My View of Valentine Day

I honestly don’t believe in Valentine day.  I feel it represents love as a product of consumptionism. I think companies found V-day as a very smart idea  to manipulate the prices and increase people consumption  so the flowers that cost 20 dollar is sold for 99 dollar in V-day!

I am not against love celebration at all but I feel love is so beautiful when it express simply and continuously. This means that you should celebrate your love to your wife every single day she smiles at your face, every moment she holds your dreams and in every second she share a breath with you. Schedule your  own love day on your own calendar,  pick a day each month to surprise her with a flower or a gift and it doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be more sincere.

My point of the whole post is your love to your wife shouldn’t be appointed by somebody else, or by companies that want to make a profit out of you.

Notes before you comment:

  • I provided my personal opinion which means that I don’t say that the celebration of V-day is wrong and I don’t force people to agree with my opinion.
  • I am totally against what Saudi moral police do in V-day of forcing people not to celebrate the event. I don’t think it is sin in Islam at all to celebrate V-day and I don’t think anyone has a right to prohibit people from celebrating V-day.
  • Please read the comments below. I think most of my readers share a different take on the subject. That is always what I like about blogging. It always gives you an opportunity to learn new perspectives from people.

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29 thoughts on “My View of Valentine Day

  1. Salah Al Mutawah

    Me too , don’t believe in V-day ,, and I don’t have any plan for this day. I also agree with you that someone has to express his love every day ,,

    but I do think that V-day is a chance for people to stop and think about their partners and how to refresh their love and like putting some dews to a rose.

    addition to that I feel kind of elegance when I see people celebrating V-day.

    when I see teens dressig red ,,

    when I see shops decorated in red ,,

  2. V day?

    Well today I went out and a lot of people were in RED. And my students kept on greeting me, hahaha!

    The restaurants were INFESTED with couples… it’s not that I’m against the whole thing, but I agree that it’s now too commercialized!

  3. but while life goes on and we are so busy with work and kids and life itself, it so beautiful to have a day to remember your loved ones. it’s like an anniversary that you celebrated with your other half. i understand your position, but what you said applies to all celebration like the two eids in ksa, new year and x-mas in the west and all celbration in general. Have you seen hoe mcuh do clothes cost in Eid while they cost half that on other days?? . so it’s the same thing.

  4. Jerry M

    When you say you don’t believe in Valentine’s day, what do you mean. It certainly exists and it wasn’t a creation of greeting card and candy companies. Wikipedia has a good article on the subject (one cannot always believe what one reads there but I think this one is reasonably solid).

    You don’t have to spend money if you don’t want to. I made a card for my wife. With today’s pc’s and printers anyone can make their own card that can be as nice as what you buy in the store.

    I understand that this isn’t part of Saudi culture. If that is so why bother worrying about it? I don’t just mean you, I mean the authorities who crack down on the color red (one wonders if there are any Saudi Communists). What is your country so afraid of? Why are you so afraid of outside influences? Is your culture so inferior, are you morals so weak that you need paid keepers like monkeys in a zoo?

  5. You sound like my Muslim friend who said the same thing about Mother’s Day. 😀

    I understand your point of view, but I don’t think it’s wrong to have special days set aside. People can choose to participate and buy those expensive roses or not. It’s a wonderful thing called freedom of choice! Thank God we don’t have some morality police forcing us to abide by someone else’s preferences. You want to buy roses, buy them. You want to not celebrate, don’t.

    Freedom is a beautiful thing! 🙂

    And, yeah, the law of supply and demand means that if there is a big demand for something and the supply is limited, the cost will rise. I know sometimes the prices are artificially inflated because they can get away with it due to demand (e.g. Valentine’s Day & flowers), but again people can choose whether or not to buy roses. If enough people stop buying them, the prices will drop.

  6. Jerry M

    Some of the complaints about Valentines Day need to be examined in the light of how people lived today. Yes, today in the West we have replace hand written love poetry with commercially produced cards, but everything in our lives is commercially produced. We don’t sit at home and entertain ourselves anymore, we watch television (or videos on a pc). Our clothes are produced commercially. Should we condemn merchants who sell clothing to us? Should we condemn those who sell us books?

    The Saudi response to anything Western sounds like the Queen of Hearts in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Off with their heads. It is a kneejerk response to anything that isn’t Saudi that isn’t worthy of a civilized society.

    If you don’t have anything constructive to say about something (and you didn’t) don’t write on the subject.

  7. Anon

    Jerry M,
    I think you’ve chosen the wrong blog to complain on. Please read his comment again because I think you misunderstand his viewpoint. I don’t believe he mentioned a word about Saudi Arabia. What he said is beautiful. He is just saying that we need to be more sincere than celebrating in a commercialized way. In my opinion doing things the way our culture expects (giving gifts, cards, flowers, buying clothes,etc.) on a specific day is commercialism because we feel we are required to do it. It is no longer about what is being celebrated, but a weighty requirement .
    This however, is a celebration of love:
    “you should celebrate your love to your wife every single day she smiles at your face, every moment she holds your dreams and in every second she share a breath with you.”

  8. Jerry M

    @anon,

    I know I am a bit over the top here (and I know the prices for roses he talks about are US prices not Saudi prices so the examples are from the US). But rather than examine the US phenomenon, Murtadha makes the kind of criticism that repeats what one reads on Saudi sites.

    Yes commercialism is a bad thing but sometimes it does serve a purpose, 2 years in a row, I was away for Valentines Day. I sent my wife flowers (not roses – they are far too expensive). So, I used a commercial flower shop. I called them over the phone and used my debit card to but them.

    It isn’t insincere to remember one’s loved ones on Valentines Day. His argument to avoid Valentine’s day only makes sense to a Saudi (or perhaps to a Muslim), if he had said, to celebrate but avoid the commercial excesses, he would have had me on his side. Yes one can remember one’s loved one on any day, but what is wrong with remembering one’s love on Valentine’s day.

    It is so very Saudi to reject anything foreign and comeup with quick rationales to explain why it is wrong. What would be creative is to understand others and accept that this is how they express themselves.

  9. Noor

    Jerry M

    I understand to an extent what you mean about Valentines day. But what I do not understand with your argument is where you believe this is what a Saudi or a muslim think about valentines day? Where is anything that Murtadha has written about what Saudi people or even muslims like about Valentines day? I would love to know.

    Just because a person does not like valentines day, which many people do not, does not mean you are critizising any western thoughts. Some people just do not like it. Big deal! People are intitled freedom of thought. The country I live in most people do not even celebrate it (FYI I live in Europe, which is in the west). Do not bring any middle eastern or even religion in this statement. I wonder if he was a none Saudi or a muslim would you then critize this statement?

  10. @Salah Al Mutawah,
    I agree, I love too how people express their love, I love watching someone setting with his wife in a restaurant, holding a flower to her

    @wafa,
    VERY great argument. I have never thought about the Eid. I totally agree with you that on that. I am not against to have one day of celebration of love, I am totally with it, but what I think is better idea is to choose my own day! like for example in 25 of February!

    @Jerry M,
    1) I am not against people celebrating v-day at all. I am just taking about my personal opinion. so If I were married, I would choose another day for to celebrate my love to her, and another day to celebrate Anniversary, and another day to celebrate the day I met her , and another day to celebrate we are together. So I don’t deny the existence of V-day. I think it has its historical event.
    2) as for Saudi Culture, if you read my previous posts in the past years, you will see how much I am critique of my own culture. I am against what moral police is doing in V-day. I am against many of Saudi tradition. In Islam, it isn’t a sin to celebrate v-day at all.
    However, I think you asked very legitimate questions about why Saudi moral police react that way in V-day, I honestly don’t have the answer for that. As I stated in my purpose of the blog, I want to express the opinion of both side, but unfortunately I don’t have any friend who works for Moral police, I don’t even have any friend who is a friend of a moral police. So I don’t know what reason they rely on to prohibit people from celebrating V-day.
    3)This post may not be constructive as you stated, but I don’t blog because I want people to agree with me in everything I say. I like to state my personal opinion and then open a discussion with my fellow reader and then learn from their perspective. For example, if you read susanne430 and wafa comments, their comments are very very well introduced. They always give me the opportunity to see issue like this from their perspectives. That led me to change many of perspectives.

  11. Noor has a point. Not everyone here likes Valentine’s Day. One of my Facebook friends has “Happy Single Awareness Day (SAD!), everyone!” 🙂

    I reread Murtadha’s post and hoped my comment didn’t come across too harshly. This is his blog and if he doesn’t “believe in” Valentine’s Day and wanted to express that here, that’s his right. He’s kind for letting us discuss his thoughts.

    As he said “My point of the whole post is your love to your wife shouldn’t be appointed by somebody else, or by companies that want to make a profit out of you.”

    And I agree with that. We shouldn’t let pressure from society dictate what we can and cannot celebrate whether we live in the USA or KSA. If some people around the world want to celebrate by dressing in red and giving flowers, candy or balloons, that’s good. But others can celebrate special people all year long! 🙂

  12. @susanne430,
    first let me thank you on your comment. I think it is very well supported with evidence and reasoning. That is something I always look for on reading people’s comment.

    -I totally agree with you. It so beautiful to dedicate especial day to your love one. I think everyone man should do that to his wife. I am not against V-day at all. I think it is a great idea. I love watching people buying roses and flowers to their wife, I love the touch of love in everywhere in that day.
    In my post, I stated my personal opinion which of course means that I am not forcing anyone to believe on what I believe. If you read my post, you will see that I didn’t stay “V-day is wrong, or is a sin” or ” people who celebrate V-day are stupid”
    that is because I fully respect people who celebrate V-day. In fact, I really appreciate the fact they express their love to their wives in V-day. The only thing I disagree with people about V-day is:
    How and when you express your love to your wife.

    Here is What I will do if I were married :
    1) I will choose to celebrate my V-day with my wife 12 times a year, not only one time 🙂
    2) In addition to that, I will celebrate especial event with my wife: our anniversary, the first day I met her, the day she share her universe with me, the day she taught me how to be patient and how hopeful
    3) I don’t think I will hesitate to buy her a very expensive gift as long I see the gift worth that price. But most importantly for me is that I want to express my love sincerely and clearly. I will write her a letter explaining how she change my love, and how I appreciate what she has done for me.

    Now, again, I am not forcing anybody to agree with me on when and how I express my love. I think everyone has his/her unique understand of love and therefore everyone can express their love whenever he/she want on whatever they like.

    But as for me, I don’t to like to express my love the same way that everyone else does. I think it is important for me to build my own meaning of love.

  13. @Anon & Noor
    Thank you sharing your thoughts with us in the discussion.
    Please don’t hesitate, if you have time, to provide your own personal opinion about V-day. I think it would be good idea to learn from your perspective on how you like love to be expressed and when.

  14. Noor

    It is a beautiful thought to celebrate Love on one day. The day in particular, for me, does not express a couple’s love for each other; they can express that every day of the year. But what I like about the idea is that the world has set a date where we celebrate together Love. I just, well Love that thought :). That on this particular day, we truly think and discuss what Love means to us. And you do not have to like the day, but you have at least analyzed what Love means to you.

  15. suraya

    the freedom to express what one agrees with and what one doesn’t agree with is one kind of freedom. the freedom to express what one believes and what one doesn’t believe without having to bother what the one who is listening believes or doesn’t believe is another kind of freedom. i take whatever opinion you express through your blog as your individual thinking and have nothing to do with the society or place you belong to unless you specifically mention it.
    i don’t believe in VD either (my not believeing has nothing to do with the society or place i belong to either!).
    to your “you should celebrate your love to your wife every single day she smiles at your face, every moment she holds your dreams and in every second she share a breath with you.” you are very sweet and i wish i had a sister who i could introduce to you…LOL.
    your sharing of the different way you do thing is what make your blog interesting. This goes to the other blogs i frequented as well! keep blogging!

  16. Murtadha you pose an interesting dilemma that could indeed be applied to many other celebrations: sincerity of feeling and its expression vs commercialism and social obligation.

    I do think that both are at play in Valentine’s Day, but only to the extent one allows them to. Celebrating on February 14th in a traditional or innovative way doesn’t preclude any of the expressions of love that you suggest, and could be complementary.

    Many stable couples agree on how much, if any importance to give to Valentine’s Day, yet the ones I know who say they don’t celebrate do so in more personal ways or on an alternate day.

    I do agree that in the course of a marriage it can be helpful to have a day that is hard to ignore as one to stop and express one’s appreciation for the other. This can be even more important, and more important that it is socially coded when a couple is going through a difficult time, and having trouble disengaging from whatever communication impasse, or power struggle, or one upmanship they are engaged in. It provides a codified way to re-establish a connection, and say something they may now be too afraid, or too embarrassed to say.

    As I mentioned on my post on Valentine’s Day I favour the Latin American idea of “El Día del amor y la amistad” or “Love and Friendship Day” as best expressing the spirit of the day, including that of the original (most likely) St Valentine, a Roman priest who offered marriage rites to Christian couples in 3rd century and friendship and aid to persecuted Christians. The Latin American idea to me extends the holiday to all in a way that is most gratifying.

    There are other reasons to appreciate the day, which I also elaborate there, but of course no one should feel obliged to, nor falsely participate against their wishes.

    It sounds as though your wife would be very blessed to have you as a husband, and probably wouldn’t mind the 14th of February as one of the days included in those that are more special. You will have to let us know! 🙂

  17. Anon

    @Jerry M.
    You stated: “It is so very Saudi to reject anything foreign and comeup with quick rationales to explain why it is wrong. What would be creative is to understand others and accept that this is how they express themselves.”
    I guess I’m a little confused. Nowhere did Murtadha mention Islam or Saudi, yet this is your response to the post. Please don’t be too quick to judge others. I am 100% American and choose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day the way most in my culture do because I prefer authentic demonstrations of “love” instead of a cheap card or chocolates off the rack, or roses without fragrance. These things do not impress me and don’t make me think of “love”. I’m not “foreign” and yet I reject the culturally accepted version of this holiday. Please understand that this is what I choose, and “how I express myself.” It really has nothing to do with my religion or nationality. If I’d written this on my blog would you accuse me of being Saudi? Just curious.
    I agree that we need to remember our loved ones daily, not just on the holiday that tells us we should; and yes, in agreement with Chiara, the ideas are not mutually exclusive. I do celebrate Valentines, but in my own way….it is for all the people who are important to me, and absolutely not about roses or chocolates.

  18. Being a Muslim, yes, celebrating V-day is like celebrating Christmas, therefore, it’s not supposed to be observed by us. But then if people want to celebrate it, then go ahead!

    I like Anon’s comment. Jerry’s getting paranoid here. Per my observation, Valentine’s Day everywhere is getting to be a commercial skidoo of sorts. To me it doesn’t matter what time of the year a couple chooses to celebrate their love. And I often point out to fellow Muslims that it’s not supposed to be celebrated by us. And oh, Jerry, while you comment that Saudi is sooo paranoid about the whole thing, you can’t blame them, it’s their culture, not yours. What seems right to you may not be the same for another. As much as you resent non-Westerners criticizing your culture, you don’t have much of a right to criticize that of others, no matter how backward it may seem.

  19. @Chiara,
    Yes, I totally agree with you. I don’t mind celebrating V-day if my partner for example feel the importance of it, but to me, V-day is less important than so many things in love, that most people always ignore!

    @coralbead,,
    I have a different perspective in regard celebrating Western occasion, or religious celebration.
    My perspective is that is totally ok for muslim to celebrate with other people their own occasion. I don’t think it is a sin. Because celebrating with other people can represent the tolerance and love and respect of Islam to all other people and religion. That is why i don’t think it is a sin at all to celebrate v-day or christmas day. I actually celebrate christmas day, and thanksgiving day with my host family every day!

  20. @ Murtadha

    – I’m saying that because here where I am Muslims celebrate Christmas and V-day more than they do Eid and other Muslim holidays. Like you, I’m around with my Catholic grandma whenever I can on Christmas, but that doesn’t mean I “celebrate” it. I’m not preaching intolerance either. It’s just that Muslims shouldn’t forget to give importance to out holidays because I observe that many of us tend to just attend Eid prayers just to get through it and forget about it.

  21. I agree with you whole-heartedly!

    My facebook status on the days around V-Day was as follows-

    ‘Love should be shown to one another daily.. Reminders of flowers and gifts should be given unexpectedly.. not when you’re told to do so…. I love all my ‘loved’ ones dearly… not just because we are supposed to show it today… but because you have a spot in my heart dedicated to you every day of the year…’

  22. مها نور إلهي

    I agree with you on this for sure!
    Personally, I don’t believe in specifying any day for anything. I believe love is a spontaneious thing; not a planned expression… Valentine’s Day just make me lose the sense of surprise and the sense of honesty…If i don’t feel my husband’s love everyday, I feel so bad…and if I don’t show my love to him everyday, this means that he doesn’t mean that much to me…Daily life duties must NOT overwhelm us …there should be time every single day for love…if we don’t feel love every day, then I am sorry to say that we are not living our humanity as we should be..

    Thanks..
    Maha Noor Elahi

  23. jaybird

    Valentine’s day is not about buying chocolates and consumerism. It shames me that most Christian commentators on your blog do not even remember that Valentine’s day is a celebration of St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers and an 8th century Spanish martyr.

  24. Yatzi

    Wow. People sure got fired up about this one. I agree with you, yet I think that the commercialism is the same with any holiday.. It’s just a little bit more obvious for valentines day because there aren’t really as many standard gifts to choose from; so the stereotypical flowers and chocolates sellers know they can really jack up the prices and still sell. I’m broke right now so I’m just going to make some chainmaille for the madre and sisters, & give my nephew some candy and rub on tattoos (v-day isn’t only for married people to celebrate). Anyways, happy valentines day to you this year!

  25. Sha =)

    I think my comment is a bit late, but I would really want to share my thoughts about this. I am not a Muslim, in fact I am a Christian. But in my religion, we don’t celebrate V-Day. My point? It is not about being Christian or Muslim, or about being Saudi or American or Brit or Korean or whatever… It is about love. You can choose to show more and give more on whatever day and whatever way you decide. I hope in that sense, we learn to respect each one’s opinion, insights and decisions. We learn to respect other people’s culture and beliefs. Because after all, no one is perfect. And we are entitled to our own opinions and the earth is never too small for all of us.
    Murtadha, it has always been a pleasure reading your blogs. Thank you very much for all these worthy reads. I even read a lot of them twice or thrice, but I think this is the first time I commented… I just hate it when people see things differently and tag you badly because of where you come from or what you look like. That is totally unfair.

  26. elmer

    People need to commemorate the day of love, because without love we wil not here in this world. We are all created by the great potencia of love, so it is therefore we must allocate one day in a year to remember it, considering the fact that our world is in chaos now, that’s what we need to celebrate now.

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