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I’m Celebrating Halloween for the First Time as a Muslim

I’m Celebrating Halloween for the First Time as a Muslim

Growing up in a Pakistani household, Halloween was always this confusing “America-only” holiday where we would never answer our front door. But as a child, I always envied the kids who got to dress up and get free candy while my Muslim parents said it didn’t align with Islamic beliefs. It was a holiday for Christians and, so, it was a holiday that got overlooked in our household.

This all changed as I grew up and learned the roots of the Halloween, and become enchanted with the gore and scary hoopla. Learning about the Salem Witch Trials always made me think about how witches were killed for being heretics and yet on this day, it seemed to me that Christians (little did I know Halloween was not actually a Christian holiday) dressed as and celebrated them. But then again, witches looked so cool I wanted to be one. Imagine being able to fly on a broom? But I never did get the chance to truly participate in Halloween festivities because I felt I didn’t belong.

Growing up in a Pakistani household, Halloween was always this confusing “America-only” holiday where we would never answer our front door.

Then, I entered my second year of college and Halloween fell on a Tuesday so, naturally, everyone was excited for “Halloweekend.” Truth be told, I still wasn’t eager to join the festivities considering my impending doom from my upcoming accounting test. However, I chose to dress up for the party taking place on Halloween at the multicultural center in a dinosaur onesie for two real reasons. One, because who wouldn’t love to dress up in a onesie? And two, because I felt it was time to finally experience Halloween.

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At the end of the day, I realized Halloween is no longer related to any religion or cultural background but has rather transformed into an American tradition. In reality, it’s a commercialized holiday where it’s fun to get free candy and have an excuse to publicly wear a onesie. And so, I’ve decided to participate in this Halloween as well as future ones by dressing up–beware of the mighty dinosaur.

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  • I always tell my kids that Halloween is a cultural rather than a religious holiday; Muslims all over the world celebrate holidays that have little to nothing to do with our faith, but that are important traditions nonetheless. I would balk at my kids wearing costumes like devils or similar (perhaps this is mostly about my personal comfort level though?) but I think a dinosaur onesie sounds great! This year my son will be Spiderman and my daughter will be a character from The Hobbit.

    How do you handle the non-halal-candy thing?

    • Yes, I do feel Halloween is much more cultural than it is religious. Plus, my dinosaur onesie was amazing 🙂 . In terms of non-halal candy, the way I dealt with is was I just took whichever candy I couldn’t eat into class the following day and gave it to my classmates. Someone had to enjoy it 🙂

      • That works! I think my daughter’s teachers might object, but maybe not. Luckily, both my kids kinda forget about their candy after the first day – the fun is in the staying out late and dressing up part. I am so glad neither of them has a have major sweet-tooth; I wish I wish I could claim it’s due to my parenting but probably not…

  • WOW, let me regress to the time when I was your age with my language……(I am probably older than your father….lol) but that is an AWESOME MASK!!!!!!!!! really really cool. So, Halloween is gradually building up cultural power here in Japan, I have been here long enough to see it absent from many supermarkets, to a decoration over the electronic train schedule display that hangs over the ticket wickets at one of our stations “Happy Halloween” in large letters with black and orange bunting…

  • No, I have to repeat how impressed I am with your sense of design and context for the mask! It is the combined effect that makes it exceptional. one without the other would be much diminished

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