Zina refers to unlawful intercourse and sexual behavior. Young Muslims more commonly commit Zina, especially during commercialized events such as Valentines Day. These findings are based on research gathered from a focus group involving young females and males. I discovered that a large proportion of young Muslims looked forward to Valentines Day more than Islamic festivals such as Ramadan and Eid. This is true regarding anticipation, excitement, money, preparation, and enthusiasm. Due to celebrations such as Eid and Ramadan are religious festivals, people feel guilty for indulging in behaviors such as Zina. However, events like Valentines Day aren't connected to any religion. Therefore, people can do as they please and be 'guilt-free'.
The youth of today often first learnt about such events at primary or secondary school through the famous craft lessons during the time of the festivals or from TV. Some admitted that their parents didn't mind them celebrating such non-religious days.
Female respondents from the focus group insisted that Valentines Day has to be the 'most romantic and perfect day of the year.' The ideal day would consist of romantic gestures, gifts, and sweet words. They expect men to complete a series of tasks such as buying surprise gifts like jewelry or sexy lingerie, whisking them off on a mini-holiday and overall being made to feel special. The guys are expected to plan a day full of romance. Some couples choose to spend such days visiting a new place, going to the cinema or going for a romantic meal. Other couples spend the night drinking and clubbing, all behaviors that their families usually disapprove of. Participants explained that they felt especially influenced by a variety of social factors like the music industry and TV programs.
Slightly older and more daring couples even choose to book a hotel for the night. This is usually to take part in some form of sexual activity. For those couples that are unable to stay in a hotel regularly, they engage in similar activities in cars, at the cinema, in public parks or at a friends place. Some of the women also admitted to engaging in intercourse with men that are of a different race because it allows more secrecy. Women also commented that they feel the need to impress men regularly. In turn, this impacts a lot of their decisions such as dress choices. Surprisingly, some participants also stated that finding 'Mr. Right' was more crucial than education and friendships.
Moreover, most participants stated that they feel it is morally acceptable to celebrate Valentines Day, as it is an expression of love. They believe that is it perfectly acceptable to have friends of the opposite sex. In fact, they displayed shock when a statement informed them that there are a large proportion of people, especially Muslims who do not have friends of the opposite sex. Some respondents said that it was a shame and that people are missing out on 'beautiful' friendships.
Lastly, we asked participants about their beliefs regarding what they think Islam says about occasions such as Valentines Day and the actions that surround it. Responses were mixed. All members were aware that it's impermissible and haram. Although some justified their actions by arguing that Islam promotes love, which coincides with Valentines Day. Other respondents justified their behavior by stating that they aren't religious.
Overall, it is clear that there are many Muslims that hold beliefs that to an extent go against Islam, and these beliefs are used to justify their attitudes towards Valentines Day and zina.