Wednesday, February 13, 2008



I was pretty amazed to learn that KSA has banned red flowers with the hope of stopping Saudi youths from using them for valentine. The story is sure to make headlines around the world with comments of all shades attached. The Saudi Imams naturally preach against clebrating all un-Islamic festivals but the fact of the matter is virtually all muslim youths, the world over, do aknowledge and "celebrate" valentine. And its not so much because it is a christian celeb but rather because it gives them an opportunity to engage in some romantic activity. I did look forward to februarys and valentine in my youthful days but stopped on my accord many years ago. So its like a fad with most muslim youths and this points to the futility in using draconian measures to stop it. But I do partake in celebrations with my christian friends, as they do with me in mine, and dont see anything particularly wrong with that.

But lest we forget, there are indeed some christian sects that frown at festivals devoid of christian roots, like halloween, and could equally ban them if given the chance.

The most intelligent thing to do is to go back into history and find an event or person or day that could epitomize the youthful hunger for love. Something that could be seized to give the youth the same opportunity they get during valentine. I dont know what the purists will say about this but I want to believe that doing this is far better than fighting a losing battle with the ban on valentine.

I have actually searched back and recalled an event in my part of the world that could serve as a valentine equavalent. Its called Larabgana. I remember when I was a kid how, on that day, small girls used to take rubutu with onion leaves inside to their boy friends. The ones they really loved who in turn gave them small coins. It was not a big deal then and it was never institutionalized. But I know it happened in those days and it can be revived and made to replace valentine in my part of the world.

I will continue my research on this and when I am satisfied will take it to local media houses for publicity. First though I may have to consult the liberal Imams in my community.

Update: So the first wednesday of the new year is our Larabgana, i.e. in the month of Al Muharram. Now instead of taking rubutu around why not use cards and sms messages. Also why not encourage evrybody to partake in the activity on that day? Both males and females, young and old.
Sounds simple? Many of my friends liked the idea. But wait for the difficult part. I discussed the idea with a few local people: one Ustaz, one Imam and a lay person. The first two were dead against it, saying it tantamounts to an invention in the religion. While the third was all for it. The stiff opposition has scared me and I have shelved the idea for now.

Nice one,would love to see what u come up with.
I really enjoy your blog and most times you express my sentiments exactly.
jinni..well this idea may not go far because of opposition from certain quarters. but we will see.

'yar mama.. nice to have you on board the bloggers world. thank you and lets have more posts
Hajiya,`there is nothing to fear in life than FEAR itself┬┤.`If you dont believe in SOMETHING,you will fall for ANYTHING┬┤.
The problem with the North is that people are conformists and nobody wants to break from the norm and do the right thing.
I wonder what our heritage would have been if people like USMAN DAN FODIO,MALLAM AMINU KANO,TAFAWA BALEWA,LAILA DOGONYARO etc did not stand up for what they believe in!
jinni this quotation you have given me the tonic to go ahead.
but the way you rope in the north's problems every now and then suggests you have recommendations to offer. lets have them for a change....
I write this just for greet you.
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