A Muslim at Halloween

I'm no fanatic, but Islam is strictly monotheistic--and, for me, any holiday having to do with worshipping other gods is wrong.

chococatpocky

10/31/2011 04:57:40 PM

I respect your devotion, but people don't celebrate Halloween as a religious festival anymore. It is nothing but a cultural celebration and something fun for children. If you want to get rid of everything pagan in origin, what about circling around the Kaaba, that also was done in pagan times.

Anonymous12345

10/31/2011 11:06:56 AM

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen was asked concerning the ruling of celebrating that which is called Mother’s Day. Answer: Indeed every celebration that opposes the Islamic celebrations are all recent innovations, not known in the time of the Righteous Predecessors (Salaf) and perhaps its founders are from the non-Muslims also. So there is in it, along with innovation, resembling the enemies of Allaah . The Islamic celebrations are well-known with the people of Islaam, and they are ‘Eid of Fitr, ‘Eid of Adhaa and the weekly ‘Eid “the day of Jum‘ah.” There is not in Islaam days of celebration besides these three days. Every celebration introduced besides these, then they are rejected from their inventors, and are false and futile in the legislation (Sharee‘ah) of Allaah, due to the saying of the Prophet  : “Whoever innovates into this affair of ours (religion) that which is not from it then it is rejected.”3 Meaning, rejected from him, not accepted with Allaah, and in another wording: “Whoever performs an action which is not in accordance with our affair (religion), then it is rejected.”4 So when this is clear, then indeed it is not permissible to celebrate that which was mentioned in the question, that which is called ‘Mother’s Day’. It is not permissible to initiate anything from the signs of celebration, such as bringing about joy and happiness, giving presents and whatever resembles that. That which is obligatory upon the Muslim is that he takes pride in his religion and is proud of it, and that he restricts himself to what Allaah  has restricted for His slaves, so he doesn’t increase upon that neither does he decrease from that. And that which is befitting for the Muslim also, is that he isn’t an imam‘ah (a person with a character that follows the opinions of the people freely) who follows every Tom, Dick and Harry. Rather, it is befitting that he comprises of a character necessitated by the legislation of Allaah, so as to become one who is followed (an example) and not a follower, and a good example, not one who consoles himself by the example of others. Because the legislation of Allaah, and all praise belongs to Allaah, is complete from all angles, just as He  said: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion.” [Al-Maa’idah 5:3] And the mother is far more deserving than being commemorated for one day in the year. Rather, the mother has the right upon her children that they take care of her and are concerned with her, and that they establish obedience to her in that which doesn’t involve disobedience to Allaah  in every time and place. (Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Fadeelatu-Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen, no. 353) Translated by Abu Humaid 3 Al-Bukhaaree (2697), Muslim (1817). 4 Muslim (1817) (18).

stevefnp

10/15/2010 10:38:28 PM

I say lighten up brothers. Muslims have a lot to offer at Halloween time that can spread the many aspects of islam while having a righteous good time plus a little fun for the kids getting into the american scary movie tradition. Christian kids by celebrating Halloween learn not to mess around with werewolves and vampires and freddie kruger. Think of the learning to be had from say an Abdul the Beheader costume with a scimitar. What an outfit that would make. Don't forget Aladdin. That would be good. How about The Sheik of Araby with a toy AK 47. Perhaps a Burqa might go over being after dark I'm sure it would seem quite scary. Those outfits would certainly remind us what islam stands for as well as getting into the holiday festivities while getting along peacefully with our American neighbors as despicable as they are following false gods and all. Praise Allah

mariaminpakistan

10/30/2007 01:32:24 PM

I don't think halloween is such a bad thing. It has nothing to do with its pagan roots and so it is essentially harmless. Doctor, you should lighten up. There are much more serious issues to be discussing.

GlennM14

11/05/2006 09:03:37 AM

I disagree with Hesham on at least one of the Halloween points. Originally it may have been an Irish/Druidic pagan "holy day" but it has since turned into a day of festivity which makes fun of some of those old pagan traditions and beliefs. However, where I disagree with the religious implications of Halloween is in its being commemorated as an "all saints' day." To my mind, all praise is due only to God, not the saints (with all due respect.) So, if it's celebrated in a more or less secular way as a day of fun, festivities, scary movies, etc. I see no problem with Halloween. But I do back up Hesham on his decision not to celebrate this "holiday" for the sake of his family, especially when it comes to eating too much candy.

iris_alantiel

10/30/2006 05:48:27 PM

The least I can do is not commemorate a holiday that honors other gods. Any holiday you can think of, religious roots or no, honours other gods only if you celebrate it that way. We honour God(s) in our intentions to honour them, not in marking festivals that were once dedicated to them but have now become something else.

Henrietta22

10/28/2006 08:57:29 PM

My Christian family, never identified Halloween as a Christian holiday. They never talked about worship for Celtic and Roman gods. My friends families never addressed the history of where halloween came from. All this hoopla about worshiping anyone on Halloween to me is ridiculous. My husband wasn't allowed to learn to dance socially when he was young. His Dad was a M.D., and an ordained baptist minister. He wasn't allowed to dance because he would have to hold girls in his arms, and have sexual thoughts. So when we met we couldn't share the joy of dancing together, until we were in our forties, when we took social dancing together. My point? Don't give your children memories of being different because of archaic religious ideas.

tonygalli

01/27/2006 01:56:47 AM

Hesham Hassaballa knows something of Halloweens' pre-America history, but little of its American history. The fact is that Halloween has lost its religious roots over the last few hundred years and evolved into a modern, secular celebration. Wicca (itself a modern religion created by Gardner loosely based on European, mostly British, folk tradition, with a dash of Masonry and mystery cults) has reinvented halloween by commemerating Samhain. This itself is a new holiday. We know very little about the real Celtic celebration of Samhain. It was likely different than the current Wiccan practice, befitting a society with a very different lifestyle than ours.

theladyprimrose

11/02/2005 08:35:51 PM

Halloween, as I think of it today, has one purpose and one purpose only: CANDY!

Merlock

10/31/2005 08:31:08 PM

That it began as a Celtic festival does not necessarily make it so today; I don't really see any "paganism" in Halloween, albeit some customs based on paganism. Hopefully, God won't mind if I have a few Tootsie rolls. God bless!

ladysolrays

10/31/2005 09:52:59 AM

I am a born again christian and this is my take on celerbating halloween. A lot of christians have some sort of religious celebration on halloween. My former church did not celerbrate halloween. They used halloween to celerbrate christ and celerbrate fall harvest. Halloween does have its satanic celebrations so most hard core christians like myself do not celebrate October 31 as halloween. Just in case no one has noticed people are decorating more at halloween than at Christmas. This just shows where America is headed. Look out America you are becoming the Babylon of the Bible.

SJAZAKALLAHISAISAIAH

10/30/2004 02:47:35 PM

AS A MUSLIM WHO GREW UP IN A CHRISTIAN HOME WE NEVER WAS ALLOWED TO CELEBRATE HOLLOWEEN. IT WAS KNOWN AS PAGAN HOLIDAY. TODAY WITH ONE CHILD WHO SEE IT AS ANOTHER DAY.NOT THAT I EVER HAD TO FIGHT WITH HIM ABOUT IT. HE KNOWS THE HISTORY AND DON'T WANT ANY PART OF IT. MY QUESTION IS FOR ALL WHO THINKS ITS OK TO PLAY PRETEND IS WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS OF THIS WORLD ON THE DAY YOU FACE HIM? YOUR INTENSIONS AND HIS RULES OF HOW TO ACT IN THIS WORLD GO HAND-IN-HAND.IT IS NOT THAT WE ARE ALWAYS DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT BUT WE MUST CONSIDER THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOR.

Moontree

10/28/2004 08:42:37 PM

From a religious perspective, Muslims should NOT celebreate Samhain, Wiccans and Pagans should NOT celebrate Ramadan, Christians should NOT celebrate Yom Kippur. Halloween, on the other hand, is the name for what has become an American secular holiday with no religious overtones whatsoever and is a lot of fun for kids and can be celebrated by all Americans. Have fun!

jmuslima

10/31/2003 12:02:38 AM

Secondly, as a Muslim who grew up in this country and never celebrated Halloween or Christmas, I can say this was a great decision of my parents because I think it made me have more of an appreciation for being distinctly Muslim, which led me to wearing hijab and feeling that being different is perfectly fine. However, many times when I have met what I would call "in the closet" Muslims, I have found that these are also people who celebrated all the holidays as kids and were always taught to assimilate. If we want to raise children who are proud of their identity as Muslims, we have to let them know from an early age that it is okay to say, Yes I am different, I don't celebrate these holidays because I am a Muslim. They might hate having to say it while growing up, but believe me, as adults they'll love you for making them strong enough to say it in a predominantly Non-Muslim country like this one.

jmuslima

10/30/2003 11:57:07 PM

First of all, I have to say I'm really tired of the Muslims who are calling the blessed Hajj a pagan tradition. If you are a Muslim, you believe that the Ka'ba was built by Ibrahim and his son as the first house of worship to praise Allah. That was the original purpose of the Ka'ba to worship Allah although it later became overrun with idol worshippers who stole the Ka'ba. So, Muhammad's hajj is a reinstatement of the true purpose of the Ka'ba and the return of this mosque to the believing people it has always truly belonged to. This is why many of the major rituals of the Hajj are rooted in our stories of Ibrahim and his family such as Al Safa and Al Marwa, the stoning of Shaytan, etc., etc.

mystiq

10/30/2003 08:54:22 PM

While I admire the author's adherence to his faith, I feel I should warn him that if he doesn't allow his daughter to experience at least one Halloween, she will likely rebel when she is older and do it anyway! I myself was brought up in a religious environment that denied some things (not Halloween) so of course I tried them later. He should let her see for herself that there are other fun ways to have fun and eat candy!

geocorona

10/30/2003 02:35:16 PM

I believe that a fear of pagan holidays is the same as offering them credibility and respect. So I'll go along with them to show I hold no fearful respect for them. Also, they can be fun in a secular way.

Eliphas_Levi

10/30/2003 11:22:48 AM

Though, I might add, it is your choice. I've seen (on Witchvox) people get absolutley enraged when a Christian simply and peaceful said he didnt want to celebrate Halloween. It's alright for us to not celebrate Christmas, but you MUST celebrate Halloween. I simply see the whole thing as crazy. Do what you want, but it is a secular day.

Eliphas_Levi

10/30/2003 11:19:16 AM

This is coming from a pagan, Hesham (not that he'll ever read it, this is just a place to start). Halloween is an American secular holiday that has nothing to do with worshipping other gods. The ancient Celtic Samhain, while falling on the same day, is a completley different holiday. Unless you consider eating candy to be idolatry, polytheism is a non-issue here. Halloween is wholly about scary movies, costumes, pumpkins and candy. That's it. It's all in fun. Those of us that attach a religious feeling to Oct. 31 do it in an absolutley different context than the candy and costumes. Halloween is SECULAR, there is nothing to worry about.

wiccanproudjs

10/30/2003 09:04:56 AM

Well I think that children do not have a sense of anything religion on Halloween. For them it is just to have fun and eat lots of candy. You see my parents are christian but allow my sisters to go out and trick or treat. I am wiccan and believe it is a fun for them. I think you should ask your daughter what she thinks. Even if she is only 5. Children can tell you truth.

truth40

10/29/2003 07:44:27 PM

As a Christian, which seems to have lost it's meaning, is a follower of Christ. In all things I turn to the bible for wisdom. The only festivals celebrated and given by God are the seven annual feasts. Christmas, Easter and Halloween do have pagan backgrounds and whether churches in the past change their view of the meaning, it still has too much of a mixture of beliefs. Nowhere does it talk of these holidays in the bible, and I personally do not observe them. However, I do not go around condemning those who do, but I will not participate in any of them, I instead recognize God's ordained Holy days. :)

AishaHussein

11/03/2002 02:13:53 AM

In reference to celebrating Halloween, personally speaking, I do not think it should be practiced by Muslims. However, we live in a very diversed and open country...USA. As long as we are educating the deen, instead of discriminating and hating others, we can learn to appreciate others on an ethical level. I do purchase candy to give out to the kids when they knock on my door. These kids are not "religiously" preaching Halloween to me...they're only trying to collect the most candy from their friends. And yes,for other Muslim brothers and sisters, one can turn off the porch lights, or just respectively tell trick-or-treaters you do not participate due to religious beliefs, or leave a sign at the door! We as Muslims have a right to express our thoughts on common holidays celebrated in the U.S. But remember how are you going to spread the word of Islam...if all you do is hide in your own house, too coward to tell people the reasons of your disengagement in holidays?

AishaHussein

11/03/2002 01:57:04 AM

I truly admired this article Mr. Hassaballa!!!! I'm a Muslim-American myself. Yes, I to was involved in celebrating Halloween. But it was because I had no knowledge back then. Having Islamic schools more accessible to our youth, is the start of educating them about our enviornments. I'm 22-yrs-old......my parents were not the pious Muslims they are today, so I had a several years of being astray and I did my part of doing all the non-Islamic things there are out to do. But thank Allah, I am onto a better Islamic path now. Children, psychologically, have their behaviors motivated by what is in their enviornment. They see the celebrations, wether it is Halloween or Christmas.....they see all that and want to inact the same behaviors. It starts at home first I think......rules and regulations must be affirmed at point one!

bilbobo

11/02/2002 09:58:44 PM

well some have parents who do not hold to islam much, or to some details. so he was a kid. he can protect his child and give it things he did not have. the candy was good though

amin24

11/01/2002 05:27:50 AM

People have the choice not to celebrate haloween or to celebrate it as they see fit. To dismiss it because of "pagan origins" is silly. Many festivals/traditions in Islam, Christianity and Judaism have root in pan tradition. Allah does not reinvent the wheel with his prophets he changes and alters existing pagan cultural structure. Did the Quraish not perform Hadj? Of course they did. There is nothing wrong with participating in holidays as a Muslim as long as it doesn't directly violate Quaranic ordinaces. As a Muslim I make decisions based on the Quaran, almost exclusively. If you don't wish your children to celebrate ate least give candy to other children wrapped in information on Islam. This is a way to participate and do something for Allah. We must use any means at hand to inform people about Islam. This is our #1 duty, not arguing about how Islamic a silly local tradition is.

taqwaa

10/31/2002 05:33:24 PM

to often Muslims imitate NonMuslims and forget what Allah and His Messenger (SAAW) has asked us to do. rather than share my opinion about halloween i offer an article that should shed some light on why Muslims shouldn't celebrate halloween or any holidays other than the two Eids. http://www.zawaj.com/events/k_holidays/ruling_halloween.html

tmaster1

10/31/2002 04:54:53 PM

The man has the right to raise his daughter the way he wishes. He is against the ORIGINAL meaning of Halloween. But (and speaking as a Muslim), I must say something, to be honest. In America, there is a new-pagan movement[BIG one] that embraces holidays such as Halloween Groups like the Wiccans have gone back to study early, pre-Christian earth-based religions. The FACT is that the example of Christians AND Muslims has helped drive American youth towards the Neo-Pagan movement. We can't lie. If you want American youth NOT to practice halloween, and NOT to become new-pagans of the Wiccan, or whatever, movement, then GET **YOUR** act together and present the true face of Islam. Otherwise, shut your mouth.

Meower

10/31/2002 02:04:59 PM

So this guy happily went trick-or-treating as a kid, collecting bag after bag of candy, and he appears none the worse for it. Yet somehow it's Islamically "wrong" for his daughter to take part? Sense this does not make. He was able to appreciate it as most kids do: as a fun, festive, happy event. Why can't his child do the same? Children don't care about the religious origins of Halloween and why on earth should they? For most people, the holiday has ceased to have any religious significance.

delfentor

10/31/2002 09:19:03 AM

I would hate to spend my life worried about what God would think. Every Halloween I meet little godlets dressed in costume. Life is good.

raml42

10/31/2002 02:42:52 AM

assalamu alaikum, you know honestly i am very ashamed to see my own ummah putting a pagan holiday as holloween as one of the no problem holidays. if you want to know the origin of holloween ask the spanish people, it is celebration to honer the dead and they were superstitious so they wore mask to keep the evil from getting and taking their souls. there are many verses that tell you to stay away from paganism and here my own ummah is trying to change their deen to suit themselfs, shame on you inshaALLAH ALLAH will bring you back to reality of your deen islamic monotheism ALLAH hafiz

Martyn

10/31/2002 02:16:01 AM

We're Muslim and our 6-year old will be trick-or-treating as Spiderman this year. I like the article, I like the way Mr. Hassaballa expresses his point of view, and I'm open to being persuaded that we (our family) shouldn't participate in Halloween. But I'm not convinced that Halloween's historical roots make its present-day observance tantamount to polytheism. The Qur'an itself accepted an existing pagan ritual in the Hajj. If Islam is, as I believe it to be, a "big tent", broad enough to accept and adapt everything from pagan pilgimage to blue jeans, perhaps there's also room for a little Halloween. Allah knows best.

BDboy

10/31/2002 12:07:40 AM

This is a well written article. Simply shows that Islam respects others without disrespecting its own faith. I liked his honesty and simplicity. May Allah bless you.

lisawolf6

10/30/2002 02:10:29 PM

Well...I am Pagan, and thank God and "Goddess" our traditions have been preserved over the centuries. I think it is wounderful the Christians have intermingled their faith with ours (their moto has always been...if you can't bet them...join them)."All" religions stems from the same thing folks, LOVE,FAITH and HOPE.May we all have that in this world today.This time of year to Pagans/Wiccans is a time to reflect and give blessings to those who have crossed over and those still with us. Blessed Be to all....LISAWOLF

jansob

10/30/2002 02:08:14 PM

Very good article, and I'm impressed with the knowledge he shows about the origins.

qtp3

10/30/2002 11:31:50 AM

Good article, the author has a right to his opinion. I hope he's not seen as an fanatic. Let's hope this Halloween, our children will be safe. And when i was younger, Halloween used to be a day when youths would to throw eggs, splash shaving cream and be violent towards anyone in the neighborhood. Let's hope people will be safe!!

jkopanko

10/30/2002 10:51:54 AM

I was in Borders last night and was appalled to find an "Are you Saved" pathetic propaganda leaflet condescendingly left in the Islam section, courtesy of the Southern Baptist Convention. (You know... the kind that are found in public mens rooms... presumably for the "faggots" to pick up and "find Jesus") You do the same when you inspire paranoia and radicalize your children against the benign cultural traditions just because they are unfamiliar to you. If you don't want to be a part of the cultural phenomenon of celebrating Halloween here's a suggestion: Leave the porch light off on October 31.

nleanin

10/30/2002 10:24:35 AM

as with everything remotely religious(from icons to wedding rings to holidays)Halloween has the kind of and as much significance as the individual places on it. Sometimes... I think its best not to over emphasize something and make a bigger deal out of it than it really is... this is how i personally view Halloween.. sure it was once a pagan holiday, but if your not celebrating it for pagan reasons then why any problems with it? Again people need to think for themselves and find the meaning(or lack of meaning in it that they want to. Dont want to participate, then shut off your lights and dont answer the door... its your right.(I must admit thought I find the notion of evangelical tracts being given out to trick or treaters as a real killjoy... and pompous on the part of the ones handing them out

jkopanko

10/30/2002 10:09:23 AM

(typo--> "a la")

jkopanko

10/30/2002 10:08:19 AM

Halloween is a cultural institution that has as much to do with "corrupting religion" as the Easter Bunny, Christmas trees or Bela Lugosi or the Tooth Fairy. The fact of the matter is, obsessive fundie types have their knickers in a twist at any instance in which they cannot wrestle complete manipulatory control of every aspect of the spiritual or supernatural understanding from the individual and from every other manifestition or tradition of it throughout history, and tyranically replace all with their own dogmatically-corrected version, a al Chairman Mao. It is about the obsessive pettiness of completely anal control freaks, pure and simple.

serrania

10/30/2002 06:07:18 AM

just like to say, i celebrated halloween all my life and so did my children. not once did we worship satan or even think of it as satanic.there are also angel costumes and snow white etc.our church has trunk or treat for the children with no scary costumes.you can put evil into anything and so many people try to do just that.to some of us holloween is as american as apple pie. and we are the same people who worship God every day of the week. Thank God he knows whats in our minds. we don't pass judgment on those who don't celebrate. to each his own. just don't tell those that do we are devil worshippers.

alextree

10/29/2002 09:16:48 PM

I absolutely agree, and I'm from a Neopagan background. You shouldn't feel compelled to participate in an event that is, at root, from another religion just because it has become a part of the popular culture (and also a marketing opportunity for Hersheys). No one would (hopefully) ever pressure a Muslim or Sufi or Buddhist child to celebrate Christmas, which after all is also a Christianized (and increasingly secularized) adaptation of a European Pagan holiday. I'd also like to thank the author for making his decision based on such a well-thought-out and well-researched analysis of the historical basis of Halloween, instead of the usual simple dismissal of it as "satanic".

TReed

10/29/2002 08:44:23 PM

Just like I always go shopping Dec26th-31st. man, amazing, even back in the day as a catholic kid, we didn't celebrate Halloween, i think we only went to church once on Nov 1st though, anyway this is a good article.

LoveChristandRosary

10/29/2002 08:04:57 PM

I agree. I will give out candy but that's it. I'm doing that to be social and because the kids are so sweet. I just can't see the justification for hanging up cute little "occult" decorations. Some people say "don't take the fun away from the kids." Give me a break. We don't need the help of occult images and practices to have fun with our children. I don't judge though of course any Christian/Muslim, etc. who celebrates Halloween. After all, it's such a part of our culture. I myself am excited about the day after Halloween: All Saints' Day! I'm sure the makeshift sign I've made for hanging on Halloween to remind everyone that Nov. 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation is sure to be a big hit. :)

Éric

10/29/2002 07:14:04 PM

Wow. A Muslim gets what so many others can't. Kudos, Mr. Hassaballa; if submitting to your god means not having anything to do with others, I respect that. I respect even more your willingness to simply do your own thing and not worry about others...something many Americans would do well to learn (i.e., tolerance...an oft vaunted virtue, so rarely practiced).

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