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    Arab dan India Larang Hari Valentine

    Valentine?s Day? Dikecam di Malaysia
    Activist Hindu juga protest atas Perayaan Valentine\’s Day di Bombay
    Perayaan hari Valentine, yang jatuh pada hari Sabtu, 14 Pebruari kemarin, biasanya dilakukan dengan cara menukar hadiah dan bunga pada pasangan kekasih yang sedang bercinta di berbagai penjuru dunia.

    Bedanya, di Arab Saudi, umat Islam di sana justru diharamkan untuk memperingatinya karena dianggap sebagai perayaan kaum Kristen yang penuh kekufuran.

    \"Itu adalah hari raya penyembah berhala …, dan umat Muslim –yang percaya pada Allah dan Hari Kiamat– tak boleh merayakan atau mengakuinya atau mengucapkan selamat (kepada orang yang merayakannya). Umat Muslim wajib menjauhkannya guna menghindari hukuman dan murka Allah,\" kata Imam Agung Syeikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Asy-Syeikh seperti dikutip harian Ar-Riyadh.

    Selain di Saudi, perayaan serupa juga dianggap terlarang di lakukan di India. Umat Hindu garis keras bahkan mengancam akan mencoreng wajah orang-orang yang memperingati Valentine dengan arang dan mengatakan perbuatan itu merupakan dekadensi Barat yang merusak budaya India.

    Sabtu 14 Februari, kemarin hari Valentine diperingati di seluruh dunia. Meski tidak jelas benar bagaimana sejarah terjadinya peringatan ini, sejumlah versi mengatakan, peringatan ini bermula saat menghormati seorang martir Kristen yang kemudian menjadi santo pelindung mereka.

    Versi lain hari valentine berawal dari masa pemerintahan Raja Claudius. Ia menganggap bahwa para pria yang sudah menikah akan menjadi prajurit yang lemah, maka ia melarang pernikahan di daerah kekuasaannya.

    Pada masa pemerintahannya itu, hidup seorang pendeta Romawi yang bernama Valentinus yang melawan perintah raja. Valentinus yang secara diam-diam menikah dan jatuh cinta pada gadis muda tertangkap dan dipenjarakan. Setelah kematiannya, Valentinus lalu diangkat menjadi Santo. (bh/ant/cha/Hidayatullah.com)

    Valentine?s Day? Under Fire In Malaysia
    Hindu activists also protest against Valentine\’s Day celebrations in Bombay
    KUALA LUMPUR, February 13 (IslamOnline.net) – Expected celebrations of Valentine?s Day came under criticism from Malaysian officials, with some scholars warning Muslims not to celebrate the particular ?lover?s day?, as Malaysia showed it was still a pristine nation when it criticized the organizers of a Mariah Carey concert due this month, according to news reports Friday, February 13.

    Harrusani Zakaria, the Mufti of a remote state near the border with Thailand and controlled by the ruling National Front (NF) coalition government in Kuala Lumpur, said the act of celebrating the day was against Islamic teachings, particularly if it was related to commemorating, as stated in ancient Rome history, the death of a priest, reports the Bernama news agency Friday.

    ?We Muslims do not need such a culture or practice, which is clearly against the teachings of our religion, Furthermore, the teachings of Islam is complete, perfect and credible,? he added.

    Harussani was commenting on the attitude of many Muslims youths in the country, which is still inclined to celebrate Valentine?s Day although many views had been given by the ulama (scholars) on the matter, said the Utusan Malay daily Friday.

    Flower shops were busy preparing for bouquets for the Valentine?s which falls on 14th February, with unusually large orders pouring in and shop owners reaping huge benefits.

    Harrusani also urged Muslims not to copy a foreign culture that was against the religion, especially if it would draw them into vice activities.

    ?Why do we need to practice this when Islam encourages its followers to care about one another at all times and not just fixed on certain days?

    He went even further to say that those who celebrate Valentine?s Day could be considered apostates.

    He said that based on a hadith (saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), which states that ?one who follows the acts of another, would belong to the other group,? Muslims should refrain from participating in this celebration of Christian origin.

    Youth ?Confused?
    Youths interviewed in Kuala Lumpur told IOL that they were confused with the warning of the Mufti and the almost ?official? declaration of Saturday as Valentine?s Day in Malaysia.

    ?The television, the newspapers and almost every body at the top are saying this is a great day for lovers, a day to woo the loved ones or to get new girl friends,? said Shamsyul, who is a student in a college in Kuala Lumpur.

    At his college, the young girls and boys were busy discussing which flowers they wish to receive on that day, the girls urging the boys not to limit their expenses when it comes to satisfying their lovers.

    ?We are Muslims yet we are also bombarded everyday since the beginning of this week by the Valentine?s Day celebration, just have a look at the shops and watch the local TV networks and you will understand,? Mariana, a student at the Informatics school said to IOL.

    She handed a flower to her friend, sitting by her side, saying that this flower seems to be ?illegal? since Valentine?s Day is said to be a non-Muslim celebration.

    ?The Ulama never comes forward to explain to us what is the meaning of these celebrations and the authorities allows such advertisement of Valentine?s Day as if its ok for the Muslims to celebrate, so what you expect me to do?? lambasted a young man who was angered when IOL asked him why he celebrated the day.

    He added that the authorities seemed to have found a ?new reason to become very Islamic all of a sudden by condemning Mariah Carey for her upcoming show.?

    A concert to be given by Mariah Carey – the U.S. singer – due to organize a tour of South East Asia this month, has also been criticized by government officials in Kuala Lumpur.

    Organizers of the concert came under fire after it was learnt they would hold the show ?An intimate Evening with Mariah Carey Charm bracelet Tour World 2004\" on the eve of the Muharram, which is the Muslim New Year and is called the Maal Hijrah.

    Carey has been warned that she should not perform in sexy attire on stage in Malaysia and that the holding of the concert February 22 was not appropriate.

    ?I am going to her show, I watch her always on TV and I love her songs,? said Munira, another student at a local institution in Kuala Lumpur.

    She said the authorities allowed the ?Linkin Park? to hold a concert during the Organization of Islamic conference (OIC) summit and now they are shocked by the date of the Mariah Carey show,

    ?Just postpone the date, why make a fuss of it?? She charged.

    On Friday, the United Malays National Organization (Umno) Youth said it was not happy as the new date of the Carey concert is still too close to the Maal Hijrah celebrations.

    Umno Youth Religious Affairs Secretariat Chief Shamsul Najmi Shamsuddin said that since ?Awal Muharram? was a significant event in Islam, the proximity of the concert was a cause for concern.

    \"We appreciate the organizers\’ initiative to change the earlier date of the concert but the new date is still too close,\" he said in a statement carried by Bernama Thursday.

    After protests from Islamic groups, the organizer of the concert at the Merdeka Stadium, decided to bring forward the date to Feb 20.

    In Indonesia, too, the Carey concert came under fire from officials who said the singer was not allowed to perform on stage in skimpy sexy clothes and advised her to use less ?daring? clothing. (IOL)

    By Kazi Mahmood, IOL Southeast Asia Correspondent

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