So, since I moved to the United States, I’ve noticed something. There is little thing that divides Muslims more than whether it’s okay to indulge in the spooktacular holiday of Halloween. While some take joy in accompanying their kids for a little bout of trick-or-treating, or dress up to greet trick-or-treaters in their own homes, others feel that the pagan roots of Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, indicate that participation in any aspect of Halloween is the equivalent of shirk.
Sigh. What’s a Muslim girl to do?
Well, we did what we do best and opened the floor up for debate. We asked our #MuslimGirlArmy what they thought about Halloween, and as expected, we got a pretty nice balance of answers. So look no further, for those in favor, those against, and those that are totally random (you’re going to want to stick around for that last one):
Some Thought It Wasn’t a Big Deal:
“I really don’t know that shirk is the right word for this. It seems a bit hyperbolic. I was raised to believe that intention is everything in Islam, and if you’re indulging in Halloween with the intention of enjoying the company of your friends by dressing up and trick-or-treating, that seems innocent to me. The intention there isn’t pagan worship. The intention is fun, and fun alone. Surely that counts for something? While I get that it’s important to understand the history of Halloween as much as we can, let’s not overlook the fact that trick-or-treating was never an integral part of All Hallow’s Eve. Trick-or-treating is just a fun ritual with no actual basis in the celebration of the pagan rituals associated with All Hallow’s Eve. I know this is such a sensitive issue, but surely at the very minimum, we can just live and let live?”
“People be saying it’s shirk, but nothing’s shirk about dressing up and getting candy.”
“I don’t see anything negative. Come on, we don’t celebrate it because we like devils or something. It’s just dressing up!”
“I love it! It’s a great excuse to eat a large amount of candy.”
“It’s just for fun/dress up. It’s not ‘engaging in paganism’.”
“I love it! I love doing crazy makeup on everyone I know, so it’s my one day in the year to do that!”
Some Totally Disagreed:
“I don’t know, many people tell me it’s haram to celebrate it.”
“Other than it’s haram (if you believe differently, that’s fine), it’s pointless. Just buy candy for yourself!”
“I don’t think it’s good for us. It’s not our culture!”
“I don’t celebrate it because of its pagan origins.”
Some Were on the Fence:
“I don’t feel anything about it. It is what it is. I don’t mind it and that’s it.”
“It’s not a part of me being Muslim, but it’s sort of fun to wear random outfits and just get some goods!”
And Then There Was This Guy:
“I only do it because I like free candy…Out here living that broke college student life.”
Respect the honesty, fam. We respect the honesty.