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My Reflections on Valentine's Day
category: Islamic Identity
As Valentine's Day approaches again, I see dispays of bright red and pink colour everywhere. Shops have gorgeous red dresses on displays, flower shops increase the prices of red roses, and the gift shops in shopping malls are full of cute teddy bears carrying red and pink hearts, jewellery and watches with special expressions inscripted on them. Even the candy shops have heart shaped chocolates and candies specially wrapped in red and pink on requests! All this, and yet it is not happening in a western country, rather it is happenning a country like Saudi Arabia!
I note young men and women making big plans to celebrate this day together in groups or alone with their "special friends" of the opposite gender (and of course behind their parents' backs)! I see them shopping for special things to wear on this day; from t-shirts, shoes, jewellery and dresses, and even red nail colour to wear with those special high heels!! Oh yes! But let us not forget the abayas with shiny red hearts on them... SubhanAllah! I see this happenning all around and in my mind plays yet another scene from a time when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alive and a young man goes to meet the best of all men and says, "O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait untill I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise." The Prophet (peace be upon him) doesn't reply... but then Allah reveals a verse which takes care of the young man's concerns!
Allah says, "And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those, on whom Allah has bestowed His favour, of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions." [An-Nisa 69]
I remember this beautiful incident as my eyes well up and I think of the lucky young man to whom Allah himself responded to, SubhanAllah. The way this man expressed his sincere love for the best of all men - he loved the Prophet for the sake of Allah and wished to gain the mercy, pleasure and paradise of Allah by being close to His Prophet through loving him and following him. His mind was busy with the concern of, not this world, but that of the next life. And what about us? We seem too busy following the customs and rituals of the non-Muslims.
The fact of the matter is that the idea of loving the Prophet and following his sunnah is in a far and distant corner of our minds. We as Muslims have been neglecting the orders and prohibitions of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet for quite some time now, and the results are obvious for those who look around. We read, we observe, we witness the numerous signs and warnings given by Allah - but again, we forget and we ignore them. The Gaza Massacre, just a couple of weeks back was like a slap in the face of every living Muslim, but again, as time has passed, the reminder is lost in short lived memory. The horrifying images of blood shed, the tears, the killing and burning of innocent Muslim brothers and sisters have been converted into images of cute red and pink hearts and teddy bears. We persist in following the ways, customs, and behaviour of the people who caused or supported this humiliation and injustice to our fellow brothers and sisters. It seems strange that after all of this, we enjoy immitating them and celebrating their shallow festivals.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever imitates a people is one of them." [narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4021]
In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the companions, "You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you (bit by bit, step by step) until even if they were to enter a lizard's hole, you would follow them." The companions replied, "O Messenger of Allah, [do u mean] the Jews and Christians?" He said, "Who else?" [Bukhari]
As we look around us, we can see this already start to happen. We are blindly following the ways of the non-Muslims and even feel pride in doing so! We need to wake up and submit wholeheartedly to the will and commands of Allah - we need to follow the way of Prophet and his companions and their righteous followers. Only then will we find true peace and success.
"And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him - it is those who are the successful." [Surah An Nur 52]
I will end with this, that the Prophet said, "A person will be with those whom he loves [in the Hereafter]." [Bukhari and Muslim]
May Allah put in our hearts the love of those who will be in paradise.
Mariam Anwer submitted this article to A2Youth.com.
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