People will find ways and reasons to celebrate events and people in their lives. However, viewpoints as to whether these are allowed, or even tolerated differ, and therefore constitute another kettle of fish or even a Pandora’s box for that matter.
February 14 is looming around the corner, and so are the usual debates and arguments about it. Needless to say, the religious conservatives are, as expected, vehemently against it, while the liberals seem to have a “live and let live” viewpoint. Those in the middle would say that love, especially the lawful kind, is celebrated everyday, so why confine the chocolates and roses, and other gifts to just one day, to the delight of the enterprising ones who make a profit out of it? In the same vein, why a Mother’s Day? Why Father’s Day? Why a Grandparents’ Day?
Perhaps the reason lies in the sad fact that most people, regardless of religious persuasion, no longer give their relationships with people who matter the valuing that these need in order to keep these bonds healthy and lasting. Even more so in a conservative society, where in the rush to preserve discreetness and modesty, people forget that affection, affirmation, kindness, valuing and validation can go a long way to keep the love alive between family members, spouses, and friends. So in most people’s minds, perhaps a day could be enough? But reality will show that the answer is no. Bonds are always and will always be a work in progress, whether it is newly-made or one that has lasted for decades.
The answer lies in protecting the bonds that truly matter. A marriage, a friendship, a bond is something that should be worked at, 24/7, 365 days a year. Islam in fact encourages this, and implies that while doing so is indeed hard work, it pays off in the end. A kind word, a few bits of encouragement, and timely yet simple gestures of affirmation go a long way in helping others heal, feel valued, and loved.
If people have always protected and keep on protecting their bonds with those who truly matter to them, Valentine’s Day, as it is known, or any single day for any other reason for that matter, will not have existed then. PMT