Valentine’s Day road to ‘zina’, FT mufti warns Muslims

A florist is pictured watering flowers ahead of Valentine's Day on Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur on February 13, 2017. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
A florist is pictured watering flowers ahead of Valentine's Day on Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur on February 13, 2017. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Valentine’s Day is a celebration that leads to vice and illicit sex, Federal Territories mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad has said, warning Muslims against celebrating the day to mark love today.

In a statement published on his office’s website yesterday, Zulkifli claimed that sex out of wedlock is the main focus of youths on this day.

“We have to state that this celebration is banned in Islam based on clear data that shows that it really leads to a culture of vice and zina, apart from emulating negative cultures outside of Islamic teachings,” he said, using the Arabic word for illicit sex.

“In fact, relations out of wedlock that becomes the main focus of youths during the day is also prohibited by other major religions in the country.”

A lengthier explanation posted on the website claimed that Valentine’s Day and sex outside marriage are “inseparable”, followed by statistics on baby dumping, teen pregnancies and illegitimate births.

“Agree or not, we cannot reject that Valentine’s Day is surely one of the motivation for youngsters to commit vice and illicit sex,” it said.

In his statement, Zulkifli also reminded Muslims of the 2005 religious decree in the 71st meeting of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Affairs prohibiting Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day.

He said the that the decree ruled that Islam does not endorse Valentine’s Day, since celebrating love should not be specific to any single day but should be done every day.

“May we be able to see the real philosophy of love and prevent ourselves from falling into the valley of sin and vice,” he added.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements.

Islamic enforcement agencies also regularly hold raids on budget hotels and public parks, detaining and charging unmarried Muslim couples with “khalwat”, or being in close proximity with the opposite sex.

Originally a celebration of a Christian saint who secretly officiated over marriages in ancient Rome when it was banned, Valentine’s Day has long taken a commercial nuance as a mark of romantic love and is vastly popular in East Asia.