In a further sign of liberalisation in Saudi Arabia, hearts and flowers are everywhere as the Kingdom prepares to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Arab News reports that Saudis are buying extravagant gifts, flowers, cheesy balloons and even teddy bears for that special person.
As recently as three years ago it would have been unthinkable to celebrate Valentine’s Day as it was considered haraam.
Many Islamic scholars consider celebrating the festivals of the non-Muslims to be forbidden.
Florists and confectioners used to hide their red roses and heart-shaped chocolate in fear of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Restaurant owners even banned birthday or anniversary celebrations on Feburary 14 for fear of arrest or closure.
But in 2018 former Makkah CPVPV President Sheikh Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi declared that Valentine’s Day did not contradict Islamic teaching or doctrine.
Celebrating love was universal, and not limited to non-Muslims, he said.
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