Can Muslims celebrate Halloween? The above video contains a short excerpt from Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick on the concept of Western Holidays and their pagan origins, with specific reference to the holiday of Halloween. The excerpt was from a longer talk titled “The truth about holidays”.
Origins of Halloween
To the surprise of many, the current Halloween celebration was in fact established as part of the Celtic end of year festival known as “The day of Samhain”.
Celts, who lived in modern-day Ireland, celebrated their new year on November 1, whereby October 31st marked the beginning of the darker winter months. Celtics believed that on this evening evil spirits would be resurrected from their graves and haunt the townspeople.
In a bid to ward off such ghosts and evil spirits that may recognise them, they would disguise themselves in costumes and light up bonfires, hoping that such activities would confuse the evil spirits.
Celtic priests would also summon the evil spirits by making animal sacrifices over bonfires to gain information from such spirits about the future and news regarding their crops.
In the eighth Century, Pope Gregory III changed All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1, i.e. the day after Samhain.
Many said that this was an attempt to take the focus away from the Samhain festival, however, he day was nevertheless heavily marked with the many traditions of Samhain, including costumes and bonfires.
The night before All Saints Day (October 31st) was also named All Hallows Eve, and later became known as Halloween.
Over time, many of the ancient Samhain traditions have made their way into today’s current Halloween celebrations, including dressing up in evil costumes and lighting bonfires, which have now become Jack-o-lanterns.
Is Halloween Haram?
As Muslims, it is strictly prohibited for us to imitate the ways of pagans and those who worship evil spirits. Despite the fact many may argue that the festival has changed into a cultural event, there is no doubt that Satanists and modern pagans still commemorate the event of Samhain on October 31st, incorporating the very same traditions of Halloween.
As Muslims, our celebrations uphold our faith and monotheism. There is no compromise with the devil. God says in the Quran:
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
“Indeed, the devil is to man a clear enemy.” (12:5)
Muslim scholars from around the world have warned Muslims of following such devilish practices and advised parents to ward their families from following the night’s proceedings.
“Like many aspects of demonology and the occult, Halloween has been sanitized and made to appear as something “cute.” Along these lines, some Muslims actually have “Halaloween” parties. It’s just “fun.” This is one of the ways children in our society, increasingly Muslim children are no exception, are introduced to occult and demonic symbols and rituals.”
“Halloween as well as Halaloween are Haram!”
Imam Zaid Shakir
Video Original Source: Islam on Demand
While it may be tempting to join in such celebrations, we must remind ourselves of the pagan history and origins of these celebrations. Instead, Muslims should focus their celebration towards what God has made permissible, such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. These celebrations hold great religious significance and is a source of joy and happiness for all Muslims. When Muslim children aren’t given the opportunity to celebrate and cherish Eid, they will be tempted to turn instead to other traditions.