Living in a non-Muslim country, you will see the month of October accompanied with not only falling leaves and cool breezes but also Halloween. People often question what ruling Halloween holds in Islam. It might just seem a whole lot of harmless fun. Why hold yourself and your kids back from partying, celebrating and mingling with the people? Truth is nothing can hold anyone back except for one thing. The commandment of Allah. This is where the debate and the arguments start. Let’s first understand what Halloween really is.

The History Of Halloween

The first traces of Halloween date back to more than 2000 years ago amongst the Celtic People. The end of October was the season for harvesting their crops and preparing for winter. During this time, the Celts believed that the boundary between the dead and living becomes blurred causing the dead souls to visit the earth and cause harm. The Celts held a festival of Samhain in which they wore costumes made of animal skin and hair and lit a bonfire. The purpose of this festival was to ward off any evil spirits and assure safety for the long and dark winter. The Celtic Priests and Druids also foretold future events in this particular festival.

As Christianity spread overcoming paganism, the ancient beliefs started to get mixed up with the Christian principles. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints. This day was called, ‘All Saints Day’. The main purpose of this day was to replace the Celtic festival with a church-sanctioned holiday. The evening before was known as ‘All Hallows Eve’ and later ‘Halloween’.

As time passed on, people grew less aware of its origin and purpose. It became a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.

The Ruling About Halloween In Islam

It is clear that Halloween is not just any festival which was initiated by a Nation, it actually has its root dug deep inside a pagan, non religious belief. Halloween in Islam is considered impermissible due to its link with pagan and christian culture. Even if it is not remembered as such today, it is still an ancient tradition initiated and propagated by the disbelievers.

The Prophet SAWS said,

“Whoever imitates a nation is from amongst them.”

The Prophet SAWS himself shunned all pagan practises, traditions and festivals with the coming of Islam. A beautiful example is recounted when the Holy Prophet SAWS migrated to Madinah and saw the local people celebrating a festival. After finding out the non religious foundation of those festivals, he forbade the Muslims from celebrating them and introduced them to other Islamic ones.

Anas r.a. reported,

“Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) came to Madinah while the (locals) had two (fixed) days in which they would have fun. He inquired, “What are these two days (about)?” The locals replied, “We used to have fun on these days in the pre-islamic era.” Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) explained, “Allah has substituted those two days for you with something better; the day of Adha and the day of Fitr.”

(Abu Dawud: 1134)

According to Shakyh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri these two days were Nowruz (the Persian New Year which is held annually on the vernal equinox, as the beginning of spring) and Mehrejaan (an Iranian festival celebrated in honour of Mithra, a mythical deity, which is held on the autumnal equinox every year). (Buth’lul Majhud vol. 2 p.200)

How to Talk To Children About Halloween in Islam

The hardest part amidst all these celebrations is how to deal with children. These tiny little minds can not help but feel an attraction to those spooky decor, choosing and dressing up in a costume and collecting candy in flashy bag.
Don’t fool yourself thinking a tiny bit of enjoyment will do the child no harm. Think long-term and save your children from developing a fondness for un-Islamic celebrations and festivals. Explain it to them so they don’t say, ‘My parents won’t allow me to celebrate Halloween’ rather “I don’t celebrate Halloween because I am a Muslim!”

Try going through the following with your child.

Halloween is a form of Shirk.

Go through the history of Halloween with your child. Explain to them how it stems from incorrect beliefs about Allah. Tell them how the Prophet SAWS forbade and abstained from anything which had even a trace of Shirk in it. Instil the love of Allah SWT and Rasulullah SAWS in their heart.

Scaring Others Is Not Nice.

Islam and Muslims value the feelings of others very highly. It is very rude to try to scare anyone and be happy about it. Playing with fear is a Satanic Act and not something Muslims should do.

Wearing Costumes is Deception.

By wearing costumes, you are portraying yourself as someone else. Take pride in what and how Allah SWT has created you. Human Beings are the best of creation. We do not need to dress up as anyone else. It is also a form of lying and deceiving.

It Is Not Good Manners to Beg for Candy.

Muslims should behave in a dignified manner. It is not polite to go door-to-door asking people for candy.

Alternatives to Offer Children

Every reasonable person will agree to the impermissibility and harms of Halloween, however, little kids need a lot more than that. No matter how convinced they are about the evils of such a festival, the would still feel inclined to go out and witness or experience at least a tiny bit of it. To completely distract these kids, offer an alternative so they have something to look forward to as well! Here is what you can do.

  1. Buy some candies on your own and hide them around the house. Let your kids go on a scavenger hunt around the house and search for goodies.
  2. Sit down with some snacks and relay a story to them.
  3. Throw a party of your own and invite your kids friends..
  4. Go over to your family and friends and enjoy.
  5. Play a family game
  6. Bake or cook something yummy together.
  7. Do some craft activities with your kids.

How do you deal with Halloween? Share in the comments section down below!