The day has arrived again. Halloween—known for its pumpkins, costumes, and of course, candies. But are candies and costumes all there is to Halloween? While many Muslims are getting ready to head out trick or treating with their little ones, there are others who are spending the night at home or at the masjid. Today, Muslims are concerned whether they should allow their children to participate in the festivities due to the day’s pagan origins.
Other than being a holiday that celebrates the dead, Halloween is believed to be the day the spirits from the other world return to earth. Many believe that this concept of the historical Halloween has died and is no longer strictly considered to be a religious celebration. Most individuals just take part in this night for the candy or just so their child can take part in the fun while still holding steadfast to their faith.
I asked different Muslims about their opinions on Halloween. Do they believe in Halaloween or is there no such thing?
There’s those who are pro Halloween:
“I have been observing the onslaught of people ‘haraam’ing it left and right on Facebook. My opinion is that it’s just for fun and there is no harm in it. Let kids indulge their imaginations and have fun. It is not a religious holiday of any sort nowadays. And to those that say trick or treating is begging for candy, I think that’s ridiculous. The vase majority of neighborhoods in the US follow the unwritten code- if the porch lights are on, you can ring the doorbell. If you don’t want to participate, don’t answer! I think it has become an example of how Muslims judge each other for silly things, when there is so much more we should all be working on.” -Sadaf
“After doing my own research on this topic, I still let my kids have a little fun with their friends on Halloween and Alhamdullilah thats not making them compromise their iman even a tiny bit.”-Beenish
” I think the most important thing to keep in mind with discussions like this is that we need to have balance. For starters, I respect both of these imams and I think their points are perfectly valid. That said, I think there is something to be said for the fact that many of the issues associated with annual events like this are unnecessarily conflated with the religious practices that they arise from. Yes, Halloween is based on All Hallow’s Eve, and yes it certainly has religious implications if it is being celebrating like a holiday. However, for the most part, Halloween is not celebrated as a religious tradition any more. I do not think that handing out candy or taking your kids around the neighborhood to get candy is haraam. Just because Halloween is a religious holiday for a select group of people, does not mean that everything associated with it is part of the religious holiday. If that were the case then half of all Muslim countries would need to get rid of their flags because of the star and crescent’s “pagan” origins. I think it is very important at this juncture that we recognize opportunities for engaging with our children and neighbors. If you tell your child “we don’t celebrate Halloween,” over and over again while their friends go out and get candy, they are not going to understand why. Instead, they will resent you or they will resent the communities in which they are growing up. For children, Halloween is all about candy and dressing up to play imaginary games – it’s not about commemorating dead saints. I believe that the best course of action is to reason with your children and make it absolutely clear why certain aspects of Halloween are not compatible with Islam. On the flip side, allow them to go get candy but only for the sake of getting candy. Many Muslims unfortunately have self-isolating tendencies that they then impose on their children and which eventually lead to identity issues. I think it’s probably better to just take the opportunity to hand out candy and do some dawah while doing so—be hospitable, be generous, be polite—show your neighbors and your children that Muslims are not angry, stingy, or rude people. Unfortunately Muslims are already portrayed as angry, stingy and rude in the media, and while I don’t think anyone that has commented or will comment on this post are like that, I do think we have to be careful in how we interact with others.”- Amer
“We Muslims care too much about what other people are doing. You don’t like Halloween? Keep your lights off. So simple. Don’t condemn others and rain down guilt and shame. Plus, what’s wrong with it having pagan roots? It’s part of the shared history of the human race. Pagans invented the wheel so maybe you shouldn’t drive, right? Or maybe I’m just biased because in Iran we jump over fire to welcome the coming of spring. Eh. To each their own.” –Shabnam
“I think it’s ok to let your child have fun with Halloween as long as they know (when they are old enough) it’s just for fun. It’s not meant to worship devils or be a part of pagan beliefs. Living here, kids can only be shielded from so much. It’s important to have a balance so they don’t rebel or think Islam is horrible. As youngins it’s hard for them to understand certain things so you have to tell them when the time is right. I’m def not for Xmas or Easter celebrating but that’s another topic. We will be judged by our intentions as well as actions. So if intentions are clean, I think it’s fine.”-Sheena
“I honestly don’t find anything wrong with dressing up for Halloween. It gives kids a chance to use their imagination and explore creativity. Plus it’s not religion based. Most kids see it as a way to be something else one day a year, get candy and have fun. I loved trick or treating as a kid. One of the few things I was able to enjoy with my family. It in no way negatively affected who I am or how much I believe in Allah. I think kids get really pumped about it and there’s more harm done in isolating them from the rest of the children celebrating. It’s not witchcraft. They aren’t practicing magic. I see no wrong IMO.”-Chris
“No one (besides maybe a few weirdos) celebrates this as a religious holiday. It’s just a fun celebration, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The more we isolate ourselves, the less part of the world we become. Additionally, genetically speaking the Desi in me likes free things, and that includes free candy.” -Farhan
There are those who think it’s better to stay put:
“I don’t feel right continuing a tradition that has pagan origination and considerate a bidah and generations to come can turn innovations into traditions and then later generations can turn it into mandatory practices. But I also understand your perspective because growing up we went trick or treating and dressed up and you can say it doesn’t effect imaan (not sure about that) I guess to each its own.” -Aasima
” A Muslim has two Eids. Period! The Prophet Muhammad (S) does not make exception for his birthday nor did the sahaba. Why do we have to question this? Our imaan is something we constantly work on until our graves. Or think of it this way. A guy who has drunk a few beers never got drunk and I pray. It never effected my imaan because I still pray? Oh but committing something haraam is effecting our imaan. You are allowing room for excuse to shaytan to do more and more. We repent from our sins vouching not to repeat them, to now pass them down as tradition? Who are we fooling but ourselves?”- Sameria
“Why not to celebrate and teach our kids to celebrate our two eids? this way they will not think its one of our eids. Why not to tell them nicely its not our traditions and culture. They can have fun at school without wearing customs. The hollaween is devil works in my opinion and we need to teach our kids this.”- Halima
“I honestly cannot even understand why there is any questions. It’s evil and if anyone wants to allow that then why not christmas trees and easter egg hunts? Or valentines day? I believe any participation in Halloween is asking for evil to take over. It is not good at all.” -Rabia
And then there are mutual opinions like this one:
“I used to be judgmental towards Halloween thinking it is a pagan holiday..As I understand it— not only Muslims but many Christians don’t like this holiday thinking it is based on paganism. I think the important issue is for people to not be judgmental of others and the customs they practice Although once based on Paganism, it has morphed into a fun loving holiday. I don’t personally celebrate it, but I consider it a cultural tradition. Just as many people have traditions not based on Muslim religious tradition such as cutting the cake at a wedding, wearing the white bridal gown — those who cover, uncovering the hair and neck for the wedding— the Hindu based traditions such as rubbing henna on the bride or buying extravagant gifts for the grooms family… these are traditions people enjoy and maybe we should not be so judgmental and concentrate more on the important issues like human kindness, generosity and respect of others.”- Mary
As you can see, there are a variety of different views. Only Allah (SWT) knows best. If you’re at home not taking part tonight—enjoy! And if you are taking part in the festivities—have fun and be safe!
What do you think about Halloween? Leave your comments below!