance, sacrifice and tolerance.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Exchange gifts, it increases love”.  While in Pakistan, exchanging gifts is either a trade done on ceremonies and festivals or a romance.  Romance is entitled as ‘vulgarity, sin and kufr/disbelief’ as it is thought to be happened between a male and a female in seclusion.

Is Valentine’s Day celebration non-Islamic?

Heart-shape objects, notes of love, gifts, doves (excluding Cupid for being a Latin fictional character) are the symbols of love and peace.  Whether they are used at Valentines, Eids, birthdays, weddings or other events, they are meant to express same feelings.

The truth is that Pakistanis in particular have forgotten to celebrate anything at all, especially if it has to do something with love.  They find it more convenient to observe SOG days, protest days, strikes, days long mourning and all occasions that are related to death.

Why Pakistani youth seems more interested in celebrating Valentine’s Day and in a Western style?  These youngster live in a society where they don’t see their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties, couples in neighbourhood in romance, not even to the limit that is allowed in Islam.  All they observe is frustration and resentment in relations.  All they get to see is dust and barrenness and pollution in the environment.  All they have to hear are arguments, justifications and directions.  Beside that, they are always occupied with celebrations and the related controversies.  Isn’t it all very suffocating?

They know that their parents will decide for their fate.  They can’t look out for a life-partner as Islam has allowed them and even after that they are not free to live as they want.  The life they fantasize through movies, love-tales and western culture.

Are the stories of Cinderella or Phoolmadrani (the Urdu version of Cinderella) and of princes and princesses that nani and dadi once used to tell non-Islamic too?

Islam is the religion of beauty, love and relaxation.  It does not leads anyone to dark ages.

شکر ہے ویلنٹانئز شہداء کا کہ جماعت اسلامی کو یوم حیا منانے کا اعزاز دے گئے۔۔۔ حالانکہ حیا کا پیغام اتنا ہی پرانا ہے جتنی انسانی تایخ۔۔۔ رسول الله صلی الله علیہ وسلم کو بھی حیا کا پیغام لائے چودہ سو سال گذر گئے۔۔۔ اور یوم حیا کا آج خیال آیا۔۔۔ عیسائیوں اور امریکنوں کے مقابلے پر۔۔۔

یوم حیا تو وہ دن تھا جس دن حضرت عائشہ رضی الله عنہا کی عزت اور عصمت پر لگائے گئے الزام کا داغ خود الله سبحانہ وتعالی نے قرآن کی آیا سے دھویا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ یوم حیا وہ دن تھا جب حضرت مریم علیہ السلام  کی عزت اور عصمت پر لگائے گئے الزام کا دفاع ان کے معصوم بیٹے نے کیا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ یوم حیا وہ دن تھا جب حضرت یوسف علیہ السلام عزت اور عصمت پر لگائے گئے الزام کا جواب ان کے اپنے جسم پر موجود لباس نے دیا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ یوم حیا وہ دن تھا جب الله سبحانہ وتعالی نے قرآن کے ذریعے حضرت زینب بنت جحش کا آپ صلی الله علیہ وسلم کے ساتھہ نکاح کا اعلان کیا اور منافقوں کی زبانیں بند کیں۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

لیکن جماعت اسلامی یا آج کل کے دینی لوگ کیا جانیں۔۔۔ کیا جانیں یہ کسی کی عزتیں بچانا, خوبصورتی اور احسان کے ساتھہ۔۔۔۔ یہ مقابلے کرسکتے ہیں, شک کرسکتے ہیں, تجسس کرسکتے ہیں, الزامات لگا سکتے ہیں, سزا سنا سکتے ہیں۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ 


About Rubik
I'm Be-Positive. Life is like tea; hot, cold or spicy. I enjoy every sip of it. I love listening to the rhythm of my heart, that's the best

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