Halloween is a holiday celebrated every year on the 31st of October. It is a day celebrated by all age groups. Whether it’s the young ones dressing up to trick-or-treat or teens and adults going out to party and participate in scary events, Halloween has been a night of excitement and fun for many. Even Muslims are taking part of this holiday. But…. wait. Do we realise exactly what is being celebrated and why are so many condemning this holiday, both the Muslims and Non-Muslims faiths?
Let us look:
Halloween first originated from the ancient Celtic festivals. It was part of the end of the year celebration known as “Samhain”. The Celts, which lived in now modern-day Ireland, UK, and northern France, would celebrate the New Years on November 1st.
This day marked the end of summer and the beginning of a long, cold, dark winter. So New Year’s Eve would be the night of October 31st where everything began. It was known as All Hallows Eve. On this evening, it was believed that evil spirits would be resurrected from their graves and go around haunting the townspeople.
Since winter was a frightening, dark and uncertain time, food supplies would sometimes run short, so on All Hallows Eve, the townspeople would be terrified to go out in fear of encountering ghosts. So, to get rid of and protect themselves from these evil spirits, the townspeople would disguise themselves in costumes and light up bonfires in order to confuse the evil spirits and avoid being recognised.
This way, they are mistaken as fellow ghosts. Bowls of food would also be placed right outside of their homes to please the evil spirits and prevent them from entering the homes.
By time, different practices of this night gradually evolved. All Hallows Eve eventually became known as Halloween. This night became a night of public events, sharing ghost stories with one another, dancing and singing… In the second half of the 19th century, new immigrants (mostly the millions of Irish escaping famine) flooded America.
And later, helped nationally popularize the Halloween celebration. It is now a night of fun, trick-or-treating, gatherings, eating sweets and partying. In replacement of bone fires, people would crave pumpkins into jack o lanterns.
Halloween has become a profitable holiday. Today, Americans alone spend around $6 billion annually on Halloween.
Unfortunately, not only are Muslims in the West taking part of such pagan celebration, but this popular tradition has now found its place in Muslims countries as well.
And this is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned us about when he said: “You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a lizard, you would follow them.” We said, “O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Whom else?” (Bukhari 7320)
So, what are we teaching our children? Why are we confusing our kids to believe that such a wicked, immoral, sinful, and ungodly festival is fun? That dressing up as demons, ghosts and evil creatures is okay. Participating in such Pagan celebrations can be considered as an act of shirk. It’s a holiday that promotes the disbelief in God, the belief in superstition, it encourages the celebration of devilish practices and the entertainment of black magic.
So why do we Muslims imitate the bad when Allah has left us with the best of celebrations? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Whoever imitates a people is one of them Abi Dawud 4031 (Hasan Sahih Albani)
We are teaching our children to embrace non-Muslim practices while we should be instilling in them the love and enjoyment of that which Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) has enjoined upon us, which are, the two Eids.
When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him said:
Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice (Eid Al-Adha) and the day of the breaking of the fast (Eid Al-FItr). (Abi Dawud 1134)
Thank Allah, Allah has given us great bounties and the perfect guideline to lead a happy, successful, and pure life, so let’s not comprise the best of what we have.
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” (5:3)
Allah knows Best.